Stealing a Life …


Paris attacks are harrowing. Brings a shiver down my spine. I am not exaggerating my state of mind. Whenever innocents die I am forced to recall the words from my favourite book “The Kite Runner”:

“…there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft…when you kill a man, you steal a life…you steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness…there is no act more wretched than stealing…a man who takes what’s not his to take, be it a life or a loaf of naan…I spit on such a man. And if I ever cross paths with him, God help him…”

A horde of Muslims have been concerned about how the horrendous attacks in Paris will bring a bad name to Muslims, again. I am not sure how to answer this. More or less the same number of people are concerned about how western media is actively reporting the Paris carnage and how Facebook is sympathising with the French community by rolling out an application that can merge your profile picture with the French flag to become a unique profile picture on your profile. They are arguing that such a sympathising gesture is only bestowed on the western people and the terrorism affectees from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, Iraq and others are always snubbed and which is a discrimination and selective-sympathy. It is true. But I guess it is more true that Muslim states are so feeble and incompetent today that their internal differences owing to sectarianism and weakness owing to corruption have led them to this situation and because of that Muslim community is given little or no significance in a world dominated by western democracy, culture and economy. Nature has it that only the strong survives. Justice is subjective and the mighty rules.

I find it sound to put a French flag (even though I haven’t put one on my profile yet but I support those who have) on the Facebook profile and sympathise with the French community ignoring any ifs and buts here. I mourn on the loss of innocent lives in Paris and my heart bleeds for every single soul lost in Paris attacks and all such terrorist attacks anywhere in the world.

Power comes with the responsibility and responsibility requires courage to befit the position you are responsible for. It would take courage for Muslim community to enjoy the pinnacle of the same power western world is enjoying today without being irresponsible.

I don’t know if this terrorism anywhere in the world will ever stop. It unfortunately doesn’t seem to end. I though certainly hope for the terrorism to be dealt with at least more responsibility!

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Jinnah & Today’s Politics in Islamabad


The case of independence movement of Pakistan led by Jinnah and his politics is pretty much different than the situation we have now in Islamabad.

One cannot compare the past and present. But if you must, how can one forget the “Direct Action Day” that started at the end of January of 1947 and lasted for nearly five weeks. And there was not a single condemnation that came from Jinnah during the Rawalpindi riots in March of 1947 against the Sikhs by the Muslims. On the other hand on 13th Sept 1947 when the slaughter of Muslims in East Punjab was at its worst, Jinnah said: “The Sikhs have sworn to kill every Muslim in India in revenge for the killings in Rawalpindi.”

When Dawn newspaper was banned on 29th January in Punjab because of the Civil Disobedience Movement in the province by the Muslim Leaguers who were dynamic supporters of the cause of Pakistan, Jinnah was still in Karachi issuing statements in favor of Civil Disobedience and condemning the ban on Dawn.

But if you still say Jinnah was a constitutionalist, recall the event when on 10th of February 1947 the Union Jack was removed from the High Court building and Muslim League flag was hoisted instead. This was pretty much unconstitutional. In this regards the Principal of Islamia College Dr Omar Hayat and many other students were apprehended by the police. Jinnah again issued the condemnation against the arrest but nothing came out officially from Jinnah against such acts.

The point is, Jinnah never ordered or supported the communal riots nor did he order the hoisting of ML flag on High Court instead of Union Jack. But his silence in all the issues was more of an agreement with all the events rather than disagreements or neutrality; he knew that Pakistan was not possible without street politics.

If anything, the Pakistan Movement gained true success through street politics and pressure tactics.

Still, one cannot just compare the political situation of 1947 with 2014. But if one must, the brutal facts must be acknowledged.

Some people believe that Pakistan came into being by passing some bureaucratic and colonial hurdles while sipping coffees and smoking cigars in the guest houses in a time when everything was peaceful on the streets.

Jinnah was a shrewd politician. But, nonetheless, a politician, who, many a times during the Pakistan Movement, was consciously result-oriented rather than process-oriented.

Negotiation Or Operation, Do It Fast!


Imran Khan said today that if the peace talks fail, we will back a fully-fledged operation together with all the parties. In my personal views the peace talks wouldn’t even begin. And even if they do, they would fail. Zero-sum game that is! But then, calling PTI and JI all the same only appears as a contour of derangement visible from the face, and behavior, of those struggling hard to blend them. JI doesn’t even consent to the starting of operation despite after the would-be failure of peace talks; they want peace talks to continue for as long they don’t fail.; but they will. The chief argument behind this notion is that we can’t give them (TTP) everything and they don’t want anything less than everything.

There is nothing wrong in believing for the sake of personal satisfaction that an opportunity to resolve the issue amicably with the TTP has to be gripped; but there is everything wrong in delaying action against the terrorists, for every day that passes without a full-blown action against the terrorists, or say resolving the issue of terrorism, is the sad day when innocents get blown up. The blood might well be on the hands of not just PTI alone but federal government too.

Both the KPK and federal governments have to contrive to deal with the issue of terrorism caused by TTP etc. The fact that some weird cultural aspects of Pakistani-politics — that is mired in distrust, hate and insane grudges — don’t allow things to go well between the two parties, whether it is PTI v PML-N or PPP v PMLN or PPP v MQM, is something both have to overcome before long. Or else, again, it will cost human lives and struck the most significant national interest.

Tolerance, Frustration & Newton’s Law


Okay. It is little unconventional, or rather more than little. But I guess it will make sense to all those like me; crazy, many would call. Actually I don’t even know who else here is like me, but I am sure who ever likes me will read this and agree to me is the one who is like me.

So here it goes. People sound so frustrated in Pakistan that they have lost their entire set of brain-cell that makes them decide whether the thing they are doing is something a person would normally do when he is right in his head or that something is something a person should only do rather when he is frustrated; or perhaps frustrated-est.

I have kept myself to thinking a lot lately. I have observed and I have felt. There is something a lot of the people do. So, let’s just say they do it on Facebook mostly; or say they do it only on Facebook; because in real most of the people would just not pay that Joe Average any sort of heed that he indefatigably tries to obtain from people around: their attention; that for him is the most precious gift he can get from the world that lives around him in which he couldn’t step in. But what actually do they do? They do nothing! I am sorry if my incompetence offends their idea of self-reliance over the web, or not just over the web alone, but self-reliance from everything that exists; however, while they could win this self-reliance from anywhere, they couldn’t unfortunately win it from their inherent lunacy.

Let’s just cut to the chase. I am getting bored myself. But I haven’t lost my sincerity yet. So hold on. What do you call a person who is so defeated from inside, frustrated, and do something which, in his version of civilised and western world, a western even wouldn’t: blaming F for stealing alone when A, B, C, D and E were simultaneously also the equal collaborators. Maybe it is easier to explain in this way: A to F say that negotiations with the Taliban should be held, promoting the idea of “let’s give peace [another] chance; but in the outside world, F alone is being bashed, cursed, abused and held guilty for promoting the idea to negotiate with the terrorists Taliban. How is this even making sense?

I don’t want to write down any further; I am lethargic and I don’t know why I am even writing this all and what I am writing at all. But I am writing, or trying to write, to make a strong point that Imran Khan is an idiot who backs the notion that the War on Terror is not our war but it is America’s war. But then, struggling to validate the notion that he is an idiot is just not the thing that can rescue Pakistan from the horrors of terrorism. Unfortunately, as despicable as the PTI’s idea is about the disowning of war, there is nothing that the entire leadership of Pakistan has done which is worth writing in copper, let alone gold or silver. Copper is cheap today.

So I was saying, Imran Khan and his PTI are stupid; PTI has laid down the marker for stupidity. Sadly, this has caused a grim reaction in Pakistan: while stupidity of others makes people frustrated, it makes them look just as stupid as the one who causes frustration in the stupid. But here is the reason of frustration: you get frustrated and go on a bickering-contest with antagonist not because that antagonist is really harmful and his views are incurable, but because your frustration is the reason you have found a space in a certain group that accommodates every idea of breaking all hell loose on antagonists, using strong words; that group belongs to self-elated so-called intellectuals; we often like to call them faux-liberals of Pakistan. It is the manifestation of their failure to live in a society that is wished by people like me to be tolerant, but tolerance cannot be practiced by them equally along with those who initially cause the intolerance. Newton was a scientist, but a political scientist, and for that matter even a social scientist, would agree that: every action has equal but opposite reaction.

To The Disgruntled PTI Voters


A couple of days back a blog was published on the website of Express Tribune in which the author highlighted his disappointments in Imran Khan and his PTI. The author holds certain beliefs that may well be based on his personal understanding of the PTI’s mode of functioning pre- and post-elections. But then, the disappointment of the respected author appears to be merely the seagull approach with special reference to the practical politics.

PTI has provided Pakistan’s democracy a great deal of profit. The galvanising of masses and bringing the traditional non-voters out to polling station to vote on the election-day was indeed PTI’s biggest achievement. To these millions of people Imran Khan was a Knight in the shining armour. Under this impression most of the supporters of the PTI started wishing for a utopia, while some wished for simple progression in the country; however, a very low percentage of supporters exactly acknowledged that politicking at large is also about being uneconomical with the claims during the campaigning and for the most part about being pragmatic. As brutal as it sounds especially for the utopians it is the only politics that we have known always, probably as far as history of democracy takes us to. There are varieties of choices when it comes to voting a particular political party in elections but knowing that only one of them will ultimately get your vote you narrow down your choices and support and vote a singular party that you think have to offer what you demand. This is how it works.

People voted Imran Khan’s PTI heavily on the same ground, as much that it got the second highest votes in the country. While voting for PTI the people knew very well the angle of approach PTI always has in dealing with the issue of Taliban. And despite that PTI managed to bag second highest votes through its supporters. Now at any moment after the voting a voter thinks that his choice has faltered he is left with the only choice which is to voice his concern and/or suggest a novel way through which he thinks the issue against which he has reservations can be dealt with. The plot thickens, during the former federal government of PPP, the All Parties Conference APC) had decided for a peace talk with the TTP. In addition to that, the so-called leftist parties of Pakistan, the MQM and PPP have lately been found softening their approach towards the issue of dealing with the Taliban menace.

There is something merits mentioning: talking about peace talks or softening one’s approach towards the issue of dealing with TTP, and actually conducting the peace talks and offering the Taliban all that they want are really the two opposite sides of the barricades. Naturally it is absolutely fine to show the fears where PTI could end up giving TTP all that it wants, but at the same time it is equally important to understand that way before PTI looks forward in doing that it would be under the pump of its heavy supporters who are not ready to live under the stings of Taliban at any moment in their lives. Hence, PTI, and for that matter even the PML-N, wouldn’t follow this course and do the mistake. Understandably, in the democratic and political process the mistakes are naturally and unknowingly made. And voices like that of the author of the blog play conspicuous role in getting the attention of the political parties and barring them from conducting the grievous mistakes. However, during all this show there is a pressing need to understand that any undue criticism and wedge politics could hamper the overall democratic process in the country.

Coming towards the empowerment of the youth that the PTI has promised, the PTI actually fulfilled it. More than one-third of the tickets were awarded to those below the age of thirty, whereas eighty per cent of the ticket holders contested the elections for the first time. It is lucid that the supporters of PTI are quite passionate about the youth-factor, but it is equally important to understand that there is no alternative to “experience”. While in real world organisations require “experienced” people for their managerial portfolios, here we are talking about management of the country which similarly demands the people to be of public intellect and experienced under whom the youth are supposed to work and provide the best of their input to sail the political activities of the party smoothly. With time the youth at-present would become the managers and by that time they would have earned enough experience to know how practical politics work.

Let’s get to the PTI and JI alliance in KPK. As undesirable and unpopular the alliance is for many of the disgruntled PTI supporters, including myself, after spending a few minutes crunching numbers it can be hypothesised that had the PTI not formed alliance with the JI in KPK the opportunity to rule the province most likely would have fallen straight in the hands of indisputable self-proclaimed rightists – the JI and JUI-F together with the independent candidates. What would have been more worse for the province: the PTI sitting in opposition while primarily the JI and JUI-F governing the province, or to scrape together the only opportunity PTI got to govern the province and shun the chance for the JI and JUI-F to form its government in the province. The former would have appeared more obnoxious to the presently disgruntled PTI supporters on the national level and the voters on provincial level; with a heavy mandate they would have called PTI for an alliance so that it forms its government in the KPK and gets the only chance it has to prove what it promised. In retrospective, had PTI been interested in the alliance it would have gone for the seat adjustment pre-elections with the JI in KPK which it didn’t. If anything, practical politics is not just as straight as an arrow and the decision of PTI to form coalition with the JI must have come tough for the party.

Let’s cut to the chase. Every political party has the shortcomings and PTI is no exception; it has lately made some challenging decisions that have positive strings attached to it too and only the party has the opportunity to exploit those positive strings in favour of it. PTI, in any case, shares a huge responsibility as of today than probably any other political party because of the fervent slogan of “change” it introduced on the political horizon of Pakistan. One can only hope that the PTI will actually “deliver” what it has promised to the nation. As for today it is too early to have a bone to pick against the newly elected governments, whether the PTI or PML-N.