Friday, May 29, 2009

Summer

The summer is here. Its hot and the load shedding is raging on us with full flow. I can go on about how pathetic the governments have been over the years and how the power sector has been neglected but somethings are not just worth even talking about. Good Governance my foot, we can't even have basic necessities of life. 

Work is so and so. I have not received a raise and it will be a year on June 1st. Money is an issue and it makes u feel good even though i may not need the money in financial sense as much as to prove my worth to the work place. I was never the type to enjoy the pleasures of work. The problem with me is that i get bored very easily and i need to be active and mentally involved most of the time. Life at times seem to be a struggle for me, still i am thankful to the almighty for all his blessings. It could always be worse!
  
My focus is to learn the skills and than move on to something better. I work not out of necessity but to prove to myself and others around me that i am not dependent on anybody even if its a token gesture i am sure that it makes the point in the relevant quarters!

Things are better with Husband as well as long as i follow his dictates, he is fine with it. Men are by nature dominating and the kind we have in our country love to treat their wives as their personal properties. It is frustrating but i have learned to get my revenge in other ways. I do get my revenge in other ways by flirting with other men who seem to like my looks more than anything. It is a thrill ride and i enjoy every bit of it. Is it a fair way to pay back? I don't know and i don't care.




Friday, May 22, 2009

Venturing out

This is an update for you guys. My husband who had inherited some property from his father including several acres of   a farm in Southern Punjab, near Bhalwalpur has decided to spend more time over there. I visited the farm this week with him. Despite the heat the place is a world to its own with with its rows and rows of orchard fields. The house is large but needs renovation and husband dear has started the renovation process. The best thing about a place such as this is the quietness and serenity of the place. we would  be coming here often and i would look forward to it.

The family is greatly respected there, the poor peasants who work here depend on the landlords for everything. Despite everything, my husband is kind with the peasants but it is still sad to see such dominance of one person over another. We really need the land reforms. Z A Bhutto had an excellent chance in the 70s to fulfill his pledge but sadly that was another case of miss opportunity but than we were wrong to expect such from a feudal.

Now i am back in the city with the country at war. A war that now really needs to be won.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Calling out to Everyone

I am not good at making pleas so I will spell this one out short and simple.

The mass migration of 1.5 million (and counting) people from Swat, Dir and Bajaur in Pakistan due to the ongoing war between the 'militants' and Pakistan army marks a humanitarian crisis. You can donate a dollar to a few to give hope to those who suffer at the doorstep of an ideological war on terror that has consumed many a households and continues to haunt many of us. The war might not be at your doorstep but those suffering are humans just like you and me and deserve better than sitting out under the sun with little water and food, let alone medical aid or any semblence of accomodation.

Help!

You can donate through the following link.
http://www.unhcr.org/emergency/pakistan/global_landing.html

Thank you.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Zardari in USA - by Mustafa

Afghanistan, Pakistan and USA are inextricably linked as far as their national security is concerned vis-a-vis the threat and plague of terrorism. Karzai's and Zardaari's visit had only one objective. To help President Obama sell to the US Congress and US Citizens why the US Administration is committing so many soldiers as well as resources in that far away part of the world. The latest funding proposals by the Obama Administration, making their way through Congress allocate more $ to Pakistan than to either Iraq or Afghanistan. President Obama's explanation on why is instructive and interesting and I quote "The United States has a stake in the future of these two countries .... we have learned time and again that our security is shared ... we meet today as three sovereign nations joined in a common goal ..... to disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al Qaeda and its extremist allies in Pakistan (he pronounces our country's name nearly perfectly -- the first for any US President) and Afghanistan and to prevent their ability to operate in either of these countries in the future". A more articulate expression of US interests I have not read and I as a US Citizen of Pakistani origin applaud this objective.

One thing that this summit hopefully achieved is to bring Pakistan and Afghanistan together. Both these countries have for many months now blamed each other for the terrorism and insurgent problems that they both share. This summit comes as a critical juncture for Pakistan. I worry that Pakistan is close to falling apart. Swathes of my beloved country have fallen into the hands of the Talebaan. I worry that the dozens of nuclear weapons will fall into the wrong hands. We are running out of time and we need to deploy all available human and financial resources in fighting this cancer. Military and civilian aid from USA will come in most handy at this time and we should milk this cow for all that it is worth.

My concern remains the competence and far sightedness of our politicians and whether our "jiyaalaas" in the Army have the stomach for a long, protracted and vicious fight with the Talebaan. Based on past experiences, this is a potent recipe for failure and disaster. Zardari is a playboy whose corruption has earned him the nickname os Mr. 10 percent. The last time we had a playboy in power i.e. Yahya Khan, we lost half the country. His principal rival, Nawaz Sharif is more religious right wing than secular in his outlook and is stupid to boot. He could easily (as he has done in the past) miscalculate and believe that he could take his chances by sharing power with the Talebaan. He may therefore offer less than 100 % support to the current fight to eradicate them. And then finally, we have the army, infiltrated to the core (a Zia legacy) with Islamic fundamentalists. I would not be surprised if one of the corps commanders were to launch a coup and then invite the Talebaan in. We have a hurricane flowing in and our house might indeed be a pack of cards.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Back the boys!

According to the Army around 200 Taliban have been killed during the last 24 hours. This is certainly good news. We need to eliminate as many of them as possible. ISI can be used to sow chaos in the ranks of these Jihadis and criminals while the SSG can be used at it was used in the lower Dir operation to take out the leadership of the Taliban.

But for the ultimate success of this operation, the support of the major political parties is needed. I remember writing hopeful stuff about Nawaz Sharrif earlier on during the movement for the restoration of the judiciary. But i have been proven wrong. He remains a dour leader with right wing leanings. Journalists often remark that prior to giving out any kind of interview, Mian sahib puts in the condition that no questions be asked about the Taliban. Why is his party not supporting the army operating whole heartedly? Maybe because he is a closet Fundo - an apologist for the Taliban. Or maybe he still has the beef with the Army going back to the October coup of 1999? For him and his like this operation is out of necessity. They do not recognize people like Sufi Muhammad as extremists. At the most these are just misguided souls.

The liberal minority of Pakistan will have to get themselves organized. The only party which has been the most vocal about the rise of the Taliban has been MQM. MQM needs to shed its ethnic baggage and it may find that it has some support in the heart of Punjab.

For now we have to back our men in Khakki who are putting their lives at risk against an enemy not only of this state but also of it's official religion.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The War is on

The battle is on for the soul of Pakistan. Muslims of the subcontinent have been practicing their faith for centuries and now comes Taliban with their monstrously altered version of Islam. They must be stopped and they must be defeated Militarily. The operation against the Taliban has begun in Swat. It will be bloody and messy and the only solution is a complete and decisive victory which crushes these renegades and imposes the writ of the state in a manner that scares the hell out of any future adventurers. This can only come about when the Military feels that it has the effective backing of the entire nation and the political class. My own sources tell me that Army was reluctant to start the operation mainly because of the bitter lessons it learned from the Laal Masjid/Red mosque operation. The seminary was destroyed and the terrorists were killed but the blow back has haunted the army to the present day. Propaganda was drummed up by the religious/ right wing parties parties which accused the army of killing innocents. The suicide bombings after the operation went through the roof.

Taliban terrorists use religion to justify just about anything and they seem to have been getting away with it. This is an old story in Pakistan where first the clergy and than the establishment used and abused religion to gain political mileage. The Taliban represent the final and extreme product of using such a strategy. Taliban must be crushed and their clean shave sympathizers must be silenced with an effective media campaign.

It is time for the powerful media and the civil society to come out on the streets against such extremism and support the army full heartily. The army and the Frontier Corps need to feel the backing of the nation when they take on these fascists.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Memories

I walk outside to the office hallway and i see the grey skies filled with the promise of the summer rain. Somehow they evoke a feeling of nostalgia in me..A nostalgia of the years gone by.The summer heat, the school vacations, monsoon rains, the husky voice of Bryan Adams playing on my Walkman and the Cranberries. I guess the Pakistan of my childhood has changed. Memories are what we are all left with in the end.They make me happy even if it is for a while, I never had any real happiness in childhood. It's a not a note of self-pity but merely a fact. I think about life as a charge of happiness runs through me. But i am always afraid of being too happy - sensing a disappointment just a moment away. happiness that is stifled by others, choked by the limitations of a hypocritical society. This was just an emotional outburst.

Monday, May 4, 2009