Saturday, 26 August 2017

Way forward after Trump's Afghan policy speech

Following post may serve as analysis of Mr Trump's speech,  Thanks, but no thanks, Mr Trump:
http://asadjamal32.blogspot.com/2017/08/thanks-but-no-thanks-mr-trump.html?m=1
Following forward for Pakistan is suggested:
* Regardless of threatening posturing by Mr Trump, we need to focus & guard our own interests in the region, because his was just rhetoric. US strategy in Afghanistan may be evaluated from issue to issue basis as when they happen. This will allow us to see the difference between caliberated, intimidating and formal speech & follow up actions.
*Preferably, make peace with less threatening neighbors like Iran & Afghanistan. Reach out.
* Secondly, if possible negotiate with India or at least show intent for it. This may reduce threat from the Western borders. Political govts on both sides play mutual  hate card in line with their short term political gains.
*Better relations with Afghanistan & involvement in its affairs to form a consensual govt are crucial. Afghan Taliban card needs to be played adroitly to remain relevant in evolving regional power matrix.
*China factor is our plus but it also figures out as source of our current problems. Balance has to be drawn from being once US backed frontline state in GWOT to being declared a terror harboring country after giving 70k plus life toll to being a Chinese colony. We matter thats why every big player in the world has interest in our geography and military strength. We should play on our strengths.
*Favorable Russian stance after Trump speech also needs to be evaluated against interests of Pakistan. We should tailor this support to our advantage instead of becoming a tool of Russia. We should learn from our mistakes of previous breakups with US. Big boys need you as long as they need you. No friendships only interests.
* Gain in on already a respectable status among Muslim countries. Political leadership for once has to take reins to safegaurd Pakistan's interests.
*Bring own house in order and renew social contract with people of FATA and Balochistan through education & equal economic opportunities.
*Strengthen institutions. Army is strong institutionally, simply bcoz its independent in its decision making. There might be grey areas but leadership keeps rotating & institution keeps getting stronger. Do Pakistan a favor, instead enslaving institutions, set'em free, make'em independent. For example, if our Foreign Office was a 'free' instituion, it must have had number of options prepared before Trump's speech & they  should have immediately responded & would have guided govt on way forward. Freeing institution will only strengthen the govt.
*Involve public through electronic media debates. Make parliamentary committees for negotiations and dialogue, giving them briefing through foreign office.
*Govt should step forward and take full responsibility of ongoing operations along with Army. Instead of ISPR, information ministry to take charge & defend Pakistan's interests instead of its party leadership.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Thanks, but no thanks. Mr Trump

Though Mr Trump with his showmanship style of unequivocal speech used to utter total nonsense with remarkable conviction yet at Arlington he appeared composed, well-rehearsed and presidential. The reason behind newly found composure was not his seriousness to presidential duties rather mounting pressure on home front particularly spiraling aftermath of Charlottesville incident. In last week his approval ratings plummeted to 28% which also has to do with his bullying of media particularly CNN whom her refers to as Counterfeit News Network. He continues to sack his handpicked cabinet members or they continue to resign from respective jobs. Russian hacking continues to factor in his election campaign of last year. Dwindling economy, high unemployment and inflation rates have been a thorn in his side. On foreign front, once sole superpower of the world, US continues to lose power mileage against China and Russia. Amid these whirling issues, Mr Trump needed auspicious platform like Arlington to connect with his men and women in uniform. He needed to re-assure American people that he was not only a compulsive 'tweeter' but he was also capable of taking on some serious business of statesmanship. 
In South-Asia, Donald Trump’s Afghan policy speech at Fort Myer was eagerly awaited, keenly heard and intensely discussed. Most of our analytical conjecturing missed out on the chaotic background of the speech. Our pundits registered few catch phrases and started cooking their evening broth. Anchors and analysts had another good payday. Opposition lashed at the ruling party and ruling party resorted to its favorite sport on such matters i.e doing nothing. 
 Trump’s speech brought nothing new for Pakistan, Afghanistan or India. Since he did not have the guts to say that he had no choice except continuation of Obama Policy in South-Asia, he resorted to his very own intimidating manner which rose false alarm bells in Pakistan. He mentioned no immediate withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan which is continuation of Obama Policy. He gave big brother role to India in the region which is continuation of Obama Policy. He asked Pakistan to do more which is continuation of Obama Policy. In the same speech, whereas Mr Trump blamed Pakistan for harboring Taliban, quite ironically, he hinted to include the same Taliban in formation of government in Kabul, this paradox is also continuation of Obama Policy. He acknowledged sufferings of Pakistani people and threatened to stop American aid to Pakistan which is again continuation of Obama Policy.In the end, it was the same old Obama wine bottled at Trump Towers.

Let’s take stock of Pak-US relations through time. There is nothing to take stock of. There was no relation. Multiple failed marriages of inconvenience between the two states were always necessitated by US interests in the region. Presently, again US does not require Pakistan’s services anymore, so it resorted to same old ‘do more’.
Yes, nothing has changed in US Policy in the region. It does not mean we should never try or stop trying to improve our image across the board. We miserably failed on diplomatic front because for the past four years we had larger than life Mr Nawaz Sharif as our Foreign Minister. While Indians were pulling strings through their business community, notables, Indian-American legislators and lobbyists in Washington, Mr Nawaz Sharif was doing them a great favor, he was busy doing nothing at all. The way he was losing his throat over his abdication from the throne, even one tenth of that energy spent on generating diplomatic goodwill could have done wonders for Pakistan. There is no harm in generating goodwill among comity of nations. Our exports have taken a nosedive. There is no harm in expanding economic relations with other nations.
One last thing on speech, ‘Thanks, but no thanks’, Mr Trump, both literally and figuratively.
Literally, thanks that you made American aid conditional and apparently impossible for Pakistan but no thanks figuratively that we don’t really need your blood dollars. And this is not a reactive thanks rather joyful and gracious thanks. Look at the casualty table and American aid graph over the years.

Flow of Blood Dollars from US to Pakistan over the years

Terrorism related casualties in Pakistan over the years

Terrorism related casualties in Pakistan are directly proportional to the amount of dollars we received from US. In 2009-10 highest amount of American aid was given to Pakistan and now look at casualties in the same years, the highest ever. Has aid of any kind ever changed the fate of a nation? Not in known history.   
No country on God’s earth has fought terrorism the way we have fought. No country on God’s earth has quelled the magnitude of terrorism that we have single handedly quashed. No country on God’s earth has given more life toll than us. No country on God’s earth is ruled by inept nincompoops like our rulers yet the nation perseveres with resilience.
In simple words, after Trump's speech there is hardly any change in US policy towards South Asia except cessation of blood dollars' aid to Pakistan which would mean spillage of innocent blood may also cease. However, what needs to change is the way we manage and govern ourselves. The way we diplomatically move. The way we economically grow.

Only Allah knows the whole Truth. 

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Pathway to real change

We cannot afford to bask in the glory of a court judgement for too long. Its not destiny. We may want to abort the victory lap and get on with the business end. There is some serious catching up to be done. Many political miles to go before we could cherish anything.
True that politics is not a highly regarded profession in a country like ours. The word 'politics' does not have a positive air about it. It generally refers to dubious situations like office politics, family politics, political point-scoring, political mileage etc. However, politics is an abstract thing in itself. It becomes what we make of it. Our attitude towards politics shapes its contours & sets the tone. What is the need for it? There is a big need. Politics & decisions taken by politicians determine how we live our lives. It affects every single one of us. It affects our generations. Being divorced to politics would mean being divorced to our own & the future of our generations.
Our current situation clearly shows that both people and politicians have misconstrued real spirit of politics. Both are deeply embroiled in pursuit of their short term goals. People are pre-occupied with bread-winning & politicians are in a great hurry to make hay while the sun shines. Hence, there is mistrust. Politics has become a shabby business. Politicians when elected become law-makers. This is when politics becomes the best way to serve humanity. It even betters philanthropy. Philanthropists fill welfare voids in a society, whereas, politicians, if they work honestly would not let those voids to take root in the first place. To be more precise, good politics would not leave any room for philanthropy in a society.
This write-up may appear as an academic exercise but as long as we don't grasp real spirit of politics, we may never see its fruits. PTI sympathizers would be expecting a pat in the back for toppling Nawaz Sharif but replacing him with Shahbaz Sharif hardly changes anything. Backstage, Nawaz Sharif will continue to run the puppet show.
Nontheless, appointment of Shahbaz Sharif is a smart move. Though, Nawaz Sharif would have done it with heavy heart as he wanted Mariam Nawaz to succeed him yet Shahbaz Sharif was the best choice for damage control in given situation due to his pressure group with likes of relatively credible Ch Nisar & highly 'incredible' Rana Sana Ullah. It would not only prevent party from fragmentation but would also help restore some political mileage unless PTI wins NA-120 by-elections.
How will PTI win? PTI has no party structure in place to carryout constituency politics. PTI has social media showing consisting of virtual tigers. They exist in cyber space only. There are no real workers on ground. PTI workers from 2013 elections have either left or are angry with its way of working. Select few opportunists with past affiliations of other political parties know how to work i.e. look busy do nothing. A very small minority of sincere change mongers are dishearted and considering other options.Nobody paid heed to their voice. If a senior party worker like Naz Baloch leaves, instead of addressing her concerns, IK declares her 'useless'. Since last election, party tickets have not been alloted on merit. Anyone who had access to PTI hijackers including Jehangir Tareen, Shah Mahmood Qureshi or Raja Sarwar were given tickets, hence, PTI lost political mileage. The political space created out of MQM's demise in Karachi was occupied by PPPP. Next elections, PPPP may return to legislative assemblies with stronger mandate because PTI has zero party structure in Sindh. Balochistan is also devoid of PTI presence. KPK is a politically volatile province.  No work is done in south, resultantly, Maulana has made good progress there. Holding on to its existing mandate in KPK will be a real challenge. Punjab will still remain a tough cookie for PTI. Those who voted for Nawaz Sharif last time already knew what he was made up of. Again PTI has no real showing in south of Punjab. Few PPPP dissident electables will not change fortunes of PTI in rest of Punjab. Remaining months in power, Noon league  will come up with her own political narrative. They are likely to work their guts off under Chhotay Mian. At best Punjab would be 50/50 split between PTI and Noon.
Under the circumstance, despite Nawaz Sharif's exodus from PM House, in next general elections, political landscape of the country is not going to change much. A hung parliament is in the offing where PPPP & Noon nexus seems most probable for making government in center.
The 'change' promised by IK seems a distant reality. May be his personal grudge against Nawaz Sharif has been satisfied but any significant 'change' remains a fallacy. People were longing for changing so bad that they didn't hesitate riding false wave of change IK promised them. PTI has no workers because it has no political ideology. It thrives on charisma of IK. Like other political parties, PTI revolves around its founding leader. There is no leadership in the pipeline. If he is disqualified (which is likely) or removed from center-stage, PTI will crumble faster than a house of cards. Who will lead, Qureshi sb? Then who all will follow him? PTI's political longevity depends upon IK's political relevance. We need better alternative to growingly stereotype politics of IK even if it involves cumbersome process of raising a political party. Because, once kindled, the hope for change should not die. Its time for greater silent majority of this nation to break the ice. This circus they all call politics must stop. It may take a different course. Pathway to change is not through Bani Gala photo-shoots. It will come through good quality politics. We need to raise the bar. We need to change our attitude towards politics. For us to restore our identity, politics needs to be played in its true spirit where it overtakes every virtue & every form of worship. No change is as wholesome as change affected through politics.
Leave your comments, please.
Only Allah knows the whole Truth.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Miss-adventurous - Maryam Nawaz

Conscious choice of succession is always a critical point in the game of thrones.
This term, besides NS' desire to marginalise 'every' institution, he had another issue at hand, selection of his successor in politics. Although, he would have liked to continue active politics for as long as he could, yet eventually or in any eventuality, someone had to take reins of the party. Along came Panama Case which took birth out of thin air and significantly reduced his propects of continuing active politics. His political survival hinges totally on Supreme Court's decision on Panama Case.  Proceedings at JIT took them by surprise and shook the lazy arrogance of the Royal Family.  Not a pleasant surprise though.
Regardless of the outcome of the case, the 'succession' had to be planned. It had to be planned well before time. Since, party is 'owned' by Sharif Family, none of the ministers or kitchen cabinet members could be trusted with this privilege. In order to create a lasting family legacy, heir to 'Jati Umra's throne was to be selected. But the choices were limited. Both Hassan & Hussain were aptly managing the affairs of Empire outside. Inland interests were being well served through 'growing' business and their financial mastermind & uncle, the Finance Minister. Son-in-law had already become a liability. Looking outside his immediate family, NS would have had found his brother and nephew. A brother who stood by him in hope to finally become PM of the country. Advertantly, baton could not be passed to Shahbaz Sharif as it may make NS & his off-spring irrelevant to power matrix. Among given choices, with NS' acumen and self serving style of politics, his obvious choice was Maryam Nawaz.
Once earmarked for the job, the training & exposure began at the start of current term. She identified active media use (or abuse) as her main weapon. She flooded social media with her own photo-shoots. Though, her youth was far behind her but her apperance grew in much greater proportions for a relatively young grand-mother. If posing for camera could get any political mileage then beauty peagents would have produced all the successful political role models. In which case, political institutions could have taken a leave of absence. Instead of following Mian Sahb's time tested method of buying out journalists through 'lafafa' or giving advisory roles to journalists or offering them positions in PCB hierarchy, she opted to form her own 'media cell'. She continued to make her presence felt through some antagonizing tweets. Maryam Nawaz also chose to play her version of Mera Sultan. Her ambition to make an impression resulted in mis-adventure of Dawn Leaks. Albeit, she was 'bailed out' but she developed a habit of over-stepping her role thus making more enemies than friends. Her adventurism at electronic and social media turned in to misadventures. She gave an impulsive, unprepared interview to Sana Buchha which followed her brothers' 'Alhamdolliah' interviews on off-shore companies followed by NS' caliberated yet technically flawed address to Parliament on Panama Issue, has brought them in to face the law. Their unease with JIT was reflected in frustrating press talks outside Judicial Academy. Post JIT talk of  Maryam Nawaz was being dubbed as a dabbang entry in to politics. Her crammed up talk abruptly finished without taking questioned. Even an old maid at their estate could have read a piece of paper like that. Optical politics is out of fashion now.
Not that 'suuccession' decision was wrong, it just came at the wrong time. At the same time, Maryam Nawaz except her bloodline had nothing to show for. Instead of becoming a force multiplier to her 'father's vision', she had already become a drag on Noon League's politics. A decision which was a necessity but may never see fruition because her direction was all messed up. Another dilemma with such egoistic brats is that no advisor is good enough for them nor would they pay any heed to council.
Lately, lady luck is not singing to the tunes of Nawaz Sharif. Since party is called PML Nawaz League, its survival is conditional to political relevance of Nawaz Sharif himself. Noon League, like a house of cards, may also collapse soon after an unfavourable verdict. It is highly unlikely that Noon League may resort to some introspection. Instead, they seem firm on propagating 'conspiracy' as a counter political narrative which may help retain diehard noon voter. But, on legal grounds, writing is in on the wall, it is just a matter of time.
Only Allah knows the whole Truth.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Secret behind people empowerment

Today is different. As an ordinary Pakistani, for the first time, I feel empowered. But this journey of empowerment took its toll. It saw decades of institutional corruption, white lies, innocent blood spills, political deceit and leadership void. JIT Report is submitted in the apex court. PTI is happy and Government is dejected. However, a big day in the history of Pakistan. Real power of people is taking effect. This marks a paradigm shift in balance of power in this country. It was impossible to imagine such happenings before the turn of the last century. Those who grew up in PTV days would remember one sided ‘hakoomat nama’. Even on a day like this, Prime Minister would have been shown inaugurating a bridge and spitting fire against his rivals. Behind closed doors, government gazetted officers would have been compelled to bow under heinous pressure tactics. So what happened that changed the course of destiny of this country? PTI and her ardent support would love to take credit for it. And there will be some resentment from PTI quarters for ‘taking the zing away’ from their great achievement but a dispassionate analysis may unravel a different perspective.
Firstly, why the entire credit should not go to PTI? Reasons for that are simple but painful. Today, after declaration of JIT Report, during speech at Bani Gala, Imran Khan didn’t remember how many died during pressure build up on Supreme Court to take up the Panama Case. This is how cruel politicians are. It was young Inam Ullah from Swabi who died at Burhan Interchage under 'able' leadership of Pervez Khattak. Why able? Go to Nowshera and ask for 'Mama Gan' and you will get the answer. Unfortunate as it was, Inam Ullah was someone’s son. Had Qasim or Suleman suffered little scratches, it would have been carved on Mr IK’s heart. For IK, Inam Ullah's blood was a step closer to power corridors. That day, IK and few unfit stooges had been seen doing push-ups on stage at Bani Gala for media optics. They waited to cash in on the spill of blood of brave and passionate pakhtoon boy. Unfortunately, PTI is not an ideological political entity. It is a gathering of opportunists headed by a charismatic leader. If we take cricketing charisma out of IK's life, there is nothing to show for except Shaukat Khanum Hospital which too was made possible due to fame and momentum gained from cricket.
In past few years, media has emerged as the strongest source of people power. Power which people of this country always craved for. Every institution failed people of this country. May it be executive, judiciary or legislature and every institution that falls under their jurisdiction failed the people of this country. They all lived and breathed the ‘theorem of necessity’. Although, there were few glimpses of individual brilliance yet our overall progression as nation was withheld by dysfunctional institutions. Today, if six gazetted officers have been able to compile a fair report against the sitting Prime Minister then it can be attributed to media's unrelenting eye where nothing goes unobserved. Today if Supreme Court is coming up to expectations, it is due to transparent media reporting. Today if Maheen Fatima submits her affidavit that she was strong armed by Zafar Hijjazi then it is her confidence that even if she is killed, at least people will know she died in the right cause. It is vibrancy and freedom of media that we see Pharoes like Nawaz Sharif and his off spring moving to and fro the courts. We hope others like them also pay the price of their wrongdoings.
Story of media is not all that simple. Newspapers go way back before partition. In recent past, electronic media overtook print media. Private media channels have become a household item. How electronic media became such a phenomenon? It did not happen out of thin air, to say the least. Whether you like or hate Pervez Musharraf, it was his decision, his alone, to allow media the freedom it enjoys today. Pervez Musharraf’s legitimacy to power was also challenged by media and made his ousting inevitable. Media became his Frankenstein. After which good things continued to happen to politics of Pakistan. It became a compulsion for politicians to adopt cleaner means to politics and money making. Probably, second best thing was closure of Altaf Hussain chapter.
The best of media was yet to come. As long as media houses remained united, media seths made loads of money during first decade of 21st Century. There used to be one ticker on every news channel. There was complete uniformity in outlook. Special thanks to politicians that media houses got polarized. Politicians started distributing ‘lifafas’ among journalists and gave gracious business to media houses in terms of government  adverts. Some got enough and others felt left out. Polarization grew among media houses and they started taking sides. Geo News aligned with PML (N). Lately, Dawn News, which used be the most credible newspaper, as media house, chose sides and fell in to the lap of PML (N). ARY and 24 became anti-government.
Pervez Musharraf may have given due freedom to media, but it is not him, not masses, not institutions, not gazetted officers, not Supreme Court, not Imran Khan or his PTI,  nor media houses but it is due to the polarization among media houses that broke the shackles of  fear and made this historic day happen. Credit also goes to unsung heroes and simpletons like Inam Ullah whose blood paved the way this day.
This is just a perspective. You may disagree, in which case, please do share your rationale. 

Only Allah knows the whole Truth.

Friday, 30 June 2017

The Contractor - An interactive review

Amazed at the tenacity of contracted assassin, Mr Raymond Davis, an interactive review of 'The Contractor' is coming your way. The publication was delayed for political reasons which means the book was written and published for political reasons. For Pakistani people and media, please try & understand the motive, don't just buy spiteful reporting of Geo News against ISI & General Pasha (no real love lost for the man). An American Hero is not necessarily our Hero. This book is a miserable attempt to clear Raymond Davis' name, justify American policy of contracted assassins with consistent underpinnings of disgust towards Pakistani nation. The content of the book would definitely be music to ears of anti Pakistan elements both home, across border & abroad. Daniel S Markey in his book ,'No Exit From Pakistan', page 138 mentioned egomaniac trigger happy nature of Raymond Davis, wherein, he beat up his fellow American on a petty parking slot issue. Finally, the book is vetted by CIA and made viral on the internet. Under normal circumstances, this would mean disaster to author & publisher.
Author's note
Raymond, you mentioned that few details and names are withheld or altered for security reasons, you had no sense of time and interestingly, in the last line of author's note, ' phrasing is almost certainly inexact'. For any serious person, there is no need to read the book beyond that point unless you could have mentioned which part of the book can be trusted as the whole truth.
Chapter1
Your philosophy on luck was very educative or was it?
Raymond, you never mentioned who puts marbles in that 'Luck Jar'?
You have shown a lot of disgust for music, traffic situation, traffic police and motorcycles riders who wore only a helmet and rest all was free. Really, who invited you over? Should have stayed in US and could have listened to unaltered Katty Parry songs at will.
Chapter 2
You wanted to get away from Big Stone Gap at any cost. So if you were disgusted with your own birthplace in Virginia, how could you learn to love any place in the world, let alone Lahore. A half starved American hero in the making. More intense than Tom Cruise's role in Top Gun. Caring, compassionate, family oriented, athlete etc etc. Says who? Raymond himself. This chapter is begging establishment sponsored directors to make a movie on this national hero.
Chapter 3
A cute macho with a softer side who was 'stupid stubborn'.
He wanted to get back to action.
Says who? Mrs Raymond Davis.
Chapter 4
A miserable attempt to give moral justification of your dirty job as it reads
'contractor' is not a 'hired gun'.
'I viewed the job as an extension of my military career'.
Well Ray, you did but we can't, your own greater perception of you still does not change anything. You remain a paid assassin. And justifying contracted killers from Continental Army of George Washington to Vietnam War to 'Rumsfeld Doctrine' still does not change anything. For justifying contractor-to-soldier role in economic terms, you may get few nods from American tax-payers but it still does not come close to justifying your dirty job of 600 USD per day. Only white blooded top executives, drug dealers and  killers like you make this much in a day.
So your first job as a hired gun was to protect Hamid Karzai, still a dirty job.
Chapter 5
Muhammad Faheem was carrying a gun but did he point that gun at you? How do we know Ray? Its your word against nobody's word.
Too much of your shooting skills' stories. You killed 2 men in 3 seconds firing 10 rounds. If someone buys your scrappy story of self defence, still one round could have been enough to incapacitate Faheem who as per your claim aimed at you. You miserable cold blooded murderer.
Chapter 6
Interesting weaving of story. Still, what happened at Misour Square in Iraq and what you did at Mozang Chowk were both 'voluntary manslaughter'.
'A nation born out of the ashes of rioting', how poor Hindus were killed in Hazaratbal or how Muslim students in Islamabad 'nearly' burnt down the US embassy. All lame stories and suppositions to justify your heinous crime 'Crossbones' because you belong to a nation born out of the ashes of immorality.
Chapter 7
You poor soul. Even police deceived you and those FC walas who perform 'well choreographed drama' at Wagha also didn't help. You didn't kill more people at Anarkali because they would have surely killed you on the spot, so keep your rules of engagement crap to yourself. It all would have not happened only if you had your SUV, but the luck jar didn't have it that day. Your teammates Z & Eagle Eye who broke every law of traffic using wrong side of the road, '35 miles at top', trampled Ibad-ur-Rehman. Don't worry too much about that, it was just a mosquito. Saving a white murderer was more important, may it involved killing any number of people in the process.
Chapter 8
So eventually the same policeman & rangers men took you to the safety of a police station. We can only appreciate your soft & hard skill methods of interrogating, afterall, an American hero has to have an all encompassing personality. However, you were on a clandestine anti-state mission. In simple words, a spy and an American terrorist who killed Pakistanis in cold blood. And how much you desist Army & ISI. You were not residing in consulate & your biggest worry was not to give away location of your safe-house in Lahore. Wonder what CIA would do to a a Pakistani in the same situation in New York?
Chapter 9
One of largest US consulates in the world forgot to put Ray's name among those with diplomatic accredition. Another innocent concoction. Yes, the luck jar thing.
Chapter 10
The ISI colonel didn't appear Sherif Farley in My Cousin Vinny, it was in fact the imaginative writer hired by CIA who thought so. Come on 'stupid stubborn', its way beyond your thick brain.
Oof ! Another inmcent mistake, you didn't even know the name of your current RSO. This makes your case a bit more dodgy.
Chapter 11
Supervisor told Mrs Raymond that he was being robbed? What? Then why was robber pointing gun from the back of his motorcycle? Why didn't he come down & demanded money and stuff? As it is admitted in previous chapter that those were regular swindlers and we know better how it works on our streets. Nobody flashes gun from a distance, they just approach the person and ask for stuff. When you are stupid stubborn then your fair judgement is likely to be shrouded. It was your racist disgust for Pakistani people that you made an excuse to kill two young guys with out remorse.

Chapter 12

You didn't sleep well and didn't eat as well. Well, we feel sorry for you but you just killed two humans.

How bizzar was the court hearing where proceedings were supposed to be in English but would collapse to Urdu. We apologize for talking to each other in our own language.
Wonder why consulate head who was a near perfect diplomat and 18 Delta of SF were allowed to visit Police Training Camp. Obviously, in return of the coalition support fund and aid we received from US.
But it is amazing how two 'most intelligent men' on god's earth communicated with each other in implied language with references like 'Pineland games'. Smart would be an under-statement.

Chapter 13
Ray needs more love. Where does he find that?. Open with his feelings, physically imposing yet sensitive, cried with fountain of tears. But never discussed any assignment. He was like a bank vault. Once sensitive information went inside, it was behind a heavy door accessoble on need to know basis. Says who? Mrs Raymond Davis (Rebecca) who served in the army and exactly knew what to say if she had to make her pathetic husband look like a hero.
And the very next paragraph, she says in this unique book of contradictions,' It seemed like he wasn’t home five minutes from one deployment before he started talking about the next one'. Wait, did you not say, he never talked about hos assignments.
And then starts a long list of woes of a contractor's wife. Driving in winters and surviving a blizzard. But hey, Rebecca, what about Shumaila wife of Faheem who was murdered by your sensitive hubby and out of sheer frustration that Raymond might be allowed to go free without trial, she took poisonous pills and died.
I have read some disjointed incoherent stories in my life but this one tops them all.
Suddenly, my skill jar is filling up, I'm an 'old warrior' and somehow I made my son stop crying.
Then those unending diseases baby Einstein had contracted and whinning about spending 2000$ on his health out of 18000$ you earn each month.
Listen dude, this is a story aimed at eulogising Ray & undermining Pakistan & its Army. Can you get your focus straight in coming chapters, please.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Emerging Pakistan Campaign in London

Government of Pakistan has paid huge sums of public exchequer to a private bus company (London Double-Decker) to promote Pakistan in London. A month long campaign has been launched by opting for most expensive fully wrapped body stickers over iconic London buses. No stats available on cost of campaign as it happens in most 'deals' in ours. However, government sponsored Geo News has been flashing the campaign as a great step which was enough indicator to smell rat in the whole affair. 

Pakistan is undoubtedly, the most blessed country in the world in terms of geographic diversity and beauty. Yet, our tourism industry is barely breathing on meager returns of inland tourists which is less than peanuts when compared to its actual economic potential. Before we go out to introduce and invite people from the rest of the world, two areas need special attention; tourism industry and law-in-order situation in the country. 
Tourism industry is in dire need of some oxygen. Instead of  expensive and fancy campaign in London we might have to do some spade work on tourism reforms. Give subsidies to investors both home and abroad. Bring hospitality services at par with South Asians minnows of tourism like Sri Lanka and Maldives. Develop extensive communication infra-structure particularly in GB and Kashmir. In festive Eid summers like this year, inland tourists get stuck on the roads to the length of time that they run out of fuel in the middle of nowhere. It would be appropriate to coin example of Jordan. Its land is 95% arid. A country of 280 Kms of length (distance between Lahore and Islamabad is 380 Kms) and width of 54 Kms. Only one river Jordan flows in parts of Jordan as opposed to countless rivers, streams, springs, canals and reservoirs in Pakistan. Only a small desert of Wadi Rum 720 square kms whereas in Pakistan's four deserts are 2.20,000 square kms. Coastline of Jordan is mere 26 kms as compared to 1056 kms of Pakistani coastline comprises mostly of virgin beaches. There are few historic sights in Jordan which are not close to the numbers in Pakistan. There are no mountains in Jordan and list of mountain series in Pakistan is staggering. In short, there is practically no comparison between Pakistan and Jordan in terms of geographic beauty and diversity. However, there is one mind-boggling comparison, the tourism revenues. Jordan was visited by 8 million tourists in 2010 generating 3.5 billion USD and Pakistan attracted little over 5 lac tourists in 2013 generating only 298 million USD. Simple conclusion; there is no dearth of natural and human resource, we are just bad/ ill-willed managers.
Secondly, the law-in-order situation in the country is at best deplorable. High tide of terrorism may be receding but it still exists. Rather, its taking a horrible twist from generic extremist version to more violent sectarian type. Just last week we had two major terror incidents in Quetta & Parachinar making it obvious that there is a clear & present terrorist threat. Army is doing its best but lack of political will seems to be the only impediment to quashing terrorism in Pakistan.
Lastly, People in Britain are much more aware on situation in Pakistan. Anyone looking at double-decker will only have a laugh as our head of state is in London for summer vacations & we are trying to sell Pakistan's natural beauty to them. Seems like we are not fooling them but ourselves.

No matter how great is the natural beauty & resource, it still needs to be managed and we have the worst management track record. Better minds continue to settle in west for better economic opportunities leaving the country at the mercy of mediocre hustlers. Yes, that jinx of mediocrity. Think about how such campaigns are originated in our system. Some ambitious staffers in foreign office/ tourism hierarchy got this brainer for optic value of this campaign to those who matter. Whereas, its an uphill task to do spade-work on reforms etc. Same old short term mediocre solution that people apply to receive accolades for current tenure. By the end of the year, those smart heads may get promotions for ostensibly ingenious idea. Sadly, Pakistan will not benefit much from such stunts.
Those thousands of pounds we paid to a bus company could have gone in tourism industry or more importantly on improving law-in-order situation in Pakistan. Once situation is stable, then we may not even have to spend money on wasteful marketing campaigns. One foreign tourist who has a wholesome experience in Pakistan will become our marketeer and may convince hundred others to visit Pakistan. We need to bring our house in order before we invite people over. We need to think long term like nations think.
Only Allah knows the whole truth.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Fresh wave of terror & govt's response

We Elect our Rulers & in doing so set low price tag on our lives.
"I want to go home & celebrate Eid with my ppl." Nawaz Sharif after 1999.
Fast forward to June 2017, PM Nawaz Sharif chooses to celebrate Eid at London at the back of horrible terror attacks in Quetta, Parachinar, Karachi and fire at Ahmed Pur East. We saw some bizzare scenes at Luton Airport where PM with his contingent of 90 ppl including lafafa journalists asking pre-decided questions. There was no mention of horrendous terror attacks and resultant deaths in different parts of the country.
Rather it was a deliberate attempt to malign ongoing JIT proceedings. His narrative was pretty much Nihal Hashmi like in a softer more NS the munafiq type. He claimed to have asked questions from JIT like answer my questions first.
He shamelessly asked that no one returned our money of 70s. What??? Ppl were joking on social media that JIT may end up concluding that Pakistani nation owes money back to Royal Sharif family. And NS comes up with the same line. They make possible, the impossible jokes.
Such is the mindset of goons we elect ourselves to rule over us. Even his Army of Ministers & couple of K9s like (danial & talal) who continue to spit fire on TV screens in defense of their ruling gods, vanish from media & issue one liner customary condolences. Even Interior Minister who drove PM to Judicial Academy during his JIT peshi is invisible.
Even worse that 140 ppl incarcerated in a matter of seconds most of whom were out there to get their share of booty from petrol spill. Most of the cans & pots lying around the place of incident didn't have capacity more than 10 liters which is less than 7 dollars. Is this the price of Pakistani Muslim's life?
Don't we deserve it all.
We are in a state of war. At the back of spectacular win in ICC CT & Kalbhoshan's second video, some backlash was expected. Indians are targeting minority shia sect to enjoy two outcomes. One the tremors of terror could be felt across the country. Second, make shia sect feel insecure particularly with govt's cold response to incidents. It feels sometimes that they phone NS in advance to tell him, "You may proceed on vacations. We will carry out few 'controlled activities' which will not hurt your political interests. Carry on with your anti army narrative & keep all institutions under your feet. May bhaqwan be your protector."
There is no political will to fight terrorism rather entire focus of ruling elite's efforts is on impeding justice in the country. And politicians as a whole spend most of their energies protecting their 'not so hard earned money'.
A very very sad couple of days.
May Allah show mercy. May we finally decide to look inwards to see what we are doing wrong.
May we see a safe day of Eid on 26 June 2017.

Only Allah knows the whole truth.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

The big final review - 18 June/ 22-23 Ramadan


Hindu is really getting out of his skin and unable to control his little vanity.
During India Bangla semi final at Edgbaston few placards hoisted by Indian supporters read that 18th June is Father's Day & if Pakistan is playing against India..everyone knows what that means. 
Although there is no need to rile up to such nonsense. However, before seeing those stupid remarks, being a cricket fan, it was mesmerizing to see Indian batting against Bangladesh. And I was wondering, on cricketing merits, how can any team in the world beat current Indian team?. But those insolent remarks on father's day sparked a new flare. Indignant mind was compelled to put the scenario in to the context. It also gave a strong reason to reconsider that if Pakistan has made it this far, it is a matter of another 7/8 hours of good cricket to rid ourselves of that jinx of ICC competitions against India.
This Champions Trophy, Pakistan showed up a different team every match and they got better with every game. In the last game against England, our batting also clicked. If this pattern continues and an even better team than semi finals shows up at the Oval, then as they say, every thing is possible in cricket specially when Pakistan is on song.
India as a team carries more experience and exposure to high pressure games, whereas Pakistan has youthful fearlessness of Fakhars, Fahims and Rummans. Our bowling is better than India & their batting is better than ours. Level of Pakistan fielding has improved as the tournament progressed. However, since WC quarter finals 2011 against India, Pakistan has dropped catches in big games against them which consistently caused our demise. One can only hope they hold on to their catches this time around. As far as captains are concerned, Sarfraz is a spirited captain like Kohli. Both are comparatively new on the job. However, Indian batting has not been tested, likewise, Kohli's captaincy has not come under real pressure and if it does in final, it needs to be seen how he responds to it. A very neutral opinion is that Kohli is not at par with MS Dohni when it comes to subtleties of captaincy skills.
Despite Kohli's repeated statements that its just another game, its a high pressure game and the team which gets less excited on the day will carry the day. Besides, it is time that we nail India for a change.
Lastly, there should be some comparison of their omen of father's day against our omen of Ramadan. 18th June may be Father's Day which has little or no significance for us because all 365 days are parents' day. What Hindus are not aware of is that 18th June is 22/23 Ramadan as well which is a revered day followed by powerful night. Who knows India ends up asking the same question which other teams who faced Pakistan asked, 'Who is Ramadan?'

Wishing Team Pakistan success.
Only Allah knows the whole truth.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

RIP - Pakistan Cricket

Few hours from Pakistan South Africa's ODI game of ICC Champions Trophy (on 7 June 17) and for the first time it does not feel betrayal to wish them lose. Because it is established that we are a second rate team in world cricket today. We just scraped through at 8th spot to make it in to this competition & our presence in future global events may be conditional with play offs. So we are almost rock bottom. Any success at this point and the most inept administration of PCB will try to get un-due credit in order to prolong their pathetic stay at the helm of cricketing affairs in Pakistan. However, tomorrow Pakistan is up against seasoned chokers and this might be their moment to choke. For this game, we hope South Africans do not choke. Besides how bad a Mercedes has to perform to stay behind a Mehran. We used to have respectful status among cricketing nations. But then again how could cricket escape the curse of mediocrity when entire nation suffers from it. It seems we have lost it all. Our cricket is like a rudderless ship destined to wreck. We do not associate any value to stats. We keep playing shehzads, hafeezs & wahabs. Same results each time. If this is the best we've got then our best is below par. We don't even want to learn from our mistakes.
Indians had poor record against Pakistan but before 4 June Pak-India game, it was obvious from body language of Indian Team that they attached little or no value to game against Pakistan. Kohli arrogantly mentioned many a times that it was just another game for them. And why should they not behave like this? Where do we stand in terms of talent & management? Do we have one reliable player in the top order? Any player who can get the team across finish line? Anyone close to the class of AB, Root, Smith, Kohli or Williamson. They must be aplenty in this cricket crazy nation but why are they not coming through? It is the cancerous mediocrity which is not letting gifted raw talent to pull through.
Our cricket has taken a nose dive. And its standards continue to plummet. For once I wish them to lose so that it is clear to everyone that we couldn't fall any further.  So that we get rid of this mafia running PCB.
Inability to host international cricket is not enough reason to justify our sliding graph in the game. Was there plenty of international cricket in 1950s when young Pakistani Team made impact at the Home of Cricket. Not having international cricket at home is a diplomatic & management failure. Nearly, a decade now but that jinx of Sri Lankan Team bus incident at Lahore is still haunting us. Just this week, three major terror attacks took place in UK and a global event of ICC continues with full flurry. It definitely has to do with double standards of ICC but it also goes to show extremely good management of ECB that the event progresses uninterrupted.
Even, so far PSL has done more harm to Pakistan Cricket than good. PSL has been a successful business venture. When you do sport as business, it flourishes in money but spoils the sport and turns it in to a commercial commodity. Loads of money & loads of scandals. As long as Pakistan cricket remains hostage to 'queer' Mr Sethi who is well versed in media gimmicks to take along cricket, media, politics & business all together, future of cricket in this country looks bleak. We wish these leeches may one day die of over drinking Pakistan's blood.
It was very hard to say this but, 'RIP Pakistan Cricket'. After this sad demise, may Pakistan Cricket get a new life to at least remain a respectable cricketing nation.

Monday, 5 June 2017

London attacks and response


Following horrific London terror attacks on TV today (on morning of 4 June 2017), I couldn't help notice the reaction time of London emergency services. From initial reporting at 2208 hours, 'a vehicle plowing through London Bridge & Borough Market', it took London police 8 minutes to take down three attackers. This was extremely professional & thoroughly brilliant. Terrorists will always attack from behind at vulnerable spots but the mettle of a nation combating terrorism can be measured by its response to such cowardly incidents. London is the safest city in the world and this kind of police work confirms its status as such.

London Bridge 1999 with (from left) Hamza, Ahmer and Sakhawat

Reasons to write about this incident is partly nostalgic, as I had few London walks along Thames.

Partly because of my armed forces background.
And lastly, being a global citizen, I mourn equally over human loss wherever it may happen and whoever is affected by it. 





Lets relive 480 seconds (8 minutes) of brilliance and professionalism. Someone dialed 999 and floodgate of well rehearsed SOPs opened up. Everybody in emergency services seemed to have been well drilled. Everyone knew their job. London control center is linked with every node that can relay useful info on the situation. Effective command & control was possible through uninterrupted flow of information to decision makers. There was no time to wait for more accurate information to arrive. Orders for execution of the mission were to be given on the move like orders on the marching column. From within the layers of the security personnel, inner and outer cordons were to be detailed. Executioners were also earmarked to take down the terrorists. The entire area was taken over by the police. Police entered every building in proximity of Borough Market including pubs, clubs, hotels and shops. To distinguish between normal people and hostile attackers, people were asked to raise their hands above the heads and walk to the point of safety. Not to mention the secondary aspects of traffic control, administration of life saving first aid, casualty evacuation, stand by fire tenders and other security services personnel to take on any unforeseen situation. It was a classic modern day symphony played by London police using technology and grit. i have intentionally kept the narration simple for understanding of every reader but it was a complex, fluid and perfectly executed operation for which London police deserves accolades.

Wonder from where we copy our manuals these days, it would be a living bible to follow if we could just relive/ re-enact these 8 minutes in our training drills and improve our response time to such incidents. Imagine how many precious lives can be saved if we could reduce our response time and I'm saying this keeping APS Peshawar in mind.

Only Allah knows the whole truth.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Post Panama Politics of Nawaz Sharif

After getting some respite in Panama Case, Mr Nawaz Shrif has started showing his true colours. His tone and tenor is getting aggressive and desperate. Probably, he can see the writing on the wall and finds no other way out then to play his favourite sport of maligning Army. His past conduct and present posturing suggest that for every demise in past, he holds Army responsible. Apprently, he thinks that Army is the only impediment to him completing his last term as PM. What else would you expect from him & his advisors except low grade grudgy politics.
Couple of hot issues indicate his frivilous mindset:
Firstly, to stir up the political landscape, making purposeful showing of Sajjan Jindal at Murree instead of Jati Umra. Looking at few tweets of Mr Jindal against Pak Army, it is obvious why Mr Noon is making a public showing of Jindal, besides downplaying immigration laws of his own country as his guest held no valid visa to visit Murree.
Secondly, PM office's notification on Dawn Leaks, treating it like a routine matter. As if nothing significant had happened. Interior Minister was harping his own take on issue & Fawad Hassan Fawad was doing his own bit, thus creating total confusion. This situation relects either lack of coordination or deliberate concoction. Later seems credible with Nawaz Sharif's style of politics. Instead of implementing JIT recommendations & sharing the contents of report with nation, they leaked PM house  notification  to media even before it could reach concerned secretaries. Was it not enough that Army let go his daughter on Dawn Leaks. As per tacit understanding remaining culprits had to go through thorough investigations & face consequences. However, the same Mariam Bibi continues to cook conspiracies inside PM House with the help of her 'Media Cell'. And see the kind of rubbish that media team is producing. But she seems to be enjoying her version of 'Mera Sultan'.
The underlying purposes of current week's political gimmicks aimed to dis-credit Army. The salient are:
1. Distract & confuse everyone on Panama & embroil state functionaries in to non-issues.
2. Garner outside support from his tested friends in India & resonate the echo of the same in US through paid lobbiests. His job gets easier with deep-rooted disgust of India & US for Pak Army.
3. Keep intact fleeting Noon support on pretext of Army hatred (as there is nothing else to show for).
4. Antagonize army & then show his superficial magnanimity by reconciliation on issue for favourable bargain.
5. Undermine the viability of Panama JIT.
6. Push the situation to a point where Army is forced to withdraw her members from Panama JIT. Or at least, malign her so bad that JIT findings (of ISI & MI only) appear prejudiced.
7. Gain time to touch the finish line & somehow complete the term.
Some would argue that he is aiming for Siasi Shahadat but his love for chair & hatred for army is too strong. Secondly, this is his last term as PM. Later, even if his own daughter takes office, it would not mean as much as he would love to prolong his stay in office. It is sad that he is our PM but we only have ourselves to blame. Due to his inbuilt self-destruct button,  he cannot be credited for making this far in to third term; it may be attributed to IK's lack of political acumen.

Lastly, a three time PM in any other country would act as a figurehead of the nation. He could sit back and give valuable advice on matters of nationsl interest. But Nawaz Sharif with his myopia has been exhausting his energies on conquering his own Army. A weird wish that may never see fruition.

It seems Nawaz Sharif sees Army as Pharoe. He grew in Army's lap and the sooner he got power, his only wish had been to bring Army down. But the problem is that he ain't no Moses.

Please disagree & help improve my thoughts.

Only Allah knows the whole truth.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Trumpanization

Welcome to the era of Trumpanization. Donal Trump triumphed in US general election 2016, however, in the process Trumpists and Anti Trump have come face to face many a times in past 14 months. Now that Mr President has the state security apparatus on his disposal, Anti Trump forces face an uphill task to register meaningful resistance.
The world is literally awe-Trumped. US allies and rest of the world is equally confused. Even the US citizens (less Trumpists), particularly immigrants whether naturalised and illegal are apprehensive or frightened.
For a start like Talibanization or terrorism, Trumpanization is not going to change the map of the world. It only involves high egos, hatred and gaining political space. He came to power through slogans like, ' Let's make America great again' with undercurrents of white supremacy. Besides, Chinese have hugely disappointed capitalist west. Chinese adopted capitalism and refused to adopt westernization because their own civilization is stronger than hollow western ways of life. Wealth is now flowing from west to far east. That is the reason west (Europe and US) is reverting to protectionism i.e. money and jobs to stay in west. Brexit was the first step in that direction followed by rise of right wing parties in Europe and then Trump triumph.
Interestingly, US is hostage to its own democratic values which Trump does not respect because he is not a politician. It was strange to see people protesting in numbers in US without political leadership of Democratic Party let alone Hillary Clinton. Democracy as a system of government might have not seen such a low in US. People are out on the roads and no one paid heed to their voice. It is worst than third world countries.
What Trump did to mainstream 'fake media' was also interesting. Media has also become a Frankenstein of our age which proclaims to be holier than pope and god. Trump has made them to taste their own badmouth curry.  
Apparently, there is nothing wrong with it if a nation wishes to keep jobs and business inside its territory. But the problem Trump's approach to this issue and how people react to it.
It is highly commendable that he does not want Muslims to visit US. Muslims should have some self respect and avoid going there. Muslims who live there have only one reason to leave there native countries, which is to suckle on better economic opportunities and a better way of life. 

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Cricket, politics and Imran Khan

IK was once a 'champion cricketer' &  a 'play-boy' of London nightclubs who now leads Justice Movement( تحریک انصاف) in Pakistan. Many saw him as a breath of fresh air amid rotten politics of Noon, PPZ (Peoples Party Zardari), Q League & other nationalist/ ethnic parties. However, Imran Khan owing to his arrogant & egoistic madness made many political crash landings and somehow survived. There were always question marks over his political acumen and resultant decision making, whereas in his cricket days, he knew his game. In politics he has been below par. His latest childish and irrational opposiotion of PSL 2 Finale at Lahore further exposed his leadership vulnerabilities. His temperamental issues are more serious. He has now lost respect for foreign guests who were here to play cricket, a game that gave identity to Imran Khan. Its a disrespectful gesture to both guests and cricket.
His politics is good because people who donot matter, hate corruption and not for his political decision making like first or second dharna calls. Rather it thrives on hatred for corrupt politics and godsent opportunities like Panama Leaks. No wonder if this opportunity also goes begging due to stiff neck leadership of IK. So after consistently making political blunders, he is at the verge of losing his respect as a cricketer as well.
With this level of immaturity, it would be a disaster to put country at disposal of a bigot who does not accept counsel. Insafians may think that this post is politically motivated or less fanatic PTI supporters would raise typical questions like 'what is the alternative?'. They may go through other posts of the scribe on the subject which contain way forward for PTI alongside shenanigans of Mr Noon & his forty thieves.
Apart from few good things in KPK, mostly, IK's politics' is fraught with wrongs. Wrong army of weird advisers. Wrong  collection of political waste of past. Wrong approach to grass root politics. Resultantly, PTI continues to lose political ground & moral authority. PTI is no more a fresh breath of political air which came with a lot of promise.
Despite entering political arena for over 20 years, IK at best could be called a political novice. Instead of cashing in on govt's let ups, he resorted to 'non-political' means like agitation and sucking up to the establishment etc.  He showed a lot of teeth without having the capacity to bite.
Now the alternative of IK should come from PTI's CEC and anyone out of them would be a sensible alternative of grumpy old IK. However, if status quo persists, PTI & her passionate Insafians are going nowhere.
It is also a fact that NS could not play good cricket, however, he made record breaking three times PM whereas, our world champion, charismatic Khan sb is still day-dreaming about his first premiership jackpot.
Politics & cricket are a different ball game and IK should avoid giving "politically incorrect" statements that may cast aspersions on his legendary status in cricket. He could have attended that PSL 2 Final which might have added to his stature as a cricketer & a politician. Because politics may not be his forte but he was a great cricketer and we would love to remember him as such.
Only Allah knows the whole truth.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

The King Lives

Sir Vivian Richards has always been the flamboyant face of Cricket, a game that evolved as a sport of patience & perseverance.
He was one of the Galdiators of glorious West Indian Cricket era from mid 70s to mid 80s. He caught the eye with his swashbuckling batting style. He earned the title of The King of Cricket.
Though PSL 2 is lackluster due to match fixing scandal & security issues in the country, Sir Viv Richards stands out as a shinning light of the show.
Quetta Gladiators is so lucky to have him in their dug-out. He still exudes that passion and flare which mesmerised cricket lovers of his cricketing days. How could his energy and passion be not felt in the outlook of Quetta Gladiators. And the aging stallion, Kevin Pietersen just did that today. He showed what Sir Viv would have done in his day. And boy, was he not so proud of KP towards the end.
This is the cricket we grew up with and if Greats like Viv pass on the baton with passion as he is showing, then how could you resist cricket.
The King personifies true passion and flare in cricket. He lives on  and we are glad he associated himself with Quetta.
Pakistani players involved in match fixing must be made an example of because cricket is part of our lives and they just badly mess that part up.