Monday, December 19, 2016

ATR and Kala Bakra

Blood on the Tarmac

There is so much wrong with this picture on so many levels. But before anyone starts accusing me of displaying ignorance and pandering to ‘western sensibilities.’ Let me as assure you that in my family, sacrificing a bakra is the go-to option whenever the family is experiencing a crisis or anticipates one. The usual form of anticipation is a member of the family – usually an elder having a bad dream. I am all for it and would not want to be questioning the practice though at times I do have my doubts.

But this is not about you or me. This is about the national airline. An airline, which in the recent past has had an atrocious record. They could have enacted this sacrifice in the background, but no like everything else in this country everything must be showed off. Having a live animal being bled on the tarmac right next to the aircraft is wrong on so many levels. Forget about western sensibilities, I for one would not want to be getting on that plane. That image would haunt me.

What would worry me the most is the mindset behind the management taking this action in front of the cameras. It is not only absurd but continues the tradition of making us look like fools.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Musharraf’s ordeal

Musharraf is in the news again. The once fearsome SSG general who toppled the takht of Lahore and shooed away the so called Lion of Punjab into exile is struggling to gain some political traction. Just how low can his fortunes have fallen can be deduced from the fact that he is hiding away like a coward in AIFC, trying to dodge the judicial proceedings against him. If there is anyone responsible for his downfall, it is the man himself.

I always thought that Musharraf had too much arrogance in him. Yes, arr
ogance and not swagger - these are two different things. Recall his naked threat to Bugti? Or his cruel indifference and barely concealed warning to BB about him holding the reins of her security? Not to forget his strategic fiasco called Kargil, which almost lead to a full blown war between Nuclear powers. In the end, the country paid the price for his poor judgments. The litany of his blunders makes for a somber reading.
Musharraf’s crimes are many. Top of the list is his sheer incompetence. It makes one shudder that this is the type of Generalship that runs the world's fifth biggest nuclear powered military? From the Kargil disaster to the loss of territory to Taliban and, from his double dealings in Afghanistan to his delayed action on Laal Masjid, Musharraf has left an indelible mark of sheer incompetence in his wake. This is the man who was at the top of his game prior to the summer of 2007. He held all the cards yet barely a year later he was out of office and his chief nemesis were running the country and calling the shots. If there ever is a book: How Not to Run a Country for Dummies, then Musharraf would star in it with his many follies.

The problem with Musharraf was exactly what had inflicted his Khaki predecessors; they all wanted to feel legitimized. May be Pakistan should have gotten a true dictator or a democrat. Every dictator which comes to rule this country ends up trying to be a democrat. May be it is because we as a diverse nation are too temperamental in nature to bear a fearsome dictator like some other countries.

Musharraf had a chance to make history especially after the golden opportunity which was served up post 9/11. He could have shelved the Jihadi legacy of Zia and sorted his generals out to ditch the bankrupt strategic depth doctrine and solidify a strategic partnership with the Americans for economic development. Instead, he went on to play double games. Running with the hare and hunting with the hound can get you only so far. As the world watched, Pakistan’s Talibanisation began with a blood fest. First the FATA tribal areas fell followed by the formation of the fearsome TTP that went on to capture and rule Swat – inside Pakistan proper. The mere fact that the cancerous spread of Taliban and the Jihadi ideology may blowback never stirred the imagination of our strategic geniuses in Rawalpindi. During all this Musharraf continued to believe his own rhetoric and the ultimate lie which he made into a slogan – Pakistan first. It was anything but Pakistan first. His experiment with sham democracy is another miserable tale. 

Musharraf left in his wake a country in a near civil war. The Baloch insurgency, the most potent in years due to his making a martyr out of Bugti and ceding the control of North West Pakistan to Taliban are some of the highlights of his misrule. There are many others such as covering up the whole Abdul Qadir Khan nuclear fiasco. This is his legacy yet he still has the gall to blame the politicians. Today Musharraf is nothing but an old man: still living in the fantasy of his imagined importance. He continues to rely on the army as pressure on him to be tried piles up. At most he is nothing but an embarrassment for the all-powerful army.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Jinnah biography by Jaswant Singh

I have just started reading Jaswant Singh's Jinnah biography - Jinnah India Partition Independence. The book caused a fair amount of controversy when it was published, especially in Indian. Jaswant Singh who was the Foreign Minister in the Vajpayee Government was expelled from the BJP (Right-wing Hindu nationalist party) for his positive portrayal of Jinnah and blaming Congress Party and Nehru in particular for the partition of the subcontinent.

The books is written in a scholarly style and can be a little drag if you are not used to such heavy reading. I will blog about the book as I read it, since I think it gives a great view point into the genesis for the idea of Pakistan. Never mind the fact that the present state of Pakistan is not the one that Jinnah had dreamed about.

The author initially traces the history of Islam in India. He makes no bones about the fact that Islam came to the subcontinent with the sword, but is quick to point out that Muslim civilizations have been not any different to any other invading civilizations.

I will write more about the book as I continue reading it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Coup Rumors

Coup rumors have been flying around in Islamabad today since the evening. It began after the news came out that the President is going to Dubai for extensive medical treatment. I think there is more to all this than meets the eye. One theory is that he has cut a deal and is easing his way out. The other is that he is being forced to resign. Whatever one might say about Zardari, one thing is for sure. Mr. Ten percent does not give up easily. If he is being forced to resign then the GHQ might have something very strong on him. This will not be good either for Pakistan or for democracy. Let's wait and see.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Gang -

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words!

Monday, November 28, 2011

NATO Stike on Pakistan Army

Islamabad is seething with anger post NATO strike in Pakistan. This is not the first time that a Pakistani Military post has been targetting by the so called allied forces across the border and it won't be the last time either. Let's just be clear about this. This was an attack on Pakistan Army by NATO. All the excuses for the 'misunderstanding' is nothing but Bullshit. Just imagine if the same action had been under taken by the Indian forces!

What the GHQ in RawalPindi and political leadership in Islamabad has to realize is that this mess is entirely of their own making. Western powers are ruthless and brutal in the pusuit of their aims, where ever in the world the action may take place. Pakistan is stuck in this horrible situation due to the distastrous policies of its leaders - read Generals and their flawed 'Strategic depth' concept which has bled the country dry.

In my own humble opinion, this was a deliberate attack on Pakistani forces. It was a warning of future action which may take place inside of Pakistani tribal areas. The readers of my blog will be aware of my progressive views but I am very clear on sovereignty. I think no matter how flawed our country might be, but we are no Iraq or Afghanistan. It must crush the terrorist in its midst and stand up to the bully which is the USA.

Pakistan has numerous options available but it has to act with caution. For now it has closed the NATO supply lines and ordered the Americans to get out of the Shamsee Airbase. But these are short term measures. It has to get rid itself of American dependence and develop genuinely good relations with India. This is the only way that this country can progress. The coming days will be tough for Pakistan as America winds down its disastrous show in Afghanistan. It will be putting its blame on Pakistan and latter will have to suffer more.

Friday, November 25, 2011


I am thinking of restarting the blog. The whole thing requires a level of commitment which at times has eluded me. I don't know if I have it in me to give the hobby its due attention. I am someone who always gives her hundred percent. Half measures do not go with me. I am eager to express myself because we live in such interesting times. This is why I am reaching out to my readers, no matter how limited to get their take on my 'rebooting' of the blog. I am in two minds about under taking such an exercise. The response from you guys may help me make up mind.