Khoon ke Aansoo

Phir na nikalna iss tareh ay guruub e aftab
Ke mera dil aaj khoon ke aansoo ro raha hay

Ye mera dil, meri dharkan, meri saans
Aaj saneha-e-buzdili ki daastaan pe ro raha hay

Voh maa, behan, voh bhai aaj kyun apnon se bechar gaye
Farishta-e-sifat bachon se kyun koi badla le raha hay

Qaatil tum naheen, hum naheen, koi bhi naheen
Voh phir masoom lashon ke unbaar kyun laga raha hay

Dekho aaj ilm ke paristaar wahan chal basay
In taarik rahon main kyun koi dia bhuja raha hay

Raasta hay kathan, manzil bohat door apni
In halaat main kyun koi kaante bicha raha hay

Phir na dilana yaad mujh ko ye din saaqi
Ke mera dil aaj khoon ke aansoo ro raha hay

Ke mera dil aaj khoon ke aansoo ro raha hay . . . .

(C) Atif Mumtaz December 16, 2014

Dedicated to the victims of Peshawar Attack.

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The Politician Flavor of the Month

tahir ul qadriIt is no surprise to see Dr. Tahir ul Qadri trying to crawl back into the hearts of Pakistanis with a new fervor but carrying the same old message. And it is typical of Pakistanis to watch his antics with awe and laugh at his actions. Yes, some of us will follow him whole heartedly, and join his futile attempts at whatever he proposes. I for one pity those followers.

To me he is just another Politician. No different from others. Just the flavor of the month. He will be forgotten with the same speed at which he is now being remembered.

I am quite surprised at his audacious questions that he asks his fellow politicians. He has committed the same crimes as others. He talks about transparency but he himself has an interesting past. He cries for Pakistan but lives in Canada. Rather, he is a citizen of Canada. He talks about openness but I would like to know who pays his bills for such a massive advertising campaign which is in millions of dollars. So what is the difference between Qadri and other politician? What has he done in the past (other than emigrate out of the country when the going was tough) that merits him to be above the rest?

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Bulleya Ki Janan PM Kaun?

Bulleya!Bulleya ki janan PM kaun?

Na voh momin vich maseetan
Har vari kare kufr dee reet aan
Na voh paakaan bus vich paleet aan

Shaid voh numrood o Firaon
Bulleya ki janan PM kaun

Awwal aakhir Asif noon jaanan
Na koi dooja hor pichana
Asif toon vadh na koi sayana
O’ Bulleya o’ Bulleya

Bulleya ki janan PM kaun

Na voh Paki na voh Khaki
Na voh tabdeeli na voh Leegee

Bulleya ki janan PM kaun

With due respect to Baba Bulleh Shah and Junoon.

Can Politicians hijack PTI from its honorable goals?

Javed Hashmi and Imran Khan

Javed Hashmi is now a PTI politician ditching PML in their favor.

I am a bit concerned about the mass influx of traditional politicians from PPP and PML into Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI), an upcoming political party run by the venerated Imran Khan.

Veterans like Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, Shaukat Tareen, Awais Laghari and others have been in politics longer than the somewhat new democratic process begun after the death of General Zia ul Haq in 1988. However, none of them have contributed significantly for the improvement of the the democratic process, providing justice to the people or controlling corruption in the country. Heck, most of them enjoyed VIP privileges when ministers for PPP, PML and even willingly served under the leadership of a military dictator.
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Greg Mortenson – You are still my hero

Greg Mortenson - a saint among usCBS may have taken a few potshots at you to improve their sagging TV ratings. Jon Krakauer: might have gotten his 15 minutes of fame that he has been so desparately seeking to improve his profile (and possibly make his next book a best seller). But in reality none of this changes the fact, that for the better part of last 20 years you have dedicated your life to building hundreds of schools in the most remote and forgotten parts of the war ravaged world.

It also does not change the fact, that your schools were the first education that anyone has received in in generations, especially the girls.

It also does not change the fact, that your books have inspired countless people, to think for others rather than themselves for the better good of humanity.

Your actions, have inspired a whole new generation of philanthropists and social entrepreneurs who are out there trying to play their part in making this world a better place.

While CBS’s tabloid journalism might try to derail your noble mission to educate the poor of the world, it does not change the fact that each day another child comes home better educated than his parents. Each day, a girl learns the meaning of life and her rights as a human being which sadly her mother missed out by being kept illiterate.

While the CBS investigative team (Andy Court, Kevin Livelli and Maria Usman) has never left the comfort of their homes to visit any war torn regions, nor have they gone and lived among the poorest of the poor. They certainly do not know the meaning of poverty, uneducation and powerless lives. They are probably just seeking cheap publicity to further their journalistic careers. Today, they take a pot shot at you, tomorrow, they might go after Nelson Mandela.

Dr Greg, you are our hero and you will remain one no matter what. What you have done for the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan is unique and angelic. May God give you reward in this life and hereafter for your good deeds.

Can Pakistan really trust USA? Take a quick Poll to find out.

Can Pakistan really trust America? (Cast your vote)

(polls)

Secretary of State, Ms Hillary Clinton’s three day visit to Pakistan opened up more questions than it answered this week. Ms Clinton once again failed to alley the fears of the general public who still are sceptical of US designs in Pakistan. She also hinted at USA’s mistrust over handling of the War on Terror without once acknowledging Pakistan’s army brave men fighting in the trenches an American (foreign) war. While she was quick to blame Pakistan army for not being able to capture Al Qaeda members, yet she never fully explained why America, with all its might, has failed miserably in Afghanistan and Iraq to do the same. Surely, if they expect an economically and militarily weak Pakistan to curtail Al-Qaeda then US, being the super power of the world, be able to produce better results in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The mistrust, sadly as it seems, is at its highest and is only getting worse. The disillusionment is not just among the general public in Pakistan, but is slowly creeping into the political and military leadership of the country as well.

Despite Pakistan successfully capturing more Al-Qaeda high value targets than any nation (including USA) it is never acknowledged nor really commended upon. Instead a sleuth of allegations are placed by the world leaders. At the same time, Pakistan army has lost more troops than any other army (including the USA) in this war on Terror since September 11, 2001. Yet, no US senior diplomat or military general has acknowledged their sacrifice or even placed a wreath on their memorial.

Worst still, millions of innocent Pakistanis have been uprooted by the War on Terror in many districts of Pakistan, but little or no US humanitarian support has reached them. Pakistan has seen thousands of civilian deaths that are directly attributed to US drone attacks are also acknowledged by American leadership as “acceptable civilian losses”. It seem that Pakistanis lives have no value as compared to the American citizen.

The mistrust between Pakistan and USA is not a recent story. In fact, it dates back to the 1960s and here is why:

1960s:
Pakistan was member of the alliance (SEATO and CENTO) similar to NATO in Europe. That meant that if any member was attacked the alliance would support them. The U2 spy planes would also fly from Pakistan over Russia as part of the agreement between US and Pakistan. This was a major source of anger for Russia with Pakistan and had threatened a war on Pakistan. Yet, Pakistan, stood fast in support of USA throughout the time the U2s flew.

In 1965, a war broke out between India and Pakistan that lasted 17 days. At the end of the War, the Lyndon B Johnson’s US administration, rather than supporting Pakistan, put them on a sanctions list and ended the military and economic support of the country. Pakistan’s economy had been growing tremendously between 1960-1965 period primarily due to the US economic support. With that gone, the economy suffered and went south. At the same time, our military which was reeling from the war with India suffered a major setback when it was left to fend for itself without any support from America.

As a contrast, India’s main supporter Russia, not only increased its support for India but gave it the latest machinery (fighter jets, tanks etc) to better equip them against Pakistan. They, Russia, also played a vital role in end of war treaty between India and Pakistan while US stayed away.

The economic downturn that followed the sanctions turned into a political turmoil and eventually culminated in the breakup of the country and creation of Bangladesh 1971. Pakistan military was weakened considerably during the past six years and crumbled easily against a well equipped Indian army during the short 1971 war with India. Once again, US played lip service and did nothing to assist its ally, Pakistan throughout this conflict.

Dejected and left to its own, Pakistan unilaterally walked out of CENTO and SEATO treaties as the allies failed to help them.

1970s
Pakistan played a pivotal role in bringing China and America together. If it were not for the efforts and role played by Pakistan, Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon would not have had the opportunity to build a long term relationship with China. Yet, Pakistan’s role is never discussed or acknowledged by the US. It seems they did all the work while no one helped them.

1980s
To fight the Soviet Communist threat, Americans gave rebel Afghan forces not only sophisticated weapons, but trained them in the guerrilla warfare under direct supervision of trained CIA operatives. When the rebel Afghans were running short in number and did not have enough manpower to continue to take on the Soviet Union, CIA devised a clever plan to make it into a religious war, a jehad, and invited/recruited many young people from various parts of the Arab world as part of the mercenary army. Each one of them received complete weapons training and a healthy stipend among other perks. Money was no object. It was literally distributed in sacks to the recruits and their leaders by CIA.

Osama Bin Laden and his cronies were among the recruits during the mid 1980s who flew in from the Middle East to fight the war. The fighting force was renamed as Mujahideens (Army of God) and given full support from all Western powers. Today, these same fighters, some still have the same leadership, are all jumbled up by the US administration as Talibans and AlQaeda. Yesterday’s Mujahedeens and today’s Talibans have little difference and sometimes have the same leaders guiding them in their war with America.

The administration also fails to acknowledge that it created its own Frankenstein and continues to blame Pakistan for it. This strategy may work in USA, where an average Joe is not familiar with Afghan war, but in Pakistan in particular and in Middle East in general, where such recruitment and trainings were openly carried out, such American amnesia is not only baffling but considered an outright lie.

1990s
Pakistan was threatened in the 1980s by Soviets with a nuclear annihilation for its support of rebel Afghans. It was also told not to fight an american agenda in Afghanistan. Soviet jets would bombard various parts of Pakistan throughout that conflict yet, Pakistan stood steadfast with its ally, the US. By the time, 1990s began, US had won the war in Afghanistan, the Soviet Union had collapsed and Berlin War had come down. Once again, US had no use for Pakistan and instead of rewarding its old ally, it instead placed it on new economic and military sanctions under Pressler Amendment. This was not a just reward for a nation that stood by the US throughout the 1990s.

Once again the nation spiraled into economic depression. The military was left to fend for itself. And worse of all, Afghanistan was left to its own peril with no support from the US. Leaving it to Pakistan to sort out the matter.

In this chaos and gloom of 1990s, Mujahideens of the previous decade transformed themselves into autonomous bodies in the form of Al-Qaeda and Talibans. Trained and well equipped by the CIA, these operatives had not only working knowledge of how to take the fight to the enemy but had already played their role in bringing a super power down (Soviet Union).

In this chaos and vacuum, these organizations rose to take the fight back to the US culminating in the tragedy of 9/11.

This week, Hilary Clinton, was in Pakistan. Rather than acknowledging the mistakes of the past, she preferred that the Pakistan forgot the past and embraced the future. She also failed to thank the nation for its sacrifices and skirted the issue of the drone attacks that has killed thousands of innocent civilians in Pakistan. She never delved deep into the IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) crisis, and also failed to explain the draconian clauses in Kerry-Lugar Bill similar to Pressler Amendment whereby America can pull its support at any instant if it deems necessary.

The question remains. Can Pakistan really trust America? I have created a simple poll asking this very question and see if our readers can answer this question in the light of the facts just mentioned.

So click on the link below to vote:

Can Pakistan really trust America?

(polls)

Rising Petrol Prices in Pakistan

So I got this message today.

Rising Petrol Prices

Rising Petrol Prices

The price of petrol in the international market is hovering around US$36 a barrel. Now one barrel contains 210 liters of petrol. Which means a price of US$0.17 per liter in a barrel. Now as Pakistani Rupee today is around 80 rupees to a dollar, that translates into PKR 13.60 per litre in a barrel.

Now adding the price for refining and taxation, it comes to around PKR 25. However, the price set by Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) is PKR 57/liter in the country. Is that not excessive profit taking by oil companies in Pakistan? Is that not another sign that the PPP government led by Asif Zardari is failing its citizens by not curbing and controlling the oil companies? The uncontrolled rise in oil prices in the country has caused an inflationary trend with commodities like milk, salad, meat and other such basic items costing two to three times more than a year ago.

Would be interesting to read comments on what others think on this pricing model.