Friday, 20 July 2018

A new Dawn

We live in strange times. Truth is a rare commodity. At times, plain truth sounds too good to be true. I'm working in real estate industry thesedays, where ten out of ten people prefer to be deceived by beautiful lies than paying heed to simple less attractive truths. Eventually they all get back & repent their temptations. For as long as last greedy is alive, swindlers are in the business. Problem with greed is that it will always remain unsatiated. Like day to day routine matters, greed has begun to dictate our outlook on issues as well. Ideology, patriotism, loyalty, integrity; all weighty values are being dominated by material pursuits. So much that it seems we are surrounded by a magnetic field of infinite greed & sweet lies. Election season has brought a fresh torrent of white lies, absolute lies, total lies, half truths, twisted perspective, spin doctored issues, blatant dis-information & greed based leanings. Media is responsible for this non-stop frenzy which has become the tool of politicians, international establishment & paid lobbyists. Journalistic integrity is the rarest jewel in media industry today. Resultantly,  media credibility is going down the drain & journalism being de-valued. But still they manage to cast their spell over majority uncritical simpletons who look up to media wizards  as wise men of true opinions. This process keeps these jokers relevant & price-worthy to their patrons.
Let us discuss Dawn as case study which was once a bastion of journalism in Pakistan. Its journey since inception in October 1941 by Muhammad Ali Jinnah as mouthpiece of All India Muslim League to planted stories of Cyril Almeida & Hameed Haroon's bashing at Hard Talk can best be described as fall from the grace. While growing up as keen reader of editorials, Dawn was always a sought after daily.
After a concious deal with the devil (anti-Pakistan forces), Dawn is fast losing its 70+ years of journalistic credibility. One can only assume that Dawn traded its integrity & good name for booty big enough to justify the deal. Hope its worth it or can it be worth it at all?
Dawn built a Media Empire on the ashes of a struggling nation. In past, no one pointed Dawn out because it scrupulously fulfilled its journalistic duty. But it doesn't look like that anymore. Sensitivity of current situation demanded responsible posturing by Dawn as old media group. It was time to show some solidarity when Pro Pakistan forces, for which some politicians & media groups have invented fancy words like establishment. An establishment which is quite isolated internationally & vulnerable internally. At the moment, all Pakistan needed is a smooth transition of power when every paid dog is barking at it & those extremist swines are playing mayhem with its innocent blood. But Dawn chose to stand among the former. One can't blame Anti Pakistan forces because they are doing what they do best but its politicians & media houses who have been a serious let down. But then again, we have a history, lions like Tipu Sultan were brought down by 'insiders' with 'outside' patronage. But their names are no more than figurative curse in the history & Dawn will also join them.
You can replace Dawn with Jang Group in above paras & it will fittingly fit their dubious role of past decade or so.
Just go out and vote. Don't buy their nonsense. Just two complete terms & political forces are being purged. Those who have something in them will pass the test of time & others will wither away. Institutions are getting strong & transparent. Musharraf was the first dictator who walked out of power on his feet & feel the symbolism in that. Establishment had a bad role as long as it was tool of dictators but now it has learnt its lessons. Its staying out of power matrix. Was it any difficult for a popular COAS like Raheel Sharif or General Bajwa to take over. Not iterested. Army is sick & tired of political circus. And couple of more terms with relatively cleaner political leadership in office, the term establishment will die its own death. Hope for a better  stronger Pakistan was never so alive as it feels at this point in time & the barometer for this is the desperation of international establishment to destablise this country through its media & political tools. The more gloomy picture they paint about Pakistan, the more you should be assured that we are heading in the right direction, a direction that hurts their cause & guarantees the gradeur which Pakistan is actually destined for.
May Allah protect Pakistan. May we see peaceful transition of power. May we see the change & sow the seeds of strong institutional independence for our future generations to make Pakistan a formidable force. May Allah protect us against lies.
Only Allah knows the whole Truth.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Ramazan Mubarak

Everyone greeted Ramazan on moon siting. I was wondering how do I greet everyone back with some Ramazan dosage. Something's not right about how we approach ibadat in Ramazan. Everyone is in a hurry to finish Quran  by or on 27th Ramazan. There is great urge to finish something that cannot be finished nor did Prophet PBUH finish it. For the sake of continuation, He PBUH would recite few verses from Al Baqarah.
We live in the age of reason. We need to reason with Quran. This mental rigour is quintessential to finding our own identity. But mosques, every mosque should be a magnet for people of all ages. But over there, there is attraction only for retired old citizens who have been well familiar with the ways of the world & masjid will always be a place for elderly. There is too much ritual. Even Traveeh is observed as ritual. Speed reading & behind which one can only go on a mental journey from trivials to vitals. No doubt, listening to Qirat has its countless advantages. But we need to understand the Book. At few place, speed is less & people try and understand the part recited in Salat. This method is laborious because sessions stretch over till Sehri. Surely, people with more desire than others can take on this method.
In short, Ramazan is not here to starve us. Its here to nourish our dried up souls & give us a physical benefit which we can cherish for the rest of the year. All win-win.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Election mayhem

Siraj Raisani was truly shaheed-e-Pakistan. There was symbolism in the way he lived with Indian flag wrapped around his boot & there is symbolism in his death. Sad that anti Pakistan are eulogised & pro pakistan meet early death. But those fools don't know that there is no dearth of loin-hearts like Raisani in this country.
In bigger picture, things in held Kashmir are picking up as 2nd death anniversary of Wani was observed last week. Just today Pakistan hosted intelligence heads of China, Russia & Iran to join hands against terrorism. Whereas, two important regional players (India & Afganistan) were missing along with omnipresent non regional but honrary member Uncle Sam. This should give sufficient reason to any thinking mind that Indians were not enjoying current situation. As if progress on CPEC was not enough pain for them, armed TTP, BLA & likes and political pawns like PTMs, Altafs, NS, Achakzais were also being cornered. A smooth transfer of power to not so favoured new political entity could be detrimental to their cause. So they needed to do something.
I was quite perplexed why NS had decided to come to Pakistan & was ready to give in to the law. With him things are never as they appear. One does everything in hope. & hope for NS was always in wealth, power & satisfying false ego i.e. revenge. His hope this time is revenge from Pakistan. Probably, he received a nod to return to Pakistan on tacit understanding that "Mayhem' in Pakistan will be ensured to stop or compmetely discredit elections. Knowing his foul nature, its obvious, since NS has no political future here, he would love to see a blood-bath in a country he could not loot anymore. A measure of his selfishness is that despite disqualification & visible political irrelevance, what to think of country, people or his party workers, he would not even let his younger brother take control of the party nor does he care about old comrades like Ch Nisar.
Somes flashes of mayhem were visible in the past week where pro Pakistan political leaders were being targeted. And today they delivered the sukur punch & left us with severe heartche. But we have learnt to negotiate pain whether from enemies or from our own on behest of our enemies.
Now the game plan of anti Pakistan forces & their tools like NS is clear i.e. sabotaging upcoming general elections or making them unviable. Change after elections does not fit their cause. Institutiins are getting independent & will continue to grow strong. In this kind of environment, their pawns will naturally be weeded out one after the other. And with this relative independence & stockpiles of nuclear arsenal in their backyard, if this nation gets some economic relief, it may stare many in the eye. Though their economic hitman Ishaq Dar did his very best to push this nation deeper in to the quagmire of debt before milingering a disease in London leaving its economy on ventilator.
Those who have some academic qualification and still insist on supporting NS, they have to be intellectually challenged.
In the end, like past, anti Pakistan forces have failed to second guess the grit of this nation which is ready for the worst & never loses hope for the best. This nation will weather the storm, making sure that elections come to pass & political transfer of power takes effect sooner than later.
Alertness levels have to be raised at individual & collective domains. On individual levels, don't be insensitive to your surroundings. We are at war that too a bloody one, we can't leave anything to chance. On collective level, political parties should go on with their political activities but they have to raise the level of caution. Party volunteers be appointed for security duties. Vigilence level be enhanced using walk throughs, scanners & any other measure to ensure security.
We can & we will see through this phase. This sacrifice shall get us that illusive better tomorrow that our future generations deserve.
Only Allah knows the whole Truth.

Friday, 29 June 2018

PTI's gut-soup

Wishful PTI wants us to make-belief that this gut-soup is chow-mein. Unless one is senseless by using some high end  drugs, gut-soup will always taste like gut-soup. Handful honest journalists who continuously exposed PPP govt from 2008-13 & didn't budge against all temptations & odds of Nawaz Sharif reign 2013-18, have been betrayed by Imran Khan's mantra of 'electables'. Because now those noteable electables of respective constituencies have become quintessential to IK's parachute entry into PM house. IK's honest mistakes like siding with Pervez Musharraf, contributing towards re-instating Ch Iftikhar, promoting friendship with Taliban, ridiculous finger of 3rd umpire, unfathomable call for civil disobedience (nothing compares to this one); were all acceptable because he was not a stereotype & was liable to commit mistakes.
However, PTI's mainstay has always been an unflintching drive against corruption. With the help of a very little honest investigative journalists, PTI continuously exposed all corrupt political practices including money laundering, favortism in bureaucracy, land mafia, bhatta mafia, political appointees & so on. But now when one sees the same Army of electables receiving magical red & green scarf at Bani Gala which miraculously obliterates dark sopts in their past & most have won party ticket for elections as well, one feels betrayed. One moment IK is idealogue & the other moment, in complete contrast he appears pragmatic stereotype.
Ok lets unbox science of electables in explicit terms.Fathers of those electables polished shoes of British to win lands & influence in respective territories. They polished shoes of NS & Zardari & now of their rightful heirs Bilawal, Mariam & Hamza, not for any ideology but to have SHOs of their choice in their areas. Once SHO is in their pockets, any one in the constituency can have red marks on their buttocks & they won't even be able to tell anyone what actually happened to them. Rest of the govt machinery  was controlled by the party leadership through loyal pets in DMG & provincial admnistration groups. People who have been hereditarily addicted to this way of life will change Pakistan as team members of IK? Unfortunately, PTI is also likely to transform into a private limited like rest of them. People may keep betting on leadership acumen of IK to sort them all out but scribe shares apprehensions now because its not about proving anything its about future of Pakistan. Which by the way, is the most difficult country to govern. With volatile borders all along, fragile internal security & clinically dead economy, governing Pakistan next term will be a momentous task. But, in cricketimg terms, fielding a team full of losers & counting on captaincy alone is at best suicidal.
There should have been some filters in place before accepting political waste of other parties. Only external filters like hue & cry at social media & electronic media forced IK to revisit few of his decisions, rest his advisors have been a serious disappointment. Likewise, mediation b/w Jkt & SMQ was also his responsibility as party head but their bickering is already out in public.
Only, logic for his electable strategy that comes to mind is that probably he thinks that his prime is way behind him & he had to act fast & now & he needed a shortcut to book a berth at PM House . Whereas, at his age, NS had become thrice PM but that is no comparison as Allah gave IK success in different ways. However, his lack of trust on young honest Pakistanis is deplorable. Any amount of deliberate compromise on principles, some how comes back to haunt us.
Lastly, the political culture has been further ruined by abuse brigade of PTI at social media. Lets admit it, IK has tendencies to ghoof up & if we have him as the best choice then we have to keep him on his toes. But if honest criticism is shot down with abuse then their is little hope for change. Thanks to talk shows (anchors & politicians), we have become a nation of accomplished 'spin doctors'. Spontaneous lying, twisting facts & manipulating arguments has become the order of the day. A cancer that continues to grow by the day. Traces of this disease are visible in our day to day dealings.
Pakistan also craves for stable, reliable & clear headed leadership since Jinnah. However, actions of political leadership cannot exceed their IQ & 'values'. But real problem lies in political affiliations of common people. Political leadership can commit mistakes & we need to take firm & polite stance to stop the growth of wrong practices may it be our favorite leader. Unfortunately, moral compass of political workers & political affiliates points only towards political leadership they favor and not towards principles. Merely out of political affinity, they argue in support of their political dieties. When they fall short on logic they resort to spinning the issue & when that does not work they get abusive. Wonder where are we heading with this approach. We were supposed to be the responsible generation where buck of irrational political behavior had to stop.But it seems that Pakistan has to wait at least one more generation before a visible change comes to pass.Our generation seems to have missed the train & failed to affect positive changes in  political culture of this country & unless political milieu changes, change will remain a distant reality.
Only Allah knows the whole Truth.

Friday, 25 May 2018

Victory at Lords


From the first session, the match was played by Pakistan boys like a well orchestrated symphony. Session after session test cricket discipline was on display. We always had flare but test cricket discipline was not our thing. Yet it was there at Lords. Every little detail seemed to have been worked out and we are talking about Pakistan Cricket Team & its management. Showing great heart on selecting a young team, sending Abbass early to play for Liescester. He adapted & learned to pitch the ball up. It worked against Ireland, it won him man of the match here. Fielding standards immaculate were right up there & much better than aging team of jaded Englishmen. Bowling was supreme & batters showed scrupulous application of patience & set merit of shot on ball rather than instinct. Something we had forgotten since our glory days of 1992 onwards success in shorter formats. Whereas, cricket followers of hundreds & thousands of hours consumed fantasizing this beautiful game know that test cricket is truly cricket. Shorter formats are commercial face of cricket introduced by smart business minds.
Back to historic victory at Lords today, except irresponsible shot by Sarfraz when his team needed him to stay & last session of third day, Pakistan dominated. Its no fluke, it was flawless execution of a well laid plan. And there is tailor-made captain in Sarfraz to make sure that organization, method, involvement & success are all interlinked.
Match was pleasure to watch right from the start till the end. I wished to appreciate the team right from first day but our past mercurial  character held me back from writing some poetic prose on the match. And we had bad history of spot-fixing & abandoned matches. Touchwood, touchwood was only thing in my head but the match concluded on same high note on which it started. Was no less than the cricketing fairytale we saw last summers in Champions Trophy.
Some soul searching for English team & focus for continuity of the effort is on the menu after modest celebrations because series is to be won or drawn which are two different results altogether.

Rebuttal 1: The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI &Illusion of Peace

Truth is somehow not synonymous with The Deep State. Hence, a Rebuttal. Enjoy the counter punch.
Excerpt from The Spy Chronicles:RAW, ISI and illusion of peace's Introduction, adroitly weaved by Ex RAW Chief, A S Daulat:

"If it’s any consolation, Pakistan is in a bigger mess than we are. The man India
put its faith in, Nawaz Sharif, is likely to be kept out of power (along with his
family) by the military when the next elections are held, likely in August 2018; the military’s preferred choice is the current PM, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, whom Mian Saheb had handpicked to replace him."

It is obvious that the book favours India's narrative which in turn is the narrative of their 'man' MNS. It feels that Gen Asad Durrani has played right into the hands of Indians or he did it on purpose? Not a good vibe from the outset about this book.

On Kashmir, and we are still at Introduction:

"As former Pakistan Foreign Secretary
Riaz Mohammad Khan acknowledged, the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack did
irreparable damage to the Kashmiri cause and tarnished Islamabad’s image as well.
Pakistan had been out of it since then, until we brought them back into the picture  in 2016".

They hear what they want to hear & they say what they like to say. The intent of this book is unfolding in calculated jibes at Pakistan's establishment. What they don't understand is that we support our Pro Pakistan Establishment & no wonder they had to take pains to write a slimy book to shake confidence of the shaky.

Now read this for Indian version of those think like India:

"As Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said in the state assembly in February 2018, with the risk of being called anti-national, there is no alternative to engagement with Pakistan. Or, as the old Kashmiri communist Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami said, seeking a ‘security solution’ to a fundamentally political problem will not succeed. At one of our meetings, Rustom Shah Mohmand, a Pakistani bureaucrat, diplomat, and a gem of a human being, remarked that Pakistan needed to put its own house in order in Balochistan before finding fault with India in Kashmir."

Note hot phrases like '"security solution' to a fundamentally political problem" & "Pakistan needed to put its own house in order". The phrases we heard repeatedly from Indianized politicians in Pakistan like NS, Mehmood Achakzai & Balich nationalists & TSM. Nothing new, all predictable propagada.

And Daulat after sheepishly assuring about his goodness of intent about the book goes on to say,
"Truth is a kaleidoscope."
No sir, its not. Truth is transparent, smooth & easy on the eye, no maze of changing colors like a kaleidoscope.

Rebuttal of Gen Asad Durrani's Introductory note. Suddenly, before leaving this world, he has starting seeing the half full part of the glass. He begins with,
"I was born an Indian".
Though he was born in Rawalpindi but there is strange sense of nostalgia in his first line & he qualifies his nostalgia with phrases like 'great divide', 'replacement of Matka with Mucca' & his fascination with cricket & Bollywood. But things changed post 71 war. Why? He is forgetting that Hindu stabbed us in the back. His dark intent was totally exposed. There is no substance to believe that given an opportunity, India will not waste a moment in further dividing Pakistan. Hindu cannot be trusted anymore. But Ex ISI Chief does. In a stunt of self-aggrandizement, he claims a spot in the league of 'strategic community' which is 'bursting with wisdom' that can hardly wait to be shared'.
There is a great air of wisdom, optimism & sense of adventure in Gen Durrani's mood which if not checked may violate certain limits like disqualified NS. Whereas, indictment lurking upon Gen Durrani in Asghar Khan case, there are few questions like:
If intent was so aboveboard, why the book couldn't the book be launched in Pakistan? Why only in India? Because it serves only their purpose.
What about timings of books like this and 'From Kargil to coup' by Nasim Zahra?
So much for Gen Durrani's service to Indians that he is denied temporary lodging in India for the launch of book.

Friday, 18 May 2018

The Royal Wedding

Spring is a great time for the royal weddings & we wish all the good things to Harry & Meghan.  Always get this feeling that something is not right about these royal weddings. Lets see if we could unearth that feeling this time. Is it Harry's 'Paki' thing but if Ahmed Raza Khan developed 'no hard feelings' why are we being grudgy about lil Harry? https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily/4276705/Soldier-called-Paki-by-Prince-Harry-insists-there-are-no-hard-feelings-after-apology.html
Or he was forgiven for our colonial legacy of submission? Unless youngman from Pakistan was vying to outdo Mother Tereesa, young soldiers have high self esteem & they take every insult with a pinch of salt. Who really knows but personal experience suggests that those University Grads at Sandhurst from iconic Oxfords & Cambridges only had ostentatious courtesies. Their exterior was polite & accomplished but their reality lacked it all. Back in 1998, on our first outdoor, one of my 'mates' scornfully asked me to fetch him a cup of tea  as not long ago, we had been their slaves. And I had no qualms about fetching a hot cup of tea & pourig it over his crotch, telling him that things had changed. Such racist behaviour continued till the very end & my rebuttals were never short of the mark, though by the end of the year, there were signs of genuine respect earned on professional grounds with medals & As in my bag.
Back to royal wedding. Harry is not the sweetest bit of his royal floozy highness, late Princes of Wales, who could not respect the royal wedlock but never had the guts to get out of it. Harry, at best is a royal racist rascal. Now that he weds 3 years older LA's colored divorcee from Suits, lets hope he has learnt a lesson or two on race. And we sincerely hope that 'free spirited' Meghan has learnt all the royal courtesies of how many kissess on which cheek, when to bend & when to stay quiet. Well, quiet for the most part. Her transformation seems easier because she is an actress & now she has to perform at the royal stage.
What else is not good about this royal pomp & show. Yes, carefully crafted pomp & show has an economic value to it. The coverage. The tourists (there actually are losers who spend money to attend royal pretence show), the souvenirs (20 £ minted coin, 5 £ cup with royal couple's picture on it). This is how they keep these dummies relevant & in the process, generate huge economic activity. Kudos to persistent publicity of the event. They make it sound like the royal event of the globe and more obnoxiously, some people buy this crap.
People in Britain (mostly women) fantisize this high drama of unreal spending & idiotic fairytale stuff. Those 'oohs & aahs' of British spinsters come at a price of 30 Million pounds of UK's taxpayers. As part of these theatrics, Brits look as bizzare as this whole royal wedding thing. So much for typical British high-handedness; they never fail to make fun of every other nation on God's earth but this royal bonanza & its spending spree makes an 'arse' of'em.
For a girl & a boy getting married only warrants some blessings but this is a royal affair. Its anything but simple. But we still wish them luck.