Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Are we eventually not back to the square one? The ever so familiar situation repeating itself every so often _ the civil military stand off and the government and judiciary finding themselves at loggerheads yet again feeding ample fodder to the insatiable milling machine of media thankfully to sensationalize and spice things up to their liking, churning out conspiracy theories by creating an unnecessary hype at times while acting irresponsibly by neglecting the imperative developments and details at others to mislead ( read to keep informed) the public at large but to keep their business and entertainment (talk) shows going round the clock. 

The history is perhaps tired of repeating itself over and over again but we are not. While the cynical circular spectrum of events continue to go round and round statically with no linear development over the six decades, interestingly the question remains who is actually at fault? 

Was the judiciary at fault when ZAB riding the crest of a mammoth tide of popularism was hanged? Certainly! Was the judiciary at fault when the over zealous Sultan Muhammad Nawaz Sharif stormed the supreme court overwhelmed by his lust of power? Certainly not! Is the judiciary at fault now when it is taking government to task over a couple of security and political issues? Anybody’s guess! 

More? Was it democratically elected Nawaz Sharif at fault when he dismissed the then COAS Musharraf or was the military takeover a logical reaction to Sharif’s voracious desire for omnipotence while undermining the freedom of various state institutions? 

While it appears deceptively simple to single out Army as the most criminal force and factor in the equation that has arguably rooted out seeds of democratic culture that have been sown time and again but haven’t the democratic institutions failed time and again and caved in owing to their intrinsic weakness, imbalance, disharmony and reckless measures? I am certainly not for khakis to step in or marching boots to trample the constitution at their own free will. There are far too many lessons to learn from the autocratic Islamic revolution led by Hazarat General Muhammad Zia ul Haq and later, in stark contrast, the radiant era of “Renaissance” unleashed by enlightened moderator Mush__ both reminding us of the ages of darkness ironically in one way or the other. But the fact remains that unlike the rest, Military is the only disciplined and organized institution of the state with supposedly far less public dealing and external influence. In all fairness, doesn’t Military get more than its due share of blame for the failure of state or democratic process or institutions? Again, even if for the argument’s sake, Military is the mother of all ills, isn’t failure of a major state institution to understand its due role and to overstep its limits or jurisdiction blatantly time and again be deemed as the failure of democracy or system itself? 

If so, this brings us back to the million dollar question, how in the world do the tenets of western democracy offer the best solution to our typical political, social and economic problems that have failed to grab roots in sixty four years?

 If going to the polls with 35 million bogus registered votes every now and then and casting our vote in the favour of the candidate solely on the basis of birardari or “kinship” as Anatol Lieven ( Pakistan a hard country) puts it earns us the licence to be a democratic state, who are we fooling by expecting a change to take place simply by sticking to this ritual? Not to undermine our society, but have we got the literacy, awareness, religious and social freedom and justice, tradition and maturity to inculcate that culture of expression of freedom, tolerance, mutual respect, equal rights for all human beings that constitute the spirit of democracy together?   

If not, then why are we obsessed with the secular models of western democracy that will never work for us or has never gained roots in the sixty four years of the existence ofPakistanas a state? 

My dear friends and intellectuals who cannot see beyond the dazzling virtues of democracy and exist as if only to keep on harping about it, let us be honest and analyze is democracy the only system that has brought about change coupled with social and economic upliftment round the globe or region? We may snub China for poor human rights standings but what has brought about that magnificent rise in its economic power and splendour? Democracy? Why forget the Asian tigersSingapore? While the state has remained a kingdom with no natural resources of its own (even the drinking water is to be imported from the neighbouring Malaysia), who can deny the remarkable turn around in its stature and economic fate that has earned it the informal title of the ‘Most orderly state” in the world just in a few decades? 

Call it our mindset but name a single mainstream political party that has nurtured democratic culture within its rank and file. Does passing the leadership on to the next generation or the memebers of the family like personal fiefdom or heritage does not negate the spirit of the democracy itself? Or is it perfectly cool to build on a monarchy of  Sharifs, Bhuttos, Zardaris & Madaris while harping about democratic traditions and process?

To cut it short, there may well be countless virtues and democracy may still be the best form of governance but what good is it if it does not deliver but rather dis-enfranchise the masses to the point where the state is brought to the brink of its existential threat?

To me, democracy is after all a means or mode to deliver! 

Read Full Post »

  • First of all, I seek an apology in advance for resorting to stereotyping and generalization. But then my dear friend this is a reactionary mindset you are so proud to associate yourself with_ stemming out of your psychic need to ridicule anything remotely related to religion & Islam in particular or to mimic or appease the gods who rave in abusing and humiliating the religion.
  • Thus it is your apologetic mindset and twisted logic steeped in prejudice and inferiority complex without substantial knowledge that develops your personality as a pseudo liberal ( Aadha teetar aadha batair)
  • You are not clear in your mind and have a dual personality. Flaunting a spirit of false intellectualism, you complicate the things by living in a haze of contradictions and dichotomy.
  • Your reactionary approach is no less myopic and extremist than that of those sickening fundamentalists who are out to blast everyone & everything around including their innards for the love of seventy two virgins.
  • You hail from an intolerant and ignorant lot who just believe in exploiting the words and deeds originating from the opposing half of the divide or spectrum. You have no solution to offer and being a part of a problem, just add to the polarity and tension with no sense of moderation, fraternity or reconciliation.
  • You don’t practice religion but deem yourself a master at that. Thereby, quote the teachings and commandments out of context or quote them selectively/partially to convey or make convoluted misleading interpretations for your own benefit. That just adds fuel to fire worsening the already fuming & intolerant socio-political landscape. And who does it help? Not you; Not me; Not our country!

Read Full Post »

The world we are living in has changed and is transforming at a phenomenal pace. If technology has revolutionized one thing over the years that for sure is communication. Gone are the days when voice of masses, a populist movement or uprising could be hushed or silenced by authority and censorship. Liberation of media, advent of internet and social media in particular has changed the rules of the game altogether. If someone has any doubts, please revisit the events of recent upsurge in Tunisia, Egyptand Middle East. What was the dynamic behind the abrupt change in the region that brought an autocratic rule to its knees within days of the suicide of a young university graduate despite all authority and censorship?

Yes. As much as the followers of strong leadership theories (I being one of them) hate to believe, it was the popular campaign and well co-ordinated effort through social media such as Facebook, twitter, youtube and blogsphere that moblized the educated and impassioned youth to the point that rattled the forces of status quo and shook the foundations of the monarchs and military backed regimes in the entire region. In the event of such a deluge, if leadership gets arbitrary and widespread temporarily, is beyond the discussion but more importantly what we have witnessed lately is the real power and potential of a virtual medium and social marketing in achieving objectives of an uprising or an upheaval when it has the potential to connect and resonate with the aspiration of the masses. Grasp over English language or not, a thin or narrowing tip of pyramid constituting a stream of spearheads has shown to represent and influence an exponential base and human resource at the bottom.

What brings me to resort to such an introduction is an excellent article published in the daily ‘The News’ today (June 18th, 2011; Taking social media by storm by Malik Siraj Akbar). It discusses at length about the similar phenomenon that is brewing in the much neglected but largest province of the country i.e Baluchistan. Arguably one of the least developed areas having low population and even lower literacy rate, the most critical and lethal element remains the relevance. There is no denial that Baluchis today find themselves in utter state of deprivation and negligence. Though this galvanization and resentment against the state is not a nascent development, the recent socio economic events and catastrophes have definitely alienated and disenchanted the Baluchs further.

The gruesome reality and mystery regarding the fate of missing persons remains shrouded. How ruthlessly we dealt with a 79 year old Sardar and Baluch icon, Sardar Nawab Akbar Bugti in particular and other political and national figures sharpened the wedge a great deal and intensified the feeling of unflinching hatred against the state. Baluch nationalistic sentiment is gaining momentum and only gets stronger following each clash with the security forces. It has got to the point where they are resorting to target killings and living in the province for a Punjabi or a non native is a potential life threatening risk. The lukewarm and listless response to the earthquake in Baluchistan a couple of years ago further aggravated the economic woes of the people. So much so, the blogsphere and press talked about deliberate flooding of portions of Baluchistan with allegiance of military and police to safeguard the interests of some Sindhi influential landlords during the devastating floods last year.

Poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, unemployment and deprivation remain the chief concerns of the tribal and gallant Baluchs. Mineral rich Balochistan is brimming with resources like natural gas, copper, coal and recently discovered huge reserves of gold. A long stretch of coastal belt runs along the shores of Makran and Gawadar but unfortunately any plans to develop potential goldmine of port of Gawadar have been jeopardized mainly because of the insecurity and partly owing to the cold war and conflicting interests of giants like America and China in the strategically located province.              
          
Isn’t it ironic that a democratic government cant even associate itself with marginalized population ( a mere 5% of the total population) of the largest ( that constitutes 44% of total area of Pakistan) but most backward and sparsely populated province of the country?

Although the history of nationalistic unrest and military intervention and use of force to curb such elements dates as far back as independence, the widening chasm and technological revolution demands a grossly varied approach to the issue. There was much propaganda of an impending economic package for Baluchistan by the prime minister but nothing has materialized so far.

Coming back to the point, there are  a number of blogs and forums that represent Baluch nationalists and promote their extreme agenda and hype on the web. Talking of most popular ‘Baluchistan’ page on Facebook alone, considering the low literacy rate, there is a following of close to 6000 individuals which by any standard or stretch of imagination is substantial. The worsening law and order and security situation doesn’t help. Thanks to social media, well organized, energetic and flambuoyant youth are quick to grab bits of news and information and share and disperse them within the community and cyber space within no time.

If the infested and bleeding wounds of Baluch pride and marginalization are not daubed with serious dialogue, concerted and well organized effort and if what the article reveals about the extent of co-ordination and the activity and commitment of Baluchs to use social media as an alternate platform to counter all censorship, we have a mammoth, ominous and worsening political challenge to tackle at our hands.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=53240&Cat=9&dt=6/18/2011

Read Full Post »

Before I really get started, let me clarify that I have no personal or political affiliations with PTI or any political or religious outfit for that matter. I am an ordinary citizen of the land of pure who simply believes in keeping his eyes and ears open and as tired and averse to all the gimmickry and everyday drama staged on the political stage by the buffoons, we hold in high esteem and reverence and shamelessly call our leaders. Neither do I believe in generalizations or stereotyping (or atleast I suppose so) nor drawing corresponding inference from an action just for the simple reason that it is associated with a particular source.

Yes. If I have some regard for the man, that is for his well rounded leadership skills. For he is the only skipper who led us to the victory stands during the ‘92 cricket world cup. I believe, that is extraordinary as no one else could accomplish the feat in 36 years of world cup history for Pakistan, even with much more talented super stars and players in the respective teams. A glance upon the history of the game reveals that despite various controversies, Imran Khan is easily one of the most successful captains, the cricket of Pakistan has known. Those who think I am digressing, I am actually not, as various leadership theories emphasize that it is the personality and personal attributes that formulate the central core of leadership skills or abilities. So whether you are leading a political party, a nation or a cricket team, it has more to do with your core personality, vision and motivational charisma than prowess and acumen.

In addition to that, Imran Khan has shown much more consistency in his political career than any other so called political leader, I have known lately. He is one person who has contributed directly to health and education main stream by establishing mega projects such as Shaukat Khanam Cancer Hospital and Namal University for the common man.

When it comes to drone attacks, I’ll rather base my case on facts, figures and reason than on rhetoric. The emphasis shall be upon the basic human rights’ violation as opposed to any political argument. As the various authentic sources reveal and the buzz is in the air, some 1184 innocent citizens have been butchered by drone attacks just in 2010. Wikipedia quotes the number of the slaughtered since 2004 anywhere between 1439 and 2290 including significant number of women and children, even infants. Brookings Institution suggests that Drone strikes may kill 10 or so civilians for every militant killed. Whereas, according to Pakistani sources, against the strike on every single terrorist or extremist, 50 innocent lives are acclaimed. How shameless can it really get when we dismiss it with such a God forsakenly brazen expression as ‘collateral damage’!? Are we living in stone age? We are talking of human blood and gore for God sake!

Where are all those so called champions of human rights who keep on jumping like clowns on every drop of the pin? Why are they deaf and blind to all that unjust bloodshed? It is disgusting even to watch some of the self proclaimed human rights’ workers to ridicule Imran for the simple reason that they cannot get over his right wing political leaning. At least he has the guts to stand for a just cause and humanity that I see as more than a mere lame attempt at gaining some political mileage.

Not that the butchering of innocent population like herds of sheep and goats can be justified in any way, when it comes to effectiveness of the drone attacks, how far have they been able to weed out extremism? How many scalps of proclaimed offenders or terrorists have we claimed and how many terrorist attacks or suicidal strikes have we been able to suppress so far in 7 years? What good has it contributed to restoration of regional peace?

It is not about Imran Khan or his politics but it is about standing up for a just cause and lives of innocent Pakistanis. Forget national sovereignty, forget foreign intervention, forget that nefarious and bogus war against terror_ how bizarre and ironic it really seems asking for the right of basic existence and putting forth a demand as innocent as sparing of those precious human lives and letting them live in peace in that rush of madness, supremacy and brutality!?. Really wonder if we are living in 21st century or are we transported back in history to the age of darkness and times of Genghis Khan?

In this golden era of modern civilization, a tower of human scalps is growing and well on the making for the world to witness! 

Sources :- 

http://www.presstv.ir/usdetail/174477.html 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drone_attacks_in_Pakistan

 

Read Full Post »

An eighty four year old groom weds a seventy six year old bride. This is not a page out of an epic tale weaved by the great Marquez Garcia in another world representing another age but a real show staged in our world of happenings and dramas. 

Unlike Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza (a girl with the doe’s gait), who in order to stay together, for the lack of better option mutually decided to keep that gooddamn coming and going forever_ our present day bride and groom preferred to choose a convenient, reliable and prudent course by deciding to settle for good in their native village near Bhowana instead of an old stinky marine vessel. Times and circumstances do change after all.
While Florentino had to wait for fifty three years seven months and eleven days and nights to espouse the love of his life, the history books are silent on the length and even depth of current affair. However, the groom has confessed of knowing the girl for ages. In cultural context, if that took ten years to seek permission from her seven kids (who in all probability would’ve constituted the bulk of the dowry by now), after she turned into a widow, or more than twenty years by the groom to convince his own seven offsprings_ a period for which he has remained a widower, nevertheless, remains an enigma. Whatever the barriers were, the couple has successfully surmounted them together with their stoicism and sweet will to lay foundations for yet another happy beginning in their lives.

Amidst all that torrent of suicidal strikes and terrorist attacks that mars the country, the seven kids merrily bid farewell to their mom. Let us join the celebrations and wish the married couple the very best for their union!

Here is the link to the story as published by local press

http://tribune.com.pk/story/144696/no-age-limit-on-love/

Read Full Post »

Before I open my mouth (read punch my keyboard) on the sensitive subject, let me clarify I am not one of those who take to streets feverishly every Sabbath wearing resplendent shalwar kurtas with solemn vanity  _or come any opportunity_ chanting pro religion slogans. Neither do I sport a black and white, or for that matter, a dyed overflowing beard with or without a moustache. Any resemblance thereof to an anti American creature, living or dead, is thus purely coincidental or unintentional.

Having stated my case humbly and before I take any position, I don’t need to emphasise that a lot has been said on the subject already while rolls and rolls of print continue to be churned out day in and day out. There is a lot of controversy shrouding the mystery and the things for sure look complicated.  

While the stand of religious parties and anti American sentiment coming to surface was highly predictable, what I find shocking is the reaction of a certain so called liberal element of the society. The way the individuals representing a typical diseased mindset go overboard and get carried away presenting an irrational case to defend the killings is as inexplicable as those victims carrying the unlicenced guns or the accused killing the guys from behind and pleading for self defence.

It is the human blood that has been spilled which in any civilized society should carry substantial weight. The matter is sub judice and the case for diplomatic immunity is yet to be established. Horns are being locked at diplomatic levels and we are beginning to see the tightening of screws and arm twisting by US in this regard. One just hopes that the matter is settled fairly, as per the demands of justice, in the light of domestic or international law.

The outcome is hazy but what is disgusting is to see the complexes and bias blinding a certain apologist mindset nurturing in our society that is willing to go to any length to justify the American cause or interest.

Shame on you!

Read Full Post »

Now that we have nothing else to worry about….all our burning, biting and nagging issues have been miraculously resolved. Our pantries are spilling and overflowing with lintels, rice, flour, sugar, oil, veges and what not. The freezers and refrigerators are disgorging and spewing the indigestible and excessive inventories of chicken, beef, white meat, red meat, green chilies and brown chocolate syrups. Opulence and prosperity have achieved unattainable heights. Hunger and poverty are history, sweetly buried, as are our misfortunes, while we have comfortably cruised safely away even far from the reach and stench of those dogging God forsaken currents. Our bank accounts are overflowing and flood gates have been opened to absorb the lightening barrage and influx of FDI. The currency has strengthened hundred folds much to the shock and bewilderment of Japanese yen. Power and energy are charging every soul and enlightening every prospect under the sun. Peace and calmness are leaving the bed of deep blue ocean slightly red with envy.

That’s precisely why Veena Malik’s controversy has set entire world ablaze overnight. With all the chaos and crisis settled, the subject remains the only major national issue unresolved and mandates every Tom, Dick and Harry to pitch in his two pence.

What is making you numb and shy? Stand up, speak up and have your say. Ain’t you the only one left?

Just to add, I dunno what that fuss is all about and why all hell has broken loose?  Personally, I do not approve of clergy, while turning a blind eye to and snoring on the hypocrisies of their own and this society, to come to the moral bashing of any citizen of the state. But at the same time, I refuse to accept Veena Malik as a rightful symbol of oppression and misogynist onslaught. She, in no way, is comparable to a helpless rural woman who is being exploited and abused by the feudal and landlord or the one bearing the brunt of the owner with her kids as bonded labour in case of brick kilns.

 Veena, like every one of us, represents Pakistan in every individual act in her own capacity. Given her track record and the controversies she has been through, what she has pulled up here cannot be entirely dismissed as a cheap publicity stunt to be in the centre of limelight.

 Just a thought!

Read Full Post »