Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What if..?

*itar (perfume) guy talking to me about an itar. I am not that fan of itars*

Guy: This is a new itar.. the smell wont wear off for 2 days!

damn! 2 days! what if I do not like it! How on earth will I get rid of it?!

*hands me the sample itar in small bottle*

Its still in front of me on the table and am staring at it.

Why Do I hate the Taliban

What prompted me to write this piece was this editorial in The News which said that Taliban have ordered all girl schools to be closed by January 15 - or else they will be blown up. Today, in the most beneficent manner that Taliban act, they have said that they will allow girl education till primary level. How merciful. I am teary eyed.

But, I still hate the Taliban - not as a fashion statement for some reasons.

- I hate Taliban because they do not believe in freedom of religion. Case in point, Bamiyan Buddha in Afghanistan. Since they are Deobandis by sect, so no Barelvi is accepted too. That is why they dug up the grave of Pir Samiullah, their opponent in Swat and hung his body publicly.

- I hate the Taliban because they are considered to be 'pure' muslims, the best of the breed, the ones that resemble the muslims at the time of the Prophet (horrible to say the least), the best practitioners of 'real Islam'. Bullshit of course. Taliban represent only one sub-sect of Islam, the Deobandi Sunnis. The Barelvis for example are not good muslims in front of them. Shias, damn they are infidels!

- I hate Taliban because west portrays them as manifestation of todays muslims. An ordinary muslim in Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Egypt is totally against what Taliban do and act. Yes 'every' muslim will criticise Israel and America but not one will go imposing a certain brand of Islam on others. Every act that Taliban do - the west say 'see! this is what Islam preaches!' Idiots.

- I hate Taliban because they blow up schools (115 schools in Swat, admitted by their spokesperson)

- I hate Taliban because they 'enforce' Islam. Case in point - the forced veiling of women, beating the bare ankles of women with sticks, forced closure of shops for prayers.

- I hate Taliban because they are extremely rigid to anothers point of view. You tell Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan to withdraw from violence - they say impose shariah, ask America to leave Afghanistan otherwise we will not. Nice way of going about solving things.

- I hate Taliban because they consider violence the only measure to achieve their political goals.

- I hate Taliban because they are giving extreme elements in our society a 'reason' to counter State. They are responsible for chaos. Every criminal is now 'Taliban'. Yes I agree the criminals are giving 'bad name' to Taliban (ironically) but its them who made it a point that you can take up arms against the State.

So there you go. I am full of hatred.

My Related Posts on Taliban especially Will The Taliban Take Over Pakistan?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Benazir Bhutto 'shaheed'

Give me a break will ya. First she became 'shaheed' (I don't know what is the criteria for being eligible for 'shaheed' or martyr but she does not fit it), then we had a national holiday on December 27th to commemorate her martyrdom (I am all ok for holiday trust me!) then we had a commemorative coin released by the central bank on the same date! I don't know but I guess Pakistan Post must have come up with a stamp too! did I miss it?

The thing is.. in Pakistan.. a thing is exploited for way much of its value - Benazir Bhutto's death is just the latest example. Bhuttos are one tragic family. One feels sorry for them really the way they transferred out of earth. Father hanged, one brother killed, another one poisoned, she herself got killed. They are in essence truly 'unlucky' family of Pakistani politicians. I mean a Pakistani politician does not die like this. They are one pampered lot.

The press, tv were all praises for her. I honestly do not know why. She was a feudal. All her life she spent the life of the elite. She 'ruled' the people of her constituency. She did not give a damn about democracy. She was in a power fight, first with General Zia and then with her political foe Nawaz Sharif. She had come to Pakistan by making a 'deal' with Pervaiz Musharraf who was by anyones definition a military dictator. Yeah that was for 'democracy'! hurray! She was the 'Lifetime Chairperson' of her party! ever heard of that anywhere in world?!

She kept denying whole her life that she did not know of Surrey Palace (they were alleged to be the owners and which they were), she made a deal with Musharraf that she'll support him as president if all cases are dropped against her (NRO was the result). Her husband was dubbed Mr.10% for the commissions that he took on deal when he was Minister for Privatization in her premiership.

Its also a facade that she cared for people. She only cared for herself - just like any feudal pakistani politician. She gave lectures to west on democracy and Islam and duffers that they are considered her to be the leading light of the two issues. A 'woman' from a third wold country? especially Islamic country? unheard of! Unbelievable! so every crap she utters is gleefully accepted as true! Although I must admit we as muslim world did not use her 'marketing' potential that much because hey.. if they keep telling us their democracy is best bullshit then we can do the same too eh?

She did nothing for women. She did nothing for people of her constituency. They are in fact more poor. Please do not tell me that 'army and religious parties were against her so she was not successful'. If they are true then they are hurdles for every politician in Pakistan who wants to amend things for good in Pakistan for women or minorities - she was not God sent. And Women's Bill was put forward by the dictator Musharraf - not democrat Benazir.

So thanks for the Holiday but no thanks. Leave me out of this martyrdom crap.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Palestenian Curry

Must be delicious for the Israelis this time. Ingredients: 300+ Palestinians, peppered with missiles and aircraft attacks. The nation of Israel needed 'protection' from the Hamas fired rockets (it would be a shame to call it a rocket. Mind you Israeli blockade can never provide Palestenians with latest rockets) so the Israelis thought better to impress upon all of us how urgent the security needs are. US as usual, sided with Israel. OIC and Arab League, as usual, the impotents.

The real winners will be the 'jihadists' who will 'remind' the fellow muslims that there is only one solution to muslim problems - hit back because no one else is going to listen to us.

Friday, December 26, 2008

PostMan's Law of illness Stories

The other person will have a more gory one to tell.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

PostMan's Law - The End

It never seems to end when you don't know when its going to end.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mumbai Burning

Heart goes out for the innocent victims. What is afflicting humanity? What do these crazed individuals want? Let us live in peace will ya! Someones interests are death blows for the others. Unfortunate.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Safest Place

The safest place, where nothing bad could touch me, nothing could hurt me, was the lap of my father or when I used to lie with him with my back against his chest.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Religious Quacks On-Line - Part 2

You guys should have seen Aalim Online last night. It was Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) hate-specific special. The 9 members of the CII were certified as 'not pure muslims'.

A certain scholar from Jamia Binoria termed that the recommendations would result in 'increase of divorce rate'. Our Mufti Muneeb said that even when 'khula' is mentioned in nikah nama, still this does not mean that the wife gets the right of divorce rather the court decides on her behalf. Its ok if a man divorces her without court.

The most striking thing - was this. Unfortunately when you are a reader of Quran you get a lot of lovely statements from people who claim to be the guardians of faith. Both of the gentlemen guests and a scholar on-line told audiences that 2 witnesses are not a requirement at the time of Divorce, its only a requirement at Nikah. And my jaws dropped. Check this verse.

Sura Talaq 65:2 - Thus when they fulfil their term appointed, either take them back on equitable terms or part with them on equitable terms; and take for witness two persons from among you, endued with justice, and establish the evidence (as) before Allah....

Please tell me 'I' am wrong and these learned scholars are not! How on earth can they lie in front of the whole world?! But then its no surprise. Evey sort of quack is available as I had mentioned in this post.

They even threatened the Government of dire consequences if if went with the implementation of these recommendations.

Recommendations of Council of Islamic Ideology

(Source The News Editorial, 18th November 08)

- divorce will come into effect 90 days after a woman has filed for separation. Till now, even though family courts have over the past few years granted women seeking divorce their right to annul a marriage more often than before, the long drawn-out procedure for 'khula' has meant repeated visits to courts and the airing of all kinds of messy matters in public. In some cases, omen have been pressurized by judges to return to husbands they wish to leave. The CII's suggestion will make the matter a much simpler one for women

- An application for divorce be registered the same way as a 'nikahnama',
- a husband must register the 'first divorce' rather than sending his wife three simultaneous notices of 'talaq'.
- he should declare his assets at the time of marriage avoiding controversy over what a wife can claim if she files for divorce.
- The inclusion of a clause in the nikahnama granting women the right to divorce has also been recommended. At present, even the clause that allows a man to grant this right to his wife is in practice often struck out by 'nikah khawans'.

There are lot of problems women face when it comes to Divorce related matters in Pakistan. CCI recommendations are a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, the clergy will not allow that as it encroaches upon their domain - their territory. There are some very valuable guidelines in Quran in matters relate to divorce (link below) which can be adopted to stop the mistreatment of women in Pakistan.

Related Posts:

- Divorce in Islam - The Quranic Perspective

- Quacks On Air - Religious Ones

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Job Application

The killer line...

".. balls of my life are in your court now."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

PostMan's Law of Office Privacy

There is always a colleague in office who stares at your computer screen.

Friday, November 14, 2008

NAB drops all corruption cases against politicians

"The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has dropped all corruption cases against politicians, both the government and the opposition, ... corruption cases involving over Rs 500 billion were dumped under the controversial National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO)" - The News

No matter how smart, able or intelligent Musharraf was or whether he committed no financial embezzlement for his own profit motives - when a dictator keeps holding on to power, this is the way that country suffers.

Yes the politicians are and will be corrupt, yes there is no accountability of people who have committed wrongs but when a dictator comes along, may be all sincere does not leave quick, he brings just another plate for corrupt to eat from.

Thats where Musharraf lost it big time. So did the country.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Baby 10 Commandments

(from the perspective of baby - the lord)

1 - Thou shall giveth everything to me.
2 - Thou shall not taketh (it) back from me.
3 - I shall throweth wherever I wanteth.
4 - Thou shall not covet my stuff.
5 - Thou shall feed me.
6 - Thou shall clean me.
7 - If you will - I wont.
8 - If you wont - I will.
9 - If you insist - hell will be the abode.
10 - The night is mine, the day is mine, you are at the servitude.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Allergy Treatment

'Drinking milk may ease milk allergy' - A news report.

Some solution! Don't fear of any allergy now! Dig in!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tera Kya Hoga Kalia?

The Government has taken action against one of the biggest exchange companies operating in Pakistan, Khanani & Kalia. They have been accused of illegally smuggling out billions of US dollars over a period of 5 years and specifically for the last 6 months when Pakistani Rupee was stretched to its limits. The Rupee has depreciated by some 23% since July. The Forex reserves at $16 billion in July, are a mere $7 billion now. Although, majority believe that it has got more to do with the current account deficit (trade deficit ballooning to US$7.2 billion for July-Oct 08) but someone wants us to know that other facors are involved too.

State Bank has suspended the licence of Khanani & Kalia for one month due to the action of Federal Investigative Agency (FIA). It is suggested in news report that FIA had warned the government of the flight of capital through exchange companies couple of months ago but no action was taken. Now suddenly, the Govt has woken up to the 'cause' and arrested to directors of the company.

'Hundi' and 'hawala', are the two most used methods of 'unofficial' transfer of forex in and out of country. Remittances sent by oversees Pakistanis mostly find these routes because they are quick, efficient and arbitrage is good. After 911, crack down on unofficial channels and strict monitoring of financial flows somewhat hindered their network and instead more and more Pakistanis are sending their remittances through official channels. Government and central bank have been trying to bring them in to the net of official economy so to harness more available resources. For this reason State Bank started offering licences to exchange companies.

Now what role can these exchange companies play. Apart from being a secondary channel of forex inflows and outflows, they can participate in currency smuggling. Afghanistan is a good market right now for American dollar as it brings you good value so a lot of smuggling of dollars has taken place through Afghanistans border. It can also be used to transfer money out on fictitious transactions for example buying real estate in another country although there will be no transaction.

So how did Khanani & Kalia operate? No one knows for sure. FIA has seized computers and stuff so they 'know' how they operated. I just dont understand why no action was taken before and 'suddenly' the bosses of this company are in custody - keep in mind that it involved 'senior bureaucrats and politicians'. Kaalia says he'll spill the beans. I have my fingers crossed. Also keep in mind that exchange companies and unofficial channels have been doing it for a very long time and its nothing 'new'. Some even suggest that the size of this informal mode of transaction is almost 40% of the total transactions.

So what is really cooking. I guess I wrote this whole post just for the title. damn me.

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Daughter

Credit KKT at Buzzvines

Peeping in every few minutes
My precious still there
The world beckons for her
And I know she cannot remain
That bed will be empty
The room for once tidy
The rituals will have to change
Her scent, though it may linger
But it too will dissipate
Last loving glance
At sleeping beauty
Suddenly she seems changed
No longer as childlike as I recall
My child nonetheless
Who will protect her
How will I tame my instincts
Fear may engulf her heart
But mine feels torn apart
How will life go on
Who will I live for
Who will I care for
Who will I worry for
The Lord giveth
And the world taketh away

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obama Won Me An Argument

When I had written the post "Why Cant There Be A Non-Muslim Pakistani Head of State", the common response that I got was this was not possible as every country had certain 'norms' that it followed - religion being one of them. The other factors, as an argument, can be the race. For example, in US, there has never been an african american elected as the President (nor a woman) although United States claims to be the greatest democracy ever.

Even then I used to tell them that although no african american has been elected as a President, still their constitution did not bar anyone to hold that office for any reason whatsoever. In Pakistan, the prime minister and the president 'have to be' muslims. This is wrong. Members of minorities are Pakistanis too.

Now as Barack Obama has been elected as the first african american president of USA, at least this argument goes down. Hurray!

:p

Related Posts

- Why Cant There Be a Non-muslim Pakistani Head of State
- The Next President?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

PostMan's Law of Electricity Loadshedding

The light goes out when you need it the most.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Forest ? Nay Jungle

Life is like a box of chocolates... you never know how much you're going to pay for it!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

PostMan's Law of Baby Tantrum

Your baby will throw the most tantrum when you are having a meal.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fatherhood - Manifestation

When the lights go out, you sacrifice your own sleep for the comfort of your child and fan her with every possible object so that she keeps sleeping.

P.S: Though my sister will kill me if she read this because she diligently made more effort to take care of her!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Rights in A Muslim Marriage (Pakistan)

The following text has been taken from Sustainable Policy Development Institute's (SDPI) website (Link) Please check the link and website because it contains very valuable information for spouses - especially women. They have to know their rights. I have divided the document in sections for easy navigation.

1. Haq Mehr: An Essential Right
2. Inheritance
a) What to do if your rights have been violated in Inheritance.
3. Other Rights in Marriage
4. Maintenance
a) What to do if your rights have been violated in Maintenance
5. Dissolution of Marriage
6. The Importance of Following Divorce Procedure
7. Talaq
a) The importance of Judicial Notice in Talaq
8. Khula
9. Judicial Divorce - Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act 1939
10. Option of Puberty

Haq Mehr: An Essential Right



As an essential requisite of marriage, haq mehr is always due to the wife, no matter whether it has been written and specified in the marriage contract nor not (clauses 13-16). Mehr is one of the most basic rights of a married woman and therefore the custom of writing the purely symbolic amount of Rs 32.50 effectively denies women the benefit of their marriage rights.

If it has not been fixed in the nikahnama, it is known as ‘mehr ul misl’ or proper dower and the court will then set it by taking into account her status and the mehr given to her close female relatives. If the mehr has been fixed it can be prompt (mehr moajjal) or deferred (ghair moajjal or mu’wajjal) or split into parts some of which is prompt and some of which is deferred. If it is not specified which form the mehr is, it is assumed to be prompt.

Mehr can be in the shape of land, jewellery, cash or gold. Gold is preferable and its weight should be written in the nikahnama, which offers the wife some protection against inflation, whereas written cash amounts can become worthless after a few years.

Type of Mehr When it can be Claimed Rights
prompt
  • whenever the wife demands
Wife can refuse to consummate the marriage or to continue living with husband until it is paid. She can go to court to seek payment up to three years after husband refuses to pay. This is the best form of mehr as it gives the wife the greatest flexibility and control over her mehr.
deferred
  • on death of husband
  • on talaq or dissolution of marriage
  • at an agreed date specified in the nikahnama or any written agreement with the husband
On husband’s death, mehr is a debt that has to be paid before his property is divided among his heirs. Can be claimed in a court within three years of divorce or death of husband.
mehr ul misl
  • whenever the wife demands
as for prompt mehr
all forms of
mehr
  • the amount can be raised at any time during the marriage on a written declaration by the husband
  • a wife cannot be deprived of her mehr unless she has made a written agreement, signed by witnesses and the courts is satisfied she did this voluntarily, out of natural love and affection
  • waiving off of mehr under pressure - e.g., at the husband’s qul or on his death-bed will not be held as valid by the courts
  • when paying mehr, husband has to declare that this is part of mehr
  • unless specified as part of mehr, things given to the wife by the husband during the marriage (e.g.,, jewellery, cash) are not considered part
  • of her mehr





Inheritance


Inheritance is the only area of family law where there are different provisions for different sects, the major difference being over the share given to daughters when there is no male heir.

As Daughter
  • woman has brothers: gets half of brother’s share
  • woman has no other siblings: Hanafi: gets total 1/2 of inheritance; Jaifria: inherits entire property
  • woman has sisters: Hanafi: share 2/3 of total inheritance equally among themselves; remaining 1/3 goes to other relatives; Jaffria: share total inheritance equally among themselves
  • if parent predeceased: Sec. 4 MFLO: woman can inherit (along with any other siblings) her share of her parent’s share of her grandparent’s property
As Wife
  • 1/8th if she has children; 1/4th if she does not have children
  • a wife can inherit during her iddat period, i.e., when her divorce has not yet become final
  • a wife cannot be denied her inheritance by a death-bed talaq
  • there is no time limit for a wife to claim inheritance
As Mother
  • 1/6th



Inheritance: What to do if your rights have been violated

By taking a firm stand against customary practices, the courts strongly uphold women’s right to inherit moveable and immovable property such as agricultural land. The courts do not accept a brother’s claim that they are maintaining their sister and therefore do not need to give them their share of inheritance. Any agreement surrendering inheritance rights which does not fulfill the following conditions is illegal under the Contract Act of 1872:

  • the agreement must be in writing;
  • the agreement must be witnesses and registered;
  • the agreement must be voluntary and made out of natural love and affection.

Other Rights in Marriage

Courts do not enforce customary practices: There are many issues related to marriage where the law has taken a firm stand in favour of women rights. For example an agreement between families regarding an exchange marriage (e.g., watta satta, addo baddo and pait likkhi) cannot be enforced through a court of law if one of the parties breaks the agreement. Similarly, engagement agreements and have no force in law.

The Dowry and Bridal Gifts (Restriction) Act 1976 means that giving a jehez of more than Rs 5,000 carries a penalty - for the bride’s family but not for the bride. The courts insist that jehez and bridal gifts (e.g. salami) are the property of the wife alone and in the event of divorce or separation will not allow husbands to keep any jehez valued over Rs 5,000 just because this jehez is in excess of the legal limit.




Maintenance

Rights What Counts as Maintenance
Under Sec.9 MFLO:
  • husband obliged to maintain wife ‘adequately’ and, in the event of polygamy, ‘equitably’
  • maintenance is payable throughout the marriage, during separation (as long as it is not unilateral separation by the wife) and during iddat period after pronouncement of divorce
  • in the event of husband’s death, his heirs are bound to maintain the wife during iddat
  • a wife cannot be denied maintenance if she owns property, or does not live with in-laws or misbehaves’
All necessary expenses for mental and physical well-being, including but not limited to food, clothing, lodging; expenses for delivery of child are also included in maintenance.
Post-divorce maintenance is only recognised by Pakistani law if a provision is written into the nikahnama (clause 20) or any agreement is made in this regard. Can be in the form of a lump sum payment or monthly payment.





Maintenance: What to do if your rights have been violated


Failure to provide maintenance is one of the most common violations of women’s rights within marriage. To secure maintenance, the wife can either apply to the Union Council or to the Family Courts.

Forum Procedure Appeal Advantages Problems
Union Council Arbitration Council formed (Union Council Chairman + representative of each wife and husband)decides by majority, (Chairman has deciding vote) & issues certificate specifying amount taking into account family’s status and husband’s income wife or husband can apply to the Collector (who is the D.C.) within 30 days on payment of small fee for maintenance amount to be revised upwards or downwardsthere can be no further appeal no lawyer needed easily accessible, close to wife’s homeusually decided within 2-3 months Arbitration Council usually pressures wife to reconcilehusband caninfluence proceedingsmaintenance amount often very lowweak enforcement mechanism
Family Court
  • civil suit filed in Family Court; wife and husband called to hearings
  • judge issues certificate
  • specifying amount taking into account family’s status and husband’s income
  • wife or husband can approach the court which issued the order for maintenance amount to be revised upwards or downwards
  • maintenance case can go up to Supreme court
  • wife gets proper legal represen-tation and her arguments are properly heard
  • court can order the husband’s salary to be ‘attached’, i.e. maintenance is automatically deducted
  • proceedings lengthy and expensive as go before Court and require a lawyer
  • the need to attend court hearings may be problematic for purdah-observing women




Dissolution of Marriage

A Muslim Marriage is a contract and can be dissolved like any other contract. It is automatically dissolved on the death of one of the spouses. Other than this, both wife and husband have legal and religious rights to dissolve a marriage. A husband has the unilateral right of talaq, which can never be taken away but can be restricted through the nikahnama (clause 19). A wife can dissolve her marriage unilaterally only if the right of divorce has been unconditionally delegated to her by the husband in the nikahnama (clause 18).

Other forms of dissolution of marriage which the wife can use are khula and judicial divorce (including option of puberty). These both have to be sought through the Family Courts.

The Importance of Following Divorce Procedures

No matter whether the marriage has been dissolved through talaq, khula or judicial divorce, it is vital that legal procedures be properly followed. Failure to do so can raise doubts about the effectiveness of the divorce and lead to serious legal problems, such as a case of bigamy and zina against a woman who later remarries, or difficulties in settling issues related to the divorce such as past maintenance or claiming deferred haq mehr. The paternity of children can also be disputed.

In addition to any court decree, the woman must make sure she collects her talaqnama certificate from the Union Council and keep it somewhere safe.

Talaq

Procedure Role of Union Council When Effective Penalty for Violation of Procedure

By husband under
Sec. 7 MFLO:

husband pronounces talaq and sends written notice by registered post to the Union Council, mentioning address where wife

  • sends copy of notice to wife by
    registered post.
  • constitutes Arbitration Council within 30 days of receipt of notice.
  • once iddat is over, issues certificate of Talaq being effective to husband and wife.
  • talaq is not effective until the
    expiry of iddat.
  • iddat is 90 days from when the Union Council received the notice of Talaq, or after the delivery of child if wife pregnant (whichever is later).
  • if reconciliation has failed and notice has not been withdrawn
simple imprisonment
for up to one year
and/or a fine of up to As 5,000

The Importance of Registered notice of Talaq

A verbal talaq is not recognised by law and the husband’s failure to send written notice to the Union Council makes the talaq ineffective. Even if the Union Council issues a certificate of talaq, if notice was not properly served on the wife, the talaq can be challenged. This law was originally designed to protect women from a instant and unrecorded divorce. Before 1979 and the introduction of the Zina Ordinance, a woman who was not properly divorced and who later remarried could be punished for bigamy and sentenced up to 7 years (or up to 10 years if she concealed the previous marriage) and only on the complaint of her first husband. However, since 1979, bigamy makes a woman liable to charges of zina which can carry very severe penalty such as death. Therefore, it is vital for a woman to be absolutely clear about her marital status and to have documentary proof that she is properly divorced.

Notice of talaq can be served on a wife (with the Union Council’s permission) through her father, mother, adult brother or sister – but no other relatives. If this is not possible because her whereabouts are not known and notice cannot be served on her through her immediate family, the husband can still serve notice through a newspaper approved by the Union Council.

Sometimes families make the mistake of refusing to receive a registered notification, fearing that it is notice of talaq. This is dangerous because notice can then be served through a newspaper and the talaq will be effective, but the woman will be unaware of her status.

Talaq-i-Tafweez and Mubarat

In both of these forms of divorce, there is no need to approach the courts, meaning that the marriage can be dissolved rapidly, cheaply and with few procedural problems.

Form Procedure
Mubarat By wife & husband mutually under Sec.8 MFLO:couple sends written notification of mubarat to Union Council, which then proceeds as if has received notice of talaq(see table above)once iddat is over, Union Council issues certificate of divorce to husband and wife
Talaq-i-Tafweez by wife under Sec.8 MFLO, only if she has delegated right of divorce (talaq-i-tafweez) specified in nikahnama (clause 18)wife sends written notice (in the same manner as the husband, if he was to dissolve the marriage through talaq) to Union Council, which then proceeds as if it has received notice of talaq (see table above)once iddat is over, Union Council issues certificate of divorce to husband and wife
Comments:
  • wife’s right to mehr is not affected
  • if right of delegated divorce is conditional (e.g., it is operational only if husband has failed to maintain wife), husband can challenge fulfillment of conditions in Family Court


Khula

Khula, which literally means ‘untying the knot’, is the dissolution of marriage initiated by the wife and is granted by the court.

Procedure Grounds & Proof When Effective

By wife under Sec. 8 MFLO:

wife files suit for khula in Family Court

Family Court issues decree and sends notification to Union Council

Union Council proceeds as if has received notice of talaq (see table above)

once iddat is over, Union Council issues certificate of divorce to husband and wife

  • wife feels she can no longer live with her husband ‘within the limits prescribed by Allah’, i.e., an irretrievable breakdown ‘of the marriage has occurred
  • husband’s permission is not required
  • grounds are to be substantiated but not proved
  • khula is not effective until the expiry of iddat. Iddat is 90 days from when the Union Council received the decree for khula, or after the delivery of child if wife pregnant (whichever is later).
  • if reconciliation has failed khula becomes effective on expiry of iddat.
Comments:
  • wife usually has to return haq mehr and other benefits received from husband as zar-ikhula
  • gifts received from husband’s family do not have to be returned
  • court decides how much & what is to be returned on the facts of the case
  • wife’s failure to pay zar-i-khula does not render khula ineffective; husband has to file separate suit for recovery of zar-i-khula

Judicial Divorce - Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939

Where the woman initiates the dissolution of marriage but regards the husband at fault, she approach the court for a judicial divorce.

Procedure
Grounds & Proof
When Effective

Cruelty General

By wife under
DMMA

wife files suit for judicial divorce in Family Court

Family Courtissues decree and sends notification to Union Council

Union Council proceeds as if has received notice of talaq (see table above)

once iddat is over, Union Council issues certificate of divorce to husband and wife

  • mental abuse
  • habitual assault
  • husband of bad character, in particular, a womanizer
  • forces wife to lead
    immoral life
    disposes of wife's property or stops her from controlling/managing her property
  • prohibits her from practicing her religious duties/obligations
  • unequal treatment of more than one wife
  • desertion for 4 years and
    whereabouts of husband and
    not known
  • non-maintenance for a continuous period of 2 years
  • husband contracts another
    marriage in violation of procedures given in MFLO
  • Husband imprisoned for 7 years of more
  • husband has not performed marital duties for 3 years without reasonable cause
  • husband impotent at time of marriage and still so
  • husband insane for 2 years, or suffers from leprosy or any venereal disease
  • grounds, i.e., husband's fault is to be proved
  • dissolutions not effective until the expiry of iddat. Iddat is 90 days from when the Union council received the notice of decree for dissolution, or after the delivery of child if wife pregnant (whichever is later).
  • if reconciliation has failed dissolution becomes effective on expiry of iddat.
Comments :
  • wife retains right to mehr and other benefits received from husband

Option of Puberty

Child marriages are restricted and those responsible can be punished for violation, although a marriage contracted by a minor’s parents/guardian is not invalid. However, on becoming adult, the spouses have the right to repudiate the marriage and for a woman the procedure is through the courts.

Procedure Conditions

by wife under Sec.8 MFLO and Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act:

woman aged between 16-18 files suit for option of puberty under DMMA in Family Court

Family Court issues decree and notifies procedure to be followed

available provided marriage not consummated

NOTE: if marriage consummated before wife aged16, courts consider this forced consummation and grant dissolution on grounds of option of puberty

Comments: wife retains right to mehr and other benefits received from husband


Check Related Post

- Divorce In Islam - The Quranic Perspective

Friday, October 17, 2008

Days of Our Lives

"Any suicide bombing today?" - a question.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Best

'.. of the english speaking nations, the British speak the best. The Germans are not that good' - a comment.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Shaukat Khanam Memorial Trust Cancer Hospital

The other day I was watching a program on Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust (SKMT) cancer hospital which was built by our cricketer turned politician Imran Khan. Tell you what. Watching the scenes with patients, their problems, doctors, labs, treatment, 'generosity' of people of Pakistan, the immensity of this whole thing - I was teary eyed all along.

How the hell can a thing operate so smoothly in Pakistan? that too with all the donations pouring in from all over Pakistan? The interviewers kept asking patients whether SKMT had taken money from them - and they said No. All of their treatment was free. This is unimaginable considering that cancer treatment is horrendously expensive. Those who can afford it, make their contribution too in treatment. Yes they reject patient cases too but they say they do it do it because they do not have the capacity.

I remember when Imran Khan came to Edwardes College Peshawar for his funding campaign as I was standing amongst the students too. It appeared as if there was only one human being standing and talking - the rest were all dickheads. After he finished speaking - students, one by one, came forward and started emptying their pockets or donated whatever they could including myself. This is what 'leadership' is all about. This is what 'command and do not demand respect' means. The sincerity of the man was such that one could not help but help.

And now one can see the masterpiece that SKMT hospital is and is treating patients. The other organization that comes to my mind is SIUT - working on kidney related diseases and treatment thereoff for free. I salute all you guys.

*Salute*

SKMT Hospital Website.
SIUT Website

Saturday, September 27, 2008

PostMan's Law of Car Creakiness

The frequency and level of creakiness in your car is directly proportional to the number of people around and inversely proportional to the presence of the car mechanic.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Out of Jail Zaradri

Seems like jail time does have an effect after all. Not only Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, has a history of mental illness, he is also a confirmed retard now after meeting Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Those certificates of mental illness were no joke.

Zaradri told Palin (grinning) that she was "gorgeous" and said: "Now I know why the whole of America is crazy about you." "You are so nice," Palin said, smiling. "Thank you."

A handler from Zardari's entourage then told the two politicians to keep shaking hands for the cameras. "If he's insisting, I might hug," Zardari said. Palin smiled politely.

Palin and I: Asshole!

'May Goad (really) give us the strent to save Pakistan' - from Zardari.

And this is not about what the 'comment' was - nor I am trying to insult him for his English. God knows I hate doing that and find it racist to the core. But the thing is that he was there as a Leader of the nation, President of a country. His comments were reflective of a conduct unbecoming of a president. After all this is not an ordinary guy meeting an ordinary women in a park.

Related Posts:

- I Love Zardari
- Zardari - Symbol of Federation
- Six-ty Million Dollar Man

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dimwit

"American Marines spotted in Marriott Hotel Islamabad a day before the blast."

Ok. Blow up the hotel.

"two American marines killed in bombing"

Hey nice work.

"Pakistani government is siding with USA and killing innocent people in FATA - this is the result"

Nice way of getting even. Justice done.

What the hell is wrong with people? People as in Pakistani citizens. How on earth can you come up with 'justifications' for the hotel bombing? Yes they are exactly that - justifications.

What is the point in pointing out that American marines were staying at hotel? So what? kill 58 more people alongside them? If Pakistani government is deemed to side with the Americans - every part of Pakistan should be put to smithreens?

Yo people! Wake up! We are in a mess! We are dealing with our OWN people who are very very sick! and they are all muslims! Do not give me the bullshit that "ye kaam koi musalman nahi ker sakta" (this can not be done by a muslim!) What the hell! 100% muslim! 100% Pakistanis! And they do not give a damn about you.

They do not care whether its 'democratic government' in Pakistan. What the hell is that anyways? They do not care whether democratic institutions are working in Pakistan after Feb 18 elections. They do not care whether Musharraf has gone. All they care is that Americans are inflicted with every possible hurt.

There is a sick ideology that hates everything America - 'infidels' to be more specific. They are against American interests in Afghanistan and in Iraq. Idiot American policies in Iraq and Palestine have not helped either. It was America that created this frankenstine called 'jihadi' in Afghanistan against USSR. Now they are all over the place and innocent people are being killed.

'Nobody' supports the cruel offensive of government that has resulted in innocent lives being lost in FATA and Swat. Innocent 'Pakistanis' are being killed and displaced within their own land. They are equally being terrorized by the Taliban. They blow up their CD shops, make them grow beards, slaughter them and kill them. Their affiliates in Swat want 'shariah' to be implemented otherwise they can kill and maim to their hearts desire. What the fuck?

'We' as Pakistanis have to stand up to this madness. There is no such thing as 'pure muslim' in Taliban. They are not defenders of Pakistan against Americans. They will ruin every inch of Pakistani soil for their interests. 'Shariah' - allow me to say it - is just bullshit of an excuse. There are people ion us that spread hatred, there are medressah's that breed violence and prepare killers. There are some very sick people in us. Stand against this thing or it will result in more bloodshed and killing of innocents in FATA, Swat and Islamabad.

God help us.

Related Post:
- Taliban at The Door

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Temporary Marriages In Islam

Shia's Mutaa or Sunnis Misyar marriage contracts are temporary marriage that are made on the basis that 'people would avoid adultery'. These are for a fixed period (although sunnis maintain that its not so) and usually have no liabilities on contracting parties.

The idea that 'muslim soldiers remained on war front without their wives' or today's version of 'workers remain without their wives in other countries' are essentially the same.

Misyar marriage contracts are popular in Saudi where expensive dowry requirements have made marriages impossible to be made and thus have rendered a lot of women single. A definite problem.

Shia's refer to 4:24 for muta marriages. It has Arabic of 'fama istamtatum'.. meaning 'from whom you have benefited' (consummated marriage). It has the root word of 'mutaa' (benefit) and this verse is taken literally.. that since it has 'muta' in it, it was prevalent in times of Prophet Muhammad, he did not stop this practice and Caliph Omar did, Omar had no right so Mutaa as marriage is still intact.

Anyways.. the thing is that temporary marriages are not allowed whether of sunnis or shias's. Be chaste, refrain from adultery and if you cant find a mate.. be patient. The next verse states

4:25 - And whoso is not able to afford to marry free, believing women, let them marry from the believing maids... This is for him among you who feareth to commit sin. But to have patience would be better for you. Allah is Forgiving,


Related Post

1 - Polygamy in Islam

2 - Divorce In Islam - A Quranic Perspective

3 - Female Sex Slaves in Islam

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Italian GrandPrix 09

Result after 53 laps:

1. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1 hr 26:47.494 sec

The only thing I am acquainted with, in the above statement, is Ferrari.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Belgian Grand Prix 2008

Don't tell me you did not see it? Oh come on! You missed it!

It was boring! And then it turned totally unbelievable in the last couple of laps. Belgian Grand Prix was just a cherry on the cake.

Louis Hamilton started on poll on a circuit that has a notoriuos weather. Sure enough, early rain had made track slippery and this made Hamilton commit the mistake and lost his poll position to defending champion Kimi Raikonnen. The race was scheduled for 44 laps. Up till 39th lap, Kimi was in title lead followed by Hamilton. Then came the rain! and things started to go berserk! Hamilton caught Kimi on lap 42. Kimi touched the rear of Hamiltons car with his cars nose. Just ahead, in a corner, Hamilton was in a tight spot and he cut the chicane whereas Kimi followed it. As Hamilton got the lead - he spun! giving Kimi the lead instead. Kimi, of all, spun himself and crashed in the wall. How lovely.

Hamilton won the race. his smile had not faded yet when it was announced that stewards had penalized Hamilton for 25 sec for cutting the chicane where he took lead from Kimi! In the end, Hamilton stood third in the race.

Man. F1 rules.

I think I wrote this post just for the sake of it!

Complete story here.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Female Sex Slaves in Islam

Slaves or 'londi' is a very controversial topic in Islam. Unfortunately, 'Londi' has become a term synonymous with sex slaves. This is not true.

23:01 - Successful indeed are the believers,
23:02 - Those who humble themselves in their prayers;
23:03 - Who avoid vain talk;
23:04 - Who are active in deeds of charity;
23:05 - Who abstain from sex,
23:06 - Except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, OR (the captives) whom their right hands possess,- for (in their case) they are free from blame,

First thing first. Lust is to be avoided. A believer has to 'abstain' from sex. If there is a 'chance' of 'have a londi? - do sex' then this verse quashes it. And it comes before the verse which says 'Except with their wives OR captives/ londis'

Mind you. God is All knowing. He chooses words very carefully. He used the word 'aao' in Arabic which means OR. He did not use 'wa' AND. All this means you can have sex EITHER with your wife OR londi. Its not 'free stuff'.

Further, you have to get 'married' to have sex, in both the cases. No other way around.

4:25 - And whoso is not able to afford to marry free, believing women, let them marry from the believing maids whom your right hands possess...
24:33 - And let those who cannot find a match keep chaste till Allah give them independence by His grace...

As regards slavery, Quran does not endorse slavery and instead wants the believers to free the slaves. In effect, Quran suggests abolition of slavery.


2:177 - ... righteous is he who believeth in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Scripture and the prophets; and giveth wealth, for love of Him, to kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slaves free; ...


To summarize
1 - You should not commit adultery. (Quran 23:05)
2 - You can have sex with your wife (in case you are married) OR slaves (in case you are not married) (Quran 23:06), but also,
3 - In case of latter, you are to 'marry' the slave (Quran 4:25)
4 - If you are still single.. be content and abstain from adultery. (Quran 24:33)


Check Other Post
- Polygamy in Islam - A Quranic Perspective

Thursday, September 04, 2008

PostMan's Law of Possession

Its always the other guy that gets the girl.

Corollary to PostMan's Law of Possession.

You are a loser.



Check My Other Post
- PostMan's Phone Law

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Saum, Roza, Fast

Wishing everyone a very happy ramadan :)

Some points to share with the readers regarding Ramadan according to Quran. I will also try to address some questions usually related to Fasting.

2:185 - Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, ...

The importance of the month of Ramadan is not only due to the fact that muslims fast in it, Quran was also revealed in the month of Ramadan.

Q: Is it necessary to sight the moon for commencement of Ramadan?
A.
No it is not necessary. Quran no where states that moon should be sighted. God advises us that Sun and Moon are the calculating devices.

6:96 - He it is that cleaveth the day-break (from the dark): He makes the night for rest and tranquillity, and the sun and moon for the reckoning (of time): Such is the judgment and ordering of (Him), the Exalted in Power, the Omniscient.

Q: Was Fasting as religious duty given to Prophet Muhammad?
A: Prophet Muhammad was not given this religious duty. All of the religious duties have been given to Prophet Abraham (Link)

2:183 - O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint,-

Q: What are the timings of Fast?
A:

2:187 - ...
and eat and drink, until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread; then complete your fast Till the night appears; ...

Q: Who should Fast?
A: Everyone - who can that is.

2:184 - Specific days (are designated for fasting); if one is ill or traveling, an equal number of other days may be substituted. ...

Q: Is it true that for the relaxation of not Fasting while traveling, a distance of at least 40 km is required?
A: Quran no where states the kms or miles. It states that if you find it difficult to manage the Fast while traveling, you can substitute the number of Fasts for other days after Ramadan. Quran is not saying that you should not Fast if you are traveling. If you can manage it - good. If not, then substitute other days for it.

Q: I am a nursing mother, I find it difficult to Fast. What should I do?
A:
Follow verse 2:184. Anyone who finds it difficult to fast, for whatever reason, should do the following.

2:184 - ... and those who are not able to do it may effect a redemption by feeding a poor man;

Q: Is it possible that I don't Fast and feed a poor instead to compensate for it?
A:
Anyone who witnesses the month of Ramadan, should Fast unless he/ she finds it difficult to manage.

2:185 - ... therefore whoever of you is present in the month, he shall fast therein, ...
2:184 - ... and that you fast is better for you if you know.

Q: Can one copulate in Ramadan?
A:

2:187 - Permitted to you, on the night of the fasts, is sexual intercourse with your wives. They are your garments and ye are their garments ...

Any queries, please comment.

Related Posts:

1 - Travel Prayers - Salat e Qasr.
2- Eid - Is Animal Sacrifice Obligatory?
3- 5 Pillars of Islam.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Zardari - Symbol Of Federation

"Country’s president should be the symbol of federation", Prime Minister, adding that the nomination of Asif Ali Zardari as presidential candidate was made on the same principle.

hmm. Nice symbol. Does that mean we all are corrupt? :p

Check My Previous Posts

- Six-ty Million Dollar Man
- I Love Zardari

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Six-ty Million Dollar Man

The News report: August 27th 2008

GENEVA: Swiss judicial authorities said on Tuesday they had closed a money-laundering case against Pakistani presidential candidate Asif Ali Zardari and released $60 million frozen in Swiss accounts over the past decade. Daniel Zappelli, Geneva's chief prosecutor, said that he had no evidence to bring Zardari, 55, the widower of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, to trial. Pakistan's government recently dropped out of all related cases it had initiated in Switzerland, saying the couple could not be accused of corruption, he said. Zappelli said the full $60 million in assets, seized at the request of the Pakistan authorities, had been released.

Goodness me! US$60 million! Soon to be President of Pakistan, he just had his 'hard earned money' unfrozen. I say we Pakistanis are blessed! I am going to say my prayers!

Check My Other Post:
- I Love Zardari

Monday, August 25, 2008

I Love Zardari

What?! You don't have that T shirt?! Oh come on! Every politician in Pakistan is wearing it! Well at least seems so! We have the whole of Pakistan People Party supporting him, then came the Sindh Assembly resolution and then the Frontier's - all imposing faith in The Man.

Well he is all around in the news. The master schemer that he is, he checkmated Nawaz Sharif, cajoled MQM, made ANP and Maulana Fazal toe his line, kept control on dissenting voices in his party, booted out Musharraf and now is all set to take the chair of President. Apart from PML-N, every so called political party is his supporter! Marvelous is it not? The man who was in jail couple of years ago has now has his fortunes reversed.

Very interestingly, the people of Pakistan (at least the ones that I interact with) don't seem to 'impose' that confidence in him - the one that currently legislators are displaying. Why? Whats the big deal? Does Mr.10% not enjoy the confidence of the masses? But How do I know that? Before I tell you, there is a background to this one.

When the February 18th elections were held this year, a series of SMSs were roaming all over Pakistan regarding PML-Q basically insulting or ridiculing them. I wrote a post on it too 'SMS - The Opinion Maker' and had predicted what lied in front for PML-Q. No, I am not a sage but it was clearly written on wall. This time, although it is not SMS but Internet.

You must have received that email regarding 'Wealth of Zardari'. The sources may be different but I think Teeth Maestro first published it on his blog. You see the same text on discussion boards and various forums. This is 'very surprising' for me. I do not what is due to either, the political maturity of the people of Pakistan or the fruits of free media and telecommunication finally bearing results. Whatever the reason, this only indicates good as the politicians and others will have a strong check on them.

Zardari was named Mr.10% because this was the supposed commission he took on transactions or deals when his wife was the Prime Minister. He got his current angel-white-feathers after he struck a deal with ex President Musharraf under National reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) according to which all the corruption cases against him would be withdrawn and in turn he will have to support Musharraf's presidency. And some support he gave to Musharraf! He gave a clean way of exit to Musharraf in which the retired general will not be out on trial or impeached. Now he will become the President himself :)

Yes. No court cases were proved against him but people of Pakistan I think know you Sir. You may have had the bath of NRO but you still have a long way to go to cleanse yourself in the eyes of ordinary Pakistanis.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dr.Aafia's Son in US custody

The son of Dr.Aafia Siddique is in US custody. According to reports, US officials have admitted that Ahmad, 12 years old son of Dr.Afia has been in US custody since 2003.

A video released at a website utube, shown US officials interrogating Ahmad (link)

The News

US Official's possible interrogation of 12 Year old Ahmad:

"Who gave you this chocolate?! Osama Bin Laden?! Tell Us!"


s.o.b

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Next President?

Come on guys.. vote with me. Justice (retd) Bhagwandas for President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan!

A noble guy, a person with great integrity. He is a Hindu and the best I can think as a representative from minority and as President of Pakistan. But the hurdle you, he and I face is the Constitution of Pakistan - specifically Article 41 (2), which states

(2) A person shall not be qualified for election as President unless he is a Muslim of not less than forty-five years of age and is qualified to be elected as member of the National Assembly.
Amend it for heavens sake! Article 41 (1) suggests the following:

The President. (1) There shall be a President of Pakistan who shall be the Head of State and shall represent the unity of the Republic.
See? A president shall represent the unity of the republic! Republic is not composed of muslims only! A president should be a 'Pakistani Citizen'! No religious affiliation should be there. Minorities have equal rights to be President of this country! its theirs too!

And nothing is going to happen to 'Islam'! It will stay safe and secure! Majority of the people of Pakistan are muslims, a non-muslim being President will not hurt us or Islam for that matter.

So who is in?!

Check My Previous Post:

- Why cant there be a non-muslim Pakistani Head of State?

Monday, August 18, 2008

He Came, He Saw, *poof*!

What a fag!

After all that 'I am a commando' bullshit and then you resign. As simple as that?!

I am not at all happy. Do you know why? First - Pakistan lost its chance of establishing accountability as a precedent. Musharraf should have been tried for the allegations that were levied against him. The top most should be tampering with the constitution. Unfortunately we as Pakistanis lost that chance to set the future course for rulers and army intervention.

Even if 'commando' Musharraf had to resign, he should have done something to take care of that 'thug' Zardari who sits as clean and innocent as an angel after NRO! Imagine his audacity that a week earlier he was calling Musharraf a cheat! Idiocity galore!

Now we are left to Amir ul Momineen Nawaz Sharif and Mr. 10%.

God save us.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Afraid of Being Patriotic?

Interesting isn't it.

You do not show that eagerness or enthusiasm 'now' that you have grown up when National Independence Day is celebrated. The national songs that one used to sing in schools, the daily anthem recital in morning assembly, the parades, the flag hoisting on your car or home - you are not just interested are you now? Is due to the fact that you are not a kid anymore?

I somehow believe that we are 'afraid' of showing our nationalism now. Somehow it feels that if you show your love for your country, you will be bombarded with questions like "What Independence??! You kidding me?! We are not independent!". "We are a slave nation!". "Pakistan is in shambles! You celebrating independence?!"

God damn it.

Is it really so?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Racism 101 - Part 2

Ever heard of the term 'choorri/ jamadarni"? This is a term used for a cleaning lady who is usually of christian faith.

Ever heard of this interesting quote associated with them?

'if you (a muslim) 'do the act' with a choorri, your back will become stronger!' (kamar mazboot hoti hay!)

Just imagine the hatred associated with this sentence.

Check My Other Posts

- I Hate You
- Racism 101

Friday, August 08, 2008

Govt Schools

(conversation at a discussion forum regarding government run schools which are target of Taliban especially in Swat)

Someone
"I think the products (students) of these govt schools are worthless since what they are taught is in a foreign (urdu) language and heroworship is the main emphasis. That is why the people (90% talibans) are burning the worthless schools. Private schools are just marginally better."

Response
"My best friends are from these 'worthless' schools of NWFP.. the 'worthless' students make me (a reputable english medium school product) worthless because of the talent they have and struggle they had to make.

I just speak better english than them. Thats it. And I get portrayed as a learned person.

Pathetic. Hateful. Sinful. Poisonous."

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Army - The Concept

Army is one concept that is totally against the codes of ethics and morality. It has legitimized and sanctified killing.

Friday, August 01, 2008

NASA: Mars is wet

.. and so is Venus! checked her out?!
darn you feminists!
:p

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Taliban at the Door

They are just a wall away from my city. Really.

Will the Taliban take over NWFP? Will the Taliban take over Pakistan? Intriguing questions. well they have gained a strong foothold in Swat. O that beautiful valley is so torn now. It was rumored that Peshawar was about to fall to them.. luckily that did not happen. But the operation did start against the 'militants and criminals' in the adjoining areas of the provincial metropolis.

Some years back, Taliban were an entity that was in Afghanistan. Now they are in Pakistan! These hardcore beard sporting-gun wielding-pants (shalwar) up till ankles-tribals employ a strict interpretation of Islam - which serves their interests well. The protectors of Al Qaeda, the tormentors of Hamid Karzai, the irritants for NATO, the headache for Pakistani government and fear for any population under their control.. are planning to take over Pakistan!

I'll be evaluating various issues that will confront them in their plan to take control over Pakistan and her population.

1. Electoral Bottleneck.

Well thats a serious one. Religious parties cum political parties have not fared well in Pakistani politics. Yes MMA got the NWFP Govt last time but they were routed this time by ANP and PPPP who have a secular attitude. No Taliban will ever find this route easy. (Although for the sake of events.. one hopes they do join the political process instead)

Forget about Taliban thinking of the same route. They don't believe in it (as it is a representation of infidel system and that democracy is not compatible with Islam!)

2. Religious Affinity.

Definite plus point for Taliban. Tag anything with Islam and Pakistani people will fall for it.. well most of them. Reason is simple. Pakistanis are religious. They accept religion as a major factor in their life and to support it they can go to any length - irrational extremes even.

The Taliban of Swat have only one thing to say - impose Islamic Shariah. I mean who can disagree when asked whether you would want to have God and His system placed in the country?! Nobody will surely ask 'what system by the way'! Ordinary perception is that there is only one variety. Pakistan has majority sunnis and most of them think (keeping aside their militant acts) that Taliban are true representation of early muslims. A true portrayal of Islamic values which obviously is a hard fact. Religion is no chill pill they will tell you.

Then there are medressahs. They provide fresh crop of religious students who have almost no contemporary knowledge of the world. They are not imbued with critical thinking and thus are easily 'converted' for malafide acts. For ordinary tribal, they do not see any wrong with what goes on in medressah. They have sent their children to learn the religion of God. If they cant succeed in this world and at least life hereafter would be better for them.

3. Inept Government

This is closely linked with the previous one. Why most people find Islamic system attractive? One it relates to Islam and secondly the state has been so inept at performing its duties that people hope that the new system would solve their problems. Take for example the justice system employed by Taliban. If there is a wrong committed and a call for redressal is made - it is acted upon quickly. If the offenders are caught they are dealt there and then. No courts where the trial would continue for yars and years to no effect. Simple dispensation of justice (with all merits and demrits of course).

Similarly the political environment. There is no penetration of main stream political parties of Pakistan in tribal areas. They are ruled by a century old Frontier Crimes & regulations Act (FCR). The federal government appointed political agent acts as the god father. Until very recently, tribal people were not even able to cast their votes. The people know no way apart from jirga system, their clan lords and political administrator. You might argue that Swat had a political structure in place so why it did not work there? When the religious organizations like Tehreek e Nifaze Shariat e Mohammadi (TNSM) demanded that shariah law be imposed in Swat, the successive governments since 1996 always said they would do so soon. What did this knee jerk reaction convey? That their demand for shariah was valid, that people were not being governed by an Islamic system and that the political administration was plain idiot.

Inept governance is also evident on the developmental work. FATA areas have never been on the developmental priority of the federal government. The area contains huge mineral resources. The mines built were of no use because tribes fought amongst themselves and Government could not mediate between them. Now Taliban with the force of the gun, have made the mines start working again and started levying their own tax. Simple and efficient.

4. Tribal Affinity.

This is a very conducive environment for Taliban. FATA area and areas near the border of Afghanistan (Dir and Swat) are inhabited by Pathans. Its a mix of Pathan code (pukhtoon wali), tribal customs and medressah Islam. Add to it the fact that FATA area has always been a no go area for the Pakistani Government- in fact for anyone for that matter. And tribals take pride in it. Its their rules, their customs and no body else interferes.

5. Anti-American Sentiment

The holy nectar. Give one sip and the person is yours. If there is a satan on earth - then its America. For Taliban and most of the muslims, the America is the reason for all ills that afflict the muslims all across the globe. Things got more complicated after 9/11. Every muslim is a terrorist and beard sporting pathan even more!

Americans have made a mess in Iraq, in Afghanistan and brazenly support Israel. Guilty all the way. Then they kill ordinary Afghans in collateral damage raising the hate sentiment for the invading army. Americans keep pounding suspected Taliban hideouts in Pakistani controlled territory. Add to this fact that Pakistani Government is seen too compliant of American interests. You getting labeled as an American agent can lead you further to search for your chopped head.

6. The Power of Gun

Taliban are ruthless. They do not give a damn about you if you go against their interests. They wont care if you are seen without the compliance of their definition of Islam. The power of gun can silence anyone. This means 'peace' - a misnomer here but still peace. Everyone keeps telling you about how peaceful Afghanistan had become during their rule right? Well its because of the fact that you cant talk or do anything against them. For ordinary people its much better than the lawlessness that they have to witness during war time. At least you don't die.

7. Cultural Obstacles.

Tough one for Taliban. Pakistanis are one separate thing and Taliban are another. If they could, they would make every man sport a beard, wear a cap and make them raise their pants till ankles. They would make every woman wear a burqa and shunted in homes. No girl schools, no women workers. I like the idea. No women - 50% percent problems solved. That is a quantum jump in problem solving you know.

Cultural 'relaxations' are evident when one travels from North of Pakistan to South of it. In Peshawar a girl in jeans is 'uh huh. ok'. In Karachi it would be 'so what?'. Taliban are too out-dated fashion wise for most of the Pakistanis.

Majority of Pakistanis also fear the invasion of western culture through satellite dish and cable. They think that Pakistani society is being rendered morally bankrupt with terms like 'enlightened moderation' which are just a tool to introduce foreign culture. There is a need for a saviour for Pakistani society against this onslaught of sin. So who to turn to help? Pure Islamic system. Taliban are a proponent of that and although Taliban may not be supported in major cities - the idea gets a warm response in the form of Lal Mosque. Remember - they were supposedly out their countering sins and purging society of it.

All in all, Taliban are a reality breathing down your neck. They will be in major towns of Pakistan unless the government takes remedial action. They have to tackle them on political and religious front. They have to get more involved administratively in Swat and FATA. Taliban have to be brought in to the political mainstream. Diverse opinion has to be introduced in the religious discussions so as to introduce moderation in their views.

Lets pray and hope for the best.

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