The New World

The new government has been formed and the new setup has begun. A lot has been said and there is soo much going on and so many perspectives and soo many analysis being done everyday that one seems as if a lot will be done soon enough. Though the new government has just talked about the audit of the former government’s development projects, and still a lot of focus on the last government rather than things that will be spectacular like fireworks and wow us all. But maybe, we are expecting too much.

Anyway, what we are looking at right now is a financial crisis and I am not an expert at this; I am a lay man when it comes to financial strategies, audits, budgets and all but whatever I know doesn’t paint a good picture of the near future. I remember when Musharraf came to power and 9/11 happened, the industrialists were adamant into going with the Bush and the US because the other way round would ruin their businesses. The economic policies of Pakistan were marked by this main event too as they threatened to put sanctions if Pakistan didn’t chose a side (everyone knows how Bush said it was either ‘with us or against us’ situation). The reason I am going back to Musharraf is because since then, we have seen a very sharp decline in the industrial sector, specially the textile sector. For example, the dye industry has been eradicated from Pakistan, it has been shifted to either India or China. The garments we see in the international markets are either Indian, Bangladeshi or Chinese. Pakistani products are rarely seen in the big brands’ shop where Pakistan was a leading exporter with quality products. What Musharraf came around with has stuck to Pakistan and is still clinging on to Pakistan.  My point here is; does the new government of Pakistan know what we have lost, where are we standing, what policies the International companies have sworn us into since Mushy and how will we get out of it, where should we invest, which industry will be on the hit list(as in what will be the top priority?) and how will they go about it? These questions were not answered by the newly formed government as I was expecting so I still feel it is just talk and no work. But since the cabinet is similar to that of Mushy, we might see a facade of things being better… just my thoughts.. I might be wrong.

A lot happened during Musharraf’s era. One can not forget the Oct 8th earthquake that brought in havoc in the northern part of Pakistan. A lot of aid started pouring as soon as the rescue aid operations started. USAID and a lot of other International NGOs started working in Pakistan in the name of help to be provided to the vast mountain area that was devastated by the earthquake. A lot of aid went missing, a lot of things went unexplained. Till date we do not know on what conditions were those aid given, what sanctions were put on the economic and political front in the name of those aids. To think that the International community only gave all that money on humanitarian basis will be too naive. These questions have not been answered and have not been dealt with either by the military government nor have they been answered by the civilian governments that followed. Since the new government is plundering itself into auditing the development programs of the previous government, it is necessary to bring forward the issues, the policies, the loopholes, the man holes of the governments preceding it in order to fully know the position this country in the international scenario since US wants to quit Afghanistan as well.

The issue of the missing persons also started in the Musharraf era. Musharraf, himself has shamelessly recorded in his book, that he SOLD Pakistani men,women and children for dollars. Dr. Afia is still in US detention center and has gone through immense mental, physical and sexual abuse. This is just one case. We know Amna Janjua is still fighting to get her husband back and loads and loads of people, who have been standing there in the capital and are waiting for their loved one’s return. The matter of Dr. Afia is under Foreign Ministry but rest are unknown. Since the newly elected Prime Minister has announced that he will keep the Ministry of Internal Affairs under himself, this must be the most important issue since new cases of missing persons have come up in the last couple of months namely of Romana Hussain and Roshan bibi just on the pretext of being affiliated with Hizb-ut-tehreer. These are the cases that have come upfront,but I wonder how many cases are still under the carpet. These raise a question on the power of the government, the military and the intelligence agencies. The question here is; Why not open trials, why not open court sessions?? Why such secrecy if they are criminals??What are these Intelligence agencies so afraid of? The new government should be able to at least give one statement on this issue.

Unfortunately, the list of issues goes on and on and on. The question is, will the new government be able to answer all these questions, these core issues? Will they work on the facades or will they go deeper to tackle the core issues of this country?

Only time will tell…



Identity Crisis

When Musharraf came to power and the whole 9/11 thing happened, major changes were seen in the political, social and economic scene in Pakistan. When the US said that, ” either you are with us, or against us”, it divided the people of Pakistan. Most of them supported Afghanistan and believed that the US operation was unjust. There were statistics that said that they supported Musharraf… whatever! Anyway, during this whole crisis, his think tanks derived a formula of “sab se pehle Pakistan”, there were songs, concerts, and what not to make sure that this message was embedded in the minds of people so that they would think “Pakistan First”! It was pretty effective as people have this nationalistic mentality in Pakistan where everyone’s either a Punjabi or a Pathan or a Sindhi, or a Balochi or a Muhajir or a Pakhtoon! Proof of it is that NWFP’s name has been changed to Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, the Siraikis want another province for themselves! And it is soo sad! So, back to where I was, Musharraf was pretty much successful in making people think with his media campaigns to think about being  a Pakistani first. And because it was the period when the US coalition attacked Afghanistan, this nationalistic thought overcame all the other provincial identities.

And why am I mentioning all this?! Because we fail to prioritize our identities! There’s been a video that a friend of mine posted on her wall on FB, and the title is, “yea kin logon ki basti hai aey Khuda” by some group called Jagoo Pakistan. The group though criticizes the media responsibilities towards Dr. Afia and too much publicity to Shoaib and Sania wedding and the attitude of the government towards Dr. Afia as compared to that towards Sania Mirza.  I’d agree to the part that yes, the media hasn’t done justice to Dr. Afia but we have to see where we can draw lines. Sania  Mirza maybe Indian but she is a Muslim first. So, when you call her  the “other” or dosre ki beti, you show and you prove that the Musharraf’s “sab se pehle Pakistan” was a success! I’m not saying that I’m not a Patriot or that I don’t love Pakistan, it’s just that if it wasn’t for Islam, there wouldn’t have been a Pakistan.

Pakistan was not made to divide Muslims, but it was made to protect them, to safeguard their rights but somehow the purpose seem to have lost! We fail to realize that we are first and foremost Muslims. When people starting converting to Islam more than 1430 years ago, the Kuffar of Makkah used to say that what kind of religion is this which has put enmity between blood ties and the reply to that is in Quran that Allah has developed love between them (the Muslims) which is far greater and far stronger than that of the blood ties! The Muslim brotherhood didn’t rely on the blood ties or worldly advantages, the brotherhood and the love between them was based on their love for Allah.  They were tied together because they loved Allah and they were Muslims. When we embrace Islam, or when one comes under the fold of Islam, he/she automatically becomes a part of the Muslim community in all parts of the world. That is the beauty of it!

So when we are Muslims first, the Sania Mirza issue shouldn’t be shown like this. The media is responsible for creating such a hype about it and that maybe because the agenda on which the media conglomerates wants the real issues to subside in front of such mundane ones. Always remember, “Nothing is what it seems” specially on television. This so-called free media (I’m calling it a so-called free media because the strings are held somewhere and I know it’s not as free as they project it to be) has undermined the value of Dr. Afia’s case soo much so that the people of Pakistan don’t even know what is happening except for a few! And if this is “awareness” that they are spreading, I wonder what’s the opposite of it!

Anyway, the only thing that I want to highlight here is think of being Muslims first! These national identities were gievn to us by Allah Ta’ala so that we could recognize one another. Not because we can divide and fight. Learn from Ansars from the occasion when they gave half of EVERYTHING to their brothers from Makkah! This is our tradition. Sania Mirza married Shoaib Malik, fine, it’s a marriage! Let it go! There are far more important issues at hand that should be looked into. There are far more difficult times ahead of us, which should be thought about! How to get out of the crises that we are facing as Muslims, as Pakistanis, inside our country and outside in the international community! Look beyond the mere walls of your houses. We are Muslims, and all Muslims all over the world are tied together. Look Muslims everywhere are suffering, and we as their brothers, what can we do??? Think outside the box! Think!

We are Muslims first! Can’t we make a small contribution to the Muslim world even if it is by praying for our Muslim brothers who are in pain! We are Muslims, we are tied together for our love for Allah and His Messenger(pbuh), so stop prioritizing your national identity! We are Muslims First!

Defence Day!

Everyone around Pakistan have been celebrating Defence Day! Friends posting messages on Facebook, and sending smses that we fought like lions and tigers and won the war with a few tanks and fewer fighter jets! True! No one can deny the bravery and the imaan of those soldiers in those days. Today, I don’t know.

The recent reports of blackwater army driving through Iraq and is reported to have been involved in smuggling of weapons, child abuse and all sorts of crimes and since the “underground terrorist US army” is not over the ground, so the crimes go unregistered, unpunished! Not only that now the Blackwater army has deeply set it’s foot inside the boundaries of our own dear homeland for “security reasons”. There are reports in the newspapers that these terrorist army men assault local people in Peshawar and there is NO ONE there who can actually stop them. They move around in their big Chevy cars without number plates. Here’s one of the reports.  If you google it, a number of links would appear… go check for yourselves! I’m serious this is DISTURBING!

Mussolini’s secret police, Hitler (the abominable, the tyrant, the most racist dictator) had a secret police. So, what’s the difference between Hitler or Bush or Obama or Zardari. Don’t they seem like synonyms?! hai na? What say you?! OMG! No, they have been elected and have something to do with democracy! DEMOCRACY! MY FOOT! ( Oh Shoot! I’m losing my temper). What Democracy? The common people of Pakistan don’t know about these things, would they agree to it. No they don’t. But then we have a right to vote, we have a right to change things, but democracy is an illusion far  greater than dictatorship. Atleast one knows that dictatorship is dictatorship. Democracy is actually hypocrisy at it’s best. Anyway, Is no one concerned?! These people have western interests, some reports even call them “crusaders”. They roam around, holding guns, are not accountable for anything, any crime, any lawlessness. They are here for “security” reasons which US doesn’t want to disclose!

So are we going to sit down and watch it from the illusion of safety that we enjoy, but we don’t actually have?! Peshawar… then Islamabad, and who knows they probably are working in Karachi, Lahore and other parts of our country. Are we a country on the edge of ruin… Allah na kare. But the situation is worst than Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. They atleast know their enemies. We, on the other hand, know less and the very fact that the democracy is doing it’s “duty” is highly disturbing. To what limit would they take us? And today if we don’t want to come out of this illusion, I don’t think we have a right to call ourselves educated. The degrees we have now, we should burn them if we believe that whatever that is happening in Swat and the drone missiles won’t visit our homes. Because all of it is happening in our homes!

I’m just too disturbed right now! May Allah show us things as they are in themselves. Ameen. And save Pakistan from these anarchists that are roaming around and killing innocent people. Ameen. And may Allah save Pakistan from going towards these ruins. Ameen. It’s high time mothers of this nation wake up and do the duties that the mothers of the Muslim Ummah are assigned with. May Allah give us mothers like the mother of Mahmud Ghaznavi, Salahuddin Ayyubi. Ameen.


Shoaib : It’s the society that has made the whole atmosphere so tense. PPP does not have a strong hold in these areas so there won’t be any trouble here.

Me : I know.  But people are anxious to go home. It’s not like May 12th. Most of them are returning from offices and want to be home before anything happens.

We had a dawat at our place and maids were staying late to help us out when the news of the assassination of Benazir came. Our maids panicked and wanted to be home. So me and my brother went to drop them off. When my brother started the car, there wasn’t much gas in it and he told me that if we get stuck in a traffic jam, chances are that the gas will be used up.

So, we dropped our maid then decided to take the second route home. As there was a huge traffic jam on the shortest route home. Well, as we went for the second one, there were buses burning there and the road was blocked. So we decided to take another way home and again there was a traffic jam there. So we went for the fourth option. There was a bit of traffic jam, so my brother took the car on the service road and went ahead. The main road was blocked but we made a bit farther than the point where there was a traffic jam but the electric pole had been blocking the road there. So he made a U-turn, but as soon as we reached the point where there was a blockade on main road and the traffic was standing still , few guys came with sticks and stones in their hands and started breaking the windscreens and the windows of the car irrespective of the fact that there were people sitting inside. As we were on the service lane, we were not under the direct fire. My brother actually put his foot on the accelerator, and off we went. People coming from the other side, even their windscreens were cracked or broken. We got out from there and decided to go to our grandma’s.

My uncles managed to go home after two nights spending with us. Their kids were with them but the younger ones wanted their mum and they couldn’t go. Someone died in our neighbourhood, the dead-body was kept in the morgue and was buried two nights later. Just wonder how many people wanted to go to the hospital for emergencies. Without petrol or gas, how they must have suffered. How they must have seen their hard earned money being burned in a few seconds.

The whole city was burnt down, and no one was there to stop them. The government wasn’t allowing army to come in and take control. Let the common man suffer and let us torture them to death.

The burning and stoning and people looting banks and shops, most of them were not even the supporters of PPP. They just took advantage of the whole situation.

Or maybe I can come up with a better interpretation…

Were all these people being pushed by external forces and were waiting for one thing that can give them an opportunity to come spread terror?! Were they following some international agenda? or some national agenda?! The economic situation… the Israel’s PM calling… the Security Council calling a meeting… the list goes on. There’s more to the whole issue than just one assassination. The people who are anguished or are shocked do not have a free ticket to harm everyone’s property. It’s May 12th Revised and relaunched with better tactics, killing and destroying public property and paralysing the life of the city. Me and my brother were proved wrong when we thought that things wont go bad in the entire city but just some parts of it.

Though I pray for my country and my Ummah with all my heart and that’s the only thing that gives me hope. There’s the darkness of sin and ignorance everywhere.  

1984 and the Contemporary World

We did 1984 by George Orwell this Semester. And since exams are around the corner, me and my friends were trying to discuss some of it’s aspects. And since we have it in our Literature and Society Course, the teacher gave us the whole historical perspective of World Wars and the Communist Russia, Lenin, Stalin, Italy’s Mussolini and the Nazi Germany.

The whole Idea of the secret police,”Cheka” in Russia when Lenin was there, and then the spy police in Germany of SS and SD. The same allusions are made by George Orwell in his book when he mentions the Thought Police. How there are spies everywhere.

Then the Trade Unions were abolished in Germany and “Nazi Labour Front” was formed. And they had to give certain percentage of their wages to The Party. The whole idea of the Nazi Youth movements were formed where the kids were trained to spy on their family members. The kids were trained to be the ardent supporters of Hitler’s Germany, “working for the German Superior Race”. And we see the reflection of all this in the book. How The Party works in 1984. The Inner Party members, then the Outer Party Members, the Anti-Sex League and the kids who are spying around their parents turning them in.

And there were other allusions as well.

The Writer, George Orwell himself said the book is about the Future. And if we are to look at it from that perspective that how well was he able to give the picture of the future, we have to draw connections of 1984 with the contemporary world. And we were shocked that how well and how far was Orwell able to see beyond his times. How he was able to write such a masterpiece three years after the second world war which gave such insight to the future world.

So, drawing allusions from the contemporary world; First, The Thought Police. And the whole Idea of “big brother is watching you”. If we look at the contemporary world, it’s SO OBVIOUS that our movements are watched really closely. The satellites are there to track you down with your mobile devices or otherwise. The “Google Earth” thing was scary as we could actually locate our own home, the city and everything from there. And something like that is on Internet, just imagine how sophisticated their devices would be which are “not for the public” use. And not just that, the phone lines being tapped, the emails intercepted, and I strongly think that this post is going to be read and I’ll be watched rather more closely and if I get “vaporized”, it won’t come as a surprise!  Anyway, not only that the new things on Internet to tag you, for example, orkut, facebook, blogs and your e-mail accounts. Everything is under scrutiny. Everything’s being watched over. And the thought is pretty scary. Thought Police is more like CIA, ISI, or others.

Secondly, The Propaganda. How in 1984, there’s a whole propaganda, that we’re at war and we’ve prospered this year. We are in better conditions then the last years. And this brings us back to the whole idea of how in Pakistan, Mr. Shaukat Aziz and President Musharraf always brag about the fact that the GNP and GDP are going up. We have more foreign assets now, and people are prospering day by day! The newspapers and the media seems to be “FREE” but they are under restrictions. The media follows govt’s policies or whoever-is-in-power’s policies. Not only that, the text books in Pakistan were recently changed with the intervention of US. One of the teachers, in an interview, were heard to say that from old text books you got the impression the Pakistan was made on the ideology of Islam! And the new text books donot hold the same ideas. Not only that the picture CNN and BBC and the FOX NEWS present is not objective. They are presenting a very biased, subjective point of view to the world (Don’t feel agitated! it’s True!).

Then the allusion of the Room 101. The whole idea of people  being vaporized and tortured to their bones. And Musharraf has mentioned in his book that he has sold people to CIA. People were vaporized by our very government. Plus the horrifying discovery of the AbuGhriab prison in Iraq and Gauntanamo Bay and others that we don’t know of.

Well… though the list goes on and on, I’d like everyone to read the book and see for themselves how the “totalitarianism” of the West is killing the “proles” of the world.