Dictionary of a PPP Apologist

Planning on writing something which is pro government or trying to interpret a piece written by a PPP apologist? If you are then the following dictionary is recommended as reference material.

Z.A. Bhutto: The Greatest Leader

Benazir Bhutto: The Great Leader

Zardari: The Great Politician

Maulna Maududi: Dark Vader

General Zia: Dark Vader 2

Corruption: An essential ingredient of democracy

Anti Corruption: Anti democracy

Tax Return: Some non essential paper work

Tax Evasion: Something which has nothing to do with your Tax Return.

Urban Pakistani: Extremists who support Maududi & Taliban Khan and suffer from Salahuddin Neurosis

Rural Pakistani: Liberal minded democracy enthusiasts (I know this is close to hallucination)

Urban Voter: Does not exist.

Rural Voter: Nothing to worry about. Forever in our pocket.

PTI Trolls: Bad Zombie

Jiyala: Good Zombie

Law & Order: Establishment

Terrorism: Establishment

Establishment: Mysterious Dark Force

CNG: Jeay Bhutto

Electricity: Jeay Bhutto

Economy: Jeay Bhutto

Governance: Jeay Bhutto

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Barking up the Wrong Tree

PTI is the party which has been getting a lot of news coverage and is on the receiving end of the wrath of some journalists recently. The main arguments for the scathing criticism are PTI’s soft corner for Taliban, the fascists tendencies of its support base and the arrogance of Imran Khan. Criticism against PTI maybe fair and journalists have every right to it however there is one important fact which our learned friends are completing ignorant about. The fact that PTI is highly unlikely to win the next elections. I say, highly unlikely because PTI may win a few seats but the ‘electables’ of this country are still siding with PPP, PMLN, MQM and ANP. The only way I see PTI winning is if by some miracle the entire youth of this country comes out to vote for PTI in urban and rural areas which we all know is next to impossible.

The point I am trying to make is, there is a big possibility that PML_N with its recent gain in momentum and the huge inclusion of ‘electables’ may very well be the party to form the next government. However, it is also strange that very little is known about PML_N stance over many important issues and unnecessary focus on PTI is not helping the situation.

Firstly and most importantly, the PML_N stance over war on terror is extremely vague. I see confusion even in the PML_N ranks over this. At times, they seem anti-negotiations with Taliban and many times pro-negotiation. At times, they seem anti-Taliban but at the same time condemn a probable operation against Taliban. What exactly is PML_N stance about dealing with problems relating to our western border?

Another interesting aspect is the greater problem of home grown extremism in Punjab. The Punjab government is not only guilty of complacency but its been raised on numerous occasions that PML_N also has ties with some extreme right wing parties and banned outfits. The worrying factor in the last five years is the systematic increase in violence against minorities like Ahmedis and Christians and the little effort Punjab government has made in order to curb the extremism. Overall, of the big four parties, PML_N seems to be the most muted of parties when it comes to dealing with extremism.

People would also like to hear more about the economic policy of PML_N. On paper PML_N may have an economic plan but their track record is also abysmal. In the last 4 yrs. they have shown a complete disregard for economics by spending a lot more than this country can afford. This has been one common theme of PML_N throughout this tenure starting from ‘Sasti Roti’ scheme. How does it plan to take Pakistan out of the economic mess it is in? Are they going to spend more or are they going to cut spending? The reason I ask this is because we all know distributing goods and holding festivals before elections is not going to solve anything in this country.

PML_N leader Nawaz Sharif has had very little to say in recent times. The PML_N support base defines Nawaz Sharif as more of a statesman figure now who does not get embroiled in day to day issues. Frankly, it is quite absurd to hear this during these testing times for the country. People need to hear more from Nawaz Sharif.

The economy next year is headed towards a disaster. It is election year and there are already fears of a near Economic melt down. Strangely the parties in Government have gone completely oblivious of this fact and to make matters worse they are actually spending a lot more to buy votes before elections. If they were to show even the slightest of responsibility then now is the time for PPP and PML_N to come together and devise a plan for the Interim government rather than relying on ‘Blame the interim government’ strategy later on.

It seems like PTI and Imran Khan is selling a lot more in the news media hence there is so much being written about PTI politics. In my opinion it may be constructive in some way but at the same time our political analysts and journalists may very well be barking up the wrong tree.

Posted in Not Mucking Around

10 Questions for Farrukh Saleem

1. Sir, I saw you yesterday in F-6 Markaz Islamabad. You were wearing a fluorescent yellow polo shirt with a dark blue jeans. The jeans seemed completely out of fashion and the shirt too young for your age. Sir may I ask why would you choose such a disastrous outfit?

2. Sir when I looked at you the first thought that came in my mind was, Should i approach you and crack a joke relating to some X number of questions, but then i restrained myself. Sir has anyone cracked such a joke with you recently?

3. Sir you were keeping your neck way too straight, almost as if pushing it upwards which kind of gave the impression as if you are looking up. Sir, does it make you think you are actually taller than you are?

4. Sir the car you were driving. How can you afford it?

5. Sir normally if I met a journalist on a street I would approach him and maybe engage in a brief conversation if he or she has time. But Sir, you had that look on you which said ‘Back off’. Why sir why?

6. Sir I believe you were drawing money from Standard Chartered Bank which i guess you may also have an account with. I also know Standard Chartered does not have the greatest of reputation these days. Should we expect ten questions to standard chartered too in the near future?

7. Sir I believe PTI took your questions seriously and did reply to those however, has anyone from PPP come back to you and replied to your questions to the President Zardari?

8. Sir I noticed in today’s paper you have raised 10 questions to Uncle Sam. Do you honestly think Uncle Sam gives a damn?

8. Ok my last question was a rhetorical one but you can’t just blame me for that. So my actual question relating to your post is, were you pressured by anyone to raise those questions to Uncle Sam?

9. Sir don’t you think you will become really annoying to people if you keep asking them 10 or 15 questions? I mean have you thought about bringing this number down to 5 or 3?

10. Sir I know my questions to you don’t make much sense but do you think your questions ever do?

Posted in Mucking Around

So you want to start a war?

Ok, I understand we want to start a war now or rather open a new frontier in our existing ‘on and off war’ on Terror. There is lots of outrage after the Malala incident and this despicable act by Taliban has ‘rejuvenated’ our interest in eliminating a certain mindset from our society. This obviously calls for invading North Waziristan and we must now go in all guns blazing with our esteemed Armed forces. To be honest, I don’t personally have a problem with it in terms of the ideological or strategic reasons behind it. For me personally, it is all about taking sides, so I have picked my side which is, we want to eliminate the Taliban and eradicate any safe heavens of extremism who reside anywhere in this country. I can’t really dispute this argument and one way to eradicate an extremist mindset which is hell bent on killing you, is to kill them first.

So how do you get rid of the Taliban? Let me just apply some of my project management background to it. Yes for me, it is all about implementing a plan which should be based on a strategy, so here I list down some of factors we have to analyze first to come up with an efficient plan. Yes we hate to admit it but each time we have tried to go after the Taliban they have punched us back, right in the face and we are already in quite a mess. So lets analyze first.

What is different about this time than last time? We all know we have not done well against the Taliban in the Tribal belt. The armed forces have taken many casualties, in fact our state institutions have been a complete failure when it came to protecting ordinary citizens. People have been bombed and law and order is in complete shambles when it comes to arresting the killers. It is almost like we have pushed our armed forces into this territory without protecting the supply routes which are being dug up all the time while more extremism is fed at home. The roots of terrorism are spread throughout this country. Is there anything we have done to make sure that any such endeavor into North Waziristan will not result in a huge spate of bombings through out this country, further crippling law and order and may result to be the last nail in the coffin of our wretched economy?. I am afraid the answer is a big ‘No’.

Are we again going to sell ourselves short? Yes I am referring to our American friends. This war is going to be nasty, a long one, and is very much capable of tearing this country apart into a minimum of 3 pieces (conservative estimate). If you start it, make sure our American friends supply us with a stipend which should be like 20 times more than what we got previously.

Is your foot soldier convinced to fight? So at the end of the day the war will not be fought by Generals, it will be fought by low ranking officials. Are they motivated enough? The last I know after talking to the low ranking soldiers, some of them still refer to Taliban as Jihadis and did not have any kind words for their superiors. I guess with my very limited knowledge of war business, I could at least claim here that it is not going to be a great idea to fight unless the morale issue is sorted.

Are the people willing to pay the price? As I said, this war will be brutal and we will be fighting an enemy who believe in slitting throats and blowing women and children to pieces. The roots of the enemy run deep into our own territory and they will come down hard on us. Currently, by the looks of things, a majority does not even believe this is our war and have sympathies for the Taliban. My point is, there should be no half baked effort from this side and our armed forces are going to need every ounce of support from the common people of Pakistan.No matter what happens, I think we should be convinced that by the end of it, even if successful, we are going to end up with a devastated economy which we could think about rebuilding then onwards. As a nation our people must be prepared for it.

The Malala incident is despicable, deplorable and can only be justified by a sick rotten mindset. People calling for the North Waziristan offensive since then, however must realize and face the bitter truth that to wage a war, one must calculate first.

Posted in Not Mucking Around

The second best leader after Jinnah

“I am romantic, I do not think that you can be a politician without being romantic and there is nothing so inspiring as a lover affair. Nothing wrong with falling in love and conquering a woman’s heart…I call myself a Marxist in economic sense. I see no solution except scientific socialism.” One can only be impressed and inspired by such words, thoughts of Z.A.Bhutto who we remember as a Political Genius in the history of our country.

Z.A. Bhutto was a man who could look right through his opponents, the genius, the guile he possessed always kept his enemies on the toes. He once proposed to Indira Gandhi that he might be interested in forming a confederation with India which must have taken Indira completely off guard, however, deep inside Bhutto knew her weaknesses to exploit. He pointed out once “Indira was a mediocre women with a mediocre intelligence, a creature devoid of initiative and imagination. She dreams of taking us over. When I shook her hands it was with acute disgust.”

The initial rise of Bhutto is better understood by some of his correspondence, first, a letter to President Iskander Mirza where he states “I feel that your services to Pakistan are indispensable. When the history of our country is written by objective historians, your name will be placed even before that of Jinnah.”

In 1961, as part of the Ayub Khan’s Martial Law Cabinet, Bhutto wrote for Pakistan Annual, “The President’s personality is striking. He is a giant among men and makes a deep and lasting impression on any gathering… He is tall, majestic and utterly handsome. So good looking, indeed, that Hollywood could film him with credit from any angle…”

Bhutto did exhibit an exquisite art of flattery, a desire, a boundless ambition for power, intelligence and an extraordinary mind. His thought process was slightly inconsistent in terms of loyalties but as Bhutto himself declared, “Come with contradictions. Change continually and attack from every side. Apparent inconsistency is the prime virtue of a politician.”

Bhutto’s political Ideology was part marxist, part secular, part socialism and part Islamic. He described his socialism as Islamic and scientific. The Islamic part, later vilified the Ahmedis forever in this country and the scientific part was to nationalize every bit of economic prosperity.

Bhutto’s admirers consider him to be the father of Pakistan’s foreign Policy. The guerrilla war in Kashmir, and the flirting with Chinese irked the Americans, enough to get wary of Pakistan because of Bhutto’s diplomatic bravado. As part of the team of the architects of the 1965 war, Bhutto had planned to bring the lost glory back to Pakistan but when the same war was lost ‘on table’ in Tashkent, Bhutto was the only person to stand defiant, refusing to accept the dirty compromise by the ruthless dictator Ayub Khan and his cronies. This is when Bhutto decided to turn to the common man with a promise to disclose the secrets of Tashkent. In many ways Bhutto stands above other politicians, most do politics over one war, but in Bhutto’s case, the 1971 war also played a distinct role. In 71, when General ‘Tiger Niazi’ had already surrendered in East Pakistan, Bhutto made an emotional speech in the security council at that moment, refusing to bow down, tearing down his notes and vowed to go back home and fight. In actual Bhutto had already won the fight by then, which was to lead West Pakistan. Such was the genius of Bhutto that on his return he single-handedly out-maneuvered all his political rivals by assuming the post of Chief Martial Law Administrator of a ‘New Pakistan’.

Soon after, in the new Pakistan a political wild west was established to fix the politicians of mediocre stature, a PPP government blatantly enforced on Baluchistan and N.W.F.P. In addition an army operation was carried out in Baluchistan through out his rule. A new force called Federal Security Force(FSF) was established which had similarities with that of Iraqi republican guards and an essential political wing was created in Intelligence to re prioritize the objectives of Intelligence Agencies. The remarkable thing about Bhutto’s tenure is the void that we see in history books in terms of governance between his rise to power and his demise. This is also because there isn’t much to mention except for big entourages with dance troupes to world capitals, loads of diplomatic showman-ship and further accumulation of power to federation. Ironically Bhutto’s demise came by the hands of General Zia, who was chosen by himself. Zia, the Maulvi, picked for his quality of unbounded loyalty which he displayed in Operation Black September, a loyalist who could stoop to extreme levels of flattery.

Zia, the chosen meek Maulvi, was not only ambitious but also savvy, a dangerous combination in a person with an army under his command. As soon as Zia sensed weakness during the political agitation caused by Bhutto’s political opponents and the disconnect with the masses, Zia made his move to oust Bhutto from the Government. A little later Zia could sense Bhutto’s survival would mean his own demise, and at one point could foresee just one grave for the two of them. This is when the General with the gun made his move through a judicial murder.

It is unfortunate that the most populist leader that we saw after Jinnah, the only person to give hope to the working classes met a tragic end by the hands of one of the worst dictators that we came to know soon afterwards. The political romance had cost Bhutto his life in the end.

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Liberal Politics and Pakistan

In Pakistan, the voice of liberals or liberalism is generally not welcomed in the society, in fact there is an abhorrence for the word liberalism within the masses. There are quite a few reasons for it but the main factor seems to be the perception of liberalism which is not actually liberalism but a contaminated form of it. In the country, any mention of liberalism does not actually mean a political ideology but rather a life style which imitates western values, is elitist who posses a disdain for any sort of association with Islam. In actual, it has reached a point where it all comes across as class difference more than anything else hence the common man or working classes simply cannot relate to it. Liberalism, by definition is all about equal rights, liberal democracy, equal rights and free speech. As a political ideology, all of these attributes make a lot of sense however, unfortunately in Pakistan there has never been a Political force which has stood for these principles and hence the working classes for many historical reasons have never come to understand it fully as a Political Ideology.

It is a well known fact that Pakistan from its inception onwards has taken a very different course from what was originally thought by the founder. It is not that Pakistanis took a right wing approach from the very start, it was something that occurred gradually. The actual reason for turning towards right wing parties was the disillusionment from the ruling elite who were greatly influenced by the colonial past which included the politicians, bureaucrats and the armed forces. The failure of the ruling elite in forming a connection towards the working classes resulted in people turning towards right wing parties and acceptance of dictatorships from time to time.

The first time democratic forces came into power with the rise of Bhutto provided a great opportunity to introduce some of the core ingredient of liberalism in Pakistan politics but unfortunately it ended up taking the nation towards turmoil and a golden opportunity for permanently closing the doors for military was lost in that era. No doubt, Bhutto was the first person to connect with the working classes and became highly popular in the masses but his politics did not have any liberal ingredients to it. Bhutto displayed a highly authoritative and dictatorial behavior towards his political opponents and when felt threatened, he turned towards the military for support, allowing them a re entry into Politics. During Bhutto’s rule the only perception of liberalism the general public built was through Bhutto’s life style which was westernized and elitist, something which was targeted by his political opponents that lead to convolution of the perception of liberal politics in Pakistan. In short, for the masses, liberals turned into elitist, west influenced, party going drinkers who belonged to the affluent class.

General Zia’s regime further exploited this sentiment and the liberals were further marginalized through religious indoctrination of state institutions by force. The Afghan war with soviets just came at the right time for Zia’s Islamism which combined with the Jihadist victory in Afghanistan built a false perception about Islamic superiority within the region. The generation growing up in Zia’s time was raised with religious indoctrination and false history of the supremacy of the armed forces. The demise of General Zia, re introduced democracy in Pakistan, a core ingredient which should have ideally lead to liberalism in politics however for various reasons the masses saw anarchy and power games by all responsible parties during that era. Once again, there was no political party which tried or was capable of introducing liberal politics within Pakistan. Benazir enjoyed support of liberals but there were no concrete steps or measures taken during her tenure in the short time she had for the people, to witness any benefits of liberal values in the society. In fact to the younger generation of Pakistanis, the overall perception of Benazir Bhutto came across as feudalistic and corrupt. Her party’s ill governance also prevented Benazir from gaining any sympathies from the Zia influenced generation. This was once again exploited by establishment parties and misconceptions were built about liberal politics for political point scoring, in actual none of the democratic parties which came to power in the 90s era had taken steps to bring liberalism in politics. At the same time weakness of the democratic governments was unable to curb the Military’s policy of promoting the Jihadist agenda and the Madrassa turned into a very strong Institution with the capability to impact a major portion of the population. The Madrassa also thrived because of the disdain of the masses and the disillusionment they felt because of the ruling elite, be it a democratic government or military dictatorships.

There is some promotion of liberal values in English news papers and social media these days but this is limited to a fraction of the total population. In fact it is so confined that it seems completely disconnected with the rest of the country because of the language barrier. The references to Ideologies made here are almost alien to the common person and the annoying bit is, it almost has taken shape of elitist atmosphere where people don’t even seem to make an effort to go main stream. Over all liberal views reach some people who are already of the same kind or mostly sitting outside the country as immigrants. This may bring a change in five percent of the population but nothing really will change unless liberalism is introduced as a Political force which has a connection with the working classes.

The biggest dent for the Liberals is the rule of current government during the last 4 years. Incompetence, worsening law and order situation, economic deterioration and the perception of government party being liberal has dented the liberal cause once again and will only help the right wing parties. People need basic necessities first and they will turn to anyone who offers an alternative.

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Why must you not Question?

What is it that we are taught which makes Pakistan so insecure as a nation?. Why is it that our masses have lost the capability to question the belief and the hate mongering that is fed into their brains? Why has the thought process ceased to work in our educated youth? I know blogging about it does not provide me the best of the audiences but this should not also stop me from making an attempt especially when I saw some very educated gentlemen expressing their views about Ahmadiyya community on Twitter and over the issue of banning the AlIslam site by the PTA. My question is very simple to such people, what is it that makes you so insecure about Islam or your sect? Do you think banning something, or consistently persecuting a minority brings any benefits to Islam?. If you do then you possess a mindset which believes in coercion of ideas through an aristocratic force which only leads to religious fascism.

At times I feel outrageous when I find people listening to some Mullah who we normally disregard as backward and impractical in normal day to day matters but for some strange reason we are willing to side with them when it comes to hate mongering against certain communities and religious minorities and all of this in the name of religion. Is it because the Mullah has quoted a few verses from the Quran and an interpretation they have drawn for us? And strangely at that moment we turn into zombies and start believing in whatever is being spouted as the word of God.

Why is it that we do not think anymore? Did you ever sit and look at the people around you, so many races, so many religions, so many sects but their is only thing common that they are all humans. People who were created by the same God as everyone believes, there is nothing different whatsoever, each human being has a distinct family, a group of people around him who cling to each other with this bond of love. Love which comes in different forms, a mothers love, a wife, a father, a brother, a son, a daughter and the greatest of the love which is God’s love for each of us. If you walk into any Ahmadi’s house do you think you will find anything different over there in terms of this bond of love? When a Shia person is slain then do you honestly think you will find a different kind of sorrow or grief in a Shia house?. The mother would grieve with the deepest of sorrow,her pain would only be limited by what is humanly possible. Do you think you can differ from me over here? If you cant, then why persecute, why even support any ideas that lead to persecution of minorities?.

The older generation of Pakistan has a mindset, it has been built and solidified over a lifetime but the youth is something which disappoints me a lot more. Where is the courage that stands for humanity? We have more of learned people now then we ever had in the history of this region, so each time a hate monger recites a verse to you which incites violence or affirms the bludgeoning of a poor soul based on a sinful act of blasphemy then why can’t you think at that precise moment?, why cant you muster the courage to turn back and take a stand for humanity?. No one, has the right to take a life away because there is nothing more precious than a life and if you are in doubt than the best persons to consult would be the people who brought you into this world and the people who you brought into this world. Being a son and a daughter has nothing to do with the religion or the sect one belongs it. It is purely a relation of love, a feeling which is the purest form of our relation with God.

Everyone has a right to self preservation and this is one of the characteristics induced into the human brain for its essential survival, but this should never include persecution of minorities. It is the most cowardly of the acts possible and unfortunately here we as a nation have stooped to such low levels of morality that we have lost the objectivity to condemn the hatred fed into us. The biggest set back which is a tragedy is that the educated middle class these days have simply lost the will to raise questions, to reason and to refute the objectionable teachings shoved into their brains by the hate mongers. A majority of us are Muslims, born into Muslim families, there is nothing special about you, it does not give you any rights to persecute or challenge anyone’s faith by force. Is it not clear to you how loving God is?, then why must you not challenge when someone incites hate in the name of religion?

In actual Pakistanis as a nation have lost the courage, the capability to think,the freedom of thought, to distinguish between right and wrong. Spineless we are, we bludgeon helpless people to death in mobs and kneel before our pay masters.

Posted in Not Mucking Around