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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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National Attitude of “Miti Pao G”?


PML-N gave the PPP 48 to stop ‘malicious campaign’ is the headline of the DAWN news (http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/09-pml-n-gives-48-hour-ultimatum-to-ppp–szh-07)

What PML-N is calling a ‘malicious campaign’ is airing of fresh acquisitions regarding the Karachi Operation and who took what during the formation of the IJI.  They are asking people not to come and say what they think is true. Instead of responding the alligations with the facts they just want to dust it under the carpet.

We as a nation shy away from History. “Miti Pao G” style is the best technique we have found to avoid escalation of the conflict.  It does avoid the conflicts but  facts are never found, issues are never resolved and myths are developed around it; plus it allows people to re-surface them when time suits.  That’s what we are doing here, we are avoiding not resolving issues.

Why don’t they ask the Govt. to release the documents? It is not the issue of one party against other, it is issue of one Govt. Agency taking matters in their hand and politicians playing in their hand. This is issue of many people who have suffered voilence over the years in Karachi.

In all this our media has and will play vital role. Till now they have been keeping bygones be bygones, it is their duty to not to let this be our national chracter in future.

Our history is full of turns and suspecious acts requiring detailed discussion and investigation. For example  10 years have passed from the Musharaf’s overtake there has been no detailed documentary. No one is investigated the timeline and claims of either party.

More than enough time has passed when about 30 people were killed on day Cheif Justice was going to address in the Karachi. No one has arranged discussion, reviewed the footage, talked to the suspects, interviewed the victims.

Why?  might be afraid from reprisal. But who is not?

Till now our Columns are filled with the That-Minister, That-General, That-time; even the most popular columists rely on the prefaces, stories extracted from history, exagerated and un-colabrated truths, camouflaged in the sufi-ism. These are examples of lazy jounalism.

It is time that they stop having daramatic talk shows and start doing investigative reporting.

Many will say what difference will it make, will any one will be proscecuted? I think no, no one will be proscecuted.

This is not get any one to jail, but trying to get the facts straight. Such programs will make it difficult for the Govt., politicians and agencies to cover up the truths. Most importantly it will be vital to destroy the Conspiracy Theorists livelihood and popularity.

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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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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