Bilawal’s return to Pakistan

2 Jun

Without much fanfare, the scion of Bhutto family has finally returned to Pakistan. Marred by incompetent governance in Sindh, dented by allegations from Zulfiqar Mirza and haunted by disastrous results in recently held polls, PPP may draw a comforting relief from Bilawal’s return.

But is this return actually a return to take the helm of affairs of his political party or would it be mere symbolic presence meanwhile the command is run by those who are responsible for PPP’s current dismal condition? Until and unless Bilawal, who is seen by many as the promise of ushering PPP into a new era of modern politics, takes up the gaunt there is little that one can hope for.

PPP remains a voice for the people of Sindh but sadly such voices remain muted as the state of governance in Sindh reflect nothing to be positive about. Harboring such a vote bank comes with a precondition of being able to portend a responsible behavior towards the masses. PPP with its inept administration and myopic policies, aimed more at favoring relatives and friends than the electorate, has cured little of what ails the Sindh province. Something needs to change.

Though easier said than done, Bilawal’s work is cut out for him. Men of credible credentials need to be given administrative posts. The lost and disillusioned works of PPP need to be contacted, reassured and given incentives to kick start the rotting engine of the party that Zulfiqar Bhutto established.

Mere rhetoric would not do. It is time that Bilawal looks up and beyond to prove his mettle. Party infighting, meanness of intentions when in power, and most importantly the national disfigurement of image of PPP require diligent concern.

In his quest of improving party’s image, if it ever becomes one, senior leadership of the party must step forward to nurture the young leader. Their experience coupled with Bilawal’s dynamism may just be what the doctor has prescribed for ailing PPP. Definite measures, and not bemoaning the dead, will ensure party’s longevity.

Advertisements

Thoughts about long marches of PTI & PAT

17 Aug

When a political party comes to power, it comes laden with promises made to the people. It becomes its moral duty to fulfill those hopes which the politician nurture during their long speeches to the electorate. In a way, it is a politician’s job that, when in power, his people’s interests must be of dearest concern. Failing to abide by such principles can lead to anger and frustration among the masses. It can enervate citizens’ hopes for a securer country. The daily angst with the failing system can make such people turn into a violent mob.

Against such inept political party which fails to deliver, protesting remains the only civilized course. When promises made of booming economy, ending power cuts in the matter of months, providing jobs to the jobless and underpaid, and making the country a safer place to live fail to translate into effective actions, not raising voice against it becomes injustice. Silence to such cruelty becomes betrayal.

These long marches may seem extravagant given the sheer dedication required yet Pakistan has never seemed so alive to political happenings. Gone are the days when people could be fooled by suppressing media houses, silencing critics and buying out the opposition. Pakistanis may not fare better in much of the arenas of life, yet politically awake they are. No government must be allowed to ride high on the taxpayer’s worthy money if it is not prepared to do its part of the basics.

Without being a votary of PTI or PAT, it is not totally needless to say that any future government, if it hopes to stay in the office for a complete term, must efficiently deliver to the people. A government must always be the first to act in times of crises. It is a norm for a Pakistani government to be the last to arrive and aid its people. This trend begs itself to be changed, for it lays bare governments uncompetitive side.

This is how democracy truly evolves. Democracy is not some elusive term that must be clung to when nothing else justifies government’s doings. Democracy is neither the name of successful completion of government’s term. It is the transition from a less competent government to a more competitive that believes in equal opportunity, nonpartisan to any biases, genuinely elected by the people. The excessive use of this term may turn people against the very idea of democracy and hence opening the door for non-democratic forces to slide through.  

The Tragedy of Muslims

7 Aug

Gaza assault has become synonymous with heartless cruelty. Hundreds of women and children have become prey to Israel’s right of self-defense. Many more may follow if the world keeps itself mum over atrocities committed in Gaza. Where Israeli attack cannot be justified on humanitarian grounds, can the silence of Muslim community; the very countries that proudly declare themselves part of the Muslim culture and tradition, be more culprit?

It is understandable when it comes to Israel that it will show no mercy on Palestinians. These communities have been at each other’s throats for decades. It is very normal for one to be overtly cruel to his enemies. But words fall short in describing the insensitivity of the Muslim community that is known to have sympathies for the Palestinian cause. Now it is clearer than ever that those sympathies run their course when they are typed in the official policy statement. These policy statements are never translated into actual words. None of the Muslim countries has the temerity to stand up, even principally, to the hell that is raised in Gaza.

The causes of decline of the Arabs has been debated comprehensively. Certainly, the Arabs have not seen such turmoil in their lands and adjacent to theirs. Economically dependent and jealous of each other’s progress, the Arab states have forgotten what it is like to be principally correct. A society that witnessed its rise on being the most righteous ones are now suffering due to its very absence. Disunity of cause and purposelessness of state policies have led to communal decline.

Middle East is confounded. It is caught between the modern democratic systems where people are the masters of their fates and between traditionalists who aspire to return to the golden era of Muslim dominance of the world. Befuddling all rationality, the state system has collapsed itself to the whims of extremists and other non-state actors. These fallen countries would soon be turned into hatch zones of terrorists determined to blow up any one who, ever so slightly, differs in their practice of religion.

The core reason why Muslim states are unable to meet any consensus over Gaza issue is that they themselves are fighting for their survival. Their efforts of international peace are marred by perpetual internal threats to their state structure. Muslims states in Middle East have entered a new phase of disintegration. Pakistan has launched a massive operation against TTP in its mountainous range of North Waziristan. Muslim countries of the Africa are not much well off themselves to become a forceful voice at international stage. This disunion has encouraged the enemies of Muslim countries to initiate their onslaught.  Rife with internal discord, Muslim countries could never find the selfless spirit to defend their weaker brethren.

It is only rational that one would hope of rapid recovery of Muslim nation-states. But this recovery comes only when efforts are made for the true implementation of democracy, emphasis on scientific education and research, better health facilities to every common citizen, employment, and, perhaps the most important of them all, political leadership that believes in the people it governs and instilled with the fortitude to take their country to newer heights of development. In it lies the genuine rise of Muslim nation-states. May the Muslims find succor and strength to take their countries where they rightfully belong.

Charity Begins at Home

16 Jul

As human beings continue to suffer increasingly tough times, it has become more necessary than ever that one should be on the lookout for needy persons. More often than not, the persons in need are found in our close vicinity. It can be a family member living some place far away, or it could be the next door neighbor. It needs to be stressed that if one helps the people he thinks most definitely require help, then it would not only help in adequate fulfillment of their needs and social bonding, but develop a network whereby every needy person can acquire help from their neighbor.

It is wisely said that a man is best known to the people amidst whom he lives. His habits, passions and dreams are not invisible to his acquaintances that surround him. Therefore, if that man is in the want of help, then it can be best provided by the people that socially encircle him. Adequate fulfillment can only take place when the actual needs are satisfied. By helping a close kin or a neighbor where they require aid the most can be the source of true contentment.

Where one kin moves heavens and earth to fulfill the needs of another, such acts contribute to strong familial bonding. Such assistances give birth to honest emotions through which every brother thinks and does the best for the other. Family, a core unit of society, when becomes bonded together in the times of trouble, the society itself becomes intransigent in times of crises.

In a society, where one brother is prepared to sacrifice for the other and a neighbor compromises his wishes over the needs of his neighbor, such society becomes the hallmark of human civilization. Teeming with spirit of helping one another, there develops a network of people who help the crises-stricken population. Only by wishing good for our closest, can we begin to contemplate the best for our people.

Human societies cannot evolve if the only thing that concerns them is the happiness of the other. Societies that followed such path doomed for good. Assisting in crunch times by aiding in a way that effectively satiates the desires of others is the true way of human success. By supporting others, we support humanity.

 

Living Dead

12 Jul

As the world silently stands and stares at horrid events unfolding in Gaza, the inability of major powers to speak against one of their own is telling. Their ethics that dictate human rights, their codes that regulate the sanctity of human life are but founded on hypocrisy.

Where children of Palestine matter, but matter much less than children of Israel, the equation speaks of unending barbarity that the unfortunate people of Palestine are a subject to. These are not soldiers partaking in any battle, these are harmless, undefended and unarmed citizens whose only crime was to be born in this hell hole. Exposed to Israel’s wrath, the tragedy that is Palestine continues to sadden as the world becomes its audience.

Israel cannot be expected to make peace. This is evident from their actions constituting senseless carnage of Palestinians over petty issues. One-state solution, two-state solution, these peace initiatives are for the academics to discuss and debate. They do not concern Netanyahu administration, nor do they believe in such fantasy. Even the efforts of Israel’s allies i.e. US have borne no fruits in lulling the abhorrence which Israel fosters for the people of Palestine.
It is then no wonder that Israel has effectively become a threat to the world peace. A country that cannot stay firm on a peace course and regularly, with impunity, recourses to violence and crimes against humanity should not be trusted to uphold peace. A country that feels that bombing schools, mosques, houses and hospitals is the essential part of its ‘response’ to Palestinian threat must have delirious minds at the helm of affairs; which, by default, make it an irresponsible state. It is armed with one of the most advanced military technologies only to slaughter the innocents as cannon fodder. One begins to wonder if such a state really should ever had a right to exist. By such actions, Israel vindicates the hatred that many countries feel towards its existence. As if there wasn’t enough hatred in this world.

There are no go-to fixes for this problem. It has persisted for decades and even the best brains of the world could not crack this puzzle. But hostilities must cease. No one has ever asked Israel to love Palestine. Rather, it should stop fiddling with the peace of Middle East which is already marred by Arab Spring after effects.
For this achieve, the world must step up. Super powers are keen to fight for their interests, but they must show some spine and dissuade Israel from trespassing limits of human irrationality and insensitivity. A country that houses less population than New York must not be allowed to hold hostage the whole world while it loots and plunders whoever it wants, whatever it wants. The world must let itself to be slaked by false assurances of Israel of which it shows little regard. It is time for the world to come of age.

Playing with fire

24 Jun

It is rather unsurprising in Pakistan that whenever one hears a rare good news, it is coupled with several news that further downslide our international image. The long awaited operation that took its time in coming became the nation’s answer to the contorted ideology of the TTP. If one thought that Pakistan had just taken its first step towards affirmative peace, they weren’t aware of Pakistan’s history.

Whatever that went down in Lahore was so sudden and rapid in its unfolding that many of us barely had the time to digest the events. Punjab Police’s barbaric assault on the students merely notifies us the extent of illiteracy that prevails among the lower cadres of law enforcement agency. Now that the world is moving on to more sophisticated ways of policing the subjects, our law enforcement agency displayed textbook signs of political uses of the force. The matter that should merely have been printed on the backside of a newspaper, now grabbed the headlines. It was a political suicide by the PML (N).

But this drama reached its climax upon the return of TuQ to Pakistan. Not only an international flight was diverted for “security” reasons to another city, but TuQ’s adamancy to be taken in the Army’s helicopter was bemusing. Passengers were troubled, airline executives were given a headache, most of all the international image of Pakistan was stoked in the fire. If only our rulers could learn a thing or two about nationalism.

Tahir-ul-Qadri, a mullah that boasts of having a divine mission to root out corruption. He intends to bring a revolution that would once and for all suspend all the ills that Pakistani society is suffering from. His rhetoric manifests promises that the politicians swear to during their election campaigns. His imagery of the post-revolution Pakistan illustrates his myopic understanding of the issues that we are dealing with here. All he knows is how to bash political establishment by infusing sentimental oratory with his seemingly pious outlook.

TuQ reposes a much greater faith in the Army of Pakistan. To him, they are the saviors of Pakistan who are out there guarding the borders. Could TuQ be more wrong? Does he not know that it was Ayub and then Yahya who streamlined Bengali population of the united Pakistan to the extent that they had to seek separation from their countrymen? How can he forget the orders of brutality issued by General Niazi against the people of East Pakistan? How can he exonerate General Zia-ul-Haq and his drive to Islamize the Pakistani society following the Arab role model? The hand of ISI in toppling the elected government of PPP in ’91 is not a hidden matter anymore, still TuQ has the audacity to claim that all the political lot is infested. General Pervez Musharraf is the recent example of the way army likes to do its things. For their own institutional interests, these generals have always compromised Pakistan’s interest. They have been incapable of thinking beyond what their institution has indoctrinated in them.

This is not to defame the Army nor does it absolve the civilian leadership from its sins. Yet, if TuQ hopes to bring a revolution, then it must be brought by someone who actually believes that Pakistani nation does not need any general or a leader to guide them. They must be their own masters. They must believe themselves if they are to feel confident in their skins. I agree that we do not have much to cherish. Still, we cannot turn our backs or cave in to the realities of the world. If any leader does come to guide us, then he must be amongst us, and not someone who has lived all his life abroad. While we brood over the thought that where we are heading to as a nation, the generals and the civilian leadership are busy sealing our fate.

Which is more loving: Being silent about the homosexual’s sin or telling him that he is wrong?

27 Feb

The world and the perspectives of the people that populate this world have changed drastically. What was once thought to be sinful and illegal, the world has come around to embrace it as its own. A man who died merely 20 years ago, he would fail to capture what precisely has changed. For it would be too much for him. Human relations offer no different a picture.

Homosexuality has been talked about by that clique, largely, that is unaffected by this phenomenon. Though it is not new, it has only recently surfaced owing to homosexual’s growing populace in developed countries, particularly USA. They have effectively voiced the kind of life that they want to live at the peril of social isolation.  

The title at hand has a discreet assumption: it declares a homosexual as someone who is either committing a sin because he is doing a wrong act. It begs a simple question that why a person should be held liable for feelings that he or she has no control over? Can feelings of attractiveness be curbed? Can it be directed towards someone whom you should? Would it not make them all the more irresistible? Should we not live with that somebody who we can love and they can love us back rather than trying to befool ourselves the whole life? Is loving someone of the same gender a sin? Is there not enough hatred in the world? Why hating the enemy is not a sin where the enemy is as much a human as you are, meanwhile loving another human, albeit of the same sex, quickly becomes a sin, a wrongful act of which the person should be repeatedly warned about?

Ethically, societies have developed overtime. Such a drastic change from its norms would not take place without shaking its very foundations. Hence, whenever something radical is brought forth that challenges its setup, it fiercely fights to maintain the status quo. Therefore, conservative societies consider a taboo. It is condemned to be wrongful. So much so, that parents in a conservative society would rather strangle their homosexual child to save themselves from shame.

Homosexuality also affects the normal prolonging of human life. Without opposite genders living together, there cannot be any increase in the human population. But the planet Earth is already bursting with human population. It has almost become a threat owing to fast consumption of natural resources. Human population would never really be affected if handful people begin to live with same sexes. The human population is not really a problem here, rather providing for this population certainly is. These fusty beliefs have done enough to bog down human progress.

Let us be rational about our beliefs and ponder. A tender heart would go a long way in making this world a loving place. Humans rue bloodbath every single day. A little act of kindness, and a little allowance for personal space to others would help originate a long lasting tolerance, sewn in the fabric of society. We must begin with ourselves and not wait for others to do it. First sure step is always the hardest.