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Category Archives: Terrorism

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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Want to protest against attacks on minorities; then meet them


[With about 80 people dead in the attack on Church and resent earthquake (in which it is feared deaths to reach 1000) both indicate how ineffective our govt. has been in protecting and serving it’s citizens. A deafening silence for the earthquake victims on social level shows how much we have just accepted that our govt. cannot do anything for us.]

[note: a friend pointed out that what I wrote feels like I am saying only minorities are being targeted. No they are not the only ones, there have been consistent attacks on masajids, bazars and security forces. Ones who are attacking minorities are attacking all Pakistanis (Daata Darbar attack is not so distant event). However it does not mean our society does not need more open communication among religious groups living in it.  We all might not be spilling hate about them, but we do get criminally silent whenever someone is killed in the name of blasphemy. Putting a friend’s face to group might reduce our biases. ]

Let me start by saying I don’t believe in protesting against terrorists. No I don’t believe that holding banners and marching while shouting slogans on the Mall road (Lahore) is going to deter terrorists from attacking another mall or church or school or masjid; brutally and cowardly killing innocent people. So all those questions about shame of being Muslim and protesting against terrorist just indicate how naive are we.

I am not talking about not protesting against government, we can protest against lack of security, unequipped and poorly armed police and poorly functioning security net that should have predicted such event.  We can protest against all this but against terrorists such protests loose their meaning. Why? because they are cancer. One does not protest against cancer that plagues ones body. One takes action against it, medical procedures aside, one changes his/her life style, throws away tobacco, adds more greens in diet, starts running a bit. One takes stock of everything he/she has been doing till now and changes it.

If we are  really serious in fighting this menace, if we really want to remove cancer from our bodies we should change what we have been doing till now. We have been living in monolithic society in a non monolithic population. We have been ignoring all that is different to us, like they don’t exist. Lets change that, lets allow us to get familiar with who live among us.

Lets go to Church on weekend with our families,  invite members of Hindu community to our masajids, learn basics of Sikh religion, let scholars of different religions come and give lectures in our universities. Let them explain what they believe in and let us tell them what we stand for. Lets have a picnic where our kids can play together.  Lets make it difficult for this cancer to spread to our next generation.

Let our kids know people with other faith are not some strangers but part of our society; it’s OK to be different, it alright to believe in something other than what you believe in. But most importantly let us teach them what other beliefs are. Lets burst the bubble we have been living and accept there is more than just what we have been told. And we do that by listening to people of different faith, let them tell what their religion is not what our imagination has cooked up. 

All the goals of removing hate from our books are great, but they will not be solved by some govt. they will be solved when majority of us will have one friend who is not from our religion. When our friends will not shy in telling they are Ahmedi or Shia or Christian or Sunni or atheist or agnostic, that will makes us question all the hate we have unconsciously living with.

If we want to protest, lets protest by action and do something that will last long. Lets take a first step and meet each other, lets make one friend this week who is not in agreement with our belief system.

 

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Doing more than just sit in


Today saying “I am Shia too” will not do,

today just doing sit-in will not do. Those 100 dead men and their families deserve more than that from us.

We the facebook protesters, who are doing laudable service by spreading information about Quetta sit in, should do something more important. We should start conversation and initiate process of putting in paper solid demands.

We should start conversation about how really to safeguard Quetta and Balochistan, we should help shape what expectation from govt. should be. Instead of just slogans we should put point of actions. Each of us wants justice for the ones who have been killed and targeted. But what is that “justice”? We want the peace and security but “how” is where our politicians and we are failing. We are demanding but our demands are hollow and ambiguous.

There is big blank bag of nothing, whenever I hear demand restructuring of police or swift justice. These are empty, lazy slogans. And we all get engulfed in them, because they are easy to make and in the end these make it easy for us to blame others for the failure.

Some of us wants army to come and take up the govt in Balochistan, but what they going to do? Do they have investigative powers and abilities? What mechanism will keep check and balances? How the ones who are arrested will be prosecuted? don’t we remember news of alleged terrorists being released because prosecution could not  build case or police (or army personnel) made procedural mistakes while arrest and investigations ? Will just putting more men on street will do away with the terrorists? What about the hateful material and attitudes we all are harboring for each other’s sects?

Quetta needs much stronger plan. It needs increase in police force, it needs cameras on the roads, it needs better intelligence operations, it needs better bomb detection equipment., change in the “educational material” to include acceptance of what is different. It needs our help to construct charter of demands, a blue print that we should use for all the cities on Pakistan. Most of all it needs better Civil Local Govt.. not the old ideas of putting Army in-charge.

It needs our help in making us realize once for all that there is no silver bullet, we can’t just ask for messiah to come and relieve our pain. It needs our sit-ins, but it need us also to do our job that is converting slogans into documents of practical plans.

 

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Osama dead, Why Pakistan is silent?


Right now every one must have known that Osama has died. The ghost that haunted the world and was main poster boy of terrorism has finally met his end.

Where was he found? Pakistan, not in mountains, not near border, in ABBOTTABAD. Not in some jungle far away from civilization; right in the city.  (Someone has put the location now on the google map)

Right now all the news is coming is from US, that he has been killed, mainly by operation from US forces with Pakistan’s help;

More interesting point is Pakistan is silent.  Why? is the question that is quite confusing. If we played some role, which I want to believe we really did, why are we not coming out and saying, congratulating our forces and agencies for finding him. More silent we will remain more wind we will give to speculations and spins. It is such an important event.

Also we should take responsibility, explain to our people why he was living in Pakistan, for how long was he living in Pakistan.  Why we were not able to track him down before?

It’s not an era where you can assume that by remaining silent you can avoid the questions. Own the responsibility, own the actions we have to taken to stop the terrorism. President and prime-minister please take a leadership role.

{While our govt. is silent, Live updates are coming twitter from Sohaib Athar http://twitter.com/#!/ReallyVirtual, it appears he was in Abbottabad and was tweeting the incidents without knowing what actually was going around.

Well he is on the New York Observer  Sohaib Athar: The Guy Who Live-Tweeted Osama Bin Laden’s Death}

It’s becoming more and more embarrassing by each minute,  according to Omar Waraich PMA was just a kilometer away from compound, even Hameed Gul is saying “That Bin Laden could be in Abbottabad unknown to authorities “is a bit amazing”” (guardian live blog).  Keeping mum will not wash away the huge embarrassement, tackle the issues that have created this embarassement.

 

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Governor Salman Taseer assassinated by intolerance


Governor of Punjab Pakistan Salman Taseer has been murdered by his own guard citing that Governor called Blasphemy laws black laws. How much intolerance we can live with? Where is freedom of expression? Can we not criticize a law made by humans?

Killer Mumtaz Qadri is not sole responsible, we all are. Our media anchors, our columnist, our religious scholars and our intellectuals, we all are.

One of the the worst part is there was rumor (according to the TV. Channels) that Salman Taseer was about to removed from Governor’s post. The guy who should have been thrown out of the govt. has now become Pakistan’s hero.

I never liked this guy not because he was vocal against the Blasphemy laws, I respect him for that, but his overall behavior was more of the bully than a respected governor.  Now it’s really hard time for me to say anything against him; he is dead and has been killed for one thing I hold dear, Freedom of Expression.

Let’s not let this person’s spilled blood go waste, let’s start pushing for more open attitude, making people realize that no one will be safe if we let this intolerance attitude prevail.

 

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4 bomb blasts in Pakistan in last 2 days


Following are the headlines of Tribune right now

  • Suicide attack in Quetta, kills 55
  • two killed in Mardan blast
  • Explosion in Peshawar, 1 killed

 

Bomb Blast in Pakistan; from Tribune

 

Add one line of the people who died two days back in Lahore, wait, further add floods of the century (not this century which has just started, literally flood not seen in this land for more than 100 years) and you have….. I don’t know what you have, scariest picture or bravest nation or country that should not be even caring about what’s going around any where else.

But no, we are eagerly waiting for  investigation outcome that charges our players, the investigation in the scandal some people are called biggest in last decade. Why because frankly that’s we have got, that’s our booze, that’s our weed, that’s what keeps us to fight about something much smaller than what we face everyday.

Back to attacks, even with track record of Pakistan, these bomb-blasts are not simply an-other attack they have very open tones of Sectarian hate, and can cause widespread sectarian violence.  It’s time to show leadership and come out, try to pacify the crowd. Try to deal with the situation. Let not this become fight between sunni and Shia, because it is not. It’s fight between us and terrorists.

 

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I stand with my Shia (&Sunni) brothers, but is it enough?


Triple bomb blasts have hit Lahore and on the Shia procession, near Gamea Sha. Newspapers are telling the names of different routes taken by the suicide bomber; I read names of those places and fell anguish and sadness. These are places where I have rode my bike so many times; sometimes worry free, sometimes in hurry, … but these are places that belong to me not to these terrorists. I see video footage of the scenes after the bomb blast and you see people in trauma, in one video one woman was just running here and there, unable to be controlled by many men. This is true representation of victims of these blasts.

I want to say I Stand with my Shia brothers, but is it enough? Is it enough to say I stand by the victims?

These people were targeted due to their faith? one can say, but most importantly they were targeted because they are part of the Pakistan.  Success of each such event where a group having different point of view is involved, strengthens publics view of it’s own society. Each such event makes a person believe that he is part of this country, this society.

We should remember that previously two places regarded with very deep respect by Sunni’s have been targeted, Data-Darbar and Mosque in Garhishow, in which a famous sunni scholar was killed because he was against Taliban.  It will huge disservice to the people who have died to label this bomb blast as against Shia and extension of negative Shia perception in Sunni majority society. Yes there exist prejudices and negative ideas about each other, but this does not mean people want to kill each other. My grandfather used to take me to the Shia procession, holding his hand we used to watch men chanting in one voice, rhythm by the beat on their chests and then there comes outs the chains; it used to be such enthralling scene.  Many sunni’s still go to these processions, it’s part of our culture. I don’t know if any of the dead is Sunni or not, but it should not matter.

What should matter is our resolve against terrorists? Should we allow them to tell us what is right and what is wrong? Should we allow them to dictate the terms because they have guns and our governments plus establishments have been weak in dealing with them?

We should question why and how? Why and how these people were able to attack? Saying one cannot stop Suicide bomber could be correct, once it is in the public it’s very difficult, but they need the equipment, they need plan, they need logistics, that’s where our mistake comes.

It’s time that we put more money in our security agencies, namely police and FIA; it’s the war where we need them. Give them technology, give them training, give them more man power and most importantly give them respect.

Sobering aspect is our media again, all top media agencies are reporting different casualties, Aaj-tv is saying atleast 37 dead, Tribune Express 18, geo 35 and dawn 27.  Such huge difference?

Either our reporters are bad or the situation in our hospitals so bad that we can’t even count dead people?

 

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