In my childhood whenever we were asked what would you become when you grow up. The most common answers included joining the army or becoming a pilot (fighter). It may be because the 80s were spent under General Zia’s dictatorship. Later, it was the turn of being a Mujahid, fuelled by the Pakistani romance with Kashmir and hatred for India.
The formative years was spent listening to sermons glorifying Jihad and how killing infidels oppressing our fellow brethren in Bosnia, Chechnya, Palestine and more importantly Kashmir. The mullahs were tasked with glorifying and preparing the emotionally charged youth for fighting in the cause of Allah.
Those who have survived and they are very limited in number, recall how they were deceived and sent as proxy soldiers for the purest armed forces. The realization is aided greatly by the post 9/11 scenario in which the Military willingly brought the war on to us. God’s soldiers were now termed strayed fanatics and were driven into the mountains of Waziristan.
The war chimes rang aloud “sub se pehlay Pakistan” become the slogan of progress and enlightenment. We started celebrating the killings of our own countrymen. The price too was paid by us when we started laying to rest countless civilians killed in never before experienced “bomb blasts”.
Ali Kapadia, a filmmaker has recently embarked upon a film which talks about Peace between Pakistan and India – he aims to raise $75,000 through Kickstarter campaign – if you believe in promting peace between Pakistan and India read the story line of this movie it might compel you to support this cause.
The tragic occurrence happened in Gayari sector, Siachen Pakistan, is no doubt a heartbreaking one. But this does not imply to blame Pak Armed Forces therefor. Doing so is more tragic than the tragic incident and amounts to scratching the wounds of our Armed Forces. Nonetheless our pseudo & ignorant intellectuals are doing the same!!!
All that has been done by Pak Armed Forces in so far against India is concerned has never been Pak Armed Forces choice; rather it has always been their duty. It have never been Pakistan armed Forces who have acted against India, it have always been India Hindus who have either directly or indirectly acted against Pakistan and our brave Pakistan Armed Forces has reacted simply against India at the minimum level to counter them.
It were Indian Hindus who occupied the Princely State of Jammu & Kashmir in 1947-1948 and the Muslim Masses along with Pakistani Pakhtun reacted thereagainst due to Pakistan first COAS, Gen Douglas Gracey’s conspirative denial and when they were knocking suburbs of Srinagar, the first Hindu PM, Nehru went weepingly before the UNSC, begging for cease fire vehemently and UNSC passed resolutions for plebiscite in J&K to be carried out under the UN auspices.
In 1965 too it were Indian Hindus who without declaration of war attacked Pakistan and when the brave Pak Armed Forces proven their mettle the Indian PM, Lal Bahadur Shastri went to Tashkent crying for cease fire.
In 1971 also again it were Indian Hindus who attacked East Pakistan with USSR & US shenanigans and dismembered Pakistan due to our charlatan leadership.
In 1984 again it were Indian Hindus who stealthily occupied Siachen Glaciers and Pak Armed Forces resultantly engaged them there & then.
And when Pakistan tried to counter the Hindus in Kargil in 1999 our strategic foes; the US & UK applied all pressure against us and in favour of them.
Pak Armed Forces have accomplished the mission impossible by nuclearizing Pakistan and it’s our Nuclear Teeth that we have tamed the Indian Hindus to a crucial level!!!
Thomson Reuters Foundation under its Trust Law for Women initiative conducted a global research polling over 200 gender experts across five continents to deduce the five most dangerous countries in the world for women. The study ranked the countries in the following order.
Much before the two Prime Ministers can agree on a solution to Kashmir problem, converting Siachen into a peace park or concluding a no war pact, they could begin by taking a few small steps that can bring the two neighbors closer to decency if not peace. Each day as the flags are lowered at the Wagah border, Indian and Pakistani guards high-kick and stamp their feet in a vulgar display of aggression, anger and animosity. The spectators on both sides line up in large numbers to passionately applaud this officially choreographed drama of make-believe power and masculinity.
Why do the two neighbors need to enact hatred as a symbol of their national pride. Why can they not lower their flags with peace and dignity – like it is done the world over. Is it too much to ask that as the fever subsides at Mohali, the two Prime Ministers will come to a small and simple agreement – the two sides will henceforth put an end to the disgusting daily display of belligerent posturing at the Wagah border.
The ceremony that provides a daily dose of hatred to the people of both sides continues despite an earlier indication that it would be stopped. Wonder which party shall exhibit greater wisdom, friendship and good sense by announcing a unilateral end to this insane practice
We fail to participate in democratic processes while we recognize democracy as a utopian ideal form. We fail to contribute to the national kitty while demanding increasing state services. We can apply the same line of argument to other segments of society. We must recognize our own failures for allowing society to reach the state it faces today. All of us may be part of the solution, but we are also part of the problem. Our actions/lack of action can rightly point to helping maintain the status-quo, the political-military musical chairs that we have today accepted as part and parcel of everyday Pakistani life.
Politicians and generals may belong to a class of their own, they may be totally disconnected from society and have little or no appreciation of the suffering of the common man. Intuitively however there is a stubborn link between those who exercise power and those who have to deal with it. The powerful are a reflection of society at large. While many chastises politicians for corruption, many of us also secretly envy those who can stop traffic at their beck and call, fly off to other countries for “personal visits” and at the very least never have to face the spectre load shedding. Similarly we admire the generals for their power and authority. They perpetuate one of our countries dominant narratives that read: Pakistan army, disciplined, ready to sacrifice and at the nation’s service, ever ready to stare down those who would look at us with an “evil eye” or with “nefarious designs”. Continue reading →
This weeks The Economist carries a very interesting article discussing a small innovative idea by an Indian to denounce the rampant corruption spread across India. The idea was dreamt up by an expatriate Indian physics professor from the University of Maryland who, traveling back home, found himself harassed by endless extortion demands. He gave the notes to the importuning officials as a polite way of saying no. The notes tend to work because corrupt officials so rarely encounter resistance that they get scared when they do. And ordinary people are more willing to protest, since the notes have an organization behind them and they do not feel on their own.
Simple ideas like this don’t always work but its at least start of resistance against corruption…. The immediate question that comes to my mind – will such a system work in Pakistan, being ranked as 134th country Corruption Perception Index, the 5th Pillar organization has already designed a Pakistani Rs 10 as a Zero Currency, but I believe it still needs to be fine tuned [by a graphic designer?] into maybe in a more commonly used Rs 50 denomination plastered with elaborate markings signifying the importance of this zero denomination and maybe an elaborate explanation, like the ones printed on the back of the Indian rupee, denouncing corruption. Whatever be the plan, I believe we would need to bank roll a couple of billions to even begin to scratch the surface of state sponsored [read Presidency sponsored] corruption
India is preparing for a possible “two-front war” with China and Pakistan, Geo News quoted an Indian newspaper as saying on Wednesday, The News reported … something not new, Indian Establishment has been directly or indirectly showing hostility against Pakistan since Mumbai incident and yet we have this ‘Aman ki Asha’ thing going on, communicating (read conditioning) the already dazzled Pakistani masses to have a very friendly perception of their neighbors, whose involvement in the Karachi Ashura incident and Bolton Market Tragedy cannot also be ruled out, let alone in the Indian’s Involvement in Waziristan, frequent cross of fire at boarders etc … and amidst of all this we have this Aman Ki Asha campaign only adding to the list of questions one might have against the intentions of our capricious (not quite though) neighbor …
I haven’t seen all the ads of this strange campaign, but this one is telling …
Asher Hasan, CEO of Naya Jeevan who was a TEDIndia Fellow at the TEDIndia conference held in Mysore, Bangalore this November. Asher brilliantly articulated the message of peace from Pakistan within the short 5 minute TED talk, truly Asher did the entire Pakistani delegation proud that afternoon in Mysore.
I share with you a very moving speech delivered by Sunitha Krishnan at TEDIndia in Mysore, Bangalore this November. Sunita speech was probably the most moving talk of the three days session at the Infosys campus. Sunita Krishan herself was a victim of sexual slavery but has now dedicated her life to rescuing women and children from sex slavery, a multimilion-dollar global market. In this courageous talk, she tells three powerful stories, as well as her own, and calls for a more humane approach to helping these young victims rebuild their lives.
Indians and Pakistanis are discussing the leadership crisis in their respective countries, but for different reasons and with different implications. India’s inability to wield influence on the world stage is being blamed on the lack of good leadership. In Pakistan, people feel that the political leaders have failed to instill confidence and provide direction when the country is consumed by the threat of terrorism. Are these leadership demands signs of widening and maturing democracy in the two countries? Or are the Indians and Pakistanis wanting to re-live the hope and optimism characterizing the era of Nehru and Jinnah? Whatever may be the rationale, the demand for better leadership is showing different traits of the public in India and Pakistan.
Dawn Columnist, Cyril Almedia wrote a timely article, “Where are you, our leaders”, on the October 23, 2009. The opening lines of his column are illustrative of what many Pakistanis are thinking:
As the country burns, parents agonize over whether to send their children to school or not, offices of businesses local and foreign ramp up their security measures, the average citizen thinks twice before venturing into crowded locales or government buildings, a simple question for our leaders: where are you? Where are you, President Zardari? Where are you, Prime Minister Gilani? Where are you, Nawaz Sharif? Continue reading →
Indian technology blogger TechGirl welcomes the Pakistani delegation to TEDIndia. This can possibly be a great opportunity to spread the message of friendship across the digital divide. Here’s to TechGirl, may this meetup in November be the start of a long lasting friendship between the two nations
It was only in June that TED.com had announced the opportunity to apply for the prestigious TEDIndia fellowship. The selection to this TED Fellows group was limited to bringing together some brilliant future leaders from this region together. I must say that had it not been due to Faisal Chohan, a TED Fellow himself, we in Pakistan would have probably never have heard about this prestigious event, let alone apply
Mohammed Ali Jinnah did not win Pakistan as Congress leaders Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel "conceded" Pakistan to the Quaid-e-Azam with the British acting as an ever helpful midwife, says senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh. According to Singh both Jinnah and Nehru wanted special status for Muslims. "It is ironical that among the great constitutionalists of those times, Jinnah and Nehru became the principal promoters of 'special status for Muslims'; Jinnah directly and Nehru indirectly. "…The irony of it is galling when sadly, we observe that both of them, these two great5 Indians of their times were either actually or in effect competing to become the 'spokesman of Muslims' in India."