Sunday, 20 May 2012

Old Tactics Losing Control

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan's honourary government banned Twitter for around 8 hours due to 'blasphemous content' being published by some people (who may be Twitter's out-of-bounds children, the way our authorities were trying to make it control those unnamed individuals). Funnily many tweet-a-holics didn't have a clue about any blasphemous competition going on on twitter till the government imposed the ban and announced the reason. Not surprisingly, after the uproar the ban caused, the micro-blogging site was back on. A real in-your-face moment that must have been for the IT minister (who, btw, has been trending in Pakistan alongside #TwitterBan, a short while after the ban was imposed).

But anyway, that's not the point. The point is what happened at the end of the day? People across Pakistan tweeted against the ban and condemned the authorities for being so dumb and stupid (again). If there's one thing Pakistani government can do best it is to help people find illegal ways to do extremely normal things by imposing a ban on them. A few years ago it was Facebook, banned for the same reason. Few hours after howling in pain and experiencing withdrawal symptoms, almost everyone was back on the site, uploading pictures, updating statuses and all the other useless and harmless things we do on Facebook, using alternate proxies. I really wanted to stick my tongue out at the Muslim government whose interior minister doesn't even know how to recite a basic Surah from the Holy Quran. But that is not blasphemous. Nope. Because it's a Muslim who's reciting his holy book wrong, not a Christian or Hindu or other such things. Interestingly, no other Muslim country expressed its outrage the same way. 

Social networking and blogging websites are the biggest platform for anyone to promote what they believe in. These sites help people communicate and unite under the flag of their similarities. For a country like ours, which lacks this very element, these websites can be a great platform for us to start and promote positive movements and emotions, only if our dear government let us. These sites are where we can share whatever's on our mind without caring about any damned authority. Why does this Muslim government of ours fail to notice the hundreds and thousands of pages on Facebook promoting Islam and its teachings in the most peaceful and tolerant way than any of our mullahs and preachers? If we want to condemn the sites for what blasphemous content posted by individuals, we should applaud them for holy and positive content posted by its users as well. Don't they deserve it? 

My message to the Pakistani government: it'll do us and you more good if you try to solve the violent war that is going on between religious sects in the country. You see, because in these not-so-online wars, people are actually dying with all the sensitive feelings they have for religion. And they can't even condemn you for it.

Friday, 4 May 2012

My Random Quotes ;)

These are some random entries in my diary which I came across today as I was flipping through it. There's no background to most of them, I just wrote the stuff because it was in my mind for some reason even I can't fathom.

8th February, 2012,
When I'm gone, there will be someone else, ready to take over my position. 

24th February, 2012,
While the future remains murky, the past seems insignificant, it's the present which seems important. So much so that sometimes we tend to magnify its importance. When those events become our past, we realise how little value they held and how magnified our reaction really was. 

6th March 2012,
We try to be rational by looking for answers to everything. What we don't understand is that sometimes things happen without a reason, they don't hold an answer. Or sometimes, the time simply isn't right for us to get the answers we want. When we don't get what we want, we react. We get angry, depressed, frustrated etc. and act in ways which doesn't really coincide with our self-imposed rationality. Thus forcing rationality on ourselves leads us to severe irrationality. Something we won't be if we wouldn't try to be rational. 

Later on the same day when I was upset and tired for some reason. I probably didn't have a pen back then because the entry says that I saved this in my phone and copied it later o_0 :

What happens when you work so hard for something, you strain yourself completely and nothing happens. It all goes unnoticed. I've learnt to NEVER make a big deal out of anything because in the end it really doesn't matter.
(I was probably listening to Linkin Park at the time, I'm guessing because of the last line. And it's all just talk, I didn't really learn the lesson I said I did :P)

5th April, 2012,
You only have problems till think you have problems. Otherwise it's just normal life, in a different disguise for everyone.

4th May, 2012,
Sometimes you just want to be wrong so you can prove yourself right.

I wrote them all as they came, without arranging or rearranging anything and I haven't edited anything even as I copied them here. So forgive any errors. Just thought I'd share them on my blog.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


Pakistan is one of those countries which are blessed with extraordinary minds and dedicated, hard working people. But it’s also one of those unfortunate countries who don’t value their assets. Trivial differences rule and alter our judgment and opinions about people and their circumstances.

Sectarian violence is not new to Karachi. For decades the city has been gripped with sectarian discrimination and it hasn’t done anyone any good. Many had to leave and those who didn’t had to pay with their lives. Dr Hamid Raza is also among those who had to flee from Pakistan because their religious beliefs were unable to ensure their safety at home.

An MBBS graduate from DOW Medical College, Dr Raza left for UK to specialize in ophthalmology (eye surgery) from Royal College of Surgeons in 1986. He returned to Pakistan in 1992 and started practicing in Social Security SITE Hospital, more commonly known as Valika Hospital. After 8-9 years of practice he decided to run his own clinic. Fate, however, had other plans.
‘I’d paid off all my loans I borrowed for my clinic but I had to leave soon after. The investment was a loss.’ He laughed barely concealing the pain he felt at the memory.

But why did he decide to leave? The situation of the city had never been perfect. More than once robbers had paid him a visit in his clinic and they definitely weren’t friendly.
‘It wasn’t the general situation of the city that made me leave. The real reason was the sectarian violence. Jan ka khatra tha (my life was threatened).’ He explained. ‘Most of my friends were leaving and the condition of the city was terrifying.’ One of his friends was being followed religiously and one night, when one of them came up to his clinic to kill him in cold blood, he had to escape to USA in a matter of hours.

He, however, still wasn’t planning to leave. He wasn’t receiving direct threats and he thought that if he took certain precautions, he might not have to leave at all. Despite the fact that his parents were scared for his life and were constantly asking him to leave, he didn’t want to abandon his family. But he had to give in to his mother’s pleas when his Professor’s son, who was an ENT surgeon, was followed and killed in front of his house. The incident frightened his parents and they asked him to leave that very same week.
‘The whole week my father, a friend or my wife would drop me at the hospital or my clinic. My car didn’t leave the house, in case I was being followed. A gunman trailed along me all the time. By the end of the week I left for UK.’ He recalled. He resigned from the hospital, but the president of the hospital didn’t accept it and told him to take a leave instead, till everything was settled. He however had no option but to leave. Without informing anyone that he was leaving in prior, he left. He’d already applied in a hospital in England and got an interview call the day he arrived in UK. The fact that he’d specialized from England helped him get a good job and in a matter of months, he was able to call his family and settle down with them.

Pakistan was still not forgotten though. He was sure that situation at home would improve and he planned to return when that happened. A couple of years later he fulfilled his wish and came back only to find out that nothing had changed. A few months later he had to leave for England again, this time for good.

Life has been polite to him and he didn’t have to face any financial or settlement issues people normally have to face. But the fact that he is away from home still upsets him at times.
‘Life is good here, but the whole family is in Pakistan and I miss them.’ he confided.

(The above is an account of the person mentioned. No additions or deductions have been done to the situation he narrated.)

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Another Gem Lost

The death of Murtaza Razvi has come as a great shock to many. It has been devastating for people who even remotely knew him. Pakistan has lost another one of its precious minds. There are few people like him, who can think rationally and with clarity and are courageous enough to stand up for what they believe. Mr. Razvi was one of them and with him gone many people have started to lose what little hope they had left for a better Pakistan.

Maybe it shouldn’t be as shocking as it is. Few appreciate the presence of a sane voice in these troubled times. His ability to annoy those who revelled in the violence and injustice that is nationwide was not tolerable. He addressed issues which people only skimmed through, wrote in favour of those who suffered and that was enough to anger those who didn't want to hear the truth. What happened with him is not new; every patriotic man in Pakistan has gone through the same. Some quit, some are forced to.

There is nothing that can be said to explain the magnitude of the tragedy of losing Murtaza Razvi. Nothing can cover his loss. You will surely be missed Sir, but truth is we don’t deserve people like you. And you didn't deserve to be among people like us who settle down with brutality and violence. Fate surely realised that and by depriving us of your sanity it has taken you higher up to a better place. May you rest in peace.

(Published in Dawn newspaper's opinion section on 26th April 2012)

The Baloch dilemma

Balochistan has been making the headlines for quite a while now. That the Baloch leaders are now openly demanding independence has come as a real shock to many. However, even if they do get a separate state of their own, will it guarantee the safety and rights of the Balochis? The province is littered with extremism and radicalism as the editorial ‘Hazara Killings’, published in Dawn on the 16th of April, rightly pointed out. Sectarian violence, kidnapping, constant disappearences are just a few of the countless problems being faced by Balochistan. In addition, the fact that feudal system is still ripe in the region doesn’t really help Balochistan’s case.

While the Baloch leaders and the government play the blame game, it’s the common man who suffers. The ‘Baloch freedom fighters claim to be struggling for their rights. But what exactly are the freedom fighters doing to safeguard the rights of their people? What measures do they plan to take to stop the constant Shia killings in the region? Are they ready to let go off their hatred for people of other religions and sects? Are the Baloch feudal lords ready to delegate their power to the common people? It’s true that the Balochis are suffering. But it’s also true that the people Balochis are putting their faith in are mostly those who don’t really know what they are fighting for. Even if they get rid of Pakistan’s indifferent government, how will they get rid of the terrorist elements present in their territory?

It’s time that the both parties let go off their personal grudges and thirst for power and think rationally about the problems that the people in Balochistan are facing and ways to tackle them. Security, both financial and personal, should be provided to the Baloch population as urgently as possible.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Banned From Holy Territory

Ok this is too much for me to take. Ban juices because they are manufactured by 'non-muslims'? How much more selfish, cruel and bigoted can we become? Did anyone of those staunch, parsa and faithful Muslims stop to think, for once, that those non-Muslims provide employment to hundreds of our Muslim brethren, something that these rational and patriotic citizens of this Land of Pure have failed to do? That hundreds of families depend on this company's profit because it pays their salaries and provide them a living? No, such things can not occur to people who travel in imported cars, drink mineral water processed by multi-national Jewish companies, send their kids to study abroad with Christians, Hindus, Jews etc. They can never understand what it's like to live on a paycheck. 

How much more can we punish a group of people simply because they are not Muslims? Didn't the Muslims in Prophet Mohammad (p.b.u.h)'s time co-existed peacefully with non-Muslims? Can any one please stand up and quote one incident where anyone was discriminated against because of their religion? How convinient, to justify our insecurities and hatred for someone by quoting religious values which we've invented ourselves. No wonder the world calls us cruel and unjust. Where there's discrimination in the courts, how can anyone expect justice? Our religion does not give us the right to hurt someone's feelings, to degrade somebody or try to put a full stop to anyone's living because they don't agree with our beliefs. 

But this is not altogether surprising. Didn't we do the same thing to the only Pakistani who won a Nobel Prize who went to the ceremony wearing his national dress to represent his beloved country. We didn't allow him to work here because he was an Ahmadi. Just because we are too busy excelling at murder and robbery in the name of our religion, doesn't mean we should stop others from doing anything worthwhile. It's shameful that while we claim to be Muslims, the spiteful non-Muslims adopt the values that we should be following.

Pakistan was not built to give Muslims freedom to do to minorities what was done to them in India before partition. Jinnah clearly said in one of his legendary speeches: “You may belong to any religion or caste or creed — that has nothing to do with the business of the state.” But it's irrelevant to quote him since we don't really want to live in the tolerant state he envisioned. Go ahead then, ask your peon to get you a can of coke and a bottle of imported mineral water, while you order strict action against anyone bringing in a locally-made quality non-Muslim product.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012


Have you ever experienced the frustration of not being able to do what you want to do, what you know you can do but aren’t able to. Like wanting to write about a gazillion things for days but can’t. There you are holding a pen with a paper in front of you and all you can do is stare at its blank state while your mind buzzes with a hundred words but you don’t know you to channel them through the pen in your hand. I refer to the traditional pen and paper because that’s the way I write. Writing directly on a computer feels....alien. I’m incredibly old-fashioned in that respect. Anyway, back to the topic. Only, I don’t know what the topic is. All I know is that I’m sitting here, watching people come and go, with music blaring in my ears to keep me awake, and scribbling meaningless sentences.
While I stare at the messy page with useless scribbling and many cut-offs, I get articles from several people, who’ve written with such flawless ease that it’s envious. The frustration is almost spilling now, more because of the fact that I don’t know what’s stopping me.
Writing is my expression. Whatever I feel it comes down on the paper. And now I’m frustrated but I can’t take it out because my pen refuses to ink anything comprehensive. I don’t know what I’ve done above. All I know is that, at the moment, I feel completely useless. And I can’t explain why. Maybe someone’s done black magic on me so I can’t write anymore. Maybe it’s PMS. Or maybe it’s just an infuriating writer’s block.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Farewell Cowasjee

Only a few sane people are left amongst us today. People we need most but don't really deserve. These are people who've maintained a straight head in all the chaos and have been telling us to do so too, but alas! we've sworn not to listen to any rational voice. We've turned so ignorant that the voices which persevered for years in the hope that someone might listen to them have lost it and have finally started to give up. Ardeshir Cowasjee became one of them when he announced his retirement on 25th of Dec 2011, expressing his disappointment in the nation at the same time.

I've always been impressed by him, always admired him for some reason. It may be his writing skills, his clear understanding of any issue he wrote upon or his desire to see Jinnah's dream Pakistan. He truly is a pioneer but he's decided to back off before I was capable enough to learn something from him. You have been unjust to me and many others like me Sir by leaving before we even started.

Sometimes I really feel that our generation is an unfortunate one. Whenever we spot someone who can guide us, they back away at once and decide to leave it to us to guide ourselves out of the mess we are in. Why? Why don't they understand that we need a genuine person who can tell us how to solve all the problems surrounding us without any self-interest? Are we that hopeless? This sucks *stomping feet like a stubborn kid while eyes shine with fresh tears*