Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Thing I Love These Days...

Poking my nose in your cheeks :) and you do not seem to mind at all.
Am losing my hair and you, it seems, are getting all of them... yours are so like mine!
And you love anda paratha!
You sleep with your legs placed on me.
Tight hugs.
Happy first Birthday :)
-Your Dad-

Monday, October 03, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

US, Haqqanis, Pakistan & I

Jeez. They are getting desperate aren’t they? What is with Haqqanis and US? Again there is a call by US to Pakistan to disengage from Haqqanis and take action against them in North Waziristan area of Pakistani tribal belt. They are getting more vociferous by the day especially after a raid by Taliban (US says Haqqani faction) attacked the US Embassy in Kabul. So much so that it has now threatened to halt civilian aid to Pakistan. In all this fury, cries and confusion - I am thinking.. what the hell is going on?

US is just acting like someone who is standing in dark and trying to fight anyone from any direction. Things are not going to improve after Haqaanis are vacated from Pakistan. But words coming out of Washington are not wise, in fact they are plain ridiculous. Here is what Mr. Leon Panetta had to say.
“The network cannot be allowed to cross the border, attack troops in Afghanistan and then cross back into Pakistan through the border.”
Imagine. He is the Defence Secretary. In effect what he is saying is that US has no control whatsoever in Afghanistan! Which quite frankly is the case. The Haqqani fighters come all the way from Pakistan, attack the embassy in Kabul and then return back! Amazing isn't it? So what were the US-NATO-Afghan army doing there? Counting chicken?

It even gets more ridiculous. Now there is a suggestion by US that ISI might have urged the Haqqanis to attack US interests in Afghanistan. I mean ‘inaction’ against Haqqanis in tribal areas is one thing… colluding with Haqqanis to attack US in Afghanistan is the most unimaginable thing for Pakistan to do right now. On top of that one gets to hear comments that make you say 'really? is is to so easy?'. Consider the following.

'Strategic Assets'

One often comes across this term while Pakistan and the proxies it supports are discussed. This states that Pakistan supports Taliban because it wants to have a strategic depth in Afghanistan in case it goes to war against India. Taliban are strategic assets since they are pashtuns so they would naturally support Pakistan.

'Strategic Asset' is a wet dream of military commanders of Pakistan during 90s. It is so last century. And it is so naive that one begs to think whether someone actually thought about it? First that Afghanistan can be used a strategic depth in case of war with India. No one has the guts to go in Afghanistan. British empire was beaten there. USSR drowned due to Afghanistan. US now is totally bankrupt due to its invasion there and people might think that Pakistan will be able to do so? Please teach me like I am a four year old.. but how is it going to take place? Secondly, if in case nobody mentions it, the fact that Afghanis hate us - whether they are Taliban or the Northern Alliance.

Third, and most importantly, the Taliban never listen to Pakistan! Whether it was the Bamyan Buddha that was destroyed or the issue of hand over of Osama to US after 911 - hey do not give a damn about Pakistan.

'India & Strategic Assets'

This is another one that one gets to hear. That Pakistan is stirring up trouble in Afghanistan so that US leaves and Pakistan is able to focus on Indian Kashmir. Notwithstanding the fact that Pakistan cant hold on to her pants when it comes to managing her own affairs, troubling a superpower in a troubled neighborhood is an idea that seems making trips to moon a child's play.

Another things important is that whatever the policy measures regarding Indian Kashmir in 90s, Pervez Musharraf during his tenure in early 2000s, greatly reduced the influence of jihadis in Kashmir - a fact even admitted by Indians themselves. That is the reason LeT and HuJI types are running amok in Pakistan - in fact they even attacked Musharraf through suicide attacks. This can be the reason that attacks on Indian Parliament in 2001 and Mumabi in 2006 occurred. If Pakistan were to 'throw out' US to gather momentum again against India in Kashmir, sadly, there is no one for them to help them out. Jihadis are against us now.

'Inertia of State of Pakistan'

There are two fundamental question that need to be answered: 1) 'What women want?' and 2) 'What does Pakistani State want?'. Sadly, it seems, we are not in luck to know the answers to these questions in near future.

But really, what is it that Pakistani State wants? Are Taliban our stooges or not? What is our policy in Afghanistan? Is there a difference between good taliban and bad taliban? If we say that Haqqanis are not given shelter in Pakistan - why not say so and let US come and deal with them? Why not deal with them ourselves and tell US to keep out? Why did not the Army act against them in Parachinar? What was Osama Bin Laden doing in Abbottabad?If he was not being protected - admit that it was a failure and seek help in better management of intelligence? I do not at all give any merit or credit to the theory that the Pakistani state protected him - they are just not capable of it. Pakistan army cant wipe their bottoms properly, as it was shown during the Abbottabad raid, and it hid Osama for 10 years? The Answers? 'Silence'. Had it been gold we would have been rich but no. The only thing, it seems, that army is capable of doing is tell the civilians how to run the government or torturing ordinary Pakistanis (in Balochistan) and reporters (Saleem Shehzad).

You might think since Pakistan is controlled by the army so it will not act against Taliban & Co. So why then the civilian administration is keeping mum on LeT, Sipahe Sahaba an Lashkar e Jhangvi? LeT is against security agencies and targeting them, the latter two are killing shias right and left. If the argument is that LeT is supported by army then the latter two are not all concerned with India or Kashmir - why not take action against them? Why let innocent Pakistanis being slaughtered by these mercenaries of faith? No answers of course.

Seems like Pakistan is this headless chicken that is roaming around the farm with no clue where to go. If anyone thinks that there is this great scheme by Pakistani establishment to somehow orchestrate all this and turn things to its own advantage - God be merciful please let me know too.

I am clueless too.

Monday, August 22, 2011

PostMan's Law on Characteristics of a Relationship

Relationship between a man and woman is characterized by one party always stating 'You have changed'.

PostMan's Observation on 'PostMan's Law  on Characteristics of a Relationship'

The frequency of utterance of this phrase increases proportionately to the increase in length of the relationship and becomes a Constant at the maturity stage of relationship's life cycle.

Friday, August 19, 2011

And After All This?

You fight. You win. You lose. You take a beating. You beat the hell out of someone. You dive in water. You dive in deep. You dive in shallow. The water is crystal clear. The water is muddy. Something sticks to you. You somehow get free of something. Something overpowers you and leaves you breathless. Something heavy just sits on your chests and leaves you frozen. Then it somehow leaves you and you are all perspiring. You are amongst people who have left this world. They come and talk to you. They make you smile. They make you cry. They make you afraid. You find something or someone that you lost. You lose something or someone you love. You are at unfamiliar place with familiar people. Sometimes you are with unfamiliar people at familiar places. Sometimes the place you know so much presents a very weird look. It is gloomy. It is dark. It is worn out. You do not want to be here.  Sometimes you see green and sometimes blood red. Sometimes its white. Sometimes its bright.  Sometimes it fireflies. Sometimes its fire works. You always wanted to be here. You inhale. You exhale. You want to scream. You want to shout. You want to cry. You want to release a cry of joy. Sometimes you do all this. Sometimes you just cannot. Sometimes you feel it. You feel it like its real. You feel it can not be fake. You see a beautiful bird. You see a hideous beast. The bird touches you. The beast comes for you. Sometimes the beast transforms in to something you do not like. Like a lizard. A spider. A snake. Something you despise. Something you dread. You do not want to be here! Oh you always wanted to be here! Oh let it continue!

And after all this, you have to wake up from the dream.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

PPP and MQM in Karachi - Abyss.

Around 1300 people are dead in Karachi since January this year - and why cant this stop? because our leaders are busy making deals! Welcome to Pakistan!

Karachi is the face of Pakistan. The economic hub that makes the engine of Pakistan's economy run. Whenever Karachi sneezes, the rest of Pakistan catchers cold - for sure. Karachi has this live spirit in it as city that keeps you glued to it. People from all across Pakistan have come, still do, to Karachi making a living and diversifying the language and cultural base. Karachi truly is a mini Pakistan.

Like any metropolis, Karachi faces multitudes of  problems. Rapid urbanization, improper planned localities, illegal constructions, corruption, water and sanitation issues etc. Apart from that it has to face drug mafia, land mafia, terrorists of all sorts ranging from sectarian to ethnic and criminals. The latter is the really worrying part as law enforcement agencies including rangers and police are extremely ineffective in protecting the Karachiites.  This leaves the people of this city at the mercy of their luck - just hope that you are not at the wrong place at the wrong time because then there will be no one  to protect you.

Unfortunately for Karachi, the city is the worst managed of all in Pakistan I think. Every city, especially a metropolis like Karachi, faces problems but the administrators and leaders of the city try to somehow manage it - amidst ineffective government and corrupt bureaucracy. Somehow somewhere the administrators make the city go about its life but in Karachi, no one is interested in running the affairs of the city. All they want is the booty! To hell with the city is their motto it seems.

Amongst the ruling lot, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) an Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) run the show in administrating the city. They are joined by small time players of ANP, Jamaet e Islami, Sunni Tehreek etc. Turn by turn they take the Admin's Chair of this city and promote their vested interests. 

MQM should feel ashamed of using 'ethic cleansing' card by playing dirty politics on the deaths of innocent people, for example, Qasba Ali Garrh. People lost their loved ones on that horrible of events and MQM cites it just to gain favours? What did they gain? They are back in Govt and have the amendments in commissionarate system? and through what? Getting their demands by playing deals on the death of innocent people. Downright ugly.

Value of each of Pakistani's life is important - whether urdu speaking, pushto, sindhi, balochi or any of the regional language. Please do not do politics on the blood of innocent people. The Urdu speaking brethren should not fear any other ethnic group as their enemy - their supposed political leaders are their worst enemy.

And PPP - the less said the better. Democracy, in the current environment, has been the worst revenge. Politics of appeasement at the lives of innocent people. Horrible. What is the point of praising the President as an astute political player by chanting 'reconciliation' when all you do is trying to save your posterior for 5 years and in the meanwhile people are getting killed, economy being ruined and corruption galore? What good is reconciliation I ask? Then we have the buffoon of an Interior Minister who says that killings in the city are due to the reasons that girl friends are taking revenge from their lovers? See the audacity of this guy? He is making mockery of people who lost their lives in Karachi by suggesting so. But anyone cares? Of course not. They have to make deal my brother.

Oh we are so lost!

Related Post
- Dear Karachi

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thank You Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar

.. for bringing the classic Pakistani female look back in vogue!

The quintessential look - Shalwar Kameez with dupatta, that is the identity of a Pakistani woman.

Before you come out with your daggers drawn crying out 'misogynistic pig!' - let me state my case first. And it aint long.

We are not Afghanistan. We are not India and we are not Indonesia. The women in all these countries including ours dress differently. Within these countries the women dress differently based on cultures prevailing in various areas. The following is the typical 'woman look' of these individual countries making you instantly recognise where they belong to.

So what is the Pakistani look? 

This is it! A typical shalwar kameez and dupatta. Dupatta is either on head or around neck but it is there as it is part of wardrobe of Pakistani women. This look was 'internationalized', lets say, by Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister of Pakistan.

But this look went out of scene because there was no female representing Pakistan on international fora.  This has changed now as Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar has landed in New Delhi India.

Fashions come and go. In Pakistan you will find women wearing variety of dresses from regional areas, the national dress of Shalwar kameez in all varities, jeans, burqa, chaadar (long veil) abaya etc. But the 'identity' that one relates to with Pakistani Women will always be Shalwar Kameez and dupatta. So hats off to our Foreign Minister to bringing back that in the limelight - so what if even unintentionally.

Its about the identity - the thing that matters the most in the current geo political environment. Remember why Coke Studio is so important, it gave Pakistanis to cheer something unique and great that truly relates to them - their music. The program cherishes the multiple and varied sounds of all areas of Pakistan, promotes the diversity that exists and in the end binds us all together that make us Pakistanis - proud one at that. Similarly, the cultural invasion of 'Taliban' has to be dealt with earnest. They have not just physically attacked Pakistan and her people in their own territory, they are bludgeoning the cultural ethos of this country. They want Pakistanis to drop whatever they do deemed un-islamic by them. Setting dress codes for males and females is part of it and here where the identity of Pakistani female comes as the most important. Taliban want everyone to be under burqa - shalwar kameez must be made to counter that. Pakistanis are moderate in general and burqa does not suit them. I am not saying that nobody in Pakistan adorns burqa - women do and frankly they are more than welcome to do that but the identity will always remain with Shalwar Kameez.

Indian and Pakistani relations are not linked to how how Ms. Khar dresses as they are beset by mistrust and years of acrimony. Also I am not bothered by her expensive necklace and the expensive Birkin bag that she held while she is in India unless and until she is known to be financially corrupt. In the end, dress does matter after all. Forget about 'right chauvinists' (popular euphemism) who shuddered why you shook hands with the Indian Foreign Minister as it is not allowed in Islam or the 'left chauvinists' (popular euphemism) who were squirming in their seats as to why you had covered your head with dupatta so as to just appease the mullahs. Both are plain wrong. You have the right to wear what you want to and you chose the best thing possible representing the country. 

Thank you.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Islamic Banking - A Facade?

Something interesting happened yesterday. 

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has announced that Islamic banking institutions can collect utility bills after due date with ‘displeasure’ (karahiyyat), which is the opinion of Shariah scholars. (Link)

Islamic Banks were not accepting utility bills for payments 'after due date' because it entailed recovering of 'after due date charges' from the consumer - which the Islamic bankers term as 'riba' or excess. I will not go in the discussion what riba means, the literal interpretation, the Quranic verses or the Islamic legal jurisprudence in this regards. I think everyone agrees that riba means exploitation which is totally unacceptable in Islam.

Islamic banking sometimes seems to border ridiculous and sometimes downright racist. In this particular case, it has got nothing to do with riba. After due date charges are an administrative cost on the entity providing the service. By not providing fee for the services availed, you as a user are violating the basic right of the service provider. Its similar to the case when you hire a labourer for a work and then dont pay him on time. If he demands compensation for it you say its riba! Where was your sense of duty when you were supposed to pay the labourer?

I believe that Islam provides no 'Islamic' banking, economics or finance instead it favours general principles of equality, circulation of money (not hoarding), charity, helping out the needy and abhors exploitation. That being said, I do not have any issues with Islamic banking per se. I totally believe in their right to exploit an untapped, and quite frankly, a huge market of people who believe that their belief system does not allow 'interest' based economy. I am all for solutions that provide alternatives to consumers in which the usual exploitation of bankers can be reduced/ minimized.

The problem with Islamic banking, as I see it, is their exclusivist approach towards banking. They somehow seem to have got the banking licence direct from Prophet. They should be thinking in terms of providing solutions to the consumers of current banking practices. They instead talk of completely different solution - which is not feasible really. Murabaha, Musharaka are modified versions of Sale Agreement and Partnership respectively, they were not 'created' by Islam. Similarly, in the above case, equating 'after due date charges' to riba is merely creating problems for yourself and consumers. Then you have to do it, since YOU HAVE TO DO IT, so they did it but with 'displeasure'. Come on now. Who do you think you are kidding.

Everything and anything associated with contemporary banking is not riba and thus does not require disapproval and contempt.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Rape? Very Funny

Everybody receives SMS on their cell phones. The gender classified as 'Males' do a certain act when it comes to SMS containing adult content - we pass it on to many of our male brethren for ... umm...  the greater good of the humanity? I do not know for what purpose but we do so. No clue seriously. Call us idiots. Or perverts. Whatever.

The other day, I received this message. Read it...

'Define Rape with help of one good example? 
Rape is a very difficult job. For example, it is like playing golf with continuously moving hole'

Stomach churns?

I was stunned. How could anyone make a joke out of rape? What is wrong with people. And why are people forwarding it? This is not a joke for heavens sake. This cruelty. This is trivializing of the worst kind of an issue extremely important. Just as I have received it, countless many men would have received it. I could not forward it, many would have done so. What does it show?

It shows a complete lack of humanity. It shows the attitude of a society towards a serious crime rendering it mundane. A thing that can be treated as a joke. Certain questions came in to my mind. Was it a Pakistani creation? Is it reflective of only Pakistani society? Or did this SMS came bordering hopping into Pakistan? Do others think the same about this issue?

I know for Pakistan that it is considered fault of the woman if she is raped. She must have been wearing 'wrong' clothes or she must be in a wrong company always which would have ultimately resulted in her being raped. Anything to place the blame on the woman and giving clean slate to the men - 'hey, he just could not control himself'. How pathetic is that.

Seriously it amazes me how trivial we consider the issue of rape. No one has the right to violate a woman's sanctity no matter what the situation! It requires two to tango does not figure in this scenario! Please stop this insanity.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

A 2500 Years Old Peshawar


PESHAWAR: Archeologists say that the city of Peshawar may be around 2,500 years old. The University of Peshawar (UoP) and K-P Department of Archeology performed a recent excavation at Gor Khatri, a prominent cultural landmark and the highest point of the city. The results suggest that Peshawar dates back to 300 BC, supporting claims that this city is among the oldest living cities in Asia.

Mohammad Naeem Qazi, an assistant professor of archeology at UoP, said that thus far the excavation has probed a depth of 48 feet. The excavation project was launched in 1994 by the former archeology chair, Dr Farzand Ali Durrani. The project’s aim is to better understand Peshawar’s history, said Qazi. “We have unearthed layers upon layers of history, that go uninterrupted at least 2,300 years back.”

The first layer of relics date back to the British era. Other relics have come from the Sikh, Durrani, Mughal, Sultanate and Ghaznvid periods. The latter, which followed Ghaznavi’s defeat of the Hindu Shahis, dates around 1,000 AD. Older remnants are from the White Huns, Kushans and Sassanids. There are even signs of Parthians, dating back to 100 AD.
“Below the Parthians lie the remains of the Scythians period, and there are also vestiges of Indo-Greeks, known as Bactrian Greeks, that ruled this region around 200 BC,” Qazi said.  In this dig, archeologists have found little from the Mauryan period, which pre-dates the Bactrians, although Mauryan relics have been found in the general area, indicating that Peshawar extends back some 2,300 years.

Among other items, the recovered relics include glazed pottery and other utensils, toys, grinding stones and over 40 coins.

“Peshawar has the sole distinction of being the oldest living city. It didn’t die, unlike Mohenjodaro and Harrappa. It has survived for two and a half millennia,” said Dr Abdul Samad, an archeological consultant for UoP.

Gor Khatri, where this excavation was carried out, is itself an important cultural landmark. According to Qazi, Zahiruddin Babar, the founder of the Mughal dynasty, mentions the hair-cutting ceremonies of Hindu yogis in Tuzak-e-Babri. Jehan Ara Begum, daughter of Shah Jehan, also built an inn at this site, which was known as “the inn with two gates.”  During the Sikh period, Paolo di Avitabile, the Italian mercenary governor of Peshawar, used the inn as a private residence. It became the police headquarters under British rule, and remained as such until 2004.

Gor Khatri is the stuff of real history but it also boasts myth and legend. In his 20th century history of Peshawar, Ahmed Hassan Dani wrote about a Chinese ruler who tried to take the Buddha’s famous alms-bowl by force. However, the bowl refused to budge, even when hitched to a carriage drawn by eight elephants.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2011.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Can You Touch The Quran When Unclean?

There is this very common notion that one should not touch the Quran when one is unclean. Unclean in general terms would mean not being in the state of ablution or more specifically in case of women, if they are menstruating.

Is it really the case? Lets first start from the verse that actually informs us so.

Quran 56:79(the book) Which  none shall touch but those who are clean:

As always, one should check the context of the verses. 

56:75 - I call to witness the setting of the Stars
56:76 - And that is indeed a mighty oath if ye but knew
56:77 - That this is indeed a qur'an Most Honourable, 
56:78 - In Book well-guarded, 
56:79 - Which none shall touch but those who are clean: 
56:80 - A Revelation from the Lord of the Worlds. 

A cursory reading would show that a macro perspective is being discussed in which the God (as is the case with this Chapter), is narrating His favours and trying to impress upon the readers to understand the greatness of Quran. It does not show that muslims are not allowed to touch Quran when impure. Compare this to specific instructions of God in case of offering prayers.

4:43 - O ye who believe! Approach not prayers with a mind befogged, until ye can understand all that ye say,- nor in a state of ceremonial impurity (Except when travelling on the road), until after washing your whole body. If ye are ill, or on a journey, or one of you cometh from offices of nature, or ye have been in contact with women, and ye find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand or earth, and rub therewith your faces and hands. For Allah doth blot out sins and forgive again and again. 

So one can see that when God says that only clean can touch Quran, it means that those who have pure heart and thoughts can understand it. Its the impurity of hearts and minds that is the subject and not otherwise. Suppose that I am wrong and indeed the verse is talking of being in a state of cleanliness when touching Quran, the following should follow:

If you can not touch the Quran then you can not utter the wording of Quran. Quran is not about being paper and ink right? the words in it matter. Since you cannot utter words of Quran, this means you can not recite Quran when unclean. This follows that since you can not recite Quran, so the name of the entity who sent it, should also be not taken because you are unclean. 

Does this makes any sense? Of course not. 

You take the name of God in any state. You can not help it. When you can take the name of entity who sent this Quran and Who mentions Himself all over in it, why cant you recite it? If you can recite it then why cant you hold or touch it? Remember what I said? Its not about paper and ink that matters most.

So do not be the one restricting yourself (and others) in touching or reciting the Quran when no where God intends to or said so. 


Related Post
- Menstruation and Religious Duties

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Saleem Shahzad is Dead

Investigative reporter Saleem Shahzad, station chief of Hong Kong based Asia Times, was found dead yesterday. He was kidnapped on the 29th of May. He reported on issues of Islamic jihad, Al Qaeda, militancy in Pakistan and links within the military apparatus with militants. He last published this article at Asia Times. 

This is dedicated to his bravery. May we be blessed with a peaceful country.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Burqa and Bikini

The two represent the farthest possible political/ cultural inclinations of societies of this planet called Earth. The opponents and proponents of both these clothing wear are suspicious like hell of each other. Both suspect that the other is against their 'identity' and of what they stand for. Religious beliefs, culture superiority, political ideologies are thrashed out in discussions - each trying to score over the another. Beneath all the facade of arguments and ideologues - is an entity called woman.

One thing is for sure - burqa now represents 'oppression' of womenfolk. Muslims and Islam as a religion in particular are criticized for it. Arguments for 'enslavement' are common. Muslim women are trained to 'not think', they just are not aware that burqa/ pardah is a form of oppression. If pardah is abhorrent.. burqa (all enveloping one) is evil. French know that. They even banned it. Some 2000 women in France that don burqa have no clue what torment of a life theirs is. They are being forced to wear burqa. They should have the choice to wear what they want to wear and should not be bound by any religious injunction.

Sound arguments I must say.

But then I get to see this.

This file photo shows a group of women golf caddies at the Tangcheng golf course in Shanghai's Pudong district. China's golf officials are urging players to show their "beautiful side" -- by wearing brightly coloured shirts and skirts -- to boost the sport's profile and marketing potential, the China Daily said.
(Source: Yahoo! News of 28th May 2011)

And a news like this.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has introduced a new dress code, which comes into effect from May 1 and requires all female players to wear skirts or dresses in Grand Prix tournaments and above "to ensure attractive presentation of badminton" (Link)

Which makes me wonder... what the hell is going on? The dress code in Badminton was introduced to raise the 'profile of the game', I discussed it in my post Badminton's Conundrum. The Chines women caddies are being told to wear bright skirts and to show their 'beautiful side' (whatever that is) to boost the sports profile and marketing potential.

If you talk about burqa and religion, the argument is that women are being told to do so because it is good. Here, they are being told to wear skirts for a some other reason. The thing is that women are being told in either case. (yes I know Islam 'enforces' it because women are slaves. thank you). Still. 

Does anybody care to let women know what they want? Yes I know its a stupid question because no one knows what women want but lets just ask it anyways. How is the extreme right different from the extreme left? Both 'advise' women to do something which would be beneficial for them. The guys of badminton believe women can even earn more in this world whereas muslims (who go for burqa) believe women can earn more in afterlife.

What should be banned? The Burqa, Skirt or the mentality of telling others what to do? Seems like everyone knows what is better for women except women themselves.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

PostMan's Conclusion on Female Drivers

They just cant reverse.

PostMan's Musings on 'PostMan's Conclusion on Female Drivers'

The number of men who can't reverse is the same as the number of women that can reverse.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Osama and Pakistan

Osama Bin Laden has left the building. Well, taken away to be precise, from the building known as 'Waziristan Mansion', smack-dab adjacent to the premier training institute of Pakistan Army, Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) Kakul. Well, if you are a Pakistani and appear red faced, there is reason for it. Pakistan has been humiliated.

Humiliated by the US - who produced Osama after a 10 year man hunt, in the most secure and scenic of Pakistani cities - Abbottabad (my parental hometown by the way. I have been taking dips in Ilyasi Mosque waters adjacent to PMA when I was a kid). Flabbergasted is an understatement. What the Americans did with Mister Osama Bin Laden afterwards (water boarded err thrown in sea) was a plain hogwash. Buried in sea according to Islamic traditions?! Ridiculous. They should have produced his body for the whole world to see and then should have done the needful. They could have captured him alive, since he was unarmed, but the Navy Seals did not choose to and hence the conclusion.

Was the guy who got killed really Osama? Did the Americans kill him before and now just enacted a drama? Did they place his dead body in Abbottabad? Why are they not showing his pictures? Why they buried him in sea? Good questions. Not enough material for answers. Unfortunately, all these questions are being asked by Pakistanis alone. The rest of the world thinks we are plain thugs. Notwithstanding the fact that around 30,000 Pakistanis have lost their lives due to terrorism, 2000 soldiers have died, economy has been ruined and that world still asks us to do more. Their blood is valued more of course. And that sucks.

The reason it sucks further is because of another entity in this scene - our military establishment. Well you can be forgiven if you think that our intelligence guys switch off the lights of their rooms and sleep at 9 p.m. Well it appears, indeed they do so because nobody knew that Americans came in from Afghanistan, got their man and then left just as easily. The only person who knew something was wrong in Abbottabad was a techy from Lahore who was twittering the event around 1 a.m. Certainly could not have been a local from Abbottabad... they retire to bed around 9 too.

Pakistanis can not just believe that Americans came, did what they did and our guys did not even know. The usual 'W' questions of What, When, Where and How are followed by 'What the Hell?' Sure the Americans pulled a nice one on Pakistanis - 'ingress of US helicopters into Pakistani airspace was not detected, because they (the US) know the location of our radars and have terrain maps. They can make permutations to avoid our radars by flying low and using the mountains'. Its just like in school when your buddies pull the chair from under you when you are about to sit on it an thus fall down and then every body has a laugh. Only in this case its not funny.  Pakistanis just did not assume that the chair would be pulled away from their underside by the Americans. Well they did. And it hurts.

Then there is the question of whether ISI was protecting Osama Bin Laden or was just not aware of him. I would go for the latter and I have some evidence too. Just look at Pakistanis. The humiliated looks - army and civilian.  This is what happens if 'Osama is found in your backyard'! Who would want that?! Pakistan will not harbour Al-Qaeda. It can give protection to Taliban - note the fact that only certain factions of Taliban and not the whole lot because they kick army's posterior even within Pakistan. In fact Pakistan has been instrumental in capturing Al-Qaeda cadres. All the chicken in that Guantanamo farm were provided by Pakistan - and the generals pocketed US$s as bounty money as conceded by Pervez Musharraf in his book 'In The Line of Fire'. Can somebody now check how much amount was provided and where did it go?

Pervez Hoodbhoy wants us to believe that Pakistanis had hid Osama Bin Laden because 'Bin Laden was the ‘Golden Goose’ that the army had kept under its watch but which, to its chagrin, has now been stolen from under its nose.' Really? We kept him just to get bounty money? US$ 25 million? What will this amount of money get us? Its peanuts for heavens sakes. The military gets a billion $s annually from US. $25 million? Ne. Did the civillian leadership get the money? Well, the Americans are bit stingy in this regard. They not only pay the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), the cost of war being run on their behalf by Pakistan Army in the tribal areas, late but also the civilian aid package, under the Kerry Lugar Bill, is not properly fulfilled. They have released only US$ 350 million since 2009 and always trumpet '1.5 BILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY AID' . In CAPS too. What good was Osama for Pakistan anyways? If Pakistanis wanted a favour, was not President Obama's election year the best opportunity? Or Pakistan Army wanted to keep Osama so that Americans don't leave this place and they keep receiving aid? Trust me, even army wants the US out of this place because then they can focus their attention on India again and take troops out of tribal belt. So Osama was of no use to Pakistan.

Then you have to consider the incompetence of our intelligence network. Apart from not detecting US Choppers, which were there for couple of hours in Pakistan, we could not detect OBL who was living there for 5 years! and that too in Abbottabad! Good Lord! Agreed that ISI may have shared the data with CIA regarding that compound, the CIA guys built up on that data and got hold of Osama. They got successful on this one - they were a failure when US was attacked on their own soil and Twin Towers were taken down. Kinda like same for ISI. Not that the humiliation would go away any time soon. The common joke in Pakistan is that Pakistani radars are for sale, though they cant detect enemy aircraft, at least they will show satellite channels.

Then there is this discussion in some areas of the world that a similar kind of attack can be launched by another country on Pakistan to take out a particular target. Pakistan seems to be the obvious victim, what nobody is thinking about and everyone should take a leaf out of Pakistani humiliation is that any country with advanced technology can get in your territory and take her Osama Bin Laden out. Remember, every country has a certain Osama that the other country wants. So protect your rear before thinking of going in someone else's territory. Further, when you are sleeping with a Super Power, remember to use protection. 'CIA did not share the data with us' just does not cut it. You should have your eyes and ears open.

Anyways... farewell Mr. Osama. Thanks to you we were screwed when you were alive and now we are screwed as you are dead. May Lord provide our military rulers some sight to forget about 'strategic depth' as it appears more like'extended posterior' which seeks unnecessary attention and spanking. May Lord also give some sense to our political leaders who keep placing the begging bowl in front of USA for more aid - and humiliation. And may The Lord grant us Pakistanis the courage to pick good politicians in elections. Nothing seems to be in the offing.

Good night and good luck. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Badminton's Conundrum

The profile of badminton as a game is inversely proportional to the length of the skirt the woman player is wearing.

Badminton’s new clothing regulation, part of an overall campaign to raise the profile of women in the sport, will be implemented from June 1.

Friday, April 22, 2011

PostMan's Suspicion on 'Art of War'

I think everyone got it wrong about the most famous of military treatise, 'Art of War'. It was supposed to be about marriage.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Plain Savages - Us

Afghan protesters angered by the burning of a copy of the Holy Quran by an obscure US pastor killed up to 20 people including seven UN staff members and security guards, beheading two foreigners, when they overran a compound in a normally peaceful northern city on Friday in the worst ever attack on the UN in Afghanistan. (Link)
What on earth is wrong with us? Although it happened in Afghanistan but I am using 'us' because Pakistan and Afghanistan are kind of a same when it comes to sectarian hatred, illiteracy and clergy control.

Here is what most probably would have happened. The clergy would have told people that Quran was burnt by the pastor, everyone in the US is supportive of this act, they all hate Islam and want to destroy Islam as a religion so revenge has to be taken. Simple minded people would have been enraged, add some more spice of inflammatory speech and voila! We have 20 innocent people dead.

People who died belonged to the United Nations who are 'infidels' doing the positive work for Afghanistan. They do not care what faith Afghanis have but rather work their for humanitarian concerns. Yes you can argue that hell lot of money is paid to them but wold you go and work in Afghanistan even if given so much money? Think again.

No body would have told these protesters that notwithstanding the fact that Quran burning was a terrible incident, this act was totally isolated, has no common acceptance in US society and nobody condones it there. Nobody amongst the protesters would have been told that showing anguish at this act was reasonable but attacking the UN compound was not advisable and killing innocent people not an act to be done. Killing those who are there to help you more so horrendous.

Pakistani and Afghani society resembles each other a lot. In fact you will not be able to tell the difference if you were to visit the areas bordering Eastern Afghanistan and Western Pakistan. Taliban are famous for ruthless killings in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Their counterparts, the Northern Alliance, in Afghanistan have an enviable dreadful human rights record. Though they may be the killing machines, the ordinary folks of both Pakistan and Afghanistan show a good deal of 'barbarism' when it comes to killing fellow human beings - if not supporting the person than the cause is supported. Remember Salman Taseer? 

He too was killed because he supported a christian woman accused of blasphemy and called Blasphemy Laws as called Black Laws. People hailed the killer Qadri as a hero as if he was a defender of Islam. He too was indoctrinated by clergy that Salman Taseer had insulted the prophet. Before his death, rallies were taken out and all sorts of inflammatory tactics were employed to incite people. And it did work.

I can see the same situation there in Afghanistan in this respect. I would have, perhaps, included illiteracy as one of the reasons in these cases but many well educated people in Pakistan supported Taseer's murder too. Anti Americanism did play a major role and religious incitement made it into a moving entity. Remember, there have been many protests on civilian deaths by US led NATO forces but no situation like this occurred. This time, religious aspect was involved too and it culminated in a terrible situation.

What is needed is an 'aware' society, educated yes but more importantly a society that is less reactive and more thoughtful in its act. The crowd that killed these people were no different, or perhaps more evil, than the pastor who burnt Quran. Both are condemnable acts. Humans are, I guess, no different when it comes to reasons for killing one another.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

HEC To Be Devolved

'Chairman of the Implementation Commission of the 18th Amendment Raza Rabbani on Tuesday said that the federal cabinet has given approval for devolving five more ministries, including the Higher Education Commission (HEC), to provinces. '

Tribune Link

I agree that education should be devolved to the provinces but the tone adopted by Mr. Rabbani is totally negative and counter productive. Questions like “We are going to end the financial ‘chaudhrahat’ (monopoly) of the HEC” and “Who is Attaur-Rehman?” show as if HEC was the target rather than devolution of power. Yes I agree that education is a province's domain but Mr. Rabbani should be at least considerate of the state of higher education in Pakistan and adopt a reasonable tone. Was he holding a gun in hand too while making these statements?

HEC should stay! More efforts should be placed on making things transparent in HEC rather than disbanding it. Its the only higher education forum that addresses the concerns. Provinces should be more focussed on providing best primary and secondary level education.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Fair Skin Dilemma

All those who criticize skin fairness creams, and advertisements promoting them, as racist, are themselves fair skinned. The rest are using whatever means possible to be fair skinned.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Earthquake in Karachi

At the time of earthquake, instead of fearing God, one is fearing the quality of the construction material used in your abode.


Thursday, January 06, 2011

For All Those Who Are Cheering the Death

Celebrating Governor Taseer's Death? distributed sweets? sent congratulatory SMS? Praised Mard e Haq Qadri? Now mourn with me.

You and I both have lost the moral standing on condemning the deaths due to drone attacks in our country.


Their arguments of killing for a reason are now just like yours.

Rest in peace common sense. 

Other Related Post

- Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid

We are a very sick people as a nation.

Rest in peace Governor Salman Taseer. I do not know what kind of a person you were and I do not care because it was between you and God but I do know that you have been wronged.

Did you hear that Maulana sahib of Jamiat e Ulama e Pakistan (JUP) Sahibzada something said that no lover of the Prophet would be upset on the Governor's death? He said that people are distributing sweets! From the people who actually are distributing sweets to the people who say that no one should go to offer his funeral prayers... to the FaceBook pages where the killer is being hailed as a hero... to the commentators who say that US and West will grieve over this murder but will not say a word regarding death of muslims all over the world... I say what amazing utterances. We Pakistanis are unbelievable.

Governor of Punjab Salman Taseer was murdered by his own security guard on the grounds that he called the Blasphemy Laws as Black Laws. Salman Taseer was in the center of controversy when he supported Ms. Aasia Masih, a christian woman who was sentenced to death by a lower court under Blasphemy Law. Amazingly, till date, no one is clear what actually happened that resulted in case being lodged with Police under Blasphemy Law. The abuse of this law is so much that people settle scores with others under this law as recently happened when a medical representative accused a hindu doctor of disrespecting Prophet Muhammad when the doctor threw his visiting card in dustbin. The medical representative's name was Muhammad! Imagine the ridiculousness.

Then there is certain element of religious-political parties who seem to know no bounds when it comes to exploiting the issue. They were in fore-front of condemning Salman Taseer for siding with the accused christian woman. Imagine the insanity that had started with this case when an imam of a very famous mosque of Peshawar called for the head of this woman! Another guy in Punjab had set a reward of Rs. 2 million for anyone killing Salman Taseer!

After Salman Taseer pleaded for Ms. Aasias' case, the religious forces joined hands in raising hue and cry all over Pakistan because according to them the Governor had abused the Prophet!  He never did as he said this law was exploited and thus termed it Black Law. Last night, Mr. Farid Paracha of Jamaat e Islami was parroting a commonly given argument that repealing the Blasphemy Law would create anarchy and lives would not be safe. He was saying this even though the Law had not been repealed (Govt. had even given assurances) and a muslim still lost his life! not to mention the fact that he was a Governor what to talk of ordinary low-life minorites!

Blasphemy Laws were a man made product - a creation of a military dictator who used the name of Islam and ruled for 9 years on this country. The abuse of this law is rampant and no sane person can argue that the system provides for a fair chance to the accused. They have got nothing to do with the sanctity of esteemed religious personalities but a tool for settling scores. These people cannot accept changes in the constitution  as done by Pervaiz Musharraf because he was a military dictator but would readily agree with Blasphemy and Hadood Laws that were too introduced by a miltary dictator but under the guise of Islam. 

We are living in a very different Pakistan that is totally against the freedom of expression when it comes to religion. Even muslims are not safe in this country where people are fretting over religious minorities. We are a nation divided on ethnic and sectarian basis and love to hate each other. The society is mullah-driven where they can do anything but cannot be questioned because the they are the custodians of faith! No wonder Taliban find enough succor in this society of ours.

To refer again to that JUP guy who said every Prophet lover would not mourn this death, I say I do mourn his death even though I am a Prophet lover! My Prophet was not like that! He had faced extreme abuse and all of his family had to face exile but he overtook Mecca without a fight! He prayed for the people of Taa'if when he had stones hurled at him for preaching.

Frankly I am next in line as I have been criticizing the Blasphemy Law all along. I hope that his ghastly murder will put in focus the extreme negative consequences of abuse of this law in which not just minorities but even muslims themselves are not safe. Take a stand my dear Pakistanis and condemn this as much as you can for any hope of a sane Pakistan in the future.

God really help us. But I guess He wont spend His time on losers.

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