Friday, 30 December 2011

New Year's Resolution

For the last few years, all I say at the end is, I hope the next year is better than this one. But I never really try to make it better. My laziness takes over and whenever I try to put my 'resolutions' into action, the thought that I have a whole year to achieve my goals holds me back. But I've finally realised (however late), that a 'whole' year is never long enough. However, it is still a phase of life and has its effects, whether you make an effort or not.

So what did 2011 do to me? This question is confusing. So much happened and yet everything seems the same. I understood a lot about myself, but I didn't change. I realised a lot about my surroundings but that didn't stop me from doing what I wanted to do. How will all these changes, which have led to nothing, affect the 21st year of my life? All these questions need reflecting and this is one thing that I haven't been able to do and still am not. If anything has changed in the past year, it is my level of activity. With almost no time for myself, I have been unable to think straight about anything. As time is ticking by, I'm getting stuck up in life and can't see any way out. It's all a bit surprising if you sit and think about it; with all that has been going on around me, with everything that I (and all Pakistanis for that matter), have seen in the past year, one would have thought that we'd feel compassionate enough to sit back and wallow in the bitterness of what we've went through for a while, if not for long. But sadly, none of this sort happened.

Some would say it's a good sign. We've moved on with life despite all that many of us have gone through. It is true; life does move on and no matter how much you loose, you have to keep living till your heart is pumping blood in your arteries. There's no escaping life. Better live it with a smile instead of immersing in sorrow. But I don't think brave face is the case any more. If I speak for myself, after hearing so much bad news, after watching so much violence and death around me, I have kind of become immune to the severity and dreadfulness of it all. I do feel sad but it's for moments and then I 'move on'. Few incidents have the ability to shock me now, to make me realise the magnitude of what has happened. In short, the feeling of sorrow isn't new to me any more. It is happiness that is rare.

This year I hope the situation turns opposite. With all my heart I wish, the bleak atmosphere of my homeland brightens up. The feeling of compassion, of love comes back to me and happiness takes over. A bit too optimistic? I don't think so, especially when I hope that it is me who makes an effort to bring back the old smiles back to at least a few faces around me. I hope I actually try to bring the change I want to see.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Myself ;)

This blog post is not like the others. It's not about any political or social issue. This time it's about me. I felt like venting my thoughts and here they are, all jumbled up. Like I said, I write all the time, no matter how trivial, stupid or personal it is.

People are right when they say exposure is important to understand the world and yourself. Interning has taught me many things; like bearing people you absolutely hate, with a nice, big smile, being responsible and attentive, to depend on no one but yourself. Most of all though, it has improved my understanding about myself. I've gotten to know myself, and have, however unpleasantly, learnt to place myself correctly, something I never did before. I think that's because I've lived in a really sheltered world, everywhere I have someone I can depend upon, and I chickened out of places where I couldn't find such people, I always had replacements for people who left me. This is the first time I am at a place where I don't have anyone I can depend upon and I can't leave this time either, I've got to stay here for my own sake.

For a person who is as pampered as me, it's hard to come to terms with the truest form of independence and responsibility that comes with it. I never knew I was so reluctant towards change and being responsible. All my life I've seen my mother work and manage the house like a perfect housewife at the same time and I never really appreciated the effort that was involved in it. That doesn't mean I didn't appreciate her or I underestimated her. I've always looked up to her as a role-model but I suppose mostly, I valued her just like anyone else would value their mother. Now I have to go through the same routine, I completely understand how she must feel when she gets home and realises she has to do a bunch of other chores. Even though I don't do anything once I get home, I feel so tired that I convince myself that I can't move an inch of my muscles. And it is at moments like these that I realise I'm still not ready for practical life, I can't face what lies ahead of me.

Despite all these unpleasant realisations, I don't regret coming here. Better learn my lesson on my own instead of letting other people shake me awake later. I've got a lot to do to get over all my seemingly minor issues, but this can be the first step :)

Monday, 26 December 2011

Are We Ready?

Ok so let's say Imran Khan takes over the government and work towards bringing the change he promises he'll bring. How much will the masses of Pakistan help him to get there? They might vote for him, sure, but what about later? Are we ready to face, to accept the change that might come with Imran Khan? Are we really ready to live in a Pakistan that is England in disguise? Because to build and live in that Pakistan we'll need to change our lifestyles to match that of the English. We'll need to obey the traffic lights, we'll need to stop spitting 'paan' on the walls and the roads, we'll need to hold our rubbish till we find a dustbin. We'll need to respect other people's privacy and peace of mind by not smoking in their faces, stop playing loud music. Can we do all that?

Electing him as our leader will be the easy part, living with his policies...I'm not sure. Our nation is used to living under corrupt politicians and a strict leader like Imran Khan (his past records prove him to autocratic), will not be appealing to us. We are used to abusing authorities, whether they deserved it or not is the question right now. I don't think our nation is ready to get over the hatred, the racism that is gripping our society. We are not ready to feel proud in working hard, being punctual, thinking of everyone as equal. No matter how much we try, we can not hide from the fact that our nation does not like to live in peace, harmony and unity. Where rule breaking is an attribute, being late is a quality, stealing from other a habit, how can it be possible for such people live in an atmosphere where they can't do all this? How many of us say 'Pakistani' when asked about our nationality? How many people stop if someone tells them to stop littering? How many students avoid cheating when invigilators tell them to? No all these are the practises of 'goras', they should not be adopted by us, the supreme Pakistanis because we are not to follow the West. Using their swear words, buying their brands doesn't count. 

It is time for us to reconsider: electing a leader who will make us listen to him might not suit us. Unless Pakistan's masses are ready to give up their grudges and learn to be rational, like they are expected to be, our nation will not be able excel the we want it to, it won't be Imran Khan's promised Pakistan.

(P.S I know it's absolute rubbish, just bear with me :( thanks.)

Monday, 28 November 2011

Rights and Double Standards!

Watching this video made me wonder what has been crossing my thoughts frequently for a while. Where are we headed with this attitude? What do we wish to prove by finding faults in others? This trend of telling others how lowly they really are has now gained substance. Whenever someone tries to show us the mirror, or an incident forces us to reflect on what we are and have been doing, we revert to abusing the 'western world of all evil'. I don't doubt the statistics provided by the scholar in the video above. But I do wish to ask him: should we continue to be evil just because there are others who are worse than us? As a scholar, isn't it your job to correct the misconceptions and wrong doings of other Muslims who don't know as much as you do? Why defend their actions by telling them that they don't equal the west in killing and raping women? Does lying behind the west makes their actions tolerable?

Our problem, it seems, is our feeling of self-righteousness and self-importance which has led us to have double standards. As people who believe in one God, we should be the humble ones who respect everyone's rights and do not justify anyone's crime by baseless accusations and defenses. But noo, we consider ourselves superior in every right so much so that we dig out our own rules and regulations and definitions of freedom and rights in religion and outside it. We don't want to see or accept that fault lies with us even if the facts lie glaring in our face. And in our arrogance we go on to practise our self-defined rights and rules and justify them to the world. 

The young lady mentioned in the article shared is the most relevant example of what I said above. Only she represents the other side, i.e, all those who believe in God are root of all evil, the scholar's opposite. The difference is: one case it's the scholar who derails non-Muslims, western non-Muslims to be more specific, while insisting that Muslims are the purest of all and in the second case the young lady deems all Muslims as animals by implying how they challenge everyone's right to freedom of speech. What I don't understand is that why has the definition of freedom become so limited? Why have we restricted our freedom to the way we dress (or don't)? And just because our freedom is limited why do we try to restrict others' freedom to match ours? Why don't we let the others stay the way they want to? If some people mind when others criticise them then maybe they should just let other people be and spare them of the behaviour they so detest when it comes their way. The main root of most of the problems we are facing as a community today is not the absence or presence of religion or faith; its bigotry and hypocrisy. 

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Changing Lives

There was a time when Pakistan was a pro in making sports equipment, surgical instruments, carpets etc. They made a considerable part of Pakistan's exports. But then, all of a sudden, the world realised that children contribute in making these goods as well and decided to ban them to protest against child labour. The footballs and carpets which once provided for thousands of families were boycotted, leaving many families hungry and jobless. The world thought these kids should be in school instead of helping their parents out and pulled away the money which brought them food. In short, to provide these kids education and a better life, they snatched away the meals that these families earned after their hard work.

My question is: why do these super champions of human rights interfere in everyone's lives without knowing their actual situation? People who live in rural areas of Pakistan usually have large families. Due to lack of education and awareness, they impose certain limitations upon themselves, one of which is the refusal to go for family planning. Everyone who has a rational head in this world will surely realise that it's hard for one person to provide for a large family. Everyone's contribution is required in order to earn three good meals a day. Help of wives and children make it easier for the family to survive in harmony. If these kids are pulled away from work they'll become a burden and would have to go through starvation or malnutrition and might even have to face physical abuse as their parents find no other way to vent their frustration than to beat their kids up.

Education is extremely important and it's everyone's right to receive it. But before throwing out suggestions one should consider the circumstances of the people whose lifestyles are being criticised. Either they arrange charity programs so the children can go to school for free instead of working, not realising that by doing so they are completely crushing the self-respect of these little angels, or they boycott their hard work and lead them to starvation. If they are so concerned about the welfare of children maybe they should consider more practical solutions like....I don't know...increasing their wages so they can save enough to send their children to school? Or maybe, since they are so charitable, they can build up schools which can provide employment to children by honing their skills along with providing them basic education? By stopping the children from working altogether, they are wasting their skills as well as their income. Kids in rural areas are not interested in education unless they are provided with oppurtunities  to earn for their family. Banning them from work is not the solution. Their lives can be changed by providing them oppurtunities to specialise in their skills, so they can adopt it as a proper career and their children won't have to work to support them in future. Change comes gradually. Sudden change is always destructive and short termed. Patience and hard work is the only key when it comes to changing lives.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Who is my next Leader?

Imran Khan's rally on Sunday was a big success. Its success seems more magnified because of its unpredictability; few people (the political fortune-tellers), expected PTI to attract this many people and gather so much support. The fact that Imran Khan has always had youth's support is well-known but no one expected these potential voters to actually come out to show their acknowledgement and support so clearly. The enthusiasm of the crowd was unnerving and revitalising at the same time. The time has come, it seems, for Imran Khan to reap the fruits of his 16 years' struggle. He is finally being recognised as a political entity. But does this recognition really make him a politician? This question is constantly being raised by many people.

True, Imran Khan has many thinking minds as his supporters. That is, undoubtedly, his strength. But how long will he be able to hold them in? He has many goals, but few political ways to achieve them. Imran Khan's personality answers many questions about his strategies in future. He is an honest person who is inexcusably blunt and straightforward. This attribute alone ensures that he has a lot of public interest. But how much political support will he gather in order to satisfy the needs of his voters and work in the interest simultaneously? His blunt criticism is capable of warding off many important political supporters who are already itching to join him. It's an open reality that Imran Khan needs all this support that is being offered to him since he has no experienced candidates who can represent his party on different forums and team work is rarely seen. One can only hope for Imran Khan to be diplomatic.

Most of the policies, which he discussed in his rally, were too simplified. This implies that Imran Khan has not yet been successful in carving out more focused, centralised goals out of his vague ideologies which he has discussed countless times on different occasions. His take on America, his counter-terrorism policy, his anti-corruption movements, criticism on present government etc. have been heard several times with little editions in his speech and no changes in his tone. This, by no means, imply that the man is devoid of a vision. He can see his future clearly, but the measures he'll take to get there are still vague. His determination and abilities, however, prove him to be trustworthy. He has achieved goals which were thought to be impossible, like winning the cricket world cup, building Shaukat Khanum Hospital etc. Running a country is different from building a hospital or playing cricket, of course, but these achievements potray him as a determined, ambitious man who can give up anything to get what he has set his eyes on, in this case the welfare of Pakistan. I haven't seen any political leader playing Pakistan's national anthem in their rally, or addressing the whole nation while discussing their strategy instead of one province or ethnicity. No political party ever puts up images of Jinnah or Iqbal while they declare themselves leaders of Pakistan. Imran Khan is the first in a long time to take care of these subtleties. His plans are for Pakistan, not Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan, KP or FATA. He is not trying to divide the country while dividing his policies for every sector of the population. Instead, he is formulating his strategies such that they lead to the unity of all provinces. This is what most of the masses have been waiting for: a leader who recognises them as Pakistanis instead of associating their identities with their religion, province or ethical background.

There have been more criticism on Imran Khan, he has faced more accusations and all has been done to defame him. Still, I think he should be supported for the sake of this country. We have tried trusting the polished, experienced politicians. What have we got? Crisis on every level of every sector. I don't think there can be any harm in trying to trust a well-proven administrator who is educated unlike most of our politicians, clean of corruption charges and is determined and devoted to his cause. Who knows, we might even gain something. A person who has pulled the middle-class thinking minds out of their houses can be expected to 'do more' in the sole interest of this country. Whether he is a politician or not, Imran Khan is, without a doubt, a charismatic leader who have the power to make people follow him unconditionally.

(These opinions are solely those of the writer which she has formulated after listening and reading different analysis etc. These opinions, therefore, might be derived but are surely not copied. Thank you.)

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Tolerating Intolerance

(I'm posting it really late because I was hoping it'll get published somewhere else. But I suppose newspapers, nowadays, don't have any taste LOL. They'll publish completely nonsensical articles but not that of the future pioneer of journalism! ME! Anyway that was a sour loser's speech, stop laughing and read on, thanks.) 

When I decided to attend this seminar, I wasn't really interested in the concept behind its topic. I only wanted to go because I thought that it'll be a different experience, and the fact that my classmates were also planning to show up strengthened my resolve to attend 'No Tolerance for Intolerance'. For me it was just another talk-talk seminar where speakers repeat what we hear all the time. But suprisingly, the discussion actually led me to form new opinions as I disagreed with the views of more than one speakers.

Sheema Kermani, Hina Khuaja Bayat, Ghazi Salahuddin, Faheem Siddiqui, Uzma Alkarim and Ruhana Iqbal attended as speakers and each gave their own version of the topic. What really ticked me off was Faheem Siddiqui's claim that intolerance often leads to solutions of problems as well. So far it's not disputable. Tolerating injustice doesn't lead us anywhere and at that point protest becomes important. But he said that the fact that media encouraged the masses to protest on streets and burn tires, ensuring them that their protest will be covered is what made the government listen to their demands. He supported the idea of violent protests. And the great Sheema Kermani followed him saying that she believed in armed struggle and protest and that burning cars, tires etc. is completely justified. Moments before the same woman was talking about civilised societies and how our society is not one of them. Seriously? She believes that asking someone about their religion is uncivilised and ill-mannered. But burning other people's property is not? With pioneers like these, no wonder our society is going wayward.

I'm not trying to imply that protesting is wrong. But there are other, peaceful ways of protest and they are practiced by civilised societies and get noticed as well. Which part of the world doesn't protest? But rarely have I heard that they smashed someone's car or burnt flags or tires or blocked traffic for long hours(I'm talking about 'civilised societies' here). On way to achieve something, we lose so much more. So many people lose what they achieved after years of hard work  and saving. Miss Kermani might think it's justified because nothing of this sort has ever happened to her. I don't think she considered the feelings of the people who are deprived of their most precious assets in one blow. How is a middle-class, honest and hard working man responsible if the government is performing poorly or if there is no electricity at your place? Aren't there any other ways to convey your frustration? Most of the people who come out on the roads chanting against the government are people who cast votes. Why vote for such corrupt people in the first place? The said speakers told us that intolerance is good. I wish they could tell us how to display it as well.

Monday, 10 October 2011

When they saw that none of their elders aren't doing the job they ought to be doing, they decided to take up the responsibility themselves. It didn't really start off as a social movement; they were inspired by a few other pages and decided to make one page of their own. But what had started out as a joke has matured into a movement, uniting thousands of people at home and abroad.

KarachiTips, a Facebook page created by three innovative individuals: Baakh Nusrat, Mohammad Abdullah and Bilal Khan, has made thousands realise the beauty of the city they live in. Their one-line tips literally describe the daily life of Karachi in a comical and light-hearted manner. The page, which was launched on June 2 had hit 10,000 fans by june 9th. In 4 months the page has crossed 22,000 fans. The tips touch every thing from the unique life style, to the socio-political situation of the city of lights. Anyone who lives or has lived in Karachi can relate to these one-liners; anyone who has never been to the city of lights can get to know this hub of various ethnicities. In an era of confusion, where we all look for reasons to fight, these tips make us accept and laugh our differences off as we realise that we all face the same problems and think the same way.

The reason I'm writing is this is not their promotion. To be frank, they don't need it now. They've been invited to several radio shows, social events and have been featured in many blogs in their early days. They've already launched their t-shirts and other such merchandise successfully. So they are past the 'promotion-needed' stage.  I just think that, being a blogger from Karachi, I think it is important to highlight the fact that such awesome people exist here in this awesome city. People who highlight the light and good aspects of Karachi life. People who bring others together.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011


My laziness has been stopping me from writing on many subjects on which I wanted to write badly. One of these subjects was the past significance of day before yesterday for Pakistan, for the world.

9/11/2001. A day which changed the fate of the whole world. Half of the deaths which took place after 9/11 were due to the war ensued after the unfortunate incident when innocent people were slaughtered and blood was shed like water. Indeed, the past decade has been horrible for thousands of families who lost their family members because of no reason, either they were killed or were kept under custody for a crime they never committed.

But for us, the Pakistanis, 9/11 means more than the incident which took place ten years ago and for which we are still paying the price even though they've killed the culprit. This day truly changed the fate of Pakistan 63 years ago. The death anniversary of our founder shook the nation and I think we still havent recovered from the shock of losing, not only our founder, but our motivation, our self-respect, pride and honesty and love for our country. Even before 9/11/2001, I don't remember our media paying any tribute to Jinnah, I don't remember any special memorial ceremony being conducted in schools, community centres etc. And after 9/11, there was no way we could talk about anything else but the twin towers' destruction. I mean how can we forget our white lords? Jinnah is long gone, what is he in front of the towers which converted into dust and rubble miles away. I don't want or mean to be insensitive. I do feel for people who lost their lives, I do sympathise with the families of the deceased and I appreciate their compassion and will to fight the forces which killed their beloved. But for me my country and its triumphs and its loses are more important than any other country's misfortunes. And I don't think this is wrong. Don't the Americans feel the same way? For them the lives of the Americans come first, for them the lives of other humans are not of much importance and they don't mind wiping these lives away if it stands in the way of their justice.

This day is and should be important to us but for different and more relevant reasons. Instead of replaying the video footage of twin towers repeatedly, it should be about our martyrs and the death of our founder, how he sacrificed his career, health and everything for this country and its people. This is what we should be remembering instead of following the foreign media which calls us terrorist even though we are fighting their war. May be if we try to remember the fortunes and misfortunes of our nation for once, we might be able to escape their oppression, only partially if not completely. 

Tuesday, 30 August 2011


The past few days have been horrific for Karachiites. I don't remember being this scared and being a citizen of Karachi, that's saying something. Brutal murders and kidnapping cases dominated the city. It was like being in a state of war. And yet there was no action taken against the oppressors of life.Not until hundreds died and people started calling out for the army in desperation, did the government took any notice of the violence that was gripping the metropolitan city. Why the government chose to be this ignorant, I have no idea and I think no normal citizen does. Dozens of strikes were called out for by different political parties though, that apparently being the only thing they can do. But it did nothing except causing a dozen more deaths. Life in short was successfully paralysed in Karachi.

The fear of life has become part of the lives of Karachiites, so much so that they can't imagine living without it. And weird as it sounds, this fear has made us reckless. While such fearlessness has gripped the population of the city, they still don't take stand. They still answer the frequent call for strikes by sitting at home and wasting hours in front of the idiot box. They don't realise that the time is now ripe to take action and repel the violence that is being carried out in their city. Burning tyres and flags, shouting slogans on the streets??? Nah. They've become out-dated now, lost their appeal. Since we can't do anything constructive, why don't we try to get out on a strike day and try to spend our lives normally by going to school, to work and whatever it is that we do in our daily lives? Since we don't care about our 'leaders' any more, why not show it by spending our lives as normally as we can? Why not disappoint them by acting normally and against their expectations and agendas? Our lives our already in danger, innocent people die daily, without any reason. And it's very hard to come to terms with such unreasonable murders. May be if we get killed for angering them, the sensation will be gratifying and acceptable. But all this is easier said than done. People wouldn't and shouldn't endanger their lives on purpose, but those people who can go to school or work with least risk of getting killed should give it a try don't you think? May be this first step will lead to the normalisation of our beloved city.

Monday, 8 August 2011


"Since our childhood, we've been told that fasting is a noble form of worship during which a person should not only control their hunger and thirst but also their anger, hatred and all negative emotions. Muslims, apart from praying and reciting the Holy Quran, are supposed to be especially tolerant and kind towards the others during this month."

The other day I was busy surfing the internet (read surfing my Facebook profile) when I heard gunshots. I first thought they were firecrackers and so didn't get up. I know this sounds stupid but in my defense, I didn't have any reason to believe that someone in my area would shoot anyone in broad daylight. Still, the sound made me uneasy so did the fact that it was frequent, so I finally got up to peep through the window in my mother's bedroom which provides a clear view of the street. As I approached the window, I looked at my mother questioningly who had only just moved away from the window.

'It's Humail Sahab's son-in-law.' She took the name of our neighbor who lived across the street. 'He shot a cat.'  I furrowed my eyebrow at this piece of information. 

'Why would he do that?' I asked and she shrugged in answer.

'I don't know. People are gathering up, the guard is there too.' She said and moved away as I peered through the window. A cat (white with grey spots), lay soaked in her blood which was splattered on the driveway of the house as well. It made me shudder. People were gathered there and I saw my own brother who had gone outside to see what had happened. The 'son-in-law' who fired came down with a shovel as well with which he started to lift the carcass of the cat. with some effort he lifted her and carried her away, came back, poured some mud over the splattered blood and went back in. My brother came back and told us that he'd killed her because she ate two of his chicks.

Nobody said a word to him.

All of this happened in the 'Holy month of RAMZAN'. The guilty was obviously fasting, as he is said to be very 'religious', and had a long beard as well. I describe his appearance because such people are supposed to be respectable in our society as they are very close to God because of their 'religious' appearance.

We keep yelling that our religion is the most peaceful of all and that it gives equal rights to everyone, human or not. And yet the world hates us and call our religion a corrupt and violent one. With such implementation of these rights, I can't blame them neither can I negate them. We focus more on appearance than our actions. In our arrogance of our assumption that we alone know all that Islam is all about, we ignore many obvious teachings of this esteemed religion. We forget that God has made us human and being so we have to be kind to our fellows. We forget that God has told us to respect every creature He has created. We forget that He's told us that He might forgive our lack of worship but He won't forgive us if we compromise on the rights of any of our fellows until the subject forgives us. Religion is about love and tolerance, not about deeming each other hell-worthy. Such is our level of tolerance that if someone dares to act against our wishes we'll punish them without thinking that the authority to punish does not lie with us.

I know a lot of people will say that I'm getting worked up on a small incident and such things happen all the time and that, it was only a cat that was killed and no human. But for me that's the whole point. All the cat did was act like a cat. Eating chicks is normal for cats, they don't care if they belong to someone, all they know is that they'll provide them some food to survive. They are animals. But we, the humans, are supposed to know better aren't we? If a person can kill a cat for having her lunch, then who can guarantee that he won't advance to killing his fellows for annoying him tomorrow? A person with no respect for another life can cross all boundaries of cruelty, no problem. And by staying quiet, we'll let them.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011


'Iran mai kon rehta hai?'
'Iran mai Irani qoum rehti hai.'

'Inglistaan mai kon rehta hai?'
'Inglistaan mai angraiz qoum rehti hai.'

'France mai kon rehta hai?'
'France mai franseesi(french) qoum rehti hai.'

'Ye kon sa mulk hai?'
'Ye Pakistan hai.'

'Is mai Pakistani qoum rehti hogi?'

'Nahi. Is mai Pakistani qoum nahi rehti.
Is mai Sindhi qoum rehti hai.
Is mai Punjabi qoum rehti hai.
Is mai Benagali qoum rehti hai.
Is mai ye qoum rehti hai.
Is mai wo qoum rehti hai.'

'Lekin.....Punjabi to Hindustan mai bhi rehte hain!
Sindhi to Hindustan mai bhi rehte hain!
Bengali to Hindustan mai bhi rehte hain!
Phir ye alag mulk q banaya tha?'

'Ghalti hui. Maaf kar dijiye. Ainda nahi banayen ge.'
                                                   (An article by Ibn-e-Insha)

The above article never fails to make me feel ashamed. That's because it is as true as it is witty. Our lack of unity is what has made our collective identity so weak and sneered upon. Even among ourselves, we identify ourselves with different labels: Sindhi, Punjabi, Muhajir, Pathan etc etc. Everyone of us keeps shouting about what others did to us. No one remembers what we did in retaliation. 

This desire to separate ourselves from the nation is alarming. It has led to an open fire throughout the country and especially in Karachi. The dead don't know who killed them and why. The recent bloodshed in Karachi has made many people sneak out of their own houses and burn for revenge. I don't blame them. It’s not easy to watch a loved one die in front of your own house. And if it’s a stray bullet that caused the death, the ‘sabar’ that many people tell you to practice never comes.  And this desire for revenge increases the hatred for other identities that live amongst us.

Where all this mess is leading us, I have no idea. I think no one does. We can’t decide whether we should call this place a failed state yet or not. It’s not that no one loves this country. It’s just that no one knows how to defend the flaws which are so obvious and which can be solved but aren’t. This confusion is gripping everything we have; our mind, sight, decisions everything. We are all in a limbo. We can’t settle upon our own identity. And that, I think, is the biggest dilemma of all.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

What's the answer?

The importance of education and its implications on our country have been emphasised from time to time. It has been repeated so many times that now it sounds like a monotonous dialogue, empty words with no impact. It seems that when a leader has nothing left to say or do, they save face by stating how much they respect the youth and how important the youth and its education is to the country. 

But the targeted audience is not impressed by such declarations any more. They don't care whether the country needs them or not. The question is: why? Why has gaining knowledge and education taken a back seat? It’s simple. No matter how much our authority insist that they care about the standards of education, we know that they don't. You don't have to check any facts or figures to realize the amount of progress that has been made in this department. The youth of this country is positive that their education and future is at the bottom in the government’s priority list. They are not interested in preparing the young generation for the future. Equipping them with tools of development; development which will be long-lasting, is something insignificant especially when there are more important things to do like making money, using people to maintain one's power etc. Most of what is taught is, therefore, out-dated and invalid.

The indifference of the authorities has made the young generation of this country reckless, irresponsible and lazy. They don't care if they have a loose personality, poor knowledge of the world they live in and immature opinions. Most of the student population care about money because they have started to believe that power and development comes solely from money and if they can earn it without proper education The dream country of Jinnah is being shattered by its own people. His dream of an educated, polished and confident youth is going down the drain. Do we respect the man enough to let this happen? This is a question we should be asking ourselves at this moment.

You must concentrate on gaining knowledge and education. It is your foremost responsibility. Political awareness of the era is also part of your education. You must be aware of international events and environment. Education is a matter of life and death for our country. (Jinnah)

Thursday, 30 June 2011

When will we understand?

It's amazing how people who claim to be patriotic show so much contempt towards their own countrymen. How people who claim to be tolerant ignite at the slightest difference of opinion. I don't know whether to term this behavior as hypocritical or egotistical. To argue is one thing; to taunt or degrade each other is something else completely. Why do we waste our time doing so is something that I fail to understand. Why do we fail to respect each other the way they are? Why don't we accept the fact that we weren't sent on the surface of this planet to correct others? 

Funnily, while we work so hard to maintain this attitude, we also tell other people off for criticizing us. This bigotry has made us cynical, narrow-minded and snobby. All of these traits contribute largely to almost all the problems we face, whether in personal life or on a national level. Since we refuse to listen and consider the other's opinion, we are unable to reach any solution and thus we keep hitting dead ends every where. 

Even on a national level, this attitude is costing us a lot. Our lack of unity has led external factors to control what's ours and we cant stop them from doing so because we are unable to resolve our own differences. They provide us opportunities to fight and we snatch all of them like a bully snatches lunch from other kids. The time is ripe for us to decide: whether we want to move on or keep on stumbling in the dark as we push away anyone who brings light with them.

[The Settlement House] must be grounded in a philosophy whose foundation is on the solidarity of the human race, a philosophy which will not waver when the race happens to be represented by a drunken woman or an idiot boy. 

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Revolutionary Protests

‘Protests against raised petrol prices.’

‘Strike against poor governance.’

‘Protest against Drone attacks. Go America go!’

‘Protest against KESC. Let’s burn some tires.’

All the above are common headlines these days. Reasons change but ‘protests’ and ‘strikes’ remain constant. What purpose have these protests and strikes served till now, I fail to understand. Our leaders, who usually lead these demonstrations, claim that theses protests will lead to revolution because ‘sola karor awam bahir roads pe nikle gi’ so it’s bound to have some effect. However except igniting the sparks of hatred, frustration and anger in the masses they are anything but revolutionary. All we get is news of burning tires and private property, gun shots, innocent people being killed and text messages which tell us either to get out of our houses and shout out on streets or to not get out at all.   

How long will all this continue though? How long will we keep compromising our work, education, lives and property? There has to be some way out. Don’t these leaders realize that they are actually playing with our future by forcing educational institutions to remain close? What difference will we be able to make in this country where all we see is raging emotions and tempers, where we know we can’t live without ‘cooperating’ with the political parties? We know that unless we have power enough to threaten someone’s life or destroy someone’s house or locality we can’t head anywhere. How can anyone expect the youth to be rational and calm when all they can see around them is violence and the fact that it is accepted?