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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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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Gratifying Moments of a Proud Pakistani
Aug15

Gratifying Moments of a Proud Pakistani

On one of the most sophisticated aftaar parties this Ramzan, I got to hear this statement from one of my close family members, “Pakistan bana kar Quaid ney sirf Fasaad hi phailaya” Not new to my ears, not new for my mind to process! Yet as painful as it was, when I heard it for the first time. Words were different, but were said with the same antithetic, rude and selfish tone. “Pakistan Quaid ney sirf apney mafaad ki khaatir banaya tha” Too much for me to digest, too harsh for me to tolerate & too complicated for me to process. Ironic it is, for us to say this. My graceful, honorable and inspirational image of Quaid-e-Azam breaks, its left shattered. I think, re-think, re-re-think… I decided to read more about Quaid, about life in sub-continent, about two nation theory and about everything that can make me see the real picture. Even books like ‘Jinnah of Pakistan’ wouldn’t do enough justice to the young generation who does not know of him or the idea behind his efforts. And I am left with one option alone, lets try gathering the first hand knowledge! Yes, talk to my grandparents, question about the theme of Independence, the basic idea of separation and two nation theory.. what it was like to live together with them, share everything with Hindus and Sikhs. They are those whose hearts beat for Pakistan, whose eyes have seen Pakistan come into being What difficulties they had to overcome during migration and what was the Jazba behind all this? and after having talked to them, I have to say this with teary eyes and a broken heart that we can’t even TRY to empathize what they have gone through… we can’t even try to THINK how they have suffered, we can’t even summon up all our courage and bring that Jazba in our dead hearts now! They are those whose hearts beat for Pakistan, whose eyes have seen Pakistan come into being, whose throats were soar after shouting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ for hours, days and months… It was not some selfish need that gathered all Muslims together, it was vision for a better tomorrow, love for a piece of land that they would own, honor for their mosques which they would fearlessly visit and above all, the feeling of not being ruled and be an independent, sovereign free nation! Freedom, that we can’t even sense now.. This led them go through all the countless sufferings of history… This gave them the courage to throw their loved ones’ dead bodies in Rivers and Wells, this made their women jump into wells,...

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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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