Thursday, 22 December 2011

Selective Beyghairati

Isn’t Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto an oxymoron? Bhutto is Pakistan’s most revered democrat and Zulfiqar was a product of the Ayub Khan dictatorship. He is also the biggest champion of the people here, or what’s left of “here” but he didn’t listen to the people over there, or what’s now “there”.

Bhutto lost the elections in 1970. The massive rallies, the enthralling speeches and the diehard jiyalas came to nought as Sheik Mujeeb-ur-Rehman routed him, winning a simple majority in Pakistan.

What followed was an utter disgrace of a stance by Shaheed Bhutto as he refused to accept the result of the election. An election held under the Yahya administration that hated Mujeeb and despised the Bengals right from the start.

Bhutto wouldn’t let a session of the National Assembly be called and told anyone who wanted to participate in the democratic process that he would “break their legs”. This gave Yahya the opportunity to launch a military crackdown against the “traitorous” Bengalis while ZAB tore apart a UN cease fire resolution to rapturous applause.

Over the last week or so, everyone would have read about shameful acts our military carried out in what is now Bangladesh, but not many wrote to point out the role Bhutto played in that fiasco.

Why is that?

People do know this happened. There’s plenty of inflammatory Bhutto rhetoric against the Bengalis out on the web. If you go to East Pakistan go on a one way ticket, anyone? Oh, I “lost” the Hamoodur Rahman Report!

So why didn’t our many outspoken critics take him to task? Surely the press has enough guts to take on Bhutto if they can take on the mighty army? Didn’t they owe Bengalis the complete truth on the 40th anniversary of what we did to them?

The thing is, our media scene today is dominated by liberals or leftists or whatever. I don’t know how the labels work, but these folk are basically a reactionary entity to the high handedness of our esteemed military establishment, and they don’t take lightly to religious extremism or rightist tendencies.

That’s all well and good. However, in their attempts to offset the damage done by the Ghairat Brigade, the Beyghairats are fast becoming, or have become, what they set out to oppose.

Today the perspective they put forward is often biased, and almost never highlights the complete truth. Just as the Ghairat Brigade plays up rhetoric that suits their agenda, the beyghairats ignore anything that might compromise theirs.

The lesson learnt from the East Pakistan tragedy was that using our military against our own people is the worst possible course of action. Therefore, we are today engaged in two military campaigns, one in Balochistan and another in Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa.

The Ghairat lot gives some muffled justifications for the use of force in Balochistan, while the Beyghairats will hunt you down if you appose war in Afghanistan, or our tribal areas.

Lennon said “Give peace a chance”, we say “Give peace a chance, just not in this case”.

I am all for beyghairati, but if we are to be beyghairat we should do it wholeheartedly. When you pick and chose things to be beyghairat about, you end up being ghairati half the time. Make sense?

How about telling the whole story and letting people draw a conclusion on their own?

Friday, 9 December 2011

To Nadeem F. Paracha, for Sindh

Dear Nadeem F. Paracha,

Yes, it is me again, your devoted follower. I want to shower you with praises once more, and this time I am really enthusiastic. You blow my mind man, you really do. It was so obvious, yet I and other brain dead folk like me couldn’t see it. The memogate scandal is about Sindh – It always has been.

Asif Ali Zardari is being victimized here and that obviously means the military is out to wreak havoc in Sindh again. After all, he is a “top political leader from the Sindh province”, who couldn’t even win a district council seat in Nawabshah before a certain wedding ceremony. His political life though screams of struggle for Sindh. Among his many, many accomplishments is marrying Benazir Bhutto and being safely tucked away abroad while she was assassinated in Pakistan. A true political leader if I ever saw one.

Sindhis really love the man. His tenure as President has brought untold happiness to Sindh. Zardari, the Sindhi patriot from Balochistan that he is, showed his real love for the people when the terrible floods hit. He just couldn’t bear the sight of devastation in Sindh and therefore went away to pray in a remote makeshift tent somewhere in France! Possibly without food and water!

Is it any wonder then that the filthy Punjabi establishment hate him so much? However, no one in our sell-out media could see this coming. Their judgment is probably clouded by the facts, but you suffer no such disadvantages. You saw through the smokescreen to uncover the real agenda here, a Sindhi democrat under threat by the Punjabi military men.

They have had it in for him right from the start haven’t they? I bet Gen Musharraf and Gen Kayani had this in mind when they thrashed out the NRO and gave him complete immunity for all crimes committed – The establishment was just luring him in. Kayani also tricked Zardari into giving him the 3-year extension so that he could strike when the time was right.

The naïve among us still believe that Kayani and Zardari are fighting after failing to backstab each other. Don’t be angry at them though Mr. Paracha, they have been raised on a false education.

They don’t know the history of the Punjab – Destroying one Sindhi leader after the other. Zardari is not the first; his ‘spiritual father’ suffered the same fate because he was a Sindhi. You see, “daddy” Gen Ayub Khan didn’t really love Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. He made him his foreign minister, but kept all the best toys for the other ministers.

When Bhutto finally realized this, he denounced dictatorships and decided that democracy really would be the best revenge, at once launching his struggle against the wretched Punjabi establishment.

He swept into power riding the support of the masses from, among other places, Lahore and Punjab, but they were actually just deceiving him, as was the military. See, Gen Yahya Khan was in on it as well. The establishment hated the Sindhi Bhutto, but still supported him against Mujeeb-ur-Rehman even at the cost of breaking up Pakistan, obviously with ulterior motives in mind.

Their ploy ran deep. Just when Bhutto started trusting the military and appointed an out of turn, ill-deserving and possibly disturbed Gen Zia ul Haq as Chief of the Army Staff, tragedy struck. Bhutto bypassed Lt. Gens Muhammad Shariff, Muhammed Akbar Khan, Aftab Ahmed Khan, Azmat Baksh Awan, Agha Ibrahim Akram, Abdul Majeed Malik and Ghulam Jilani Khan in choosing Zia as the COAS, and how did that Punjabi reward him?

The complete military establishment is to blame for what an incompetent, 8th choice General did – He was Punjabi too! The plot thickens indeed.

It is also irrelevant that the number of military coups against governments of Nawaz Sharif, Iskander Mirza and Zulfiqar Bhutto, all from different provincial backgrounds, is the same, i.e. ONE.

What’s relevant is that Zardari has somehow managed to become the President of Pakistan, he didn't benefit from the establishment sponsored NRO, he wears a Sindhi topi when under pressure and there must not be any grounds for a remote-controlled tsunami, yes, I do know what you mean. *wink wink*.

Speaking of remote-controlled, Sana Bucha really fancies Mr. Nawaz Sharif. With the Americans backing Sharif to be our next ruler you have to water down your already watered down references to him being an old military stooge and current military pawn. Or else Fasi Zaka won’t speak to you for a week – Serious!

Not to worry, we will deal with these matters when the time comes. Let us rejoice in the now, for you have attained the intellectual astuteness of the one and only Dr. Babar Awan, the only other guy on TV who keeps playing the Sindh card. I seriously don’t think you can go any higher than that, but I know you have a tendency to surprise us all.

So let Zardari be, everyone – Sindh loves him. He stops target killing in Karachi at least twice a day!

Hoping to hear from you soon,

Devoted mind-blown-ed follower.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

An open letter to Nadeem F. Paracha

Dear Nadeem F. Paracha,

I am writing to you today because Imran Khan and his stupid rants on TV, coupled with the fact that I am from the “swords and sorcery-meets-lets-be positive” generation, have made me become just another “walking talking contradiction”.

It’s a horrible condition to be in, leading to near unspeakable consequences. Off the top of my head, I log on to facebook quite often and use that medium to express what I believe in. Also, I oppose all US operated drones, including Sana Bucha.

Hopeless, I know, but this isn’t about me, this is about you. You remember October 30th? The day Imran used dark sorcery to draw hordes of mindless zombies – The educated urbanites – to Iqbal Park, Lahore.

Yes, that dark, dark day is where it all started. See, I had been a lost cause long before, but from that day on I thought I would look up outside of my delusional facebook world where every stupid person has an equal voice to the larger news media, where only intellectuals such as thy are allowed to speak. I wanted to see if others have fallen victim to that heinous Mullah Omar in disguise’s deceitful rhetoric.

I have read a few of your pieces since then, and I am extremely impressed. While most in the news media are valiantly fighting the crusade against PTI’s barbaric trolls, no one does it quite like you.

You have it all man. Funny, witty and you do it with such exotic cynicism. So, I decided to learn what makes you tick, what is it that you believe to be right and how I can transform into something close to you.

What I have grasped so far is a little lean to the left, contempt against religious extremists and a disdain for the establishment. I can relate with every bit of that and a few weeks ago I started following you religiously, or atheistically, whatever rocks your boat.

However there have been some trends in your articles that have left me a little confused. Not because you said anything contradictory, God forbid, but because my mind has been corrupted no end by the vicious propaganda out on the web.

You see, because I was brainwashed by the PTI, I have developed an innate repulsion mechanism for Mr. Mian Nawaz Sharif and his party. The fact that most of our learned minds, and many of your dear friends, have been leaning towards MNS recently gave me an indication as to what was going to come from you, so I braced myself for some PML-N love.

Like clockwork, the wheels turned in perfect symmetry and you fell for Mr. Sharif when he fluttered his eye lashes and temptingly held out his hand. I have tried to follow suit, but something doesn’t fit.

You see, I trained myself to think as you do, and that is why I now hate Imran. There were flags of an extremist religious outfit at one of his rallies man, so what if he doesn’t control who gets in to the rally, flags speak louder than actions. Thing is, someone told me that Rana Sanullah sahib toured Jhang with the same extremist banned group.

I shot back, because you have trained me well. I told them at least the PML-N is not a stooge of the establishment. I took great pains in explaining to the infidels that the Punjab government setting Raymond Davis free and transporting him to Chaklala Garrison before the break of dawn so the villainous army men could send him away was NOT at all an example of colluding with the agencies. Naïve idiots. That was just a one off, it happened, let it go already.

Nonetheless, you know these PTI lot, they don’t shut up. Amongst their stupid blabbering I heard something about Chaudary Nisar and Shahbaz Sharif meeting the ISI Chief “chup chup ke” but I simply ignored it, just as you have.

Instead, I fell back on you, Nadeem F. Paracha, and told them, just as you had written, that it is all the hawks in PML-N that are bad. Nawaz Sharif is the only good person and he is against the establishment and against military dictators and religious bigots etc. That ought to shut them up.

No luck. The PTI hounds showed me a fake video where Nawaz Sharif is praising our common enemy, Gen Zia, a man who represents everything you and I hate; religious extremism and military adventurism.

With the shocking video sapping my will to fight back, I came home. Logging on to twitter, another weapon of the PTI jihadis, I saw that you too were using it to spread your latest article, the one on Benazir Bhutto.

My blood boiled as I read about the atrocities you and your colleagues had faced at the hands of Zia in the 80s. Those truly were dark times and I am thankful that my generation hasn’t had to face such vile victimization.

While I was cursing Zia, an elder member of my family told me that Nawaz Sharif was his Chief Minister at that time. If some PTI wannabe had said it, I would have given him an earful and told him to shut the hell up, but please forgive me for not talking back to an elderly person.

Not to worry though, that doesn’t mean that I believed him. I know that the only reliable source of information in the world is Nadeem F. Paracha. So I ask you, was MNS really hand in glove with Zia and all the atrocities committed against you, your fellow students and countless others who died on the streets? And if he was, is it all now forgiven because you have a grudge against Imran and MNS has a grudge against Musharraf?

Awaiting your reply,

Devoted follower.