Follow by Email

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Do You Remember the Other December 16, Quit demonizing Pakistan already.

December the 16th continues to be a day that haunts Pakistani's, it is now a day that people across the nation remember as one of twin tragedies. The more recent of them having surpassed what happened in 71 as far as media coverage, debate and public concerns. It was very tragic and unfortunate the events that unfolded on December 16th 2014, when armed terrorists stormed a school in Peshawar and killed over a 100 children alongside teachers and staff members in cold blood. More than a 100 young lives, young innocent dreams were needlessly cut short. No matter how much tributes we pay to the martyrs and how much solidarity we show to the families of the dearly departed it will never be enough, we as a nation need to promise ourselves that such tragedies should never happen again, we have paid dearly in blood as a nation, we have been doing it for decades now and not just since the war on terror begin.

We as a nation also paid dearly in blood in the original tragedy that makes December 16 a dark day in the history of Pakistan. 44 years ago Pakistanis had to suffer the trauma of losing half their country because of traitors amidst our ranks and an enemy that long had the agenda to dismember Pakistan, which up until that time was seen as an Indian Muslim project, implying that the concept of a Muslim majority nation would fare far better for the Muslims of the sub continent as opposed to living in a minority. Present day problems and ground realities aside, the main focus of my blog here is that the civil war that engulfed Pakistan was absolutely an unnecessary war, one which costed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis. It is a war that should not have happened, and that war happened also as a result of home grown domestic terrorists who only cared about seizing war and cementing their place in history.

It really irks me and boils my blood when your so called self proclaimed Pakistani liberals go on an all out slanderous bashing attack on their country and talk about it as if it is a parasite that exists for the sole purpose of harming its own people. Nowhere else in the world have I ever come across left leaning liberals that engage in such brutal attacks against their own country. What happened in 71 is also particularly a favorite topic of our so called Left Leaning Liberals in their all out attack against the Pakistan state. Their double standards in what defines terrorism is absolutely disgusting, usually I do not make such judgmental remarks but you self hating Pakistani's deserve every bit of it if you all are reading this, learn from the left leaning liberals of other countries, they do not slander attack their own nation.

The civil war in 71, though hardly many people call it a civil war i fail to understand why, was a result of domestic terrorism. It started off with widespread acts of domestic terrorism carried out by secessionist minded traitors in East Pakistan. The Awami League and their thugs conducted acts of domestic terrorism as their only agenda was coming to power by hook or crook and creating history for themselves, even if it came at the extent of dismembering of the country which their fore fathers, especially the Bengali Muslim forefathers had worked effortlessly to materialize. It was the Bengali leadership of the All India Muslim league that was most enthusiastic about the idea of Pakistan, and without Bengal, Pakistan would not have happened. Let's not forget quite a few Pakistani heads of state before Ayub Khan were Bengali Muslims from East Pakistan, including Hussain Shaheed Suharwardy and Khawaja Nazimuddin. The language movement of the 50s you liberals proudly claim was brutally suppressed by the West Pakistani leadership, newsflash, Hussain Suharwardy was the head of the state at the time, and it was his direct order to the Pakistani LEA's to suppress the trouble makers.

Coming back to the 1970's, how conveniently you forget the sheer ferocity and volume of the domestic terrorism carried out by Awami League and their thugs. Their have been widespread reports of genocides and massacres conducted by Bengali nationalists against the Non Bengalis living in the province. In her book Dead Reckoning, Sarmila Bose based on eye witness accounts has recorded that Mukhti Bahni militants followed Nazi style practices of industrial mass murder especially of the Bihari's. Before all this happpened, in the late 60s, Non Bengali's living in the province had started facing widespread discrimination from their Bengali bretheren in the immediate after math of the rise of the Awami League. The Awami League leadership if anything is guilty of inciting hatred and discrimination towards Non Bengali's of the province to the extent that it led to a mass murder spree by nationalists. Awami league supporters also committed mass vandalism of public and private property especially in Dacca, they attacked and ransacked properties owned by the government of Pakistan as well as by civilians who were non Bengali. Even among the POW's handed over to the occupying Indian forces included thousands of prominent civilians as well. Where was Awami League's morality at the time. Infact the very image of Sheikh Mujib giving a grand royal salute to the Indian army at the Dhaka racecourse in 1972 as they left Bangladesh should be enough to open people's eyes about the extent of treason that happened, that sheer image is enough to disgust someone. How are him and his supporters not traitors, waging war against your own country, killing your own people, colluding with the enemy, handing over your army, civil servants and civilians over to the enemy forces, and then giving a VIP send off to that same occupying army which crossed international borders.

So to you left leaning Pakistani liberals, I suggest you check your facts and look at the other untold stories from the 71 war, some of the facts may shock some of you. There is no lie in treason by the Awami League, terrorism by the Mukti Bahni and Indian aggression as mentioned very briefly in our text book.s the reason no one talks about it is because of the severity of the trauma the events of 71 cause. Also you find me a single nation state that tolerates secessionist movements amidst its ranks, the British brutally cracked down on the IRA in Northern Ireland, the Spanish showed no mercy to the Basque separatists in the North, nor does Russia tolerate Chechen separatists, nor does India the country you love so much tolerate it in Kashmir or the North Eastern States. Think about it you disgusting Self Hating Pakistani's.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Book Review: Undying Affinity

I Came across this book as an Amazon recommendation. I found it very unusual that Amazon was recommending me a romance novel, I am not sure how Amazon's algorithm works, usually I am a reader of Non Fiction, however I am some one who has always encouraged Pakistani writers by reading and recommending their books. I always seek out fiction written by Pakistani writers, be it by more well known writers like Kamila and Mohsin, or the slightly lesser known one's like Saba Imtiaz and Shazaf Fatima Haider. Our English language writers alongside their Urdu language counter parts are very talented and have tremendous potential to impress their readers.

I was initially skeptical of this book, firstly it being a romance novel and secondly the author's very young age, also the Amazon sampler before downloading the book did not impress me so much. The first chapter or 2 that you can read as part of the free preview slightly disappointed me with  a slightly under developed use of good quality vocabulary, there were moments when it felt the English language wasn't freely flowing as it should. But then again it is the author's debut novel and unlike her fellow Anglo Pakistani writers does not come from a back ground where she holds a degree in English or Creative writing so I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt and downloaded the book.

The book is about a young early 20's something girl named "Zarish" who hails from an upper middle class business owning family in Lahore. She is no different from any other girl in her age group, living a laid back care free life style that involves going to University, socializing with friends and just taking life easy. We are introduced early in the novel to her childhood best friend, a young man by the name of Haroon, who she has grown up with and has spent the most time. Their parents always assume, that their close friendship will blossom into love and eventually marriage.

 It seems everything is going according to a standard scrip, this is until one evening while she is out with her friends for dinner, she has a by chance bumping into some one who unknowingly to her would change her life in the weeks and months that were to follow. That person being "Ahmer Murad", a young man in his late 20's who has returned to Pakistan leaving behind a life abroad to be with his ageing father. Little did Zarish know that the man she had an brief interaction with at the restaurant would be one of her professors and mentors at the university in the coming semester.

Considering the embarrassing nature of their first interaction, Zarish is shown as some one who is drawn to her professor's good looks as well as engulfed in a sense of discomfort whenever she sees Ahmer Murad around. It doesn't take Ahmer long to develop a good bond with his students, as he becomes a much loved instructor at the university with students showing significant interest in the finance class taught him. As the semester goes by, circumstances move in such a way  that the amount off out of close interaction between Zarish and Ahmer increases and they see a side to each other beyond the teacher-student relationship, they start seeing each as the other person behind the curtains with a glimpse into their lives and how their families have crossed paths in the past.

As their paths cross more and more, they start developing a friendship that involves a trusting relationship as well, which blossoms into love with Zarish being the first one to confess her unconditional love to Ahmer and the 2 are left with hard choices, some moral self questioning about going beyond a student-teacher relationship and the challenges, some expected and some unexpected that will test them and tear them apart.

There are many beautiful moments in the book, many intimate moments shared by Zarish and Ahmer, such as the first time Ahmer confesses her love for Zarish, and the first time they kiss. The chemistry and bond shown in the book between Zarish and Ahmer reflects the innocent nature of our two characters which if you ask most people is a dying trait one rarely finds, that makes it the book's unique differentiating point that it is a simple innocent love story with innocent characters whose love is tested by norms, limitations and tragedy. Saying anything further would be spoiling the book for would be readers, I highly recommend it, especially if you are under the age of 25. For her debut novel Miss Naveed has done a very good job and I look forward to reading her next book.

I am giving the book 4 stars, because of some minor short comings in the book, such as the quality of English used in some of the earlier chapters is not off a very high standard, secondly the writer has not made use of the odd humour that some writers use to keep their audiences engaged in the book this may bore some readers though personally I did not experience boredom while reading this book and thirdly the length of the book was almost 400 pages, an ideal book in South Asian literature should be under 300 pages, their were some things that seemed like repetitive in the book and could have been left out, while some minor characters were not given their due justice and coverage. It would have been nice to know a bit more about Ahmer's past in particular especially his youth.

I wish Sara Naveed all the best in her future works, I am already eagerly awaiting her next book. For those in Pakistan this book has not been officially launched nationwide, it is available on the Amazon Kindle if you are a Kindle user, alternatively you could contact the writer on her Facebook page and order a paper back (In Pakistan) with an option of Cash on delivery. For readers in Karachi, not yet available at Liberty books. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Double Standards and Denials of the New Age Pakistani Liberals.

To be very honest I am very half hearted about writing this blog, do the lot that I am about to write about, do they even warrant my time and energy? This may or may not turn out to be one of my better written blogs, but it is still one that sometimes I feel needs to be written about. If only I had my laptop with me and some spare time when the ideas are usually flowing through my mind and I can communicate them in an organic manner.

 At times I am lost for words, and there are times when words are insufficient to describe them, the young new age liberals of Pakistani society. The first question, one must ask is, do they even deserve the title of being liberal? Are they truly liberal or are they pseudo liberals trying to convince themselves that they are among the new age liberal lot that is blessed with the gift of reason, sanity and justice for all. I am not going to waste much time or typing energy going into the details of what liberalism and what behavior should be typical of the liberal lot, I am going to keep my focus on the current lot of young educated Pakistani's who label themselves as liberals.

Over the past almost one week, the self proclaimed liberal lot of Pakistan, especially the younger one has been very vocal offline as well as on social media, since the unfortunate death by murder of Karachi based activist Sabeen Mahmud. The late activist was gunned down while she was on her way home after hosting an event at T2F titled 'Unsilencing Balochistan' which featured Mama Qadeer and Farzana Baloch as representatives of VOBMP. Full form being Voice of Baloch Missing persons. A few weeks earlier, this group was due to speak at the Lahore University of Management Sciences but that event was cancelled due to pressure from the government of Pakistan.

Regardless of Sabeen's personal social and political opinions, no one deserves to die the way she did. Sabeen's unfortunate and tragic death has given a lot attention to Mama Qadeer and his lot and their lobbying activities around the country. Even as I write this, plans are already underway to host them at Karachi University, whether that talk eventually goes ahead or not is yet to be seen. At the same time, Sabeen's unfortunate death has given a lot of voice especially on social media to your self proclaimed new age liberal lot who I personally like labeling as self hating Pakistani's, why I shall get to that later. Anyways this lot has been very vocal and very active on social media and is no sparing no effort to malign, bad mouth and slander the very nation state they belong to, all this in the name of so called liberalism and justice. Pakistan and its important defense institutions are being talked about as if they are a living breathing cancer responsible for each and every single problem this country has ever faced and all this without tangible legitimate evidence to back it up. Their basing these allegations based on circumstantial variables, such as Sabeen's death for example happened right after she hosted the talk at T2F in Karachi.

First things first, the left leaning self proclaimed liberal lot is in complete denial to entertaining the idea as to who are the biggest beneficiaries of Sabeen's murder, and who are the biggest losers here. The biggest winners are Mama Qadeer and co, their campaign and lobbying activities have been given a huge boost as far as coverage, media and public attention is concerned. The biggest losers are of course the intelligence agencies of Pakistan, for whom this is a Public Relations nightmare that without evidence to back it up, they are being blamed and a whole cultural trend of bashing them on social media is going out of control. Well if you guys truly are among the liberal lot, you are supposed to be open minded, and with that open minded approach take into consideration various other alternatives to what might be possible outcomes here, and entertain the other side of the various narratives as opposed to sticking to just the one where the ISI is conveniently blamed not just for Sabeen's  death but also all the missing Baloch youth and all the problems this country faces. For a moment, entertain the notion that it could be some one else, or any one else for that matter, evidence pointing to a particular group or a particular stakeholder in the country has not surfaced yet.

If you new age liberal lot was truly liberal, you people would be giving priority to objectivity and would also be giving a voice to the others who do not have one. Just a day or so after Mama Qadeer's talk got cancelled at LUMS, 20 daily wage labourers hailing from Sind and Punjab were murdered in Turbat in South Western Balochistan. I am yet to see your very lot give a voice to them and their families, who were needlessly and mercilessly gunned down by heavily armed gun men belonging to the Baloch Liberation front, but then again for most of you self proclaimed new age liberal lot these baloch nationalist groups as well as their armed wings are revolutionaries and freedom fighters, fighting against the poisonous evil snake of a villain that is the state of Pakistan.

It does not matter to you people, that groups such as the BLA, BLF and BRA are terrorist groups and that they have murdered thousands of civilians in the province who are not indigenous to the province, and at the same time driven away tens of thousands of them from the province. A province that was once a symbol of peace, tranquility and Baloch hospitality has now become a hot and violent epicenter of blood and terror. When was the last time you or any of you spoke for those murdered by Baloch nationalist groups or their family members, which have by the way included not just out of province settlers but also Pro Pakistani Baloch. Quetta the capital of the province which was once the most peaceful city in Pakistan, most of it is now a NO GO Area, particularly the areas surrounding University of Balochistan. Ask any resident of Quetta, what part of the city they all fear including the Hazara Shia's, they will all point to Saryab and Saryab Road, which is a Baloch dominated part of the city. The terrorism activities of these separatist nationalists is not just perfectly acceptable to you lot, but you see it as a justified fight for rights, at the same time the State's counter terrorism approach towards terrorists is seen as heavy handed state brutality. Open and clear reflection of double standards here.

You people are the same lot, that lobbied and pushed the state towards taking a heavy handed approach the Taliban and their various umbrella terrorist groups centered around the KPK province and the Tribal belt. How is it that you lot see one set of terrorist groups as terrorist, but not the others, is this the Islamophobia of you lot talking? If you self proclaimed liberal lot are truly liberal, you people would fighting against Islamophobia and discrimination that practicing Muslims face in a so called secular and liberal environment instead of showing nothing but contempt, disgust and intolerance for practicing Muslims. It is not a crime to be conservative and religious, yet people who are conservative or religious are seen as taliban apologists and parasites destroying society and preventing progressive thinking.

There is no disagreement by even many on the political Right, that Taliban are a terrorist group, the Taliban and their groups follow the same strategy and approach as these Balochistan based terrorist groups. Challenge the Writ of the State, demand secession, demanding their rule and law, labeling the Pakistan army as the enemy army, killing thousands of innocent civilians, sabotaging economic activity and daily life in their areas, this is exactly what Balochistan based groups are doing, but sadly you lot seem to have a double standard where they are not seen as terrorist groups. Is this a case of a bloody brilliant PR campaign by Baloch terrorists which has included an hour long documentary on Al Jazeera English and this whole Voice of Baloch missing persons propaganda that has you all on their side?  Just because they make the loudest noise, means you go following them like their the Pied Pipper or something. The rise of these nationalist groups have given rise to nothing  but problems for Balochistan as well as Pakistan as a whole. They have killed thousands of settlers in the province, driven out an even greater number, disrupted normal every day life as well as a lot of economic activity and has destroyed the lives, careers and future of the Baloch urban middle class youth by brainwashing them into picking up arms and committing acts of terrorism. Have you guys ever wondered where are the so called missing persons? It is no secret that thousands of Baloch youth are convinced by student groups such as BSO Azad to join these terrorist groups, the so called missing youth might be in these terrorist training camps, must have fled across the border to Afghanistan (which harbours them) or have died in gun fire against LEA's. Find me a single nation on the planet that tolerates secessionist agitation. The west that all you admire so much has brutally cracked down upon insurgents, Britain brutally cracked down upon the IRA, the Spanish government brutually cracked down upon Basque separatists. Our next door neighbour India, that you self hating Pakistani liberal lot admires like anything is brutally cracking down on insurgency sentiments in Kashmir, as well as the North East including Assam.

Think about it, come out of denial and entertain the other side of the story, these terrorists and traitors have received more than their fair share of media and social media coverage. I know it is cool and fashionable to be a self hating Pakistani under the guise of being a left leaning liberal, but it is more important to put objectivity first.

Monday, April 27, 2015

A very noisy weekend on social media.

It was a fairly noisy weekend on social media, the weekend that just ended. Lots and lots of activity on Facebook and Twitter, it almost feels like borderline noise pollution, though the actual noise quite literally would be people clicking on their keyboards like I am doing right now or exhausting their thumbs on their smart phones and tablets. The vast majority of that noise has been one directional, we all know what one directional traffic results in. A big  big clogging up of our world, be it off line or in the digital sphere.

The weekend started with the unfortunate death of a prominent Karachi based activist Sabeen Mahmud who was very popular among her social circles. It was a tragic and unfortunate event that unfolded on Friday evening, as she was gunned down while traveling in her vehicle shortly after she left her office and cafe in DHA Karachi. Earlier in the evening she had hosted the very controversial group VOBMP or Voice of Baloch Missing Persons with the talk being titled Unsilencing Balochistan. She was hosting on her premises the same talk that was cancelled by the Lahore University of Management Sciences just some weeks ago under pressure from Government authorities.

I didn't know Sabeen Mahmud personally, nor have I ever spoken to her, so regardless of my disagreements on her political and social views as well as her choice of dialogue topics at the T2F, I will not speak ill of the dead, I will say a quick prayer for her and move on to the actual core essence of the point I want to raise here. If I knew her well enough, I may have written a tribute to her. Her unfortunate death has created a shit load of noise on Social media, especially by the Self hating Pakistani crowd. The same lot likes to call themselves as progressive intellectual liberals who are the only sane voice of reason in this so called God Forsaken country. They waste no opportunity what so ever to go on an all out Pakistan bashing spree, they talk about their own country as if it was a living parasite, yet people listen to them and join their ranks, cause they make a shit load of noise.

Immediately as Sabeen's death broke on social media, everyone in her social circles, as well as many in media both local and foreign were very quick to blame the government of Pakistan as well as Pakistan's premier intelligence agency for her murder without as much as a shred of evidence to back it up. The only back up evidence they have is that the late activist was no stranger to death threats and the exact event was just a few weeks earlier cancelled at the Lahore University of Management Sciences. The blame game by the self proclaimed so called pseudo liberals of urban Pakistan very quickly transforms into a blizzard of curses and accusations blaming the establishment which includes the ISI for everything that goes wrong in Pakistan, while their at it they also reserve some blame for patriotic Pakistani's by labeling them as delusional paranoid ignorant fools who don't know better and are also contributing to the nation's decline.

News flash, if you guys were real liberal's you wouldn't be attacking those on the other side of the spectrum of thought, and yeah also you would not be opportunistically using some one's death to go on an all out attacking spree to demonize your own country in the eyes of a national and global audience. The noise you all have made over the weekend following Sabeen's death reflects badly on us in the international community, it is adding fuel to the fire off sorts. It was bad enough that this unfortunate event happened late Friday evening, now the whole world knows how low as a nation do we think of ourselves. Do not even get me started on the diaspora Pakistani's especially those sitting on the US loud mouthing as if they have a full fledged stake in what goes on here.

Did any one really sit down and think for a few minutes who really benefited from all this? Yes I am talking to you intellectual beings who think their some what intellectually superior to most other Pakistani's, based on circumstantial evidence alone is it enough to go on an all out bad mouthing war against your own country. The establishment of this nation is not foolish to gun down a random activist for hosting or staging an event, firstly once the event had already happened, it kills the purpose, secondly by gunning down the event organizer you are making a martyr out of some one, and giving significant cannon fodder to Anti state elements, self hating Pakistani's, those with an establishment bias in media, as well as the traitors of Pakistan behind this separatism movement.

The death of an activist pushes u to make a lot of noise, why have I not heard any noise about the thousands of non natives to Balochistan who have been murdered in cold blood by terrorist organizations. I didn't even see 1% of the number of tweets or FB posts with respect to the deaths of the 20 out of province labourers brutally gunned down by terrorists in Turbat. Mama Qadeer, Baloch seperatists and their cause just got a big ass ripple effect injection boost and revival off sorts. Their the real winners here, on the other hand your establishment is on the receiving end of blame, who by the way are not foolish enough to shoot themselves on the foot, and oh yeah patriotic Pakistani's are not delusional paranoid mentally distorted fools, and a lot of comments coming from you self proclaimed liberal lot is extremely offensive, true liberals do not insult offend others around them, rather they act as a beacon of tolerance to balance out the far right.

Just some food for thought....

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

LUMS Censorship, Let go off it already

For God's sake it was yesterday's news, it happened last week, let it go already. I Can't believe the mountain out of a mole hill being made out of something that should have been a forgotten issue in under 72 hours. Social media as well as Online media is still hot on the topic 'LUMS CANCELS TALK ON BALOCHISTAN UNDER PRESSURE FROM GOVERNMENT'. Social media is still active on it, LUMS students past and present, as well as your so called young liberals of Pakistan can not stop it with their verbal attacks on the Government of Pakistan and its security agencies for getting a talk cancelled at their prestigious elite up market university. This isn't a release of grades getting cancelled that will cost you a job interview or a place in graduate school abroad, relax take a chill pill, exams are close by focus on that.

Since you all are too keenly interested in keeping the hot chat debate alive, let's talk. Let's start with the irresponsible event coordinator or department head who organized the event for being a loud mouth, he could have made a more convenient and more appropriate excuse to tell authorities why the talk has been cancelled, yet he wasted no time in assigning blame on the Government of Pakistan and our security agencies. Makes you wonder if he has a personal agenda against some one currently employed within the agencies, or against the government of Pakistan. It could also be entirely possible maybe he didnt like the FACE of the guy who came into ask or demand or whatever that the talk be called off. Yes I said FACE, not uncommon for Pakistani's to say this say about their fellow Pakistani's ''Bus Mujhe Uski Shakal Nahin Pasand'' (Simply I just dont like his/her face). I wasn't there, so yeah slim probability this could have also happened.

For those crying over academic freedom, sure your academic freedom's got slightly trampled upon, but do you guys conveniently remember the other academic freedoms given to you at Universities in Pakistan? Many do not have sincere dedicated faculty members, or a fair grading system or offer an environment that compliments youth development. Most of us graduate with a One track mind in this country with a failure in the ability to think outside the box.

Now coming back to Balochistan, I do not want to waste my time and energy on Mama Qadeer and the Farzana bibi that is always traveling with them or their very extensive and thorough Anti Pakistan public relations propaganda world wide as well as nation wide. As far as I am concerned their traitors and they have received more than their fare share of publicity. I am going to touch on other points. By the way who noticed Farzana bibi's designer outfit when she came to KLF in 2013 during her crocodile tears?

Firstly it was not an objective talk or discussion panel to begin with. Why are all the bloody talks on Balochistan just taking one narrative into account, just one side of the story? Why was the other side not entertained, why was no one called from the Government of Balochistan, perhaps their provincial interior minister who also happens to hail from the Bugti tribe could have been a useful speaker on the panel, or some one representing the non native settler communities who are facing a brutal ethnic cleansing in the province. Over the last ten years, over 50,000 settlers from other provinces have fled the province out of fear for their lives. Rarely a month goes by when one hears about brutality carried out by these ethnic nationalist terrorist militant groups in the province. Just the other day, 20 day wage laborers were murdered in Turbat the home town of the current CM of Balochistan. How many times have buses and trains been attacked and their passengers killed. Why does that not raise a single eyebrow among our pseudo liberals and our self proclaimed idealistic youth that wants a picture perfect Pakistan. And have you guys so conveniently forgotten about the Hazara's of Quetta? You remember them very well when a big tragedy hits their community such as the attack on Alamdar Road, but they too are also experiencing a day to day ethnic cleansing courtesy of the ethnic Baloch in the city, who by the way are settlers in the province themselves.

Ask any settler or Hazara or even a Pashtun from Quetta, what part of the city terrifies them the most, they will all point to Saryab Road, which is a Baloch majority area of Quetta and now a No Go Zone for all non Baloch. What's worse, it is also where the University of Balochistan is, citing security many of your fellow Pakistani's have had to drop out of higher education, and their not as privileged as you who go to a place like LUMS. Here does the thought of academic rights and freedom being violated not raise even a single alarm bell? Do your thoughts not go out to your fellow youth who are denied and deprived of an education because some power and resource hungry opportunists want the whole cake of Balochistan to themselves? Balochistan was a peaceful and safe province till the trouble making Anti Pakistan student union BSO Azad became active and started inciting hatred for Pakistan as well as a cooked up notion on Baloch nationalism inspired by militant marxism to follow a Che Guvera style terrorist campaign under the disguise of liberty. BSO Azad has pushed the youth away from education and honest living and pulled towards being sheep to the slaughter.  Fight for legitimate rights can also be done in peaceful, cooperative, collaborative manners instead of committing treason.

Most of the so called missing are directly or indirectly involved in terrorist activities, have some links to banned militant outfits in the province or links to Anti State lobby groups. They kill people, destroy education and people's livelihood yet they do not appear as terrorists to most of the youth sitting in Karachi, Lahore or Islamabad, their still seen as victims of state brutality. Name me a single sovereign nation state that tolerates treason and secessionist activities? Late 20th century wasn't too long ago, does any one remember the brutal British crack down on the IRA in Northern Ireland as well as Britain proper, or the crack down of the Spanish government on Basque separatists, both of whom have committed crimes against humanity and acts of cowardly terrorism. Don't forget the brutal genocide of natives in North America and Australia by white settlers, don't forget also how Europeans treated us in the colonial era.

 Has it really really become so overly fashionable among our educated young people to loath their country and fall among the ranks of Self Hated Pakistani's that it is okay to listen to one sided garbage time after time that tries to make you hate your country and think it is the scum of the universe, seriously is that the fads of this decade? Well fads do come and go #JustSaying and no place in the world is perfect, even the so called West some of us idealize and hope to make as our next destination. You may feel you have the wrong end of the stick or are unfortunate to have been born in this country, pull your weight, be the agent of change and make this country a better place. All I see around me is hue and cry for change, yet no one wants to change in this country.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Travel Diaries: Choose your Travel Companions Wisely

The desire to travel, Wanderlust, is inside so many of us, so many of us yearn for that freedom that travel brings along with it. This is in addition to the many wonderful things that travel enables us, it gives the opportunity to unwind and refresh, explore new culture, meet people and also taste some great food along the way. Some of us feel that freedom as solo travelers, while some of us love to have company around while we travel and can never even imagine getting on that plan and visiting some place new without companionship. The benefits of solo travel maybe plenty, such as freedom and flexibility to do whatever when you want, while traveling in a group or with friends, comes with benefits such as better bonding between you and your travel companions, you always have some one with good fresh ideas, some one to talk to, and not to mention of course some one to take that all important photograph in front of a landmark, which was previously not possible before front facing camera's in mobile phones and of course the horrible invention the selfie stick. I wish the latter would just get uninvented some how. There was an April fool's day joke about the Selfie Shoe coming up, boy did that cause quite the stir.

Coming back to the main essence of this blog, travel companions, I can not for the love of God emphasis enough that one must choose their travel companions wisely. Sure it sounds great to be spontaneous and make a random holiday plan with a friend, but traveling together could make or break the bond in pretty much the same way living together can also make or break a relationship. The following are some things that you need to be mindful off before going on a trip with some one, unless ofcourse their your significant other than most stuff gets completely overlooked.

1. How close are you to that person, and to what extent can you really trust that person? Have u had a history where at any point trust issues, mutually or from a single side did sprout up?

2. Do routine habits and life style choices of the person you travel with annoy you or at all make you comfortable? For many after a certain age habits and life style choices are some what fixed and no power can undo that. If your even mildly uncomfortable, it would be best to avoid traveling with that person. For example for some Muslim travelers, eating only Halal is a priority, while for some it isn't. Even though it is not a big issue, it is a cause of discomfort for many Muslim travelers when their fellow Muslim travelers are not big on Halal.

3. Alcohol consumption. In most parts of the world alcohol consumption as a social lubricant is second nature to people, kind of like having tea in some parts of South Asia, so if this social lubricant causes you discomfort, plan your way of meeting and bonding with people alternatively. In the case of your travel companion, do learn about their alcohol consumption habits, do not judge them over drinking, but if they are a good friend please facilitate them in keeping consumption to a moderate level.

4. Never ever travel with some one who takes pleasure from lighting a match, we all have atleast that one friend who loves petty gossip and lights matches for that petty gossip, it gives them a feeling of power over the other person. Lighting a match and rubbing salt on old bounds under the guise of no one else being around. On that note, never travel with some one who has a history of breaking your trust even once, unless of course they have mended all the bridges involved.

5. Never travel with any one who has bad hygiene. That one is obvious, no need to go into details.

6. Never travel with some one who has a history of being reluctant to share. While on traveling, it is not uncommon for you to forget some stuff in the hotel room or forget to pack some stuff in the luggage. Personal hygiene stuff like tooth brush apart, If your travel companion can not share with  you stuff such as let's say a mobile phone charger or a universal adapter or even toiletries such as Shampoo or Sunscreen, yeah the holiday won't exactly go according to plan.

7. Do not travel with some one that does not respect you enough to let you have a say in your holiday, it is best to avoid travel or part ways early with a travel companion who is always bossy, and tries to dominate how the holiday should proceed, from landmarks which need to be visited, from places for food, some one who doesn't cooperate with u slightly to put it simply. Last thing you want to do is get into a fight.

Just Some Food For Thought, Speaking from personal experience

Happy, safe and memorable travels every One.

We Need To Talk About Bullying (Part IV)

It must be extremely difficult being a teenager today, I am sure no matter how hard I try I really can not imagine the true extent of what young people today have to go through. Today I am talking about bullying again, because it is a topic that needs to be spoken about as much as we can because bullying isn't declining but thanks to developments in technology and social trends it is going out of control and out of proportion. We live in an age and era where offline bullying is now accompanied by digital bullying which makes things a lot worse than they already are.

Some weeks ago, it was early in the morning and I had switched on SBS in my Melbourne hotel room. SBS Australia is one of the few free to air TV Channels alongside 7, channel 9 and the ten network. They were running a program on how bullying in the digital age is effecting children particularly teenagers leading to an academic, social and emotional down fall of the next generation of young people walking towards adulthood. According the documentary the attention towards the impact of digital bullying was first noticed in many high schools with a decline not just in grade work of young students but also a significant decline in their push towards physical fitness and athletic agility. Having personally lived in Australia for 4 years I personally know the importance on good physical health, fitness and a good active life style put forward by most Australians. This is also reflected upon the agility and competitive mindset of their athletes and sports persons. In Olympics Australians always feature in the ten best performing nations in terms of medal counts, while in other sports such as Rugby and Cricket, their a force to be reckoned with.

The documentary that I was fortunate to see was set in urban Queensland, where PE or Physical Education teachers or instructors noticed a decline in confidence and a drop in motivation for being competitive towards physical activities such as sports and fitness during the school hours. Upon investigation it turned out that students who were terrified off showing their potential or making daring efforts to exert themselves in physical challenges had become conscious of themselves, their bodies, their physical appearances as a result of not just real time bullying, but a lot of digital and cyber bullying that they had to be subject to. Aggressive comments like 'O Shes a Fat Cow' or 'He is a Fat Pig' or 'He/She is a midget' were being labeled at them by their peers, and thanks to the power of social media, they had been going viral and had played a great role in shaping opinions of others who otherwise wouldn't have had any. Long gone are the days, when the bully was out of your face, you did not have to think about the bully or attempts of bullying, now considering everyone as a smart phone and easy access to social media, it seems their is no escape. Young people today are always subjected to bullying. With limits to how to manage what goes on in the world of social media, it will become even harder and harder for parents as well as teenagers to manage circumstances.

Realistically bullying could never be prevented, bullies have existed since the dawn of civilization, technology has just presented everyone with a whole set of new challenges no one ever expected. One thing that can be done is to create awareness among people as how to identify bullying when it happens and what to do in what circumstances should they be on the receiving end of bullying or on the spectator end. Part of the problem lies with people's apathy, this I was witness to when I was in school, and I witness this in the lives of young people today, its the apathy of by standers, witnesses, who not only fail to even blink an eye when they see some one being subjected to bullying, but often at times, they take the side of the aggressor and entertain the idea that maybe the victim of bullying is some one who actually deserves the treatment thrown towards them. We see it as a natural course, a natural order, we see the aggressor from the vantage of a first mover, the first mover is well within his or her right to act and must be acting right, we seem to automatically dismiss alternatives. The dismissal of alternatives comes down to our inability to feel empathy for other human beings, realistically it is impossible to feel absolute empathy for another or be absolutely sensitive as to feel for the other person, but it is totally worse on a whole different level we see the victim of aggression as a lesser being than the bully or the aggressor. It is no different from how we look down upon victims of abuse, back of our mind we want to be impartial, so we end up making things worse by giving even some benefit of the doubt to the aggressor. There can be no 2 ways about it, an aggressor is an aggressor, some one who makes the must move must be in the spot light.

When was the last time so many of us actually took a stand for some one getting beaten, harassed, socially ostracized or character assassinated because of one or just a handful of people. Standing up is far fetched, I haven't even seen people show compassion for the person getting bullied, even compassion is far fetched, I have seen people believe the image of the victim as portrayed by the bully as some one who deserves it. Just some food for thought for everyone, considering we live in a digital era, next time any of us is witness to digital or cyber or social media bullying, we should entertain the idea that okay maybe this is not right, and maybe the bully is wrong and not their victims.

Just Food for Thought.