#PoliticalJalsas

Yesterday will be remembered by Imran Khan and PTI fans for a long time because it was the first major, mega crowd gathering event ever pulled by PTI in its 16 years long career. Some analysts even claimed it to be bigger than the 1986 rally by PPP, known to be one of the biggest public gathering in Pakistani Politics.


Does that really mean anything? Only time can tell. And as General Elections are not too far away, the answer to that question will dawn upon us soon. We need to wait and see whether the revelation will come to haunt or validate Imran Khan. In the past Jamat-e-Islami also a good crowd puller, failed miserably to convert the floods of people on street into floods of votes in the polling boxes. People normally associate PTI with Jamat-e-Islami because of some similarities, along with presumed alliance, in these two parties. A lot of anti-PTI users started twitting about how Imran (like Jamat-e-Islami) owned Armed Jihadis and offered to take on America, slammed Indian Army on Kashmir etc.

But what did Imran say yesterday that makes him a tad different from Jamat-e-Islami? Apart from the usual good things that go along with all political speeches, he highlighted the importance of paying Taxes, highlighted the natural resources available to the nation and stressed on differentiating tribal people from Terrorists. He did not attack USA like other right-wing leaders would do to flame the crowd’s anti USA sentiments. In fact, He said we want to be friends with the USA, not their slaves. (Reminds me of video message to Pres Regan from a Martyred Afghan Warlord during the Afghan/USSR War, regrettably forgot his name). The point here nevertheless was that not every bearded, Pashtun tribal Pakistani is a Taliban terrorist. He also mentioned the Kashmir and the Indian Army, said that the Indian Army cannot bring peace by force comparing it the US army in Afghanistan. Some reject this notion as an invalid comparison and argue that USA is an occupier and India controlled Kashmir is actually a part of India. Well, that being another topic of debate, but if the Indians really claim ownership of the land, then why there is need to explicitly control it? You dont “occupy” your own land, unless the people there are really not happy with you.

So everything was quite in order at the rally, the crowd, the national anthem and the huge national flag at the backdrop. Huge public icon, speaking on the nation’s true problems and resolving to eradicate them all. The only disappointment which I take from PTI’s rally, was that it was a missed opportunity. An opportunity for a genuine leader to instill great self-confidence and self belief in his followers. An opportunity to shun the icon worshipping, messiah awaiting mindset of a great nation, waiting to be tested to its true potential. We don’t need a Messiah. We need to believe in ourselves and start working for ourselves. Leaders come and go, for better or for worse, but there will be no us, if there is no Pakistan.

Another political gathering yesterday, slightly overshadowed by the PTI jalsa, was that of MQM in support of the ruling Party PPP and the President of Pakistan against some objectionable language used by Shahbaz Shareef of PML(N).

So yesterday apparently, it was PML(N) against the World. MQM bashing them in Karachi and PTI bashing them in Lahore. MQM always manages to pull maximum crowd in Karachi. MQM came out for a display of strong support to the PPP and is taking legal advice against PML(N) for using objectionable language against the President of Pakistan. Looking at MQM’s numerous U turns after severing ties with the ruling party PPP, this massive display of loyalty adds to the enigmatic MQM. They are claiming to protect the “Democracy” in Pakistan. That’s what the banners everywhere in Karachi tell us. That would imply that they believe Democracy in Pakistan is on the right tracks, and there are threats to its derailing. Bad strategy; it is alienating followers. In my humble opinion, the only possible threat to this democracy is its sanitation. It can’t get much worse than it is today.

Have they being played at the hands of PPP by unleashing Zulfiqar Mirza on them? Maybe.

Have they adopted a more apologetic attitude towards the PPP after the Zulfiqar Mirza Fiasco? Apparently.

Has Zulfiqar Mirza has turned out to be a trump card for PPP? Certainly.

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Pleasentries on Pakistani Wall Street

Litter on Hasrat Mohani Road

Litter on Hasrat Mohani Road. “Cleanliness is half of Faith”. There goes our first half.

I pass this street countless times during the working days a week. The view is a busy street just on the back side of I.I. Chudrigar road, which is also one Pakistan‘s busiest roads. The street in the picture above, is so busy at lunch hours that you cannot find a path to walk on and maneuver around. This is where most of the people come to eat. Looking at the view above, its enough to make you puke and lose your appetite for a week! People would argue that it’s the job of Government to look after the trash. Sure, they clean up a few times during the week, but the pile just keeps coming back. There is no permanent solution to this problem as of yet. Although this is a serious issue on which the authorities have turned a blind eye on, but that does not relieve the public from its civic duties.

Lets just put aside the faith aspect of cleanliness for a while. It’s not un-known to the world about the harms that can a pile garbage like that can cause. Some are the obvious reasons, its Garbage after all. It can cause so many damning effects on the environment like general pollution and the greenhouse effect. Who gave us the right to throw around our trash wherever we like?. I mean governance or no governance, will we all become thieves of the society if given an opportunity?

The picture above is from a place where the few of the countries richest people come to work daily. How hard is it to spend some money jointly and sort the garbage problem permanently. Why can’t we all just carry a bin bag or something with us during our daily commutes and vow to use that for our petty trashes that we keep throwing around. Simply because nobody cares.

I feel sick. #OccupyIIChundrigarRoad

Eventful year so far…

Well, this year is not even over and we have already seen alot. Death of Osama Bin Laden, Sindh Floods, Arab Spring, death of Col Qadhafi, death of Silicon Valley Icon Steve Jobs, death of Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdel Aziz and headlines about death of Begum Nusrat Bhutto surfacing today as I write this blog. And this is what I remember just at top of my head. No surprises though, this whole decade has been notoriously eventful for better or for worse (mostly for worse). A whole lot of important public figures (good and bad) vanished into oblivion. We are witnessing a very important era of the life timeline, the history in making.

Another disturbing news surfacing today is regarding an Earth Quake in Turkey; more than 1000 feared dead. Yes, the world is just not that happy place it used to be when I was a kid.

Today’s news about Nusrat Bhutto, however, is of particular significance in Pakistan. The government of Pakistan has declared a day off tomorrow in mourning. I can see comments pouring in on twitter. Some ridicule, some laud. My two cents? I think the lady deserved peace and respect. No matter what your political associations might be or not be, you cannot or should not ignore the sacrifices which were incumbent on this woman.

A woman who saw her husband be hanged to death and 3 of her children killed. No matter the circumstances of the situations she was put into, she lived through it.

RIP Begum Nusrat Bhutto, may you finally Rest in Peace.

What more twist and turns are in store in Pakistan over the years, only time will tell. But the real question is; Are we ready? or more importantly Are we paying any attention to what’s in fold? I will try not to focus on current affairs in my future blog as there are far too many opinions already available for the willing and un-willing audience. I will, however, try to absorb these confusing surronding events in a somewhat fictious world, try to make sense out of what apparently seems more than what actually meets the eye. See you around and Allah bless Pakistan.

YSK