Confronting Wrong numbers?


It was New Year eve a friend had come over from Islamabad, after high tea we decided to hit the cinema just to kill time before he left for home.

Three hours later i had this perturbing question hovering over my mind:
“Are we brave enough to tackle wrong numbers? ”

Taking a cue out of the awe aspiring didactic bollywood Blockbuster PK that puts superstition harboring God-men to the sword; i am pin pointing to the mullahs spewing hate on tv in Pakistan. The vitriol injected by Amir Liaqat Hussain and his toady clerics in a private tv show virtually snowballed into the murder of an Ahmadi in Gujranwala the very next day, but i reckon that’s business as usual for it was conveniently put under the mat.

I need to clear the air before crossing the thin red line that neither am i an Islam bashing ultra liberal nor a pseudo secular in search of limelight or a raw agent with nefarious agenda up my sleeves.

Recently Civil society showed maturity and chutzpah by protesting against maulana Abdul Aziz outside the red mosque in the wake of the grisly Peshawar attack, though some thought it was an ephemeral catharsis on part of a few bold people who took to the streets in the Capital. I believe the short lived demonstration created a few ripples in status quo where fighting against the religious cult is an exercise in futility as unfortunately social media (which has a limited scope) seems to be the only battle turf to tackle the religious fascists.

Take the case of the christian couple that was cold-bloodedly thrown in the kiln in bright daylight on false allegation of blasphemy by a bunch of demented maniacs but despite all the clamour on social media the ailing justice system has yet again disappointed by resorting to delaying tactics before giving a verdict over a case that is as clear as a may’s morning.

I hope that peshawar attack becomes the water shed moment. Though paradoxically 43 years ago the same day (16th december) should been the critical juncture for us to come of age as a nation when the country was dismembered, rather we went back a few steps attributing to the pyrotechnics and shenanigans of Mr. Bhutto and Zia, which are now of part of history books to take heed. Eventually in 1997 Nawaz Sharif government hit the last nail in coffin by recognising the Taliban government in Afghanistan.

Though Musharaff and general Kiyani coped their share of flak for not curbing the dirty game of good cop and bad cop played with talibans under their noses in post 911 Pakistan, yet I would laud Perveiz Musharaff for taking pivotal decision regarding operation silence on the red mosque which quizzically backfired.

I reckon it backfired because we ‘the awaam’ badly miscalculated the ambitions of the operation that was meant to quell the fundamentalists, who had taken refuge inside, without desecrating the sanctity of Mosque or islamic values.

I vividly remember during the days of operation silence i was staying in hostel of Pakistan’s premier business school pursuing my MBA degree, with the so called liberal student body. Witnessing live telecast of operation in the hostel’s lounge it was manifested by the reaction of some of my mates that religious jingoism had got the better of national interests as many questioned the morality of the operation on a mosque, without delving into the crux of the matter.

Rationally scrutinised, It is evident that the fundos inside abducted ladies on account of debauchery and misdeeds, i wonder what yardstick or divine authority they had to punish someone on basis of morality? maybe Zia Ul Haq’s ghost had permitted them, i can’t fathom. Just to set the record straight they even used burqa clad women as shields and failed to relent even on the intervention of imam of Kaba, who flew all the way from mecca.

Peshawar incident is an eye opener. Its high time that those who still believe that Malala is a CIA backed educational drone or a jewish conspiracy and the attack on her was a set up should put their malices to rest now.

#Neverforget hash tag would only embelish our twitter profiles if we do not translate it into a meaningful movement on grass root level and become bold enough to call spade a spade and understand the true teachings of islam ourselves rather than permitting the mullahs to set the religious doctrine and carve a narrative for our coming generation to follow.

Before it is too late let’s awaken the PK inside us( that is so alien to the prevailing narrative in the country) and start questioning the authority of hate-mongering religious bigots having wrong numbers.


Naya Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: it’s official!

The hullabaloo of 2013 elections has almost phased out, with new government about to be formed in space of a few days. Writing is on the wall that Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf will form government in khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The fanfaronade of creating a ‘naya pakistan’ has ultimately petered out in carving a ‘naya Pakhtunkhwa’ for the time being. It has atleast given something to cheer for Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf’s rather disgruntled supporters, especially those partaking in sit-ins across the country.

The current scenario bodes well for Imran Khan. With majority seats in KPK assembly, it would give him a chance to realise his dream of building a utopian government — be it at a provincial level. I have heard him citing examples of good governance in Bihar state in India as a paradigm to be emulated in Pakistan. For that Pervez Khatak the-to-be-chief minister has to do the Nitish Kumar in KPK.

Commensurate efforts are needed to bring reform in the province but the key to prosperity in KPK unfortunately lies with the Talibans — they could throw spanner in the works by disturbing the peace of KPK. With restoration of law and order heading PTI agenda, Pervez Khatak has already asked Talibans to show some clemency in order to rebuild a new khyber Pakhtunkhwa from scratch.

By the looks of things, PTI has to tread over a very fine line for KPK to get over its miseries. The goals seem pretty well aligned though. From economic prosperity, empowerment of municipal and district level government system, education& health reform to law and order restoration — PTI agenda seems to cover all the bases. Nonetheless execution of these goals would be pivotal.

The five years tenure of leading a provincial government is going to be a litmus test for Imran Khan and co. if he succeeds in fulfilling the promises he has made to the people in KPK, he would end up being a reliable leader in the long run. Otherwise the people of KPK would do what they are so good at, that is to vote for change in the next elections. From the rightist, leftist to the liberals — people in KPK province have tried them all.

In 1993 they voted for Pakistan Peoples Party.
In 1997 it was the turn of Pakistan muslim league (N) to form government.
In 2002 they opted for Muthahida Majlis e Amal as their saviours.
In 2008 they chose a new option in form of Awami National Party.
In 2013 it is Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf, in whom they have reposed their faith.

With the kind of people at its disposal, PTI is more than capable in laying foundations of a new khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. As far as rest of the pakistan is concerned, the nation is content on repairing the old pakistan until Tsunami sweeps the whole nation off its feet when next election takes place in the country.