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Category Archives: PUCIT

My 4 Moments as Pakistani


4 days to independence day of Pakistan, 4 days to the celebration….

4 moments where being Pakistani was either made one proud or made one really hurt; atleast to me. One can come up with millions of such lists and hundreds of ordering. So I laid down some rules, it has to  be in my lifetime, that is I witnessed it happening, so pretty much past 30 years. Other than that there is no logic to it, no grand philosophical ordering,  and anyone of you can come up with a better list.

For me the difficulty about making such list is that I realize I have done nothing for my country or humanity in general. In any of these moments I was not the part that was making this moment interesting. I was not the one that helped Pakistan win any of the World Cups, I was not the one marching towards court to get Cheif Justice reinstated, I was not the one collecting funds for the Flood Victims. I was there but more of silent observer and passive member.

But then I was not part of people chanting slogans in favor of Army when Musharaf threw-out lawful Prime Minister or was among ones showering flowers on the killer of Salman Taseer……. I was not part of ugly history also.

I was not there in any of them, I was not making any history, I was just silent as the majority is, but who needs such majority if they can’t speak. .

Only one moment I was part of it was Earthquake 2005, I will start from there.

1) Earthquake 2005

It’s difficult to categorize this as best or worst moment of Pakistan, Northern Areas and Kashmir were literally converted into rubles; houses, schools, hospitals, everything was effected. For that moment it felt worst of being Pakistani, because so many people died and it became visible govt. cannot do it’s job.

Suddenly that became best of Pakistan; no one knows how and when, people just started organizing. Were scenes of rubles of Margala Towers and the people trapped in them, that gave the people an initial push or was it news of children dying in schools in Kashmir, I can’t say. It was just sudden….. and it was in grand order. It was huge effort to reach out to the people who needed help. People gathered food, clothes, blankets, tents…. anything they felt that could be used. Then they rented the trucks instead of handing out them to the govt. they took them to the effected areas themselves.  It was extraordinary response to the extraordinary challenge. If in the night you were on the road to Kashmir you can see lines of trucks moving from bottom to the top of the hill.

One day in Bagh area I saw truck load of water-bottles lying on the ground and cardboard boxes peeling off because they have been soaked due to rain. I was amazed to see this amount of water bottles, later I learned that during the early days one of Tv channels ran the story about natural sources of water have been disturbed due to earthquake and in some areas of Kashmir have no water.

I heard one of the guy from Karachi saying that in his area in Karachi people don’t have clean water to drink and here people are doing Wazu with the bottled water. Point is someone heard the story and thought that’s how he can help, he was able to find the resource, he was able to find a person to deliver it…….

We heard hundreds of stories, story of cart-pusher who was coming everyday to help find survivors from the Margala Building instead of selling the things and earn daily living. There were countless of examples where people giving away their savings. putting their lives at risk sometime. …..

That was best of Pakistan, …………

2) World cup……… leading to Shaukat Khanum Hospital

I was quite young at that time and did not knew much about the cricket, except that Pakistani team was being lead by this thin, tall guy called Imran Khan. (I think I had some memories of Sharjah Cup but nothing much) Then came the World Cup being played in Australia, with the theme song “Who’ll rule the World?” and …. things changed, I remember sitting in school van counting who will loose to whom for us to reach the semi-finals; even when I was not clear about the names of different deliveries.

(Good thing about being Pakistani cricket fan is that they don’t change much, even today they are dependent upon how others will loose rather how we will win. So memory keeps getting refreshed. )

Images of Rameez Raja taking the final catch, Waseem Akram taking two wickets in consecutive balls or Imran Khan with raised arms in joy having a victorious smile; have been plastered in my memory.

Why it is important? if we look at it just as a cricket-moment, it does not look much important in terms of history. We won in the Hockey World Cup, we won Snooker world cup and we were champions in Squash (we ruled squash world for 11 years, we ruled hockey more than that.) then why winning Cricket-World Cup was important?

Because it allowed Imran Khan to build Shaukat Khanum…. it made him legend, a giant, a wizard that can do anything. And we all rallied around him and got something important than a crystal cup… Shaukat Khanum Hospital.

Shaukat Khanum Hospital construction is one of the moments which we should all be proud of. Imran Khan might have played pivotal role but we helped him do it. After so many years it is still as success story. I hope it keeps being one. But it would have been difficult to do without the win in World Cup.

Will add two more in coming days.

 
 

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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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More Student Protests in Pakistan


I have come to know that many protests have been held and more protests have been arranged in universities of Pakistan.

The latest updates are being posted on the blog

http://pakistanmartiallaw.blogspot.com/

Most important news to me is that the Punjab University of Information Technology (PUCIT) might be having a protest arranged on 9th of November.

PUCIT, FAST and LUMS have huge student body. Where LUMS ‘s students belong to many influential families of Pakistan, PUCIT have students from masses. And they have to face more pressure not only from Administration but also from their families, which dont have enough resources to get them out of jail. Their participation means that resentment against Mr. Musharaf is so deep that even the families with mediocre resources are allowing their children become part of ant-marital-law movement.

The hidden gem is that Punjab University student has a most vocal Political vocal body Islamic Jamiat-e-Taliba, which in some years has been more active in finding the students with bad morals and protesting on meaningless things. Due to alliance of Maulana’s and Govt. this political body might not move an inch.

But if students of PUCIT start protesting and they face some police action, IJT might be forced to come out, because many of these students live in the hostels, where they have close ties with students of IJT. Please note that IJT, is most structured student body spread all around Pakistan. They can play vital role if they are willing for it.

But with all this euphoria, I have sense of sadness, because I feel Benazir and Maulana’s will remain part of silent deal, they will protest for the Restoration of Constitution, but will not talk for the Restoration of Judiciary. So these student protests will end with nothing but becoming bargaining chip on the table of Political poker players

 

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