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Sunday, May 29, 2011

KALMA CHOWK- YOU WILL BE REMEMBERED


A lot of criticism is in the air about the “fall of the Kalma chowk”, like it is the fall of the Pakistan economy. Many people, all of a sudden seem to be have loads of memories associated with it- which were probably made staring it, when they had to wait for a lot of time to get across the signal. Protests, SMSes and even Facebook pages have been made and dedicated to the discussion over the loss of this beautiful piece of architecture. The government’s personal interest in building this flyover is a bi-product of the discussion. This is a perfect example for why I support dictatorship for Pakistani people, mind you not military, over democracy.

I completely agree that the kalma chowk monument had its significance but there is no use crying over spilled milk. Has anyone thought about the maintenance of our actual cultural heritage? Lahore fort, Badshahi mosque to name a few. Seventy-five percent of the Lahore fort has deteriorated and only twenty-five percent is in its original form. There are less than fifteen sweepers responsible for the cleanliness of the whole fort spread over the area of 20 hectares. Now my question is, is anyone of the people who feel strongly about the cultural heritage doing anything about this situation, because it is obviously far far important?

I have not come across any single comment, post or SMS; what to talk about Facebook pages and discussions, on how fast the construction is being done or appreciating the hard work of the labor. The construction of the flyover goes on for twenty four hours and with the construction of this flyover one of the most important aspect of life, time, could be saved and better utilized.

Kalma chowk was a beautiful square which almost all Lahorites had passed by and it shall be remembered in our stories but sometimes you have to let go of things for greater good. Also, if one is that interested in preservation of the cultural heritage a proactive approach will be far more productive and will actually allow one to make an impact rather than spread than just uttering criticism. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Pakistani’s sorrows


A common Pakistani is unfortunately a pessimist-xenocentric-criticizer. No matter what walk of life he belongs to or whatever way he is making his living; he is very honest and is efficiently playing his part as a Pakistani citizen; although he is not doing anything for his country ranging from casting vote to paying taxes. The most unfortunate part is that these people mostly belong from the educated class of Pakistan.  A common Pakistani would promptly criticize the following with the given arguments:

1.    The government: Corruption and flawed leadership are synonyms in Pakistan. They are not educated, they do not have any sense of direction or strategy and all they care about is money. The urdu saying ‘note dekha, mood bana’ (show me currency and I will be convinced) is the perfect logo for the government.

2.   The army: The once respected army is now, unfortunately/ fortunately, a center of ridicule. Major chunk of our national budget is allocated to the army therefore they are required to be perfect. The army is sold, although we have complete respect for those who lost their lives protecting us.

3.    The WAPDA: Those @#$%^&*!. I wish they go to hell and die there every day because of hot weather and no electricity.

4.   The doctors: In the recent past they have been a target of a lot public criticism. Inhuman professionals, incompetent money maker who do not only rob people but make them regret for choosing ‘that’ particular doctor. Almost any doctor’s name could fill up the space.

5.     The media: In the race of being the first one to report the news they have broken all the barriers of ethics and morals; whether it is the wedding of two celebrities to or a cross fire between two politicians.

6.    The police: Bribes, setups, fake encounter murders you name it and our police is doing it. They don’t have any values; all they care about is their tummies.

7.   The judiciary: Have they ever done anything just? The one authority that can have accountability of the executive needs to be accountable for their actions first- what a judiciary we have.

Unfortunately Pakistani people apply the halo effect, just one action is needed to mess up all the good done. Pakistanis will ignore all the positive things done by that department, completely covering them with black spots too. What I do not understand is why do we have problem when the world is applies the same halo effect on us the Pakistanis? (Note to self: Do not complain at the airport security next time)

And if you do not have the sense to look things through or to tell what’s right from what’s not, what gives you the license to quickly formulate the opinion and start portraying a bad image of the country. There are a lot of ills in our country absolutely no doubt about that; a lot of institutions do have a lacks. But unless we are not doing anything how can we blame other. We need to give in our little starting with voting, perhaps. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

6 things we need to start doing


“Change begins from within”, “You want to change the world, change yourself” are very impressive but with all due respect clich├ęd phrases. It is high time; we put our words into actions. When the discussion of putting words into actions comes everyone starts thinking of all the big, fancy hard-to-implement ideas and mostly people end up doing nothing. But everyone tends to overlook all the small things which are very do-able and can have an impact even at an individual’s level.

So to give it start, here’s a list of 6:

1.      Stop littering
Where ever we go we make sure to leave a mark behind and the easiest way of doing that is littering. Anything from throwing an empty juice tin at the centuries old fort to banana skin at the joy land would do and then we backbite about people who do not keep their homes clean. Remind me here again how are we any different? In fact they are better, because they are at least consistent in their actions. 

2.      Stop complaining
Avoid bursting over minor routine issues and learn to let go of things, its saving of your own energy. So what if it is very hot outside; so are you, don’t be jealous of the sun, your complaining is not going to change anything.

3.      Have patience
Please have little tolerance for things especially while driving; it is not necessary that everyone has equally quick reflexes as yours, so it’s not a bad idea to wait a few seconds before unleashing your army of horns and deadly curses- which, frankly, are of no good. Plus trust me the other person is not partying in the middle of the street, he also wants to get across that signal.

4.      Save electricity, gas and water
Cursing WAPDA and the government is one thing; don’t be misled by the heading, no one is asking you to stop doing that. On the contrary it is our moral responsibility to make efficient use of the resources that we have for our own good. Open the tap when you need water, do not just let the water following all the time while you are brushing your hair and you need to sprinkle water only once.

5.      Stop showing off; be cooperative
If a guard at the entrance of a building stops and asks for your identification he is not trying to play-mighty or put a stain on your status, he is doing his job; cooperate with him. With the prevailing security conditions of the country it is all the more necessary for you to follow his directions. I have witnessed people trying to show the security guards down by telling them who they are and what they can do and how dare he ask them for their identification- for all such people, honestly had he known he would not have asked for your identity.

6.      Give respect
Give respect and earn respect in return. Greeting a shop keeper, taxi driver, watch man, sweeper will do for a start. These people are making a living by doing decent jobs; we should respect that rather than making a comparison. How much a white collar worker earns in Pakistan anyway? Hardly enough to survive. By showing respect via these small gestures you are not only raising their self-esteem but also your own. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

OBL dead or another stage drama?


Bin Laden’s death marks a win against anti-terrorism. Confetti! But not only is there inconsistency but there are serious loop holes in the unveiling stories about the Abbottabad operation.  Here are five big question marks which force me to believe that this whole operation was nothing but a stage play.

1.      No proper communication setup
If such an important leader of Al-qaeda has been living in Abbottabad for such a long time and also he has been taking major decisions of Al-Qaeda, wouldn’t he have a very strong and secure communication system? I am sure he was not relying on pigeon to convey all his messages:
“Alright, I am all set in Abbottabad, its go green for the next bomb attack. Also see the map attached to the right leg of the pigeon, the red circle is where you blast next”. What if one of the pigeon falls victim to a drone attack, how many days before they can tell they need a new pigeon?
If the master mind of the 9/11 attack was living in Abbottabad a lot of laptops, cellphones, wireless sets and other gadgets would have been recovered from his hideout instead of a bunch of old fashioned PCs etc.

2.      No proper supplies
Food, after air and water is the basic need of survival and if you are living in a compound with your kids and wives it seems impossible that there is no proper food stock. In fact Osama’s was not the only family living there, that means more tummies, more food needs- there has to be proper system to feed people. Any one hungry would go out and buy stuff from the nearest grocery store.
What about the electricity bills, water supply or gas bills for that matter? We sure don’t have a put-a-coin and get-the-supply system in Pakistan.

3.      Living for 5 years? Seriously!
With the given facts and figures this does not seem like the case. Even if Osama was found there he was probably on a run, it is very hard to believe that he was living there for such a long time. Living for five years in such an important city from Pakistan military’s point of view with no proper security, supplies, networking.

4.      Security system
Such high profile leader, having big rewards against his name, major intelligence agencies after him, whole of the US waiting for the announcement of his death and he dies without fighting back? Only very few weapons are found, no guards, no security system is in place. I do not know but someone who planned 9/11, he is not expected to be this non-tech savvy. In fact, it is very hard to believe that the operation lasted for only forty-minutes in total with no major causalities on the other side. 

5.      Money talks
Unfortunately in a country like Pakistan where one fourth of its population is living below the poverty line, a lot of things sell for money.[1] The timings are perfect, America had been operating in Pakistan for quite some time now and it was all going in vain, their operations had resulted in more civilian deaths than militants and now the people of US had started to notice and unfortunately unlike Pakistanis when they notice it has an impact. Elections are near and who does not like to stay in power so bingo, OBL’s death changes the picture.  



[1] Central Intelligence Agency. (2010, March 11). The World Factbook. Retrieved April 15, 2011, from Central   Intelligence Agency: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2046.html (This figure is of 2010 which implies that there is no incorporation of the mass destruction done by the floods)