Desi in DC

April 25, 2009

Buner and the Talibans

According to the Dawn today, the Taliban decided to pull out of Buner. Please don’t take this as a sign of victory, or that the Taliban are now going to live according to the terms of the accord and just stay and rule in Swat.

I remember reading an article 8 to 10 years ago, again in the dawn. the person, a foreign journalist, had been following the “jihadis” as they were then called. She wrote about how there was a generation of young men who had seen nothing but war, who had been trained in nothing but war. They had fought the Russians initially, then they had fought amongst themselves, they later fought in Bosnia and occasionally entered Kashmir and fought there.  These men would now be in their 30s and 40s. they stay have a couple of decade of fight left inside them. They also have a new generation of men that they have trained. They fight in the name of religion, but know only that which has been taught to them, rather then gain their own understanding of religion.

The taliban is a similar breed, if not the same breed of men. Please don’t underestimate them. If they have retreated back to Swat, its only because under the current circumstances it made more sense to retreat. they will look for an opportunity and strike once again when the guard is down. Or maybe they will instill their writ and Swat and practice it till it becomes acceptable to people thinking it is the writ of the land and then they will expand.

We have to prevent this from happening. Were we not taught, that is you see an injustice happen, fight against it. If you cannot fight against it at least speak up against it. I think  most of us can at the minimum speak up against it.

April 22, 2009

CNN, Farid Zakarya and Karzai

There seems to be no point in watching CNN on a Sunday afternoon because all I see is Farid Zakariya on his favourite topic. Labeling Pakistan as a failed state, a rouge state and any other similar word he can get his hands on. First it was via newsweek and now its through CNN . I first thought I was paranoid but after seeing the same trends week after week I know I am not.

On this particular occasion, he had invited Mr Karzai, Afghanistan’s President to provide his comments. His introduction stated that this is the man who controls Afghanistan, why is it then that all unbiased scoops coming out of Afghanistan state that the US is doing miserably in the Afghan war and to be honest all Karzai controls is Kabul and the areas surrounding it.

According to Mr Karzai, the Taliban problem in Afghanistan is because of Pakistan. umm hello.. The Taliban problem in Pakistan is because of Afghanistan, as are the drug, guns, extremism and refugee problems!!

MQM, the talibans and Buner

Who thought there would be a day when I would support the MQM. Growing up in a family with strong supporters, I had the tendency to move the other way. Today after reading the Dawnregarding parliaments shameful reaction to the Nizam’s Adl and Sufi Mohhamad (SM) and his followers, I have to respect the party and thank them for their stance.  At Karachi Univeristy, while the APMSO was involved in all the activities that made us dislike student political parties with their phaddas and fights, they were also the party the girls went too when they  had “guy” trouble in the form of stalking and teasing.

Let’s just say that the girls were not bothered again.

Although I am a 90% optimist and have always believed that Pakistan can come out of everything, and that things will pass, I also don’t believe in just sitting back and not doing anything. I think the people of Pakistan need to be more vocal about their desires. Why is it that a bunch of extremely vocal “Talibans” can aspire to control the country and the silent majority just stay silent? If all its going to take is a “dozen” individual to invite SM into Buner, I would say to everyone please don’t keep sleeping. We saw the way the movement to restore the Chief justice succeeded, we need a similar one to ensure that Pakistan remains the relatively secular, moderately religious state that it is and that these people go back to where they belong- ie Afghanistan.

After all wasn’t it in my Islamiat class that I learnt that the Prophet (PBUH) said we should adopt the middle path ie moderation.

February 29, 2008

The genocide of Pakistani Humanity….

Over the past few decades, acts of violence and terrorism and singlehandedly attempted to kill all levels of humanity within the Pakistani society. Every value that we are proud of, that makes us different from the west, that makes us appreciate our culture seems to be targeted by these senseless acts of violence. As if someone is bent on removing them from the very core of our existence.

What do I mean by it?? Lets identify what we value and then move forward from there.

As a kid, growing up in Karachi, if someone had a flat or car problems, I remember my father offering to help. I remember people helping us as well. As I became a teenager that became less and less. Why was that the case? My father said people would use it as a ploy to steal your car or harm your family. It was safer to help a family then to help a single individual, especially a single male.

As part of Pakistani humanity, I remember driving down stadium road and seeing this old Afghan woman walking through the back routes trying to reach the road. My brother and sister in law stopped the car and offered her a ride. Their good deed for the day. This month I read something in the news that really scared me. A couple was driving their on one of the busy roads of Karachi. Someone got in the back seat and said that he was a suicide bomber and to ram the car / building/ police car etc//   This act has killed another aspect of the Pakistani humanity. Anyone who in the past wanted to offer a ride on a hot day to an old man will no longer do so..

On a hot day, I remember poor kids and old beggars knocking on the door asking for food. I don’t remember anyone sending them empty handed. If there was no cooked food in the house, we would hand them some fruits, if nothing else them a glass of water and something to eat. Today we ask how old is the person. Make sure there is no dacoit waiting to  rob the people..

and the list continues…

Are we going to let them completely annhilate our values and our humanity. Our we going to let them completely take over who we are? are we going to let these so called protectors of religion hijack our values and beliefs?

I don’t think so.. I don’t intend to let these terrorists and perpetrators of violence destroy the goodness in our society. What about you? 

This is a work in progress..

February 18, 2008

PK Elections 2008

Today the prayers of many Pakistani’s were answered. The elections were relatively peaceful. As the election results come out it is clear that there will be many changes in the upcoming years.. Many of the existing ministers were thrown out, including the minister for water and electricity. The last would make it seem that the people have decided to exercise their vote. At this point in time it doesn’t see if any one party will have a clear majority. So far the PPP and PMLN seem to be leading and media seems to be supporting the idea that the new government may actually be a coalition of PPP. PMLN and ANP.

For us as a country maybe that may be the answer. No one party be given so much power that it can actually blindly raid the country.

The second positive outcome of the elections is that so far the MMA has lost quite a few seats. In a way that was expected since the Jamaat had decided to boycott the elections. I hope this is a clear message from the citizens of Pakistan that we are proud Muslims and we don’t like people who tell us how to practice our faiths. WE decide what is Islamic and what is not. We will not have ideas of a few imposed on the many..

over and out, time to go back to watching the election transmission

PS: I really liked what the television host on GEo Stated. IS you have the right to vote and you did not exercise the right to vote then you have no right to complain about what happens in the country in the next 4 years.

February 14, 2008

The Opposition and Pakistan’s upcoming elections.

Today Zardari passed a statement saying that there would be protests if his party did not win the elections. Everyone is already stating that the elections are going to be tampered with.. Reading all these statements makes one ready to scream in frustration.. why??

A) these parties are extremely corrupt and there is a strong liklihood that they may or may not succeed.

B) some people hate the ruling party, other places like some in punjab have benifted greatly from the chaudries and may very well vote them back at least from their areas.

C) every party seems to be concerned about their own party, their own interests. They seem to ignore the fact that the country is going through some serious issues and for once it would be really nice if they could stop bickering and work for the national interest. But I don’t see that happening especially is the likes of zardai, bhuttos, sharifs and chaudries are to continue ruling us.

I agree with musharaff for once, please don’t take to the streets after the elections, you want to protest do so through some other channels..

I just hope we can find some decent leadership in this country. It is sad when I look at the choices I don’t find anyone that I really want to vote for. What use is my democratic right when it does not even provide me with a choice which is “lesser of the two evils”.

 Over and out..

a frustrated pakistani.

January 7, 2008

A Nation of Contradictions

I have not posted anything new in the past few days. I logged on to write and then gave up not knowing what to write. The state of violence, and the economic losses rendered me speechless. I have only been able to read, digest, and read again  the scale of the tragedy and violence that engulfed Pakistan, particularly Sindh after the assasination of Benazir Bhutto.

As I hear the stories,  I have come to believe we are a nation of contradictions. The average humane Pakistani who is at a loss at why something is happening and the conniving politicians who leave no opportunity to loot, raid and present problems for the people they aim to serve.

It were these who encouraged their workers to go on a large scale free for all spree of looting, arson and violence.  Never in our history of rioting have we had atms looted, nor factories or trains burned down. This was a first.  They came back again on Monday stating three days were too little to mourn our “great leader”. But then by politicians I don’t just mean one kind. The second lot responsible for the safetly and security of its people delayed issuing orders to protect the citizens of Karachi and Sindh. I have only heard stories that my family, friends and their acquaintances suffered through. I don’t even know 1% of all that happened to the poor masses of Pakistan.

On the other hand are the contradictions. The civilians, the masses, the villagers. These are the people who fed travellers in trains stranded in the middle of nowhere for upto 48 hours and more, with limited food and water on board.  It is these poor villagers who prevented the tragedies from becoming even worse.

We also have individuals who gave shelter to other people while Karachi was hijacked by rioters. Then again there were others who didn’t.  It is these people who warned women to leave their cars and seek shelter as rioters headed towards them.  We had a television host that repeatedly appealed to people to stay in their senses and not attack the lives and properties of their brothers and sisters.  It is these people who make me hopeful that we pakistanis will prevail once again. That there will come a time when we are no longer hijacked by the actions of our politicians and their workers and where the decency of the people will prevail and come to light again.

over and out..

November 8, 2007

of Lawyers, Kalam and emergency

Back online after staying away for a few days. Protests in Pakistan still continue. According to the latest news the lawyers are planning on switching their protests from out in the streets to the working of the courts. The lahore jails have become so overcrowded that the homes where political leaders were being kept under house arrest have been declared as subjails. Furthermore the factory at landikotal was also shut down to create more room.. refer to urdu press for more details

I guess the Jail bharo movement seems to be succesfull. The students of FAST and LUMS seem to have joined the protest and youtube is filled with videos coming out of PK.

Our TV channels were not to be left behind. Most channels especially GEO, ARY and DAWN have posted links on their websites where people can see live streaming.

BUt the one news, which has brought hope has nothing to do with the emergency. It is a news from KALAM that dawn reported. It seems that the tribal elders had called a jirga and then informed the “local taliban” that they were not interested in having the militants control their area and just basically asked them to get out.

good for you! the people of Kalam. I thank you from the depths of my soul heart…Now if we can get the “taliban” out of the other areas then the poor people of swat will be able to lead their own lives without fear of bomblasts and threats and the government will no longer have an excuse to continue with this “emergency”. So the question is.. is it still being called that or have accepted that it is a martial law.

so is a martial law in any other name still a martial law??

I am still wanting to be an optimist and may even wait and see if uncle musharaff plans on living up to his promises of holding elections in February. I guess the situation will hopefully be a lot clearer in the coming weeks.

over and out

a confused citizen of Pakistan.

November 3, 2007

8 years and Back to square one.

Filed under: Desi,Elections,Karachi,Muslims,Pakistan,Pakistani,Uncategorized — dcdesi @ 8:23 pm

8 Years later and we’re back to square one. 8 years ago in October 1999 Gen Pervaiz Musharaff and his army came into power through a coup. 8 years ago we were amongst the happiest people and thanking God that he had done so.

8 years later musharaff has once again declared an emergency and we can’t stop cursing him enough.

What has happened to bring about this change?

Musharaff stated in his speech to the nation that the nation is heading in a downward spiral, frankly none of us deny it. watching the news coming out of Pakistan has been extremely worrying.

security is almost non existent, with suicide bombers attacking almost weekly in some part of the country or the other..

prices have sky rocketed. When i left for school three years ago, milk was Rs 29 a kilo ( tetra pack) it is now sitting at Rs 44. tandoori naan is being sold in black for up to Rs 6 or 7.

the macro economic factors may be positive but the micro economic factors seemed to be heading downwards especially with inflation rising.

The rule of extremists groups seems to be rising in the north of Pakistan. Girls schools are being threatened, music shops seem to be bombed and painters, musicians and barbers are trying to relocate or start a living with a new occupation. The government doesn’t seem to have paid too much attention to the plight of the people.

Musharaff said what he is doing is in the interest of the country. He said in his speech that the supreme court is going out of control and that the media should have the freedom but also should take responsibility and that they should show positive things rather then portray negativity.

Is showing positivity when people are dying, and when the poor man can barely afford to eat 1 square meal a day rather then two,, is that not being like an ostrich with its head in the ground?

Is asking the police to locate the “missing people” and return them home, or asking the local government to take action against the excessive load shedding and traffic jams causing immense hardships for the people interfering?? Although I don’t agree with everything that the SC has done, for the first time it seemed there was finally some place that could represent the plight of the people, and maybe deal with issues that everyone was thinking about, and if nothing at least have a place to voice them.

8 years ago, we had a prime minister who was close to acting as a dictator, we had two prime ministers who had between them managed to rape the country in all manner.

8 years later, our saviour signed an agreement with one of these leaders in the interest of maintaining his post. 8 years later and as mentioned insecurity has skyrocketed, as had inflation.

I agree positive things have happened, but those too seem to be collapsing.. with the rains in karachi, the development work landed up creating hurdles in people’s live rather then benefiting them.. In the interest of democracy you are pushing one of the most corrupt leaders back to the people..

at the end of it all,, people are just tired.. they were promised so much,, and every single leader has disapointed them. including our current leadership.

We had hopes, we knew that things would be difficult, but to come back to square one after 8 years is simply heartbreaking.

to look at the situation in Pakistan and to acknowledge that things were bad during the 1990’s but the situation in 2007 is a lot worse and much more dangerous makes one think where are we headed.

I hope and wish that we have hit rock bottom and things can only get better, but maybe that is just wishful thinking on my part.

My God take care of Pakistan.

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