Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Who is Afraid of Dr. Salam?

Masood Hasan

It would seem just about most of us are! Fourteen years after his death in Oxford, Dr Salam rests in a modest graveyard near the Chenab river in Punjab, his grave disfigured on the orders of a lowly magistrate who had the word "Muslim" gouged out of his tombstone. The royal orders were happily complied with. The town of Rabwah, of course, is already "christened" Chenab Nagar. Maybe they should extend the farce further and call all those who inhabit this perpetually-threatened place, "Chenabis." A magistrate can "do the needful," as the Babus say.

I had the great honour of being within handshaking distance of this unique man – so modest and self-effacing, as all genuinely great men are. This was at a function years ago, convened almost secretly at one of Lahore's hotels. PTV, God bless them, had pulled out of the coverage at the last minute, which led a bemused Dr Salam to quip, "Why is PTV so afraid of me?" And in 1996, when his body arrived in Lahore, there was a farcical cat-and-mouse pantomime, with the government playing hot and cold. Bureaucratic hurdles were placed in the otherwise ordinary business of transporting his body from the airport to the Ahmadi place of worship in Garhi Shahu and then to Rabwah – sorry, Chenab Nagar. In the end, largely due to the efforts of dozens of volunteers and ordinary folks, mostly from the "A" sect, the ceremony was conducted without any major hiccup. Today, even this would seem highly unlikely. A bloodbath would be very much on the cards. Perhaps the Ahmadis should address themselves just as "A," since the mere mention of their name sends the faithful into paroxysms. In a few years a law can be passed and the "A" quietly erase as well.

In 1979, the proverbial spanner got entangled in the works. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced that the world's highest award in physics would be awarded to three scientists "for their contributions to the theory of the unified weak and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles." One of these was Dr Abdus Salam. He would go on to become one of the most important theoretical physicists of his day, contribute to a landmark and crucial theory in physics, the Grand Unified Theory, and be celebrated around the world as a great scientist and human being. Except, of course, in his motherland, Pakistan.

When the Nobel Prize was announced, the government of India was the first to "claim him" and invited him to India with all protocol. Pakistan only reacted when our high commissioner in London intimated Islamabad of the Delhi invitation. Zia-ul-Haq's top brains went into a huddle. Damn if you do and damn if you don't. The British too had started claiming Dr Salam as their own! Realising that it was rather unlikely that Pakistan would ever produce another Nobel Laureate in a billion years, Islamabad cleared its throat and feebly accepted that said scientist was indeed one of their own. How it must have galled that demonic one-eyed monster to accept this, but the Nobel Prize is not quite "Bolan Awards," so the very bitter pill was swallowed, with resultant nausea.

When Dr Salam strode out in Oslo, Norway, he looked spectacular. Splendid in his traditional Pakistani gear, his turban high and flowing and his eyes, as always sparkling. History was being made. Just a handful really relished the moment, knowing that this would not happen again. Just a handful really relished the moment, knowing that this would not happen again. Pakistan fidgeted and turned, cringing at the situation at hand. The bias and discrimination against the new Nobel Prize-winner continued. 

We couldn't quite claim him, and we couldn't quite give up on him. Dr Salam had received at least 42 honorary doctorates bestowed upon him by universities across the globe. Five from India alone. Here, somehow the Quaid-e-Azam University and the Punjab University finally decided to award him honorary doctorates, but there was so much noise made by moderates like the Jamaat-e-Islami that the functions were hastily shifted to other venues and quickly dispensed with. To its eternal shame, Lahore's Government College University (GCU), Salam's own, did not even invite him!

Whereas nation after nation fussed over Dr Salam and leaders like Prime Minister Indira Gandhi literally sat at his feet, here he was treated with contempt and indifference. He was welcomed as a state guest and received by heads of states at airports. In Pakistan this "honour" was left to faceless secretaries and other file-pushers. The "leaders" were too scared to be seen welcoming him. 

Salam had earlier left Pakistan because his research work was not appreciated. It was actually frowned upon by the administrators at Government College. At the age of 31, he was already a professor at Imperial College London, and while he remained the chief scientific adviser to the president of Pakistan from 1961 to 1974 and somehow managed to set up PINSTECH and SUPARCO, his considerable plans faced innumerable hurdles and he was thwarted wherever possible. It was with the IAEA's support and Italy's generous help that Dr Salam established the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) at Trieste where countless Pakistani scientists received personal guidance from him. This is well known. 

He spared no effort to promote Pakistan and the scientific advancement of this part of the world. Even after his death, his spirit guides the many young scientists who arrive in Trieste. How ironical that this "heretic" should have found inspiration and guidance from the Holy Quran, of all the thousands of books he must have read starting as a boy in a village of the poor, squatting on the bare earth and going on to the great learning centres of this planet? How ironic that, through all that Pakistan did to him, he remained steadfast to this country and its people? How odd that this great man's life was built on the highest standards and principles that could never be compromised? Today, the world's biggest particle physics laboratory, CERN, conducts the largest experiment in the history of mankind at the Large Hadron Collider in search of fundamental answers to the creation of the universe. The Higgs Boson, predicted and worked on by Dr Salam, is at the centre of this research and deeply rooted in his unflinching faith in the miracle of the Holy Quran.

What was this country able to give to this great man? A solitary Nishan-e-Imtiaz? Abdul Qadeer Khan has two. and perhaps a few others! Even the notorious fixer, Sharifuddin Pirzada, has one – maybe more. And yes – the media accused Dr Salam of selling our nuclear secrets!. We issued a solitary stamp in Dr Salam's "honour," but so did the African country of Benin. The ICTP in Trieste is named in his memory. Not so the National Centre of Physics in Islamabad. In fact, except for the Department of Mathematics at GCU, there is no landmark, no institute, no building, no department or university in this country named after the greatest scientist this country has ever produced. 

It has been 31 years since he became our first and only Nobel laureate, and nearly 14 years since his death. The doctrinal differences over faith seem to have far more importance to this country than anything else. We will name no airport, or a road, or build a monument, an institution, initiate a scholarship – no, we will barely tolerate who he was. We are blinded by our bigotry and hatred. Will we seek forgiveness for how we treated one of the great, if not the greatest, sons of Pakistan? No, we won't. Many Pakistanis will continue to deny this unique man, and therein lies our shame, except we have none. We lost it many years ago.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Is Adoption Allowed In Islam?

Frankly, I was startled by this statement that Islam does not allow adoption. This is so strange, why would Islam do that? Such a novel act of taking in a human being in your folds, caring and protecting him/ her and then raising them to be the productive members of the society - at least in intention if not in reality. Does Islam totally prohibit that? does it place restrictions on it? What is really going on, I asked myself and then set about making myself understand it.

The verse that deals with 'prohibition' of adoption is as follows.

33:4 - Allah has not made for any man two hearts in his (one) body: nor has He made your wives whom ye divorce by Zihar your mothers: nor has He made your adopted sons your sons. Such is (only) your (manner of) speech by your mouths. But Allah tells (you) the Truth, and He shows the (right) Way.

33:5 - Call them by (the names of) their fathers: that is juster in the sight of Allah. But if ye know not their father's (names, call them) your Brothers in faith, or your maulas. But there is no blame on you if ye make a mistake therein: (what counts is) the intention of your hearts: and Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.

Mere reading of these verses does not suggest that adoption is not allowed. Quran is alluding to a certain issue. For example, when it says  'nor has He made your wives whom ye divorce by Zihar your mothers', it is alluding to a custom wherein the husband who wanted his wife divorced equated her to 'being like his mother' - meaning she is no more treated his wife.

Something similar is being mentioned with regards to adopted children but it is not clear. Lets explore some more. The next verse mentions that the adopted children should be called by their father's name. Still, no explicit prohibition on adoption but one can see that the name of father is being given importance. But what for? Whats in a name?

When Quran talks about adopted children, it talks in terms of Orphans*1 because that is most likely scenario to occur. Couple of things to discuss here. First is the notion that since adoption is not allowed so it follows that the adopted child will not be able to inherit. This is not the case if we are to read Quran.

4:7 -  From what is left by parents and those nearest related there is a share for men and a share for women, whether the property be small or large,-a determinate share.

4:8 -  But if at the time of division other relatives, or orphans or poor, are present, feed them out of the (property), and speak to them words of kindness and justice.

So orphans can have a share in inheritance as well and if you mention it in the form of a will - even better, because Quran stresses importance of having a will to decide inheritance matters. *2

You can argue that the verse is simply stating orphans and not adopted children. I will not refute your assertion but at least it shows you can give your inheritance to anyone - no restriction on 'adopted children'. Of course Quran focuses a lot on justice and being compassionate.

That was on side of the coin. How about if the adopted child had some property? Could it be that Quran is talking of this? Lets read further.

2:220 -  ... They ask thee concerning orphans. Say: "The best thing to do is what is for their good; if ye mix their affairs with yours, they are your brethren; but Allah knows the man who means mischief from the man who means good. And if Allah had wished, He could have put you into difficulties: He is indeed Exalted in Power, Wise."

17:34 - Come not nigh to the orphan's property except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength; and fulfil (every) engagement, for (every) engagement will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning).

4:2 - To orphans restore their property (When they reach their age), nor substitute (your) worthless things for (their) good ones; and devour not their substance (by mixing it up) with your own. For this is indeed a great sin.

4:5 - To those weak of understanding Make not over your property, which Allah hath made a means of support for you, but feed and clothe them therewith, and speak to them words of kindness and justice.

When Quran discusses orphans as adopted children, it focuses more on protection of their rights. One has to be extremely careful in dealing with orphans properties because according to Allah that is one grave mistake.

4:10 - Those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, eat up a Fire into their own bodies: They will soon be enduring a Blazing Fire!

So one can see that when Quran talks about adopted children 'not really being your children', it states in terms of not eating up their property and preserving their rights. The issues of adopted children not being part of inheritance, as you have seen, is not the context of Quranic verse - and you can give them share of inheritance. So adoption is totally allowed in Islam but it impresses upon you to maintain their lineage so as to not encroach upon their rights - hence the name of their fathers as reference. I am open to discussion.


*1 - Quran also talks of adopted child in another scenario wherein it allows marriage to divorced wife of adopted son. (Quran 33:37)

*2 - 2:180 - It is prescribed, when death approaches any of you, if he leave any goods that he make a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable usage; this is due from the Allah-fearing.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Four Weddings (of a muslim) and a Funeral (of common sense)

(During a discussion)

X: More than one marriage is allowed for man. It is our belief as a muslim.

I: Not for fun brother.

X: some times first wife is not beautiful so man has to do 2nd marriage in order to keep himself away from adultery.

I: That was really a very sick reason my brother :)

X: It is allowed in Islam for 2nd marriage or further. I don't say that if wife is not beautiful then husband has right to misbehave with her. Wife is wife, husband is bound to give him full rights which includes care and love also.

But be realistic, sometime man is not satisfy with her ugly wife and this thing also effects the relation between them. So 2nd marriage is the solution in that case, for first wife also.

I: why do you relate it to sexual lust only? If she is not pretty so the husband follows the course of adultery?! how brilliant. When Quran teaches you to abstain from sex.. why cant you do that?

X: Man should be away from adultery but marriage is the right way for this purpose. In Islam 4 marriages are allowed.

I: Suppose a man marries 4 ladies.. what is the guarantee that this will not happen? 'some times .. wife is not beautiful so man has to do ... marriage in order to keep himself away from adultery.'?

X: Islam is actually best guidance for man. Man should take advantage of support from Islam in order to refrain from adultery.

I: so why cant you refrain from adultery while being with the first wife? Is not Islam the best guidance for man in one wife's case?

X: In Islam four wives are allowed!

I: hehe! ok :)

Related Posts

- Polygamy in Islam - The Quranic Perspective

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Conversation


The following is a conversation between two believers. If you are not one of them or think that muslims and people of certain are plain nuts.. please visit this site instead of wasting your time reading my post.



X: So do u think the prophets had to believe in themselves being prophets to be muslims?

I: I think the question should be this “So do u think the prophets had to believe in themselves being prophets”

X: & then the answer would be?

I: i think they had this intoxicated feeling through which they could not find a away to escape. And they must have been too afraid to ‘let down’ their followers.

X: By the way I was serious!

I: I am not kidding!

Sometimes I think being a prophet was the worst job! I swear! Think of what it entails! Let me give you an example. One fine day, you are told to marry your adopted sons wife. How does that sound? easy eh?

X: My initial question remains unanswered! I am not talking about job complications nutcase!

I: That is why I answered the first question... it would have been totally difficult to deal with it. They cant escape the feeling that something unusual but in reality is happening to them, cant get away from it, cant run away from it. So kind of intoxicated feeling. ‘what the hell am I supposed to do now’ feeling. It must not have been about self belief.. I am totally sure of that.

X: So they just got stuck with the deal?!! Yani whether I believe im a prophet or not I have to go through this!?

I: I totally think so :) You think its a dream.. no it IS a dream and out pops Gabriel! ‘No my son this aint a dream!’

Now what the hell?! You are being told to ditch everything your ancestors have been told and you know you don't do drugs! That is trouble!

X: So … there isn’t a yes or no answer!! :p

I: It lies somewhere in between :) Definitely not ‘Self Belief’! cuz self belief cant make you marry your adopted sons wife!

X: Not self belief… but at some time u have to believe that u are the chosen one, the torch bearer… how else would u bring urself to marry ur adopted son’s wife

I: By being forced to! Torch Bearer makes you very conservative.

X: how

I: Every act you do must be in ‘accordance’ to the higher goals of social acceptability. Example of a torch bearer is pharoh, who has to maintain all the traits of royalty and continue to rule people. Torch bearer is your religious scholar.. no matter how pervert he is. He has to show that he is very religious. Prophet ‘discards’ everything. More like a cult.

Btw, people use Schizophrenia as the reason for the prophets :)

X: Yea… that’s when they’re being polite! :p

Friday, October 08, 2010

Why a State Matters

Karachi saw Abdullah Shah Ghazi's mausoleum being bombed by suicide bombers yesterday. I a regular follower of that route and I know how crowded it is even on normal weekdays forget about Thursday which enjoys significance amongst shrine-attendees (because its day before Friday, the sacred day of muslims). The suicide bombers not only hit a shrine, they also hit the most popular place karachiites love to visit - that too in the most posh of localities. Karachiites being shocked is an understatement.

Before that, it was Daata Darbar where suicide bombers struck in Lahore - a source of 'shirk' as the attackers would say so it had to be dealt with. Rehman Baba shrine near Peshawar has been bombed twice. Allied to this is the issue of murder of notable scholars. Just recently, Dr. Mohammad Farooq, vice chancellor of Swat University, who openly opposed suicide bombings and terrorism carried out in the name of Islam, was killed in Mardan. Before that we had Mufti Sarfaraz Naeemi, a very popular religious scholar in Lahore whose academy was hit by suicide bombers and he was killed. He too openly condemned militaristic acts carried out in the name of Islam and especially had a distaste for suicide bombings.

Behind all these acts, lurches a philosophy of 'Prevention of Vice', apart from the modus operandi for the implementation. Some people say that 'evil has to be stopped by hand'. Unfortunately, this is what happens when individuals or entities take this responsibility upon themselves to prevent vice and promote virtue. According to opinion, visits to shrines and placing offering are unislamic and this have to be stopped. Attacks on shrines are exactly for this purpose. The scholars were killed not because of any vice but having ideas that may lead to acts that perhaps hinder the 'good causes'; like jihad. What would Dr. Mohammad Farooq know about jihad, who has written 5 books on it, as compared to good old medressah produced talib who perhaps does not even know any other thing than rote learning of Quran?

Taliban attacked various shrines in Swat. For them, person of opposing sect is also not tolerable. Pir Safiullah, a barelvi, the opponent of Taliban, his grave was dug up, his head chopped and his body was hung by the pole. Taliban go with the same argument - stop the evil and impose their version of Islam as only they are the custodians.

Lal Mosque brigade thought the same - stop the vice as they were mandated to check it in society. They do not understand that taking law in their own hands is not productive for the society. Take for example the case of 2 brothers that were lynched in Sialkot. People took them for robbers and hung their bodies on poles after killing them. The whole nation was shocked. Why? because people are not supposed to take law into their own hands.

People of a society, collectively, assign the responsibility of governance and dispensation of justice to Govt, The State. They abide to be governed by Laws and Constitution. Why? because this is how order is maintained in a chaotic environment. No doubt there are weaknesses in a system and that is why people choose their elected representatives to bring the change.

But choosing the path of Lal Mosque brigade, the Taliban - by enforcing change, and a change that favors their own opinion, is downright oppressive and extremely dangerous.That is why the entity called State gains more importance wherein people live according to agreed upon code of conduct. That is why, it is even more important, that no rule or law be made that somehow infringes upon the rights of people based upon, if not any other criteria, then religious beliefs of majority people. Am I calling for a secular constitution?! Is it 'Damn You' I hear?! Shit.

The point is - that we pakistanis live under a constitution in which it is stated that we are an 'Islamic Republic'! We are not infidels for heavens sake. This has to be told and reminded to people like Taliban, Lal Mosque types, right wingers and ordinary people alike! No body should try to take law in their own hands. The Objectives Resolution in 1973 Constitution of Pakistan states that all authority and sovereignty belongs to God, that He has delegated this authority to the Pakistani state through elected representatives, that people will according to Islamic teachings, minorities will be given their rights and everyone will enjoy the universal fundamental rights. Why would anyone rebel against it?!

Try to improve upon the system ladies and gentlemen... not fight it.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Data Privacy in Pakistan

Check the following image.

This is a call information of a customer subscribed to one of the leading cellular services of this country. It contains information regarding customer name, the phone number, all the numbers that the customer dialed, when and for how long. I have edited the information of course.

Now. How did I hack into the Mobilink database and got meself all the confidential data? How many people did I connive with to release this information (which could be yours too)? In fact I got this from the local bread-maker (tandoor wala) who had to give me something to wrap the bread in. Well I was not surprized as earlier, once, I got a central bank inspection report of a financial institution from a paan-wala. He had made small paper bags of it.

Startling? Appears so. Your complete calling record is in open - anyone who wants to exploit something - sellers selling you their ware, some nut case compiling a whole CD of contact numbers and then selling it! social engineers and perhaps terrorists? I get all sorts of items for purchase as spam by sms on my cell phone: travel agents, tuition, medicine, plots and homes etc - even get offers to buy the CD that has all sorts of contact numbers to be used for spamming for Rs.1,000 only. So your number, and all the 'genuine' contacts on this piece of paper have a market of their own and people are willing to pay for it.

Why we Pakistanis are so aloof of information privacy? Well frankly our tele-marketing environment is very nascent in Pakistan. We had, and still have, the good old Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) , the state owned telecommunication company to provide us with the voice services. They still send the customer bill printed on paper, not in envelope, for the view of everyone that is interested in knowing about you. Yes private companies are careful but they will show lax controls in other areas. For example how did a whole bunch of documents related to customer calls lands in restaurants which is a mere 4 months old. We have had instances where call center's representatives 'shared' data with each other and you'd be receiving call from someone who wanted you to subscribe to the latest credit card offering of a financial institution. You might think where the hell did this guy/ gal get my number? The answer lies somewhere in the wrapper that you are holding while munching on the popcorns in it.

Some serious attitude change is required by the Pakistanis. God Help.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

No Balls

Q: What does it take to be a Pakistani Cricketer?
A: No Balls.

It has been reported that People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has asked the three Pakistani cricketers currently embroiled in Spot Fixing scandal to represent them in an advertisement that advises cat and dog neutering. According to them

“No-balls may be a bad thing in cricket, but for dogs and cats, ‘no balls’ are a lifesaver,”

“Countless other animals, including many in Pakistan, struggle to survive on the streets — starving and being hit by vehicles and abused by cruel people.

“‘Fixing’ dogs and cats by having them spayed or neutered is the key to ending this suffering.”


I totally support this move. I further suggest that the International Cricket Council (ICC), the games governing body, should also make a neutering advertisement for cricketers that are involved in Match or Sport Fixing and these three should be the ones in the first of the planned series of advertisements - after being given the treatment of course. That should do good.

Related Post
- This Aint Cricket
- Pakistani Cricket & Erectile Dysfunction
- PostMan's First Law of Pakistani Cricket Motion
- Beavis & Ijaz Butt

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Will Mother Teresa Go To Heaven?

Put this question to a muslim then see the reaction. The answer most probably will range from the straight-in-your-face 'No she will not, she was a christian', to 'well she did good deeds but only monotheists will go to heaven.' or to the considerate 'she will go to heaven for her good deeds but after expiating herself.'

Now put the same question to the muslim with he himself being the subject: 'Will you go to heaven?' Whatever the answer - how does he know what will happen to him? How can anyone know what will happen to the other person regarding matters of faith?

Problem with muslims is (and not just muslims) that when they analyze people in term of faith, they tend to downgrade the other. How? Consider the case of Ahmadis. They are the 'scumbags' of this earth for most of the muslims - and why? because they believe in a different person as Prophet. Two things come to my mind. 1) How does another persons faith affect my own faith? and 2) How on earth a certain faith can describe the character of another person? Apparently, every mullah should be an angel. Really? I do not think so.

I know God is very clear in Quran - and Books before it that only thing unpardonable is polytheism. But this is my belief since I am the follower of that Book. This in no way should translate in to downgrading of others peoples belief or being judgmental about their character. As to the question whether muslims will enter heaven - God has answered in Quran that this is not the prerogative of muslims only.

Quran 2:62 -Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

Anyone can go to heaven provided they believe in God, do good deeds and know that they will be held accountable for their acts. Yes I know it still is restrictive in nature but that is what I am supposed to believe in. I will explain myself later on this point.

If you would think that only muslims will go to heaven and that would be the end of story - forget it. Muslims today consist of various sects - the umbrella at the top being divided between Shias and Sunnis. Then there are various sub-sects within them and each considers itself the only inheritors of paradise.

So Angeline Jolie, by todays standards, cannot go to heaven for all her brilliant humanitarian deeds because she is not a muslim. Even if she were a muslim, she had to be a syed, shia or sunni (depending on what your belief is) to be entitled for heaven. Tough luck Jolie!

My argument - why fret with who is going to heaven or not when there is no clear distinction between humans regarding matters of faith and certainly when HE says He will judge ultimately? My God, after all, is a creation of my own beliefs. What if there is no Judgment Day and we all get screwed?

So what message do we muslims get from the Quran on this issue? Interestingly Quran informs
muslims (and which is the 'moral' of my post) to 'maintain' their opinion of faith and let the matter be decided by God Himself on the day of judgment.

42:15 - Now then, for that (reason), call (them to the Faith), and stand steadfast as thou art commanded, nor follow thou their vain desires; but say: "I believe in the Book which Allah has sent down; and I am commanded to judge justly between you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord: for us (is the responsibility for) our deeds, and for you for your deeds. There is no contention between us and you. Allah will bring us together, and to Him is (our) Final Goal.

109:06 - For you is your religion, and for me is mine.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

PostMan's Law of First Interactions

The person will sound very different than what you had imagined the first time you get to hear him/ her.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

This Aint Cricket

Well its a case of cow-dung hitting the fan. Only in this case, one realizes that the instance has happened before couple of times and you have been in the same room all along.

Pakistanis are again in the news regarding Match Fixing allegations. Although, to be more specific, these allegations relate to Spot Fixing rather than Match Fixing but still they ultimately lead to match fixing. I lost my interest in cricket way back in 90s when Wasims and Salim Maliks of this world were accused to various things. It was a mix platter perhaps. Wasim's weird acts on fields like Banglore Quarter final. The damning judicial probe in which our 'stars' did not cooperate at all. The judge in the match fixing probe wrote that things were murkier as Wasim only got the benefit of the doubt because Ata ur Rehman changed his testimony. Some of the cricketers were fined. Perhaps it was Ijaz Ahmad, a lobster with weird human like movements who somehow always managed to get his leg before the wicket. Perhaps the loss to Bangladesh in 1999 World Cup nailed it for me.

Anyways. The pathetic performance in cricket field was stunningly acted out according to the script laid out by a certain Mr. Mazhar Majeed. To be fair, these are just allegations and nothing has been proved yet as investigations are still continuing but you never know. Had the investigation been in Pakistan then you would certainly know that nothing would happen. The report will be hidden somewhere, if there are bans and fines then they will be lowered/ removed for the greater good of Pakistani cricket. And that is where the real problem lies.

Various reasons have been put forward as to why Pakistanis 'would' indulge in match fixing. First one being that Pakistani cricketers are not educated. They have not been instilled with the morals and values of a dignified character. I beg to differ. Check our country from top to bottom - and I will not talk of President here. Our educated elite is the most corrupt whether they are generals, judges, politicians, journalists - all educated supposed to be instilled with all the good qualities - still involved in corruption. So education ranks low when it comes to finding the blame.

You can blame the society. Sure. But saying that since everyone is corrupt so what if the players did this? Saying 'this was just a case of spot-fixing, not match fixing! they did not give away the match! It was just 3 balls and had no impact whatsoever on the result of the match!' It is a down right stupid argument. Saying 'even Mark Waugh and Shane Warne did it' does not make it kosher an act! That was wrong. This is wrong. Sure our young cricketers do not have a role model but that does not mean that a negative role model be followed! If three no balls can be allowed then next time its the whole god damn match that will be on offer.

In this context it is said that our cricketers are paid low by the Board. Well give me a break! they earn too much compared to other sport players, they are even better than professionals working in banks! I do agree that 'black money' in cricket is huge. The betting syndicates in India and Pakistan are very active and have loads and loads of money at their disposal. And cricketers are in the target list.

Then there is thing called conspiracy and we Pakistanis just love it. The conspiracy says that Pakistani cricketers (bowlers) were targeted because they were performing really well. Honestly, this is the case of not focusing on why the cow-dung hit the fan but whether the cow-dung was thrown at the fan to slow it down. Ridiculous!

The Pakistan Cricket Board is in shambles led by a person who does not even know where he himself is going. The guy did not send Younis Khan on this England tour because he had a personal tiff with him. Amazing. The management who should have kept a check on players activities was no where.

For me, No Accountability is the only factor that results in the mess that Pakistani cricket finds itself in. Had we been fair to ourselves after the judicial commission report then many cricket
personalities should have been given the necessary treatment. After the debacle in Australia recently, the investigative report should have been released, why the fines and bans imposed should have been detailed. Why the fines and bans were removed should be explained! This is just a joke. And honestly the joke is on us - poor Pakistani fans.

And this sucks more. Why do I believe we will be taken once more for a ride.

Related Posts

- 'No Balls'
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

PostMan's Law of Lifts - II

As soon as you lift your finger to press the close button of the lift's door (if it feels like its taking time to close), the door will close by itself.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pakistan - To Do List

Being a member of ArmChair Analysts Party, I am drawing up a To-Do list of what to do with Pakistan in case I become a Prime Minister. I know its a tough thinking assignment but being a drawing room armchair analyst for quite some years now, I have become adept in it. Of course I being of the group that only talks and does nothing in reality to help change the situation in my country, for this 14th August Independence Day, I am offering here my Top-10 To-Do List for Pakistan.

Please feel free to come up with your own Top-10 or Top-15, (Top 5?) if you like, of things to do to Pakistan if you were made the Prime Minister. I am 'thinking' (as usual) that perhaps this may result in ideas that can perhaps be read by someone who can do something to change the situation - perhaps a least bit. Or any good idea that can be picked up by someone to be implemented. Or a list that we can draw up and perhaps (ludicrously) make part of political parties manifesto - assure them that we will vote for them. Some moron is going to win so the wish list could be made a part of every party's manifesto.

The list could be anything that comes to your mind. They can be very practical to totally ridiculous. Ridiculous has a lot of creativity I believe. What I would prefer is a wish list that is with a certain practical implementation of it. So here is my To-Do list.

1 - Disband the Moonsighting committee. Observe the first of ramadan with Saudia to clean up the domestic mess. Trust me its a mess. I am from Peshawar and I live in Karachi so every year I get to taste the best of 'mayhem' in this country. I have witnessed situation in which half of my family was observing fast and half celebrating Eid! Why waste time on such issues?

2 - Rename part of Arabian Sea as Pakistan Sea. I agree with Ardsher Cowasjee.. why not?

3 - Make ISI accountable for their deeds. If they are so good, they should be applauded - if not - made to pay. They can be made to speak through elected representatives, kinda like congressional hearings in US. I know they get a lot of bad PR, let them give a voice too eh?

4 - Make a centralized coordination centre of information sharing for all the intelligence agencies to prevent terrorism attacks. What I have seen is that information of impending terrorist attack is already there but was not shared with all in time thus preventing the loss of innocent lives and loss of capable administrators in form of Police officers or elected representatives.

5 - Make a truly independent authority in Karachi to bring to book the culprits that have created mayhem in the city. We seriously need that in Karachi as lot of innocent blood has been spilled.

6 - Introduce uniform education curriculum all over the country. Yes its a provincial subject but force the provinces to do so. Every Pakistani child needs to have a good education and that requires a good uniform curriculum. Every public and private school should be made to follow it - including medressahs. They can offer 'other' subjects if they wish to but there should be standard minimum for all.

7 - Make Competition Commission of Pakistan a truly independent authority. That should make a lot of cartels wet their pants. This would ensure that Courts do not have to take the suo-moto course which is not right in my opinion. The findings of Competition Commission can be be presented in court and let they decide what the final verdict is.

8 - Ensure that every classified information is declassified after a certain time period. We need to know a lot of what has happened in the past. This should make assignment of responsibility possible and things could come to fore as to why something happened.

9 - Remove the Blasphemy and Hudood Laws from the law books of Pakistan. Remove the condition of 'muslim only' head of state. The Blasphemy Laws are only used to exploit the minorities - there is nothing sacred to them. Regarding 'muslim only' head of State condition, I believe its totally discriminatory since every 'Pakistani' has the right to serve the nation regardless of the faith. I would be better off with a capable 'infidel' ahmadi than a dumb-ass mullah.

10 - Make mandatory on big corporates for establishment of water filtration plants by assigning them districts of Pakistan and make them accountable through elected representatives and media. Clean water should be accessible to all pakistanis and this may lead to reduction in lots of diseases.

So whats your list?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

To My Friend


if there is any definition, characteristic of an entity called friend... thats her.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


I just received an email forwarding that contained pictures of burnt, charred dead bodies of passengers of flight AirBlue that crashed in Islamabad hills.

What the fuck is wrong with us?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

Poker - A Game of Chance or Skill?

Some very nice articles in the Economist on gambling. Here is one on whether Poker is a game of chance or skill.

'Most experienced players insist that success at poker is not about luck. David Sklansky, author of “The Theory of Poker” writes that “expert players do not rely on luck. They are at war with luck. They use their skills to minimise luck as much as possible.” In poker, as in life, luck can happen to anyone; it is evenly distributed. Skilled players know how to take advantage of it when it happens to them, and get out of the way when it is someone else’s turn.'

This is not a theoretical point; it is at the heart of a dispute about poker’s future in America, the country of its birth and its largest single market. UIGEA (the enforcement mechanisms of which have only just come into effect, even though the act was passed in 2006) bans financial institutions from transferring funds for bets in which “opportunity to win is predominantly subject to chance.” Poker has been judged to fall into that category'

A 2009 study carried out by Cigital, a software consultancy, analysed 103m hands of one of the main varieties of poker, Texas Hold ’em, played at Pokerstars.com, and found that over 75% of them were decided before a showdown. They thus depended far more on the players’ betting decisions than on the cards dealt. The Poker Players’ Alliance, a million-strong group of aficionados, argued in the South Carolina Supreme Court that “the structure and rules allow sufficient room for a player’s exercise of skill to overcome the chance element in the game.”

Yet perhaps the clearest argument in favour of poker being skill- rather than chance-dependent comes from Mr Sklansky, and it has to do with losing rather than winning. Imagine trying intentionally to lose at a game of pure chance, like roulette or baccarat. It would be impossible. At the beginning of a deal or a roll you have to bet on something. You can no more deliberately play badly than you can deliberately play well. The same is not true for poker, which offers multiple opportunities to make sure you lose.


Thursday, July 08, 2010

PostMan's Uncertainty Principle

Never criticize another man's belief or faith unless you are absolutely sure about your own.

PostMan's Fact on Uncertainty Principle

No one is sure.

Update on 19th July 2010

'No one is sure - apart from bigots and suicide bombers.'

Friday, July 02, 2010

Countering Hatred

A good one. We have to defeat the monster of hatred if we are to survive in this world.

Egyptian veil martyr commemorated in Germany

DRESDEN, Germany: A plaque commemorating a pregnant heads carved Egyptian woman whose murder in a German court shocked the Muslim world was unveiled on Thursday in Dresden, in the east of the country.
During a trial in July last year, 28-year-old Alex Wiens plunged an 18-centimetre kitchen knife at least 16 times into Sherbini, three-months pregnant at the time with her second child. Her son, Mustafa, three years old at the time, watched her bleed to death in the courtroom. Sherbini’s husband, Egyptian geneticist Elwy Okaz, rushed to her aid but was also stabbed repeatedly and then shot in the leg by a police officer who was unsure who was the attacker.

The Russian-born Wiens was acting out of revenge after she had pressed charges against him for calling her a “terrorist”, “Islamist” and “whore” during a dispute over a playground swing.

.. (Link)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nude Beaches in Pakistan - Expected Social Behavior

(Authors Warning: No pics here! God damn it)

Question: What would be the effect of having nude beaches in Pakistan?

Answer: First thing first.. half of Pakistan would be standing on boundary of the beach trying to get a glimpse of anyone on the beach.

Then someone will make a secret mobile video of beach.. then this video will be forwarded like hell to everyone who is anyone and they'll say 'This is Islamic republic of Pakistan!", "What a shame! this is a Islamic country"- though they themselves will check the pics and videos first till their hearts content.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Civil Uncivility

This is interesting.

America has a well-developed system for getting companies to pay for the damage they do; and BP long ago accepted that it would pay in full. But that was never going to satisfy the country’s corporate bloodlust. An outfit called Seize BP has organised demonstrations in favour of the expropriation of BP’s assets in 50 cities. Over 600,000 people have supported a boycott of the firm on Facebook. Several of BP’s gas (petrol) stations have been vandalised. (Link)

What would you call this act of people? Natural reaction? Compare the same reaction with muslim protests around the globe on Prophet Muhammad issue. Any similarities? or nothing at all?

When muslims protest, call for ban on FaceBook (or to ban facebook), arrange protests or vandalize... they are bigoted and uncivil. Why?

You might argue, and logically too, that the issue involved is different. That what BP did is material and tangible in form of damaging the coastal and sea life of Gulf of Mexico. On the other hand, muslim's protest of Prophet Muhammad issue was just an exaggeration of sentiment. How can one quantify a sentiment. Muslims take their religion way too seriously and since muslim societies do not believe in freedom of opinion, they cant take a opposite opinion. Hence the two issues just do not compare.

I agree.

But wait. What matters most do you think? The issue or the reaction to that issue? Suppose an act X results in reaction Y. Does your analysis rest on ferocity of Y or sensitivity of X?

Taking the case of BP. Since the act is sensitive thats why we accept a harsh and ferociuos reaction against them. Agree.

Taking the case of Prophet Muhammad issue, regardless of the sensitivity of the issue (since its subjective) the opposition camp would have agreed to 'just a protest by muslims' instead of 'muslims vandalizing property'. This should show that the reaction is more of a problem than the sensitivity of issue.

Since when muslims protest and they are called bigoted, ignorant and uncivil, should not everyone who protests be called bigoted, ignorant and uncivil? Or is it concerned with religion only?

Why am I writing this post?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Why Islamic Headscarf Should be Banned in Football

Ahem. The Iranian version of Islamic head scarf to be precise.

I had written a post sometime back when I heard the news that FIFA had banned the Iranian youth women soccer team from playing in a tournament because FIFA does not allow Islamic head scarf. I was pissed off seriously. How could FIFA do that? Racist was the only thing that came to my mind.

Out of no where a gentlemen called Ecclesiastes arrived on my blog and commented. He being an ex-football referee, shared with me some points as to why the head scarf was a danger to the players and had in fact nothing do with being associated to a particular religion. When I inquired him how head scarf was dangerous, he stated "A head scarf is not allowed because an opposing player's hand or foot could become entangled with it and snap the girl's (girl wearing head scarf) neck."

Makes sense doesn't it? Here is a picture of Iran's women soccer team in action.

As a muslim woman, many would like to be involved in all sorts of activities that ladies without 'veil/ head scarf/ parda' get involved in - like playing soccer for example. Covering the body does not sound that complicated as they can easily do that. In fact, Nasim Hameed of Pakistan is the fastest woman in South Asia! and she did it wearing a long tights and a bit loose t-shirt. A ta girl!

The issue with head scarves is a bit tricky. Mind you, women dress differently across Islamic world and there could be stark difference in appearance of neighboring country's women as in case of Iran and Pakistan. Iran wont even allow the dress of Nasim Hameed. The Iranians focus on hair too as they believe it should be covered. A Pakistani woman football player can be allowed by FIFA but will ban her Iranian counterpart because of the head scarf.

So how to cover the hair and still be able to play a FIFA soccer match?! I honestly have no idea because I am not much in to women accessories. I can think of a covering for hair only, with probably elastic strings to keep it 'fixed' - lets say, and most importantly a covering that does not join the garment on body (below neck - even neck!) so as to be injurious in situation like getting entangled somewhere and doing the damage. Any suggestions? cuz hey.. I want to see the Iranian women soccer team play in a FIFA match.

And.. will the Iranians budge? I do not think so.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Islamic State of Israel

Israel just had to be a muslim state for the western world to realize what a mess it is.

* how ironic for western and Islamic world.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Solution for Drug Smuggling


I keep hearing about the street value of cocaine whenever trafficking or interdiction is talked about but I never get to hear the intrinsic value of the drug. If it were legal to manufacture, what would the price be? This is critical in understanding how to combat the trade and use of this drug.The street value of 1kg of cocaine is $500,000 (from the above text). If the cost to manufacturer (if legal) were say $500, it means that a smuggler can spend more that $400,000 per kg of cocaine in technology, bribes and other such costs and still generate a HUGE profit. That is what ultimately drives the cocaine business. If the profit margins are so huge, it behooves us to come up with better (smarter) techniques to combat cocaine usage (there can be no smuggling without usage).

For example, if say Germany were to setup its own cocaine production and allow addicts to purchase small quantities at a nominal profit, the entire supply-chain of cocaine smuggling would simply atrophy. Alas, we are so gung-ho at appearing to be "tough on drugs" that we have left our capitalist brains behind..."

-Heretic. A commentator on this article

Ensuing Discussion

X: Imagine if cocaine were available cheap how many would be addicted! Aur kuch nai tu $ consideration hi kitnon ko bacha laity hogi! :p (if nothing, the cost of it will make people think befiore using it)

I: Would you use cocaine if its cheap?

X: How many youngsters have u been able to prevent from smoking!? Morphine!?

I: And do you think increasing costs is stopping them with their use?

X: Im just saying the target market will be different & also the no. of users will increase drastically & do u honestly think we can deal with that many addicts!

I: The solution is that sale and production will be ‘legal’. That means reduced production and controlled use

X: As is the case with wines!?

I: I am not talking of pakistan! Nothing works proper here!

X: I was not talking of Pakistan either! V defy all logic!! :p

I: Holland is the country whre drug use is legal. Its no where in the list of drug abusers

X: That’s cuz its legal there!

I: Hence the argument.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Punjabi Taliban & Qadiyani Mosques

Its All In The Name

1 - 'Punjabi Taliban'

Chief Minister Punjab Mr. Shahbaz Sharif was.. umm pissed? ... that the Interior Minister used the term 'Punjabi Taliban' for the militants that operate out from southern punjab in to the mainland of northern punjab. He said that Interior Minister was fanning ethnicity by terming the 'killers, rapist, dacoits and robbers' as Punjabi taliban.

If you ask anyone, pick anyone, who are the Taliban? They will say 'pathans'. Why? Because, quiet honestly, most of them are. The Taliban was a student insurgency, students of medressahs which before them had provided men for the 'holy war' or jihad that Pakistani government undertook (and all of the world helped) in Afghanistan. Our Grand Imam, USA, actively participated in this jihad and defeated the 'evil' USSR. After that, well of course, one wipes his bottoms and leaves. Who stays in shit?

To cut the story short, we as Pakistani citizens are living with our brethren Taliban since then. The current army offensive against Taliban sees them pitted against tribal militants, Mehsuds in particular especially in South Waziristan area. Pakistan army earlier cleared the area of Swat from another deranged fellow called Maulana Fazlullah. The Taliban of Swat used to chop the heads of their oppomnents and hang them in the famous 'khooni chowk' (bloody square) of Mingora city. They all are pathans by ethincity just as their brethren Talibn in Afghanistan.

Joining them in the league are banned secarian outfits like Sipahe Sahaba, Lashkar e Jhangvi etc that are extreme sunni militant outfits that know only one thing in this world - how to target shias. They are, still, operative in southern punjab where they run medresshas and hate propaganda outlets. Alongside them are banned kashmiri outfits like Jaish e Muhammad who saw crackdown against them during days of Musharraf. They too are mostly punjabis.

Now. Why does Shabaz Sharif gets pissed when they are called punjabi and not us when they are taken pathan for granted? (remember I am from Peshawar?) Because we know we have a problem at our hands that needs sorting out. Taliban are killing fellow pakistanis and majority of the affected areas are in Khyper Pukhtoonkhwa and FATA, mainly pathan areas. The ANP is political party that has taken the severest hit having seen its leaders killed - all pathan. Maulana Fazlullah is a pathan and he terrorized the local population - all pathans. Moral of the story?

The moral is that taliban is an idea-based organization, even the word organization portrays a wrong picture because it a collection of nut-acts who share the same goal of 'enemies of Islam destroyed'. It does not matter whether they are pathans or punjabis - they are killers for all intent and purposes. So Mr. Sharif, do not close your eyes and request them 'not to target the Punjab as the provincial government would not take dictation from outsiders (USA).' as this is plain bullshit. Your Minister of Law stood as a partner in recent election with a banned sectarian outfit - who on earth are you kidding? So grow up! and tackle this menace instead of burying your head in sand. There is no issue of ethnicity when they are referred to as punjabi - instead it should make you ponder that the problem is also within you rather than with someone else outside.

2 - Qadiyani Mosques

On 28th May 2010, around 80 qadiyani worshipers were killed when their 'mosques' (yes I am using the word mosque) were attacked by Taliban (punjabi taliban). On the one hand, this was a grotesque act to kill innocent worshipers, it was also hideous to treat qadiyani deaths as some how lesser in value. The 'so what' approach of ordinary pakistanis, since it involved death of qadiyanis, is mind boggling. Not everyone reacted like this mind you, candle light vigils were taken place in Lahore to mourn the deaths of qadiyani worshipers.

The general attitude goes like this as the statement on a discussion board shows:

"There is no reason for a muslim to do hue and cry or protest on qadyani's issue. If it was with Hindus, sikhs, christian or else we all could have sympathy & spoke on humanitarian grounds. But when a group plays with my religious belief & values having malicious intentions, degrace our Prophet (PBUH) and his family, there is no reason for a true muslim to have sympathy or soft corner or protest."

An SMS that I received talked about condemning the Interior Minister for using the term 'mosque' for the qadiyani place of worship because they were not muslims! How great. We, as pure muslims, value other peoples lives by their faith?! How pathetic is that?! What kind of Islam is this?! A place of worship is a place of worship! Not playing politics! Let me show my more superior-in-faith muslim brethren what Quran says...

22:40 - ... if it were not for GOD's supporting of some people against others, monasteries, churches, synagogues, and masjids - where the name of GOD is commemorated frequently - would have been destroyed. Absolutely, GOD supports those who support Him. GOD is Powerful, Almighty.

In a qadiyani worship place, they worship God - not who they claim as their last prophet. Just as we muslims pray to God and not worship Prophet Muhammad whom we claim was the last of Prophets. We hate Qadiyanis, even more than jews, just because they don't practice their faith as we do... and we thus treat them with contempt and utter disrespect. Horrible.

Concern yourself with what you do regarding our religious deeds, not what others do. You are going in your own grave. Let God decide who is wrong and who is right.

Check Other Posts
- I hate You
- Muslim or Kafir?

Friday, May 28, 2010

PostMan's Law of Lifts

In case 2 lifts arrive at a time, the one near the entrance of lift lobby will leave late than the one farther from it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Divorce - An Instance or a Process?

The requisite of arbiters (chapter 4:35*1) and of two witnesses (chapter 65:2*2) provide ample grounds for divorce to be a process instead of an instance of emotions.

This renders divorce not as a prerogative of men as is used in muslim societies especially of the Indian subcontinent. Men uttering 'divorce' or 'talaq' 3 times has, in effect, no value. Whether you sent the divorce through sms, email, were angry - divorce will not take effect.

Men should understand that Quran considers marriage as a sacred bond. God has not given men the right to break this bond by mere utterance of a word 3 times. Women should understand that the word 'divorce' cannot be used by men as a blackmailing tool. The State should understand that laws are to be moulded in such a way that no abuse of either party - especially women can take place by invoking the Quranic principles of justice with regards to divorce.

*1 - 4:35 - If ye fear a breach between them twain, appoint (two) arbiters, one from his family, and the other from hers; if they wish for peace, Allah will cause their reconciliation: For Allah hath full knowledge, and is acquainted with all things.

*2 - 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. Such is the admonition given to him who believes in Allah and the Last Day. And for those who fear Allah, He (ever) prepares a way out,

Check the following Post.

Divorce In Islam - The Quranic Perspective

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

PostMan's Reminder Laws

- If you do not set a reminder, you will forget something
- If you set a reminder for something, you will not need the reminder to remember it

Friday, April 30, 2010

How Much Math?

A quote in Economist, that led to the following 'inconclusive' discussion.

'Mandating more math and science in high schools when most of us never use trigonometry or calculus in our working lives takes away time from learning skills that are crucial in an innovative economy: how to listen and persuade, think independently and work collaboratively, for instance.' (link)

X: This is a wrong argument. instead of making us learn how to make use of these things in daily life, you are taking it out altogether. You want to make an illiterate out of even a person who is reading this. Develope the other skills independently but their importance you can never deny

I: ‘more of’ math and science when most of us ‘never use trigonometry or calculus in working lives’.

X: then tell people how to use them! not take them out of course!

I: you sound as if ‘math’ is being taken out… No

X: That’s what I am saying. whatever you have read, tell me about its applicability!

I: GRE test :p

X:We will stand nowhere if these are taken out of course. That is why it is wrong. Label your illiteracy as 'not needed' and finish everything.

I: Are you an illiterate you don’t know logarithms?

X: Of course I am cuz I don’t know how to use it.

I: No you are not because the maths you know covers most of the essentials of your life! You do not require to know logarithms! Its not needed! Its use is very specialized

X: But that doesn’t mean that they should not be taught to me. How am I suppose to know at school stage whether if it will be of some use in profession that I choose later?

I: You ‘should’ get to learn it where in case you need it in future!

Suppose now you switch a job and the new one requires that you know logarithms… although you have read them in school, you will still require to re-learn it. So whats the use learning it in school?

X: Now at this stage. What if I wanted to study the same field right after my school? No body would have given me admission in any school had I not learnt all that maths. And if I wanted to do BCS or go to any foreign school they would never give me admission anywhere without me having to know all this.

I: If you had required to learn logarithm then you would have been taught logarithms!

X: That’s why I was taught logarithms! :p

I: Logarithms should be removed from curriculum cuz they are not needed!
There is an understanding that a base level math (call it GRE level) should exist. More of it is not needed!

X: It is provided you can teach the use. Otherwise even this is of no use! :p


So how much Math should there be?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Creative Product Name

Just saw a baby pot having the following name.

'Royal Potty - A throne of their own'

Friday, April 09, 2010

The 'Terrible' Chechens

Know why the Chechens do, what they do. How can one be so sick? The answer lies in the following article.

Time To Set The Chechen Free

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

FIFA dress code bars Iran girls from Youth Games

Oh what a hogwash!

ZURICH: Iran's girls' soccer team was thrown out of the Youth Olympics because FIFA rules prevent players from wearing an Islamic headscarf.

Thailand replaces Iran in the August tournament, the governing body of Asian soccer said on its Web site Monday.

The hijab scarf — worn by girls and women to observe Islamic dress code — was not allowed under FIFA rules relating to on-field equipment, the Asian Football Confederation said. Iran's national Olympic committee had urged soccer's international ruling body and the International Olympic Committee to review the ban.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke rejected the Iranian Olympic panel's request in a letter to the national soccer federation. He said the FIFA executive committee had "no choice but to take the decision."

FIFA maintains that soccer's international rulebook contains a section on player equipment, stating that "basic compulsory equipment must not have any political, religious or personal statements."


Understand this. There is a difference between practicing your beliefs and 'making' a statement. If I am in a foreign country and I say my prayers in a public area, I am not 'making' a statement but merely practicing my faith. Whether you are sporting a beard or not, FIFA should not worry because its none of their business. Players are allowed to wear logos of various brands - no one says that they are making statement. You allow them just because money has no religion?

From ugly to racist, take your pick. FIFA rules suck.

Related Post
- Why Islamic Head Scarf Should be Banned

Monday, April 05, 2010

Why Is Concurrent List Necessary

"First, parliament will for the first time in the country’s history lose the power to legislate (except for the Islamabad Capital Territory) on the country’s penal code, criminal procedure, civil procedure, law of evidence, and other major branches of substantive and procedural law such as marriage and succession. The single legal space that the country has had so far will be history. There will be not one but five penal codes and the same number of criminal procedure codes, civil procedure codes and law of evidence, one each for the four provinces and another one for the Islamabad territory. Similarly, the country will need not one but five new accountability laws to replace the NAB Ordinance and five anti-money laundering laws, to give just a few examples from recent legislation."


"Second, parliament will lose the power to legislate on a number of matters which can best be regulated at the federal level, such as drugs and medicines and environmental protection. The result will be quintuplication at best and chaos and large-scale evasion of the law at worst."

The News

Saturday, April 03, 2010

War or peace on the Indus?

First time I have heard a third party on the water conflict between India and Pakistan

"Who will be the Indian Mandela who will do this – for the benefit of Pakistanis and Indians – on the Indus? "

The News

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Blog Attention

There is something wrong with your blog if spammers comment within 2 minutes of publication of a blog post or if spammers are spamming in chinese.

Monday, March 22, 2010

PostMans Law of Group Dynamics

In any instance of formation of a group of unrelated individuals, the focus of their attention will be their cellphone.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Which Object Are You

Don't like tags but the result made me do a post :p

cuz I like the result, and as always, I have been a fan of Volkswagen Beetle :)
Thanks Leena

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Zeb & Haniya

These days I am hooked to Zeb & Haniya, the female duo from Kohat in NWFP. Perhaps I am biased because they are from my province or perhaps they really are good... but the thing is that they are damn good! The first I suppose female group of Pakistan (?). Interesting thing is that I was aware of the hype about them for a very long time but had not heard a single song :p The first time I heard them was on a music channel and I thought 'hmm. nice'. Then came Coke Studio and I had the real taste of their music in the form of song 'Paimona'.

Anyways, I could not see all episodes of Coke Studio and now thanks to their website, I now know how much I missed! In this post I will be discussing their songs sung on Coke Studio, as a complete layman of course, or perhaps I would try to explain why I have become their fan!

First up is 'Rona Chorr Dia'. Zeb & Haniya are different not just in the fact that they are a female duo but also because of their lyrics. Instead of usual demure female version of love affair, their lyrics talk of independence.

'The Lost One has found her path (after dejection),
dare stop me!
I do not cry anymore!'

The thing to note in this song is the distinctive guitar playing of Haniya. Jawad Bashir starts the roller coaster and you feel like fastening your seat belts. Then it calms down and Haniya's guitar starts to strum. Zeb, Haniya and Jawad then set an excellent synchronizing act and the rhythm of the song sets in. Jawad seems ready to explode like a soda can, I don't know why he had to make such effort as I am sure he is all capable to handle situations. In contrast, Zeb was subliminal. Gumby, as usual, is best at drums. I have not heard the original number by Zeb and Haniya, in fact, I do not want to because I know Rohail Hayat must have done something really nice to it in Coke Studio.

Next in line is 'Chup'. The true talent of Omran 'momo' Shafique is visible in this number. Very catchy tune made even better by his excellent guitar playing. In fact, Omran seems to set the whole pattern of this song.


Zeb is excellent on vocals. Why does she somewhere remind me of late Nazia Hasan? Hania's guitar playing, distinctive again, can be seen too. Full kudos to Rohail Hayat for that (he is the guy I should be thanking right? the producer?)

The third song is a slow number called 'Chal Diye'. Here again Zeb & Haniya pair up with Jawab Bashir. Do not think this song is no match to their earlier offerings. This one slowly and gradually grows on you and this is the one you'll be humming in the end.

The last number is 'Paimona'. In fact I had written about it when I did a post on Coke Studio. So here I quote myself :p

'' I was in anticipation of their song 'paimona'. I thought it was in Pushto! whereas it was in darri/ persian. At first I could not understand a word of the song as I was trying to figure out pushto words in it :p It was a nice slow number."

hmm. I did not say much I guess :p Well its an excellent fusion of the musical instrument 'rubab'
used mostly in NWFP and the mainstream music scene of Pakistan otherwise you would have had to hear it in local folk. Cant say much about the lyrics as I cant understand them : Unfortunate that after being host for 20+ years for Afghans refugees, I still cant speak Persian. What a loss.

Ok Zeb & Haniya, you have got yourself a new fan. Never knew a Peshawari would be talking of Kohatis like this :p

Good luck.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

*Acting God*

*scene: an old man selling vegetables.*

He: please buy some vegetables from me as I have to feed my children
I: (Acting like God and taking out a currency note) 'here take this too. I'll buy vegetables as well'
He: sorry. I do not take charity. Buy vegetables.
I: *dumbfounded* its not charity. I am giving you from myself with no intentions like that.
He: No. I will not take it. Buy vegetables instead.
I: why so?
He: I once got money from a lady and my 3 kids fell ill. I am not taking this from you.
I: *quietly buying the vegetables from him*

Friday, March 12, 2010

Whats is wrong with Pakistanis?

'I would just go and sit in the shrine and watch the faqirs, lost to the world, dancing the dhamal. Outside the shrine gypsy girls, drawn from all corners of the desert, would be dancing in a state of complete abandon: dusky and sinuous goddesses, with bright lips and laughing eyes. The drumbeaters were beside themselves too. Yet there was no levity about that performance. It was more an act of devotion, a form of worship.

Pakistanis on the whole are bad dancers not because there is anything wrong with our limbs but because there is some kind of problem with our souls. Deep down where it really matters, we are not completely free. Something hems us in, most probably because we seem to have inherited not the wisdom of the ages but the fear of the ages. The confusion in our minds about our direction as a nation arises from this disability: the imprisonment of the soul clouding the ability to think clearly.'

Ayaz Amir

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Shahra e Faisal Alert!

All drivers plying on Shahra e Faisal beware! There is a serious 'distraction' these days and may result in any accident!

The advent of March has seen all sorts of colours blossom - and divas donning them! The intense lawn competition amongst textile mills, their designers and respective brand ambassadors has led to a color riot and beauties on billboards of Karachi. These may be heaven for eyes for some (including me perhaps :p) but its a very serious distraction for drivers! Keep your car and yourself under control!!


And the coup was made by Firdous Mills! I mean who would have thought that someone in the textile industry would bang in with an Indian model! and that too Kareena Kapoor! The move has for sure destroyed the competition (that is my personal opinion). It heralds a new trend in Pakistani textile and its good for sure.

As I was saying... be careful drivers!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Rock Art And The Dam

This is second in line of series that I have started on my blog as an initiative to create awareness regarding issues that require our attention. First one I wrote was about tigers in 'Save Our Tigers'.

Courtesy Wikipedia

A very informative article appeared in the The News on Saturday which talked about the Rock Art in Chilas in Northern Pakistan. It talks about various petroglyph and rock arts numbering more than 20,000 scattered in northern areas all along the Karakoram Highway - one of the ancient silk routes. These rock engravings were made by traders, invaders, pilgrims and locals. According to estimates they date back to 5000 BC.

Now here is whats going to happen. The Government of Pakistan has initiated a project to build a dam called Diamir-Bhasha. Also, the Karakoram Highway is being expanded and re-routed due to building of this dam. What this will result in is the fact that Pakistan will lose this cherished heritage will be inundated and lost forever. It even sounds strange writing 'cherished heritage' because the general sentiment is of ignorance and neglect. I am not even touching the subject of 'infidel works' which we Pakistanis some how are afflicted with it seems which renders us blind and oblivious to our thousands of years of heritage in form of Buddha statues, Moenjodaro and even Kalash. We do not own it as our own.

Anyways, I should not be bad-mouthing others when even I have not done anything to contribute in the preservation and management of our heritage. I have visited Chilas I guess 4-5 times and NEVER visited the petroglyphs. Can you imagine? and quite frankly I do not see myself any chance of visiting there any soon :| Talk about apathy.

I may not be against building dams but I am definitely against building Diamir-Bhasha. Huge reservoir dams are unnecessary I think and the purpose can be achieved by building smaller dams. The issue of energy in Pakistan is purely mismanagement. The bureaucracy is inefficient and corrupt. The current government is hell bent on going for Rental Power Projects (RPPs) than working for streamlining the affairs of energy management in the country. RPPs are grossly expensive and not developmental in nature. Government has not done anything to stop electricity pilferage and theft in the state run electricity companies.

According to researcher Prof (Dr) Harald Hauptmann, Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and HumanitiesRon Canter who has been working in this area, "The reservoir would not only inundate 32 villages located between Basha and Raikot Bridge and force resettlement of more than 30,000 people, but also endanger the precious regions archaeological remains some 50,000 rock carvings and 5,000 inscriptions."

Environmentalist Ron Canter states "Bhasha dam will destroy one of the world's largest collections of rock art, carved on boulders along the upper Indus and ranging in age from Neolithic to 16th century. Approximately 50,000 carvings and 5,000 inscriptions are being documented by a German team, but the boulders are too big to be moved. They will either be inundated by Bhasha Lake or destroyed in reconstruction of 100-km of the Karakoram Highway."

Why do we have to take this route when we can manage the deficiency in energy requirement by other means? why do we have to destroy our heritage?

Do we care? I do not think so. Good night and good luck.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

NRO - Kicks Ass Reply

It (govt) has also defended the promulgation of the NRO on the grounds that the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) first step in Madina was that of reconciliation vide Misaq-e-Madina. “No bigger or greater precedent can be presented in the court of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The judgment under review failed to take note of it,” the review petition said.
Someone please kick govt's ass.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dad-0 Daughter-1 - Part 2

I had a surgery to remove a cyst.
My 2 1/2 year old Daughter: 'Baba! daddi hay!' (Does it pain?)
I: Yes it does but if you kiss me then I will be ok.
*she kisses me*
My Daughter: 'chalo ab bat-ball khailo' (OK now play bat-ball with me)
And I did.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Save Our Tigers

Siberian Tiger - courtesy wikipedia

hell we have to! this is the most gorgeous of cats in the cat family! yes i am biased that I was born in the year of the tiger but who cares! I find tiger to be the most majestic of cat family so when I saw an ad saying India is left with only 1411 tigers and that China has only 50 white tigers left.. I was filled with horror. Well.. not horror but lets say worried. So now my blog is turning towards something that might prove 'useful' apart from the nonsense that I keep uttering.

White Tiger - courtesy wikipedia

There are lots of species of tigers - Siberian tiger, Bengal tiger, IndoChinese tiger, Malayan tiger, Sumatran tiger and South China tiger. Mind you, the Bengal tiger is now extinct in Pakistan!

Bengal tigers - courtesy wikipedia

There are very few tigers left in Pakistan. And honestly, I feel so sorry that I have no info available on them. I just came across this picture on flickr of a white tiger of Pakistan. So I need to know what are the stats on tigers in Pakistan. They are endangered specie in Pakistan as well. Any help?

Tigers are killed for variety of reasons. To Quote

Tigers are killed for their skins and rugs and many tigers are being killed for their body parts, which are used in superstitious rituals or for Oriental medicine. Many body parts are considered to have aphrodisiac properties. Superstition has surrounded tigers for centuries. Necklaces of claws are thought to protect a child from "the evil eye". Whiskers have been considered to be a dreadful poison, which can kill an enemy, when ground up in the animal's flesh (Malaysia), a powerful aphrodisiac (Indonesia), or an aid to childbirth (India and Pakistan). The fat is used as a tonic for rheumatism. If people eat the flesh, it is said that they gain courage and strength. Tiger bones are said to calm fright and cure dysentery, ulcers, rat bite sores and prolapse of the anus. One tiger skeleton may be worth 10 years salary, so people are more likely to become poachers in order to provide money and food for their families.
I hope efforts are made to save this beautiful animal. I just wrote words that I know do not matter much but perhaps they might. I am giving the links under.

Indian Tigers - http://www.saveourtigers.com/
Chinese Tigers - http://english.savechinastigers.org/
Siberian Tigers - I do not have the link! Damn!