Friday, September 2, 2011
Her expression ..... what was that expression, he couldn't figure that out. Was it an expression at all ? he wasn't experienced enough to know that. He was a "noob", his thought process switched to the good old day's of computer gaming. "the Noob that I am" he thought, "totally pawned by her ...... :)". He was smiling to himself, he swung his arm from beneath her, carefully putting her head on the pillow.
His "Zippo" was a little farther than the pack, and he leaned further to get it. "click" sounded the lighter and he lit up the cigarette. first puff tasted a little of lighter fluid. he quickly took a couple of more puffs to get the "taste" back to normal. He started re-collecting what had just happened. A cold shiver ran through his spine.
He had always observed that jump starting a romantic relationship was governed by the limited availability of options in the person's proximity. He had never observed a relationship starting off with love at first sight between strangers. It was always between people who were forced to be confined one way or the other in a particular proximity. Class mates, co-workers, cousins (yeah he was living in a typical Eastern society), neighbors, and even regular commuters :). That sometime pitted unlikely partners together, and he had seen his share of odd couples over the years. What just happened to him ..... was not only new to him, but felt a little dreamy as well.
"I barely know her .... what just happened here?"....it was true that she gave out an impression of a strong woman - he knew that was his weakness as well - It was true that her unfortunate break-up and subsequent divorce sometime ago was topic of conversation of his household women.
He started to re-collect the events in immediate past. She came in asking for her friend - his sister - who wasn't at home. At that time he was trying to sleep. He knew that electricity won't be gone for next couple of hours, and the air-conditioner would be UN-interruptedly pumping cold air for that long. The temperature will be bearable enough to for a typical afternoon nap, at-least for two hours of electricity and a half hour after that, before the summer heat takes over and he would wake up sweating.
"She isn't here" he had replied, "her in-laws came to pick her up - they are out shopping. there is going to be a marriage in their extended family, and they have invited her " ..... "oh yeah she mentioned that - good for her", her face frowned a little. "Just that I wanted to take her to the market myself - I needed to do some shopping as well"...
"nuhhhh " he thought out loud, a little too loud in fact. That prompted an inquisitive expression from her. "You dont seem like someone who is a shopaholic or some one who likes spending time window shopping or bargaining for hours with shopkeepers without an intention for actually buying, I was trying to convince myself you are not kind" he justified.
A smile broke on her face, a broad smile, the kind that can make someone's day. That was just perfect, arrangement of her teeth, the cut of her upper lip, her high cheek bones were even more prominent and they along with her perfectly straight hair took one's attention away from the light circles under her deeply positioned eyes. "Actually I am not, I just got accepted and need to do some shopping for academy".
"Academy ?" ......
"Yeah, you don't know that? The result for interview has been published. I am accepted"
"accepted to what? "..... What academies did women in Pakistan got accepted to? they started accepting them in Air Force recently, did she got accepted there? but he didnt thought so. She was probably in her late twenties, an age bracket much above the military's recruitment preferance. He knew, he had applied once. What else? Air Hostess ? that would be a shame, the second hand knowledge that he had of her, she was a qualified lawyer, and since now she is divorced, she should have persued a career in law rather than serving food trays on airplane aisles.
"Array baba .... I got accepted in PCS services, I will be a civil servant in an year or so! " she said excitedly. "Ohhhhh " he was genuinely releived. "Thats great, congrats". he extended his hand which was warmly accepted with both hands and an even wider smile. That was a little odd he thought momentarily, women don't get physical with men in this society, especially the ones who are not related. But, guess in her overwhelming happiness she forgot so. "So when does that starts ? " he threw the obvious question "I don't know for sure, but it will probably bew a few weeks, may be a couple of months .... dun know for sure ".
That was awesome. It was absolutely perfect for his image of hers as a strong woman. A career oriented civil servant .... wow !!!! That was good going. Especially considering the fact that in this society with its own peculiarities regarding women( their careers, relationships and marriage) and that too for divorced women, meant that it will be quite sometime before they can steer it to a meaningful direction. She was already doing that. She was definitely a strong woman, a rarity in this society.
"Well best of luck, and may be when you are in that powerful position you can kick your ex husband's b--t .... might even get your son's custody back !!! " ...... that was said in light-hearted way, but, he forgot that it might instill a painful feeling in her heart. That is exactly what had happened. The deep-set eyes started to fill in, she gazed away from him to try and hold them back. He instantly felt guilty ... "I am sorry, I didnt meant that .... all I wanted to say was that what you've acheived is .... !"
She looked back at him, staring square in his eyes ..... he could see that her effort to control her outburst of tears was unsuccessful, she probably thought it was of no use to try to hold'em back as well. She wanted to break down in tears and cry. And as a consolation effort what he did next, gave her pre-text to do so. He gently touched her on shoulder .... "heyy i didn't mean that, I was just saying......" By that time she was practically sobbing which turned into downpour of tears.
He could swear he had never seen such tears. "They are like pearls ... " he thought "I am wicked" he thought to himslef, "She is crying and is hurt because of my careless choice of words, and anything that has my attention are her tears ??? " ... "Listen I am so sorry" ..... what could he do, how to make her stop crying, how does one do that? he was definitely a noob in such matters. If he had to console a friend of his, he would simply pat them on the back or light up a cigarette and pass it to them or turn the conversation to something else and divert their attention. What to do with her ?
Perhaps he could make a physical gesture like holding her hand or wipe the tears of her face .... His mind ws racing, she didnt minded shaking hands with him or when he touched her on shoulder. That can work, that should work........
Wrong move, he realized that as soon as he followed his thinking, the next thing he knew was that she was in her arms, his hands tighly held by her, and she was putting all of her body weight on her arms, holding his hands down in his lap.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Following picture shows one of the many reasons for MQM’s recent success in bi-election of PS-94. Altaf Hussains later said that Orangi Town has proved to be the “Altaf Town” in his usual funny and dramatic style.
|PS-94 Bi-Election: MQM’s supporters are there to vote on behalf of their dead male relatives. This shows the “popularity” of MQM that even dead ones cast their votes in favor of MQM. [Caption Translation]: Photo Source|
May be i am being jealous on MQM’s yet another “historic” victory, but how come they have managed the turn out of PS-94 to 70% when the situation was such tense and the opposition had boycotted the election? Seriously, 70% is much more than extraordinary turn out which is never seen even in western where people are such aware of their responsibility to cast their vote. In Pakistan, during general elections (when law and order situation is nothing like that day in PS-94) a turn out of 50% has never been witnessed.
It is worth mentioning that this “revolutionary” success of MQM cost 48 lives, which again they claim were their worker and sympathizers. It would be stupid to rule out the MQM’s role in those killings as well as of PPP and ANP. All of the three parties are coalition partners and yet worsening the life in Karachi. They will keep complaining and blaming each other BUT none of them will ever leave the Govt. On point of leaving government coalition, MQM has a distinction … as long as they think that government is not going anywhere they will remain in power and whenever they felt that government is collapsing they will immediately chant for “revolution”, feudal lords, landlords etc. and get out of the government.
I think that’s enough about MQM for today.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Aleem Dar has won ICC umpire of the year award of 2010 for the second time in a row. His has also beaten five times winner Simon Taufel second time consecutively, after 2009. The other nominees in the category were Steve Davis, Tony Hill and five-time winner Simon Taufel. This award is named as David Shephered Trophy and it was the 7th time that this award ceremony was held. Simon Taufel has won it during first five years consecutively and now it seems that Aleem Dar is going to get it for the next couple of years as well. Previously he was nominated for this award in 2005 and 2006 but was beaten both times by Australian umpire Simon Taufel.
Dar was voted by the captains of the ten full members of the ICC and the eight-man elite panel of ICC's match referees for the period August 24, 2009 to August 10, 2010. Their choice was based on his decision statistics and officiating skills over the past 12 months.
After collecting his trophy from match referee Chris Broad, Dar said:
PCB Chairman, Ijaz Butt has congratulated ICC elite panel umpire Aleem Dar on being named as ICC Umpire of the Year 2010.
“I think the fact that I'm still playing cricket in Pakistan makes me a good umpire. In the last four times I've played cricket I've scored centuries so I definitely think that has helped. I’m honored to have been named the winner for the second year in row.”
“It is a great honor for the country that Aleem Dar has once again won the prestigious Umpire of the Year award for his honest and consistent performance over the last year. This is the second year running that Aleem Dar has been declared the best umpire in Cricket and it shows his hard work and dedication towards his job,” a PCB media release quoted Ijaz Butt. “Aleem Dar’s award has made all Pakistanis proud and we remain confident that he will continue to excel in his field On behalf of PCB I wish to congratulate him on being awarded this prestigious honor” Ijaz Butt added.
He made his international umpiring debut in an ODI between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at Gujranwala on February 16, 2000. In 2002 he became a member of ICC's International Panel of umpires. He was chosen to umpire at the ICC Cricket World Cup in early 2003. He was appointed to stand in his first Test match between Bangladesh and England at Dhaka, in October 2003. In April 2004, he became the first Pakistani to be part of the ICC Elite Umpire Panel. Aleem Dar also holds a record of umpiring 100 ODI’s in record time of just seven years, he umpired his 100th ODI on 17 Oct. 2007 and became 10th umpire to pass that number and first Pakistani to achieve this landmark. He was one of the on-field umpires for the final of the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy, and this was not just one time when he was selected to umpire such a high profile match, later he was chosen to stand in the final of the 2007 Cricket World Cup between Australia and Sri Lanka and was also selected to stand in the final of the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 between Australia and England.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has found concrete evidence of India’s involvement in militancy in South Waziristan and decided to take up the matter with New Delhi.
This was disclosed by Information Minster Qamar Zaman Kaira and military spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas at a press briefing on the progress of operation Rah-i-Nijat here on Monday. It was the first time in recent times that Pakistan had pointed fingers at India from a forum having representation of political and military leadership.
Mr Kaira said although it had been decided to raise the issue with India, Pakistan would not deviate from the peace process.
Gen Abbas said a huge quantity of Indian arms and ammunition, literature, medical equipment and medicines had been recovered from Sherawangi area, near Kaniguram. He said the Foreign Office had been informed and the matter would be taken up with the Indian authorities through diplomatic channels.
Sources in the Foreign Office said a dossier containing proofs of India’s involvement in South Waziristan would soon be handed over to officials in New Delhi.
KANIGURAM TAKEN: Gen Abbas said security forces had secured control of Kaniguram, a redoubt of Uzbek fighters.
He said there were fortified positions and bunkers in the area which were being used by militants in possession of modern weaponry. The entire area had been cleared of mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Five truckloads of arms and ammunition were recovered from the area on Monday, he added.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Diya is only three, she is lost and has many questions about her father Pervez Masih. Pervez was a janitor at the International Islamic University. On the fateful day when IIU was attacked by suicide bombers, he was the hero who stopped the terrorist from entering the cafeteria for female students. Pervez lost his life, while saving the lives of more than 300 students.
He will always be remembered as a true hero by us. Diya will always be remembered as a hero’s daughter.
The Minister of Interior, Mr Rehman Malik, publicly announced that his family will recieve a compensation of approximately $10,000. So far, the family has not been contacted by anyone from his office. The IIU administration helped the family with Rs. 10.000 for the burial costs, employed his widow Shaheen as a sanitory worker and promised to help with Diya’s education. Other than that there has not been any help from anyone for Pervez’s family. The only person who has helped this hero’s family so far is a young student of Behria University, Maham Ali . She motivated her friends to donate funds for Pervez's family. She collected Rs. 52,500 and bought toys and clothes for Diya.
We might be going through tough times, but even in this darkness there is hope. And for me that hope is in young people like Maham. She was our pillar of support by collecting funds for our effort in helping the internally displaced Pakistanis.
Here is a CNN story on Pervez Masih:
Monday, November 16, 2009
Pakistani army is advancing at a fast pace in south waziristan. Resistance by the opponent group is far less than expected. Question arises that why is the resistance that low when it was considered a safe heaven for the armed militants residing there for so many years? Answer to this question becomes evident if we note that american checkposts in afghanistan along the south wazriristan border were removed within a few days after the start of the operation (Reported Here). So we can easily conclude that the militants have moved to afghanistan (obviously they'd have, they were provided the chance by the troops on eastern border of afghanistan).
Friday, September 11, 2009
Do issues die out when their intrinsic value diminishes? Or when there is no one left to agitate for their just resolution?
WHAT: Protest against the burning alive of fellow citizens at Gojra
WHEN: 5.00 PM, Saturday, 12th September, 2009
WHERE: Lahore Press Club
Join us if you feel the agony, if your conscience does not let this issue die out!
To Follow Updates: http://fastrising.org/?p=672
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
This in part highlights the usual the inefficiency of the government, and their consideration of the protection of minorities as a non-issue. Exploitation of Blasphemy laws, still much open to interpretation by both the Muslim & Christian community to settle personal and political scores, and how easily can our public (we among them) be incited into mob mentality when it comes things which we don't want happening around us.
The recent incidents in Gojra are a grim reminder of how existing half laws can be manipulated for personal and political ends. Besides loss of life, property or the reputation of the country, it also reflects an opportunist political system in which strange bedfellows can be espoused for political expediency and where rule of law can be applied selectively. Worse, it exposes false claims of the provincial and federal governments over constant surveillance of banned militant outfits in Punjab.
The entire trail from Jhang to Gojra, Mian Channu and Shantinagar is littered with similar incidents of religiously fanned hatred spearheaded by banned militant outfits. Time and again such incidents take place with impunity and remarkable alacrity. It is to question why the local administration is caught sleeping and why no preventive measures manifest themselves in pre emptive actions.
There is no doubt that the working relationship between the Federal Government and PMLN Government is dysfunctional. It took the Government of Punjab three days to move into a belated action despite warnings given by Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti, the Federal Minister of Minorities Affairs. The provincial government dismissed the factual reporting of the federal minister for over two days and moved reluctantly after all the damage had been done and Faisalabad-Karachi Railway traffic blocked for two days. The Chief Minister has repeatedly postponed his visit to the city citing
security reasons. Meanwhile the frustrations continue to grow resulting in resignations of one federal and one provincial minister.
Reportedly, around 18th of July, intelligence agencies had issued a warning to the Government of Punjab of likely incidents of terrorism in which some enclaves of minority Pakistanis could be targeted. Rather than take this information seriously, the provincial government deemed it fit to act as it did, allowing free access to militant outfits for arson and murder. Perhaps they were too engrossed in the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling sparing no moments for the welfare of its citizens.
The entire incident belying the fragility of our system began at a wedding party in Korrian, a Christian village 6 Kms from Gojra on 29 July. A local guest was escorted out of the celebrations for being drunk. He took revenge by leveraging the Blasphemy slogan in cahoots with some local clerics and sleepers of the banned outfits. The Federal Minister Mr. Bhatti moved into action but all his cautions fell on deaf and defiant ears in Lahore.
The Christian enclave in Gojra is located close to Awan Town named after a local property tycoon Mr. Qadeer Awan. Qadeer also runs and controls many local businesses like CNG and Petrol Pumps. He is reputed to be a very influential PMLN member and financier of the party and sleeper militants. He is known to hold the neighbouring Christian enclave in contempt with a long record of confrontation. He saw the incident at Korrian as an opportunity to settle issues and extract advantage. He is the prime suspect in the FIR, registered after 48 hours of delay. Christians allege that he with his team of sons and relatives master minded the entire operation including movement of militants from Jhang and surrounding areas.
These militants moved on public transport with automatic weapons, explosives and incendiaries with complete impunity despite many Police Check Posts en route. Rather than risk confronting heavily armed militants, the baton wielding local police chose to by stand. A nearby sizable Christian Village Chak 424 was put on hold through an expected militant attack. This was done through messages by militants, clerics and local administration. The village was never attacked but the warnings served to block reinforcements to the besieged people of Gojra. The militants were seen taking orders on cell phones as also pass on information. If all calls on cell phones from the area were to be checked during the arson, it would reveal a long trail of connections leading to militant leaders, politicians and handlers residing outside Pakistan.
But there is a positive side too. Neighbouring Muslim communities gave shelter to men, women and children, escorted them out of the area on their own transport and provided food. Some Pakistani NGOs have also established camps and MQM relief has arrived in trucks from as far away as Sindh. Pathetically, the only missing group is the Government of Punjab.
Standing next to seven caskets on the railway crossing at Gojra, I was questioning myself why seven females were burnt alive with incendiaries and why innocent people shot in the head at point blank. As I write this, two more men have succumbed to burn injuries in the local hospital. The Punjab Government made no efforts to evacuate them to a Burn Hospital in Lahore. I ask myself, did they deserve this treatment. Do Pakistani Christians who put the opportunist Unionist of Punjab to shame by aligning with Jinnah deserve this?
Local Christians allege that PMLN Government is reluctant to act because it fears losing its vote bank in the area. The incident has become a political battle ground between PMLN and PPP in which justice, rule of law and criminal accountability would ultimately be eclipsed. I remain in awe of the political system to move beyond its petty politics.
In an environment where the legal community is charged and Supreme Court taking landmark decisions, it is incumbent to take a look at half laws that provide a pretext for mob justice. The Supreme Court needs to re evaluate Section 295 C of the Pakistan Penal Code and direct the Parliament to frame it in a manner, wherein it cannot be exploited or manipulated.
Original Story at http://pakteahouse.wordpress.com/2009/08/04/victims-of-half-law-in-gojra/