Category Archives: Benazir

stop treating Malala as pinata

[Let me clarify here, I don’t have any insider information nor I have long pattern recognizing machine working on some historical data to predict she is puppet of any western country. I am not resident of Swat but I am Pakistani and have spent long many years in Pakistan. So I don’t know the “inner story”  and I will not give any credence to such things. My view is based on what is just infront of me and it changes.}

It has been experience of being stuck between two fighting spouses, they are fighting about something but don’t know what. One is arguing about what happened on Monday party other is shouting about burned toasts in the morning breakfast.

Malala is great, Malala is enemy puppet, Malala deserves all the praise, Malala was never shot ,……  this shouting match has to stop, instead everyday it is on increase. Each day we see Malala being honored by one or other organization, being interviewed by one reputable newspapers or other TV program, and on other side we see more voices from sideline jumping in the ring.

To pro Malala supporters, supporting a person shot due to her ideas and service is something everyone should do. One should stand by that person, if that person is an innocent child one should be ashamed of society where children could be targeted. The question one should ask is are we supporting Malala or are we supporting our desires that could take in shape of Malala? Are we condemning anyone criticizing Malala’s nomination for Nobel peace prize because we feel this huge sympathy wave for her can push committee to give Pakistani citizen second one or we seriously believe she deserves peace prize?  or (which I hope is false) we believe with her we can sell the image of Pakistan that can justify certain non-democratic practices?

Frankly she does not deserve what we are doing with her. She could be great leader in few years, she could be great representative. She is eloquent, she is determined, she has charm and she knows what she wants. In her age that is more than one can ask for.

She has been given a second life, a second chance. There are many shiny steps in her way, why is this hurry of giving everything to her in a single year, without giving her opportunity to earn it. She can go miles ahead of where we are pushing her.

She does not need Nobel prize today. All the honors that have been bestowed on her are more representative of other’s desire than her doing. They are exposing her to the elements she should not be exposed to.

Why a BBC journalist be so clueless to let her make statement “you want to go outside, you must go with a man – if even your five-year-old brother goes with you it’s fine, but you must have someone else, a girl cannot go outside all alone.” and let it be representative of large and diverse country. When I heard this sentence, it appeared to me childish until I remembered it was spoken by a child. A child that, from her sentence could be assumed, has not experienced world outside the realms of male in her household. That appears to have not been to any other city of her country or met people from other parts of her country to know so little of it. (I am not saying women in my country are free and they can go out 1 am in the night alone or huge chunks of their lives are lived under the gaze of male family members)

Assed Baig is right when he calls this situation White Savior complex, although I don’t agree with his arguments. Shazia Ramzan, Kainat Riaz and  Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi are victims of war but they unfortunately are bystanders, they were not attacked because of their views, Malala Yousafzi was.

She is a teenager, a special one but still a teenager. She deserves to say erroneous things and take back. She should be given time, where she form her views, understand the world more deeply and more independently. Why should she have to declare infront of the world she still non-western girl?

To anti Malala, seriously most of you are behaving like kids in the school. I can understand the frustration, it looks like universe has decided to honor someone from among us and reason has been given that she has been our savior; only that many among us don’t agree with that. It is same frustration that one feels, when some foreigner makes tall claims about Benazir Bhutto, making her to be some human right champion. It’s frustration when people among are given projection to be our representative without our consent. But it’s not her mistake.

You are saying she is being used? you say there are other people who deserve it? we can discuss it, but again it’s not her mistake. Who among you (yes all the grown men and women) can say I don’t deserve it when given such honors? And Nobel prize? who among us has enough courage to say “No I have not done enough” when you have been shot for your cause  (few years back a very eloquent person who has never been part of anything consequential just said, he was humbled but still accepted the award).

And is it really bad that she gets Nobel Prize? people less deserving than her have gotten Nobel prize for peace. I might not believe she deserves Nobel prize, but I will be happy if she wins (people with bloodied hands have got that prize) she atleast is only accused of not doing enough.

To be very frank, this hue and cry on every Nobel Prize is getting old now, if we are really pissed that West picks less deserving people for the Nobel Prize and reason is some conspiracy, then for god sake start something good yourself. Start some prize where you can pick people on merit.

Back to Ms. Malala.

In the end, I believe she is destined to bigger things, but she needs to go through much more to get there. Being shot for your views and still stand on your ground is a big sacrifice; however it’s much more painful to live and serve. This is not a single act and it’s beginning not end.


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4th Nov & 11 May; crossing University Ave.

Yes it is about elections in Pakistan, but it about my experience also….. and it’s invitation to cross the University Ave. so read if you are interested. It is about a day some years ago.

In less than 30 minutes I must have crossed the University Ave. 30 or 40 times; whenever the traffic light turned red and pedestrian light switched on, I crossed the road. I crossed it with my other friend and there might be 100 students doing the same thing, right on the corner of Swamp Restaurant.

Just an hour or so ago,  ABC news has said polls are closed and they were ready to declare Obama President of USA; date was Nov. 4 2008 (yes I had to go back and check date, as people who know me know I don’t remember dates).

And these students excited on the prospect of something new, on promise of something different, a change, these young people just few years in their twenties (some even younger than that)  were on roads of Gainesville. It looked so easy in the end, it looked like all the worry of past so many months of seeing Sarah Palin heart beat away from becoming the most powerful person on earth, was nothing.

I think there were some exams going around and few were told about the results while they were taking tests. And in some cases teachers promised they will not going to look at the results till the end of the class. Now when results were out, as per the boring tradition, no one knew what to do, no one knew if any celebratory party was going around. Gators did what we were accustomed to do, gather at University Ave. (some new kids don’t remember old days of us winning those championships and closing down of University Ave., good old days)

I don’t know how it started, but students started crossing the University Ave. 30, 40 people on each side whenever the pedestrian light switched students will cross the road, high fiving people coming from other direction, shaking hands and talking and enjoying.

It was a monumental moment, even for me who is not American. I who came from the country where every 10 years the army takes over, where the best leaders you get are Bhuttos, I who was sad and angered when I had seen my countrymen cheering for Musharaf; I was happy this change coming in a country which is blamed for many things wrong in my country. I was happy to see the system work.

Might be because this was first time I have seen the election really working and choosing a person which I felt was far better choice than opponent. Might be because there were not cries of rigging and Mc Cain accepted results quite honorably. Might be because I saw the process giving opportunity to people to prob the candidate (unfortunately the 2012 elections were quite a disappointment in that respect)

No, I was not disillusioned like many of my American friends (living in Pakistan makes you too wise and cynical to believe in the oratory skills of a leader), but his ideas were grate. He looked like a leader willing to take charge, willing to defend his position, willing to admit his mistakes.

Yes did I have hope, of course, I had hope, did I had expectation? No I did not had any expectation of him bringing world peace or changing the America in 100 days.  Or he is going to radically change the philosophy with which the big nations run the world.

Today I am hopeful that we are going to see the same thing in Pakistan, an election after 5 years of completion of the Constitutional Assembly. Election, not because someone took 10, 20 thousand people and blocked the constitution avenue or did the train march towards Islamabad (never understood this name, because no trains go to Islamabad) and not because Army general pushed his stick on the chest of PM for announcing elections.

And I am hopeful because an outsider has ruined the party for others, Imran Khan and PTI long time in making have finally got enough muscle to push the old guard a little bit. It is not same comfortable run towards election. Again I have hope, but I have no expectation.

Why I have no expectation, because like Obama, he is new but like Obama he has Old guard around him. Like Obama he has words, courage and vision but no clear path. No expectation because he did not understood beauty of system and cried of fall of government too many times in past five years. No expectation because he and most of his supporters think, matters could be solved by just nomination of one person. I have no expectation because he will have to do on job learning, it is different than coming on television and giving policy speech on prompt.

I have hope because unlike the two parties that have their roots in being raised by the Dictators this one does not (atleast not directly). To refresh memories both Bhutto and Mian Nawaz Sharif were part of Dictatorship. Unlike the two other parties, this party does not appear to have roots in one area or province, unlike other parties it does not have the family members nominated or “elected” to main party posts. Unlike other parties it worked for last 15 years to reach here. Unlike other parties it does have “ideas” about the situation and are willing to come out and say them. Even when this lets supported of other “silent” parties claim title of “secular parties” (interesting to see PPP do that when PPP elected President of Pakistan was absent for air waves on the killing of the Governor of Punjab or of the Minister of Minority affairs).

I have hope because hundreds of thousands of youngsters that had nothing to do with this system few years back are putting their hearts in it. I know many will have their hearts broken within few months of election.

I have hope because I am up for long run and long fight, I don’t believe in miracles that change nations (I have seen too many of those) or in revolutions that claim to burn down old cancers. I believe is long, tiring battles where grounds are won inch by inch.

So yes I have hope, and I wish my people will vote (whoever you try to vote to, it’s up to you);

So yes I will, when the elections will be over and results come in, go to the University Ave. right in front of parking lot of the Chemistry department and will cross the road. I know it is totally unrelated and non-consequential action, benefiting no one. But I will be there for myself and for my hope of Pakistan’s future.  You are welcome to join.


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Wealthy Bhutto’s and their poor villagers

{This post is not to paint Bhutto’s as villains but telling that they are no different than many other leaders except that they are more educated and charismatic }

In previous post I said that their own villages are very much in poverty.  I talked to my friend who lives near the Garhi Khuda Baksh and he also pointed out that those villages are no different than other villages of Pakistan. What I was trying to say is that, I appears strange to me if being Prime Minister of Pakistan Bhutto family could not do anything for their own village.

Infact to do something for their village they dont need Prime Ministership

As for their wealth have a look at newyorktimes article

Like other foreign leaders, Ms. Bhutto engaged a public relations firm to arrange meetings for her with administration officials, members of Congress and journalists. For the first six months of 2007, the firm Burson-Marsteller took in fees of close to $250,000 for work on behalf of Ms. Bhutto. 

Or CNN’s article”Commentary: Bhutto was essence of Pakistan”

I am not saying that she was alone in this, you will see the same thing in constituencies of many big leaders, they want to keep their farmers backward and poor, thats what benefits them. But these leaders do not move in the corridors of the Capital Hill and almost none of them have got degrees from Harvard or Oxford. They are not regarded as saviors of Pakistan from Western Media.

Unfortunately this education becomes zero when they are dealing with the poor of Pakistan. Just like Musharaf who’s speech becomes sober while talking to western media and whose Urdu speech is speech of Military leader wearing commando uniform.

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Posted by on December 30, 2007 in American Media, Benazir, Democracy, Pakistan, People, Politics


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Pakistan; still the land of Kings, Queens and slaves

Harvard and Oxford educated Benazir wrote in her will that her husband would lead Pakistan Peoples Party. Yes my friend we still live in the land where democratic parties do not get their heads elected but have them selected.

But Zardari wants his 19 year old son should inherit PPP. Son that has not even stood for one election. Son whose education and life has been far away from the land of Pakistan. But King wants his son to be crowned.

To enhance the claim of inheritance now his Son will not be Bilawal Zardari but Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Now Mr. Bilawal will go for further education and after his education he will come back to take leadership command. Isnt it like fairy tale where prince goes for learning art of war and then returns to take back the throne.

I am not amazed by the PPP’s top leadership’s decision, they are old experienced players of politics who would have little sympathy in changing the status quo.But what happened to this 19 year old Bilawal who is continuing his education from Oxford? Has the education system failed to build any moral and ethical structure in him? I have always thought that young people of his age are more realistic and resilient to the glitter of corruption. Or he seriously thinks he is the only hope of Pakistan (how different is this from what Musharaf thinks about himself)?

But how can I expect anything positive form the member of the family who got Prime Minister ship for 3 times and about their villages BBC best said

But there is little sign that the region has felt any benefit from living in the shadow of one of the country’s most influential dynasties.

The poverty which blights rural Pakistan is striking and most people eke out their living in the scrubby fields.

The other thing that amazed me was silence from electronic Media, none of the them was even commented about this undemocratic act and its implications. Even Talat Hussain from AAJ Tv. kept mum about it.

They might be more busy in their duties, but even on some blogs respected writers and commenter’s (for example have a look at were supporting that decision. General feeling you get from their messages is it is unfortunate but necessary to protect the PPP or some are saying they do not wanted it but if this happens they will support it.

They are fearful that party would break but with this decision what it would stand for? a dynasty of Bhutto’s? We know its not temporary decision, he will not be temporary head till they hold some party elections. He announced his plans of completing his education and comeback to become active Chairman of PPP

All this night while news of crowing of new prince was unfolding, I was remembering the early days of Musharaf. That time also many educated people and respected intellectuals supported him calling him a lesser evil, defending his actions as necessary to protect country. They kept on protecting him even when people were dying in various parts of country.

Today when it looked like that civil society has finally stood against dictatorship. Today when it looked we could see evil as evil and will not close our eyes for momentarily benefits. I am horrified to know our minds are still slaves, slaves of our own fears.

Sometime its better to do right & just act, instead of doing wrong act that looks beneficial.

{On side note I must say Zardari’s address on many times contained important things about stability of Pakistan, the way he defended Punjab and asked people to support for the federation, I was impressed. I feel the gesture of Nawaz Sharif played a very vital role in solidifying the feeling that Punjabis are with Sindhis. Its the first time I feel that existence of PML(Q) has been blessing, as all angre has been toward them and PML(N) was able to get sympathies of Sindhies for Punjab}


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Was Benazir not the actual target?

I dont know whether she died from the shrapnel/splinter, bullet or as our ministry says the lever of the sunroof.  What I know is that where her car stopped was not scheduled and her coming out of the car was also unscheduled/unplanned and result of the decision at that instance.

So what was shooter and suicider doing there? Why was he sent there? to kill Benazir in the bomb proof and bullet proof car? Were the planners so stupid that they were planning to kill Benazir but their whole plan was based on that ‘if/if she comes out?’.

Or their whole plan to kill ‘few common people’ and scare out people from the Pakistan People Party.

They caught Benazir unexpectedly? It was not in their plan? Now they have got much larger than they could handle?Definitely when you send some stupid-head to blow himself and kill hundreds of people around him, he will try to get the ‘bigger prize’ he  can get before going to next station.
Unfortunately that mad man got what was prized by many as Leader of Pakistan.


Benazir Killed! Questions and Liaqat Ali Khan

Media is describing her assassination that she just came out of the sunrise window to wave for the crowd but they are not raising the questions about how it is possible that some assassin got clear shot in such small amount of time. Or was he lucky? But how did that lucky devil knew that car will stop at this point?

News is also there that the dead body has not been given any postmortem, why? I dont understand. How will they decide that whether she died with bullet or shrapnel? Without the medical exam who will tell how far away was murderer?.

These questions might not be able to find the conspirator, but not answering them will definitely raise more shades, give boost to the conspiracy theories. More fingers will be raised on the government, citing not only their incompetence but  doubts about their involvement

When Liaqat Ali Khan was killed, his murderer was killed on the spot and by the police themselves, till now we do not know why Liaqat Ali Khan was killed. Lots of questions that are still raised but there is no way to answer them.

Sad event for the Rawalpindi, it now has blood of two leaders on their streets.How different are two leaders, one about whom it is said that he was wearing clothes having holes in them and other who has long list of corruption on her. One who played important role in creation of the country, other whose biggest achievement was nothing more that being daughter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. She might had potential of doing something great, but what ever she had she lost it in the dirt of the politics and personal dictatorship.

But she was leader, leader of this nation that does not get any leader for long time.

Nation who is so unfortunate that their best leaders are Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir.

May Allah Protect Pakistan


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Writting off Pakistan!

I have been on many sites and many websites and many blogs. I was disappointed to read people writing with full confidence about Pakistan, much of which can be summarized in few sentences  i.e. Pakistan is finished, Pakistan is too dangerous to exist and every ones favorite Pakistan is factory of terrorism. With it was tag line that if we support the democracy thats what will be going to happen.
The American presidential elections added further factors. Most the messages except  Mike Huckabee every one else messages looked like they have already found who is responsible. Interestingly this the same tune of the Pakistani officials i.e. Terrorists and extremists are responsible of that. I think these people dont know what people of Pakistan are feeling, many of them feel that ‘someone else’ is responsible for that.

The people who are on the streets are not burning mosques, destroying the madrasas and beating people with beards; they are attacking the offices of the PML(Q) , burning the flags, banners and even sometime even the houses of the people considered to be allies of the Musharaf. If you see videos you see that people are raising slogans and chanting against Musharaf.

I must stress that in this time we dont know who is the killer and who is behind it, I have just tried above to show that how different is the view of the international community

Today we have got 4th main leaders killed starting from Liaqat Ali Khan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Zia-ul-Haq and now Benazir. We survived everyone of it.

Yes its a sad day but believe me we will survive it, in fact I feel its the moment we can transit to more prestigious position, by asking for the resignation of the Musharaf, holding the elections. People on the streets is what was not there before, now people will be more willing to come outside, it will be difficult for the leaders to make deal with the establishment.

But for this Pakistan require America not to mess with Pakistan’s internal matters for their own benefit, let people decide. Accept the verdict of the people.


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