Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Nazriya-e-Pakistan kay Muhafiz

I am not a supporter of Ayaz Amir (he is nothing but a feudal with a veneer of liberalism and a family politician like the other goon Sardar Abbas) yet I am happy that has been allowed to participate in elections. The self proclaimed guardians of Nazriya-e-Pakistan, who have taken upon themselves the responsibility of purging Pakistan politics of politicians, must be feeling desolate and disheartened today. They have no objections to participation of opponents of Pakistan like Ji and JUI(F) and Mussarat Shaheen but start feeling uncomfortable when some person, who tries to think differently from what has been preached in the text books, is elected

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Elite Pirs of Pakistan

It has been reported in newspapers that Mr. President has been staying in Karachi for last couple of weeks because his "Pir" has asked him to be away from the mountains and be near the sea for some time and he is strictly following his advice. The “Pir” sahib stays with Mr. President all the time and takes precautionary measures to safeguard and protect the President. All political decisions also require his nod. The Chief Justice has his full time "Pir" who even accompanied him to Howard University lectures. The Prime Minister has his own "Pir" who is currently living in the PM House as our Prime Minister firmly believes that he has become PM because of his prayers and spiritual support. Even Imran Khan gets special attention from the one residing in a city close to Rawalpindi.
It seems that all the “who’s who of Pakistan” have their own exclusive specialist Pirs who mentor them, guide them and safeguard them against evil designs of the enemies and evil eye of the masses. In the Democratic Republic of Pakistan, previously we only had First Ladies, now it seems that soon we shall our First Pirs as well. It is only the poor people of Pakistan who do not have any spiritual leader and Pir to safeguard them and protect them from the calamities which have befallen us curtsey of these rulers, who are being protected by such elite Pirs.
Being rich and powerful has many perks and benefits. One of them is that you can have your reserved exclusive “Saalam” Pir. In good old days when automobiles were not so common and people travelled by Tangas, the rich used to hire a Tanga exclusively for themselves which was called “Saalam Tanga” while the poor had to share and paid fare of one seat each. Some of you must have also heard of “Saalam Roast Murgha” which was ordered in hotels. The same is the case now with our spiritual leaders and gurus. If you are a common person, you will have to travel to the house of the Pir Sahib and pay an amount to get a little time to be in his company and request for his prayers. You will get very limited time as there will be others waiting for their turn. But if you are rich and powerful, you can get exclusive rights of the Pir Sahib and his time and prayers will be reserved specially for you and you can utilize him at will.
I wonder, whether these so called spiritual leaders and Pirs ever think about the condition of the masses? Do they know what their disciples are doing to the people of Pakistan and how difficult the lives of common people have become? The heart of any truly spiritual person would bleed if he looks at the plight of the common man of Pakistan. Any truly spiritual person can never even think of supporting these culprits against the oppressed and suppressed masses of Pakistan. Yet these imposters keep on living in the government houses and plunder the national resources with support of their patrons on key positions of the country. What a joke we have made of our religion and how long we will keep on doing so?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Will Our Belief in Democracy Pay Off?

Qadri is gone and Islamabad is back to normal. Frantic coverage on the TV is no more. Everything is back to as it was. Ayaz Amir says we lost the chance of a life time and now we are destined to live in the clutches of the present corrupt system for a very long time to come. Talat Hussain and Co say that the drama is over and it was just a plot by some external forces, who backed out when they could not muster up enough support for the nefarious designs to bring in a care taker set up and shelve democracy for a good time. Lucman and Kamran term it a great victory for democracy and tell us that the agreement will have great impact on the upcoming elections.

I am a common Pakistani and I am terribly confused. Whom should I believe and whom I should not? What to believe and what not to believe? I sit in my chair and ponder, because this is not just a philosophical and intellectual question, it is a question of my life and death. This is the question of my bread and butter. The way my life has changed over the last five years has a lot to do with the extremely corrupt system which is gripping my country. Should I have stood up and joined Dharna and help in over throwing the system now or should I wait for the next elections to use my vote to change my destiny. Did I make a mistake or did I make a wise choice?

The common man did not listen to the rhetoric of Qadri and he went back empty handed. But now, we the common people are terrified at heart. Will our decision of waiting for next elections for bringing in change prove right? Will we be able to improve our lot through our vote? What if our decision is proven wrong and same corrupt rulers once again grab the power? Imran and Nawaz! We believed you and we did not let that Qadri derail the system. Now what will you do to us. We have kept our side of the bargain, now will you?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dharna: Few Impressions

Today I visited dharna of TUQ in the evening. Have to accept that number is large. My guess is around 70,000 were still there in the evening. Majority of the people are from lower income groups. I would say this is the group which has been hardest hit by the economic crises created by this incompetent and corrupt government. They are very well organized and seem quite prepared for a long stay. Though the young boys of the Minhaj-ul-Quran are trying to maintain security and people are being checked at every 10 meters, yet there is no official security. There is grave danger of terrorist activity. The mood in the crowd was festive. They are not bothered by the fact the Imran Khan has decided not to join and all political parties have joined hand against them. My heart weeps for these people who came out in hope of change following some one of dubious credentials and who now finds himself in a closed alley. But one thing I can say: use of force against this group is going to be a big folly and will only help TUQ in achieving his objectives which otherwise now seem quite difficult. I am sure he must be secretly hoping that govt uses force against him and turns him into a hero.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Best of Both Worlds

Now no one can say that our government is not sincere in its efforts to solve the problem of Swat? Keeping in mind some English proverbs regarding best possible means of catching the thieves, the government has requested the favorite Mualna of the nation to help in solving the   issue of Swat. What’s the big deal if the government has to appoint his brother as a minster on his request in return of this favour?  Where we already have eighty ministers, addition of just one will not make any big difference.  We can also say that it is a step towards reducing un employment. Now we have just hundred million minus one unemployed people in Pakistan.

I am always surprised when some columnists and reports make a lot of hue and cry whenever an incident of the political prudence of our one and only favorite maulana is reported. By now we should have become accustomed to such reports. We should only be surprised if there is a report that unexpectedly maulana made an error of judgment and entered into a deal that promised no political or monitory gains.

Maulana is from the breed of those politicians who have made amends for the blunders of ‘political integrity’ and ‘principled stances’ committed by their elders in the political arena.  Maulana’s father was also a known politician and a great religious scholar but could not bring himself to use his name, knowledge and political clout to get a single kanal of land or even a small permit of kerosene oil for his family from his political counterparts. Now tell me, what is the use of having so many followers or a lot of religious knowledge if that can not be used for benefit of family and relatives. Late Nawabzada was another such politician. When he died, he had sold more than half of his ancestral land. But thank God, all that land (and some more) has been regained by his hardworking and industrious offspring by adopting correct political strategies.  If maulana has also taken some steps to rectify the errors of past, we should not raise unnecessary objections to that. Rather, he should be praised for that.

If some friends offer you permits of few million barrels of diesel, how can you break their heart by saying no.  When you also know that the diesel can be used to support the shattered economy of the brotherly neighboring Muslim country by sending it to them in such a way that they don’t have to pay the unnecessary custom duties and taxes, accepting such offers becomes your obligation. Also keep in mind that fact that such offers help in reducing unemployment. Many of the unemployed friends and members of the family get jobs and business opportunities as results of such acts of gallant sacrifice.   In another such incident, maulana kindly consented to bring a piece of land under his use, which had hitherto been lying unattended under the control of Pakistan army. He knew that army had many other very important things to do and it was unwise to let that piece of land go waste. So being a brave and selfless person, he accepted the repeated requests of the then army chief and even agreed to pay hefty amounts of hundreds of rupees per kanal. But unfortunately, our reports and columnists have started making a noise without looking at the noble motives behind the move.

Maulana believes in making hay while the sun shines and has the ability to do so in style. Maulana also has the rare skill of successfully riding two boats at the same time. He got a unique opportunity of exhibiting his talents in the previous regime when he was the leader of the opposition and general secretary of the now almost defunct MMA. We all remember with admiration that how skillfully he managed to keep the opposition and the government satisfied with his performance. Though I have to admit that some of his somersaults left his allies exasperated and frustrated, yet I have to point out that such maneuvers contributed significantly in brining stability to the ‘real democracy’ introduced by another gem of our shining history; Gen Pervaiz Musharaf. If Maulna had not been there to play his role, the ‘real democracy’ would have received a great setback when majority of the members of NWFP assembly would have resigned and made it difficult for the General to get re-elected and serve the country further. But thank God, maulana once again single handedly stopped that tragedy from happening.

Before that he and his allied parties had already left their golden mark in the constitutional history of Pakistan by supporting the 17th amendment which is best amendment ever to have been introduced in the constitution of Pakistan. Only the 8th amendment introduced by another faithful servant of the country Gen Zia can match 17th amendment in its far reaching consequences.  But unfortunately some shortsighted politicians had managed the get that great piece removed from constitution. As always, it was maulana who helped in making amends for the past mistakes and brought back the 8th amendment in the form 17th amendment albeit in more refined form. In fact the passing of 17th amendment is a diamond in the crown of political achievements of maulana and his allies of MMA.

There are some cynics, who claim that such moves by maulana damaged the credibility of the religious parties in Pakistan and also blame him for the early demise of MMA. But I must tell them that great vision and political wisdom of Qazi Hussain is also to be appreciated along with the political pragmatism of maulana for expediting the journey of MMA towards extinction. As far as the credibility of religious parties is concerned, what credibility they had before maulana that he damaged. In fact if this was the case, the party of maulana would not have once again won so many seats. On the contrary those parties and leaders, who were safeguarding their credibility, are once again on the streets waiting for the next elections. In the coming months all of us would see the efforts of maulana for the liberation of Kashmir as Chairman Kashmir Committee. This portfolio has once again been given to maulana because of his great understanding of Kashmir issue and the support which he always extended to Kashmiris and not as a result of any bargain.

In my opinion, we should all request the maulana to open an institute of politics and to give lectures to all budding leaders on ways and means of enjoying both the worlds. After all he is the only person, who has the ability to lead the opposition and court the government at the same time. If we want to remain where we are now, we are going to need more people like him.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Revolution or Evolution

“Whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer the arrows and slings of outrageous fortune or to take up arms against the sea of troubles and by opposing end them” Shakespeare

We hear of revolutions everyday. We read about revolution in technology, revolution in communications and revolution in electronic media. But the revolution which never came and yet is affecting our lives the most in the present era is the Islamic revolution.  The struggle for bringing about an Islamic revolution somehow somewhere through political or military means started with the jihad movement of Syed Ahmed Shaheed in the beginning of nineteenth century. Two hundred years hence it is still going strong with the Osama of Alqaida and Mullah Umer of Taliban in the lead. This struggle for bringing a change in the destiny of Muslims through revolutions, which took different shapes and adopted different modus operandi in different backdrops has cost Muslims not hundreds, not thousands but millions of lives. Even than, today it is as far away from achieving its objectives as it was one hundred and fifty years ago, when Jamaludin Afghani was traveling to different countries, trying to develop a sense of Pan Islamism to bring Muslims together and over throw the yoke of foreign slavery.

The Muslims revolutionary movements adopted different means in different times. People like Syed Ahmed Shaheed thought that by establishing a rule in a far flung area inhabited by die hard Muslim traditionalists would provide them a platform. He intended to use that platform for operating and driving the foreigners and non believers out form his homeland and thus bring back the glory of Islam. Jamaludin Afghani was of the opinion that that Pan Islamism was the answer to this riddle. Intellectuals like Syed Qutab and Maulana Moudodi thought that by developing a cadre of righteous and trained Muslims, they would be able to get the political power. They believed that only by getting hold of political power they would be able to bring about that long awaited revolution. With advent of Alqaida and Taliban it seems that wheel has completed the full circle and came back from where it all started. In Osama, Mullah Omer and their allies, we see the re-incarnation of the thought of Syed Ahmed Shaheed. I.e. if an Islamic sanctuary can be established in a far off place where local inhabitants are die hard Muslims, it can be used as a launching pad for Islamic revolution throughout the world. What a coincidence it is, that the area chosen by Alqaida and Taliban is the same, which was chosen by Syed Ahmed Shaheed.

All these movements and efforts of the past have one common feature i.e. failure and the fate of the present movement is going to be no different. All these movements of past and present operate on the premise that revolution is the only way to bring an end to woes faced by Muslims. But by now, they should have realized one simple truth, ‘By and large revolutions and revolutionaries don’t work’. The world has progressed this far on the basis of evolution and it is the only course of action which nature and history accept.

Islam itself, though revolutionary in spirit, nature and concepts, is very evolutionary in its approach. It is a religion which always emphasizes a practical and gradual approach. Instead of revealing the whole Holy Quran at once, God deemed it appropriate to reveal it small peaces over a period of twenty three years, preparing the people step by step for what was to come next. Many things were not decreed Haram immediately, but were gradually declared Haram. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) himself preferred to suffer the arrows and slings of outrageous fortune for thirteen years before deciding to take up arms against the sea of troubles. The approach of Holy Prophet, which should be a guiding principle for all of us to follow, shows that he did not attempt a sudden revolution and change of system. Rather, he adopted a very practical and guarded approach very similar to the evolutionary process. The revolution came by itself when the time was ripe.

The history of sub-continent also bears testimony to the same fact. When the British established their rule here, the response of the Muslim leaders reflected two different approaches. On one side, we see the struggle of heroes like Syed Ahmed Shaeed, Prisoner of Malta Maulna Mehmood ul Hassan and Obaidallah Sindhi. All of them refused to accept the foreign occupation and tried different methods for bringing an Islamic revolution and restore the days of Muslim glory. On the other side we see leaders like Sir Syed Ahmed Khan who knew that no revolutionary movement would be able to do what an institution like Aligarh University could. The results are there for every one of us to see as who was right and who adopted the wrong path in spite of all the sincerity of purpose and commitment and whose efforts in the end bore fruit. Revolutionary leaders and activists like Subhash Chandra Boss, Maulana Qasim Nanotavi, Maulana Mehmoodul Hassan and Bhagat Singh won the praise of the people but freedom was won by visionaries like Iqbal, Jinnah and Gandhi.

If we leave Islamic history and history of sub-continent aside and take examples from the recent world history, we would not come across different results. The 20th century saw many revolutions and revolutionary leaders. The revolutions usually fizzled out like the Russian revolution or had to change course dramatically like the Chinese revolution to stay alive. Revolutionary leaders like Nehru, Jamal Abdul Nasir, Mao and Lenin left their people with their ears full but stomachs empty, because rhetoric has never proved as effective tool for fulfilling the basic needs of people. On the other hand some very non charismatic, non revolutionary rather traditional leaders like Menzies of Australia, Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore and Deng Xiaoping of China spoke little, pursued practical and pragmatic policies and left their nations in a state where they could hold their head high in the comity of nations. They also had one thing in common, they were visionary leaders no revolutionaries.  

When Lee took over Singapore in June 1959, it was still suffering from the after effects of the 2nd world war. When he left in 1990, despite being very small in size, Singapore had attained the status of an Asian Tiger. Its economy had grown bigger than accumulative economy of many bigger Asian countries. All this was done very quietly and without any rhetoric. When Deng Xiaoping was finally able to wrestle complete control in 1979, the devastating effecting of the Cultural Revolution introduced by Chairman Mao had brought China to its knees. Chairman Mao was no doubt a great leader who had led a gigantic struggle to bring about a revolution. But his efforts to keep the revolutionary spirit alive through experiments like Cultural Revolution had shattered the Chinese economy. Had Deng not entered the scene at that juncture with his visionary approach, the fate of China might not have very different from the fate of Russia.

In the world of today, the only Muslim country enjoying international respect, political stability and economic strength is Malaysia. The leader who did all this was no revolutionary but a visionary.  Mahathir bin Muhammad held the post of Prime Minster for 22 years from 1981 to 2003 and is credited for engineering Malaysia's rapid modernization and progress.  Despite being highly critical of American polices and western civilization, he did not advocate a policy of conflict and collision. The United States was the biggest source of foreign investment, and was Malaysia's biggest customer during Mahathir's rule. On the other hand, loud speaking leaders like Qaddafi who claimed to be revolutionaries are nobodies in today’s world. Despite having the immense wealth of oil at their disposal, they have not been able to elevate the status of their country and their people.

If we continue our search, we can find hundreds of such examples both from history and present day world. But all that would only prove the point which I have already made. All efforts for restoring the lost Muslim glory through revolutions, either armed or political, have proved futile in the past and have no hope of succeeding in future as well. Muslims have already lost countless precious lives and wasted immense resources in these misdirected endeavors. We can not afford to continue following this dream which is never going to materialize. We don’t need Osmas and Mullah Umers. We need people like Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Mahathir bin Muhammad who can guide the Muslims on the path of evolution. Indeed it would be a very slow journey of progress which would require continued commitment and devotion. This journey is usually so long that those who start it are often not being able to taste the fruit of success. That is why revolutions are sought by those who want shortcuts and want to enjoy the fruits of success and credit in their life time. Vision and Evolution require patience and self sacrifice. Sir Syed founded Aligarh but was not around when the students of his university were leading the Pakistan movement from forefront. But this by no means mitigates his contribution in Pakistan movement which has been acknowledged by history.  We need movements for improving and developing systems of education, governance system and systems of accountability. We need people who can guide us on the path of science and technology. We need leaders who can understand the requirements of changing times and help us change accordingly, not the leaders who refuse to change and want to keep us that way as well. This is the only sure shot way of restoring the lost glory of Muslim ummah, albeit a long one, and only by trading the path of evolution we shall be able to achieve which Islamic revolutions will never be able to do.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Why Don’t I leave this country and Who is stopping me!

My Prime Minister has asked me to leave the country and has informed me that nobody will stop me. Mr. prime Minister I want to tell you that:
One, I am not leaving this country and I am not going anywhere, because it belongs to me not to you. I am not a new comer in the area. I have been living her for thousands of years. My Father, grandfather and ancestors are buried here. And nobody has the right to tell me to leave this area. God forbid even if Pakistan disintegrates and disappears, I shall still be living here after hundreds of years in the form of my offspring. I am a son of this soil. Me elders have cultivated this land for thousands of years and we have developed a bond and relationship with the land, We were bonded with this land when it was called India, we are bonded to this land when this is being called Pakistan and we shall be bonded with this land when God forbid it will be called by some other name. It is a relationship beyond arbitrary names and slogans. And since I am living here, I have all the rights to demand that I should be given all the facilities which all the human beings are entitled to. Even if this area was included in India, I would have demanded the same. Because this is my human right which all the states need to respect, protect and fulfill.
Secondly, I can’t leave because thanks to your rotten and corrupt governance and policies, the green passport is hated and ridiculed all over the world. I am not welcome anywhere. You have deprived me of all my respect and honor which I previously enjoyed. People of the world used to treat me as one of them, but now they look upon me as some monster and alien. I am hated Mr. Prime Minster because of you and your policies. I am isolated in this world. Not to talk of my going anywhere, nobody is willing to come here to play a cricket match with me. How do you expect me to go away?
So Mr. Prime Minister, thank you very much for your advice, but I would appreciate if you could do the same yourself and yes, I assure you that nobody will stop you. In fact we shall distribute sweets when we shall see your ass going way from here.