Thursday, August 21, 2014

Mera Mukalma with IK supporters ( Imran Khan is Protesting and Qadri is "Revolting." Politics of Protests and Dharna )

I appreciate Imran Khan's will to fix things in the country but the way he is doing it is wrong.
A politician Protesting outside of the Parliament house with  Qadri clown in tow, when he should have been inside the parliament to bring about the change he desires. Maybe needs a lesson in how democratic Institutions function.

His association with people like Sheikh Rashid, TUQ , Jamshed Dasti and others joining his band wagon makes me wonder what kind of a change will we see?
It feels more like a personal vendetta of Khan against Nawaz Sharif because he lost the elections...and i was rooting for IK in the last elections, strangely hoping for change...

This time IK's decision to join TUQ was a political suicide and it made him lose face. He needed more people to boost his strength and he let Qadri join his crowd to show strength in numbers which he was lacking on his own.

IK has the right to protest and hold rallies but not at the expense of the Constitutional Democracy. Sharif brothers are corrupt like any other politician but then Imran Khan himself being surrounded by career lota politicians himself is a "Khula tazad" ( Contradiction )
He will fight corruption with the help of corrupt and career politicians by his side?

I understand the desire of people who are with IK supporting him because they want change and they want things to improve in the country but I think they are betting on the wrong horse ( A horse without conviction and changing colors all the time)

I hope they can see the mistakes he is making and hold his feet to the fire to keep him on track rather than blindly follow him like people follow their Pirs (TUQ)

TUQ's summoning up people is no big deal. He is their Pir and they will even die for him. They don't care about the politics or the situation in the country they chant "change and Justice" because their leader Qadri tells them to. It is a Qadri "Cult" not a group of thoughtful aware Pakistanis out on the streets wanting change and Justice.  Qadri is a Cult leader, reincarnated Politician. And we all know he flies in all the way from Canada whenever his services are needed by his Aqas to pressurize the political Govt. ( A true democrat and a "Son of Soil", which soil is questionable )

Meanwhile Nawaz Sharif looks like he has not learned from his previous mistakes ( that says a lot about his wisdom )
He feels a sense of entitlement like many other Politicians do ( you have to be a bit of a Narcissist to be a leader or a politician) Him and Shahbaz Sharif have a sense of ownership over Punjab and Punjabi electorate by re electing them have proved that.
If anyone is to be blamed for their re election it is the People of Punjab who keep giving Sharifs the mandate. (with the help of a little dhandli) But then that is always to be expected unless electoral system is reformed and Election commission of Pakistan is strengthened and given some teeth and independence. That should be the focus, if things need to be fixed. Electoral reforms. 

System should be strengthened not undermined by asking for resignation of a sitting Prime minister by mustering up a crowd of few thousand people. What kind of precedent that will set if anytime anyone is unhappy they march on the state Capital and ask a democratically elected Govt to resign because they don't like the way they are running the country???

Vote is the tool of change in a democracy. Work for fixing the electoral system and then convince people to vote for your party. If enough people agree with your message then you will win. Work on the message and wait for your turn in the next elections.

Leaders are answerable to the people. People should critique their leaders and point out the flaws in their strategy to keep them in line and make them do the right thing not follow blindly.

 Power is in people's hand and they have to point out the flaws so that they can be fixed.Hero worship and Pir worship doesn't help. Blind loyalty doesn't help either."Constructive critique" does.

Listen to everyone especially people who have a different or opposite point of view than you. You can learn from them. They can help you see the mistakes and flaws that need to be fixed. Diplomacy is the best way forward. You talk to your enemies to make peace and solve problems. That is called "Problem solving."
In the end, all Pakistanis want good of the country, they just have different ways of going about it. There are a lot of political parties but they are all Pakistani political parties. There is no "US" against "Them" ...there is just Us against Us.
You put your egos aside and talk. An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind. 
Be "Educated" awam ( education is the key ) and make your leaders listen to you.

People make or break the leaders, leaders need people to be leaders. "No followers no leader".
Leaders actually follow people, not people following leaders. They need you. They are nothing without you. Good Luck!
Power to the people! 

Monday, March 3, 2014

IDPs with Pakistani IDs ( Homeless within the homeland )

IDPs are the people with Pakistani ID cards...Pakistani citizens not allowed the freedom of movement in their own country.
If there is no freedom of movement within your own country and you are told to stay within your own province then we are 4 separate states living within one common boundary.
If this is being done for security reasons then it is the same as saying that all the people from KPK are terrorists and terrorist activities are only limited to KPK.
Yes, there are Taliban in the tribal areas but all tribals are not Taliban and not all Taliban are Pashtuns.
Was Lal Masjid in KPK? It was in the State Capital Islamabad.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammad was arrested in Rawalpindi.
Ramzi Yusuf was arrested in Islamabad.
Omar Saeed Sheikh was arrested from Lahore.
Ramzi binalshibh arrested in Karachi.
OBL was killed in Abbottabad a Garrison town because of the tip given to USA by an Afridi Pashtun doctor.
Mullah Baradar captured in Karachi.
Saeedul Islam ( Punjabi TTP deputy chief ) arrested in Karachi
So you see all terrorist activities are not limited to KPK and all terrorists don"t live there. Some do but not all. We all know of different factions of Taliban and TTP. They are known to everyone and everyone knows that the Taliban are not restricted to KPK only.
Here is a point to ponder, if Pashtuns were all Taliban and Taliban sympathizers then they wouldn't be the ones being targeted by the Taliban. KPK would be spared.
But KPK and it's people have taken the brunt of Taliban attacks. Their leaders murdered, their schools destroyed, their security shattered, their Masajids not safe anymore, economy destroyed. Why would a friend do that to a friend?
If Pashtuns were all terrorists none would be sitting in IDP camps waiting for the army to clear their areas of the presence of Taliban so that they can return to their homes and businesses which they have lost for now along with their dignity... waiting for some Govt handout to feed themselves and their families, when once they lived in their own homes and ran their own businesses and their kids went to school. They might not have been rich but they didn't beg for anyone's help. They were content in their homes and their lands living with honor. Even that has been taken from them.
If Taliban were their kith and kin then all these people would be happy that their kith and kin are ruling them. They would not be homeless in their own country. Refugees in their own homes.

When you draw distinctions and set up boundaries limiting freedom of movement then you are the one dividing the country...the one drawing the lines...making the distinction that we are not all one but divided. We are Pashtuns, Punjabis, Sindhi and Baluch and we are all Pakistanis as long as we stay in our own home territory  and are not welcome anywhere else in the country. My home is not your home. You stay in your home and i will stay in mine. You are not welcome anymore. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Two Hats


Wearing two hats..
Each one for each country that I am in.
Each one for the two people that I am.
Two people living in one.
Shifting accents, language, demeanor, gait and dress code with each hat.
Like a shape shifter...shifting shapes.
Shifting personality and attire with each shift in landscape and continent.
One way in one and another way in another.
Shifting from jeans and t-shirt to shalwar kameez and chaddar.
Changing my perpetual smile in USA to a sober look in Pakistan
Two cultures, one me.
Part of both...both a part of me.
Two in one.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Malign Malala

You (Malala haters) see her as a disgrace to the country. I see her as a pride of the country.
 We have this weird way of looking at things. Har aik cheez ko hum apni izzat aur anna ka masla bana laitay hain. Hide the truth and keep covering up the rot for the sake of appearances. Malala makes us look bad..she tells the world that we shoot girls going to schools. But it is not "we"( Pakistanis)  or do we consider the Taliban as "we"? The only people that Malala makes look bad are the Taliban. So it makes sense that the Taliban supporters and sympathizers have been making all sorts of accusations against her and trying to tarnish her image because she makes their heroes look bad, The TALIBAN. It all makes sense. 

We hide abuse in our culture to maintain a certain image. It's a matter of appearances and honour, no one cares about the reality. "Khandan ki izzat kharab ho gee." "Naak kat jaye gee!"
Women are told to endure abusive husbands and bad marriages for the sake of family image. We hide crimes like rape, incest and sexual abuse.
We have an image to maintain, so we lie and hide the rot of the society. That is what gets us in trouble...when the stink gets unbearable.
Facts are facts and by not talking about them the problem doesn't go gets worse.
" All is well" attitude, when nothing is well, is what stops us from progressing.
If we keep lying to ourselves for the sake of appearances then the problem festers and it gets worse. How can we fix anything if we fail to admit that a problem even exists?
Covering up a tumor under pretty clothes doesn't make it go away...without admitting that there is a tumor and without proper treatment it will spread and kill the patient in the end.

Malala was threatened and shot, girl's schools were blown up, even boy's schools were blown up and that is a fact.
People complain about her being the darling or even an agent of the West and they are unhappy about her address at the UN. She in her speech at UN didn't say that our country Pakistan is bad or Islam our religion is bad.
She is a Pakistani who is showing to the world that Pakistani girls care about their education and will go to any lengths to get one. That is a pretty positive image for our country.
The only people that look bad because of her message are the" Taliban"... ones who attacked her, destroyed schools, attack our security forces, attack our law enforcement personnel, blow masajid and kill innocents in their supposed war against the West... the Taliban.
I wonder if Malala haters care more about the "tarnished" image of the Taliban/ Zaliman than the victims of Taliban? Is she bringing a bad name to their heroes?
One person's freedom fighter is another person's terrorist. Your heroes (Taliban) are my terrorists and i don't care about the negative image her existence brings to the Taliban. I am glad someone has the guts to speak the truth and she is doing it.
People call her a fake and a product that her father helped create or groom.
She is a victim and a product of her circumstances...she or her father didn't manufacture a heroine.
Those who criticize her father, this what i have to say to them; Father's job is to mentor his children...and her father did his job well. He helped groom Malala into a thoughtful, confident and courageous girl.  
What is wrong with Malala promoting Girls education?
Education is an Islamic cause not a liberal cause.
Liberals didn't put a bullet in her head to make her a heroine...Taliban did.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year.

Here I am still waiting for the clock to strike 12 and the New Year to begin. All over the world people are happy and celebrating the New Year. Some have already celebrated the new year and are on the first day of 2013 and some like us are still waiting. I see all the celebrations and I wonder what is it that makes the New Year Happy? Why is the new year happy? What is happy about the new year? Nothing has changed...just the hour and the date on the calendar.
Poor people are still poor, wars are still on going, there is still inflation, global warming, food and fuel shortages and it is business as usual. If the new year was magical and if really and truly on Jan 1st things would all be better like someone waved a magic wand, then it will be a real Happy New Year.
It would be like a reset button. On every first of the year everything is fine and all is well and everyone is really happy and we the people are given one more chance. Our mistakes are forgiven, damage done by us humans is undone and we are given another chance to get things right...only then the new year will truly be a Happy New Year. A new beginning every year. If New Year is not magical and does not bring true happiness and peace in the world, then all this celebration and fake happiness doesn't make any sense. It is just another day on the calendar, only the year has changed telling you that there is one less year in your life to make things right... One less year of your stay in this world...what is happy about that?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The tsunami that turned out to be a ripple in the pond

Pakistanis want change. They are tired of the status quo and the corruption that has permeated all levels of the society. Imran Khan's popularity shows that people want change. He is a new face and an honest guy who is enthusiastic about changing Pakistan. But somehow his immense popularity among the masses fails to translate into electoral victory. People translate their desire for change through their votes. Something weird happens when they get into the voting booth...they somehow press the "repeat" button in the voting booth instead of the "change" button! Is the voting booth some magical place where you enter and reality is altered or is it simply that we don't understand what change is?
I think we want change but we want others to change we want others to bring the change for us. We forget that change starts with ourselves; it can't be imposed upon you. We all dream, but don't want to take an actual step in the right direction to make that dream come true. We go in the voting booth and forget what issues the country is facing and who is best equipped to fix them instead we remember our tribal, ethnic, regional allegiances...we vote in self interest, not in the interest of the country.
 This doesn't bode well for Imran Khan or change. Constituency politics are alive and thriving, as seen by the recent by election results in Pakistan, where all the old faces were voted back into power in Punjab. The Bhuttos and the Sharif brothers will never be dethroned in their consituencies. Ameer Muqam no matter what party he joins will always win elections in his constituency, the Sherpaos, the Hotis and the Saifullahs will always win in their constituency.
 As long as regional, ethnic and tribal loyalties take priority over loyalty to the country there is no hope of change. Because of this, things don't look too good for Imran Khan as the face of change in Pakistan. People have high expectations from him but he can't perform miracles. Even he realized the limitations of our traditional electoral system and knew he couldn't win the elections without the help of old school career politicians who are always voted in by their people. He had to play ball. So he compromised his principals and added some old faces to his party, old horses with the new brand of PTI on them. He did this out of desperation to perform well in the elections. These sell out opportunistic politicians who go to the higest bidder jumped on Imran Khan's smooth sailing PTI ship. They went on (supposedly) the winning side...they thought they will be swept into power with Imran Khan's much hyped Tsunami. But then when someone came with a higher bid to win them back they jumped the PTI ship. They probably smelled trouble and just like rats, jumped the ship before the storm hit PTI. And now the much hyped Tsunami is starting to look more and more like a ripple in the pond. 
Revolutions don't come and change doesn't come just because someone says so. I think the problem with Imran Khan is that his most urgent and firm stand is the drone attacks to the exclusion of everything else. People of Pakistan have more urgent needs and a more severe situation staring them in the eyes: no jobs, no electricity, no water, high fuel and food prices and no sense of security or justice.
 The problem of home grown terrorism, the Balochistan issue, and he sees drones as the most important issue to highlight in his campaign? What about his main platform that he had started the party for....Justice? Why not follow up on that? Because justice is what this country needs badly. Just because the Chief Justice has been reinstated, justice hasn't been served. The whole judicial system needs an overhaul. People should be provided swift justice and no one should be above the law; that will solve a lot of Pakistan's problems. A little accountability goes a long way. As long as people feel above the law and as long as justice can be bought, no matter how many laws you put on the books and no matter how many revolutions you start nothing will change. We don't need any new kind of government or revolution and we wouldn’t need any interim government if there was accountability.
  The same old politicians, bureaucrats, judges and other leaders will have to do their job honestly if they know that they will be held accountable for their actions. People can keep voting in their family, tribesmen and bradri people but then those people will have to work honestly for fear of accountability. That is one way to bring about the change we are all dreaming of and hoping for. Provide justice for all and things will slowly start falling into place. And people will be forced to change.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

That is when people come out in the streets.

When do people come out in the streets? When people have nothing left to lose and they have even lost all hope, is the day the people come out on the streets. Then only anger remains and they want to correct all the injustices done to them. Sub ko uss din say darna chaheyae.(Everyone should be afraid of that day).
 I hope that the anger is channeled sensibly and does not lead to further chaos and breakdown of the society. The poor man has been squeezed enough in Pakistan; middle class has been squeezed into lower middle class and lower middle class into poverty. The rich keep getting richer and the poor poorer. It is such a paradox...the very rich people of a poor country. The people are rich and the country is poor? I wonder how so?  The rich and influential will have to watch their backs, the people are coming. The day they can't even buy bread, like it happened in Egypt, revolution will come.
But in our country the situation is very confusing, the people are confused. It is a total "khichri" of things. Too many actors and too many players are confusing the picture on the ground for the ordinary people. Manufactured revolutions being thrown at the people as if they are the real deal. The pseudo revolution manufactured by the establishment itself, using faith as the salable goods, against the political system (democracy) in which thousands have already lost lives. Misguided and misfiring for the reason that it is not a true movement of the people by the people themselves but because they are being used as pawns in the bigger games of thrones. The pawns think they are their own masters...forgetting that they are just pawns in chess masters hands.
There are plots and subplots in the unfolding drama in Pakistan.  The rich and influential are fleecing the country and see nothing wrong with it. This is the land of might is right and the day the poor rise and become the mighty and snatch their rights from the few Rich and powerful will be the day Pakistan truly becomes "Pak"istan. It is "na" Pakistan right now. Pakistan is the Precious Pretty bride over which all the suitors are fighting without asking the poor bride what she wants. The parents of the bride making the wrong decisions for her...let the bride speak please.