Friday, December 4, 2009

Parade Lane attack (Rawalpindi Saddar)

Yet another brazen, well coordinated attack from militants. This time it is Friday and it is a masjid inside one of the most secure compounds in the country. Or so Pakistan Army thought before today's juma prayers. Attack leaves atleast 40 dead. Army's Major General, who usually is off limits to all civilians, is among the dead. So are others. Army is stunned so is our comical, useless security guru, Rehman Malik. All day TV anchors have had almost nothing to say besides replaying four photographs from inside the unfortunate masjid. However, there was one telling interview of the key eyewitness, a man who himself was once in Military Police, about what could have happened. He told the TV anchor of Dawn TV that he thinks militants might have put ladders on the wall and jumped in. That is quite possible and explains our lack of all preparation. Consistently, militants have played havoc on the streets of Rawalpindi and Peshawar destroying any semblance of governance in these two cities, putting everyone's life in complete danger and helping collapse Pakistan's economy.

I cannot say whether militants are being backed by Indian RAW or Blackwater agency, who now openly operates across Pakistan from American Embassy in Islamabad. (They also seems to be building a permanent residence at Karachi.) We cannot be sure who is behind such a mess so we almost always end up blaming President Zia and the mullahs of Jamat-e-Islami. But we seems to have no proof. And our ISI, now deranged and thrown like a football, looks itself in a bit of a mess. They cannot, for example, find a single culprit or connect the chain of suicide blasts which have killed over 3000 Pakistanis in one year alone. We have never heard of a major action being taken against these perpetrators of crime. If there has been a certain, targeted action then we must know. Unfortunately, fiddly Interior Minister, has failed us. Army Chief is quiet as always; Zardari remains holed up in his Presidential House. He cannot care less than that. How sick of our rulers. Here, people die on daily basis and the only thing our worthy President can do is dole out a silly blurb in media.

But now that 6 Serving Officers have died in broad daylight, which was not a simple suicide bomb blast but cold blooded murder of women, children and men, Army is likely to take certain measures. I am hoping that they won't stop their men from praying but certainly this marks the certain closure of beautiful Cantonment mosques across Pakistan for general public. And that's the sad side of safety measures. You close contact between the haves and the have nots. Certainly, whoever planned this attack knew too well that army men would be present along with their wives and children in the mosque. There is certainly someone from inside who has been giving key information to terrorists who struck today. So, the key point for investigators would be to investigate people who've been frequenting this masjid since last 15 days or so. I think that holds the key to the attackers as well as to the planners.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

How to stop illegal CNIC users in SIMS

Recently PTA has announced albeit secretly that any mobile user in Pakistan who wishes to know whether anyone is illegally using his CNIC number for any un-authorized SIM can message 668 his complete CNIC and receive message.


If your CNIC number is Xa-XXXXXXX-bX and your mobile number is 0300-9200000 and if you wish to confirm whether anyone is using SIM on your CNIC simply type the following:

TO : 668
Message : XaXXXXXXXbx [type your CNIC without any dash instead of this code].

You will recieve message from PTA about the various Mobile SIMS using your ID illegally, if any. For example, I received the following message:


Which means there are 7 TELENOR numbers using my CNIC illegally. And there are 4 WARID Numbers doing the same. But 2 and not 3 MOBILINK numbers doing the same [as one number is my own].

It is my humble request that without wasting any further time, please use this facility and stop people from using your CNIC illegally.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Britney as Jamila: Afghan elections goes awry

Funniest thing to have happened in a week is this: One Afghan election card has a photograph of a blond Britney Spears next to a name which says 'Jamila', a fairly common Muslim name. If it had been James Bond as Muala Buksh or Beckham as Barish Khan, it could have been missed by a lot of men at Afghan polling station. But to make Britney into Jamila is taking things to far. And I am not sure if Britney really enjoyed that sort of name changing and even nationality changing.

Such picture, though being hilarious, nevertheless proves beyond doubt that Afghan polls are total sham. And USA, of all the countries, wishes to save its face on Afghan democracy reforms. I am not sure who will win - one which is supported by USA will win - but whoever does will have to face lots of criticism over the conduct of this elections - and probably lot of Britneys as nightmare.

I hope, for once in a century, rigging at Afghan polls are not connected to Pakistan or its intelligence agency, ISI. Pakistan has been a kicking bag for much of American media. And Indians have ridden the wagon on and off. I am yet to hear someone suggest that Pakistan may be involved. It is good news so far. And we hope it remains as such.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Gojra violence

Gojra violence is the newest touted phenomenon across world media. And once again Pakistan is the key to it all. No matter how many Muslims and their kids are burnt alive by the blood-thirsty Ultra-Jewish Israelis, all incidents related to Pakistan make it to the world headlines. And no wonder this violent episode will remain on world debate for quite sometime. It will be used by all and sundry as one more reason why Pakistan should disintegrate; a good reason why Pakistan has to be called a failed state [sic].

According to wikipedia, 'Gojra (Punjabi, Urdu: گوجرہ), the capital of Gojra Tehsil, is a city of Toba Tek Singh District in the Punjab province of Pakistan[1], it is located at 33°16'60N 73°20'60E[2] and is located 30 miles (50 km) from Faisalabad,.. ' So you know, if you happen to be a fan of Saadat Hassan Manto that Toba Tek Singh is and has been part of violent, mentally short circuit culture of many parts of our region, specially that of South Punjab. I was, therefore, not surprised to hear from Dawn's analysis in monthly Herald that many of the most cultivated terrorists of Pakistan are actually coming down from Southern Punjab region including nearby Jhang. Further, it should not surprise any that the violence which killed 7 Christians in Gojra this Sunday was perpetuated by the men from Jhang and that it was supported at Police level. And considering the recent reports about an imminent operation in South Punjab by Pakistan Army [Punjabi-led Army higher ups are concerned about the fall out of this war zone] we know for certain that ISI officials must have known this mischievous act in the making. They did nothing speaks for itself about the quality of men we now have at all official levels: Army, Intelligence, Police and Ministers.

Damage has been done and now Shahbaz Sharif, who himself supports hardliner Wahabis and Jihadis, has ordered an inquiry. What for? Why did he and his minnows not stop the violence when it was perpetuated in broad daylight? Why O Why dear Minister? And no answers from his office or any such office are forthcoming. That itself is sad and speaks for all of us.

For me it goes to another level. For 11 long years, from Class 1 till completion of my O' Levels [Year 1999 Batch] I studied at one of the premier schools of the city, St. Michael's Convent School. It disturbs me no less that the Christians with whom I studied and who were well behaved would be treated in such a brazen, horrific manner. It is hopeless to note that certain elements within our country would want to destroy such a peaceful bunch of men and women. And more so to note that such elements operate with immunity across the country. They burn everything; they kill everyone. For them Islam and Prophet are but a step towards their own nefarious goal achievement strategy.

This incident, and the past incidents involving minorities in the country, clearly shows our apathy towards other faiths, towards other human beings. This incident would no doubt put a question mark over many Christians' minds. They have been inevitably forced to rethink their loyalty to Pakistan. It being August, month of our freedom, government should at all costs bring to gallows the men involved in this heinous crime. Instead of giving sweeping and long statements by ministers, we need to ask why this crime was done. And who did it.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Supreme Court asks Musharraf to defend himself

Supreme Court, in not-so surprise move, has asked Musharraf to answer as to why did he kicked out 60 judges when emergency was declared in the country during his final stint as Pakistan's top ruler.

Musharraf is presently in England afraid that his coming back would seriously compromise his security. But now, as SC calls him, he has to come and defend his decisions. What a turn around from the day Musharraf called on Chief Justice, Chaudry Iftikhar, and ordered him out after a marathon 5 hour closed door meeting. Chaudry fought back and was eventually reinstated. Now, once again, he is the CJ of Pakistan's top court and now, as fate would have it, Musharraf will stand trial. And if he cannot answer properly - and Pakistan's military chief, General Ashfaque Kiyani has indicated that army won't interfere - Musharraf will have to face the music.

But my question is: Why is he not being charged for murdering hundreds of Lal Masjid students? Why is he not being charged for not improving electric capabilities of the country? Why is he not being charged for covertly supporting militants across Swat valley who are now being eliminated? When Musharraf, the all-powerful two in one leader, could have done a lot he did not. Why?

We need answers from Musharraf. But we also need to ask Supreme Court's demanding answers for only one crime. Why bigger, more horrible, crimes are being over-looked?

Answers, not reasons.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

KESC takeover by Govt. of Pakistan?

KESC has been issued a show-cause notice by the government for being lazy in providing electricity to the consumers, you and I and everyone in between. That much was expected from the lame duck government, which we have, on our heads and on our country.

KESC has been doing nothing, except for giving statements, regarding the power shortages across the city. It has all the reasons in the world when load shedding occurs for, say, 19 hours on the run. Even when 80% of the city was black out this rain fall KESC told us that it was due to tripping of transformers and disconnection with the national grid. All science to me!

Now what if President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, takes over the management of KESC from the private sector. What will be the change? Will KESC deliver better goods. We have all seen that KESC has gotten worse in the time of Musharraf, darling of the West and of our continuously-fighting army. We saw, to our collective horror, privatization of a public utility. We chided it for being naive and very un-courteous. We expected Musharraf to take back his decision. But he was money-hungry, like most army generals are. So he sold KESC to someone who had no experience running such a huge utility firm. Sorry and sad.

Now, President of Pakistan, by issuing a notice to KESC has already warned it of dire consequences. [And that may have come due to persistent rioting by many citizens of Karachi]. Let us see, with crossed fingers and double crossed hope that KESC does something better. But can it do anything better when the people running it are of the same lot who ran it before privatization? Can a utility do miracles without the proper auditing of its reports and with all the Kundas we see everyday. I am not sure.

Before Zardari takes action against KESC he must ensure that there is not a single home or an office or a factory which is being run on Kunda system. There is not a single bill which is not paid. If Zardari and his minnows can do that, they have all the right in the world to take action against the utility including the reversing of privatization of the firm. Otherwise, morally speaking, Zardari should stick to his government.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Killer rains and the joy of water

According to Pakistan Met office official website, lot of rain fell on the city yesterday and today. It reported that around 85mm of it fell across many parts of Pakistan on Saturday. And today it says that some parts of the city received 205mm. Reports from BBC state that around 26 people died as a direct consequence of such heavy monsoonal rains. And the facts go on.

I cannot blame the government for doing nothing to save those precious lives. I cannot blame the common public, I and you, for doing nothing except for complaining to KESC for prolonged load shedding (a term which does not properly define what it does to its consumers time and again). I cannot blame anyone. We are so enamored by what has been happening across much of Karachi that we've become sort of aliens to our own surroundings. No more does the death of 26 people bring us to streets. Although when electricity goes out for 10 hours we do smash windows and abuse KESC, even if we don't pay our electric bills on time. We are so self-loving, self pleasure seeking that a larger, national interest to us means nothing. How sad that beautiful rains, which happened yesterday and today, should bring this in sharp focus: Our bad qualities, our absolute low morals.

We are so bad, rains are so good.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I love indecent , provocative and ill-motivated SMS

I love smooching and indecency, etc. But I am too afraid of the draconian laws of the good government of Pakistan [whatever that means; sorry for indecency!].

I don't understand this democratic setup of our govt. They cannot just stand the funny jokes, made in good measure, against our good president of the very good country. Who are these people who have just got out this order of 14 years of prison for a person who dares to send out the jokes against very good men of our times, Zardari Sahib and his play mates, the PM, the FM, the CM, and all others. What will our govt. achieve by all this non-sense [am I being indecent here???]

One thing is for sure. If you add some taxes per SMS and if you delete the jokes on Zardari, then you've got the problem. At least if you are part of Mobilink or Warid network. Your business greatly suffers. And our collective sense of humour, even it is on a morbid side of things, suffers a lot. Already we are suffering lot of fools around us. And the mullahs. And the terrorists. And all other whacky kids from Afghanistan, India, Russia, USA, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

But Mr. Zardari, who must have helped in bringing this law to life, should be happy. I have not received, for a very long time now, any jokes on Zardari.

Long Live Zardari, the good President of a very bed-ridden and sick country. [Is this, my Lord, indecent, provocative and ill-motivated?]. Sirs, please answer.

Friday, July 10, 2009

CJ and other people

CJ of Pakistan, Iftikhar bhai phero, is now wanting to earn millions and trillions of money. So says the un-confirmed and un-known report. What else explains this exclusively stupid initiative of stopping the carbon tax on petrol and other products for one day and then getting over the next?

What is CJ suggesting? He seems a lame duck to me now. No proper decision making has come out from him or his office recently, a sad reminder how judiciary work in the country.

For further references, please note that all the murderers and rapists are roaming free. Historical structures are being damaged by the ministries. Corruption is rampant. And no cases against Zardari are being presently heard. Is this is what we Pakistanis wanted from CJ, for whom we did everything. We, the public and not Zardari and Co., restored him to his present status. Otherwise the lawyer's movement would have failed miserably.

And yes, CJ has taken no notice of the workings of KESC and our Education ministry.

Long Live Pakistan Long Dead Rule of Law!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rains in Karachi

Rains in Karachi bring joy and a level of happiness that is not readily available to majority of us on daily basis. Rains, if they are heavy, bring shutters down, people on the roads; street urchins go dancing on the beach. And most of us go down - or above - to wash ourselves.

Our elders tell us that first rains must be avoided at all costs. But what if the first major rains comes after a gap of say 11 months? Can the rain-starved Karachi wallas avoid rains at all, first or last? NO.

And rains - hopefully & Inshallah - will bring more business to me!

Cheeky Choo.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I am happy, I am happy

I am happy, a term one heard last night when celebrations erupted across Pakistan and everywhere else where Pakistan damned Sri Lanka to 8 wicket victory. It was the match to behold, and as everyone had predicted, KESC dared not switch off electricity or else...

The celebrations were phenomenal, keeping in mind the grim situation Pakistan has been facing since the loss of Benazir Bhutto. Even the ever-joyed President was over-joyed and hastily announced Rs. 1 Million cash rewards for Afridi and Yonus Khan.

I have never been a fan of Pakistani cricket ever since my favs Inzi, Wasim Akram, Saeed Anwar and Waqar Yonus retired from the scene. Their absence have made all the difference. But now, with this increasingly important victory, Pakistan looks right back on the track. And with the future inclusions of Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Yousuf, Pakistan will be a formidable team in world Cricket - INSHALLAH & GOD WILLING.

Yesterday, I was with my school friend, Habib Effendi, at his posh home at Defence phase 2. We are around 12 there and we sat chattering over glasses of water and later boryani and yummy korma salan and discussed the merits and demirits of sending Afridi in after our opener was out the old fashioned way.

We were all wrong about Afridi, to be honest.

He did what many good players often fail to do in the finals. He smashed Sri Lankans when there was the need to. He did not play rashly. He did not do anything to earn curse. He impressed the goras and the Kallas. And he just smashed a sixer when it was most needed. And then he scored the final run - from his legs.

The celebrations were so brilliant that when I left Habib's home at 2:30 night [the match had finished around 11:12 PM] there were still shezores and trucks and suzukis full of people shouting 'Pakistan Zindabad'.

I am not so sure if I was so happy on my wedding day as I was yesterday. This happiness is not personal, like my wedding on 20th March; it is national. And it affects us all. Our team has made us happy. And we are once again proud to be Pakistanis.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

IDP and our war

Now that world has realized, after much delay and haggling, that Pakistan has the largest concentration of displaced men and women, people who have left their cities and towns to save their lives due to a war which remains suspect.

Pakistani govt. led by former Army General could not see the outcome of supporting Taliban in one area and kicking them in another. Talibans were allowed not only a peaceful valley in the form of Swat for their recreation, religion and war, they were also allowed a name, Pakistani Taliban, to make them look good. And they looked good to hell lot of people called Pakistanis some 8 months ago.

Fortunately, some horrible videos of woman being beaten in public, men being slaughtered in Swat [some version suggest that they were FC men] forced Pakistani Army to take notice of the entire situation. Then came Pakistanis.

This is the first time, besides last war, that Pakistanis of all shades have come together to support military operation in Swat. Let us see what happens next.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Textile Institute of Pakistan [TIP]

I got a chance to visit TIP this Sunday with my wife, sister and two friends. It was a chance exhibition for me and I was invited there by someone called Hina Imtiaz (who by the way happens to be quite a creative soul).

I went there only to find a lonely set of guards and nothing else. The entire university / institute was closed and no cars or men or women were to be seen. Sure enough Hina wasn't making me any fool out there in the wilderness under the scorching sun of summer. And sure enough I hadn't got it all wrong.

After a few phone calls we finally got access to the cafe where the exhibition was being held. It was my first ever trip to TIP and I found the place pretty much as I had expected. It had vast space, a pond around there, huge parking area, and curvy road leading to the educational institute. By the standards of our meek University, TIP looked far better and far bigger.

Only 15 students had their works displayed out there. Some works were really excellent; others just time pass. And there was one work, something done on Lollywood, which I would like to thrash out of this world. I could not understand either the girl who had done it nor the work itself. It was neither good nor bad. It was ridiculous. I remember it because it was ridiculous.

But I really liked Hina's work although I was seriously disturbed by her lack of something known as responsibility. She had emailed me about the event and again emailed me that I should come along withe friends. But off course she was not there but I could see that her work was brilliant. She had done a theme on Karachi and KESC had been rightly kicked off on the butts. It deserves to be. And Hina had done her job well. I would like to receive some part of her work as a gift, if not as a compensation for not being there.

Another work which I really loved was done by some Parsi girl. She had got her Nani's radio from the 1960s era and made an entire theme around it. It was done nicely and I commented to her, through her notes diary, that it was something very difficult and that she had done a remarkable job.

Another good work was on jewelery making; the theme was very complex. But again the girl had done it nicely.

Full points to TIP for bringing up such nice students. But I would really like to kick that Lollywood work out of this world!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Of Pirs and Hobbies

Recently, while searching for some item at, I came across a very self-centered website of an incredibly self-centered political and religious leader, Pir Pagara.

His personal website,, displays his hobbies in no nonsense terms. It states, under the grand title: []


* Pir Sahib is very fond of Hunting some areas as Awadh is reserved for.

* Pir Sahib hunting where no body else is allowed to hunt.

* Pir Sahib is very fond of horses and horse racings. He has many horses of high breed, which often win the races Karachi race club has been restored only with Pir Sahib's efforts.

* Forecasting is also hobby of Pir Sahib. His Political forecast often comes true.

No wonder than that most of the Pakistanis, under such Pirs and Faqeers, remain illiterate and highly charged, senseless people. No wonder that Pakistan today finds itself under immense pressure from all fronts. When our so-called great leaders have over the head hobbies such as stated above, Pakistanis can safely go to the doldrums.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dost ki nani and other ideas...

I attended funeral rites of my friend's nani yesterday at around 10:20pm near Airport and following happened:

1) Not even half of the men attending the funeral wore their caps. That's strange and new for me.

2) Most of the closest relatives of Nani wore trousers and shirts rather than the traditional shalwar kameez. Many wore T-shirts and it gave an impression that many were there to show people that they were there and not for any religious purpose, whatsoever.

3) During funeral, many people were just either talking with each other or attending to their mobile phones. No one cared for the rites and no one really asked them to shut off the mobile. Such are the Muslims of our times!

4) When finally, after much hankering, time came to lower the body into the grave not even one person knew exactly how to do it. No one really was sure where should the cloth be placed below the dead body. I was appalled at my own lack of knowledge.

5) Atleast Atif bhai, cousin of Uzair, knew that one should not wear any sandals or shoes while inside the grave.

6) Every second person was either standing on someone else's grave or jumping over them, citing lack of space available. I have always found this in bad taste. For instance, how would you feel about the person standing on your mother's grave? Ask this question and wait for a tight slap.

7) No one really bothered to give any azan after the rites and the prayers have been said.

8) No one, save one person, knew that while reciting the first Sura of Al-Bakra, one must point his finger towards the head of the deceased.

And then we say we are good Muslims!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bloggers' conference and our worthy Government

It is not at all surprising that Govt. of Sindh is holding a Blogger's conference at a local hotel this weekend. Not surprising in a sense that government, any government that is, knows well that Blogging is perhaps not accountable nor stoppable. It runs across computers, across borders, and without much hassle. And blogging has, since its birth, embarrassed quite a few famous men and women.

But my question is (as a politically inclined blogger) that, 'can we expect any semblance of support from a government which continues to hunt down honest men and women, and which considers freedom loving journalists as enemy combatants'?

I personally think that this conference has been arranged to see the real number of bloggers present in Karachi. Our ministry of information would like to meet some friendly bloggers along the way.

I also imagine myself - and other bloggers - sitting next to ISI and MI agents during the conference.

Good Lord!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Murdering Baluchistan

Baluchistan, since its emergence as a Pakistani state, has been in the think of things. It has been bombed, its people have been tortured and killed; and its chiefs have dis-allowed any semblance of civilization to its people. Baluchistan remains Pakistan's backyard with all the dirt and the garbage of Punjab and its other elite classes, the Military and the civil bureaucracy (most of which happens to be from Punjab as well).

No wonder then whenever something happens in Baluchistan Punjab gets the finger. So it should be. Except for Bhutto's indiscriminate killing of Baluchis during 1970's, most of the happenings in Baluchistan have come via Punjab.

For one, the strange reasons about not building any number of small dams in Baluchistan are too well unknown. So is the habit of federal government of not promoting any sort of tourism inside the province. And when it comes to share distribution, once again Punjab takes the major cake. The cake which should preferably go to Baluchistan considering its vast mineral and petroleum wealth.

Such grievances gets an air when leaders of this province are kidnapped and murdered in cold blood. I don't know the names of the Baloch leaders murdered nor do I know their importance to the province except that one of them was following the case of missing persons belonging to Baluchistan. He was due to appear in the court soon, I am told. If that is the case, then one must point fingers at our own Military Intelligence, IB and ISI rather than go for Indian RAW or Afghani agencies. After all, kidnapping and reselling of primarily Baloch and Pathan men have been the work of our agencies and not someone else. This killing could have been the work of someone else, just to malign our agencies, but the possibilities are dim. CJ is already looking into the matter hard.

I will, meanwhile, keep my fingers crossed until I know the hard facts. But if the killers are not found, Baluchistan will burn badly. It is already burning and I am really not sure where are my Pathan and Baloch friends at the moment.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Zardari M'athar Ch'od

I found this really interesting comment in the bathroom of the masjid where I usually pray my Zuhar (afternoon) and Asar (evening) prayers. Someone had pointed out really nasty things about President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. I thought this would make an interesting photograph. And an even more interesting blog entry!

By the way, the red marker on top says, 'Zardari mother fucker'. And the bottom line says, 'Benazir's killer is Zardari'.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Public Flogging and Private State of Pakistan

Today, I am once again appalled at what Zardari-led govt. (government?) has allowed to happen in Swat. Repeatedly the shocking video (still above) of a 17-year old Swati girl being flogged by men is nothing new. It happens in Afghanistan and it happens in Pakistan. Just that some daring man (now we know he is Shaukat and that he made this video in January) made it. He did not much care for his own life. More daring was his idea of sending it to Geo TV. Now that the video is out Pakistanis are once again under the spotlight. World is watching this video again and again and claiming that Pakistanis really don't deserve their own state. Savages roaming around with lashes, hitting at men and women at will; government failing substantially. All this must be a clue that Pakistan have had enough of its territorial life. Now it deserves to be broken down into chunks. And things like that.

The good thing about this clip and this event is that suddenly Pakistanis of all shades and sizes have realized that Taliban are no good. Even mullahs, who have traditionally been shaky about moral affairs, are behind govt.. They feel that something must be done about this Afghani / Saudi brand of fanatical Islam. But the hardliners (wahabis and such) are still not sure what they want. So they continue to support such horrible so-called Muslims.

Too bad, once again Pakistan's International image has gotten into serious trouble.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Long March farce

If Mr. Aitizaz Ahsan, chief proponent of independent judiciary by which he primarily means Ch. Iftikhar, the former CJ of Pakistan, wishes to save his face he needs to concentrate on the idea that Mr. Nawaz Sharif is salable and is a useless drum beater. On one side Mr. Nawaz acts as if he is a Islamist and on the other he becomes quite a liberal by asking for a free justice system. Therefore, Mr. Ahsan, who is now no more part of PPP's central committee, should think about the financial constraints this long march will cause him and his poorer supporters.

I cannot imagine for my life that Nawaz Sharif, ever so changing, would be able to finance the entire operation. I also cannot imagine a shrewder younger brother, Shehbaz, to allow his big brother to finance such a futile thing. For one, USA does not want Mr. Iftikhar on the hot seat. They cannot afford to have him on a place from where they cannot fulfil their ambitions. USA wants general anarchy in the country and Zardari and his team mates are capable of achieving that. Long march and its future repercussions would be disastrous for the country. If CJ comes along on the hot seat, Zardari would be the first one to be sent to jail for good. His corrupt brothers, MQM and Chaudry brothers, who helped Musharraf storm Lal masjid and kill hundreds of innocent women and children studying inside, would follow.

Steel Mill, ever so in debt, would be audited heavily. CJ will also take up the case of hundreds of Baluch missing since war on Terror began along with many innocent men and women whom Musharraf either sold to USA for billions of Dollars or kept in dingy prisons countrywide.

So Long March should not achieve what it intends to do. It should be a face saving activity for American citizen, Zardari; it should help Nawaz become a puppet of USA. But it should not help the likes of Mr. Ahsan to come up and get CJ reinstated. That would jolt the entire program of USA govt. and thwart its global ambitions.

But marchers are out shouting slogans. If Nawaz sells at this time, and somehow he cannot be trusted, then the entire responsibility would fall on the lawyers. We know they are serious but would they be able to hold on to this sloganeering for good? And what shall be the outcome of all this mess when we are told that Sherry Rehman, Information Minister, has resigned. So have the DCO and DGP Lahore? We are also told that Zardari is being increasingly cornered by his own fellows at home. And Mr. Gilani, a very slow moving PM, is now flexing his muscles and asking questions.

NOTE: Gilani is a Punjabi and so are Mr. Ahsan and Mr. Nawaz Sharif. Chaudry brothers, although they hate Nawab group, are still Punjabis at heart. Pakistan Army Chief, General Kiyani is also a Punjabi. But Mr. Zardari is a Sindhi and has a serious dis-advantage. Will a mentally challenged Sindhi President survive this all Punjabi game ? BB would have certainly handled the situation much better but USA had other designs.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Long March and state of Pakistan

Much awaited - and dreaded - long march kick started, in fact, butt started, today from Karachi and Quetta simultaneously. The plan was to gather momentum as cities and towns got covered. Primarily, Karachi and Lahore were to be the basic stronghold of men and muscle. Zardari had other ideas.

In Karachi, I witnessed low traffic and almost no customers today. And lots of jammed areas around old city like Regal chowk and High Court. That is the sad part. These old parts of Karachi earn most in terms of revenues. Wholesale markets, as a matter of fact, are the engine of any economic society. If they are hit so is the basic business of the place.

Today, I also heard sporadic news of arrests and beatings as day passed in relative tension. People back in Karachi really fear 16th March. I was personally not expecting such robust action by our Zardari knickers, The MQM. But I am sure MQM and other side kicks will be in full show. And why not. Their arch rivals, Sunni Tehrik and Jamat-e-Islami are part of this long march.

Unfortunately, Zardari and his cohorts don't understand the point. By making all the noises, beating men on the streets, putting containers to stop the marchers, and by creating fear among common Pakistanis, he is doing harm to himself and to the party's image as a democratic force of the country. He could easily earn for himself a severe punishment from Punjabi-led Pakistan Army. In any case, Punjabis don't tolerate, or have ever tolerated, Sindhis or Baluch to rule them. So he is only giving them a good reason to show their antipathy towards him and his ethnic community by kicking him off. [USA seems to be sticking with Zardari].

Long March, if seen on a larger spectrum, makes Pakistan look like a failed state. No matter what we as Pakistanis have to say on the subject, international media led by the likes of Jewish CNN and Hindu India have been proved right once again by our misdeeds and a series of misfortunes. By beating and shutting down hundreds of black-coats (and black sheep) we are doing no good to our image and Zardari, as President of Pakistan, should shoulder most of the responsibility. And by failing to bring to Justice those 13 men (or were they less?) who specifically targeted Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore we have proven without doubt that the worst form of democracy is actually not better than the best form of dictatorship. Both are either equal or in our case, dictatorship happens to be much better than the likes of Zardari and Nawaz Sharif (Amir-ul-Momineen and Shia'-teen)> By hitting on this movement with so much force (one report in press puts it at 600 containers for stopping marchers from reaching Islamabad) Zardari-led govt. has proven that he is no better than Musharraf, though he came here by votes.

So where do we go from here? Is Long March going to change anything on political and social level? Will it end up in a blood bath? Will Zardari succeed in stopping angry looking protestors from reaching Islamabad? Only time will tell.

Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope that our luck and the luck of the country doesn't fall out fast.

NOTE: India's RAW could have a field day on 16th March. Killers won't be blamed. Victims won't get justice.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Parrot says..............

Points to be noted my lord:

Zardari, President of Pakistan and former husband of BB, has split from his son, Bilawal and his daughters.

Bilawal plans to marry Fatima Bhutto, niece of BB.

Fatima Bhutto was always angry with Zardari and BB over the killing of her father, Murtuza Bhutto. Now she is only angry with Zardari and not with Bilawal.

Pakistan Army wants to arrest and put on trial Zardari for multiple murder cases. That might happen this March (2009) or next April (2010).

One daughter of Zardari might marry a son or relative of PM Gilani. (Against the wishes of her father).

Pakistan Army fully supports Gilani for he is easy to handle and not a nuisance like Zardari.

Nawaz Sharif has gained full support of Lawyers across Pakistan by standing up with them. He has been a lazy man all his life with lots of lassi, cricket and good food. Now he understands that good work alone will help him become the next President of Pakistan.

USA govt. is not so sure they want Nawaz in place of Zardari for Nawaz has always been a rightest and supports militants.

Months between March and June are crucial for Pakistan and for its neighbours.

Zardari supports Iran because Zardari is a Shia. USA is crossed over it. So are many Baluch who understand that Shias have been pouring into the country and have helped, in recent years, fighting b/w Shias and Sunnis.

India is finding it good to have Baluch on their side. They have already managed to take Pakistan away from Dam issue as well as from Kashmir.

India has got another front that of Mumbai drama. Indians of all shades are happy about the U-turn.

How Pakistan fares in months to come only time will tell.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Religious self torture

I went to Bhit Shah for the annual Urs of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai (1689–1752), Sufi poet of Sindhi language. His language, like his life, is unique and it tells a story of love, passion, and integrity. It tells you that love is the mainstream blood and when it cancels out life can become unbearable. I am no expert on him or his poetry but I can tell you that his kalaam (sayings) is full of love and energy and single minded devotion to the being you love.

Unfortunately, as with so many Sufi Tombs across Pakistan, this tomb has been taken hostage by the Shia pilgrims, who come here, make lot of noise (and drama), and perform violent ma'tam. That's unfair to the hundreds and thousands of Muslims and Hindus who come here to pay respects to the man who was exact opposite to what these men wish to do here. I was really surprised that no one ever bothered to point out to these men that such violence in the vicinty of a Mazar is not only ridiculous, it gives Islam a bad name.

I was there at Bhit Shah to listen to the most wonderful music one could ever imagine. And I was really saddened - and sadness turned to anger soon - when I saw men, wearing jet black and then taking off these shirts, turned into a demolition team. They chanted slogans, thumped their palms against their bare chests, and said 'Ya Hussain, Ya Hussain'.

This bit of self torture, off course part of Shia religion but not - thankfully - part of Sunni Islam, teaches what? I think it promotes violent culture and helps bring bad name to entire Muslim ummah. Such ma'tam is not on display in Iran. There may be ma'tam or a form of it, but this violence-prone, street-smart one is clearly a Pakistan-India invention.

I hope administration will take proper steps and stop this extreme form of devotion from entering the door of the Mazar.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Perils of Blogging

I have been threatened with dire consequences.

Well, that is good enough.

It tells you that you are important and that you are read somewhere. And that someone has the feeling about you. And that someone wants to hang you or kill you or burn you.

Fair enough.

Perils of blogging are many but not so many as compared to real journalism. We can argue what is real and what is fake, but let's leave that alone.

Once, someone wrote to me that he knew where I lived and that he wanted to kill me. I welcomed him. He never turned up despite the fact that I have my phone numbers and my address on web.

Very good, if someone wants to shoot.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Obituary: Demise of Dawn's Review

Obituaries are usually written for men or for good organizations, or popular restaurant joints. Or maybe for papers which have lasted 50 or so years, a long time by any measurement. Seldom, if ever, are they written for parts of national paper. I am breaking the tradition.

For me Review has been much more that a simple, A-4 sized mid-week, mag. In fact, first it was Tuesday Review and since that time I have been associated with it. My best memories of The Review are of a time when it carried my photographs of Karakoram Highway, my first ever photographs to be published in any paper. And I didn't knew that until I searched my name at, which returned my article on 1st page. That was Thursday, 17th Feb, 2005, and interestingly that day's Dawn to my home did not carry Review copy. Perhaps it had been stolen mid-way; perhaps my akhbar-walla (newspaper man) had forgotten to insert it. Perhaps. But as luck would have it, I got to know it before the paper went to dustbins - of my friend Syed Taha Ahmed. I later went to his home and brought the copy. It was a proud moment and my good mother commented that the photographs really looked good. I reminded her that she had in fact viewed them many times over. On which she told me that photographs published in paper look drastically better than when viewed on computer screen.

Dawn announced today (must I say suddenly) in its front page that it is finally closing down Review and hashing it with Sunday Images. Which effectively means that the edition of 22nd January, 2009, was the last of its kind - and that it must be preserved for posterity. It is fitting then that my feature on Kunri titled, 'SPICE CITY: Hot and happening', was published in this issue. Four days ago (25th Jan, 2009) when I had emailed Review editor why the emails were being returned, I was give the following reply, 'Thank you for your contribution, however we're discontinuing the photo feature for a while.' The bombshell about the demise of Review would fall today, or so it was destined.

As a measure of protest, I am cancelling my subscription of Thursday's Dawn to my house. No need for Dawn if Review is dead.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dr. Ahmed Hasan Dani

Great historians are a rare breed everywhere in this world. Most historians one sees are pre-occupied by their own religious-socio-politico thinking and are, consequently, pretty useless and harmfully partial to different ideas and various forms of knowledge.

Dr. Dani was a certainly from different breed. For him, religion never came to settle questions related to fundamental understanding of various cultures straddling our region. No wonder then that he was widely regarded as a foremost historian and archaeologist of our time and of our world. His understanding, specifically of the Gandharan civilization was stupendous. One was astounded to read his books or listen to his conversations. I only heard him once, at a TV show, and I was fascinated by the man who himself has been fascinated by history and its characters. He spoke with such fluidity and such remarkable understanding of his subject, that everyone there understood his idea and his love. And this in a country where history is perhaps only Islamic or only Non-Islamic, a demarcation which never bothered him.

I am still fascinated by him but saddened to read in Dawn today that Dr. sahib has died owing to various ailments which were afflicting him. His life had been wonderfully spent, or one may suppose. But recent events in his favourite research areas of Dir, Peshawar and Swat valley must have saddened him beyond any doubt. For these areas contains some of the most remarkable specimens of Ghandaran art and architecture.

Dr. Dani, apart from being a first-rated archaeologist, was also a linguist having full command over 14 different languages (Bangla, French, Hindi, Kashmiri, Marathi, Pashto, Persian, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Seraiki, Sindhi, Tamil, Turkish and Urdu). I am sure all these languages greatly enhanced his international reputation and helped him get hold of even more books to read.

He was recipient of many awards and was with UNESCO for 30 odd years. He is one of the most recognized Pakistanis in the world. And we are surely proud of him.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

If Zardari remains President of Pakistan for 20 years....

Then, following is expected;

1) Pakistan will become a colony of USA / World Bank / UK.

2) All Pakistani cities will have a casino dedicated to the memory of Benazir Bhutto and their title would be Shaheed Bhutto Casino.

3) Half of the population will sleep naked.

4) Girls from all class and all ethnic groups would be sold in open market.

5) Males of Pakistani origin would die of hunger; they would also serve under their gora masters.

6) Zardari would have then married three times, killing his wives after their insurance(s) have matured.

7) All industries would give Zardari a profit of 85%; rest will go to their original masters.

8) Islamabad would have by then be renamed as NON-ISLAM-ABAD

9) Zardari would be the richest men in the history of this world surpassing Firoun and Nimrud of ancient times and Bill Gates and King Faisal of our times.

10) Every second property would belong to Zardari.

11) Pakistan would be renamed as ZARDARI-TAN.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Islamic new year and religious fantatics

Moharram ul Haram is Islamic calender's first month. Therefore, as a rule, it should be celebrated across Muslim world. All people of all religions and cultures celebrate their new years with various forms of prayers, worships, thanksgiving, alms giving, and lot of fanfare. Unfortunately, Muslims don't celebrate their new year in any special way. No special prayers are made; no one really cares to visit an orphan with gifts in hand; no one bothers to take time to buy special items for one's own family members. Tragedy of Karbala looms large on our new year. Though Karbala shows a classic example of sacrifice for the religion of Allah, some sects of Islam (eg. Shi'sm) consider any celebrations as against the norms and culture of Islam. Where these people have brought ma'tam (self torture by hitting oneself repeatedly by palm of right hand or by cutting one's head and arms and chest with sharp edged object) from cannot be ascertained. Too much twisting of historical facts must have gone in to convert an Islamic new year into a case for 40-day mourning. [No other religion in the world has any example of such long mourning].

One way of looking at Muharram is to look at Muslims themselves. Muslims, as a general rule, are seriously outdated in their approach towards life, business and almost all major products of our time. We are not media savy and anyone, even the stupid Hindu fundamentalists, can easily convince the larger world that indeed Pakistan was involved in Mumbai attacks on 26th Nov, 2008 (sic). We are also, therefore, incapable of defending our new year and its much needed celebrations. We are being taken on a ride by a minority which thinks, rightly or wrongly, that in Moharram they can dictate terms to the majority. Very sad that majority Sunnis cannot do anything substantial about the minority sect. Now that the President of Pakistan, that one idealistic man with no records to prove, is also a Shia, Moharram has become even more of a trouble than anything else. Pakistan, it must be noted, comes to a standstill during at least first 10 days of our Islamic new year.

I asked my elders whether these dramatic events were there during their good days. And I was told that only 10th Moharram would be a public holiday with a solemn march of Shias through the main M.A Jinnah Road, Karachi. Now, 5th Moharram march of shias bring Karimabad, mina bazaar, Liaqatabad, and other adjoining areas to a standstil. Then, 7th Moharram procession of shia stops almost half the traffic of Karachi (area around Kharadar, Saddar, M.A Jinnah road is badly affected). Then on 8th Moharram once again there is some shia procession through M.A Jinnah road. Then again, 9th Moharram is a public holiday for no good reason. 10th Moharram being the Ashura and one the greatest days in the Islamic calender, is once again a public holiday. One cannot but note that entire 10 days are wasted. Business suffers; people die during traffic jams; and much of these shia processions are actually violent. If they find any shop opened, they ensure that the shop is badly damaged or even burned. So sad, that in the name of Hazrat Imam Hussain (A.S) these people inflict untold miseries on so many people. If that is the message they understand of the grandson of Holy Prophet Muhammad (salahu alihi wasalam) then I am sorry they need to re-pack and get back to basics.

For one, what is the reason behind so many processions on such an important artery of Karachi. Why take the entire city hostage by closing M.A Jinnah road? Why not any other area? Why disturb millions of people for your own so-called religious activity? Did Imam Hussain (A.S) teach you to disturb so many people? I have asked this question to so many Shias but none has ever answered me. Because there is no answer to all this mess. And what purpose does this ear-banging marsiyas serve to countless Shias romping the city in their cars? Why can't you people just keep your religion to yourself? Again, no answer. How do you explain something which is at once irrational and highly disturbing.

Even the Shia a'lims don't stop their followers from disturbing the city for so long. No Shia a'lim ever takes stand against these illegal activities. Our police, which has a lot of Shia officers among its ranks, actually helps these road blockades. How sad!

I hope some Shia, holder of common sense, will read this blog and stop this mess once and for all. But, as is my experience with this country and with the Shias living here, things only go bad. And from bad to worse. Never good. Never better.

And our new year celebrations, it seems, would always be ruined by ear-thrashing marsiyas and city blocking long marches. Long live Pakistan!