Monday, March 28, 2011


By Rabia Ahmed | Published: March 29, 2011

The twenty one gun salute on the 23rd of March woke me to panicked fears of a bombing, the first thing one thinks of in these parts. This was immediately followed by a (fleeting) concern for the local muezzin’s throat. He does not normally sound as drastic, but who knows. It was not until the explosions went on to four and beyond that I remembered it was Pakistan Day. So belated (and relieved) greetings, motherland! I’m glad you made it thus far, even though pretty much on all fours.

It isn’t often that the nation gets to celebrate anything, so Pakistan’s winning streak in the World Cup loosened a few dammed emotions. So much so that if I were Afridi or a member of his World Cup squad, I would be rather on edge which would not all be the fault of the upcoming matches. It is daunting to be the repository of the hopes and yearnings of a sullied nation, to be the donkey on which is to be pinned a glittering tail, with about as much chance of being on target.

Although they are not, sports ought to be far removed from religion and politics, the two cankers in our soul. Even so, it is a refreshing change to witness the people of this country enthralled by something as harmless as a bat and ball.

No, sport has not managed to stay clear of religion or politics. Imran Khan, our erstwhile cricket hero, is of course mired in both, and had my support which wavered somewhat when he decided to lead rallies against the release of Raymond Davis. Were there no other issues worth his time? Of course, he’s also protesting the Drone attacks, and there of course is a real issue, and a tough one.

Mr Khan also managed a bit of the right stuff by pinching a bobby’s helmet, which redeems him. One approves of such behaviour, but hopes that he restricts himself to pinching helmets and stays clear of other largesse that normally comes the way of politicians. That’s definitely not cricket, and Mr Khan sporting as they come, and the PTI promise to figure a bit more in the results of future elections, and amen to that.
And then of course, there’s been Earth Day. It’s really quite hilarious that Earth Day, marked by switching lights off around the world to show support for environmental causes, includes Pakistan; given the load shedding in this country, we could be said to be showing unending support to the cause. In fact, shh! don’t tell anyone, but we probably had to find some power first, so we could then switch it off to show our support for using it carefully.

Pakistan is as environmentally unconscious as they come in fact comatose would be a better description. Regarding water pollution in our environment, a report by the World Wide Fund for Nature, Pakistan (WWF – Pakistan) says that about half our municipal sewage goes into our water bodies. According to National Conservation Strategy (NCS) around 40% of deaths in Pakistan are related to water borne diseases.

And we were blaming those terrorists.

The WWF report goes on to say that this pollution is made worse by untreated industrial waste.
The polluted river Ravi
It says that in Pakistan, lines for drinking water and sewage drains are laid side by side in the streets. Poor connections and pipe erosion lead to leakage, causing the two fluids to mix and permeate the deeper levels of the soil. It is from these deeper levels that we collect ground water which has already been contaminated by every kind of poison, including lead, cyanide, and other industrial and hospital waste. The Ravi today, is nothing but a large open sewer, the report says.

Load shedding, terrorism and drone attacks notwithstanding, Mr Zardari delivered a positive speech to the Parliament on the 22nd that managed to Ra-Ra the PPP while bestowing a few strands from the donkey’s tail onto others. He reminded us (again) at the outset, lest we forget and expect something from his government, that it inherited a country in poor shape. The usual vows, the usual promises, and he carried on to make all the right noises, heaping tributes on Salmaan Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti, and ending with the obligatory reference to Benazir Bhutto, another quick reminder in case we wondered how we came to have him for Head of State at all.

Jinnah said, ‘Think a hundred times before you take a decision. But once that decision is taken, stand by it as one man’.

So let’s hope we can stand by what is now Pakistan, come who may, for better or for worse, regardless of World Cup results.


This news was published in print paper. To access the complete paper of this day. click here

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


By Rabia Ahmed | Published: March 24, 2011

I wonder where all these people were when a few thousand other crimes were being committed in this country, crimes much worse than Davis’ shooting of young Pakistanis, because the victims were the countrymen of the criminals themselves.
Naeem Sadiq, in his excellent article titled A Matter of ‘Honour’ in an English Daily, wondered where the great Pakistani ‘honour’ was when five women were buried alive in Baluchistan, when Mukhtaran Mai was publicly raped, or when the Christians of Gojra were burnt alive?
Where, one wonders, are all these honourable people every time a woman is burnt in an acid attack, a couple killed, because they dare to aspire to a marriage of choice, worshippers attacked because they belong to the Ahmadi sect. Stick your neck into your own backyard, people, and look at all the filth strewn around before you point fingers at anyone else.
We were sightseeing at the Katas Raj Temple last month when sectarian riots broke out in the village next door. Temple officials bundled us out of there as fast as they could, pleading with us to hurry because, they said, whenever Sunni Shia riots broke out in the vicinity, the corollary was that both factions marched on to the temple, and burnt/pillaged it. Just because. This is what we do best: vent our own inequities on someone else.
I do not condone what Davis did, but at least Davis, who was apparently employed on espionage work for the CIA was not acting against his own. If any of these protestors had read a page or two of history, or tried to apply it to life, they would have been aware that espionage is a sad fact amongst the more shady facts of political life, a necessary evil that we all indulge in since way back in history, and that we do it too. The difference between spies of course is that there are those who spy on others, and those who work against their own people. The first are doing their job, the second are without honour and are called traitors. Who demands their death?
There are the feudal lords and their pitiful serfs, the politicians and their corrupt actions. What is this but traitorously working against one’s own, let alone humanity itself? Who stands up against them? Who protests when our leaders stash away billions in foreign accounts, when governments take loans and blow them on palatial mansions and foreign trips, when they misuse foreign aid meant for the unfortunate? Go into Lahore’s electronics shops and see the appliances that say ‘US AID’ on the packaging. These were meant for the IDPs, and instead are being sold in the open market. Honour? We dare speak of honour? Don’t make me sick. The mullahs with their straggly beards who spout this mantra are the same who condemn a man and a woman to death because they were seen walking together. The Government Ministers who kowtow to them are the same who say that burying women alive is okay and must not be criticised because it is ‘our culture’. Like heck it is.
It isn’t that we as Pakistanis are not involved in espionage ourselves. That we never break rules ourselves when we leave the country, never mind what we do within it. There was the case of the Pakistani First Secretary in Nepal who was spotted passing on 16kg of RDX (Research Department Explosives) to a Punjabi militant in 1998. The following year he was accused of involvement in the hijacking of an Indian Airlines aircraft, in which a young man was killed in front of his wife. The same year another Pakistani diplomat was caught running counterfeit currency deals, also in Nepal. How honourable are these men?
How honourable are those who pay a pittance in tax on grossly indecent incomes stolen from the poor? Or those who take bank loans and have them written off, and those who block public roads for hours every time they leave their homes? Those who defraud pilgrims of their hard earned money at the shrine of shrines, or those who kill other pilgrims at other shrines just because they don’t think they ought to be there?
There is no honour among thieves, my love, American, Pakistani, whoever. Let’s at least be clear about that, shut our sanctimonious little mouths, and take it from there.
This news was published in print paper. To access the complete paper of this day. click here

Saturday, March 19, 2011


This article was printed in the Dawn Magazine on the 20th of March 2011

When planning for a year, plant corn. When planning for a decade, plant trees. When planning for life, train and educate people.”
— Ancient Chinese Proverb

A letter written by Mirza Ghalib to a friend in 1861 reads (originally in Persian, here translated):
“These days Maulana Ghalib (God’s mercy be upon him) is in clover. A volume of the Dastaan-i-Amir Hamza has arrived — about 600 pages of it — and a volume of the same size of Bostan-i-Khayal. And there are seventeen bottles of good wine in the pantry. So I read all day and drink all night.”
Had he lived today, would Ghalib have written letters at all, what with the SMS option? What a tragedy it would have been, if Ghalib had taken to SMS, all those gems of correspondence lost to us! Although mind you, Ghalib would probably have been quite happy, a devoted customer of, tall hat tipped over one eye, a bottle in one hand, books in the other.
Maybe he would have expressed the above sentiments something like this on his cell phone:
Moi is :) ! Reading da Hmza book 600pgs and Bos Khl same. Have booze and book! lol!!
We’re no longer writing letters, or doing anything else that requires painstaking effort. I was surprised, on returning to Lahore after many years to find that women no longer knit or embroider as they used to. People today have no patience for such things, expecting results as soon as the desire hits. And so we buy our handwork off the rack, and our future generations have lost the pleasure of looking at carefully preserved sweaters or embroidery ‘made by Nani’ or ‘Dadi’.
A fledgling country like Pakistan requires long term planning for its future. Our primary requirement is education, seeing that 37 percent of Pakistan’s population is less than 15 years of age, of which a large proportion, in fact the largest in the world, is out of school, as reported earlier this month. Given this situation, it is horrifying that Pakistan spends over seven times as much on arms as on primary schools, according to a report by Unesco.
The notion that the answer to security issues lies in instant solutions such as threatened or reciprocating violence has been disproved in Pakistan, if ever it needed disproving. The proliferation of arms in our society has resulted in schools being destroyed, people being killed and now a tendency towards a violent response to every issue. The almost glaring answer that only education will lead to genuine prosperity over time, which in turn leads to eventual peace and security is ignored.
The same applies to financial solutions, and to politics. Where money is required, the common solution is to obtain credit. Saving is becoming less common, even in the developed countries. In Pakistan it appears to have gone out of the window at every level, both private and government; lavish marriage ceremonies take place on credit, and lives are led by means of private or credit card loans. That the entire country is supported by foreign loans ought to come as no surprise therefore. It was stated in September last year that Pakistan’s foreign debt stood at close to Rs9 trillion.
Our lifestyle brooks no curtailment of its demands. If things become more expensive, our solution is to print more money, or take more loans. The result of course is inflation. Today the rate of inflation in Pakistan is over 14 per cent.
The only way to real independence for Pakistan is meticulous and farsighted planning for the future and strict limitations on current spending so that our future generations have at least a sporting chance of financial security.
Democratic institutions in Pakistan have also suffered, its institutions are in tatters, while we lament both. However neither democracy nor the institutions can be printed at will like currency. They need to be fostered, and cherished, much like a marriage. The history of Pakistan today is a mess of disastrous engagements with dictatorship and democratic divorces.
We have arms, we live on credit, we print money at random. Quick solutions, instant fix.
Moi is :) ! Have bottle! Having fun! Lol!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


By Rabia Ahmed | Published: March 17, 2011
Aid poured in to Pakistan following devastating floods last year, including aid from Holland and Japan. The Dutch raised over €16 million and the Japanese sent six helicopters, 200 rescuers and over $20 million.
Just a few days ago, on the 11th of March, Japan was struck by an earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale, followed by a Tsunami as well as a nuclear explosion at a reactor site. There have been many casualties, and the search continues for missing persons.
Is it possible for Pakistan to offer aid in return, was a question posed on Facebook.
Japan is prone to earthquakes, and the Netherlands to flooding. In 1923, one of the worst earthquakes in known history hit Kanto in Japan, and devastated Tokyo, Yokohama and surrounding areas. An estimated 140,000 people died as a result. 1995 witnessed an earthquake at Kobe, which killed 6,000 people, and injured more than 400,000. The poor state of preparedness for earthquakes at the time of the Kobe quake angered the Japanese and the government responded with measures on two fronts: Japan’s building regulations were amended, and appropriate rescue methodology was put into place.
Buildings constructed under the new code were built on shock absorbers enabling them to sway with seismic waves rather than against them, and roads were redesigned to allow free passage for rescue vehicles. As a result of these measures the loss of life in subsequent quakes was minimized. Every member of the Japanese public is aware of what to do in case of an earthquake, and is trained to do it by means of regular drills. The current earthquake, strong as it was at 8.9, caused less loss of life than it would have in another country.
More than half of Holland, once swamp land reclaimed from the sea, is prone to floods. The 13th century witnessed several disastrous floods in the country, the St Lucia flood killing almost 80,000 people. The first dikes to hold back the waters were built as early as the 12th century however, as reported by a committee in 1977, these were too weak and required strengthening.
In subsequent floods, thousands of people had to be moved to safe ground, and the dikes were almost breached. It was then that the existing Water Boards were reorganised; they now maintain the dikes, modern technology has been harnessed to increase their effectiveness, and stringent measures have been put in place to check the structures for safety. Today, Holland is an authority on flood prevention, just as Japan is an authority on earthquake-proof construction and safety measures.
A mother moving her children to safety
Pakistan 2011
Pakistan is prone both to floods and earthquakes, and heaven help us, but we also have nuclear power plants. In 2010, about 20 million people in Pakistan were affected by flooding, and almost one fifth of the country went under water. In places, flood waters were diverted away from the lands of influential persons by the simple method of deliberately breaking flood barriers. A Federal Flood Commission (FFC) had been set up in 1977 under the aegis of the Ministry of Water and Power and had achieved much on paper, but reports (and experience) indicate that in actual fact this was not the case; the usual factors of corruption and useless leadership being the reason.
Earthquake in Kashmir 2005
In 2005, an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale hit Kashmir in Pakistan. Almost 80,000 people died as a result, with massive destruction of property, mainly because of the poor quality of construction.
Billions of rupees in aid poured in from around the world, distributed via the Government of Pakistan’s Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) to the people of Pakistan, or so it should have been. The performance of this organisation has been subsequently criticised for the same reasons as the FFC.
Many persons displaced by floods are still living in tents in Pakistan. No measures have been taken to prevent subsequent disasters. Rehabilitation was undertaken mostly by NGOs and other private organisations.
A shameful consequence of previous experiences with aid was the pathetic level of donations made to the Government of Pakistan. A donor in England informed me that she ‘wouldn’t dream of donating to the Prime Minister’s fund, my deah,’ and donated instead to Edhi.
In a reenactment of the Nero fiddling while Rome burnt scene, the President of Pakistan was on holiday when the floods hit, and did not deign to return for some time.
My heart aches for the people of Japan, and I wish we could reciprocate the aid they so generously gave us when we needed it. However, for Pakistan to be in a position to offer aid to anyone else implies that it has managed to bring its own house under some kind of order first.
Does anyone, anyone at all think this is the case?
This news was published in print paper. To access the complete paper of this day. click here

Sunday, March 13, 2011


This article was printed in the Dawn:

Budget: Hand to mouth

How do low income families survive in Pakistan? The challenge is to answer this question with a low income budget. The minimum monthly wage for a full time worker for 2010-2011 is Rs7000. According to  Karamat Ali, Executive Director of the Pakistan Institute of Labour, Education and Research (PILER) “About 80per cent of industries do not meet the minimum wage.”
Therefore no realistic budget is possible within this figure.
Dr Naeem Ghani, Sultana Foundation
At the higher end of the low scale is Rs36,000, covering the basic requirement for a family of six according to a study conducted by Dr Naeem Ghani, the founder Chairperson of the Sultana Foundation, an educational Trust financed by charitable donations.
A medical doctor and dedicated philanthropist, Dr Ghani works with low income families in the fields of health and education. All costs in his budget are based on a monthly figure for a family of six, the average size of a Pakistani family:
1) Food: Based on a basic daily nutritional requirement for a single person of 2000 calories including 50-60gms of protein and clean drinking water. No soft drinks, tea or coffee included. Total for six people: Rs14,400.
2) Accommodation: A two-three room basic home, owned or leased on a 25 year installment scheme. Total: Rs4,000.
3) Utilities and other expenses such as maintenenace, sanitation etc: Total: Rs3,000.
4) Clothing: Two suits per year, one pair of shoes, accessories, and expenses for laundry. Total: Rs1,800.
5) Other personal expenses (requirements of toiletries, transport, telephone, etc.): Total: Rs3,000.
6) Tax contribution towards health, education, a clean environment and civic bodies: 20per cent of the family’s income. Half this amount to be used for the above, the other half towards the maintenance of the police, army, etc. Total Rs6,000.
7) Saving: 8per cent of a family’s income for emergencies e.g support in case of job loss. Total: Rs2,800.
At least two people in the family must work to maintain the minimum wage at this level.
GRAND TOTAL: Rs35,000 equivalent to 400USD at today’s exchange rate of Rs86/USD.
The trend of these figures well illustrates inflation: within twenty years the cost in rupees went from 4,800 to 24,000, and last year rose further to 35,000.
The equivalent figure in USD remained at 300 for the first twenty years, and only rose to 400 last year.
There is also the figure of Rs25,000 per month. This is the minimum monthly income requirement for most banks to grant a credit card in Pakistan.
Here is a suggested monthly budget given Rs25,000 for a family of six. No consideration has been given to calorie or protein requirements, the guiding principle being ‘making do’.
Meat        Rs1200 (4kg at Rs300/kg Beef)
Flour        Rs980 (40kg at Rs280/kg)
Lentils:        Rs480 (6kg, channa being the cheapest)
Eggs:        Rs240 (3 people consuming an egg each every other day: 48 eggs at average of Rs70 per dozen
Onions:         Rs250 (10kg at Rs25/kg)
Tomatoes:        Rs250 (5kg at Rs50/kg)
Potatoes:        Rs68 (4kg at Rs17/kg
Garlic:        Rs100 (½ kg at 200/kg)
Ginger:        Rs35 ( ½ kg at Rs 70/kg)
Carrots:        Rs15 at 15kg or any other equivalent vegetable
Salt, Chillies:    Rs220
Oil:        Rs700
Tea:        Rs500
Sugar:        Rs340 (5kg at Rs68/kg)
Milk:        Rs3,150 (70 kilos at Rs45/kg)
Total Rs8,528
Accommodation:     Rs2,000
Utilities and other expenses such as maintenance, sanitation, etc:
Gas:        Rs240
Electricity:        Rs2,500
Water:        Rs50
Toiletries, etc:    Rs350
Total Rs3,140
Clothing:        Rs1,000
Uniforms:        Rs500
Shoes:        Rs800
Total:        Rs2,300
Other personal expenses (requirements of toiletries, transport, telephone, etc.): Rs6,000
Education- School/college fees:    Rs3,000
Total Rs3,000
Saving:    You have to be joking.
Since this budget was produced, prices of fuel have risen further.
There is a difference of Rs10,000 between Dr Ghani’s budget of Rs35,000  and the budget of Rs25,000, and a world of difference between both of these and the minimum wage of Rs7,000 in Pakistan.
A budget of Rs35,000 holds possibilities for a minimally functional life, a relatively peaceful state, and hope of progress.
A family of six reared within a budget of Rs25,000  will be deprived of many essentials, and of proper food and nutrition. There will be no savings or contribution towards civic amenities. Barring innate principles, they will be prone to corruption already pervading every strata of our society.
For the family living on Rs7,000 there will be few options but crime to make ends meet.
The answer appears to be that it is crucial to raise the minimum wage, in keeping with the rate of inflation in this country, while taking measures to keep inflation down. With this in mind, carefully considered and responsible policies are required.

Friday, March 11, 2011


By Rabia Ahmed | Published: March 11, 2011
According to Orange News, an Immigration officer in London was so sick of his wife that he put her name on a terrorist watch list. This meant that following a visit to relatives in Pakistan, she was unable to return to England because she was denied boarding on her flight, without being told why. The enterprising husband promised to investigate the mystery, but did not, and for three years he whooped it up before finally being found out and sacked. I’d love to know whether she returned then, and what she said, but that’s asking too much, I guess. 
There is the case of Shahid Mahmood, a Canadian of Pakistani origin, an architect and a political cartoonist who locked horns with Air Canada for six years because it would not allow him to fly its carriers. The reason given was that he was too late to catch the flight (his Chilean wife beside him was allowed to board), and that he needed two pieces of identification, not just one (the law says he needs just one). The most likely reason however were two brilliant cartoons Mahmood made six years ago, one which showed Uncle Sam giving birth to Osama bin Laden, and the other George Bush reading the world map upside down. This almost certainly placed him on a US no-fly list accessed by Air Canada.
Shahid Mahmood
These cases are relatively benign and neither took place in Pakistan. However they well illustrate the point, of the facts behind accusations. Here, such incidents can be found under every stone, our personal and political vendettas are waged this way all the time.
People are condemned for major crimes they may or not have committed, such as blasphemy, zina and other such. Given the ease with which facts are manipulated in our society, the veracity of these accusations is questionable. You wonder, for example who Asiya Bibi may actually have offended, particularly since the charge against her was so flimsy. It is said that she was involved in some dispute over property with a neighbour...? This person could be perfectly innocent of course, while just as easily could Asiya Bibi be, of the charges laid against her.
If the death penalty against Asiya is carried out, she will be the first person ‘lawfully killed’ for the crime of blasphemy. Yes there are those ‘unlawfully killed’ for this crime, such as the factory owner Najeebullah, killed by a mob composed of his workers in 2009. Najeebullah was accused of blasphemy because he apparently placed an old calendar with Quranic verses on a table, which act spelt out blasphemy to his Muslim workers.
Sheer ignorance and bigotry aside, factory owners are often involved in wage disputes with their workers. Could this be the reason behind the accusations levelled against Najeebullah? We’ll never know, seeing that Mr Najeebullah is now as dead they come.
In a country as corrupt as Pakistan, where judges, witnesses, government officials, and almost all persons petty or important can be and are bought all the time, how can any harsh sentence be passed on any person? What shred of surety is there that the accusation, much less the witnesses and the judges were real, free and fair?
In 2009, almost sixty non Muslim families left their homes in the Orakzai agency. The reason was that Hakeemullah Mehsud the leader of the Tehreek e Taliban (TTP) asked for ‘jizya’ from these families. Jizya is a tax issued on non-Muslims in exchange for protection in case of war, in an Islamic state. Mehsud made this demand, and imposed a deadline for compliance.
When the families demurred against paying the tax, the TTP burnt some of their homes each day before the deadline was reached.
The TTP also imposed restrictions against women leaving home to work in the area.
From time to time, the public and its leaders break out in a rash of demands in favour of imposing punishments based on Shariah law, such as the law against blasphemy; they moreover resist any change or adjustment made to these laws.
The fact is that no law, whether Shariah or any other can function in a society where people lack the basic amenities of life which foster peace and a desire for fair play. The life of the common man in Pakistan leads him to bay for blood not justice, and laws particularly those that impose strict punishments are terrifyingly prone to abuse. This, remember, is no Islamic state by any stretch of the imagination, nor is there such a state anywhere in the world today.
It is not until these social issues are tackled that the niceties of law can be discussed. Until then we suffer the state we have created for ourselves.

This news was published in print paper. To access the complete paper of this day. click here

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


By Rabia Ahmed | Published: March 2, 2011 (in Pakistan Today)
The ancient Chinese curse ‘May you live in interesting times’ is apparently only the first of three curses. The other two are ‘May the government be aware of you,’ and ‘May your wishes be granted’ or ‘May you find what you are looking for.’
There appears to be little doubt that the first has come through in most places, and in the case of Egypt the second and the third have come through as well. It remains to be seen whether Egypt turns out to be curst or blessed. Either way, this fate/trend appears be continuing elsewhere into the Middle East; let us see if it will penetrate further into the region.
A successful revolution is a double-edged sword. The road to that success, even when accessed via a bloody route, becomes a popular thoroughfare and it doesn’t always arrive at a peaceful end. Thereafter, other peaceful means of bringing about change are bypassed, never mind that this method caused many heads to roll. The French revolution was succeeded by the period called the ‘Reign of Terror’ in which almost 40,000 people were killed. The France we know today came into being much later.
Therefore, the successful bringing about of Mubarak’s resignation ought to be a time for reflection, particularly since the trend appears to be spreading.
The unrest spread to Algeria, against the ‘emergency’ government of Mr. Bouteflika, which has been in power since 1992, where the Algerian people saw a way to get rid of a powerful dictatorship.
It has also spread to Bahrain, and Libya.
It is by no means the intention to support dictatorial regimes such as that of Hosni Mubarak, Mr Bouteflika, or any other such here. Democracy is a valuable ideology, and needs to be fostered, and therein lies the key: revolution is not the best of fostering environments; it is a sudden brutal thing, itself fostered by bitterness but not in turn fostering by nature.
The countries facing revolution at this stage are peopled by masses deprived of the essentials of civilised life, and the options they present to fill a vacuum left by a regime ousted by a bloodbath are again bloody and dictatorial ones.
The Reign of Terror that succeeded the French Revolution was brought about by those very people who led the Revolution. After the fall of the Bastille, they tried to spread the revolution to other countries in Europe, which resulted in wars with Austria, the Netherlands, and Britain.
It isn’t hard to imagine who would fill in any vacuums in Pakistan, and indeed in many countries in the region. What’s more, the nature of the bloodless revolution in Egypt, which has been remarkably benign (except that Mr Mubarak would rather call it malignant), is hardly likely to be mirrored in this country, where violence occurs in the most peaceful of times.
The devil we know is probably better than the devil we don’t, although we’ve come to know the devil we didn’t know fairly well by now by looking down the wrong end of his gun barrel. It isn’t that Pakistan does not a change; it needs a change like Chewbacca needed a haircut.
Pakistan needs a change, but must the change come about by means of a revolution? Would it not be best to consider the options that present themselves? To choose a bit wisely, plan a bit carefully? But when was the Pakistani public ever known for its wisdom? Patience yes, for surely no other people would be as patient under misery as the average Pakistani; but not wisdom. Given the sight of a fist punching demagogue, the average Pakistani loses all reason, dignity and sense, and jumps into the fray. And this is exactly what revolutionaries look for, this is all that is needed to set the domino falling at our end: a fist punching, fanatical demagogue, and look around we have a shortage of those?
So let’s look at those curses again: Do we live in interesting times?
Is the government of Pakistan aware of its people?
You have to be kidding!
And the last: are the people of Pakistan likely to get what they wish for, or want?
They are very likely to get what they think they want, only to find that that is not at all what they wished for.
Well what do you know! We appear to be two strokes short of a full blown curse...and we thought we had them all!

This news was published in print paper. To access the complete paper of this day. click here