Category Archives: Imran Khan

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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Celebrate by digitizing Pakistan

As 14th of Aug is coming, you will see huge number of messages, facebook pages and websites about being proud Pakistani, there will be pictures of faces covered by flag paint, there will huge flags themselves. And as usual like anyother year we will keep liking them, forwarding them or commenting on them.

I invite you to do something different, that is write about Pakistan and increase Pakistan’s presence on electronic map.

There is extreme deficiency of information regarding Pakistan. Try searching any urdu poem, you will not find any reliable source and most probably you will not find the poem or ghazal if it is not famous. Try googling  some Pakistani authors and search result will be useless, even Wikipedia will not be able to provide you any information e.g. search Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi and the Wikipedia page is quite pathetic for it. Bano Qudsia wikipage has less information than some semi famous English song, same is true for other authors.

Search some Pakistani song and you will not find it’s lyrics or information about who wrote it, who is musician, when it was recorded, etc…. Same is true about the Films and actors (Wahid Murad appears to be exception, whose Wikipedia page is quite detailed).

Try searching about 12 Oct. Army overtake by Musharaf, there is no information about timeline of events, look at Kashmir Earthquake you will not find about the huge effort done by people all around Pakistan.

And one can forget about any information regarding Pakistani politicians (except few top leaders) or finding about their voting record, career, political leanings, etc……

Just saying that people should know about Pakistan will not take us anywhere,.. most importantly we have to register this information for ourselves and our people.

So if you want to do something about Pakistan, pick your pen or you just pick your keyboard, write about your experience as Pakistani,

  • Write about any Pakistani author you like or any book you have read
  • if you can, pick a you-tube clip of some Pakistani drama and give it’s English subtitles
  • Go to Wikipedia an write about the episodes of Sona-Chandi, Un-Kahi, ….. any drama you like.
  • Make Wikipedia page about your school, your city, your street or shrine that exists on the corner
  • Get information about who is your MNA, MPA, put it on Wikipedia.
  • You are singing any Pakistani song or any ghazal, put it on the web, even if it is single verse
  • You commonly read Ashfaq Ahmed‘s zavia, translate it into English, even if it single sentence.
  • You like going to some cafe in Lahore, or visit some place in Karachi or Queta or some other small or big city, …… put it on Wikipedia. Get information and put it there.
  • Blog about your experience of event in Pakistan
    • write how you felt about earth quake and how Pakistani’s put their efforts together to help their citizens
    • write how you felt when Musharaf took over the govt., write about timeline, whatever you remember, put it there. Or were you there when in Lahore high court, when Lahore was under siege during Lawyer movement, chronicle your experience.  Or were you part of LUMS and FAST student protests against sacking of Chief Justice? give your day an e-life.
    • What happened when floods engulfed huge chunk of Pakistan? put your thoughts in.

There is not much patriotic zeal in it as it might look, but what you are doing is making your country searchable. You are recording your history, your culture; in small little steps. These small not so important appearing information what makes culture. People write stories, dramas and make movies around these mundane appearing details. You are chipping away ignorance about Pakistan with your small electronic saber.

So pick up a week, lets say a 7th to 14th of Aug. and celebrate Write About Pakistan Week? we write about whether our writing is of good quality is not is another question but we write to take first step and then clean it up as we go.


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16th March; day to remember

I do not want to write about this moment because it is full of success, it is full of message; and because it is still not away from shadow.

What can you write about this day? This day is for nothing; yes among all the noise and hu-ha this day is for none of them.That’s why I dont want to write about it.  When army overtakes the city every officer starts plundering the success, humming stories of bravery of people in his command, victory came because of my men, he will say.But I dont want to write about officers that stood victorious on that day. Because that day is not for them, that stands for something more important than rugged egos and rebuffed ethos.

I dont want to write anything about this day because  CJ is not my hero, he is not what I want for my savior. But This day is not about Chief Justice this is about justice.

I have zero expectations from Choudary Iftikhar, but I have full right to expect justice from Chief Justice of Pakistan. This day says keep your fingers away from chief justice.

This day is not about Politics, this is not about PPP, PLM (N); but this day shouts in the faces of politicians.

It showed that simply winning elections dont give right to rule. You can not assume to be given full authority just because you have won the election. Today was the day when people spoke and said you have to talk about what we are talking about.

Being cynical as always I still see many hurdles and un-cleaned business, ambushes and traitors every where.

I dont want to say anything, I want to hear stories of people who were there in the streets of Lahore, who were there on the roads towards Islamabad.

It is day of Hope. It is day of victory.

But no one has any right of claiming to be victory leader; if story of GPO 150 is true then no one except lawyers and civil-society deserves the right to claim victory.

What ever this day is, it is  Day To Be Remembered.


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Nawaz Sharif Comeback: What the hell is going around?

Now Nawaz Sharif is back home, addressing the crowds, paying salams at Data Darbar, speaking to people at Sadar Chowk (my house is near the Sadar Chowk),….

I am angry, angry that how our Govt. is taking U turns to suite itself, making joke out of the country. And at the same time my head and heart is telling me be aware there is another deal, some other activity that has allowed Nawaz Sharif to comeback.

Why has he been allowed back?

I know our Govt. is not so good in heart, not upholder of law, not even by far beacon of moralit and they definitely don’t do anything for benefit of only Pakistan (definitely not for Pakistan without them as heads), they are doing it for themselves. They must be benefiting from his return. Might be act to balance Benazir or to back push Imran.

But the time will tell whether there is deal b/w Nawaz and Musharaf, direct or indirect. Or Nawaz plays cards intelligently, siding Benazir with himself.

The bad thing from his return would be that it will add one more variable in the equation. Making it more difficult for the equation solver to find the solution.

Presence of both Benazir and Nawaz will definitely take away the edge Imran was getting. But it also happened for small time when Benazir came, Imran was sent in background only Musharaf’s stupid action and Benazir’s limped stance in the beginning brought him back, as he stood up for Judiciary. I am not banking on him as he is long way from winning anything more than 2 seats.

Only time will tell what game is being played with people of Pakistan.


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Imran Khan’s Interview

Bush is raising anti-American sentiments in Pakistan; Imran Khan

Imran health wise looks weak but his voice, words and ideas are strong. Only if he had more good people around him.


Media Crossing line of Ethics in Pakistan

‘Change the channel’  that was remark of President of Pakistan when someone asked about increasing vulgarity on the electronic media. However he himself opted for ‘Clossing the Channel’ when he found himself under fire from media.

The basic allegation against media is that media crossed line, they ridiculed people, they presented the terrorists as heroes.

As for the first allegation I remembered our dear Mr. Pervaiz Musharaf was guest on the show of John Stewart.  Infact people lauded his courage of attending the show of one of the must cunning ,… I dont even have correct word, ok the Wikipedia has one word for it….., political satirist.  If someone wants to look at videos on his show here is the link (John Stewart’s Shows Page, Musharaf on Show).

And if you have seen them you will know that the style of humor in it, the satire it has,….. . When Musharaf said that Media was not  functioning in the circle of ‘Tehzeeb’ and that they were not respecting elders; he should remember what kind of show he attended.

The comedy shows in America use much strong words, comments , pointed-terminologies and methods. And we are talking about the country who has forces in 2 countries. Mr. Musharaf should see what are the jokes being made on the President Bush and many of them are exaggerated versions of what Mr.Bush actually did. Dont go much in Past just see what happened in the case of Gonzales.

Now about making Heroes out of terrorists:

  • Did American media made the Iraqi fighters hero when exposing the Abu-Gharib?  I dont think so.
  • When American media reported that American-Forces might be involved in Haditha Massacre (Time Magazine Link) were they unpatriotic?
  • When they reported what war was committed on false ground were they saying that road-side bombs are justified? No.

They questioned the methodologies of war, they questioned behavior of the forces, they exposed tortures being legalized by American executives, they cornered the government on recording the private telephones.

European media went on to humiliate the government over the Iraq War, they thrashed the government for helping the Americans in transporting the people to illegal jails (known are retentions).

See we are talking about the nation that lives in fear, where one election was won on the raising the threat levels. Where they want government to act so that they dont even have to change their live styles. But they dont want it take away their rights.

How can reporters and analysts questioning the Pakistan Government’s handling of issues in the Northern Areas be regarded as ‘unpatriotic’? How can a Tv report telling that the many civilians have died by the bomb/fire of the Pakistan Airforce be making Hero out of terrorists?

When someone points that many people might be under the illegal arrest of Pakistani Inteligence agencies they are pointing out the violations of the constitution of Pakistan by the government. They might be making it clear that some decision makers are incompitent but they (reporters) are definitely not doing anything against Pakistan.

Prosecuting the media

Should media be prosecuted? yes they should be if it is thought that they have done something wrong. But for this the law already exists. PEMRA can issue notices, a person being defamed can move to court,…..

However this require the government to understand that are there not Kings of Pakistan, they have to live under the rules. They have to abide the decisions of judiciary. They cant survive by closing the transmissions whenever they want to do something big, they can not send the police to television center to thrash the windows, they cant just go on to remove the satelite equipment of media people,….

Silver Lining

The Cable structure in Pakistan is illegall or most of is. The silver lining is now the public will move towards other resources including the satelite dishes. And most importantly the Electronic Chanels will itself seek other medium for their content delivery. One of them is Internet, which was previously being ignored. Now almost every one is offering the live streaming on their websites. Aaj is present on the, Geo and Ary has links on their own websites. Websites like pkpolitics are emerging.

The next best thing would be that the content could be mined for tags, certain programs could streamed on demand legaly.

We have long way to go only if we stand together, the flood only distroys the fields when only one stone gives it a way. If all media owners remain with strong then they could get more out of it than just the cable transmissions.


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Remember Remember 3rd of November (Mini Marshal-Law In Pakistan Again)

Remember Remember 3rd of November.

My Country! Shall I cry ?

What shall I say?; sitting far away from my country

Other than I am in a state of disturbance, not because what Musharaf is doing is wrong but that he will be able to get away with it.

The Emergency has been imposed from the order issued from the office of ‘Chief of Army Staff’ not by the ‘President’ of Pakistan. The Law has been send to abeyance.

No verdict of law can be given against any order of President or any one doing his/her job for President.  So  infact the there is no law except Mr. Musharaf.

All Human Rights have been removed.

Shall people come on streets, but why and for whom. Is there any leader whom people should follow?

But where this Country will go by people sitting in the houses?

They say that this order was required for fighting Terrorism. Is it a joke? yes it is.

Terrorism spreads because people feel that they cant get their voice heard through proper channel. Now you don’t have proper channel you will move more people to terrorism or extremism.

By stopping Private Channels from telecasting they are stopping people to see the big picture, making them vulnerable to the locally present elements.

Benazir is in Pakistan, will she be able to bring people to streets and work for the rights of people. Her first response is very strong. But she is still in the shadow of her deal.

Will Imran Khan be able to do something?

Will my people be able to do anything?

Ah! I can’t write any further.

So much tired I am with this, so much tired with myself for not been able to do anything for my country.

Not even to rise voice. Not been strong enough to protest. Not even been able to find a small piece of black cloth to attach to show protest.

Atleast many judges have stopped themselves from taking oath. One must salute them.