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Category Archives: Nawaz

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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Goodbye to “Zalmo Qazi A raha hea”


If you have lived 90’s in Pakistan you will always remember Zalmo Qazi Aa raha hea and associate it with a fiery white bearded guy Qazi Hussain Ahmed and Jamat-e-Islami. It was time when Jamat was riding on the street power. It’s call could be fetch tens of thousands of protesters and cities could be jammed within few days of their call.

With all the geo political situation and Islamicized political atmosphere of Pakistan (in addition to false sense of pride that we defeated Russia) one of the reason Jammat was strong was because of Qazi Hussain Ahmed. Now he is no more there. It’s sad because he was one of the main power brokers of the time when Pakistan came out of the dictatorship and was reason of the upheaval Pakistan went through in 90’s.  We will not be able to record history in his terms, now we will know the version of his history through others.

He was always quite interesting character for me because unlike his many party members and workers his views remained somewhere near the middle. He did not appear to share sentiment of some religious right about converting Pakistan into one-other Arab state and appeared more near to Pakistanis. He like many Pakistanis held two near contrasting views (or views that appear to be contrasting to anyone outside Pakistan). He was for the women rights but defined equality with men in different terms than most of us will (something in the line of they are equal but no same). Recently his views on the Malala showed how much near he is to views of most of Pakistanis, he protested against the attack on 14 year old  girl but at the same time said she was being used by someone. After talking to many Pakistanis that’s what you will find many Pakistani’s believe; they are with Malala but believe she was being used.

This ability of his articulate views of many Pakistanis made him important leader but he was not able to change the views of Pakistan’s public towards better. He was not able to steer Jamiat (student wing of Jamat-e-Islami) away hooligan, bullying and criminal mindset. He was not able to make Jamat-e-Islami independent of the establishment. Later when public sentiment went against establishment this establishment’s B-team stamp made people move away from the Jamat-e-Islami.  Things did not help much when JI became ally of the PML-N and anti-PPP sentiment made people vote for any party that was PPP, thus voting for PML-N since they represented more chance of winning than JI.

With all the bad and good things one can associate with him, he was still on of the main political characters that formed the present state of Pakistan. His era saw JI playing some hard balls, a force that was taken by government quite seriously, a party who was recognized of being quite disciplined and that had street power, even when they could not win many parliament seats.  He was much better than many cartoon characters we are seeing nowadays on the political scene, so Qazi sahab Allah Hafiz. …….

we will always remember Zalmo Qazi A-raha hea

 

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Salman Taseer’s Murder: Belt up to fight the intolerance


You must have heard the Parent example for rationalizing violence, The Parent example goes like this, with little variations; “If a shopkeeper curses your father and uses —- words for your mother, will you beat the heck out of him or not?”  This is most used example to justify violence especially in the cases related to Blasphemy. Well I can beat the heck out of that guy but then I will spend years in the jail.  Most importantly from when the Emotional Responses become basis for actions, judge might reduce my punishment but punishment I will get.  Question should not be what I will do, question should be what Law says.

Why I am telling you about this?

When I heard about Salman Taseer’s murder I was thinking it will result in huge change in Pakistan

After just few hours I know what direction we are going. In all the media not one religious scholar has clearly condemned the killing. Fazl-ur-Rehman have included the phrases, that hint that they hold Salman Taseer to be responsible for his murder.  Some other religious and non-religious leaders were clearly saying that he should have been more careful in presenting his views.

Fan page has been setup on the Facebook for that murderer,  he is being called Ghazi by some religious group openly, a guy on twitter is sending salutes to the killer, Adil Najam of Pakistaniat.com is getting threatening comments on his blog, the people on the news channels are rationalizing actions of Malik Mumtaz, some religious leaders are advising against offering funeral prayers, and list continuous.

It’s time to belt up and stand up against the intolerance; it’s time to start telling “No it is not Ok for some one to be whacked up for what he/she has said”

No, no one should be declared Non-Muslim for their views, it’s only their right to declare their faiths.

It’s time to start asking our leadership for condemning such actions.

If we will stand up, if we don’t speak up; we might see people been killed for even things smaller that this. I was horrified to see a guy saying those who question Blasphemy Law are hurting feelings of people of Pakistan and then in not so open phrases defending the killer. This all appeared like threat to other people who criticize Blasphemy Law made by Zia-ul-Haq.

Let’s raise the voice so that Mumtaz Qadri does not become hero, we should be strong to disallow creation of other Mumtaz Qadri’s, we should make enough noise so that people should think twice before supporting a murderer.

 

P.S.

I hate terrorists, not only because they kill people. But also because they make Martyr out of those who should not be respected; first Zia should have been hanged he became Shaeed, Benazir should have been tried for all the corruption and mismanagement she was made Shaheeda and now Suleman Taseer who should have been removed from governorship (for bullying the elected govt. of Punjab not on his stance against Blasphemy laws) and spend rest of days thinking about days in governorship has become Shaheed.

But all things aside, his death will play an important role here in which direction Pakistan has to go. He is high profile enough to not let the matter die for weeks. It will be interesting to know what khutbaas are given during Friday prayers; and how people react when Malik Mumtaz is tried in the courts.

 


 

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Me, Pakistan and media


Yes,  I am about to block all the websites that can give news about Pakistan. How can you concentrate after reading all this. Bomb blasts, rising prices, electricity not there, and now Shehbaz making stupid remarks.

One good thing is atleast they can’t say or do stupid things and get away with them; remember Zardari & Child Born in Rikshaw both President and PM both had to do something to correct it, electricity theft atPML-N rally and now Shehbar Sharif making this statement. Credit must go to media and some form of working democracy. Few years back during dictatorship of Musharaf clothes were tore away from the bodies of prominent protesters and nothing happened.

I know there are many other cases where our politician’s and their worker’s transgressions are covered up, but then democracy is also work in progress.

You, see that’s what happens, I start thinking about Pakistan, reading about Pakistan and then oh this, oh that keep bubbling in my mind.

Right now I have to concentrate on my work, that’s what Pakistan needs more people doing their job correctly. So bye bye news for sometime

 

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Question to Supreme Court Why Saqib Nisar and why Khawaja Sharif ?


Here comes the new mess.

Again in Pakistan, Judges and Executive are face to face.

Ok, for people who don’t know, visit

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/president-elevates-justice-sharif-to-sc,-appoints-justice-saqib-as-lhcs-acting-cj-sc-suspends-notification-govt-claims-it-consulted-cj-legal-fraterni-420

From what I have heard, Chief Justice of Pakistan wants to elevate Justice Saqib Nisar to Supreme Court where as Govt. wants (more specifically it appears President of Pakistan wants) Chief Justice of Lahore Hight Court Justice Khawaja Muhammad Sharif.

What I have heard that it appears Chief Justice has more say in who’s to be elevated to the Supreme Court.  However what has concerned me more is Why Chief Justice wants a specific person to be in the Supreme Court and not the other one?

Is Justice Khawaja Sharif (Chief Justice of Lahore) less competent than Justice Saqib Nisar? or is it just personal preference?

If it is based on merit that I will be really interested in knowing why a Chief Justice of Lahore is less competent that his junior.

On the legal grounds, to me atleast it appears Cheif Justice of Pakistan has more firm standing because Govt. has to take the Supreme Court’s recommendation, which it has become evident that they have not taken. But the Supreme Court has to explain what is the criteria in which a person is elevated to this highly prestigious institution.  Just because you are legally right does not make a decision right.

Just because you can do something does not make it a correct decision.

He must explain why he is not picking the senior most judge to the Supreme Court. What is the mechanism of such process?

 

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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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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.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7163579.stm

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 http://www.pakistaniat.com) 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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