Archive for the ‘peace building’ Category

on quetta

August 8, 2016

poem by a friend on the carnage in quetta today!

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If soldiers get paid ‘to be killed’ what should be the fate of ‘non-productive’ entities in other sectors? – blog after a while

August 5, 2015

getting paid – should those who do not deliver be handled differently!

this weeks blog

April 2, 2015

Caught NAP-ping

An All Parties Conference [APC] (APC used to be a pill for headaches and pains or a war machine and these APCs are neither) was called, which constituted a committee to hurriedly take its time to come up with a National Action Plan (acronym NAP), which as the politicians keep dithering, keeps meeting endlessly.

Time wasted and opportunity lost and terrorism continues diverting attention from the task at hand.

Just another case of what was so cynically defined by Sir Barnett Cocks, a clerk in the UK’s House of Commons, as “a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled.”

And in our context is this not just another case of the committee set up by a conference being caught NAP-ping!

culture of silence – blog post in the newspaper Nation

February 28, 2015

A little over five years ago, I needed to talk to someone, anyone. I needed catharsis to find if the doubts, fears and guilt I faced were mine alone, or I was part of a larger group with similar issues.

And I found myself stonewalled at every step.

No one was ready to listen to me. Every one found sanctuary in an age old cultural and social desire of not discussing any issue that questioned the beliefs and norms – of acquiescing to what is happening – something that is so deeply entrenched in us with years of “teaching.” In plain words, one must accept misfortune in silence in the hope that time will heal wounds.

culture of silence – new blog-post

my article appeared in the nation Lahore, blog page

January 23, 2015

the title i gave was – Mind (up) set
somehow the editor changed it to this. the picture also is theirs.

http://nation.com.pk/blogs/20-Jan-2015/are-we-just-waiting-for-the-next-act-of-terrorism

A Bad Pakistani Musalman

March 8, 2014

On the Fifth of October 2009, I joined the ranks of the ordinary Pakistani on the street.

The Pakistani lost between debates of Islam, the rationale for Pakistan’s existence, two nation or diverse nationalities, deciding who is a Muslim who not; wondering why people in the power corridors are unconcerned about the blood on the streets.

Gone was the pampered Army brat, a crust of upper society, one rubbing shoulders with gentry. All lost in one all leveling bomb blast.

On this day, at about 12:15 PM, a soldier of the Frontier Constabulary walked into the well secured Country Office of the UN World Food Program in Islamabad. He was a suicide bomber dressed in FC uniform and he blew himself up.

Gul Rukh Tahir, Farzana Barkat, Abid Rehman, Muhammad Wahab, and Botan Ahmed Ali Al-Hayawi lost their life in this attack.

Today, four and a half years on, as Pakistan debates the how and why of the F 8 Courts attack with the usual cacophony of apologetic arguments heard again. A feeling of disquiet, a foreboding, a sense of deja vu for the survivors of this attack, and the families who survive those who fell victim to this act surfaces.

I feel revival and flashbacks to the scene outside the WFP premises when I reached there, looking for my wife. Not knowing that Gul Rukh Tahir was a victim of the suicide attack!

Today, as the acts of terrorism continue unabated, and toll of Suicide Bombing Victims reaches 6,053 dead, 15,880 Injured, and continues to rise, I have a sense of despair. Questions arise in my mind for anyone listening. Questions that I have asked on many forums since 10/5, getting blank stares and incredulous looks in response!

Why us?

What have we done to deserve this fate at the hands of self-professed reformers and torch bearers of a faith twisted to suit their concept of a Caliphate over the world?

What have we done to see our rulers vacillate at the altar of expediency for continuation of their rule?

What is the deep dark secret that keeps us from taking steps that will eliminate this menace from amidst us?

Why is Islam being bandied about as the decider in the battle against terrorism?

With thousands dead or wounded, and more thousands surviving the loss of a loved one, can we not see our people – my wife, your son, father, daughter, brother, sister, friend, relative, colleague, Pakistani all, losing their life? Not the American or NATO country populations. So how can we still brazenly ask, “Whose war are we fighting?”

As the uncertainty deepens talk of Good Taliban, and Bad Taliban surfaces. Is it to justify the stand that talks solve all issues, even if the other side has one sided dogmatic stance?

That begs the question, are Taliban justified to differentiate between good musalman, and bad musalman, and kill accordingly?

With strong undercurrents of the sixty five year old debate, was Pakistan created for Islam, or for Musalman’s? Are we Muslim Pakistani’s, or are we Pakistani Muslims? What do we stand for? Or are we destined to be shot wherever someone thinks there is a need to have a religious cleansing?

I grew up with a strong sense of Pakistan, my father being an Army man, we never had any doubt that Pakistan was where muslamans lived, not that Muslims make Pakistan. Then as a soldier defending the country pre and post 1971, there never was a question of identity. So why now?

Where did we go wrong?

Why is 1979 touted as the turning point for us, while Afghanistan stood the acid test, and the USSR lost? Why does Iraq, Saudia Arabia, Syria over 2600 km away impact what we do in Pakistan? And why is the US considered the mother of all evils in Pakistan?

So do these musings make thinking Pakistanis bad Musalmans?

If yes, then we should not ask for whom the bell tolls, for surely it tolls for us!

March 08, 2014
5:15 pm

written on the wall

February 14, 2014

0As the much hyped government Taliban negotiations, make headline news, allegations, counter allegations, conditions and counter conditions, go on, the people are left in a state of disbelief, for talks and bombing, killing, goes on in parallel.

Do the dead and wounded and those who survive care for the outcome, or want as decisive an action as the extremists undertake?

 take a breath

deep if you can

or even shallow

as you always do,

feel the pain

the scathing burning

acrid taste of burning

tearing down your throat

smell of flesh, clothes and wood

tinged with explosives

even as you look away

and cover your nose

the throat tells you, you have

just been exposed to

a bomb blast.

and as you run

you stumble and fall

shocked to see

beneath your feet

shattered humanity

bleeding, torn, incinerated

and you stand in shock

and one thought

why us? rises

above all in your mind

and you wonder if the

negotiations touted as the

mother of all talks

will have any effect?

and even if they do

will the result of these

bring back the humanity

you just stepped on

back to life

forgetting

forgiving

reliving life

being able to love

once again?

and you can see the

writing on the wall

seen by all

but those who matter

confused and unsure between

containment,

elimination,

conciliation,

oblivious to the pain,

loss, suffering and feelings

for they have not suffered

hiding behind their high walls

long convoys in duplicates

moving along different routes

jammers, rerouting traffic

and all spent on the

alter of expediency, the

dead, maimed and wounded

unseen, unsung, unheard.

change, for the sake of your people

your mindset, and realize

and eye for an eye

was written for such as these!

February 13, 2014

8:16 pm

malala

October 26, 2013

i thought i had posted this here when i wrote it, and only today found i have not:

————————————-

at fourteen she has

so much to live for

but surely not

a bullet in her head

to show the cowardice

of those who can not

stand up and face

a girl of fourteen

because her stand

in their face

makes them afraid

of an idea that she represents

and which may

cast doubts among

the professed guardians

of a religion to which belonged

aisha the wife, all of malala’s age

nasibah steadfast at ohad

fatima the daughter of muhammad (pbuh)

mother to hassan and hussain, wife of ali

zainab bint ali too among the names

umm e kulsum wife of usman

and a list of brave

learned, revered women

negated due to their deliberate desire

of ignoring history and narrative

of fourteen hundred years and more

taught, recounted and remembered

but they in their narrow interpretations

seeking to create a cult militant

ignorant, short on truth

long on hate of things that

go against their desire of leading

without opposition

neither ijmah nor questioning

where the khalifa got the cloth

to make a full shirt

or having two lamp with oil

from the state and self

for work and leisure.

and all this threatened

by a girl of fourteen

wanting to be like

the women of Islam

taught to her by her teachers

ingrained in her mind by parents

practiced by her daily

seen happening in life

and a bullet to the head

to end the life at fourteen

hanging to life in a hospital

by a tenuous thread

are the perpetrators

so afraid now

that a fourteen year old

that too a girl

becomes a threat to their edifice

made like a house of cards

one voice of a girl

against all odds

October 10, 2012

11:53 hours

Peshawar 22.09.2013

September 23, 2013

Image

My friends were there

Praying to God

My people all bowed

Asking for His blessings

For them and theirs

And for Pakistan

Everyone there was mine

Children mine

Girls mine

Boys mine

Youth mine

Mothers mine

Fathers mine

Old aged mine

All on their knees

Singing hymns

And saying ‘aamin’

Sunday best

Dresses and mood

Happiness and mirth

All of this earth.

And a deafening sound

Heat, pain, fire around

Disbelief, flying metal

Sky rending cries

And another sound

Adding to the din

Limbs and clothes

Shoes and sandals

Sobs and groans

Silence and moans

My people all

Shattered and torn

Asking where if the God

They had just invoked

Another story,

Another lament,

More photo-ops and

Media to comment

Three days to mourn

Then back to work

The usual drudge.

The night falls

Silence reigns

An occasional sob to show

Life exists in deathly throes

To cry the names of one

Who will never return,

Home, left torn.

The question again

Raises its head

Where is the will

To stop this bloodshed

Or do we wait

With bleeding hearts

The dawn of another day

And dread the next news

Of man’s hatred?

 

Sunday 22nd September 2013

09.45 pm

Voice of Kashmir FM Radio talk show

July 8, 2013

Voice of Kashmir FM Radio talk show

i was a guest on the Voice of Kashmir FM radio talk show on June 21, 2013, the topic was role models in our life.

the talk is in urdu, and starts at 23 minutes, the delay due to technical reasons during which the audience had to hear music.

update – September 11, 2013: the item has been de-linked by the radio station, i will try to get a new link or a mp3 file to upload here.