Archive for the ‘Support’ Category

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

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

the smile

November 3, 2013

as i walk
life’s thorny path
treading softly,
to lessen the
thorns prick.
yet leaving a red
footprint to mark
the passage from
one to the other step.
till along the way
eyes closed tight
against the pain
as i put my torn and tired
foot on the ground
i felt not the thorns
but a gossamer soft
cooling balm,
healing the pricks
shocking me to open
my eyes in disbelief.
to see standing there
an ethereal smiling vision
multihued diaphanous dress
wafting in the cool breeze
turning the thorns
into spring blossoms!

28-10-2013
8:14 pm
on bus between lahore and islamabad, crossing the salt range

National Women’s Assembly

December 13, 2012

13/12/12 thursday – a very well spent day

participated in the women’s national assembly, jointly organized by insan foundation trust (http://www.insanfoundationtrust.org/object.htm), aurat foundation (http://www.af.org.pk/index.htm), and UN women.

the first session included talks by women survivors from all five provinces of Pakistan, and AJK, the narrations moved the audience to tears on more than one occasion. security concerns led to some of the narratives being made by the women from behind a wall, further highlighting the of threat scenario to some of the religious sects and minority populations in Pakistan.

in the second session, women parliamentarians from all provinces talked about their experiences, hopes, and aspirations about the future of women in Pakistan,

the third session was for the launch of the CEDAW shadow report on Pakistan.

over all the day was very well spent and a learning experience.

PakTSN Update: A good Interaction with senior students

December 7, 2012

I met Ms. Uzma Yasmeen a student of the National Defense University, Islamabad at the public talk on the subject of “Security architecture for South Asia” by Mr. Farooq Sobhan, Former Foreign Secretary, People’s Republic of Bangladesh organized at the Institute of Strategic Studies (ISSI) distinguished lecture series on November 1, 2012.

In the last one month Ms. Yasmeen has become active in promoting PakTSN and she arranged my meeting with other students on December 06, 2012.

It was a wonderful interactive session, which lasted for longer than I had anticipated, but it was worth each minute of it. At the peak there were 6 students (some students were detained by the faculty for other work) round the table while few sitting close by had their ears on our discussion. We talked of terrorism, reason for my becoming an anti-terrorism activist; why I speak for survivors; about PTSD; steps that can be taken to create awareness about the ‘human cost of terrorism; rational for reaching out to youth; role of youth; how we can pool our resources to reach out to other educational institutions in Islamabad / Rawalpindi, and surrounding areas; and generally about issues facing Pakistan.

I cannot appreciate enough the interest and desire of Ms. Uzma Yasmeen to work with us on this important aspect of human interactions post passing away of a loved one in an act of terrorism. May Allah help and guide us in this endeavor. Aamin

I look forward to the participants’ inputs on broadening this undertaking of creating awareness of the human cost of terrorism particularly among the youth of Pakistan, and to our meeting with more people in the future.

School of International Law – Follow up interaction

December 2, 2012

we had a follow up on 29 Nov, to the 04 Oct, interaction with students at SIL.

well attended, and great interaction session, the students came prepared with the questions i had sent, and their search was in the right direction.

the questions answer session was intense and informative, and i found this group of youth to be fully aware of the ill’s of extremism, and active in “Saying No to Terrorism”

Image

Behtar Pakistan TV Episode with me on the panel

November 21, 2012

i was on the panel in azm e alishan behtar Pakistan episode 6 telecast on november 17, and 18, the link to the episode:

https://vimeo.com/53916659

comments welcome. please circulate widely to give voice to our anti-terror crusade.

Behtar Pakistan an Azm e Alishan presentation

November 4, 2012

please click for the latest episodes, i will be a panelist on the program on 17 Nov 2012

http://www.azmealishan.com/behtar-pakistan-season-2-episode/episode/2

My Talk at School of International Law

October 11, 2012

talking to the students at SIL

Talk at School of International Law

(http://sil.edu.pk/) Islamabad

Thursday 04 October 2010. Tahir Wadood Malik, Founding Director Pakistan Terrorism Survivors Network

MY TALK “Pakistan, Terrorism/Violent Extremism and Us,” at the School of International Law, thanks to an earlier informal interaction with students arranged by Ms. Nida Tareen, the Director / Principal, attracted a good number of students despite the Semi-finals of the T20 Cricket World Cup between Pakistan and Sri Lanka later that evening.

I STARTED the talk with a reference to how we have become so immune to extremism that we ‘change the TV channel’ when this news comes on. I followed this with how Islam prohibits extremism, and suicide. Then highlighted that this narrative was obviously not working because a number of youth still get radicalized, and vulnerable youth were joining the ranks of the extremists. Which gives rise to the question whether this extremist movement is about religion, or some other cause like political, economic, personal etc., is the motivation? For this I reminded them of the recent ‘lone work terrorist’ and how they had operated in random incidents across the globe.

I GAVE the students the following possibilities/actions to ‘Say No to Terrorism”:

  • Be watchfully alert for radicalized / at-risk / vulnerable youth.
  • Be aware of radicalization trends in youth.
  • Based on what they learn, craft a counter narrative which should include religion, politics, economic, or ideological parameters.
  • As they surf the net, use online social media, or other media channels, be watchful for the media used by these groups and suggest counter media hints.
  • If they learn of any survivor in their environs, connect them to us.
  • Read up on PTSD and understand why some people in their surroundings behave as they and not because of any other (insane) factor!
  • Be politically aware, find out about their legislative representatives and try to reach them through letters and other means to make them aware of the feelings and thoughts of the youth in their constituency.
  • Make efforts to improve their physical strength and stamina so in case they are needed to assist in any area of terrorist action they can do so.
  • Impressed upon them that leaving Pakistan is NOT the solution – even if they can and do, what about the kith and kin that will still remain in Pakistan?
  • They should not fear death – because everybody is going to die one day, remove the fear of death from your heart.

WHAT CAN institutions do?

  • Protect the students and the facility physically.
  • Arrange trainings like first-aid (PRCS) and rescue operations (1122).

–      Training for all – the old, the young, the youth, the ladies the disabled, even the peon, cook, driver and more!

  • Inculcate responsibility about life in students so they:

–      Are alert 24 hours a day.

–      More alert when travelling through crowded places.

–      Inform their family about their whereabouts. Also ask the family to inform you about theirs.

–      Look out for & report suspicious objects, persons & bad elements in the surroundings.

FROM HERE we moved on to watch the Global Survivors Network video “Hear our Voices” which created an impact and many students were moved to tears.

https://vimeo.com/32102588

A QUESTION/ANSWER/SHARING session followed, with students coming up with probing question, sharing experiences, and generally accepting that they did not care about this issue because it seemed so remote.

One of the students then narrated her story of losing her brother in a horrific incident over five years ago, and the trauma that they family had to undergo and still does, every day due to this. Her emotionally charged tearful narrative was straight from the heart, and even I had trouble remaining composed. She had a valid point to make about how some organizations play on the emotions of the survivors by raising funds through musical concerts and such activities which can hurt the emotions of survivors.

Another student remarked that while she felt emotionally involved but this feeling did not last long, and she had ups and down’s and she felt sullied for not doing anything about this due to her short feeling span.

Another student whose family is running a seminary, narrated the experience of how her husband went missing for a few months and returned to tell how he had been kidnapped by some extremist elements who wanted him to be a part of their network.

Other students talked about the role of the seminary system (madrassas), my response to this is that many actual perpetrators were educated city folks, like those in the audience, so putting the blame on seminaries was ‘scapegoating’ these. And this was supported by the lady mentioned in the previous paragraph.

The students were moved by these narratives and some came up to me and thanked me for giving them the chance to speak, and how it had shown the effects of extremism in their midst. Something they would not have known ever.

A SUGGESTED counter narrative was written by a student and given to me (attached).

FINALLY I told them the reason I addressed youth was:

  1. Because youth have unadulterated passion & belief in them, which is a weapon that no act of terror can stand up to
  2. This same unadulterated passion & belief is used by the extremists to recruit youth!
  3. We can no longer afford biased, orthodox ‘adults’ with no regard for new & unconventional ideas to lead the way, we can combat terrorism only if we welcome new ideas and allow the youth to voice their opinions

The students and management decided that we will have another interaction with the students in a months’ time to talk about taking the “Say No to Terrorism” further, and see what the students had done about what we discussed that day.

ENDING ON the Quranic verse, Surely, Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change that which is in their hearts (Ch.13 – V 11),I am confident that at SIL we have laid the foundation of a group of young Pakistanis who will be in the forefront to “Say No to Terrorism.”

Pakistan Terrorism Survivors Network: http://www.paktsn.webs.com

My blog: http://www.gsntahir.wordpress.com

Global Survivors Network: http://www.globslsn.net

Against Violent Extremism: http://www.againstviolentextremism.org

Peace Direct: http://www.peacedirect.org/

Counter Narrative Comment Written by a Student

The person who is committing suicide – if he knows what is he doing, I think then he is to suffer in his afterlife. But, if the suicide bomber doesn’t know what will be the after effects of his action, in my point of view he is innocent. And only because of one reason that is – he is doing what someone else (that of sound mind and age) wanted him to do. That particular person brainwashing other innocent people to kill themselves and others, do it by getting hold of the emotions and sentimental values of those bombers and terrorists. Only if we get hold of a person’s emotional and sentimental side, we can direct the mind of any person at any point.

All we need to do is to build a bridge, have a heart and show others we have it. I think that is all that matters. This is the counter narrative I have.

PS:

Everyone needs help. Even the terrorists. Because the cycle has been going on – like you said, it has to be stopped. Terrorism comes in many forms … Silence is one of them.

Be patient.

moral brigade paints over islamabad

September 15, 2012

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tango48/7987939012/in/photostream

taken in karachi company, markaz G 9
as the people mull over the terrorist connection in the two fire incidents in lahore and karachi on the same day, the moral brigade makes its slow but sure inroads in islamabad.