PHATECHAR – FOR THE RECORD

Posted: March 9, 2017 in Uncategorized

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The PSL finally came home be it briefly. The occasion provided immense pleasure and garnered a feel-good element in the nation. Pakistan has seen its moments unity, lately, on occasions of loss or mourning and this time the perspective was different. This time we came together triumphantly in the face of adversity. This was a moment of resilience, fight-back and self-belief.

However, it (International Cricket) was not the only home coming. The chickens came home to roost for PTI as well. The party supremo known for his contrasting stance termed “U-Turns” advocated the final to be held in Pakistan, when there were talks of staging it in Dubai owing to decline of International players from coming to Pakistan. Yet when the organizers gave in to national demand of bringing it back to Lahore he called termed it “Madness”.

Alhamdolillah! Despite all the reservations and amid countless sincere prayers the event concluded successfully. As the nation was rejoicing this brief and long awaited moment of joy, we were struck with this jaw dropping stance now colloquially trended as “phatechar”.

The backlash was aggressive. People didn’t take it lightly, mainly for following reasons

  1. It came from a proclaimed Messiah
  2. An aspirant of Prime Minister ship
  3. An ex-cricketer and World Cup winning Captain
  4. An oxford educated, not that it benefited but still a rarity since Benazir’s demise
  5. A political icon of Pakistani Youth
  6. It compromised the tradition of mehmannawazi (hospitability)

The local twitterati were furious and “phatechar’ became the leading trend. Enough has been said and written about it. What added insult to injury was the clarification of this being ‘Off the Record” and should not have been published.

The term “OFF THE RECORD” is, often, used for conversations at private parties, walk ways, informal sittings or private conversations (not limited to telephones). The speaker even in between formal discussions may speak certain things with an intention of ‘for audiences’ ears only’, which are explicitly disclosed as ‘off the record’, missing in the viral video.

The video is shot in a conference like environment and is more of a Q&A session, perhaps before the intended presser. The reporters were probably invited to the event so that rules out the lamest excuse of “OFF THE RECORD” conversation presented as a cover up by PTI.

Secondly, the content is nothing but an extension of previous narrative and attitude shown not only by the KHAN but his more lethal (loyal) than the Khan supporters aka Ali Zaidi – post election press conference, Mani – pre-election monologue directed at Karachites and Hamza Ali Abbasi – post election comments about Karachi in the face of defeat.
If that wasn’t enough, statements by Naeem ul Haq and Fawad Chaudhry have only cemented the stance and made it PTI’s official narrative. Unlike MQM where, previously, clarifications by Rabita Committee generally pacified the leadership’s verbal spat. PTI leadership and workers were only making a greater fool of themselves by unsuccessfully proving the correctness of these politically incorrect stance.

The ones who couldn’t defend the Khan tried a different approach. They started bashing the female reporter who uploaded the video. The said reporter is called unprofessional and slack for her role in the fiasco. The reporter is only interested in his/her scoop and everyone who has worked with the press knows it. Therefore, a slip of the tongue is always a big issue. There are also calls for self-censorship and that the said reporter shouldn’t have uploaded the video in greater interest of the country.

The dogma of “Larger Interest of the Republic” is a myth created to further state control and nothing else. Keeping in line with this narrative the reporters should also avoid reporting nepotism, malpractice and rampant corruption as they deter Foreign Investments and as you said make “Pakistan – the country – a laughing stock worldwide.

I’m sorry but there is nothing wrong with exposing the attitude of person demanding to lead the country. This should not be limited to a certain somebody but exercised across the board be it Bilawal, Fazl, Shujaat etc. At least, this provides the people a true depiction of the personality of the person who is demanding to step on their necks for the next 5-year term.

Moulvi!

Posted: July 31, 2015 in Society
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“These ignorant molvis (preacher and prayer leader) …”, “How can they go about saying such things?”, “They don’t know anything about Islam”, “I guess Islam doesn’t forbid so and so act, the moulvi must have made it up, how can something so popular in our society be haram?” and above all “These moulvis don’t know anything about lifestyle and culture?” are some of the most common complaints my educated and self proclaimed liberal friends have had since as long as I can recall.

The increased violence, emergence of radical groups and widening sectarian divides had added their flavor to their concerns with accusations such as “Moulvis spread Takfir and divide the umma”, “They support the radical groups and khwarijs” etc.

Commencement of Ramadan is accompanied by regularity in prayers hence increased traffic to mosques and faithful who normally skip namaz make efforts to fulfill the daily obligation more religiously. The downside of this reignited religiosity is the frequent interaction with moulvi and their distant thoughts such as denouncement of attire or absence of beard and the all too common practice of worshiping without covering ones head.

These woes can eMaulviasily be reduced if the perpetrators learn to exercise caution and abstain from highlighting petty diversions which have become too popular to be considered as such.

However, moulvis aren’t able to subdue this urge as they live an entirely different life. Most of them spend their lives in secluded seminaries. Disconnected from mainstream society they are rendered incapable of understanding popularity of certain garb and why would they? Why are they expected to know the norms and lifestyle of an alien culture? Most of them spend their lives in secluded seminaries.

The gulf will only get wider and wider as we don’t send any of our children to seminaries for learning religion or faith instead we enroll them in English Medium schools and later into highly expensive professional colleges in order to equip them with necessary skills of acquiring wealth. To raise a moulvi can never be as profitable as an accountant, engineer or doctor.  Therefore, we prevent a moulvi to be born off our society and especially from a well reputed, civilized and noble family such as ours.

The second option by virtue of which a moulvi can somehow alleviate seclusion is through marriage but God forbid if any of them dare interact with us, seeking the hand of our daughter or sister in marriage, we are offended beyond respite. How dare he think himself worthy of our highly educated and properly schooled princess?

In case an idiot steps up, he is made an example to ward off others. The culprit is punished by getting his contract terminated from the concerned mosque. The case of sinister desires, low moral standards, hypocrisy and tyranny is built for the cause and why shouldn’t it be after all it is the molvis who tell everyone to lower their gaze and observe purdah and instances such as these expose their preference for our daughter/sister.

This attitude of ours simply shut the gates of our society and seals the fate of our mosques. The later is left at the mercy of dreaded foreigners or worse, it is occupied by salaried adulators, flannel mongering and taffy talkers.  The eventuality is a classic recipe for, inevitable, conflict and rift between moulvi and the society he is supposed to shepherd or serve. In both of these cases damage is substantial.

It’s not doom and gloom but has certain inherent benefits. Firstly, if we don’t want to follow or agree to a certain thing propagated by moulvi he can conveniently be disowned. The second situation i.e. of an incense wage earner serves our ego and nurtures our pride. We brag about how easily we control the moulvi? How he is rendered powerless to utter something which may be displeasing to us.

The wealthy or active members of the mosque would also benefit from the periodic fatehas and prayers for their deceased relations as a fringe benefit. Salaried moulvi is like a master chef who sets up a buffet and fills it up with only the dishes preferred by the clientele. He serves innovative and improvised meals and often at the expense of health and nutritional value.

These creatures can easily devoid us of the true meaning of our religion through conceit, flattery or stern and uncompromising attitude. Therefore, if you feel troubled by the sermons or the usual calls to piety bug you. The propagated dress code is not to your liking. Your wardrobe lacks appropriate attire for prayers. Then stand up and send such moulvis packing.

They are not and cannot be relations. When they cannot be accepted and made part of the society, which they serve and lead in prayers. Then why put up with them? Why allow them the opportunity to exercise certain powers associated with mosques?

After all:

  • What do these strangers know about fashion or style?
  • What could someone who makes his living off a meager part of donations collected from the neighborhood know about economics, business or trade?
  • How can they know about our intentions and feelings, they haven’t been refined through English medium schools?
  • They still read Urdu and Arabic books written ages ago what could they possibly know about modern science?

Let us indeed send them packing as we can replace them easily. We can let our religious intellect and know-all brains to guide us. Our intellect has evolved to an extent whereby we can rightly interpret religion. Why go through the hassle of learning we are Muslims for generations and surely we know everything.

If, in certain unique and uncommon situations, we face difficulties than surely we can rely on technology and google the solutions in no time. In fact with smart phones it can be done in real time. We can conveniently solidify our arguments, opinions and judgments through false traditions and weakly linked hadiths.

Let us fulfill our most important religious obligation of spreading the true meaning and practices of Islam in our midst. Let us start by reclaiming our mosques. Let us send these moulvi’s back to the caves. Let us banish them from our neighbourhoods and perhaps then we may be blessed with rains. It may be that Allah doesn’t send showers on us because of unnecessary and continuous nagging, criticism and checks of moulvis.

Democracy

Posted: March 25, 2015 in Quote
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Democracy is the tyranny which mocks the public & demote their power 

Carol Anne Grayson (Radical Sister) blog

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Alleged gunmen that attacked staff at offices of Charlie Hebdo, Paris

(Le Monde, Elise Barthet, Twitter)

Word of an attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a weekly satirical magazine in Paris came in a tweet which read, “the Prophet (Muhammad) has been avenged!”

At least 12 people were killed and 10 wounded when 3 gunmen, carrying kalashnikovs and a rocket-propelled grenade and dressed in black military-style clothing, one shouting Allahu Akbar (God is Great) approached the premises of the publication. Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Corinne “Coco” Rey told a French newspaper that two men forced him to enter a door code. He was told, “you say to the media that it was al Qaeda in Yemen”

Charlie Hebdo was controversial for its mocking of political and religious leaders which included the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in 2011 and most recently Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of Islamic State, (parts of Iraq and Syria). The caricatures were…

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A civil disobedient youth, probably high on new found political sense, lost control of his accelerated motor cycle as he came blazing all guns to hit my vehicle as I slowed down to take a left turn to get off the main road. Apparently his acceleration proved too much and when he, even from a distance of 50 odd meters, applied the brakes lost to elementary physics especially laws of velocity. After the impact the inertia threw him over and he fell down the drain that runs along the main road from Jauhar Chawrangi to Pehalwan Goth. It took me a few seconds to overcome my shock as I rushed out to see where he had gone. Fortunately for the two of us he was hanging on to the PTCL underground main cable, yes the big fat and black assortment of countless colourful cables that run underneath the ground and which was left hanging out over the drain albeit irregularly. “Are you alright? Did you hurt yourself?” were the initial sentences I could utter as I pulled him out and people started to gather around.CDO!

“Either try to go a an extra 100 or so meters or if you really prefer riding on the opposite side of the traffic flow on main roads, generally called wrong side, do it at a slow speed” was my advice to the young man still in a state of shock while people examined him by rubbing their hands and firmly applying pressure on his limbs and torso to check whether he was doing okay.

Before the fellow citizens could turn into awam and seize the opportunity as getting back at the man who apparently had benefited or fared well in this society I left the scene by  re-igniting the engine of my vehicle. I was aided by a bystander in the crowd who voluntarily made way for me.  In my mind I still feel that this assumption is wrong and that I discredit my countrymen by these thoughts and feelings but collective social wisdom, derived from various such experiences of friends and acquaintances led me the earlier conclusion and I left but not before knowing that the “youth” in question, our future was doing alright.

Later that evening, after seeing the condition of my car, people condoled with me for my loss. Some suggested that I should have reprimanded the boy, some said I shouldn’t have pulled him out or helped him as according to them he deserved it.

The last advice can also be interpreted as I deserved it, for everything I was doing or did had a direct impact on me getting into that accident according the new found political wisdom and change theory propagated on the beat of music these days in Islamabad. I deserved it because I didn’t pay heed to the dharnawalas and continue to simply act stupid and naive, like a majority of Pakistanis who are conditioned by the corrupt system to follow the lanes, traffic rules and basic common sense. Similarly, what befalls us at the hands of these “agents of change” is all our doing. We have come to accept a system that governs our lives, much like rest of the world. However, if other countries have systems doesn’t mean we should too, or does it? The system ails and it’s makes youthful reason to absolve it rather than follow or correct it.

On the other-hand, the youth who defied the laws of the corrupt was right and made an impact, both on my image of my vehicle and my pocket, similar in perspective to the one made to the image and economy of Pakistan by the two saviours at federal capital. Yes! It was ironic that he slipped and his vehicle and body had to face the brunt, the usual sacrifices that must be made for the revolution are compared to nothing in the greater schemes of things and abundant benefits which can be derived off this disobedience and independence revolution. I still feel bad about the kid because the damage to my car was done and its nothing compared to, God forbid, if anything would have happened to the boy “our proclaimed future”.

May he learn from his experience and not repeat this folly. May the boy don’t jeopardize his life and wellbeing and with it our future. Similarly, may the dharnebaaz learn from their experience and don’t put the future of this Pakistan, the state with all its institutions, at risk. Like their novice follower I hope that they find an irregularity like that cable to avoid falling into the drain taking the promised hope with them. I wish them to survive this hit so that the protracted betterment can run its due course. Ameen

“Leave it bhai! What victory? They have been killing innocent women and children as they please and been doing since they were created by western powers. There is no victory but destruction”, protested a younger cousin. The free flow of thoughts and words were triggered when I informed him about the firework display at Karachi’s Fresco Chawk at Burns Road. The event was organized to mark the signing of peace treaty between Israel and Hamas which ended the 50 odd days of war.

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A war which more or less was like a prison riot, especially when one looks at Gaza surrounded by 50ft of concrete wall on three sides and by the Mediterranean on the west. An aggression that Israel initiated to defend herself and which made the whole world recall holocaust.

This may also be the continuation of Israel’s policy of usurping Palestinians’ rights as the state since its manipulative creation by the British and French has always maintained a cease fire – it has never stopped to cease lands and fire at the Palestinians. Until Israel feels it has ceased enough and begins to fire we should give due credit to the Palestinians for they did not give in to bombings, killings and annihilation of complete neighborhoods. The pictures coming out of Gaza bore a striking resemblance to those of Stalingrad or Leningrad during the WWII. Yet they sat equally to Israel and dealt it their terms for an end to recent cruelty.

The escalating violence cost the lives of countless children even the ones playing football on a beach. Atrocities continue and so did the international condemnation. However, when Netanyahu signed the peace accord it was a victory, be it partial, for Palestinians.

The oppressor with all the military might, US and UK backing, UN’s selective blindness and utter disregard for humanity had to come to negotiating table and give certain concessions to the trapped Palestinians of Gaza. This is not being a remedial initiative or any turning point in this legacy of the western disregard for freedom and independence, especially in the Middle East. But this time the prisoners have made their wardens concede certain human rights.

This deal is significant because it proves that with all the military might and brutal hatred is futile against human resolve. It is a victory when you consider that in the Palestinians were treated like animals in the slaughterhouse and was actually able to name their terms for peace.

On that particular night at Fresco Chawk it was about commemorating victory of human determination. It proved that Palestinians are not going to give up and that the flare of freedom in them runs thicker than blood (spilled in abundance) and water (denied to them since Hamas was elected in Gaza strip).

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is as old as Pakistan and if looked deeper we can easily discover some very disturbing and often hushed similarities between the two. The first thoughts by our isolated and self saturated urban ‘braniacs’ (not dissimilar to maniacs) would be the treatment of minorities in Pakistan to the plight of Palestinians would only be comparing apples to oranges because both are fruits.

The relatively average intellect would look at the basis i.e. both are ideological states but then the two nation theory was widely accepted has practiced in Hindustan which was internally divided into religions, states, castes, clans etc.

Pakistan is a result oApples and oranges illustrated b-wf division of Indian Sub-Continent same as Israel (division of Palestine). The problem is that Pakistan was created in Muslim majority provinces and Israel was given a much greater share of land 55% when migrant European Jews were only 5% of the total population and held only 8% of lands.

Perhaps the treatment of Pashtoon is Waziristan. They are the rogue elements, much like Gazan (who elected Hamas) who we kept cordoned off, rather unsuccessfully, for some 65 years. Now we have invaded their prison of mountains and passes, bombed and displaced them in thousands much like Israelis. What a relief, finally an argument which may live 5 minutes before falling on its head. We didn’t put special permits requirement on Waziristani Tribemen and primarily because the later chose and cherished their mountain dwellings and their way of life. They didn’t elect TTP nor had any part in this war except being wronged by the engaging parties.

Some would point to extremist tendencies which if gauged objectively would find many a countries beating Pakistan by far greater margins and in this case will not be a valid argument.

This is desperate because if the two countries cannot be compared than how could one find their place in the able minded, thinking and educated urban youth. The ideological connect isn’t there, persecution of minorities isn’t comparable, partition of land historically un-realistic, fundamentalism and bigotry, may exist but the phenomenon is universal and can’t be confined to the two.

Well, simply follow the flock and turn a blind eye to reason, fact, logic and history. When some holier than though pan-Islamic activist brings humanitarian crisis in Gaza to the table rely on ignorant arrogance and yell this is not a subject for discussion, especially, in Pakistan because later is the same as Israel. It treats its people all the same, zealots roam our streets and even parliaments and we do carry out mass injustice as reported by Mr. Satirist, who is a prominent student activist of yore and publishes English blogs.

If needed, let’s quote a few incidences where-in children and women are maltreated, abused and exploited or rampant injustice and power display by the authorities, feudal and military landowners’ etc. before changing the subject to how Mathira and the likes are revolutionaries taking the old guards chest on. Perhaps it would be mature to talk about long marches or stagnant dharnas (old tactics for a new or revolutionary country).

The approach is the most widely practiced and is not limited to subject at hand but is effective universally. Especially in campus table talks, generally held in college canteens and is the dilemma that ails this country. It is the embedded in our selective honesty, activism and remorse. Pakistan has her fair share of flaws but that doesn’t mean we should stay silent or look the other way when Palestinians, or anybody else for that matter, are massacred. The injustice in our motherland warrants condemnation but being global citizens Palestine is our issue too.

We may be, geographically, too far off but that shouldn’t stop us from being part of the global civil society angered at the treatment of Palestinians in Gaza which of late has transformed from a prison to slaughterhouse. Israel is wrong and should be condemned not drawn as a parallel to Pakistan. Let us not hide from our moral responsibility by changing the channel, scrolling down or browsing off. Let us show that Pakistanis are united, in spirit, with the Palestinians.