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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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

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%.

Talk about change ? – Selecting election candidates


What should we expect from the leaders, who claim to serve us through winning election ?Here is what an educated and aware citizens would expect, from candidates who’re running for elections.

Education:
They should be either graduates from IBA, LUMS, FAST, NED, DMC, or Harvard, SLOAN, Wharton, USC, Cambridge, London, or similar institutions. There are thousands of such individuals in Pakistan, if not millions… Why shouldn’t they be given chance, if they’re interested to serve ?

How about position holders from Karachi University in Political Science, as Prime/Minister ? Or a PhD in comparative religious studies from IIU for FM for Religious Affairs ? Or several hundred philanthropist as education, health ministers ? What about Edhi ?

Publish Profiles:
We want the profiles of candidates published, enlisting their education, achievements and specifically public service engagements throughout their career…  Not to mention, integrity, honesty and vision, are the traits the country needs badly. From the perspective of Pakistan, the candidate should be aware of Islamic laws and practicing muslim, since he/she is supposed to run a 97% muslim majority nation.

What Not to Look For:

Although, communication, debating and personality is important in every aspect of life, but these should not be the sole criteria while choosing the leader. Secondly, we should choose the vision, manifesto (of the party), the party platform, as opposed to choosing the leader alone or voting on the party’s brand value. Look for the substance, and not get carried away by the publicity stunts.

An Aware citizen of Pakistan!

Musharraf’s return: How our naive majority reacts to it ?


He did not amass billions, established 20-30 mills in his name, had a cut in govt. deals, stashed money in foreign banks, instead he grew country to a historic level, reduced IMF reliance, brought back people from abroad(reversed brain-drain for the first time in decades), and instead of settling in a foreign country as a prince, came back again to serve the nation, how foooool!

Sorry to say, but only from such person, I would expect considering coming back. And with no money, and no support of ‘ghundays’ of the local constituencies, he thinks, he stands a chance of getting elected in today’s corrupt political system.. And on top, expecting justice from current judiciary, lol!

We need to understand the difference between growing economy, making media independent, improving telecom facility, bringing the likes of Dr. Ata ur Rehman, cultivating PhD’s in the market versus making caged bus lane across the streets as small as of Lahore(again business, hint: steel), making it one of a kind in the world 🙂 to have a dedicated bus lane.

Our 80% ignorant masses 🙂 would be easily coaxed to settle for the thugs again, if we the educated minority still don’t speak out!

PM’s achievements, if the majority could understand/remember that:

http://presidentmusharraf.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/achievements-of-pervez-musharraf-his-government/