Remembering 2014
Jan03

Remembering 2014

Alas 2014 comes to an end and with it we bury everything we’ve been through in the past year, under the rug. As 2015 begins we look forward to new beginnings, new opportunities, possibilities and some of us, to more disappointments. Every year we look forward to New Year as a second chance at life but why is it so? Why do we wait for a “New Year” for a new beginning and why is it that we push last year’s mess under the rug, out of sight? 2014 may have ended but its ramifications remain. 2015 may have begun but we’re still the same. Let’s take a look back at what 2014 had in store for Pakistan. January 1 A bomb blasted on the Qambrani road in Akhtarabad, Quetta near a bus, which was carrying at least 50 pilgrims from Iran to Pakistan. Police confirmed that three of the passengers were killed and at least twenty-four injured. January 6 A bomb detonated in a tribal elder’s home in Khyber Agency, killing 10 people and injuring another 9. January 9 14-year-old Aitizaz Hassan in northern Pakistan was killed stopping a suicide bomber at the main gate of his school but saved the lives of all of his schoolmates gathered for their morning assembly. The Sunni group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the attack   Chaudhry Aslam Khan, police chief and SSP of the Crime Investigation Department in Sindh Police, was killed in a bomb blast March 31 Musharraf was charged in treason case April 8 Blast struck Pakistan market April 19 Hamid Mir was wounded in a gun attack May 7 Joel Cox (FBI agent) was arrested with 15 9mm bullets, three small knives and a     wrench after he attempted to board a domestic flight between Karachi and Islamabad   Malala pled over Nigerian schoolgirls May 27 30-year old Farzana Bibi was been stoned to death by her relatives outside Lahore High Court for marrying against their wishes June 3 MQM leader Altaf Hussain was held in London June 6 Altaf Hussain was released by police June 8 Gunmen attacked Karachi international Airport, killing at least 10 people June 9 Pakistani Taliban claim responsibility behind the airport attack Karachi airport reopens after raid June 13 6.0 earthquake hit northwest Pakistan June 14 Airstrikes killed as many as 100 militants in Pakistan June 15 Operation Zarb-e-Azb is launched by PAF against various militant groups, including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Jundallah, al-Qaeda, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and the Haqqani network. June 17 The Model Town clash ensued between the Punjab Police and Pakistan...

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Never Forget
Dec29

Never Forget

  16th December has to be one of the blackest days in Pakistan’s recent history. I remember sitting in a classroom at University the morning (around 10:00 am) of that day, chatting with some of my friends as we waited for our class to begin. My best friend was sitting next to me. He was checking out messages on his cell phone when he received the news, via sms, that terrorists had entered a branch of Army Public School in Peshawar. The look on my friend’s face changed from shock to concern as he read out the horrible news to us. The sms didn’t provide much detail of the incident. We knew, however, that this was a developing story and one we all hoped would end happily. This was not to be the case. In the afternoon, we received news that the terrorists had killed close to 30 children and a couple of people from the school staff. The army had begun its operation against the terrorists and was having some success. I had left my university around 3:30 pm and by the time I had reached home an hour or so later, the death toll had risen to over a 100. The most heartbreaking part of it was, of course, the killing of innocent children. After I had gotten home, i had turned on the TV to watch the media coverage of the incident. What I saw on the TV were scenes of chaos as concerned relatives were running around secured areas looking for their children among those who had been evacuated as soon as the terrorists had started their despicable activities. I moved on to another channel and there I saw relatives crying their eyes out over dead bodies and coffins. I clearly remember fighting back a flood of tears as I was watching this.   A scene from the media coverage of the incident. This is just one of many coffins over which parents were seen mourning.       The emotions at this time were in stark contrast to what they were when I had first heard the news. The shock and concern wasn’t as huge as it should have been, when I had first come to learn of the incident. It’s probably because we have become used to the constant flood of bad news and to scenes of injustice, cruelty and suffering, living in Pakistan. We have become desensitized to violence, especially, in cases where we aren’t directly affected by it. The suffering caused by the killing of sweet, innocent and joyful children or even the thought of it is enough, however, to cause...

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Pakistan – Your Time is Here
Nov14

Pakistan – Your Time is Here

The time has arrived, the days of tribulations are over, and the darkest part of night is outweighed by the glory of the rising sun; better late than never, because we have suffered enough. The land of pure; the land our forefathers had to fight for & give away countless sacrifices in doing so , was over run ( for 68 years) by ignorance, injustice, intolerance & hatred. But, the past has left us, for now time has come not only to change ourselves, but to change the world we live in. ‘Change’; an enormous word as it seem but viewing the complexity of present national scenario, there is yet another dimension to all this prospective problem, the change in attitude of our approach and our tactics to view a problem all have resulted into some what, a phenomenon that if given importance will nullify the basic complications existing in our society & the chain of reactions that will spring up after such multi-dimensional methodology will further develop our capabilities as a nation.  In my view, when history turns into your favor, notions form on a level that once was certainly not thought of, when people wake up from long lasted virtual drowsiness & an unavoidable change lies in front of us than at that point there come some responsibilities on our part. We as a nation must decide the kind of transformation we want, we have to give direction to this silent movement, we have to decide; if we want this movement to yield something, if we want to have a greater impact of all this in our lives, in our cities, in our country as a whole then, we must not relate this change with anything negative and in my view, any sort of change is not the sole effort of any single person. We have seen in past, behind every successful nation, there are years and years of struggle and hardships, no doubt, big and fabulous names glow in the book of history, but those names are remembered because of their efforts and a league of men that struggled with them, but weren’t reminisced. What we have to do is to wipe away the individual centered approach and look in a broader perspective giving due status to all those who deserved. This approach of ours, will not only open new and previously unexplored horizons for us but it’s result would in a long term, have an everlasting effect on us as a society. Allama Iqbal’s dream, Quaid’s hard work, and countless sacrifices must be kept in mind. It’s time; not for a steady walk but to...

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Flickering Hope
Aug22

Flickering Hope

They said our present is gloomy, our future will be dark I     stayed     positive,     pessimism     had     no     mark Their   facts  were  strong,  my  arguments  were  weak I         fancied        utopia,       reality        was         bleak Politics    is    manipulative,    democracy    is    a    trick Callousness for people’s feelings makes my spirit prick Powerless we  are,  our  fate  is  at  their disposal Dynastic politics meets no resistance, no refusal Tuning  into  a  news  channels  always  brings  a  bad  news “Pakistan won today’s match” is the only moment of amuse Scattered corpses around, killing has become a daily affair Bloodshed on roads isn’t my concern, I don’t even care The  pain  cannot  be  experienced  until one’s beloved die “Oh,  my  heart  moves   for   humanity”   is   just   a   lie People are not honored, but killed in the name of honor A  pull  of  trigger  is  all   it   takes   to   cause   a   tremor Lawlessness prevails as people dislike to abide by mere traffic laws Ironically, they are the ones who reprimand the system’s flaws Burning with acid and abuse. Heinous incidents of domestic violence Feudal  lords  torture  indigent  peasants ,  exhibit  intolerance Bombings    in    mosques    and    bustling    streets Amputated limbs, blood streams and echoing shrieks Chaotic  minds,  misguided  souls  and  hungry  bodies Knitted in vacuum of unfulfillment ends up in turbulence A    new    wave  of   slaying   has   reached   this   town It has left us with apprehended minds and deepened frown Now,  difference  of  beliefs  is  enough  to  get  killed Causing dozens of casualties, militants are skilled Genocide of Hazara is brutal; it can’t be justified  in  any  context Being   a   Shiite, I  am   forced  to  speculate, I may be the next A   light   of  hope  is   flickering   in    my    heart It may blow out; I will rekindle it with a new start We will stand strong again. My country will stay resilient against all odds Roaring storms will be defeated, let prudence and unity be our swords They say our present is gloomy, our future will be dark My faith will remain firm, pessimism will have no mark  ...

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Hope Against Hope
Aug13

Hope Against Hope

It was a fine Sunday morning. I was in high spirits as I had just got done with my exams and had the whole Sunday entirely tomyself. I switched on the TV and was flipping through channels as I poured myself freshly brewed coffee. The channel search cameto a halt as I came across a famous news channel. My heart started pounding as my breath hitched. The TV screen filled with gruesome images of blood and dead bodies and high pitched screams emitted from the speakers. I did not have to read the tickers to associate this oh-so-very similar scene to the pandemonium of a bomb attack, my mind automatically did it for me. Horrified, I gazed at the screen, only to find out that a terrorist attack had taken place at the populated place of Qissa Khwani Bazar, Peshawar. Had it been only a week, when a similar attack took place at All Saints Church, a local church of Peshawar blasting off about 80 people? Has the vicious series of attacks started once again? A terrorist attack every Sunday, will that become a bloody ritual? My head swam with these questions as I switched off the TV and placed a hand around my now cold cup of coffee. The day was ruined anyway. One of my teachers once said that Pakistanis, as a nation, have become accustomed to violence . We have seen so much bloodshed around us that it has made us prone to it. Now any number of deaths fails to make an impact on us unless they come in the form of three digits. Other than that, our response to causalities has now become a mere ‘meh’. We have suffered so much as a nation. When I look at my country, I do not see a single part of it that has not been injured. Together we have suffered at the hands of terrorism, foreign encroachment, natural disasters, self-induced disasters. Together we have died and cried. They have killed us despite religion, caste, creed and color. No discrimination there. But, oh the irony of it! None of the tragedies have brought us together and merged us as one. We fight on the basis of color, caste, creed, religion and unbelievably petty things. None of the sufferings have brought us together. Instead we continue to fight and disagree. Albeit the times are bad and the crisis doesn’t seem to end, I hope against hope that there would be an end to it. I look forward to the times when we’ll emerge as one and will get over our futile issues for the sake of a greater...

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