Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Aurat aik Insaan, na kay aik Rishta ya Muqam

Someone said to me, "Hamaray Mushray mein aurat ka aik muqam hai, woh maa hai, woh behan hai aur woh beti hai"....un say "Insaan" bhool gaya.
Aurat kiya Insaan bhi hai bazat e khud, ya uss ki pehchan sirf auroun say hai? 
Aurat majboor hai hamaray mushray mein, in rishtoun ki ghulami ki zanjeeroun ki wajah say. 
Behan bhai ki ghulam, Biwi shauhar ki ghulam, beti baap ki ghulam...jis ka jo dil chahyae waisay uss par hukam chalayae in rishtoun kay naam par. Ye muqadas rishtay hain jin ko mard, aurat ko majboor karnay kay liyae istemal karta hai, izzat aur ghairat kay naam par. 
 Aurat ka aik "muqam" hai...ghar kay decoration piece wala. Brainless, brain dead, jahan mard nay chaha uss muqam par rakh diya... Kabhi sar ka taj, aur kabhi paoun ki jooti. Aksar paoun ki jooti jo apni zindagi ka koi faisla khud nahin kar sakti kiyoun kay woh bazat e khud aik Insan nahin hai, aik rishta hai ( maa, behan, biwi, beti) jis ki zindagi ka har faisla uss kay mohtram rishtadar uss kay liyae kartay hain, kabhi bhai ya baap ki soorat mein ya phir shohar ki soorat mein. Jaisay aik mard insan hai waisay hee aurat bhi aik insan hai, jo aik damgh bhi rakhti hai, aur ehsasat bhi. Hamaray mushray kay rasm o rasoom ki wajah say woh apni zaat ko dafna kar aik mard ki ghulami qabool karti hai, kiyoun kay uss ka wajood sirf ye rishtay hain...she is nothing more then these relationships. ..she is not a person. We talk about aurat ka "muqam" what about her God given "haqooq?"How many women get their God given right to inheritance in our society which wants to put a woman in a "Place" a "muqam?"Give her breathing "space" a space to grow, not restrict her horizons by locking her up in the house, treating her like an invalid brainless moron, in the name of giving her a mohtaram muqam which is very rarely the case in our society any way. Aurat is a gali (curse word) in our culture. When men want to put someone down they call another man a "Woman/lady/ Aurat"  or say, "sa khazay pa shan tay karouna kaway?"  They even say, "stop being a sissy." All curse words have something to do with a woman. Maa, began ki galiyan dena hamara dastur hai.
 That sums it all up pretty nicely..."Aurat ka Muqam"

Monday, December 22, 2014

Food for thought

The pro Taliban apologists are at it flooding the social media as usual with videos and edited photos trying to justify Army Public School massacre and tragedy. Coming up with conspiracy theories.
What a shame!
Deflection and propaganda is in full swing.
"This can't be Musalman, foreigners are behind it, foreigners dresssed as Pakistanis". "This is an attempt to make Taliban look bad!" Really!
Instead of focusing on the victims they are finding excuses for Taliban's murderous actions. 
If this tragedy doesn't shake some sense into our heads then we are truly a dead and doomed nation. Nobody else is responsible for our downfall but us. We are our own worst enemy...looking for short cut to heaven and trying to find nirvana through some twisted ideology. A eutopian Islamic society where all will be well... you are thinking of heaven my friends. ..this is earth.
There are good social welfare and just societies on this planet but none of them is in an Islamic country, they are all Secular states, where we all run for refuge when things go wrong in our countries.
I wonder how those countries achieved that peace and prosperity? Seperation of Church and state and freedom of religion. People can practice their faith without fear of persecution in those countries. Yes, everything is not perfect there, but people can raise their children and live in peace. 
"If only there was Islami Hakoumat all will be well" , is the mantra that I hear from Pakistanis ..that is the dream the nation has been dreaming. As if just by implementing strict Islamic laws somehow all of the problems that Pakistan faces will vanish by magic! Poof! Gone!
Not so. Sorry to break it to you but you are all living in a fools paradise high on the LSD of Wahabism. Strict Islamic laws didn't change the morality of the Arabs, or did it? Unless your moral compass is right, unless you become good human beings, no law will fix anything.
Change comes from within. Morality and values have to change at an individual level to see a change in the society as a whole. There are no short cuts, plain old honest and sincere hard work that makes nations great. Honesty my friends is still the best policy. Be honest to yourselves, be honest in your dealings and live and let live. Speak the truth, call a killer a killer and a victim victim. Don't twist facts to fit your own narrative. Don't lie to yourself and others.
Right is right and wrong is wrong.
Killing unarmed human beings no matter how Holy your cause is wrong and unacceptable.
Violent ideologies usually meet a violent end.
Hopefully Talibanization's end is near....maybe.........?

Tunnel Vision

The world has become a Global village. It is more interconnected then ever, thanks to internet, social media and telecommunications revolution. 
More and more students travel abroad for higher education and specialized training in their fields. We interface with more people from different religious, social and cultural backgrounds. What happens in one part of the world has repercussions in the rest of the world too. 
Keeping that Multicultural and Multiethnic and interconnected World in view, look at what KPK Govt is doing to the school's curriculum . They are reverting it back to the older version (2002) and taking any references to other religions or cultures out of the text books. They are  removing chapters about Raja Dahir, Ranjit Singh and any symbolism or symbols of religions other then Islam. 
People of other religions live in Pakistan even if it is a Muslim majority country and they are also Pakistani citizens. Do they have any rights in Pakistan? People of religions other then Islam inhabit the globe. Shouldn't our children be aware and educated about those religions and cultures as well, considering that we live in a global village?
Instead of looking forward and moving forward we are reverting back to an older curriculum on the behest of Jamat e Islami. Why does JI being a minority in the Provincial Government get to impose it's will and agenda on the majority? Since it's inception the JI has been trying to bring about an "Islamic Revolution' and their version of "Islami hakoumat."  In order to do that they need to cultivate a certain mind set among the supple minded youth of Pakistan and for that they have always been trying to dictate what needs to be taught in the school. Even now they are taking advantage of the precarious position of PTI Govt which needs JI to stay in power and are railroading their agenda through. 
Previous provincial Govt of ANP tried to bring the schools' s curriculum up to date and tried to get rid of the Jihadi propaganda  from the school books that was incorporated in 2002 to create a mindset in the be more accepting of the Militaristic Jihadi ideology promoted during those days and to have a crop of willing partners and indoctrinated kids as fodder for the Jihadi movement. 
Pakistan is still harvesting the crop of that poisonous ideology of sectarianism, violence in the name of religion, intolernce and bigotry. Recent incident of murder of a young Christian couple by a bigoted closed minded racist mob is an example of what happens when you preach intolerance and don't teach tolerance and co existence. When you teach them only one way and that their way is the right way and everyone and everything else is wrong, you are creating "US" and the "OTHER". You are drawing lines and divisions...You are painting a black and white picture of the world, when that is not so...there are shades of grey.  
When we make omissions in history we are not giving them a complete and honest picture of the facts...then we are cheating our kids and we are lying to them, we are teaching them lies. People learn lessons from history but when the history is distorted then we don't get to learn any real lessons from history and that is why we end up making mistakes. In todays world our children need to have a multifaceted broad based education. They need to be educated about the rest of the world's cultures, history and religion. We need children and youth having the ability of critical thinking. And we need strong human beings that are able to make good choices. If we don't give them options how will they learn to make choices and life is all about making the right choices. When we restrict their education we are limiting their horizon and their ability to think.
Our culture cultivates obedience. We never encourage our children to ask questions. We order them and accept them to obey. We are afraid of them thinking for themselves as they might challenge the authority. ( That might be parents, teachers or a Mullah) 
We are afraid to learn about other faiths and cultures for fear that it might affect our faith. We feel that if we teach the kids all inclusive history they will rebel against their culture and their religion...but strong people are the ones who when offered choices are still able to make the right choice. Strong faith is when there is sin all around you and yet you refuse to sin. Faith is when you are surrounded by people of other faiths yet you still stick to your own. 
If we want to have good educated citizens we need to give them the skills of critical thinking. And critical thinking comes with the ability to critique and that comes with choices. When we just teach them one thing to the exclusion of everything else we are handicapping our kids.  We give them TUNNEL vision not BROAD HORIZONS.
 We want them to see and understand only one thing, our ideology and our way of thinking. That is indoctrination, not an education. These kids will struggle to understand the real world. They are ill equipped and handicapped to deal with a multicultural, multiethnic world with diversity of political and religious thought. It is better to expose our children to multiculturalism while they are studying in schools. That way when they face the real world they know how to navigate that world and be able to better engage with the rest of the world.  We need to equip them to be successful engaged global citizens by educating them about other cultures, religions and world history. 
 We can't build walls around us and live in isolation in this ever inter connected world even if we wanted to.
Selective, narrow education not broad based all inclusive education will produce narrow minded bigoted people. 
A smart nation is an educated nation. We need critical thinkers not followers who are good at rote and nothing else. Our education system is producing pen pushing clerks not visionaries. No wonder there is dearth of good leadership in Pakistan. 
We fear that ability to think might lead to challenging of status quo, undermining authority and change... some people can't have that.  They want followers who obey orders of Imam and Amir, not ones who question. But by doing so they are cutting their own roots and handicapping themselves because in the end there will be no leaders or visionaries or thinkers coming out of this narrow minded limited propaganda that we call an education. That is not good for anyone and not good for the country. We need a progressive all inclusive syllabus. 
We spoon feed our youth, we don't let them think for themselves and when faced with choices in real life they involute or get confused and go astray. They look for help from an elder, a leader, a hero or a master. They wait to be led, they don't know how to problem solve and they don't know how to take their destiny in their own hands. They don't know how to take initiative because we didn't give them that ability...we made them obedient followers not leaders.
Do we want to produce leaders or followers, do we want to produce visionaries or pen pushing clerks? The choice is ours and it all depends on how we educate our kids.  Our children need broad horizons not tunnel vision.

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.