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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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Writing about Pakistan


posting about Pakistan is most difficult thing to do, should one post about rising tensions on LOC? defending actions of arm-forces while still preaching that peace should be given chance? should one post about 100 killed in previous day? should one share the positives that exist beside darkness? should one talk back to friends about dangers of making deaths into issue of one sect, while still standing beside them? should one talk to ones who are ignoring this massacre like nothing serious has happened? should one ridicule so called 40 million “match” maker? should one talk about trauma many of our force-members might have been going through in past some years? or about the ones whose family members have been shot down, blown out by bombs and bullets? should one shout for mile long lines on gas stations? of the financial burdens or chilling cold residing on the planes of Punjab effecting next crop year? should one shout out names of people whose disappearance and murders have silence markers directing towards people with big boots?

Taken about 23 hours ago.

 

I just saw picture of street full of people sitting in the cold winter night with the dead bodies of people died in previous day’s terrorist activities. How can you argue with these guys that giving city and province under the army will not going to resolve anything? that it will worsen the situation, that Armies are not there to run the cities and provinces. But how shall one argue with the ones whose friends, family members and neighbors have been shot down continuously. We all know that the actions being demanded right now are not even good as band-aid,  but does anyone has anyother solution?

I don’t know what to say …

Iqbal said “people think it is to be a Muslim”, sometime it appears same thing could be said about being Pakistani.

in these moments one realizes what Faiz must be going through when he wrote following poem.

تجھ کو کتنوں کا لہو چاہیے اے ارضِ وطن

جو ترے عارضِ بے رنگ کو گلنار کریں
کتنی آہوں سے کلیجہ ترا ٹھنڈا ہوگا
کتنے آنسو ترے صحراؤں کو گلزار کریں

تیرے ایوانوں میں پُرزے ہوئے پیماں کتنے
کتنے وعدے جو نہ آسودہ اقرار ہوئے
کتنی آنکھوں کو نظر کھا گئی بد خواہوں کی
خواب کتنے تری شاہ راہوں میں سنگسار ہوئے

بلا کشانِ محبت پہ جو ہوا سو ہُوا
جو مجھ پہ گزری مت اس سے کہو، ہوا سو ہوا
مبادا ہو کوئی ظالم تیرا دامن گیر
لہو کے داغ تو دامن سے دھو، ہوا سو ہوا

ہم تو مجبورِ وفا ہیں مگر اے جانِ جہاں
اپنے عشاق سے ایسے بھی کوئی کرتا ہے
تیری محفل کو خدا رکھے ابد تک قائم
ہم تو مہمان ہیں گھڑی بھر کے ہمارا کیا ہے

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Democracy? Constitution, laws and freedom


It has always been interesting to see people doing the same thing after coming into power of which they complained before. Case in point present Pakistan and Turkey. Have talked about Pakistan a lot so let have a look at Turkey

Today it could be as far more democratic country than ten years back, there are no more military dictators over throwing the government in the name of Ataturk and less visible is their control over government. The government is appearing relating to majority of people instead of being enforcer of rules designed by small set of people.  Economy is not doing bad and Turkey is aligning itself to become regional power; with Edagon appearing to eye the leadership of the Muslim world (how can one define this is open for discussion)

In all this progress there is one aspect which is being neglected, it appears, knowingly and willfully (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2012/oct/23/press-freedom-turkey).  The freedom of press, one cannot choose one freedom and not other. Infact country with the history like Turkey should be served well with the more freedom of expression.

Governments (like Pakistan and Turkey) claiming to be democratic should work to increase and defend  freedom of press and and expression. Because in the end this is the tradition, when ingrained in society, will protect them from future military coups. People who come through force can’t be stopped by the words of law but the strength of it. And strength of law resides in the traditions accepted among people of country. Freedom of expression in America is much due to it’s people than due to law. Laws could be rewritten and constitutions could be amended and ignored. . It’s people who after practicing and participating in the application of law that gives it a soul.

Only then they become defenders of the democratic system rather than being just defended by the democratic system.

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Will you stop insulting? Will you change?


Will you stop insulting? this question is not for the non-Muslims, but the people living in Muslim societies who call themselves Muslims.

Yes, I am asking Muslims, will you stop insulting? Today Muslims feel they are hurt. Will this realization bring positive change?

When you are done burning (ironically your own buildings), killing your own people, destroying your own economy, have a peek at what Thomas Friedman says in Look In Your Mirror . He, I believe has not being as truthful and as harsh as he should be. We do much worse things that what he is pointing out.

People in Muslim societies constantly insult others, we have latrine-jokes about founder of Ahmedi religious group (that we have declared non-Muslim), we have “names” for the Jews and their leaders (there are youtube videos calling them pig), we call Hindus “paleed” (not-clean), we make fun of how they respect cow.  Our books represent Hindus as plotters and money grabbers, we call Christians “churha” (derogatory  word), our masajid every day call us to be victorious against Kuffars (infidels) without even giving a hint of respect to all the non-Muslims living among us.

After all the hurt you (yes you calling yourself Muslim) will you stop insulting others?

 

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Maya Khan Fired; Pakistani social media’s firstblood ?


When Maya Khan took out the camera and start filming people in the parks, she did not knew what will happen afterwards, she had not expected that Social Media will go crazy on that. Youtube clips of Maya-Khan Squad rounding the couples and humiliating them made everyone cringe,……. Facebook hummed her name, blog after blog start appearing criticizing her, then some portion of main-media actually took notice, (tribune was posting blogs already) BBC’s urdu section without naming her wrote a wonderful piece. (Aap Toa Naeb-e-Khuda Hean), she tried to give half hear-ted apology which was more of explanation with an ounce of showing that she understands why people are angry.

Today, Maya Khan has been fired,

I was not expecting that, did not knew Pakistani social media could be a little powerful,  did not fathomed that criticism by the public can force cooperate’s hand to correct the mistake, we are the nation where 100 people die due to medicine-reaction and no one cares, but here it happened, sound was too loud to be muted.

Is this Pakistani social media’s first blood, I don’t know but it is one quite visible one. It’s power, let’s use it properly and effectively? Next topic? Medicine companies? well if not big shots atleast we will be able to mute out the people who announce Kafir Fatwas on Tv.

 

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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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death of 100 people! no let’s discuss weather


That’s what is attitude of our news media looks like.

About 100 people have died in the Yakagund and you know what are headlines of our news-media websites is? Yes, you will think, it will be about plight of the people, sketches of perpetrators, articles regarding how the investigation is going, might be something why the Taliban attacked this little known place, why it was important.

Oh no! you forget this is Pakistan not some Western country, where even just a unblown car parked in NY streets can trigger news blaze of many days and manhunt on much bigger scale. And no this is not like Britian where 7 july terrorism caused a country wide investigation, where in few days the houses were raided and explosives were found.  Let me stress media did not let the administration go, they kept the watch, they kept it as main story.

No sir this is Pakistan, after one day the main pages of the big Pakistani media outlet’s websites don’t have any article on it.  Dawn has some images in their media gallery, 12 of them to be precise. AAJ, has a general information news report of about 1 minute. Geo Tv’s website does not this news, atleast I was not able to find it. Tribune express has news about it way down their page in “More News” section.

Where as open the http://www.guardian.co.uk/ and you get it On the front page in the opening frame, no scrolling down to read about death of 100 people. BBC has it in OTHER TOP STORIES section on their main page, and on-top in their South Asia page.

Don’t take me wrong, I am not criticizing Pakistani media for caring too much about the degrees of Parliamentarians, I think they are doing a good job here. These frauds ruling us should be exposed and prosecuted. But media should not put death of 100 people on inside page. News agencies should be swamping  the area with their reporters, their investigative journalists should be exposing the negligences, their analysts should be telling us why these people were targeted.  Run the mill journalists covering condition of treatment and facilities available in those areas.

But no we are forgetting them, forget similarly but more quickly than we are forgetting about the Data Darbar. Our media has failed to be investigative and persistent; simply doing talk shows and making viewers listen to analysts debates cannot make their shows come close to reports of international media.

One question that keeps coming to my mind, has this attack happened in Lahore would our news media websites will have same headlines?

 

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