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.
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.