It is not patriotism, dummy


If you’ve followed the tit-for-tat escalation of India and Pakistan recently, resulting from growing public protest in Kashmir territory, further aggravated by the media, patriotism on both sides of the border got reinvigorated. Thanks to the hate-mongering leadership of India, equally reciprocated by the ultra-nationalists of Pakistan.

If patriotism is genuine, here are simple litmus test questions to prove that:

  1. 1. Would you throw garbage outside the perceived boundary of your own property (house) or a car or shop or office? Meaning, as if outside your property is enemy territory (not your country). Keep it littered, dusty and insanitary, it doesn’t matter me but my country folks.
  2. Given a chance, would you flee out of country for good? Majority of the population would probably. Because we aren’t ready for sacrificing our personal or family life, at the expense of correcting issues of the country.
  3. You cheat everyone everyday, as if they’re your enemy and not Pakistani. You hike prices during Ramazan (holy month), for your fellow nationals, that you boast to die for. Because actually you don’t give a damn about the people.
  4. You ignore open gutters daily, step on newly carpeted or cemented road, steal street lights and don’t care a bit about public property (which is Pakistan’s property), because it does not belong to you or any other person but Pakistan. And Pakistan mean nothing to you, you let it be.
  5. You can check our true patriotism, by looking at the condition of government buildings and everything that they use. Their punctuality at work, sense of public service and not doing your job are typical behavior. You consider government job as a free money without doing any work, because you think there’s no one at loss except the country paying you the salary or the damage done is only to Pakistan. Pakistan’s property or money means free property, because we don’t give a damn about Pakistan.
  6. You vote your feudal lords, in fear of poverty, prosecution and hunger, or you vote based on racism to support your community, disregarding the fact how much that helped the politicians destroy the country. So, without education, we’ve lost our patriotism as well.

I know there are some good, educated and patriotic people left in Pakistan, but majority seems a sad case. So, when majority chants jingoistic slogans in favor of Pakistan and against India, that doesn’t make me feel any happier but scared. Because I know, it’s not driven by the love of your country, but the hate and revenge against others. The most patriotic people would be our army-men, because they can’t survive without it.

That’s why I’m not moved by any such empty rhetoric on either side of the border, trying to rally public hate in the guise of patriotism. It’s same old tactic of hate and fear to garner public support for wars on both sides of the borders. Read my other post (India and Pakistan – War Hysteria), how poor these two countries are and how much they spend on defense for the past 6 decades instead.

Probably, it’s just as they say: ‘Dash bakhth ka nasha’?  (from hindi movie)

Education! Education, first, not even patriotism.

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How would other countries manage Haj/Mecca (Satire)


This is a different kind of post, that I usually don’t write. It’s kind of satire, I wrote just for fun. What will happen when government of other countries were given task to manage ‘Hajj’ (Islamic annual pilgrimage) or ‘Mecca’ (city of Saudi Arabia, where Hajj is performed).

Masjid Al Haram Panorama UAE:

  • Being poor compared to Saudi, they’d tax directly or indirectly virtually every cost of ‘hajj – pilgrimage’, including roads, ‘zamzam’, ‘kaaba’ building, parking, human resource, prayers, etc.
  • Would outsource almost everything to multinational firms,
  • Invite foreign tourists during off-peak time,
  • Executive helicopter ‘tawaf’,
  • Racing track around ‘mecca’, on Ferrari,
  • Making ‘hajj’ a full blown festival, with pre-season activities – discounts on ‘zamzam’ water, camel rides, food share and post season events
  • Hajj costs 2-3 million per person.

Pakistan:

Govt:
  • Seek aid from all muslim countries for ‘hajj’ operations, misappropriation in billions of dollars,
  • All aspects of ‘hajj’ business run by relatives and industrialists, taking turn to own it, c
  • Cut-throat wrangling every 5 years for that position,
  • Sacrificial animal import and ‘khaal’ (hides) export to relatives in Pakistan,
  • Hajj costs 3-4million due to mismanagement,
  • Water, electricity, gas, roads, hospital, complete infrastructure in decay,
  • 500,000 people (God forbid) perish in mild rain storm and dust-storm, due to 45 degree temp and water shortage, eating donkey nihari, etc.
Army:
  • The complete supply chain of hajj operations run by military inc.,
  • Almost all of that in loss, still audit exemption due to religious/national matter, thus requiring funding from country and abroad to sustain.
  • Massive military deployed across ‘mecca’, one Ranger personnel at every furlong,
  • Helicopter surveillance of ‘kaaba’ 24/7, with ready F-16s and missiles, against possible Indian threat, which makes defence 70% of the hajj budget/cost,
  • Sky-rocketing land cost, making hotels out of reach of Muslims, except for elites and ex-armymen,
  • Bomb blast by enemy/victim survivors 200-300k (God forbid) perish every 5-10 years, requiring reinforcement of military,
  • Hajj cost 2-3 million rupees.

Malaysia/Turkey:

  • State of the art facilities (even better than now), underground subway, overhead mono-rail,
  • Cable car between ‘safa’ and ‘marwa’,
  • Underground aquarium for ‘zamzam’ plant,
  • Alcohol only allowed after 10pm,
  • ‘Hijaab’ only required for ‘haji’ (one performing hajj)
  • Hajj cost 1-2 million per person

Feel free to add about other countries 🙂

Rangers’ Operation in Karachi and Govt.’s will for the peace


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Here’s a summary update of Law & Order situation in Karachi, from a citizen’s perspective.

Cause of mismanagement:
Karachi has an age old problem of lack of empowerment. It never had any voice in the power corridors, even if its citizen vote 100% to any party. That is a fundamental flaw in the system of governance in place in Pakistan. Take an example of operation in Karachi. Federal govt. through Ministry of Interior, recommends operation in Karachi, in Sept 2013. Sindh govt approves special powers to Rangers and Armed Forces assigns head of Rangers (Sindh) to carry out the operation. No where, the elected representatives of Karachi’s opinion taken into consideration, let alone their powers to approve or disapprove it. The democratic countries of the world had evolved decades ago, empowering people to make decisions about their day-to-day matters autonomously.

Due to the hold of rich (industrialists) and powerful (landlords) on the power corridors (commonly known as feudalism in Pakistan), we are still using archaic system of central government.

Where most of the authority on resources to run administration of the cities, remains in the control of central (here we call Federal) government. It does have a ‘federal’ title, but the authority majorly is not devolved down to the localities. This had serious repercussion on the government performance, creating imbalance of power and sense of deprivation.  Karachi being significant, in terms of both population and its economic contribution, had noticed serious incompetency from provincial and federal level and imbalance of resource distribution, resulting in distrust and lack of ownership, which lead to disorder, to an otherwise extremely vibrant city. It did grew exponentially nevertheless, by accommodating all ethnicities from across Pakistan, making it country’s most diverse city. One of the factors of growth, despite government’s willful neglect, is that Pakistanis have innate survival instinct, who finds a way to live under minimal of resources.

Authority on Karachi’s resources, are largely shared between Federal govt and Provincial govt., where the elected representatives of Karachi has minority say, thus non-empowerment in the matters of their respective constituencies.

Take an example of electricity, where KE is begging for continuation of 650 mega watt of supply from national grid, and all (Federal and provincial members) but representatives from Karachi are making the decision on the fate of electricity for Karachi, who are the ones suffering from it, day-in and day-out, and the ones making the decision (in the center) has no clue, what are the resulting problems on ground. Take eg Crime in Karachi, which is the topic of this post, where lack of govt interest and the resulting incompetency of Sindh Police, created an uncontrollable problem of crime and later terrorists finds Karachi a safe heaven. What we are seeing today, is the outcome of 4-5 decades of government neglect in the area of Law & Order, through LEA (Law Enforcement Agencies).

Rangers role:
Rangers had been in Karachi with different powers, for over 2 decades, through special provision of law (amendment to the  constitutional). They report to Army (corps commander in GHQ) and gets approval and funding from Sindh Govt. and takes direction from Ministry of Interior (Federal). Rangers have launched operation in Karachi under the auspices of Nawaz Sharif direction and Raheel Shareef authority (background), since the past 2 years. This is following the army’s resolve in eliminating terrorists in northern areas. They managed to find terrorists (826) and huge repositories of weapons  (7312) and overpowered many hideouts, which resulted in reduced acts of terrorism in the city – bomb blasts, mass murders, abductions, ransom, etc.  I won’t say Rangers operation in Karachi is wrong altogether. Rangers core job is to protect borders (international) from terrorists.

It’s their job which they were supposed to do on a regular basis, for the past 27 years, that’s what they’re paid for (Rs. 1.4 billion/year/2013), which they were negligent/incompetent at frankly, remember bus shooting, attack at the airport, PNS attack, numerous bomb blasts, etc.

Now doing it as a special operation (and portraying it as some kind of ‘ahsaan’ – service), when the city is destroyed/infested with terrorists from around the world, is a service too late, costing thousands of innocent lives in Karachi already. Further, their unbiased operation, turning blind eye towards PPP and other political criminals, while sparing no stone unturned against MQM workers is objectionable, specially the disappearances and extra-judicial killings (called as encounters), some 300+ instances of encounters since Jan 2015 alone. MQM claimed 50 of their political workers are missing, probably dead. According to another news report (again without details):

Rangers claimed to have killed 364 so-called ‘criminals’ and arrested 200 others in the encounters.  Rangers has conducted some 5,795 operations and apprehended 10,353 suspects that ranged from street criminals to terrorists.

If they are foreign terrorists and out of control, killing the in encounters can be acceptable (exceptionally), but killing known MQM workers without trial is unacceptable, specially looking at the level of competence and intelligence of our LEAs and their masters. Extra-judicial killings have severe repercussions. Would make hero out of MQM again, as all except MQM had been ignored. Such extra-judicial killings if challenged in the court of law, could bring severe trouble to the LEA leadership responsible in this misadventure. Further, the return of MQM (haqiqi) leaders in Karachi and erupting clashes between MQM and MQM (H) workers, does not speak good about the intentions of Army/Rangers here.

There couldn’t have been bigger embarrassment for Rangers, but during their raid at nine zero, finding nothing substantial, that was always hyped. Following news media, even I started to believe that nine zero is some kind of no-go area, where there is a secret army with truck loads of artillery and sophisticated weapons, that could over power armed forces. Remember, how many Rangers contingent were deployed during that raid ? But it turned out to be a measly amount of weapons, many of which were said to be licensed and the abducted people  (without warrant), have to be eventually released (again embarrassingly), due to lack of evidence. It again proved their incompetency and lack of intelligence, to solve the issues of city. If they are not smart enough to reprimand criminals and convict them to justice (following the law of the land), they shouldn’t indulge in operations in the first place. Obviously, that’s what they’re not skilled in, as they don’t have civic sense or demographic intelligence or criminal investigation skills. They have combat skills to kill the enemy at the border, so they did kill some terrorists, albeit without warrant and extra-judicially, so effectively nobody knows, who they killed. Further, Karachi is not a war zone, where the constitution has been suspended, so you can kill people at sight, without trial. Lastly, except just MQM HQ, all actually (dreadful) no-go areas should be cleansed from illegal weapons and criminals.

Nobody can think about going into ‘kati pahari’, ‘layari’ or ‘sohrab goth’ today, like they can ‘nine zero’ now. These kinds of acts, created doubts in the minds of residents of Karachi, about the intent of the government to enforce peace.

Sindh Government:
Regarding govt. interest to enforce peace in Karachi, we’ve to ponder on what are the root causes of crime generally. Crime in Karachi depends on many factors:

  • Incompetent bureaucracy hired on quota system,
  • Same is true for police (major factor),
  • Lack of border control (inflow of terrorists),
  • Easy availability and affordable weapons,
  • Gangs/mafia (eg land, drugs, beggars, tankers, political parties, etc.),
  • Extreme economic disparity, extreme poverty and disrespect (social injustice among indigenous and immigrants),
  • Significant unemployment,
  • Education rate (high illiteracy),
  • Illegal/’kachi abadi’ (safe heavens for terrorists and criminals alike), c
  • Corrupt judicial system (lower courts),

These are the root causes of crime in Karachi. If anyone is sincere, they will address these issues. But since the intent is not to bring peace and prosperity in Karachi, none of these aspects are even talked about, let alone addressed. One institution created to control crime in any city, that’s police.

Since, Sindh Police is based on quota, just like rest of the govt. bodies and similar institutions, which makes them  incompetent, highly uneducated, unskilled, underpaid and underpowered, there’s no way to achieve sustainable peace in Karachi.

Nobody has ever talked about reforming Sindh Police, so this also confirms the lack of intent of Sindh govt. to establish peace in the city. Nothing obviously goes without being noticed by Sindh Police in Karachi, so everyone knows, they’ve cut in virtually every crime, eg beggary, encroachments, land mafia, transport mafia, etc. Naturally, the operation did not help with the crime. All actions (conducted by rangers) will naturally be fruitless for the average citizen, as it can be noticed on ‘Halaat Updates’ facebook forum, for the past 1 year.  I’ve written another piece on the reasons of L&O woes in Karachi here.

Problems cannot be solved through force, it’s proven in the history. Problems are solved, when you resolve it’s root cause. When all the causes remain, which I enlisted above, specially the incompetent police, you simply cannot reduce crime.

MQM’s Responsibility:
First party responsible for everything about Karachi is obviously MQM, since they won 95% of the seats from Karachi (19 out of 20 MNA seats in 2013). But, like I said before, they aren’t empowered enough. They are as powerless as ever. Prime example of their lack of authority is this operation itself, where they can’t stop Rangers from killing their workers extra-judicially in Karachi. Note, Sindh Govt can call off Rangers policing authority in Karachi, btw.

Zardari said to have strike a deal with the establishment, which resulted in PPP (through Sindh Govt), recently extending policing powers to Rangers, which were to expire in June 2015 (the power for this operation).

It’s been more than 60 years, since the independence of Pakistan, it’s about time, the mandate of Karachi be accepted. There’s no way this discriminate accountability of MQM alone will be accepted by the people, while every criminal leader in the govt., and their gang of absconders and their political parties are in full power (with 10 times bigger share in the govt. than MQM), with no remorse whatsoever or respect for the writ of Pakistan or mandate of the citizens. When from nobody like Ayyan Ali, to terrorist like Uzair Baloch (sought by Interpol), Tappi, Baba Ladla are spared and statements of Zulfiqar Mirza and AAZ against Pakistan and Army are ignored, Lahore police brutality never brought to justice, sold-out judges goes free making false judgements about election fraud, no one held accountable for Karachi airport attack, or APC attack, etc. just to name a few, are all instance of the high-handedness of the present govt, but since they were in connivance with the people in the power corridor, govt is silent about them. This is simply a double standard of government. With complete injustice in the country, nobody has any moral right to question MQM to become pious. Let’s accept the mandate of MQM, given by the votes of citizens of Karachi.

What should we Do about it ?
Empower citizens of Karachi to be able to make decision on their living – police, water, electricity, infrastructure, all aspects of govt, autonomously. There’s no dearth of intelligence and skills in Karachi, see the private sector. It’s just a matter of upholding merit in government, so that people in Karachi stop abhorring government jobs and take part in serving the nation.

Today, they either leave the country for good, or mind their own business (as furthest away from govt. as possible).

So, we need to correct the system, without which nothing can be resolved, let alone such a complex problem as crime. Empower police, hire on merit (education, skills), pay sufficiently (like we pay to Rangers), bring them to enough numbers that is proportionate to the population of Karachi (being the second biggest city of the world) and see how crime goes down automatically. Above all, accept MQM’s mandate in Karachi. Let’s voice for the equal rights for every citizen.
oppression
Empower citizens!

Heatwave in Karachi & How we responded


This would have best context, for those living in Karachi. But, others would also get the main message. With the rising temperature in Karachi, in the recent past (June 2015), going as high as breaking record (45oC), which was exacerbated by the government’s water and electricity shortfall, that some 1000+ souls lost their lives in this big metropolis. Most of them were either chronically ill or drugged and rest lacked awareness about heat-stroke, but it was no less than a tragedy for the city, in recent times. I wrote another post on heat stroke and how to respond in such situation, here.

Women wets her burqa to cool off the head of this elderly man

Thanks to God, who has provided us with this government and KE, KWSB, KMC, WAPDA, Karachi Meteorological Department and Sindh Police, Civil/Jinnah Hospital and PIA, etc., without which we couldn’t have gained piety in this holy month of Ramazan. This is a sarcastic statement, but they really tested our patience. How could people (eg living in first world countries), in relative quiet time and peaceful living, get the chance to demonstrate patience and tolerance, when everything is easy for them. You know, many of those people (living abroad), run into a situation where they can’t find enough people eligible for ‘zakat’ (person living below poverty line), people under stress, and destitute families, that they have to turn to the third-world countries, to fulfill their obligation of zakat (giving alms).

Both the people with the means and luxuries of life are tested (‘Ibtilah’) and also those who are living in poverty. But, God tests more the pious people, so as to test the strength of their faith and to give them a chance to increase their level of ‘taqwa’ (piety).

{Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested. And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allaah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allaah knows all that before putting them to test).}[al-Ankaboot 29:2-3] – Quran

Indeed, in order to earn such blessings, we have to observe patience and not get agitated, under any circumstance, like that which Karachiites (specially the poor) are enduring through lack of basic essentials like water and electricity, the trouble of getting CNG, increased beggary, raging traffic and the rising mercury level.

“Great reward comes with great trials. When Allah loves a people, He tests them, and whoever accepts it attains His pleasure, whereas whoever shows discontent with it incurs His wrath.” Narrated and classed as hasan by at-Tirmidhi (2396); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in as-Silsilah as-Saheehah, no. 146 – Hadith

So, those who did observe patience and those who got martyred through the heat-wave, mugged, or endured heat or lost someone/something dear to them, and did not complain and observed ‘sabar’ (patience) and remained thankful to the blessings of Allah, must have gained His ultimate favor.

{Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning.}[Az-Zumar 39:10] – Quran

Although, it wasn’t wise to observe ‘fast’, during those extreme heat-wave period, specially for the weak (who are exempt anyways) and impoverished (who risk their lives), and specially when the government was adding to their misery, failing to provide electricity and water. I have written another post on how to avoid, identify and recover from heatstroke. But, I am sure, who did fast naively and with the sole ‘neeyat’ (intention) of gaining Allah’s favor, would definitely get their reward. During Friday sermons/prayers, I noticed lots of people, under open scorching sun, stood perspiring from head-to-toe, saying prayers.

That’s indeed a great sight, of the level of faith in the society, under such tough circumstances.

{And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Saabiroon (the patient). Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.” They are those on whom are the Salawaat (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones.} [Al-Baqarah 2:155–157] – Quran

Such, calamity also provides us the opportunity to perform those acts of kindness that I noticed many people of Karachi demonstrated, by volunteering to provide drinking water with ORS (necessary salt) to hundreds of thousands of people in shantytown and hospitals, across the city. The noble acts of planting trees (Neem tree) followed, which is a ‘sadqa –e- jareeha’ (eternal reward).

Neem tree plantation, by volunteers

Allah’s Messenger (sa) said: “There is none amongst the Muslims, who plants a tree or sows a seed, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, but it is regarded as a charitable gift from him.” (Bukhari) – Hadith

Everyone volunteered either with their money, or time, effort, awareness or encouragements, in whatever manner they could, to serve their fellow Karachiites. Acts of kindness and sacrifice, when you have plenty to share or when you are trouble-free, is obviously easy. One of the reasons for fasting in the month of Ramazan, apart from giving a break to your body, is to feel for the poor, who are hungry and thirsty and learn to observe control without any discontent. If we are awake all night, eating or just hanging around with friends and sleeping next day in AC, or remain in AC anyways, you’ll still fulfill the obligation, but you will miss to observe hunger or thirst and a feeling for the poor. Similarly, in the middle-east, it’s common these days to see temperatures has high as 40-50oC. But still, you don’t get such opportunity of giving and sharing with the impoverished, that you get in Karachi.

11705471_10155757487850072_2188371522267574757_o Food given to a child11536507_1137088642987883_3840152461339580152_oWater distribution - hospitals

So, the real metal is proven, when under such dire circumstances, Karachiites showing their heart for such immense level of brotherhood, is a pleasant sight, something we must be thankful for.

Umar ibn Hazm reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “There is no believer who consoles his brother at the time of a calamity but that Allah the Exalted will clothe him with noble garments on the Day of Resurrection.” – Hadith

Pakistan is known for its philanthropy and the month of ramazan sees its phenomenal rise, where you see hundreds of thousands of people giving charity, by providing free ‘iftaar’ (food boxes), arrange places for ‘taraweeh’ (evening prayers), give free ration to the hungry, give cash to the poor (‘zakat’) and donations to hospitals and charity organizations, was overwhelming to observe in this Ramazan. Somehow, such information is never highlighted in the news. The reason, I almost stopped turning TV on.

Water streetsmedicinesPoor man receiving waterIftaar box

Last but not the least, such acts of nobility aren’t complete, without the mention of Abdul Sattar Edhi’s Edhi Foundation, who provided funeral services to the sudden death of hundreds of people during the peak heat-wave, which no one was able to handle, government, least bit. Our leaders (in the government) should understand their job is to serve and to protect, and not to rule us. There is a painful hellfire waiting for them, if they neglect their duties and let such a magnitude of people suffer like that. But, anyhow, it turns out to be a blessing in disguise, where it provided us the opportunity to expiate our sins and reminded us of the true path.

Thus calamities, trials and tests are signs of love from Allaah for the believers. They are comparable to a cure; although it may be bitter, you accept it because it is from the one whom you love; and to Allaah belongs the best example. As comes in the hadeeth, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “The magnitude of the reward is proportional to the magnitude of the affliction. When Allaah سبحانه وتعالى loves some people, He tests them. He who is content (with Allaah’s decree) will receive the Pleasure (of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى); and he who is discontent will attain the wrath (of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى).”[10] Related by at-Tirmidhi and Sheikh al-Albaanee رحمه الله graded it Saheeh. – Hadith

So, we should observe patience under any circumstance and do good to others, in the best way you can. But that does not mean no accountability for the leaders (government officials), responsible for this debacle. Part of the ‘sabr’ (patience) is to stop them from committing this hardship on the people at large. It’s also our responsibility to protest. It’s indeed same as committing oppression, when you bear oppression and does not voice your concern or fight back.

May Allah, grant maximum reward to these people who served their fellow beings (‘huquooq ul ebad’) and give us ‘sabar’ (patience) and strengthen our faith during such difficult times and save us from actual calamity and give us ‘toufeeq’ (guidance) to make the most of this month, so that we get your ultimate favor, Aameen! May Allah, also give guidance to our leaders (in government) and save them from hellfire, Aameen!

Verily we belong to Allaah and to Him we shall return. O Allaah help me in my calamity and bring me something better in return, Aameen!

Two things define you: Your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything. – Unknown

* Many of the photos, I’ve taken myself and many I’ve gathered from volunteers on social media.

Dancing With The Wolves


Good read!

Dr. Haider Mehdi

wolvesAt last the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman, Imran Khan, has taken a definite policy stance against the continuation of the US drone attacks on Pakistani territory and against its citizens. In a National Assembly speech on Monday, Khan categorically set the November 20th date for the PML-N government to resolve the drone strike issue: “(But) if drone strikes continued then we will block Nato supplies after November 20 and go to the UN Security Council,” warned the PTI Chairperson.

The vital questions in today’s Pakistan are: How long will we continue to dance with the wolves in the killing of our citizens and decimating peace, stability and political tranquility in this country?

View original post 1,192 more words

‘Waar’ film experience and its review


Although, the initial motivator was to kill time, which I was trying by window-shopping at Centaurus Mall in Islamabad. Watching movie turned out to be the better option, with respect to passing time, which I got due to delayed flight. I chose to watch ‘Waar‘, which was much hyped about recently. Its online movie trailer, first got my attention, and developed curiosity later on. But unfortunately, with my work-life schedule, I wasn’t able to watch any movies past several months in the cinema, may be a year. All movies, I could see, were during long flights 🙂 Anyhow, ‘Waar’ turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Specially, when I looked at it from the perspective of Lollywood standards, or may be it was my perception, as I hadn’t seen movies lately, let alone a Pakistani movie. The picturization, cinematography, sounds and effects, and acting were very close to what we see in Hollywood movies. It also has quite a bit of thrill and action, that which everyone likes today, as we’re a generation who grew up watching the likes of Arnold and Silver Stallone, except me. But I can live with such violence, looking at the true to life story, they wanted to present, involving bloodshed and terrorism. Probably the biggest reason of its popularity is its story, aligning itself with patriotism and chivalry, bravery and humanism, touching upon the sufferings of the population and the role of Armed Forces and the shrewd Intelligence Agencies and the involvement of foreign insurgents in the country, and their support to the outlaws. It highlighted heroism, faith and spirit of our defence forces (both Army and Police) and their valor, sacrifice and courage against the lethal-hidden enemy. There were many emotional scenes and at one time, I noticed people burst into clapping, right when Shaan (Mujtaba) killed the notorious villain, who was hiding behind a hostage child. The great thing about this movie is its content. Everyone loves watching Hollywood and Bollywood movies, but hate it, when they embed few tid-bits in the scenes, or in the story, which is effectively propaganda against Pakistan. Film ‘Waar’, would help to dispel some such disinformation about Pakistan and Islam or at least present the other side of the story to the world out there. The movie also lacked the usual entertainment part, like dancing over songs, which makes me qualify it to be more sensible, than entertaining. The movie was a mix of English and Urdu, which means, it’s geared towards the elite Pakistanis living in Pakistan and abroad and Indians alike, who’re also bilingual in English and Urdu listening. Overall, it was a pleasant surprise and I am happy to see Pakistani film industry has picked up well recently. I also read in the news, it’s doing good in terms of business and getting worldwide acclamation. Good acting by Shaan, Ayesha Khan, Ali Azmat, Meesha Shafi and others and Direction by Bilal Lashari. Specially Shan’s acting was superb. Congratulations to all!

 

       

You can watch it’s trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6QE_QVtC6U  

Feel free to share your views about this film, I would be curious.  Here are the main cinemas you can watch at: Nueplex Cinemas, Centaurus Cineplex, Cinepax (Ocean Tower)(City Auditorium)Atrium CinemasUniverse CineplexNishat CinemaCinepax – Jinnah Park, Rawalpindi

Why Muslims act cautiously abroad ?


I did mention once there are so many smart muslims in America, who’re much more adherent to Islamic values, than people in muslim countries. But there is a growing lot, different from them, specially after the advent of 9/11. Here I would like to tell you about them.

You must have noticed that many of the muslims, who had left their muslim countries for good (out of troubles they faced there) and chose non-muslim countries as their homeland (for their personal and family’s prosperity), live a very careful life (talking specifically about US & UK). When I say careful, I meant, they tend not to open up their identity (as muslim) or show off their islamic practices, instead act and appear as local as possible (from the wisdom of ‘do what the romans do’, to be successful in that society), stay clear of any involvement of islamic gatherings or activities, predominantly do not indulge in islamic propagation, hide their values indoor, tries to find Islam, that which conforms to their western lifestyle, and the worse of them, since Islamophobia is the latest fashion (of the majority), curse islamic values in the same tone (many a times even harsher, assuming they’re somehow more knowledgeable about Islam, being born as one) compared to the local unaware Americans, whose only source of information about anything is MSM (mainstream media – TV).

Check this out, some facts, from the land of the free and the most enlightened:

proisraelad_pamela_geller

Pam Geller Anti Muslim Subway Ads

According to the FBI, anti-Islamic incidents were the second least reported hate crimes prior to 9/11, but following 9/11, they became the second highest reported among religion-bias incidents. From pre-9/11 to post-9/11, a growth of 1600% took place.

  • American Muslims often get the kind of treatment once reserved for blacks and Jews, dehumanized groups that also were the victims of racial and ethnic prejudice and violence, according to University of Georgia religion professor Alan Godlas.
  • Do you know why the Sikhs are targeted in US for hate-crimes. Because of the wide ignorance, Sikhs are ‘perceived to be Muslims’. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has a category of ‘hate crimes against perceived Muslims’ and such incidents jumped up by 50 per cent in 2010 because of anti-Muslim propagandising, according to FBI’s 2011 hate crime statistics.
  • In 2012, seven mosques in the United States were attacked in two week during the holy month of Ramazan. After the incidents, the Huffington Post reported that the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington D.C. issued a safety advisory on August 6, 2012, advising Muslims to install surveillance equipment, request police patrols, and report suspicious vehicles driving near mosques ahead of Eid ul Fitr.
  • Ahmad Bashir, 57, repeatedly stabbed by man shouting anti-Muslim statements outside mosque in Flushing, Queens. Mr Bashir’s nose was also bitten in gruesome assault. Unknown attacker was able to get away, and remains on the loose as police investigate.
  • Portraying Card causing controversy among Muslim community
  • Hate crime specifically targeting Middle Eastern storekeepers in Brooklyn, the last of whom, a 78-year old Iranian immigrant named Rahmatollah Vahidipour, was shot to death while closing his boutique and whose lifeless body was then dragged to a backroom and covered over with merchandise from his store.

    Within the same week as Vahidipour’s murder another Muslim man was viciously beaten by two men who preceded their attack by asking him whether he was “a Hindu or a Muslim”, while another man was stabbed several times outside of a mosque in a random attack by an assailant who screamed “I’m going to kill you Muslim“, while repeatedly plunging a knife into his victims’ body.

  • ‘Hate crime’ on cards for Iraqi woman killed in California, US  – 2min Video
  • Ali, a 64-year-old native of Ghana, is an imam, or Islamic spiritual leader, in suburban Detroit. He said he was last detained in December while returning to the U.S. from Toronto. “I was shocked. Why do they handcuff me? I am not a criminal,” Ali said.

imrs

  • You can clearly see that hate-crime hasn’t subsided, since the time it was fueled during 9/11 incident. It has certainly changed the world.
  • According to the CAIR report:
    • As Washington Post columnist Colbert I. King noted in his July 2, 2005 article entitled “Let’s Proudly Hail the Rights of All,” anti-Muslim sentiments are as prevalent as ever, even comparable to sentiments held by many of Japanese Americans during World War II. In June 2005 alone, King notes, a man was sentenced for firebombing an El Paso mosque, a Qur’an was desecrated with human waste in Nashville, a mosque was burned in California, a bag of burned Qur’ans was left outside an Islamic center in Virginia, and an Islamic school in Miami was vandalized for the third time. Political freedom, he muses, is perhaps not extended to Muslim Americans.
    • Increase of Police Discrimination:  One of the most salient increases from 2003 to 2004 is that of discrimination by police such as unwarranted arrests and searches. One example of unreasonable arrest occurred on June 10th, 2004 in Colorado where a Muslim family’s house was raided by the IRS and armed FBI agents who drew their guns. The family was told that an IRS investigation was being conducted and the agents proceeded to ask them questions such as “Are you Shiite or Sunni?” and questions about “Hamas, Hezbollah, and suicide bombings.” They were also asked “If the US went to war with Iran, which side would you be on?” Another example of law-enforcement abuse occurred on October 11, 2004 in Minneapolis where a female hijab-wearing Muslim student of Somali background was pulled over by police. The policemen searched her car and threw her belongings onto the street, including her Islamic books and the Qur’an. They then left her to pick them up by herself.
    • Hate Crimes on Campuses:  Anti-Muslim hate crimes have been especially visible on the campuses of universities and colleges nationwide since 9/11. In the Spring of 2003, anti-Muslim rants were shouted towards student Christine Lo’s dorm room at Yale. Lo had hung an upside-down American flag outside of her window to protest the war in Iraq. The ranting students also attempted to pry open her door with a plank of wood. After they left, Lo found a note prompting Americans to kill Muslims and ”launch so many missiles their mothers don’t produce healthy offspring.” Yale administrator Raphael Soifer also became the target of discrimination when a Yale student spit at him in a dining hall and exclaimed ”I hope you and your families die! Why don’t you go live in Iraq.” Similar threats have been found at institutions such as San Jose State University (California) in 2003, where graffiti in the bathroom claimed, ”Muslims will be shot on SJSU campus on March 10!” At the University of California Los Angeles Medical Center, moreover, Muslim prayer rugs were discovered soaked in pig’s blood.

2011-08-31-vaccineforislamophobia.jpeg

As per Department of Justice report (only few excerpt copied here):

The incidents have consisted of telephone, internet, mail, and face-to-face threats; minor assaults as well as assaults with dangerous weapons and assaults resulting in serious injury and death; and vandalism, shootings, arson and bombings directed at homes, businesses, and places of worship. Some of our prosecutions include:

  • Arlington, Texas: Henry Clay Glaspell pleaded guilty to violating the Church Arson Prevention Act by setting fire to a playground outside a mosque in July 2010.
  • Columbia, Tennessee: Three Tennessee men, Jonathan Edward Stone, Michael Corey Golden, and Eric Ian Baker, pleaded guilty to spraypainting swastikas and “white power” on a mosque in Columbia, Tennessee, and then starting a fire that completely destroyed the mosque.
  • Burbank, Illinois: Eric Kenneth Nix pleaded guilty on March 6, 2006 to blowing up the van of a Palestinian-American family that was parked in front of the family’s home.
  • Salt Lake City, Utah: James Herrick pled guilty to pouring gasoline on the wall of a Pakistani-American restaurant on September 13, 2001, and lighting it in an attempt to destroy the building.

, Director of the Department of Multifaith Studies and Initiatives, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, writes in Huffington Post:  “First, the Brookings study, “What It Means to be an American: Attitudes in an Increasingly Diverse America Ten Years after 9/11,” reveals that most Americans have very little direct experience of Muslims. The majority have no opportunity to speak to a Muslim, even occasionally.” So, thanks to the mainstream propaganda, around 50% of Americans are uncomfortable with muslims as elementary school teacher, or muslims saying prayers at the airport or mosque or muslim women wearing ‘burqa’. Take a look at another survey, by Gallup.

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She further explains: “What’s good about that? In fact, it helps explain findings such as the Gallup Poll that placed Muslims as the most disliked religious group in America. We tend to dislike what we do not know.  What they know, unfortunately, was provided by a small cadre of well funded scholars, bloggers and media personalities, in particular, those on Fox News. ”

So, with the bombardment of propaganda and disinformation against Islam during the past decade, through the powerful mainstream media, you can see its aftermath today (as evident through the incidents above). Now, I understand the reason for muslims living in America to be cautious. Just like any other human being, they developed a psychological tendency to adapt with the prevalent norm, as at the back of their mind, they fear not doing anything, which could result in returning back to their country of birth. So, I don’t blame them, they should be careful, specially after 9/11 incident, the rise of hate-crimes, looking at the history of verbal harassments, sabotage, disappearances, abductions, torture and eliminations (extrajudicial, based on your religion), giving exemplary punishment to those who try to use ‘freedom of expression’ to raise islamic point of view, gives shivers to any sensible man. In fact they’re too weak against the powerful hate-mongering MSM (mainstream media). When the american society in general, fall prey to it, how could they understand any better. Thanks to the era of Cold War, it’s now a mind game, than a physical one. We are going through the era of the clash of ideologies.  Having said that, I don’t mean to generalize that all muslims moving to US, think like that, similarly, neither I am suggesting that all Americans are hate-mongers. It is just to highlight the fact, what muslim americans goes through today.

 

Sources & Further Readings:

Why you shouldn’t tell American border guards you’re in Islamic Studies

http://www.justice.gov/crt/legalinfo/discrimupdate.php

Anti-Muslim violence spiralling out of control in America

http://www.pluralism.org/reports/view/104

Debate on Islam is a peaceful religion ? 

What It Means to Be an American: Attitudes in an Increasingly Diverse America Ten Years after 9/11

In U.S., Religious Prejudice Stronger Against Muslims

Losing Language – Losing Identity


I always thought English is our official language, until I read. from the Pakistan Constitution:

251. National language.
“(2) Subject to clause (1), the English language may be used for official purposes until arrangements are made for its replacement by Urdu.”

So, this means, it was meant to be changed with our national language, but I guess everyone was busy copying foreign laws, culture, morals, values, and language, since 1973 and never got the time to even read the constitution again ?  Indeed, when you copy blindly, you lose self-reliance, you develop a tendency to look to others for every wisdom, and that’s how the dependency is created, which eventually results into, what we call modern-day slavery (if we look at it from broader perspective). Do you know as per recent ‘The Economist’ article, Pakistan stood at world number 3, (in slavery) as per the survey report on Global Slavery. We have and we are fast losing our identity.

No nation has progressed really, while totally depending on the wealth, skills, knowledge and the resources of others. Even if you progress temporarily, you would not become competitive globally, and specially in this era of cut-throat competition, you can easily be suppressed. What have we achieved in the past 60 years, copying others ? By imitating the values of others, while inheriting some of our own values in bits and pieces, left us in a confused state. Same is true about our language. Here’s a popular joke about our language:

“The difficulties of being Pakistani: 1) Speak Punjabi in the home; 2) Speak Urdu in school; 3) Answer exam papers in British English; 4) Speak American English in office; and 5) After death, present your account in Arabic. So consider, what can a person do but fail!”

With the worldwide propaganda and bad news associated with Pakistan, many naive Pakistanis, also feel bad about speaking or writing in Urdu, as that psychologically attaches them with Pakistan, which is looked down upon and they want to disassociate with. Another factor for the promotion of English, is the double standard of education we have in the country, and lack of Government control and policy over it. Most of the government schools have lately taught all subjects in Urdu (English though was a separate subject), while most, if not all, of the private schools have taught all subjects in English. So, effectively we’ve created a class difference. Further, due to incompetency of the government, government schools (which caters to the majority of the population), does not uphold quality of education and thus, very much looked down upon by the parents who can afford to pay high-cost of private schools, which provides a lot better education. So, now the class is further classified as haves and havenots. And this is so widespread phenomena now, (since we reared it for more than 30-40 years), many term ‘government schools’ as ‘Peela school’ (like yellow school, as most of government school building are painted in orange-cum-yellow color) or they call it ‘Khada school’, both terms used derogatorily, to demean students who graduated from there. Thus, unknowingly we have created a divide in the society – government school and private school. Learning multiple languages is great, but discriminating on the basis of language  would not help us in any way.

Indeed, those who learned English language well, gained a lot, in terms of knowledge from the developed english speaking countries. But the problem I am highlighting here, is the divide in the society created on the basis of people who know English well, versus who don’t. Let me point out another misconception, prevalent in our society. It’s very much viewed today, not just today, it has it’s roots in pre-partition time (during the creation of Pakistan), people speaking English are synonymous to individuals with wisdom. Indeed, people who knew English well, were able to read and understand a lot more from developed societies. But this overrated regard for English speakers/writers, is bit overblown. So, much so, if people meet any native English speaker in Pakistan, they automatically think that person is so much knowledgeable, having so much wisdom. May be one of the reason, foreigner/tourists are taken high with regard. I don’t mean to say, however, Pakistanis treat their hosts very well. So, a person’s IQ is misconstrued with his ability to speak or read english. If a person doesn’t speak something in English or write in English, the society doesn’t take him/her seriously. Probably, if this article was written in Urdu, it might not have that many audience. This becomes evident, when you go abroad in any English speaking country and realize that, English is just a language of communication and good command over it, does not necessarily mean, a key to success, but good communication skills is. You also realize that there are so many native English speakers, who either don’t write or speak english well, but are ahead in their knowledge and wisdom.

Coming back to the main point, there shouldn’t be discrimination regarding language study. If English had to be official, it should be official for all. If both (English and Urdu) had to be official, it should be for all. Not like, English for haves and Urdu for havenots. Further, don’t get me wrong, I am not promoting Urdu language particularly, neither I am encouraging nationalism/chauvinism, but the point is to cherish your language, which is a key source of most of our cultural heritage. We shouldn’t let the globalization bombard on our values and overwhelm it completely. However, we can adopt good things from anyone (no specific harm in it either), but we must hold on to our language and core values. Example would be, to make mandatory use of urdu scripts on computer usage at Schools, during labs and so on.

Urdu example.svg

Word ‘Urdu’ written in Urdu script

Before I conclude, let me share another fact. Both Urdu (spoken in Pakistan) and Hindi (spoken in India), are similar, when spoken. So, that’s the reason most of Pakistanis watch Indian movies (Bollywood) and have no problem conversing with each other (Indian and a Pakistani). But in terms of writing, they’re totally different. Urdu script is very much like Arabic, while Hindi script is, something like chinese (just to give some idea, otherwise, chinese is way different).

Important point is, to keep ties with your language and not let that die, in honor of any tertiary language. I would be happy to hear your views on importance of language or any other feedback.

Banning gay socialization website in Pakistan


This post in response to the following news:

http://news.yahoo.com/pakistan-blocks-un-islamic-gay-website-111013254.html

Again an exceptional/sensational news, but before people concur something incorrect, I thought I should clarify. The site claims to promote interaction (socialization) among homosexuals. How does that promote Information, Freedom, Equal Rights, is mind boggling.  An extreme example would be, to allow serial killers or pedophiles, to act as per their natural desire and let them socialize with people of similar mental tendencies, so they can plan together such crime 🙂 There are so many lustful desires, and practices we’re prohibited from, for our own good eg gambling, alcohol, adultery, sodomy, fortune-telling, etc. Shouldn’t we be treating the homosexuals’ condition, solace them, and tell them to abstain from same-sex acts (instead have patience), which is prohibited by God and termed as extremely abhorrent/disgusting? We know for a fact, its implication to the society and marital life in particular, if left open to everyone’s desire is fatal.

Sodom and Gomorrah and the Prophet Lut (pbuh) and Pompeii city

Have we forgot Islamic teachings of Prophet Lot (pbuh) and the story of cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, which is similar to the story as shared in the Old Testament of the Bible. We learn of an entire nation which was destroyed by God due to their obscene behavior, which included rampant homosexuality. The disaster that befell Sodom and Gomorrah is very similar to the disaster that destroyed Pompeii, in Naples, Italy. Yet, our ignorant society named a high-class restaurants as Pompeii and takes a pride eating there, forgetting that the destruction of Pompeii came by means of the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius, which is a symbol of Italy, primarily the city of Naples. Remaining silent for the last two millennia, Vesuvias is named the ‘mount of warning’. It is not without cause that Vesuvias is known as such. The lava and ash of a huge volcanic eruption, that happened two millennia ago, caught the inhabitants of that city so suddenly that everything in the town was caught in the middle of everyday life and remains today exactly as it was two millennia ago. The historical records show that the city was exactly a center of dissipation and perversity. The most interesting aspect of the event is that nobody escaped despite the terrible violence of the eruption of Vesuvias. It is almost like they did not even notice the catastrophe, as if they were charmed.  Numerous petrified couples were found in the act of intercourse. The most interesting thing is that there were couples of the same sex and couples of young boys and young girls. The faces of some of the petrified human corpses unearthed from Pompeii were unharmed. The general expression on those faces was bewilderment.

Every Religion Abhors Homosexuality

We must also not forget that homosexual relations, acts or behaviour are illegal in almost every muslim country (with varying punishments), including Pakistan, Saudi, UAE, Iran, etc. Almost every western country does not allow such relationship officially. All the worlds’ major religions and spiritual traditions—from the majority view in Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism to Christianity and Islam—condemn and forbid homosexuality. The great majority of rabbis hold the same position, as do the Pope and the Dalaï Lama, who condemns homosexuality. For these traditions, homosexuality is considered to be “against nature,” an “expression of disequilibrium” in the growth of a person. The moral condemnation of homosexuality remains the majority opinion of all religions, and Islam is no exception. It would be senseless to wish to deny the facts, to contradict the textual sources and to force believers to perform intellectual contortions so that they can prove they are in tune with the times.

Quran: 

Homosexuality is not allowed in Islam. There are various verses in Quran where Allah clearly says about Homosexuality.

“We also (sent) Lut: he said to his people: “Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? “For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds.” – Holy Quran 7:80-81

“Of all the creatures in the world will ye approach males”. “And leave those whom Allah has created for you to be your mates? Nay ye are a people transgressing (all limits)!” – Holy Quran 26:165-166

The end result for not giving up homosexuality was the destruction of entire cities

“When Our decree issued We turned (the cities) upside down and rained down on them brimstones hard as baked clay spread layer on layer Marked as from thy Lord: nor are they ever far from those who do wrong!”- Holy Quran 11:82-83

Further reading & sources:

Short: http://kaheel7.com/eng/index.php/unseen-miracles/410-scientific-signs-in-the-story-of-prophet-qlutq

Detailed: http://harunyahya.com/en/Books/3038/the-prophet-abraham-(pbuh)-and/chapter/3514

wikiislam.net/wiki/Islam_and_Homosexuality

India Pakistan war hysteria


AMART177.pvw-India_Pk

I don’t like the way media terms India as enemy (‘dushman’) and Pakistan likewise (by the Indian media).  Let’s find where did this enmity started and who wants to keep it that way.

Origin: 

If I try to simplify the history, the enmity began with the struggle for freedom in Hindustan, by Muslims and Hindus separately. Many incidents of fighting among the passionate freedom movements happened, which eventually resulted in large scale communal riots and killings (mostly because of misunderstanding and emotional sentiments). During partition, it was further aggravated by a large scale injustice in the division of land and resources among the two countries, while India and Pakistan were created. Many Muslims were left behind in India, while many Hindus got stuck in Pakistan.  Both countries accepted to such division eventually, except Kashmir, which remained disputed. That was later followed by full-scale wars till 2-3 decades to follow. Kashmir became the catalyst to keep the war hysteria active till today.

Current State: 

You’d ask:

If we had to fight on like this, why was the need in the first place, to make India and Pakistan as separate countries?

The idea to have a separate country, was coined under the aegis of two-nation theory, because Hindus and Muslims have different faiths and lifestyles and it was not easy for ordinary Muslim and hindu residents of Hindustan, to live together while practicing their faith with freedom. But this enmity which has followed after 60 years of separation of borders, does not make any sense.

Psychological Reasons:

Both of the countries’ leaders made it as their ego and into a national pride, to compete with each other in almost every front. With the advent of cold-war era, our fighting also transformed into secret battles and conspiracies against each other. Take an example of Kashmir issue. None of us, dared to solve it, as it could mean compromising on national pride, if somehow one forgo something to the other country. Nobody cares about the people’s plight against the oppression, in Kashmir. We fight just like kids, as we do tit-for-tat. One side finds a hearsay that one of their soldier is killed by the enemy at the border, the other side next day kills two of their soldiers and it has continued on, till 60 plus years. Yes, it is as simple as that, if you think about it.

Financial & Geo-Political Reasons:

There are some who directly or indirectly benefit from this hate/fighting between us. Obvious one is the Armed Forces in both countries, they enjoy elitist position in both countries. Of course, there are external parties as well, who are benefiting from this infighting in the sub-continent. US, UK, France, Russia, China and Israel are some of the major contributors of arms sale to India and Pakistan respectively, where our governments spend most of our fortune (hard earned money of the people) on armed forces, which is in billions of dollars. Both India and Pakistan fall within top 15 highest importer of defence equipments in the world.

What! I thought we are the poor nations ? Yes, but Pakistan spends $7 billion (2012) and India $46 billion (2012) in defense yearly. Compare that with their poverty level, where 33% of Indians live under $2 a day, that’s a whopping 363 million (363,000,000) people, while 22% in Pakistan, that’s again 39 million (39, 000, 000) people.

Country

Defense Spending (2012)

People dying of Hunger (Living on $2 a day)

India

$46,000,000,000

363,000,000

Pakistan

$7,000,000,000

39,000,000

Also note what other countries are spending in defense:  US $711 billion, China $143 billion, Russia $71 billion, UK $63 billion and France $62 billion per year (2012). So, it’s not just us, the hysteria is worldwide phenomena as well. Then there are countries with vested geopolitical interest in South Asian region, so they provide aid, equipment or make sanctions etc. to promote their interests.

Solution:

Did we not learn anything from Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), who forgave the person who has killed Hamzah (RA), who was his beloved uncle. After killing him, she opened his chest and torn his liver and heart into pieces, but when she came to Muhammad (pbuh) to embrace Islam, he did not say anything but forgave her.

Did we forget how he forgave people, to end centuries old blood feuds and animosity.

Both of our religions (Islam and Hinduism) does not have any provision to kill the people of other faith. So, all this hate, fighting, murders and conspiracies are against the teachings of our respective religions. We are not supposed to have a malign thought about others in our mind. We are not supposed to harm anyone, hurt their feelings. There’s no concept of nationalism or countries in Islam or pride for that matter, is highly discouraged. There’s only one nation as Muslim ummah and one identify as Muslim.

Because of our ignorance about all these teachings, it’s so easy for us, to fall prey to the external forces, who fuel us to hate each other for the slightest misunderstanding. Remember the recent incidents at our borders and how the media and thus the people got enraged against each other. Such language and hate would only strengthened the need for defence on both sides of the border. India is far more bigger and mightier in scale and they are much more smart in many respects than Pakistan, but when it comes to this fighting, it’s no different than Pakistan or Pakistan’s government and its leaders. The world is laughing at us, when in this age, we fight for trivial reasons.

Conclusion:

Both are wasting their energies in hate in futile – destruction. Time to accept our differences and our realities. There is no point in fighting, well, that’s not a rocket science. Any one side can be smart and take the precedence in making a goodwill gesture and forgive all previous acts of other (no matter if proven or not) and embrace with clear heart. It’s time to move on cordially.

Sources:

http://www.artizans.com/images/previews/AMART177.pvw.jpg

Quota System And the Law & Order woes in Karachi


Quota System:

Last year(2012), I read government has extended Quota system in Sindh for 20 more years, which was prevalent for the past 40 years, while there is no such quota system in Punjab or may be other provinces of Pakistan. Someone said that, we have to thank ZA Bhutto who brought this to the nation, pretty much divided the country. The quota system introduced in the 1973 Constitution to ensure that all areas of Pakistan were represented in government service was declared repugnant to Islamic injunctions by the Federal Shariat Court in 1992. However, this law still exists because the federal government and two provincial governments filed appeals against the Shariat Court decision. These appeals remain pending with the Appellate Bench. Quota system for the time being is ok for a greater education access, for the underprivileged, but not for any other case eg hiring/jobs, as it becomes discrimination, which you know is prohibited in Islam, may it be on the basis of race, color, family, land, or ethnicity. You cannot favor one over the other.

Example of Civil Services: 

According to the current recruitment policy listed at the Central Superior Service of Pakistan website, only 10% of posts are reserved for merit. FPSC (Federal Public Services Commission) allocates jobs in civil services institutions (every govt. organization, eg WAPDA, EOBI, Steel Mills, Railways, FBR, Excise & Taxation, Water board, Finance, SBP, including Sindh Police, etc) on the basis of merit and provincial or regional quotas. As per their rule, they are:

Merit                                                                                                 (only 7.5 %)

Punjab (including the Islamabad Capital Area)                   (50%),
Sindh (rural)                                                                                       (11.4%),
Sindh (urban)                                                                                     (7.6%),
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa                                                                     (11.5%),
Balochistan                                                                                          (6%),
Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA                                                              (4%)
Azad Jammu and Kashmir                                                             (2%).

Police Strength in Pakistan – Comparison:

Now, ponder on further facts:

1. There’s no concept of bribery in Islamabad Traffic police.
2. There is no concept of mobile phones snatching in Lahore city, even during late hours.

Why they say that you cannot bribe almost any policeman of Islamabad Traffic police, while it is a everyday business to bribe Karachi Traffic Police and get away with the fine? Have Islamabad police recruited British policemen? How come they are educated, have moral values and are paid well ? Why can’t that be done in Karachi ?

Someone said, Quota System is only in Sindh because there was a wider divide between Urban and Rural Sindh population of Sindh. So, I did some more research and found following (from Pakistan Bureau of Statistics 1998 survey):

Proportion of Population:
Sindh urban 48%               Sindh Rural 51%
Punjab urban 31%            Punjab Rural 68%
http://www.pbs.gov.pk/content/area-population-density-and-urbanrural-proportion

So, this is certainly not the case as you can see there is a greater divide in Punjab than Sindh. I did more research and found:

Sindh Police vs Punjab Police:

Punjab Police: 180,000
Serving Population: 81 million
Police:Citizen Ratio 1:444

Sindh Police: 105,000
Serving Population: 46 million
Police:Citizen Ratio 1:438

So, they’re equal in size, but how about Karachi vs. Lahore. I could only find estimates from Dawn report (2008):

Karachi Police vs. Lahore Police:

Lahore Police: 30,946 for a population of ~9 million.
Ratio: 1: 287

Karachi Police: 34,155 for a population of ~16 million.
Ratio: 1: 571

Here we have a stark difference, almost half the ratio of police vs citizens in Karachi vs Lahore. Then they say in Lahore, there’s no concept of mobile theft in Lahore and no fear of staying late in the streets at night. Why wouldn’t there be. Also note, roughly 7000 personnel are deployed on VIP security, so this ratio would further deteriorate in Sindh.

Now compare that with other cities of the world:

London police:         1: 155 (Police considered best in the world)
Dehli police:             1: 241
Mumbai police:       1: 357 (most suitable match for Karachi)
Lahore police:          1 : 287
Karachi police:         1: 571

If I compute with actual population of Karachi, ie 30+ million and minus the fact, that personnel deployed on VIP security, the ratio would be worse then 1:1000.

Other Reasons of Sindh Police failure: 

When Karachi police strength is so low, most of them would feel overpowered by the criminals, so they might not even try to perform their duties. While their salaries are said to be very low, that makes another excuse for them to avoid duty and earn through bribes, to make both ends meet. The reputation of Sindh Police(Karachi) is so bad, it’s  synonymous to criminals. Most of the time, they are involved in the crime, eg residential robberies, mobile snatching (they’ve a cut, most of the time). Nobody hopes anymore that their stuff could ever be recovered through police. Many don’t even want to report the incident, as they fear further harassment by police, in terms of bribe for recovery. However, when there’s a will to investigate, they know very well about each and every incident (who committed, what, where and when). They don’t act because of various factors, eg low salary,  lack of skills and lack of proper weapons, lack of knowledge of the society and their customs, lack of education, as most of them are hired on the basis of quota system, in disregard of merit.

Also note , thanks to quota system, all of our provinces represent their respective races and the largest political parties represent their respective race. With that in practice, another element of corruption is political influence in the police.

Who comes into power (authority over Sindh Police), tends to exploit it to the fullest, supporting their party and targeting their opponent party or parties.

When the political party is not representative of the city resident, then injustice results into widespread hate against the police.

VIP Deputation:

As if their strength is already not low, around 7000 of the meager 34000 police force are deputed on VIP security and 3000 on investigation. While the rest of 15000 are deployed in 109 police stations to cover 3500 square km area of Karachi, out of which 19 stations run without any personnel.

So, that equates to roughly one police stations per 32 square km area. This VIP protocol culture is equally common in Lahore and other cities, where it eats up major portion of the police budget.

Rangers in the city: 

When we talk about L&O, we can’t omit the presence of Rangers in the Karachi. Well, that is a military force, trained fundamentally to fight with the enemy and deployed on the borders. This means, it certainly has no place in the city, controlling civics amenities. Because, they lack the education and skills for it. The city was shocked to know about this fact, when a video was leaked through a TV channel, showing the cold-blood, merciless and extra-judicial killing of a civilian at the hands of Rangers at Benazir Bhutto park in Clifton. They’re trained to combat against armed adversary, they lack civic skills.

If there was a lack of personnel in Police, ideal would be to inducted more in Police, increase its funding. If there’s a lack of equipment and advanced armors, Police should have been provided funds and such resources and trainings, instead of bringing in Rangers.

Since the city is the cash capital of the country, everyone can be accommodated and everyone gets their living, and so are Rangers, which is causing Karachi ‘s exchequer Rs. 1.4 billion every year(2012), while enjoying permanent residence in many areas, encroachments and occupation of land,  to water-tanker business, marriage halls and so on. It simply does not make any sense to have army(Rangers) of 18000 personnel deployed permanently in cities. Out of 24000 Rangers assigned for Sindh, which should be protecting our borders, 18000 are stationed inside the cities.

From jurisdiction point of view, I wonder how would two law enforcers (Police & Rangers) operate in one city. It’s like having two managers of one employee. That is evident from various reports, which says there is hardly any coordination between the two forces. How could that be, when one is given direction from Armed forces (HQ Corps commander), while other from Provincial Interior Ministry.  In fact, there are so many other secret agencies working in the city, with over-riding powers. So, effectively, with so many law enforcers, you’re not even sure if any incident is committed by a criminal or secret services, thus nobody can be held accountable and instead blame each others, while the criminals gets a free ride and the general public suffers, very common story of karachiites.

Here’s an update post on L&O in Karachi, special in reference to current Rangers’ operation.

Solution: 

Karachi is booming in every respect, specially in terms of economic growth. Almost everyone finds it’s fortune in the city, from hungry beggars to shopkeepers to billionaire industrialists or the vast hardworking educated middle-class. The biggest issue of Karachi is Law and Order. L&O is the responsibility of Police. That is not a rocket science. Some suggested, making Karachi as a separate province. Not sure, if making more provinces would solve the woes of the city. There just has to be a genuine “will”, if that is missing, there can never be peace. When there was a will to progress the city (in Musharraf’s era), both federal & provincial government and all of governmental institutions (like Police) worked in unison for the peace and progress of Karachi, things changed in the city never seen before in the history of Karachi (evident in graph below). And we have experienced it first hand ourselves, with booming business. I never saw in my lifetime, Pakistanis returning to Pakistan, to Karachi, in Musharraf era.

1239004_10200566472739482_1488949289_n

So, it’s quite evident, where there is a will, setting peace in Karachi is not a big deal. It is commonly known,  that Karachi Police is not empowered (conflicts with Rangers), politicized, uneducated, lacks civic sense and most of their employees does not belong from the city – thanks to Quota system, thus having reduced tendency for lack of responsibility to serve their hometown. If we need peace and prosperity in Karachi, we have to revive Police, bring in resources on merit and remove all inefficient employees. I am not expert in Police or Law Enforcement, so I can’t say what measures within Police needs to be taken to improve it, but the obvious first step is to increase its strength (personnel, stations, arms) according to the international standard ration and the population of the city.

Eg Karachi Police force should be increased to 80,000 to cater for the current population of 24 million, if we go with the ratio of Lahore.  Else, 150,000 if we go with London’s standard.

Empower Karachi Police with autonomous power to deal with the crime. Karachi Police should fall under the control of local government or its equivalent (people’s representation), instead of Provincial Ministry or Armed Forces or Federal Ministry. Hiring should be made on 90% merit and 10% quota and obviously not the other way round. Independent justice system complements effective police system, one without the other, also cannot work. Virtually, all of the problems of Pakistan can be understood and solved by a 10 year old. It’s the disinformation or unaware population, that helps the leaders at the helm of power to exploit the rules with such impunity. I’ll reiterate, there just has to be a will, to bring prosperity in Karachi.

I have researched all these facts from various sources, and found very little facts and figures that I used above, as you might know, Karachi specific stats are hard to come by, specially when government is committing such misadventure. I wrote another blog on Quota System in general, some time ago, which you can read here: https://learnsharehelp.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/2013-still-quota-system/

Sources & Further Readings:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_10-10-2004_pg7_26

http://archives.dawn.com/archives/125808

http://tribune.com.pk/story/590798/overspending-sindh-pays-out-of-its-own-pockets-to-keep-the-rangers-in-town/

Sex Education for the Kids – Pakistani perspective


Syllabus upgrade: Sexual health rights to be incorporated in curriculum

http://tribune.com.pk/story/594336/syllabus-upgrade-sexual-health-rights-to-be-incorporated-in-curriculum/

Disclaimer: This blog post is meant for adults (18+)

After reading above article on Express Tribune, here’s my view on the topic.

I tend to nip the evil in the bud. I usually don’t recommend half-hearted solution or don’t believe in temporary solution. If there has already been an incident of sex, there’s no way to redress it. We see all such absurdities in developed (liberal) societies, being open about sex, which is beyond our remotest imagination, that I can’t even mention here. Naturally, they don’t have any solution for it, unless they abstain from the practice of open-relationship. They talk about abortion for the very reason, thinking it would undo the damage, however, that tantamounts to even bigger crime of killing a human life. You know, in US, 10% of fetuses are aborted after 4 months of development. 50% of pregnancies are unintended. 1.2 million abortion took place in 2008. It’s so complicated for them now. Thanks God, we haven’t fully copied their lifestyle, although, our society is well on track of copying it.

My arguments against sex education to kids:

1. Let the kids remain kids, not push them into adulthood before age. The sooner they learn about anything, the sooner they try to experiment it. At that tender age, we can’t expect them to demonstrate control and understanding that we have. We simply need to tell the kids, not to be alone with the opposite sex or in fact anyone, not to show their private parts to anyone, instead of teaching them how reproduction system works and what good and harmful effect it would have morally. Let them enjoy being children. Yes indeed, when they are getting married, we should tell them about it and not when they’re 13. Humans are curious by nature, children foremost. If you’ve been a child, you know well, you want to try out everything, that you get to know.

Reproductive health education and services, especially sex and family planning education for young ... / Credits: Reuters

Do you know, how many lost their innocence after this session ?

2. If naively, we’ve exposed kids to such information, through Bollywood or Hollywood, the parents will have to bear its aftermath.

Some stats:
* There are 24, 000,000 porn website on the internet
* Pornography industry is estimated to be $60 Billion per year
* 2.5 billion emails per day are pornographic
* 11 year old is the average age of children watching porn.
* 70% of men aged 18-24 visit port sites.

Further, that’s obviously not an excuse, to tell them the whole story in detail. You cannot just exempt yourselves, saying I am helpless, and I can’t protect children, from learning things from society (TV, books or internet) which they shouldn’t. There are smart parents, who still control all such mediums. If you child get to know about sex from anywhere, that does not mean, he’s very smart and can handle it in the right manner. He’s still immature.

3. Such initiatives are usually foreign funded (through NGOs) with vested interested, just like this news. And those NGOs do what their donor agencies funds them to do. There are thousands of similar NGO’s working for birth control, abortion awareness, while such things are clearly prohibited in our culture. Our government is usually not qualified to understand, let alone know their motives. For sex education, western societies are mainly concerned about ‘Safe Sex‘, while we don’t have any place for sex in the first place. So, we have to be extra-careful about such initiatives and compel the Government to have stern scrutiny on such NGOs, so that their interest is not against our needs, values, culture and lifestyle. Acc. to this news, they plan to teach maternal health, AIDS, reproductive health, puberty, in fact virtually everything, to the 13 year old. Some would reach puberty at this age, some would not. These NGO’s are funded to campaign SRHR (Sexual and reproductive health and rights). I remember, some year back, one such NGO (promoting SRHR), were helping the sex-workers (how politely they coined that word, I remember), saving them from HIV/AIDS disease and providing abortion/contraceptive etc. Yes, in Pakistan, not US. So, right, we don’t need NGO’s to rehabilitate and support financially, these poor souls (girls), but we need NGO’s to soothe them, so that they continue to sell their body to earn living (which is illegal as per our constitution, culture and most importantly religion).

Remember this movie? They’re mainly concerned about Safe Sex, otherwise, see, they encourage sex (without marriage).

4. It spreads indecency, that’s not part of our culture or religious teachings. First, it makes it easy to discuss, then they do such things, as they develop the feeling that I can talk about it, parents will forgive us, if I do it by mistake. The more indecent you become, the less taboo such act gets and the less you fear about doing such things. It is a normal psyche, as long as you know snakes are dangerous that could attack you and their venom attack can kill you, you stay away from it. Once, someone starts to play with snakes and gets you involved with it, touching it, you tend to loose fear. Same analogy.  So, awareness should be made, but not in public, specially not co-ed and according to age and child’s physiological needs.

5. No wonder, Islam terms perpetrating extra-marital sex as a crime, awarding public exemplary punishment, because God knows, its implication, which is beyond the control of human being, which in turn destroys societies.

6. Has Sex education helped the developed world ? See some stats:

Of the women obtaining abortions in 2000:
* 57% had some college education;
* 88% were from metropolitan areas;

I am sure all these teenagers and children from cities, are well aware of sex and sexual implications, then why do 60% needs abortion ?

Solution:

We must make an environment, where there is less opportunity for individuals to have open-relationship, so that such incident are avoided in the first place. Here some more facts:

* 38% of rapist are a friend or acquaintance.
* Every 2 minutes someone in America is sexually assaulted.
* About 72% of eighth and ninth graders are “dating”.
* One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.

Cartoon: sex education think of next (medium) by rmay tagged education,think,of,next

So, we should nip the evil in the bud (abstinence), instead of making ways to redress the situation afterwards, with abortion or sex education, birth control, etc. Redressing it afterwards could be kept for exceptional cases like 0.01%, not for 99% of the population should be taught about it, so it becomes easy for everyone to commit sex and get redressal, through accommodating society (hospital, parents, teachers, etc.).  While researching on this topic, I learned, NGO’s want to teach the kids that, sex between two women carries less HIV transmission risk than sex between two men. Why on earth would you want to teach this to your kids, except so that they know, there’s something like women to women sex. My goodness!

Sex related information needs to be provided to the individuals, but the content, environment, age and physiological needs of the child, should be very well taken into account. Not unlike what the western societies start of with kids aged 5 or 7 and in public groups, showing animated videos of reproduction. We do need to teach them about the anatomy and physiology of the human-body, about the act of sex and family life, about prevention of sexually-transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy. They should be aware of the social, moral and religious ethics, how to avoid peer pressure, sexual growth and development, time table for puberty, physical changes during puberty, development of fetus and birth, needs of family life, reproductive system, for girls- organ, menstruation, premenstrual syndrome, for boys- the organ, the sex drive, fornication, adultery and punishments for them, and marriage, divorce, cleanliness etc. But all of that in a prescribed manner, conducive to our values. So, that’s why I have apprehension on these NGO’s, if they would tailor their funded campaigns according to OUR values or just bribe the govt. and complete the job as per the donor agencies mandate.

The fundamental reason for such rampant abuse, is the growth of liberal views towards open-relationships and exposure of sexual content to children, in movies, TV shows, books/magazines, internet and other mediums. We got to protect our children, which is our future and our obligation to the nature, to raise them properly.

Hear what scholars have to say about it:

Like most of our problems today, the solution can’t be as simple as I mentioned above, since there are many other factors involved.

Implications of free sexual relationship:
1. Lack of interest in marriages
2. Higher divorce rate
3. Early age pregnancy, birth
4. Identity of new born babies
5. Sex becomes trade
6. Girls end-up in such trade due to poverty and social acceptance.
7. Sexually transmitted diseases, eg AIDS

That’s my opinion on the topic, you’re welcome to share yours.

Another good read is:  How to cope with amoral ‘sex education’

http://en.harakahdaily.net/index.php/articles/edu-spective/1728-how-to-cope-with-amoral-sex-education.html

Further reading and sources:

http://www.academia.edu/453374/Sex_Education_An_Islamic_View

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Fedo3Zuwss

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWm51uxhRfg

Zakat Al Fitr – Charity, so poor could celebrate Eid


handful of barley Definition:

Zakaah al-Fitr is often referred to as Sadaqah al-Fitr. Sadaqah al-Fitr is a duty which is Waajib on every Muslim, whether male or female, minor or adult as long as he/she has the means to do so.

Purpose: 

The main purpose of Zakaah al-Fitr is to provide those who fasted with the means of making up for their errors during the month of fasting. Zakaah al-Fitr also provides the poor with a means with which they can celebrate the festival of breaking the fast (`Eid al-Fitr) along with the rest of the Muslims.

“The Prophet (pbuh) made Zakaah al-Fitr compulsory so that those who fasted may be purified of their idle deeds and shameful talk (committed during Ramadaan) and so that the poor may be fed. Whoever gives it before Salaah will have it accepted as Zakaah, while he who gives it after the Salaah has given Sadaqah.”
[Abu Dawood – vol. 2, p. 421, no. 1605 – rated Saheeh]

When Due:

Zakaah al-Fitr is only Waajib (obligatory) for a particular period of time. If one misses the time period without a good reason, he has sinned and can not make it up. This form of charity becomes obligatory from sunset on the last day of fasting and remains obligatory until the beginning of Salaah al-‘Eed’ (i.e. shortly after sunrise on the following day). However, it can be paid couple of days prior to the `Eid’.

Rate:

The amount of Zakaah is the same for everyone regardless of their different income brackets. The minimum amount is one Saa` (two handfuls ) of food, grain or dried fruit for each member of the family. Typically calculated as 2kg of barley, which is equivalent to Rs. 100 per person (in Pakistan, for 2015). It’s also said that if you can afford, you can give Rs.1280 (as per dates value in 2014) per person or more, but Rs. 100 will fulfill your obligation.

Who you can give to:

Who so ever is eligible to take Zakat, can take Fitr (commonly known as Fitra in Pakistan) as well. I wrote another post on Zakat.

Here’s the list again:

  1. the poor
  2. the needy,
  3. collectors of Zakah,
  4. reconciliation of hearts,
  5. freeing captives / slaves(fee al-Riqab),
  6. debtors
  7. in the Way of Allah / Islamic causes (fee sabeel illah)
  8. the traveler.

Source:

http://en.islamway.net/article/12171

Hate > Divide > Fight > Enslave > Rule – Simple ?


Hatred leads to Division, which leads to Fighting, that makes you weaker, which leads to your Enslavement and then finally, you are Ruled. This is a fairly simple strategy, known as “Divide & Rule” (said to be used by Philip II, King of Macedon (back in 382-336 BC), but I guess it is part of human nature, that humans fall for it rather easily. As the conspirators started to use the strategy, some 1000 years ago, and unfortunately, it still works in the 21st century. It’s human nature, that people tend to get emotional and angry with the differing views. Everyone wants to convince others, he/she is right. I think, the biggest challenge we face today, is the authenticity of information (thanks to – Disinformation). That is the root cause of all the arguments, fights and wars. Every party believes in the opposite, to be true. But the problem arises, when everyone tries to convince its version to others and specially use force later on. If we accept the fact that it is fairly difficult to get to the absolute truth, even if you do, others might not necessarily believe you, so why can’t you live together peacefully while still having different opinions ? Instead of arguing and fighting ?

divide and rule

Never underestimate the power of hate and divide & conquer conspirators. It specially works when people are ignorant about their fundamentals and go with the flow. Read the history – Jews vs Christians, vs Muslims, Israeli vs. Palestinians, Democrats vs. Republicans, South vs. North Korea, East vs. West Germany, Shia vs. Sunni, white vs. black, Arab vs. Non-arabs, India vs. Pakistan and so on. If you read history, you know very well, what was the outcome of that division and hate. And many of these divisions exists today, which makes me wonder, we still fall for it naively. We are same human being, created by the same God (we call by different names). It is very simple, as long as you know, you are hating, you are at a loss.

If I apply it to Pakistan, Establishment couldn’t misuse ruling powers, if the nation (us) live together in peace (without hate). I won’t name here, but there are so many examples, like TV hosts, Singers, Politicians, Cricket players, sects, being hated so ruthlessly, that actually compelled me to write this blog post. We were taught to follow the straight path, as prescribed by Quran and Hadith, but instead of reading that, we make difference out of our free will, judgement and desires and end up being stupidly enslaved eventually, at the hands of few people on earth. It has become almost popular culture to hate certain people here. Indeed one stark difference, between West and us, we fall rather easily for hate. Let’s try to hate less, as a starter, shall we…

love hate

Love and hate has complete different directions. Lets stop hate and start loving people. Even if you think, someone is bad, let’s stop hating them, instead love their good characteristics and instead appreciate good people more. Find common terms among yourself and ignore the differences. Rest assured, you will see the change yourself, where you will have peace and unity and nobody would be able to fool you around or subdue you, when you are one and stand for each other.

Love more and hate less!

But Why Do Punjabi Women Fall For The “Karachiite-type” Men?


🙂

chaaidaani

The idea of Urdu-speaking larkaas falling for Punjabi mutyaars caught on like fire! We all saw much of ourselves in that earlier blog. So many of us related to it. As did I, because of my half-Punjabi streak (the other half is Sindhi, but that part will need another blog;)).

What makes perfect sense is that if in the 6th most populous nation in the world, Pakistan that is, a HUGE number of Karachiite-type men are falling for and are with Punjabi women, a complimenting number of Punjabi women have also statistically fallen for, and agreed to be with, and “LIKE” (more than in the FB “like” kind of liking) the Urdu-speaking variety of guys.

So what’s so special about the Karachiite-type dudes? Why do many Punjabi girls choose them over the bhangra-ofying, equally colourful, jazbaati, food-loving, mostly good looking, from the same gene pool, khulla dulla Punjoo guys?

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