Leap Year

I was going through my page, which I don’t usually, and found out I rarely write now unless it is a big eventor something. I guess having kids around don’t give you enough time to concentrate and write because you are constantly being distracted. Anyhow, tjis was a leap year, and it did create a lot of ripples around Pakistan; Mumtaz Qadri was hanged, and Sharmeen Obeid Chinoy won an oscar. You might have guess by now that I am here to create some ripples too…

Anyway, I am not going to dwell on whether whatever Qadri did was right or wrong or if he is going to hell or heaven and stuff. I am just going to dwell on the scene set up by everyone around. Strange as it is when Saulat Mirza was about to be executed, we saw long debates on the television screens, his last moments, his confessions, his wife and later everything was aired on live television. But this time around it was all hushed up and it seems as if being brushed under the carpet. Why was there a need to do an execution with such secrecy and hushed tones? One might wonder what is cooking that this was to be done with such urgency. I would call it urgency because the reason behind the whole Taseer murder case was one lady and she still has her case pending for soo many years! Anyway, people have reacted as we would have expected but the reaction not being shown on the television shows that something really is fishy. Anyhow, this is what happens when the leaders are corrupt, the judicial system is flawed and justice is denied or delayed! All I am going to say is that his execution has set motives and there is something really fishy going on behind the camera!

About the Oscar winning spree, I agree that Pakistan has its problems and issues but the only issues the ‘white browns’ highlight are either women being subjected to violence, rape and are not allowed education and we have people like Chinoy, Malala and Mukhtara Mai in the global picture. We don’t see any doctors, teachers or social workers anywhere. It is weird that the women’s protection bill is being passed in Punjab where the rural population is slave to Chaudhries and Waderas and they are not allowed to get even proper education! Remember how they corrupted Hudood Ordinance bill, that the rape victim has to provide four eye witnesses and all other evidences(medical, etc.) were invalid, giving the rapist more free hand than justice to the victim! The idea is that the amendments of all these laws only provide the powerful with freedom to do anything and victim doesn’t get any justice. The laws are made for poor people only, whereas, rich are above the law! I just do not understand the fact that when we fail to change the whole system from way up to the grass roots, how can  we be able to say that passing a bill will make all tge difference!?

And people do not realize that implementing the law of Allah will make things smoother and it will give justice to everyone.

Freedom

Freedom? What is freedom? What is freedom of expression? Are these terms relative? Do they have different meaning for some people, and different for others? How do you define terms that men have made soo complicated just so that they can get whatever they want? Which definition would you want to adapt yourself to? The classic version? The modern or the Post modern version? Soo many versions of just a simple question or is it just a simple question?

Anyway, so what is obscenity? The definition again would come under heavy discussion as to what really is obscenity. The trouble with our media and our so-called liberals is that they have become so much delusional and are suffering from such critical identity crisis that they have forgotten that we do not have to exhaust ourselves into the debate of what is allowed and what is not.

Whatever that is happening today around the world and in Pakistan, it just breaks my heart. We see people around us who would talk about how we shouldn’t have law of blasphemy in Pakistan and how it is cruel and everything and it is sad that the very people would not open their lips about the cartoonists and the movie makers who think they have every right to do whatever they are doing. Such hypocrisy. Do these people think that we should remove this very law and put those blasphemous cartoons and movies on a show for the people of Pakistan( in the name of freedom of expression, of course). Instead we should have a law to put people on trial who say a word against the Holocaust, Europe has it, why not us.

It is ironic that though we live in the Post modern world, the boundaries have become more distinct when we put people into categories, specially Muslims. The fundamentalists, or the liberals and the middle section that was there some decades back, has become extinct. Whatever that is happening around us, either good or bad or in that grey area, is what is shaping us inside out. If we feel for Muslims around us,or if we don’t care what’s happening, every moment, every day, every event, everything is effecting us in so many different ways that we are either ending up becoming “the liberals” or the “fundamentalists”.

It’s been 11 years since 9/11 and since then thousands of innocent civilians, women and children have lost their lives in the name of the freedom that the US deludes itself in practicing. What kind of freedom have they provided to the people of Afghanistan, or Iraq? Freedom from this world perhaps.

 

The Avengers

What is wrong with the super hero kinda movies is that they show that the whole world is under attack, and no one else gives a damn about it except for, of course, Americans. They have the best technology, the best character and the best people and they have super heroes (people who are mutants and have super powers and are holier than the rest of the world, who only care about the well being of others and would sacrifice their lives- they don’t die though- and will save the world). Anyway, so only Americans can and will be able to take the rest of the world out of this misery and chaos and whatever. And the rest of the world looks up to them as if they are gods and are only hope.

When you read classics, you get the idea that dark skinned men are all touched by devil and it’s a white man’s burden to ‘de-calibanize” them, to teach them the way of life as the white race is the supreme and chosen race and the rest needs to be their slaves in order to be a part of the civilized world. I mean remember how Macaulay thought the Eastern Education system is all rotten and therefore, education (the English style) should be implemented in the East which resulted in the first ever department of English in Calcutta. The whole idea of making us more civilized by teaching us their literature and language as if whatever the Indians were doing before that was killing flies.

Anyway, back to where I was. So, this team of English/American people with white skin (one was black, maybe just to ensure that the film wont give rise to racist riots), will save the day! White man’s burden all over again!

The book, Umpire of Illusion, draws upon all these factors that have been fed the general population that the world needs US to solve the issues of the rest of the world. Having all the technology and warfare equipment, when they meet the enemy in the front lines, they realize how courage does not come from the movies that they have seen. And when they come face to face with reality, they get all roughed up and surpass the boundaries of humanity and ironically adopting cannibal ways, such as raping them (unarmed civilians), keeping part of their bodies as trophies, killing for no reason and not even sparing children and women when they move from town to town. And when these stories come to light, one wonders if they really are civilized and if they themselves are not right in the heads, how are they supposed to do things right for the country that they have bombed and destroyed?

As Edward Said argues in Orientalism that now the imperialists use power as the last resort, one might understand the need for the movies like The Avengers. Because these movies are watched by the educated class of the Orient and are a very good way of spreading the message of how the world will always need the Americans (superior race) for saving the world and all that crap. And since the brand culture has taken it’s roots in the East and now is a huge tree, and everything American and European is ‘the best’, even if the tag says, ‘made in china’, the brand ‘Marks and Spencer’ makes it all classy and amazing.

And by the way, I haven’t watched the movie but I bet it’s just as stupid as any other super hero movie. 😀

Words Fail Me

So now that the Norwegian Fundamentalist Christian is out in the open and has killed so many people in the name of Crusade and the fear of Muslimisation and “Pakistanization of Europe”, would anyone from the International or National media cover it the way they covered the attacks carried by Muslims? Since medressahs were blamed for the “extremist Muslim mentality”, would anyone call the churches or night schools the same? Would Christians be checked again and again and again at the airports?

Following is the link of one comedy show which has exposed the “unbiased” media of the US.
Such authentic and investigative journalism.

Why I Didn’t Want The Pakistani Team To Win

I wished and prayed with all my heart that Pakistan should win But there was this rational side of me which didn’t want the Pakistani Team to win today. And you might be wondering why… Well the answer is easy: the whole prediction business! I mean all the energy was consumed in calling all those astronomers and fortune tellers on the TV shows and the poor parrots dying because he predicted that Pakistan will win!

All I want to say is, I read this Hadeeth in Sahih Bukhari. I don’t have the book right now with me, or else I would have given the reference. When it rained before the battle of Badr, there were Muslims amoung the lines who said that such and such star appeared at such time that is why it rained, the Prophet (SAW) said that these people have committed shirk because they believed in the movements of stars as they did not say that it is Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala who sends down rain from the skies.

Many people would say that we don’t believe in such things but what is the harm in listening to all this or reading zodiac signs and stuff. The thing is when people get desperate and they cannot see a possible solution to their problems, then they fall prey to such things as these start to give them hope instead of Faith in Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala. And not only that there are people out there who easily fall prey to such things as their eimaan is not that strong, if Pakistan would have won the match, all these people would have easily switched their eimaan and that be without even knowing that it is gone.

One other thing that was shocking to me was what I saw on the recorded programs today. One was that of Jawed Chaudhry, in which he was talking to all these fortune tellers as if they hold an important position in the whole affair. I mean I had respect for him earlier but now… The second program that was quite disturbing for a person like me was “har lamha Purjosh”. The infamous Dr. Liaqat Hussain was sitting on the same panel as that of the fortune tellers. Now this is something that one can call subliminal message being passed out on to the general public. Dr. Hussain’s presence there legitimatized the fortune telling business and the astronomy for a lot of people who have weak faith. And there is a huge viewership of Dr. Hussain, to all those people who follow him blindly, this message has been passed out onto them that it is okay to follow all these predictions, and the astronomy business. These are not mere coincidences that these programs were held and these fortune- telling- people were given so much importance in recent programs and shows.

This only shows how the media is playing with the faith and eimaan of the people. I do not watch these programs, it was a mere coincidence that my husband was watching them and I sat down to see what was happening, and this is what I was shocked to see. Many of you would say that whatever, we don’t believe it and all but there are kids, youngsters watching these programs, their minds are easy to mold, so this is alarming and shouldn’t be taken lightly!

But who am I kidding? If our media was soo responsible, it wouldn’t have promoted all the bad things in our society!

Azaab-e-Ilaahi

Recent events have made me stop in my tracks and think again and prioritize again what is most important in my life! Whatever that is you see around you, you feel as if the fitna (trial and afflictions) that have been foretold in the Ahadeeth are actually happening around us! Death, suffering, calamities, lies, deceit, zulm,etc. everything as they’ve been explained more than 1430 years ago.

The plane crash, the floods, and then famine, diseases, and then people in other cities killing one another as if there isn’t enough suffering and death all around the country without the gunpowder! Plus LIES! I mean there has to be a limit for how much you can lie shamelessly! I remember writing an article few months back that media should confirm and then say something on any news that’s been brought to them. Why was there a need to say that six people are taken out alive and are injured in the plane crash?! Why is there a pack of lies on tv all the time. Then you see all those tv men going in the places of calamities and plane crashes and they just go there for reporting and not bringing about any relief to the people living there who have suffered so much! I remember tv people reaching earthquake hit areas in helicopters and were not there to provide relief but just for reporting purposes!

Anyway, forget that. Imagine a minister on tv saying that for rehabilitation of all those flood struck people, we should provide them with LOANS! hadd hai! Later they’d ask those poor people to return it with 13% interest rate? And they would sit in their air conditioned rooms and eat away all our tax money and become fat! Where are those stupid NGOs who have been funded by US to work in Pakistan, maybe they are just entertaining blackwater army in here.

Time and again Quran says that “yahood-o-nasara” can never be your friends, but the leaders of this country would go on licking their boots and bowing to them for funds and loans and then eat away all that money and put the pressure of more tax on the poor people of this country!

These natural calamities, these sufferings, these deaths that we experience everyday, they are not a test! The test we have failed! This is the harvest of what we’ve sowed for so many years! It’s time that we stop in our tracks and we prioritize our aims in life! Because we don’t have time now… These are the times that we should stick to the “Rope of Allah” or else we’ll be washed away by the trials and afflictions that have hit us so hard!

Accountability

There is a race in Pakistani media scene. Everyone wants to break the news first and channels go to the extent of claiming that it was them who broke the news first! Isn’t it strange that the media warfare has left the people of this country handicapped and mentally ill. Rather than making them more aware, they are more unaware of the situation even then consider themselves to be well informed! I’m talking about the “fake” Swat flogging video! I remember the day when the video was aired, it was Friday and since it was Friday and I had to pray after coming from university and then I went to sleep after lunch only to be awaken by an sms that said a lot of bad stuff about the flogging and the Swat administration and the people being inhumane who were doing that! Fortunately or unfortunately, I didn’t see the video till after sometime. Back at university, when N.A. and Salwa and I were sitting together, we were thinking the same thing, how can it be that no investigation had been done before the video was aired by all the TV channels. The video was repeated shown again and again and again! Anyhow, I remember posting something here regarding the video being fake! Now there are reports that it was actually fake!

Now have the tv channels, who aired the video soo much as to make the world believe that whatever that they are showing is true, repeatedly apologized to the people of this country again, and again and again for not verifying the video before airing it! “sach ki lagan”, “har khabar per nazar”, “geo aur geene do”, don’t they feel any accountability or responsibility of airing the video with so much rush as to avoid one of the most basic principles of media where one has to investigate and verify the authenticity of a news item before airing it! The leaders, political administrators and the military, everyone just jumped to conclusions without thinking for once if this is duly investigated! If there was such an incident or not?! This is what you call spreading AWARENESS or is this what you call brainwashing the people and running propaganda factories?

Propaganda factories are working yet effectively to dismantle the thinking abilities of the nation once again! Since the stupid Sania Mirza and Shoaib Malik thing has been going on, all the news channels just show that, the ministers are talking about it, the youth is taking about it. Not having a TV, my husband watches news on internet and for two weeks all we heard was about Sania and Shoaib as if there has been no other news out there. Millions of people are suffering in Pakistan, operation Raah-e-Raast, drone attacks, suicide bombs and Dr. Afia’s upcoming hearing and the final verdict, and all this so-called awareness-spreading-media could highlight was two people getting married?

This is what we have come to! No one’s going to say anything to anyone, do whatever you do and you’d go free until or unless it is in the best interest of “some” agencies or “some” people and “some” countries.  This is just like Orwell’s 1984, the masses are fed so much of this propaganda that they seem to have lost their own insight into things and they believe whatever that media wants them to believe! hadd hai!

The News

So you switch on the television and you stare at the screen, you frown and you listen to the same people everyday, telling you the same thing every day on every channel. Everyday. The same talkshows, talking about the same NRO, Kerry Lugar Bill and the same debate whether BlackWater is in Pakistan or not. The same story over and over again. The same leaders denying everything, the same party people saying that we are not involved in corruption and the same anchorpersons asking the same question. It’s like a de ja vu. The debates start, the commercials interrupt and finally it’s time to say good-bye without any result or any solid answer. The general public is frustrated, tired and disheartened. These people have driven us to our limits!

At times I wonder if media is actually spreading awareness or is it making people insensitive to all these issues.  Because to be very honest, no matter how pressing these matters are, and I know how sensitive these issues are, and I know the future of Pakistan depend upon them, I don’t want to listen to all these people talking about it.  Do you?

 

The Fort

I have been busy with other things lately and didn’t get a chance to either dwell into the politics of Pakistan for some time. But something happened last night which has forced me to write something down here. And the very image burns in my mind and has an unsettling effect on me. The future seems… BLEAK!

A lot has been written about it I am sure but surely I would want to add my contribution to it or rather have a catharsis over it here and now. Last night, we planned to go for a drive. So, landing on the other side of the Lyari Expressway, then towards Boat Basin, we came across The Fort. Well lit area, well built fort, luxury apartments, high walls… you know what I’m talking about… The New US Embassy in Karachi! There’s something really disturbing about it the very presence of this city within a city. It is not just a land grabbed by the US, it’s more than that. The high walls, the fort, the security measures, everything about it is a question that the government fails to answer. The ordinary people, do they even know what is going to happen when they actually start operating on a full scale?! Why is there a need to build a fort when they have an embassy in Islamabad and in Karachi too (near Frere Hall). Maybe the bombing near it was a sham so that they can get a better, much bigger place. Are they planning something on a bigger scale, I mean blackwater’s head office in Peshawar, right? Then an embassy in Islamabad (I’m sure they have a network of balckwater there too.) Then MQM’s own police in Karachi working with the blackwater network in Karachi. The target killings of Professors in Baluchistan. Universities being closed down. School children having ID cards which are to be checked at entrance. Suicide bombings one after another killing hundreds of people. Media and the Government has put on a perfect show of embedding in the minds of people that Taliban are terrorists. And a more perfect job at disillusioning the whole idea of Jihad. People have doubts about it now. Astaghfirullah!

Though my reading is very limited and my understanding way too limited… but everything that is happening around, nothing seems to be going in the right direction. Last Sunday or a Sunday before that, a person wrote in favour of Kerry Lugar Bill. And the points that he raised were soo childish, I doubted his mental condition. Here is the link to that letter to the editor. The person is a former Ambassador. I doubt his critical thinking ability. I even doubt his qualifications. I mean how can you even think these to be solid pointers to actually endorse it! OH! GOD! This country is in the hands of people who have such slavish mentality and thinking that they cannot even think for themselves, they not only use the language of the “colonials”, they even say what they feed to them. Are we back to the times when subcontinent was being colonized by the English?

How can one be so blind to all this. Or maybe the general public is soo engrossed in the day to day earning of bread and butter, but the representatives of these people seem to be so slavish that they fail to realise their responsibilities towards their nation, their people, to their own very soul. Those high officials themselves have sold themselves to the benefits of the West that they turn a blind eye to their own very soil and let it slowly bleed to death. It’s high time that we should wake up and not put our trust in those leaders who have not failed us just once but everytime they came to power. This is the limit. We cannot just let them drag us to hell, the limbo of being governed by the US. And I highly doubt that there’s any difference between Hitler and Obama or any other leader or a person who supports US policies.

 

A Joke…

Let me quote a joke here that was quite famous when we were kids. So here it goes…

There’s this very beautiful African deer and then it gets lost. So the policeforce of every country is called out to help. So the every police force brings forward a deer and the authorities say that it’s not the one. Then Pakistani police force brings with them a badly beaten elephant and as soon as he sees the authroities, he cries out, “mein hi woh hiran hoon.. mein hi woh hiran hoon.” (I’m that deer.. I’m that deer)

Anyway, today when I watched news on TV, it reminded me of this joke. Suddenly out of nowhere this new group emerged, a person without a face appeared with a kind of speech which appeared to be.. ahem.. I don’t know forced down his throat maybe. I don’t know, I never trusted media… nor my police force and now when agents are all over, should I be trusting a paki pakai khichri?! I don’t know.. there’s so much out there. Should I ever trust those numbers of militants and the military officers being killed that are being released by the ISPR? Give me one good reason why I should… Do they think I would believe that they are actually killing militants and not innocent people? Hell.. No!

To them our lives have become a joke. Lives of Muslims and ordinary human beings have become a joke. For them the lives of people in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and now Pakistan is nothing more than litter. They are not human anymore. But the problem in  Pakistan is that they have pulled a few strings and it’s our army against our people. Media has made a crucial role since Musharraf has given them lisence and they have, since then, played a more destructive role than a constructive one. They have twisted alot of things, just use some of the words with some of the people and hey… there you go.. one stereotype is created! So, now we have thousands of them. So… now we have moderate and extremists and liberals and whatnot. So if I wear a veil, I must be liberated! Oh for God’s Sake! wake up! what are you thinking? I’m some mastermind created because of Zia’s era?! Give me a break!

But food for thought: The person stood before camera’s today having his face covered, didn’t he seem a bit too well versed in whatever he said?!