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Do not forget the nightmare we have recovered from


Posted @ LahorePostBlog

Pakistan lost to India in the world-cup semi final at Mohali. The battle of Mohali, a cricket match for the 20% of the world population, turned into massacre of Mohali for Pakistani fans and deeply struck them. Heartbroken 😦     There were high hopes and expectations, coinciding the event with the 1992 world-cup win, which even the team captain Imran Khan acclaimed, was a miraculous victory, though it was a hardworking and competent team.

Nevertheless, an ordinary, controversy stricken team brought us at the verge of a world cup win and so we have all the reasons to celebrate. Last four years and particularly the last one had been historicity, the worst one for Pak cricket, with all those spot-fixing scandals undermining national pride. There were fears being raised about Pakistan’s possibility of elimination from International cricket. This semi-reach has projected to the world on a huge Mohali platform that “we might be sleeping but we are not dead”!

Albeit, the way the event glued Pakistanis together is amazing to see. For what the country has been through, the divides, the turmoil, this one rare event united us all together. There were prayers for the team in mosques, temples, and churches alike –a spirit rarely seen.

‎”Though Afridi couldn’t win the world cup, for 30 days he made this country into a nation” – goes Ramiz Raja.

I have a firm faith in miracles, but with that come strenuous hard work and determination. Some real hard work needs to be done here. The “unpredictability” factor is not our strength; it is a mark of a flawed and struggling system bubbling with talent. The young surprise bundles Wahab Riaz, Asad Shafiq reflects the immense aptitude, and potential this country has. With such talent, there is dire need for institute building. More new boys need to be inducted.

Considering the fact that “everything is wrong” with Pakistan Cricket Board, what that has happened  is for good because certainly a win would have camouflaged known critical issues with Pakistan cricket, especially PCB instead of rectification. They must learn from mistakes and peak above politics.

Moreover, I am an admirer of Indian unity, their lasting pride, and nationalism-their “gairat brigade”. Much of it was echoed during the Mohali battle. I appreciate and I think they deserve the victory. The cup will come back to us when we will show sustained and unrelenting unity and discipline for it. Lets hope that this semi reach be the first step of the ladder. Let us optimize this unity – for now, we badly need it more than the world cup.

Fairly, at the end of a dream, some of us still do not realize the nightmare we have recovered from….Cheer up Pakistan!

…………………………………….

UPDATE

Ritz Rulz @imdnextbuffet tweeted at 6:10PM on March 30th from Mumbai,

“Bookie update..India will bat first score over 260, 3 wickets fall within the first 15 overs, pak will cruise to 100, then lose 2 quick wickets, at 150 they will be 5 down and crumble and lose by a margin of over 20 runs. Let’s c if its truee.. Neways who cares.. Winning is impt.. Evrythg is fair in love n war… N dis.. Is WAR”

So????? 😦

Are our heroes not really heroes?

Damn, bookies?? 😦


Why Nawaz don’t seek medical treatment in Pakistan?


Sharif, the boy who cried wolf…

Sharifs’ left just in time, similar to Zardari abandoning Pakistan during devastating floods, while an issue of international importance, Raymond Davis, took a dramatic turn here. Poor Rasheed is now helplessly defending them, irrationally of course. Inventing that the whole Davis rescue mission was not into their knowledge, and expecting that people will believe them.

Nonetheless, I have serious reservations regarding Nawaz’s “ill health”. Being a high profile leader (self-proclaimed) in powerwhy did he not get treatment from Pakistan? “Unstable Angina”(which I presume he has or is feigning!) is a minor heart problem vis-a-vis therapeutic management and even a fresh medical house officer can manage. In addition, if he had angina symptoms, first thing he should never have traveled!

Do not forget, Sharif’s run their own two hospitals, Ittefaq and Sharif medical complex (appealing  website). It is understandable why he does not trust state run hospitals, since they have done little to improve them except sloganeering and false claims in public advertisements, but why the distrust on his own hospitals!

British prime minister gets his wife delivered in a district government NHS hospital. Manmohan Singh gets his cardiac by-pass surgery in a state-run hospital in Delhi. Javaid Hashmi goes to General Hospital for his life-threatening Hemorrhagic stroke, instead of being flown elsewhere. Dr Qadir gets his successful prostate cancer treatment in Pakistan. Imran Khan does not fly to UK for a major abdominal surgery.

If Nawaz’s wife was unwell, which she might be, than he has two grown up sons and sons-in-law, who should have accompanied their mother especially when the big boss himself was sick!

Being aware of the “Moral” past of Sharifs, especially in context of deceit and lying, I find it difficult to buy the “illness” story, unless they publically produce his angiography and medical record and a reason for seeking management in London or Switzerland. Unfortunately, it is the “The boy who cried wolf” saga with them now. No sympathy- we need our answers first.

Who’s next?



Another dignitary sacrificed. Shahzad Bhitti- A rather naïve, benign and serene federal minister gunned down by rogue radical elements in the name of Blasphemy Law. Indeed, a heart-rending event and one wonders if their ever is an end to this.

Personally, for some reason I feel deep assosciation with the Christian minorities amongst other minors. The anguish and insecurity this incidence will create among them is inconceivable. Losing a celebrated figure, already a rarity in one’s community must be torturous. Though, I wouldn’t buy the blasphemy excuse in Shahbaz Bhatti’s case and I believe theirs more to than meets the eye.

No matter how much one detests the conspiracy theories, the acceptance of responsibility by the banned outfit TTP, Punjabi Taliban, straight away after the murder is no less trivial. Especially amidst the series of events that took place in the last month; the news of tussle between the Intel agencies, the CIA operatives “leak”, two of them now in police custody is not insignificant. Shahbaz’s case is different from Taseer’s. Seems like blasphemy Law is only a new excuse the rogues have found. I perceive, this murder has deeper objectives and authorities must look into it.

As regards the govt, theirs should be an explanation regarding provision of security to the minister especially after Taseer’s assassination. It does not require a very high IQ to comprehend that he being the only minister from minorities was the most vulnerable in the cabinet after Taseer’s murder. In addition, family claims death threats. Why were they ignored? Why such grave negligence? Perhaps because he was relatively a “useless” minister for them as compared to Awans? Now the party will cash on his death (as always). The case will be put at the back burner very soon.

By all accounts, govt alone is not liable. Pardon me, but I have solemn concerns with the judiciary as well. Ever since this war on terror, even the arrested terrorists have not been put to task. Therefore, the signal to the mutineers is clear; you are free to do what you want.

The judiciary must seriously look into the matter. Why in a country which herself is now the prime victim of terrorism, not a single scoundrel has been convicted so far? Otherwise, I am afraid, but it is at the back of my mind and haunts me “who’s next?”

“Dark Ages” of Pakistan


Posted @ LahorePostBlog

December marks the end of the deadliest 2010, the 201st decade, culminating after more than 100 drone attacks this year, killing mostly civilians. An era has passed, and it happened to be perhaps the most lethal and dreadful period for Pakistan. It proved to be a gloomy and historically “dark age” for the 63yr old country, in a rapidly evolving global geo-political environment. A nation that bore the brunt of WOT, sacrificed more men than any other ally, when no Pakistani was involved in it. Aided by, the most corrupt, and incompetent politicians as rulers of the state. It happened to be an age of bloodshed, extremely low self-esteem, and growing despair. Loosing, 10,000 cops, a good 30,000 civilians, and thousands of those who were crippled since the beginning of WOT. Still, we are not doing more.

The chaos began with the one man, dictatorial decision of Musharraf in 2001 to join War on Terror. It was a decision where options were limited but irony is that the gutless General gave in like a coward, and committed without any forcible terms and conditions.

Thereafter, giving in to their every demand as if Pakistanis were guilty. Later in 2004, he sent in armed troops without taking the parliament and the nation in confidence, and with no positive outcome whatsoever. Eventually an array of suicide attacks began, worsening as each day passes. Musharraf did manage to attract foreign investors but the economic boom proved temporary. Obviously, with a war going on at your borders and a growing concern over law and order situation, how could he have managed to sustain economic growth? Army once a pride and hope, thanks to him, earned an unruly, bad fame in his days. Lately, the 1999 coup fame, ex-Army COAS, Gen Zia-ud-din calls him an inexpert officer, incompetent general and a compulsive liar.

The 2007 Judiciary movement in due course commemorate the end of Musharaf and his continuous meddling with the constitution. He’s the pioneer of the unpardonable NRO which eventually allowed unclean politicians to take charge of the driving seat.

2008 marked the beginning of a democratic government, elected based on their slogan to revive and review policies. It lead in time to the rule of the most corrupt politicians. Theirs no change in the policies, no clear agenda whatsoever, and carnage and casualties continue. The world today is acquainted to drones through Pakistan.

Added to this is the escalating corruption, not even sparing institutions that previously had corruption free fame. Like, last month, motorway police got involved in a challan corruption scandal. It looks like an incurable epidemic. Steel mills scandal is outdated now. They have gone far beyond. The latest being the Reko diq scandal, which is equivalent to 200 steel mills.These guys are inventive and bold. The Hajj looting eventually leading to the prince writing to the CJ must have left many old ministers in a fury for not being so audacious!

More to it is the dooming economy. The Textile industry, our economic backbone, is barely surviving now, being forced towards an unnatural death. Foreign investment is out of question as there is not only miserable law and order situation but also distrust on the government by the International community, openly shown during the flood relief appeals. All of this is in due course leading to price hiking and hoarding of commodities. Might is right here now.

The adversity everywhere is eventually leading to an extremely low self-esteem of the nation as a whole, as is being manifested by the current sporting culture in the country. Cricket being a religion in Pakistan is not mere a sport here but also a representative of the spirit and morale of the nation and the youth. Cricketers are now being scrutinized. Another one, lately fled the field. Guilty or not, but the impact it creates is detrimental.

It is the end of 2010 and like Obama, the change that the elected democratic govt in Pakistan, comprising of the two mainstream political parties, promised is nowhere to be seen. The nation now awaits a messiah and a changeover.

Being an ultimate optimist, I also believe that it can’t go on like this forever and renaissance is round the corner! The nation that carries tremendous potential within herself now desperately yearn for a change. The best educated Muslims in the world today are Pakistanis, proving their mettle all over the world. The brainy, creative youth here is capable of not just making “copy” but “original” as well, (as can be witnessed by the rare opportunities they manage to get). All that is now desired is a changed and charged leadership.

I aspire that the new year and consequently the new age marks the beginning of a new blooming era for Pakistan – I still dream of a prosperous Pakistan, gearing steadily on a dodgy road towards the vision of Quaid, and the dream of Iqbal.



Sky is the limit for Pakistan,s ruling elite


Posted@ letusBuildPak

Global Voices

First the million dollar nuptials of Shoab-Sania, than Ishaq Dar,s son,s wedding at Atlantis Palm Jameirah. Mr Dar later showed the 27, 000$ dollar bill of the banquet hall in a TV show, (remaining expenditure of the wedding will remain undeclared! I bet it must have easily crossed the 1 crore  mark! ) modestly admitting, he goes, the expenditure is justified since it is his declared earnings and that he’s a big donor as well, not mentioning even if he’s right; Is it morally acceptable for a Govt representative of his stature to advocate such high-priced lifestyle, when the economy here’s is barely surviving. What kind of ultimately lucrative standards are they setting for their followers?

Moreover, I wonder what really is the limit of spending from one’s declared property? Especially for an office bearer. As corruption, and especially money laundering has been proven Hilal by majority of our rulers! What next? A trip to the moon? So much for the spoilt politicians and now their children.

Likewise, MP son of Sharif’s, the greatest flag bearers of simplicity, and who pay lesser tax than I do, imported a Siberian leopard a while ago. The Leopard needed special dietary requirements and a perfectly air-conditioned room round the clock, while the industry here is dying an unnatural death because of unwarranted load shedding. Though daddy Shahbaz disapproved it, yet such contemplation of a parliamentarian is beyond my mind.

Similar to them are our hypocrite mullahs, who send their own children to the best institutes in the world but always, promote and construct Madrassas here in Pakistan, of course, to keep a steady source of workers and voters. I absolutely have no issue with their kids obtaining foreign qualification, but the least they should do is advocate and toil for a unified curriculum in Pakistan.

The ecstasy of power is exclusive! Expenditures of PM house and Presidency in millions is to everyone’s knowledge. Lately, the £2m Harrods furnishing for Gillani,s place by his wife remained the tittle-tattle. The paradox is, there are no donors for the 2b flood affectees, and when every penny counts, the wealthy rulers are obliviously and religiously busy squandering.


Surrey’s history! Mr. Zardari,s visit to his Chateau in France was disapproved of all over the world as one of the worst flood of the century hit the country. I bet, the rulers abroad must be jealous of the empires he has made out of his job! No wonder, finally Hillary Clinton tells the govt to stringently draw tax from the rich.

The prime minister’s obsession for branded suits is no less trivial, his favorite said to be Bruno Magli costing between £3,000 and £7,000, and reportedly, he does not wear them twice. Instead, he declared to auction them (I doubt anyone showed interest!). Not to forget, the famous tale of family being imported on a chartered plane for a diner with Angelina Jolie, while she was making humble pleas to the world to donate to rescue the 2 billion flood victims.

This list has no end, as more such scandals keep rolling in now and then, given that it’s a “Family First!” policy. These very politicians than advocate simplicity, considering it times of adversity. Instead of pragmatic resolution of issues, they tell us to quit sugar if it is expensive.

Accountability aside, as policy makers and money handlers, what message are they sending across with such lucrative life styles, even if it is their Halal money as they always claim! Had we been an oil-drenching, gold-producing, sheikh land, I would have absorbed such lavish outgoing, but for heaven’s sake this is a war-poverty-flood-hunger-stricken bankrupt Pakistan at the disposal of IMF. Why can’t they postpone their shopping drills until the phase is over?

While they and their children are busy partying, the folks who advocated and demonstrated democracy show different values. There, the rich volunteer to pay more taxes to resolve the crunch, the PM leads from the front in economic crisis and flies in club class on local airways, and their heirs join troops, a tribute, and a symbol of solidarity to those at peril on the frontline.

“White Poison” Industry necessitates radical reforms


Originally posted @All Things Pakistan

The sugar scam resurfaces yet again. Skyrocketing sugar prices, in an environment where inflation is already a critical concern, is only adding fuel to the fire. Concisely, a whole chain involving politicians, ministers, mafias etc are said to be responsible. To begin with, I am unable to understand the mere basis of this industry. What is the gain? Apart from jeopardizing health, discontent farmers and public frustration now and then. Was it meant for exports? If yes, how can a commodity be exported contentedly when it is unattainable for a massive own population? Cane it seems is no more a cash crop.

The saga is more complex than it appears to be. To get down to it; minor farmers are bullied because of the manipulative legislation that does not allow farmers in specified areas around the mills to do crushing on their own. They are destined to give away their crop to the mills on conditions prescribed by the industry. According to the sugar factory control act 1950 (this is an old one, but very similar legislation exists even today, cud nt find a link on net)

The Cane Commissioner may, after consulting the Board, issue an order declaring any area to be reserved area for the purposes of the supply of cane to a particular factory during a particular crushing season or seasons, and may likewise, at any time, cancel such order or alter the boundaries of an area so reserved. Also,

If the cane growers or Cane Growers’ Co-operative Societies in the assigned area are not willing to enter into agreement to supply, the Cane Commissioner may, by an order in writing, require them to do so on such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by him, which order shall be legally binding on the cane growers or the Cane Growers’ Co-operative Societies, as the case may be

Such legislation has led to the growth of an unwanted, uncalled for industry in Pakistan. In what way is it aiding to the progress of the country?

Health hazards of this “Chemically treated Chemical”, also known as “White Poison, is an acclaimed fact now. In brief, refined sugar is obtained after processing, using several chemicals like phosphoric acid, formic acid, sulfur dioxide, preservatives, and/or any flocculents, surfactants, bleaching agents or viscosity modifiers. All vitamins (A,D,B complex), minerals, proteins, fats, enzymes, fiber and every nutrient is removed during the process.

Ironically, no research facility is available in Pakistan to tell you if there are other indigenous causes of the Diabetes mellitus epidemic in the country, apart from the usual risk factors like genetic predisposition, changed lifestyle etc, though references linking refined sugar to Diabetes are available.

“Refined white sugar is to a large extent to blame for some forms of diabetes, whose victims face the threat of blindness and other serious impairments, not to mention heart disease, stroke, schizophrenia, alcoholism, and possibly some kinds of cancer,” according to Dr. Robert D. McCracken, University of California (UCLA) anthropologist”.

Well, sugar being sugar is unhealthy, but unlike raw sugar, the refined sugar rushes through the stomach wall, and stimulates excessive secretion of insulin by the pancreas.

The traditional raw sugar, or muscovado sugar or “shakar” as we call it, is made by evaporated cane juice. It is already reasonably refined, free of dyes and chemicals and contains mineral salts, fiber, and vitamins as well.

West has acknowledged the worth of naturally acquired food and is raising “Go Green” slogans, thereby promoting the new trend of organics. Gradually recognizing the hazards of refined and processed food, theirs slow twist in lifestyles; organics is now much more expensive and represents class and flair as compared to the so-called refined or synthetic. Since we the complexed faction of sub-continent do what the west does, and devotedly refrain from using own brains, so in this respect particularly, I believe the trend of traditionally made sugar be revived in Pakistan.

Such a trend in our region, if promoted, can have remarkable impact. Apart from health safety, it will help counter exploitative mill owners mostly politicians, and prevent manipulation of small farmers. Increased awareness will raise demand and perhaps some day sugar industry and mafia that controls it will die a natural death. BTW, Brown sugar is a refined or partially refined form of white sugar with some molasses mixed in and not at all a substitute of raw sugar.

To get rid of sugar crisis once for good, radical measures must be adopted, including earnest will and an amendment in the sugar factory control constitution. I cannot see a point in breeding such an industry, which is more of a nuisance than a benefit.

It should only be limited to provision of sugar for industrial use and available resources be shifted to certain new feasible industry.

Kashmir awaits flotilla


While 20% of Pakistan is submerged in water and Pakistanis are facing the worst and most widespread natural disaster in the living history. There, on the western border, we are stuck in an exigent WOT. Superadded to this now is the rapidly changing dynamics in the Indian occupied Kashmir.

For the last 3 months, freedom struggle in Kashmir has escalated, resulting in killing of more than 100 since June. As a consequence of “Mass graves” and thousands of “Missing persons “over the years, now more women and children than ever, actually widows and orphans of those martyred or abducted by Indian army are marching on the streets in Kashmir. The Indian military has blocked all sorts of telecommunication means and Kashmir has been barricaded. However, the overwhelming resistance that the largest military occupation force in the world is experiencing at this moment is unforeseen and Indian junta for the first time appears to be helpless.

Palestine and Kashmir has scores of similarities. Both conflicts originated in 1948 because of illegal occupation of their territories and barely surviving the clasp of two superlative militaries ever since. It is the 4th generation of these two nations suffering and fighting for justice. Both, erupted huge wars in Arab and Indian sub-continent during the last 60 years, resulting in the emergence of three nuclear powers; Israel, India & Pakistan. In both the places, stonepelters are retorted with bullets and freedom fighters are considered terrorists, and, both are eminent for the beauty of their inhabitants.

While the Arabs have successfully projected the Palestinian issue (not that it is resolved, but at least the world is aware), Pakistan and Pakistanis never highlighted it in that manner, hence the world recognizes Gaza, but is oblivious to Kashmir blockade. A trivial attack in Gaza and the whole world knows, but as regards Kashmir, they remain uninformed. Though, oppression and massacre of any kind and anywhere is unjustified and must be condemned. But the point is, it only indicates far better lobbying on part of Arabs as compared to Kashmiris or Pakistanis.

Had there been a daring government in Pakistan at this point of time, this could have been a wonderful opportunity to take Kashmir issue to a higher ground, and perhaps, solving it entirely to free Kashmiris from the ruthless Indian forces, allowing them to live in accordance to their will. But lets not blame the state all the time, even the Pakistani nation, as well as immigrant Kashmiris settled all over the world have not done their homework over the decades. Had they accentuated the issue over the years, than expectantly today in spite of a spineless ruling elite, they could have evoked a fervent response, enough to grab the attention of the world towards the massacre.

I recall these immigrant Palestinian class fellows, literally crying for carnage in Palestine, I remember this half-Palestinian, half-British girl, who had never been to Palestine, but respecting her roots, she urged everyone to help and raise voice for Palestine, literally every time she met. Only recently, we all witnessed March of flotillas, air force being airborne, zealous Protestants on social networking sites and ardent demonstrations all over the world.

This is the spirit I am talking about, that is seriously lacking amongst Pakistanis, and, particularly a huge number of Kashmiri immigrants living lavish life abroad as well as in Pakistan. My perspective is, particularly as a Pakistani, we might not be pardoned for Kashmir, as they have historical links and deeper social ties with us. I wonder, if the Indian lobby is stronger than the Jewish, or whether nuclear Pakistan is weaker than Palestine. Why, we have never been pro-active as regards Kashmir? Kashmir needs flotillas today. Common at least raise voice, it does not even cost anything!

Linked @GlobalVoices

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