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My internal conflicts

Guest Blog by Amer Nazir

I hurried towards the train station to catch the 7:51. I was dressed well – in my Canali suit and my Hugo Boss overcoat. At the entrance to the station, I saw two people handing out leaflets. The one on the right was Susan Krammer, the local Liberal Democrat MP.

She paused when she saw me… and I saw her struggle for a moment though she did hide it well… ‘And how are you?’ she asked as if she had placed me at once without any effort at all on her part… ‘I am well,’ I replied, with my eye towards the approaching train that I did not want to miss… ‘Mrs Krammer,’ I continued hastily, ‘I will never forget your kindness…!’ ‘That’s what we are here for,’ she replied, ‘you know where to reach us if there is anything we can do for you in future as well…’

I bowed, said my goodbye and ran towards the train – but she called after me…’By the way, you look terrific,’ she said. I turned around and saw that she was beaming – there was pride in her eyes…

Once on the train, I thought of her. I could imagine her being a bit indulgent this morning. An indulgence well deserved. I imagined her telling her assistant right at this moment in a hushed tone that I was an ex-asylum seeker – perhaps just to motivate the young man about the moral significance of their job…

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Musharraf and Me

Guest Post by Amer Nazir

I have written many articles on chowk.com and teeth.com.pk – many of them satires aimed at Pervez Musharraf, making fun of him, despising him, humiliating him, hating him – and today, reading Cowasjee’s column in the Dawn (17 Aug)… I almost feel guilty!

But then the emphasis is on almost… One thing is confirmed though that Musharraf and me are today the most misunderstood men in the world… at least from my perspective…!

We both meant well… we both have been humiliated… I wonder what is wrong with this world… the world is cold, harsh and ungrateful… even, when both of us, I mean Musharraf and me, tend to cry out from roof tops that we are innocent….

I, a small man, achieved milestones in the Pakistani IT industry, made small contributions which though still remain unparalleled even today although six years have passed… but on the behest of my business partners, the rich fund belonging to 600 serving captains of PIA, I was accused of embezzling funds from my own group, and me and my family were persecuted for years and when after losing all that we had in terms of worldly gains, often hungry and desolate, I was allowed to leave Pakistan, finally my name was taken off the Exit Control List and I reached UK and was awarded humanitarian protection by the British government…. and now Musharraf is being accused of embezzlement as well… the British government is there for him also at this precise moment… but then Musharraf will not have to stand in a queue at the British Home Office to seek asylum…
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The rat may come out of the bag…

You get different versions here in London… some very interesting, no matter how sad they are in nature…

A few month back, before the elections, a textile tycoon, a friend, a very ‘educated’ man from Lahore, sat with me at Leister Square’s ‘All Bar One’ and cursed both Benazir and Nawaz. ‘They should both be hung from the trees,’ he said. ‘Already textile exports have started to suffer, the cost of business is becoming more and more expensive – and these____ are now trying to create more problems for us, they want elections…’

I could understand his problem. Maintaining factories, houses in Defence Societies and expensive cars can be a very taxing exercise. One needs a status quo though also wishing for changes now and then albeit in areas of one’s likings… And I, sentimental man that I am, did not wish to lose his friendship – a very delicate thing friendship is anyway, more so when one is not doing well himself and thus does not seem to possess any credibility of thought, mind or wisdom.

I just did not want to remind him of the occasion when a serving Brigadier of Wapda had felt slighted by him a few years ago and had cut of his factory’s electric supply demanding a personal and somewhat humiliating apology from him in person before the factory could start functioning again… it was an ego issue as such – but then, after all, at this point in time, the factory did have electricity…  and then instead of blaming, one should only praise the courage of these entrepreneurs who have directly and indirectly kept Pakistan going whether or not that had been their first intention…

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Open Letter to ‘Maj-Gen’ ‘Retd’ Rashid Quraishi – NAB Diaries

Rashid Quraishi,

This is with reference to my application to my Local MP regarding assistance for justice and the subsequent communication between you and a representative of the British Parliament.

My case has been projected by the independent media on several platforms and the entire facts are also available under ‘The NAB Diaries’ at www.teeth.com.pk

The facts are that my Organisation which was the largest IT Group of companies in Pakistan was taken over by my partners namely the mutual fund managed by the serving pilots of PIA with the help of a corrupt General namely Munir Hafeez who was the Chairman NAB at the time. This was done through NAB which did not have any jurisdiction over the matter since public, government or bank funds were not involved. In short, Munir Hafeez used the NAB platform to indulge in corruption for his own benefit and that of his personal pilot friends who also caused their own pilot community to lose millions of dollars.
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Guest Post by Amer Nazir

Living in exile, in my loneliness, I often wonder. I wonder about my homeland. I wonder about patriotism. What exactly is my country, to whom shall I give my loyalty – the land, the people or the regime? It is difficult to decide when all three are in conflict with each other. Were they not suppose to be on the same side… I often wonder…

‘Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country…’ is yet a statement that sends shivers up my spine. To me, it is a statement that gives license to dictators, it helps transfer responsibility, it shifts onus…

Patriotism is my personal need, the need to belong, like the need for food and water – yet, for some people there is no 911 to ring when killers are pounding at the door, no emergency services when there is an earthquake… For them, the realities of life are different…

In the General Hospital in Lahore, in the top most brain surgery institute of Pakistan, people lie in verandas in unhygienic conditions. As it is – they are either about to go in for a surgery that has low chances of success even under normal circumstances or perhaps they are trying to recuperate from one. But never do they dare ask for more since they fear being thrown out into the street – they, having already exhausted all their worldly connections to gain this limited space in the first place. Or it could be that they don’t expect more. Maybe, they simply don’t know if there can be more, that such a possibility may exist – that there can after all be more to expect…
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The nation will not forgive…

Guest Post by Amer Nazir

And why should it…

The present change has not been brought about by the politicians alone too many unsung heroes have lost their lives… they did not have a distinguished name or title, they just died on the streets… only to figure in a grand total, to add on to figures that we read in the newspapers but which we now do not give a second thought about…

Zardari and Nawaz Sharif stand redeemed today, whether they deserved the earlier treatment or the present notwithstanding the fact is that they stand redeemed today, their troubles are over in a personal sense and then revenge is a dish better served cold… but what about the nation… when will it be redeemed… what about those common people who have suffered irreparable loss… and what about those who worked and voted for the redemption of a nation…

How can they say that they will not impeach Musharaff not take him and his cronies to trialthat it is not a priority…

This change has come about because of the efforts of those who lost their lives in the process whether it is Benazir Bhutto or the hundreds of nameless, it has been brought about by those ordinary people who have and still are languishing in jails and in exile… by the brave lawyers, the judiciary, the politicians who refused to contest elections, by the media, the common man on the street who came out for demonstrations in different cities of the world and this change is the result of each and every one of us who has written may it be even a single word to protest… to let the world know of our plight and which has finally changed global perception…
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The NAB Diaries – The Aftermath

Guest Blog by Amer Nazir

I read about that in Introduction to Psychology; that, and the chapter on caged rats whod give themselves electric shocks for something to do. And the ones on the pigeons, trained to peck a button that made a grain of corn appear. Three groups of them: the first one got one grain per peck, the second one grain every other peck, the third was random. When the man in charge cut off the grain, the first group gave up quite soon, the second group a little later. The third group

never gave up. Theyd pecked themselves to death, rather than quit. Who knew what worked?

The Handmaids tale

Margaret Atwood.

I wrote the NAB Diaries with few objectives in mind. Firstly, I have to seek justice. Not just for my own sake but for the sake of my daughters as well. And then after all it is my right. And secondly, apart from that, beyond the issue of a heartless administration…I also wanted our society to look at itself…

This may not endear me to some but it is now time. If the peoples resistance, the only hope for this country of ours is to achieve anything, then our society at large has to look at itself critically, it should check its bearing, adjust its compass otherwise administrations may change, judiciaries may come and go but the situation will not change…

I suffered from the hands of my enemies but this is how it is suppose to be is it not… at least they did it for a reason and I failed to defend myself against them… but it is the actions of my own, the people around me, and the actions of the spectators, the indifferent lot, which was truly amazing. In my case, I dont cry foul when hurt by the enemies, it is just a consequence, a part of the game but it was those who took this opportunity to bring me down further, who made me stand trial for everything except for the crime at hand, as this was the most opportune moment is what I consider as the debasement of our society…
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‘l’etat, c’est moi’ – the state is me.

Guest Blog by Amer Nazir

The first time that I heard of him, was the day when I met him. It was at a ghazal party at the Defence Club. I noticed his penetrating eyes which seemed to be sizing a person on an already decided scale, his had shake was extremely firm and direct, and somehow it seemed, though this was of course a subjective appraisal this time on my part now that he was a simple man like me who had settled down to living his life according to a simplistic version of the Ten Commandments.

He seemed full of life during the evening. Often he would go to his staff car parked outside for obvious reasons and return with a rather boyish grin and a mischievous look in his eyes. He was a man who was enjoying his status in life to the fullest he was a Corps Commander with a difference, a man who seemed adamant not to be removed from the pleasures of the common company, from the common people with whom he mingled albeit from his vantage point high up on a pedestal. And after all (and I may not be able to do full justice to an urdu proverb here) that to what import to a peacock is the splendour of its dance if it takes place far away in a jungle where no one can see… To me it was obvious that we have a charming show man here who loves to play to an audience… that lucky are those who have him as their friend…

The evening when he was fired from his job and his plane was not being allowed to land, I had some entry mates from Hasanabdal over for dinner, and obviously by that time the rumours had started to spread, prompting different opinions. I on my part gave my prediction: I said that this man believes in standing next to his friends and would go all out to destroy his enemies a simple trait of a simple man who had never had the misfortune to contend with a much more complex world that lay outside his own very secure shelter. And I said to my friends that this man will take over the country…
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The NAB Diaries – Part Four

Guest Post by Amer Nazir

Part One of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here
Part Two of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here
Part Three of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here

“Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money.

Money is the barometer of a societys virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion when you see that in order to produce, you need to take permission from men who produce nothing when you see money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors when you see that men go richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws dont protect you against them, but protect them against you when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self sacrifice you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.
Ayn Rand (Atlas shrugged)

Perhaps we are missing out on a simple point. It is not an issue of the Army against Democracy. We want democracy but what is holding us back are the illiterate, incompetent, and corrupt politicians. And we do want our army Pakistan needs an army but what is holding us back from having a professional army are the 150 or so generals that are in command…

Corrupt institutions can only bring forth corrupt people and a lawless society. Proper institutions bring forth proper people and transparency. Apart from institutions we need wealth and prosperity a larger pie. With the pie shrinking it is but natural that the men with guns would want to snatch other peoples share as well… there being no other solution for their personal economic survival. Any moral slogan is adopted patriotism, morality, religion, terrorism whatever.
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The NAB Diaries – Part Three

Guest Post by Amer Nazir

Part One of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here
Part Two of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here

It is with a heavy heart that I write today. My condolence to her immediate family and to all who looked up at her and I fear for the consequences that face my country if things are not sorted out with maturity and dignity even now.

I read two newspapers while travelling the London underground on that fateful day, the Evening Standard and the Daily Mirror… and I could not believe my eyes. Both gave out the same message. Apart from the usual sympathy shown to a victim of violence, all of a sudden, almost overnight to be exact, a new verdict had emerged that she never was a solution for Pakistan…

Coming from the west it was a surprise, there seemed an indecent haste to dismiss her as a political leader of any significance whatsoever even before she was buried. More was written about the corruption in her time. It is not to say that there werent occasional mentions before but never were they so outright and blatant…
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The NAB Diaries – Part Two

Guest Post by Amer Nazir

Part One of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here
Part Three of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here

Part One has already been published by Teeth Maestro last week and which was subsequent to a letter written by me to the Chairman NAB requesting for either his resignation or else for him to justify NABs actions by making the details of this case public. A continued silence from him can only confirm that integrity is not a requirement in Pakistan for the role of Chairman NAB. And that NAB does not have any right to hold accountability since it is corrupt itself…

The other objectives of these diaries are also straight forward. One only needs to read the local and International press to realize that the army is yet being made to seem as a better option. Corruption by the politicians is cited as the reason. The third and the most important consideration, the common man, is never brought into the equation. The debate remains between the army and the politicians almost as if the thought of such a comparison was appropriate… The issues most under discussion are nuclear weapons and terrorism, the common man still does not figure as much…

In a civilized society a single miscarriage of justice that concerns a common man is highlighted as much as the news of a celebrity. Prime Ministers are made accountable, systems are changed, it does not matter whether it is Labour which is in power or the conservatives, the fundamental principles of governance reign supreme.
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The NAB Diaries – Part One

Guest Post by Amer Nazir

Part Two of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here
Part Three of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here

My name is Amer Nazir. I live in exile in London. It is a forced exile. I left Pakistan as soon as NAB took my name off the Exit Control List after a period of three years. If I had not left, probably I would have also disappeared forever like my best friend Ahmed Shujaudin a leading architect.

God willing and the Teeth Maestro permitting, I intend to write about my journey from a modest middle-class background to one of the top IT entrepreneurs of Pakistan before I fell to the extent that I became homeless. Once a familiar face in the so-called corporate social circles in Karachi it came to a point where no one was willing to take my phone call after all, I was a NAB accused. I was never to be convicted but it did not matter. The logic was straight forward. If Shuja had been kidnapped then surely Shuja must have done something terrible to cause it or else at least deserve it…

The scope of these four narrations hopefully to be published during the next four weeks is to narrate a very brief account of my business journey, my labour of love, after a briefest possible introduction of myself, the major space will be given to my NAB experience, the actual inside account, and the behaviour and the attitude of our kings of the castle.
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Request for the resignation of the Chairman NAB

Open Letter by Amer Nazir

Mr Naveed Ahsan
National Accountability Bureau,

Subject: Request for your resignation.

It is with astonishment that I have today read your speech given on the Anti-corruption day. The entire world is now finally coming to grips with the fact that the statements given by the Pakistan government are nothing but lies. It is not even ironic anymore that the same newspaper issue also carried the news that Pakistan has graduated to the position of the 7th most corrupt nation in the world.

Mr Chairman, NAB has absolutely no reason to claim any moral high grounds. Perhaps formed in good faith initially, it has emerged as a Gestapo type organization with the sole aim to impress the armys Holier than thou approach vis-à-vis the common citizens of Pakistan. This was the first and the foremost propaganda by the army and now the last defense to retain control of Pakistan and to manipulate its national wealth. And this image of the army is also destined to shatter quite soon.
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