Overt, covert and back to overt fighting?


 

During the World Wars, we used to fight openly and hate and bloodshed. Millions ordinary civilians lost their lives in the battlefields. That got exposed over the decades and everyone realized, only losers are people and not the rulers. Rulers thus lost power to engage people into war. 

That resulted in Cold Wars era, and all fightings became covert. UN, diplomacy, spy agencies, destabilization, psyop, disinformation, false flag attacks, proxy wars, economic warfare, electronic warfare, etc. 

All of that got exposed as well, through time and thanks to the whistleblowers. Rulers started to lose backing of people again, for such covert tactics, for the same objective of fighting. Now, it seems, the establishment is taking the route of overt fighting again, arousing hate and justifying it as a necessary evil, as both overt and covert tactics were exposed in the recent history, going back to overt, since many have forgotten history, and we see people falling for it. The values we learned over the centuries are being brought into debate again: bigotry, racial profiling, intolerance, divide and conquer, world wars on boundaries and nationalism, forced laws, building walls, ethnic cleansing, fighting based on religions, disrespect, fascism, etc. 

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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.

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?

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911: This changed everything?


Staged…

politicalconnection

twin20towers20picsI remember listening to the initial news commentary on September 11, 2001 when the twin towers were first being hit.  I still remember a comment that a news anchor made.  He said that “this changes everything”.  I remember thinking “How does he know?”.  After all, the event just took place, and the Patriot Act wasn’t passed until much later.  The NSA spying wasn’t revealed until later.   I wasn’t the only one who noticed that comment being made and repeated and repeated.  As you will read in the article at this link, others also noticed that subtle implication being uttered by the media machines of those darkened souls who wanted our freedom.  I even spoke out as a national radio announcer around the end of September in 2001, and I stated that the War on Terror’s definition of “terrorist” might include anyone who is willing to die for their…

View original post 836 more words

India Pakistan war hysteria


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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

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!

One year, yet Malala is still in the news headlines – Why ?


Post updated: October 17, 2013

Summary at the end..

I read the transcript of her speech at the UN General Assembly and listened to her interviews and news stories and talks about her upcoming book and looking at all the limelight she’s getting, I am of the view that she is a smart and a courageous girl, with a drive to do something big for the country, like many other Pakistani girls and women. Here I will be presenting the reason, why she’s on the spotlight in the global media. It’s dangerous today, if you only know the MSM version of an event.

What does Investigative Journalists say about it:

Some people think that Pakistani in general think negatively and doubt every news coming out of media. To tell you the truth, we’re living in Dark Ages, we stand less chance of understanding the conspiracies happening around the world and committed on us, then to make one. We only get to understand (the real truth), when western society, specially smart people with conscience, opens up and investigates about the events and share with rest of the world. Pakistanis don’t particularly hate Malala as a person or her noble intention, like every other considerate human around the world, feel sorry for her. Let’s read what others says about this:

Newsweek: “One of the world’s biggest public relations firms, Edelman (whose clients include Microsoft, Starbucks), has a team working on her behalf while politicians, journalists and book publishers are making her into something of a global brand.” So, one of the reasons for her perfectly scripted speeches and interviews, as if coming from a 60 years-old political veteran.

Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad.  She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”.  In her article “Brand Malala”: Western exploitation of a schoolgirl, she says: “Former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, Malala’s avid supporter, fits that description. He is known as a misogynist by his former work colleagues and to human rights campaigners for his refusal to address the plight of widows whose husbands were unlawfully killed by the state see my earlier story” http://activist1.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/malala-becomes-poster-girl-of-western-government-double-standards-on-gender-justice/

She further points out, with regard to the question of another agenda, artist Jonathan Rao who painted the portrait of Malala that hangs in the National Gallery admits to his concerns in the Independent newspaper and states:-

 “I guess I was worried that she was probably a pawn in a bigger game and was being unduly influenced by the people around her.”

Veterans Today: Project Malala’: The CIA’s Socio-Psychological Intelligence Operation – by  Zaki Khalid, is a geopolitics and security analyst. I shared the above article when this Malala incident took place last year. According to this defense journalist also, the poor girl was exploited. That’s the beauty of conspiracies. They never leave it black & white. They used her good intentions as a front, while camouflaging it with highlighting taliban and terrorism seamlessly. Read her speech, taliban or terrorism is all over it. Every news, headline, article, interview, or title has either of the two word. The writer back then, pointed out about the foreign funded mercenaries committing such attacks (and next day claiming responsibility as Taliban), which is in fact a very common practice in Pakistan. So, she just became a pawn, at the hands of this wider agenda of terming taliban as evil and justifying the false war on terror. And now read this: The Staged Malala Yousafzai Story: Neoliberal near-Martyr of the Global Free Market Wars – by Scott Creighton. Reading above and various other similar research, provides lots of proof point about why they think it’s in fact a staged encounter and how the incident cannot be scientifically true, from surviving Kalashnikov multiple gun shots on the face, to multiple news stories about where the bullet hit, to the preparedness of protesters with play-cards in English, right after the attack and so on. From local media, Syed Mohammad Ali wrote on Express Tribune: “If there was anything unsettling about this entire event, it was seeing the UN’s blatant attempt to showcase and parade Malala in the effort to raise its own credibility. Seeing the UN endorsement of Malala’s heroism does seem a bit cringe-worthy given the impotency of the UN in challenging the US invasion of Iraq without a Security Council resolution, or doing much about the ensuing havoc unleashed in Muslim countries around the world since 9/11. Seeing Gordon Brown, the former prime minister of a country with a shameful colonial past, as the Special Envoy for Youth, benevolently praising Malala for her bravery, did not make one feel any better.”

Drones is a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry:

Do you know that Drone is a big business. UK, USA and Israel are the three countries who are leading the development of armed drones and engaged in drone operations in Afghanistan.

  • US plans to spend $2.5 billion in 2014. Living Under Drones report says top commanders (terrorists) account for estimated only 2% of victims.
  • Over the next 10 years, the Pentagon plans to purchase more than 700 medium- and large-size drones at a cost of nearly $40 billion, according to a Congressional Budget Office study.
  • UK has spent £2 billion since 2007 on drones, with further plans to allocate additional £2 billion this year.
  • Israel is said to double US’s drones sale by 2014, currently US is leading in the world.
  • Meanwhile, according to a September US government accountability office report, the number of countries possessing drones rose from 41 in 2005 to 76 in December 2011.
  • Canada and Australia are planning to spend $1bn and $3bn respectively on drones.

What’s the triggering Factor: Imran Khan’s Protest against Drones along with Code Pink:

About three dozen members of the U.S. activist group Code Pink plan to march into Pakistan's restricted tribal region to protest U.S. drone strikes in the rugged territory. Photo: B.K. Bangash, Associated Press

On October 6th, 2012, a party of 30 men and women between the ages of 22 and 80 years old were organized by the American antiwar coalition Code Pink, along with Imran Khan’s political party (PTI) and several other volunteers, launched a rally towards northern Pakistan, that was also attended by other westerners, like Lauren Booth, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s sister-in-law, and Clive Stafford Smith, an American-British lawyer and founder of Reprieve – an international legal aid agency supporting drone victims. Have you read the report that the lawyer (from Reprieve), who’s filing cases for the victims of drone attacks in Pakistan, has blamed american government willfully delaying his visa process. Read from The Guardian: Pakistani drone victims’ lawyer accuses US of blocking his visit to Congress

Code Pink reaching in Islamabad, jointly delivered a petition from more than 3,000 Americans to the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Hoagland, calling for an end to the CIA drone strike policy in Pakistan.  It’s signatories includesAlice Walker, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Wolf, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, Jody Williams, Tom Hayden, Patch Adams, Glenn Greenwald, Juan Cole and other prominent Americans, including former U.S. government officials, calling for an end to the drone strikes. Before the march, Mr Khan told the BBC that he would authorise the shooting down of US drones over his country if he became its head of government.

Result: The rally (‘peace march’) hit the world headlines, albeit reluctantly, but got the world attention through mainstream media:

Salon, NYT, The Washington Post, The Guardian, San Francisco Chronicle, CNN, Al Jazeera, Daily Mail, NBC News, US News, The Independent, The Huffington Post, The Sydney Morning Herald, virtually every news channel jumped to cover the news. 

News stories:

“How is our government any better than the militants we battle?” asks Joan Nicholson, a 78-year-old member of Code Pink.
“One victim asked, ‘I have nothing to do with terrorism; can America explain why they chose me?’”

NYT:
“We kill a lot of innocent people,” said Medea Benjamin, a cofounder of Codepink and part of the delegation in Pakistan. She called the attacks “barbaric assassinations.”

Speaking of the tribal areas, she said, “This is a culture that very much believes in revenge, and then they seek revenge by trying to kill Americans. So we are just perpetuating a cycle of violence and it’s got to stop somewhere, and that’s why we are putting our bodies on the line by trying to go to Waziristan to say no.”

Washington Post: “You hit people with these drones and you create instant enemies,” said JoAnne Lingle, a silver-haired Mennonite from Indianapolis. “It’s supposed to be increasing our national security and it’s doing the opposite.”

The Huffington Post:
“I also delivered a letter from Alice Walker, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Wolf, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, Jody Williams, Tom Hayden, Patch Adams, Glenn Greenwald, Juan Cole and other prominent Americans, including former U.S. government officials, calling for an end to the drone strikes.”

With such stories from people on-site talking to the victims, suddenly generated worldwide uproar, specially in the US public opinion, against the wisdom in drone attacks and the barbaric killing of civilians (unlike what is said to be an extremely precise technology) and ended-up with worldwide outrage against US Government, almost sabotaging the multi-billion dollar drones business (read: precise technology). The Malala incident was said to be staged, to deflect that resentment against drone attacks and changing world opinion, to highlight the threat of Taliban (more so through TTP) to women/children. In fact, changing the game 360 degrees, from world viewing drones as inhuman killing children in Pakistan, to world believing that terrorists threaten children in Pakistan (Malala eg), so drones are inevitable.  TTP is widely considered to be a group of outlaws, many a times funded through foreign secret service agencies, used every now and then for various such covert operations (eg shooting/bombing) and then randomly claiming responsibility (such claims obviously has never be proved and can never be).

Oct 6th, 2012:                      Imran Khan launched rally against drone attacks

Oct 6th, 7th and 8th:       Protest rally against Drones, all over mainstream media (all news report links provided above)

Oct 9th, 2012:                    Malala incident took place (deflecting world view instantly), as that was given even bigger coverage in the media.

Malala incident news spread like a wildfire, since special coverage was given to her, eg Prime Minister, President condoling, COAS (Armed forces General of Pakistan)   visiting her at the hospital, US President Obama, UN’s Kofi Anna sending condolences, later Madonna dedicated her concert to her (not to mention how she publicized it) and then thanks to the professional PR agency services, she’s a worldwide icon now for girls’ right to education. Everyone is jumping the bandwagon, to exploit her fame and many people with good heart, also rallied her cause, out of naivety of the vested interest, rest is history.

Shahnawaz Farooqui (pakistani journalist and commentator) recently compiled this on Malala (in urdu language):

Drone Attack’s Impact on Pakistan:

Drone is considered as a cutting-edge technology, precisely accurate with virtually no collateral damage, while Imran Khan had almost sabotaged it, showing the largest drone operation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as a failure, where majority of women, children and civilians were killed and a success ratio of only 2% high-level targets.

Here’s some stats on drone victims, humans killed from Drones in Pakistan since 2004*:

Total reported killed:              2,548 – 3,549
Civilians:                                   1255 – 2496
Injured:                                     336 – 1226
Women:                                     321 – 447
Children:                                   168 – 197
High-level targets killed:        2%

* figures in humans

Viewer discretion: Reduced the size, so that you don’t start crying right away

Why do the Governments Promote Malala ? 

Like I said before, with Malala, goes the story of Taliban, along with the message that Pakistan Government not doing enough to curb terrorism or is a failed state and needs intervention. While the cover is to exploit the sympathetic public opinion, who wants to support such subjugated women and children in northern Pakistan, as people with good intention are far more than bad, so, you see mainstream support for Malala from around the world. I would agree, if she has got the chance to voice for women’s rights and girls education, it’s better than nothing for pakistani women’s rights. But at what cost ? As much as she is promoted, it carries with her the story of Taliban being a major terrorist threat (if someone didn’t know about Taliban before, they’d know it by now through her popularity). Had it not been this case, either she would have been dead long ago, without even a news line in the last page in a Pakistani paper, let alone a headline on every international news media and a speaking slot in the UN assembly Or she would have remained nobody like many other unrecognized girls and activists in Pakistan. Read here about those activists and heroes, never heard of, because they doesnt’ serve any vested interests of the western world. So, in other words, her story and promotion, alteast gave a breather of 1 year to the (resumption of) drone attacks in Pakistan, and around the world. Had America been sincere to the women’s right in Pakistan, then it would not have silenced (read abducted, tortured, raped and imprisoned extra-judicially in Guantanamo and destroyed the family of) Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a Harvard PhD graduate Neurologist from Pakistan, actually an American Citizen. Her crime, in addition to being extremely intelligent, she developed great command over english and Islam, and started preaching it vociferously. Check out her one such rare video from 1991, where she’s raising voice for women’s right in Islam, in Houston:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnr0AIeKZso

Does anyone in the world know about Edhi, who set up worlds largest ambulance system in Pakistan, all through charity. THEY are our heroes, which the world media, had been completely silent about, so that nobody on earth would know about the goodness of Pakistanis and their philanthropism. If you want to know about Taliban, read from , a british journalist who was captured by Taliban for sneaking into Afghanistan secretly. After being arrested by Taliban, with the treatment she received during her 6 days of captivity and upon release, read Quran later in UK and then she converted to Islam. Feel free to enlighten yourself, let’s not fall prey to media propaganda. There are many videos you can google about her or read her book: “In the Hands of the Taliban: Her Extraordinary Story”

http://yvonneridley.org/analysis-and-opinion/afghanistan-the-reality-on-the-ground

Supporting/Promoting Malala and her cause: 

Terrorism experts have concluded that: Terrorism is a struggle of freedom fighters against tyrant governments suppressing them, anywhere in the world. When you see how US/UK/etc manipulated elections in pakistan (failing people’s popular choice), to bring corrupt as puppets into power, so that they can continue to suppress uninformed slaves, then how could you possibly believe they are sincere about education or women’s education for that matter. Unfortunately, knowing all this, makes it very difficult to support Malala’s cause, because that’ll remain a lip-service by the world powers.

Minus terrorists and Taliban from the incident that is associated with Malala, and she will become nobody in no time, just like Edhi is to the world. 

What Should We Do:

I know, people in Pakistan and around the world are kind-hearted and want to support her on that tragic incident, and her new cause for the women and children, but I am concerned about the western powers and our government, who’re exploiting this incident out of proportions, for their vested interests, viz. Drones business. Fine, I don’t have a clear proof that Malala incident is staged (only have scientific hints), but so is the information that Malala was shot by Taliban, without any proof. So, how come the world is convinced that Malala was attacked by Taliban in 2012 in PAKISTAN, to teach a lesson that girls should not study, and the US is sincerely supporting the poor girls from northern pakistan and Malala’s cause of women education and actually not interested in this multi-billion dollars drone industry, after knowing all the facts, that I mentioned above ? If I support/promote Malala story and her cause, wouldn’t that mean, I am indirectly justifying the need for drone industry and the blood of those innocents pakistanis (men, women and children) will be on my hands, perished by drones every now and then ?

And last but not the least, we are not supposed to highlight (let alone spend multi-million dollars in marketing) such evil acts. Our religion tell us that evil act should not be publicized, but culprits reprimanded and action taken to make sure such incident doesn’t happen again, instead of advertising it to the whole wide world.

What should we do ? Choose wisely, after understanding all these facts, because you’ve the power to THINK and not just believe state conspiracies.

Summary:

 

  • Oct 6th, 2012: Imran Khan launched rally against drone attacks
  • Oct 6th, 7th and 8th: Protest rally against Drones, all over mainstream media (all news report links provided above)
  • Oct 9th, 2012: Malala incident took place (deflecting world view instantly), as that was given even bigger coverage in the media.

In fact, changing the game 360 degrees, from world viewing drones as inhuman killing children in Pakistan, to world believing that terrorists threaten children in Pakistan (Malala eg), so drones are unavoidable.

  • Everyone is jumping the bandwagon, to exploit her fame and many people with good heart, also rallied her cause, out of naivety of the vested interest, rest is history.
  • Drone is considered as a cutting-edge technology, precisely accurate with virtually no collateral damage, while Imran Khan had almost sabotaged it
  • Justifying that Pakistan Government not doing enough to curb terrorism or is a failed state and needs intervention.
  • Unfortunately, knowing all this, makes it very difficult to support Malala’s cause, because that’ll remain a lip-service by the world powers.

Sources & Further readings:

http://hmkyz.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/shame-on-your-dad/

http://activist1.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/brand-malala-western-exploitation-of-a-schoolgirl/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/national-security/rise-of-the-drone-from-calif-garage-to-multibillion-dollar-defense-industry/2011/12/22/gIQACG8UEP_story.html

https://dronewarsuk.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/shelling-out-uk-spending-on-drones.pdf

http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/07/u-s-peace-activists-in-pakistan-decry-drone-strikes/

http://newsweekpakistan.com/the-pr-firm-behind-malala-inc/

Wondering why so much hype about Turkish protest ?


After noticing protest in Turkey all over the news, I began to wonder what’s the actual story behind it. That’s unfortunately how I always feel, thanks to the reputation of MSM, which presents mostly what’s not true.

First, like most of the global readers and observers, I started to develop sympathy for the people of Turkey, who were protesting for saving an old park in Gezi. That was based on what I read and saw stories of suppression at a large scale. I felt sorry for them and became apprehensive of the government of Erdogan and specially the way he was handling the growing resentment of the protesters and their plight against state oppression. But as the people grew in number and the protest prolonged and became a mainstream news everywhere, I began to wonder, is that the only reason?

  • How come so many people from around the country protest to save a park ?
  • Why would people protest in large numbers, against the ban of ads and sale of alcohol during 10pm to 6am, in a 99% muslim country ? Note, alcohol is forbidden in Islam.
  • How come environmentalist are willing to sacrifice their life to protect a heritage park?

So, I wondered there’s lot more than meets the eye through MSM. Then, someone shared an article from Turkish’s local newspaper, which says Erdogan is doing aways with the IMF loans once and for all, and for the first time in Turkey’s history. Then, started to researched more on the net to find what could be the real reason for this new and I came accross many articles and specifically following facts.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Tenure For the Turks:

This is what I compiled from Wikipedia. Read them through and try to connect the dots, to find what’s going on.

  • Since 1961, Turkey has signed 19 IMF loan accords. Erdoğan‘s government satisfied the budgetary and market requirements of the two on his watch and received every loan installment, the only time any government has ever done so.[59] Erdoğan inherited a debt of $23.5 billion to the IMF, which has been reduced to $0.9 billion in 2012. He decided not to sign a new deal. Turkey’s debt to the IMF will be completely paid off in 2013.[60]
  • As a teenager, he sold lemonade and sesame buns (simit) on the streets of Istanbul’s rougher districts to earn extra money.[10]
  • In 2002, the Turkish Central Bank had $26.5 billion in reserves. This amount reached $92.2 billion in 2011. In the same period, inflation fell from 34.9% to 5.7%, the lowest in 39 years.[63]
  • In December 2008 he criticised the I Apologize campaign by Turkish intellectuals to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, saying that “I neither accept nor support this campaign. We did not commit a crime, therefore we do not need to apologize… It will not have any benefit other than stirring up trouble, disturbing our peace and undoing the steps which have been taken.”[29]
  • Erdoğan passed a partial amnesty to reduce penalties faced by many members of the Kurdish guerrilla movement PKK who had surrendered to the government.[27]
  • The water shortage problem was solved with the laying of hundreds of kilometers of new pipelines. The garbage problem was solved with the establishment of state-of-the-art recycling facilities. While Erdoğan was in office, air pollution was reduced through a plan developed to switch to natural gas. He changed the public buses with environmentally friendly buses. The city’s traffic and transportation jams were ameliorated with more than fifty bridges, viaducts, and highways. Erdoğan prohibited the sale of alcohol in city-owned facilities, but later this measure was reversed. While taking precautions to prevent corruption, he took measures to ensure that municipal funds were used prudently. He paid back a major portion of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality‘s two billion dollar debt when he took office and meanwhile invested four billion dollars in the city.[18]
  • Erdoğan passed a partial amnesty to reduce penalties faced by many members of the Kurdish guerrilla movement PKK who had surrendered to the government.[27]
  • Erdoğan tried to attract more foreign investors to Turkey and lifted most of government regulations, with the average GDP growth rate 7.3% during his premiership as he presided over a record 26 quarters of economic growth.[58]
  • Early in his prime ministership, Erdoğan increased the budget of the Ministry of Education from 7.5 billion lira in 2002 to 34 billion lira in 2011, making it the ministry with highest share of the national budget.[66]  Before his prime ministership, the military received the highest share of the national budget.
  • In 2004, textbooks became free of charge and since 2008 every province in Turkey has its own university.[70] During Erdoğan’s prime ministership, the number of universities in Turkey nearly doubled, from 98 in 2002 to 186 as of October 2012.[71]

After looking at these facts, I fail to understand why would the majority protest against him and his government ? Though, it makes a lot of sense, that global powers who try to control every government and try to amass world’s money, would not like Turkey getting self sufficient and Erdogan getting stronger by day, and getting himself re-elected for the third time and planning to establish an islamic system of governance – Khilafah (repeating history, by establishing history’s largest reign of empire). It’s also said that Erdogan has started to take strong actions against military, and foiled several coup attempts against him. And we also remember, when he walked out of the debate during World Economic Forum and the support of palestinians through sending Flotilla ship.

I was able to map similar story, that happened in Pakistan, when Pervez Musharraf was almost about to relieve Pakistan of IMF loans, he was entangled into non-issues, and eventually had to resign and the country never recovered from the position, where he propelled the country to an unimaginable growth.

I also double-checked with Turkish locals on my friend’s list and they also confirmed that the protest does not represent majority and part of it is fueled by the terrorist outfits (like PKK) and majority of people support Erdogan’s policies, who are not showing up in the streets. If I take all other factors aside, which obviously I don’t know, the best solution for Erdogan would be to call up a referendum and get a vote of confidence for himself. 

So, this is what was able to research so far and wanted to share with you all. With the passage of time, it will be evident, what exactly is truth.

Sources:

http://english.sabah.com.tr/economy/2013/05/06/how-did-erdogan-free-turkey-from-the-imf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recep_Tayyip_Erdo%C4%9Fan

Imran Khan’s Politics – Election Results 2013


This is what I always thought about Imran Khan and told everyone:

If Imran Khan is upright, he doesn’t stand a chance to get elected from this system, if however, he’s dishonest, he could win, but that makes no difference for us..

That was one of the dilemma, for me while deciding to vote or not to vote. And one of my apprehension of voting PTI as well.  Check out his politics: He started off as a staunch supporter of dialogue with the Pakistani Taliban. ? He also believes there should be no military operations in FATA (pakistan), branded by Washington as the main hub of Taliban and Al Qaeda militants plotting attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In 2012, PTI held a peace march towards South Waziristan to register a powerful protest against drone attacks in Pakistan, where at least 30 anti-drone activists from the US participated. ? Really ? Objecting the policies of US, who you know have bought virtually every institution in the country ? And that too before getting elected ? Pervaiz Musharraf first agreed to US policies, then circumvented and gradually turn it around to Pakistan’s best interest. Imran Khan first started talking against the popular vote of MQM, then went quiet on the topic. Raising questions against the Army and then doing away with that as well. Finally, he learnt a bit more of Pakistani politics and brought in old political stalwarts. But eventually in the 2013 election again, he couldn’t pick, that pakistanis have been voting on the basis of race since 4-5 decades. He also failed to pick that there’s a strong global (US, UK) and regional (Saudi) influence for keeping their status quo in Pakistan. It would have been shrewd of him, if he had made alliance beforehand with the like minded parties (even if partially) and joined hands in the greater interest of Pakistan and had a plan to minimize rigging in election and come into power, instead of trying for a freehand ride. Clean-sweep, is something hard to come by, in a democracy, specially in a country as divided as ours, with so many ethnicities as well. He learnt a lot in the last 2 elections, but not enough (read: corruption)… When people say he lacks experience, that’s what they actually mean 😉 He should be happy, he wasn’t blown away, neither put behind bars. The all powerful in the country, gave him a free ride.

Another important point to mention here, the educated awam wanted a shortcut (read: revolution) and end of all evils, through him, without any sacrifice or effort to correct the basics first, like education, elimination of feudalism, racism, impatience, injustice, etc. People who did not vote PTI, must have been scared, that how come Imran Khan is going to save them from the feudal lords and the evils of injustice and the thugs of other political parties, when they grew up seeing that threat close by. It’s the same phenomena,  when you ask people to get themselves educated, they reply back, yeah right, as if that gets us job in this corrupt system, where jobs are distributed through quota only or there aren’t any jobs out there for the educated, instead there are many blue color jobs, so why get education. They know well, that people have been changing in every government, but they remained suppressed. So, the point is, people would not trust you, unless, you have a clear-cut plan for short-term solution to their immediate problems like, job, electricity, safety, health, as well as long term solution to overcoming root cause challenges of the country, like feudalism.

It is an irony, that when we are fed-up of our corrupt system, yet we seek to change the government, instead of the system.

I myself got carried away, by my friend’s enthusiasm and belief, and not to mention, Imran Khan’s charisma,  personality (an appeal to the youth), cricketing history, cancer hospital, debating skills and passion and energy to beat the evil without any fear, kind of blinded me of the ground realities. And despite the fact that Pervaiz Musharraf is put behind bars by the current govt and Asif Zardari is at the helm of power, yet I almost believed that we could’ve a free and fair election. Nevertheless, it is a good start though, specially looking at people’s activism and taking part themselves in bringing the change, which resulted in Imran Khan securing third place in terms of electorates, while last time he only managed win one seat. That is a good progress, by any political standards, for someone who’s not a veteran politician and getting such response from the general public, which again is not educated to a large extend. This makes it a great precedent in Pakistani politics, of competing election with honesty and merit and would go a long way, specially as our Youth learn and educate themselves and rise to a majority.

2 or 3 parties or hundreds to choose from while voting ?


It’s too late for that, but nevertheless, I would say it, there shouldn’t be hundreds of parties to choose from, for the individual voters. There should be either two or three max for the citizens to vote. If now everyone gets little bit of seats of their share, they’ll start wrangling and fighting. If there’s no way to avoid so many parties, they should’ve made alliance cordially, beforehand and come up with 2-3 parties to vote for and make the life easy for the voters. Read about Malasian political alliance parties here.

Another reason for alliance before the result is that, before election you join hands based on your compatibility of your respective ideologies, mutual coexistence and the voters know who they’re voting, who’ll eventually make the government. When making alliance after elections, they do it, mainly on vote bank and people go, what! I didn’t vote for him…

It’s very easy to derail a nation, by dividing them into races, ethnicity, color, language and religion. And then you don’t need to do anything else, except watch them destroy each other.

United we stand!

Voting or not to vote ? – Pakistan Election 2013


At a Friday sermon yesterday, I was happy to hear the maulvi sahab, giving guidance on current problems that common pakistanis face today, in relation to the islamic teachings. That was a pleasant surprise, from the usual lecture of islamic history, leaving everyone to understand and relate it to present day situation and find solution themselves, which most of the naive people could not do themselves. He also touched upon election, explaining first that:

voting for someone is equivalent to vouching or testifying a candidate.

That leaves a huge onus on the person voting. Then, he mentioned we should not waste our vote either, by not giving it, which in turn allows an incompetent person to get elected, when the majority of naive people make such choices. But he also emphasized that:

it is an even bigger sin to knowingly vote for an incompetent person.

That again makes it important, to consider twice before making your vote. Further, he said, if you run into a situation, where you cannot find the best candidate of your choice, choose the better among the options available.

yes_vote

The importance of voting is driven by following factor:

  • trust in government;
  • degree of partisanship among the population;
  • interest in politics, and
  • belief in the efficacy of voting.[38]

I, for one, don’t trust the current system of governance, which is predominantly capitalist system, driven by money. Influence of money has brought corruption, jolting the very pillars of democracy viz. media, judiciary, legislative and defence. As these pillars are weakened, this system has collapsed the world over. Failed attempts were made to resuscitate eg in US, by bringing first black president, luring people into believing that institutions have integrity and fairness, where someone from minority can get to the highest power and would bring change. But he also realized soon that he has to succumb to the corrupt system and after one term, people realized that there’s no change and they’re powerless as ever. As per the stats, voter turnout in Pakistan is less than 45% on average for the past 5 decades, while in US 48% on average during 1960-1995. Lack of trust in the government as well as politicians, are identified as the key reasons. No wonder, over the last 40 years, voter turnout has been steadily declining in the established democracies like United States, Western Europe, Japan and Latin America.

Another reason, I don’t trust democracy is because, it’s against Islamic principles, where Islam puts Allah as the sovereign authority, instead of allowing people making ANY law through consensus. Yes, we have Shariah law in place, and the constitution says, it’s supreme, but effectively it’s just a ceremonial law. For example, when there’s a clear-cut prohibition for the use of usury (interest) in Islam, then why is it the rule of business in the country, speaks a lot about the fact that laws are one thing and it’s practice another. I don’t mean to say, everything is un-islamic in Pakistan, rather, we are comparatively fairly non-secular unlike Egypt, UAE, Turkey or Malaysia and we comparatively follow many of the fundamentals of Islam in its true form. Another point to highlight here, we follow islamic ideals without government’s compulsion or force of any kind, unlike Saudi etc. Take for example, we don’t even have Friday as holiday, which is the holiest day in the week, yet more than 90% of people go for friday’s prayers, out of their own free will.

I don’t expect an islamic revolution coming right away, unless we start to educate our masses, about worldly and islamic wisdom out there. Once our educated masses cross 90% mark, like most of the developed nations, then only we as a whole, start to appreciate our own culture, our own values, our own language, heritage, people and learn to be patient, and be able to choose right from wrong and select the competent candidates. Until we overcome the education challenge, we still need to vote the person, who you think helps you getting closer to this objective. What you should look into the candidate, you can read my other post: Talk about change ? – Selecting election candidates. So, I conclude that we should vote the ones who are better among the choices available, instead of not voting at all.

The great thing about Pakistan today, out of 86 million registered voters, 41 million are youth (15-35), which is a significant number, that could drive Election 2013 result in any direction and in fact that’s our only hope for better time and better Pakistan. Our youth today is not only educated, but aware as well, compare to the older lot, with already a literacy rate of above 90%, compared to nation’s mere 58%.