A FLIGHT WITH PIA #9

PIA

Despite of getting drowned by PIA very often, I still can not resist myself to fly with my national carrier…But, how long more???

 

I had a chance to travel with PIA this October with my wife from Lahore to Karachi and it turned out to be a disaster. After roaming around in Lahore for two days visit, we were all set to fly to Karachi when we found that the flight was delayed for one hour beyond its actual schedule of 11:00 am. Fair enough, we took it lightly and started strolling around and passed time in bookshops and enjoying some snacks. After that, they announced of one more hour delay which passengers took with a bit of discomfort. Finally, when the melodious PIA announcement disturbed our senses “Kahwateen-o-Hazraat PIA ki Karachi jane wali parwaaz PK(_ _) fanni kharabi ki wajah se taakheer ka shikaar hai, rawangi ka ailaan baad mai kia jaye ga ” So the whole bunch of passengers went down hearing this as every one of us knew that we were the fresh victim of our national carrier.

From there on, it started the whole series of errors, situations stumbling and funny events. We then took our lunch to keep our appetites. I kept on observing the passengers who were getting angry with the passage of time. PIA provided the passengers with lunch boxes shortly which was the most awaited thing at that time and people just attacked the poor distributors (as they were hungry forever). Nevertheless, nobody stopped them doing so and Shareef passengers like me were empty handed (As I assumed they will come to each one of us with an apology). Although I had had my own lunch with my own pocket, just to make them realize I had to pinch two boxes (when they came for the second time) as there is no space for justice for people who want to keep their selves in order. You have to snatch your box; otherwise the system just does not care, to what condition you are passing through.

Meanwhile there were all sorts of rumors of TV airing for the poor flight. “Flight will depart at 6:00pm” somebody told us. “Passengers will be accommodated on Air Indus flight”, the rumors touched us. I saw an MNA (very famous politician) there who was to catch another flight. Although, he is very famous on media but nobody bothered just to Salam him at that very moment. He was standing alone talking with 1-2 people. Passengers knew he was there and with an unwanted feeling, they passed all sorts of slang and shit remarks about him. At that day my realization become much strong “Respect is a very pious thing which could not be bought at any cost” All the status and powers are in vain when you are unable to get heartiest respect from common men. We all know that self servant politicians are disregarded all over the country for their selfish agendas. So, it was a real experience to watch humiliation of men in power during this flight delay.

During the last two hours of this drama, there was a rumor that everything was all set and now we are waiting for the Pilot to arrive the scene to take us all home. So, each and every one of us started to look at the corridor (coming towards departure gate) with a very innocent hope. I just can not forget the way people looked for Pilot. RED CARPET was the only thing missing from the scene at that time. Alas! The pilot came with a dignified look and all the passengers started clapping as if some sort of film premiere was on way. It was a perfect heroic entry. Despite of all the mess-ups, that PIA pilot was such confident that he started clapping (with a gentle smile) in reply to his overwhelming reception. What an epic scene, perhaps I would never be able to see this again.

Worthy to mention, one brave PIA official stood his ground up to the last moment and was responding very well to passengers. We have witnessed people often run in these conditions but that man stood with a sense of duty that is highly appreciable. Poor PIA staffs have to face this situation every now and then due to bad bad politics played with our beloved national carrier. They are the people on ground and have to justify crimes which they never committed. Working & competent PIA staff has to struggle to save this national institution and keep their jobs in tact. Salute to all dedicated working professionals of PIA…

“Allah Allah kar ke Jahaz mai beth gaye yaar”. That PIA plane was a Boeing 747 and seemed to be a very old one. Then when the plane left the apron area strange sounds “GURR GUROON GUSHHHHHHHHHH GUSHAAA”. Ya Allah, we recited all the Surat’s and Ayat’s we had learned and called our families as we were unsure of reaching alive. During the takeoff I was cursing myself as why did I booked PIA as now I am unsure of my EID-UL-ADHA the very next day. Worthy to mention a PIA aircraft survived an engine failure few days back in Karachi (so it was revolving in our minds). So, we were wondering what’s coming next our way. But luckily the flight was smooth against all our fears and presumptions.

We reached our home safely in the end but all along the way and even now my heart is deluge to see mess-ups with PIA. It was not only a simple Lahore-Karachi trip. It was witnessing a national institution die. It was like watching PIA taking her last breaths. I have a very close and personal association with PIA as my father served here for whole of his life. There were many instants when he asked us “Beta PIA ke halaat kharaab hai, iske liay dua karo” and we raised our hands for prayers. There were instants when my father and many employees like him served over the time and delayed salaries to keep things in tact. It’s a pity that things have never changed since the very golden era of 50’s 60’s. If PIA and its people can trigger big names like Emirates and provide gateways to China in past being one of the finest airlines, then why not today? Lately, I saw one report saying PIA has highest number of staff per aircraft in the whole world; many of them are political appointments for incompetent people against merit. Corruption is another thing that stabs the airline every now and then. Witnessing Gulf airlines with many of bright Pakistanis, why not PIA could flourish by taking services of these professionals. We all know the answers, good political will and leadership can change course for any institution.

Many passengers have left business with PIA due to their bad service, at the same time many loyal people are still keeps their heads straight and getting embarrassed in airports all around the world. But how long we would continue like this?. May Allah protect you PIA and enable with all good things soon. Perhaps this is the only last thing I can say on this topic as “Mayusi gunah Hai” …Get well soon PIA and become a national pride again!

Note:

This article has been published at the following websites,firstly on 30th December,2013

http://blogs.arynews.tv/a-flight-with-pia/

A Flight with PIA – M. Sultan Shah

Article No: 09

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Bravo Patriotic Media…Still, Long Way to Go! #8

“Patriotic media is all set for a key role in shaping a wonderful future of Pakistan. Carry this flag with sincerity, people of Pakistan are hopeful again…Do not stab them ever!!!”

It has been said that media is the fourth column of a state and carries a huge responsibility to represent and defend their nation. The role of media in Pakistan has long been debated specially after the advent of dozens of TV Channels working across the country. We have seen a trend of very irresponsible media coverage with news channels often airing unfiltered news and video clippings. Such negative propagation of country’s situation has made our media the biggest source of humiliation for us internationally; at the same time cause of depression and disparity among masses. Media betrayal has long been discussed and there is a general perspective that our media at large is working against national interests. We very often hear news Millions of Dollars foreign funding to control Pakistan media. However after years of yellow journalism and dirty games of confusing and itching Pakistanis, there seems now a clear line between two types of media. ARY group is leading the way for Patriotic elements of Pakistan media with resistance against negative elements specially GEO/Jang group. While this concrete opposition to Anti-Pakistan elements has created very positive impacts among the nation, I would like to express my fears and reservations to patriotic media elements.

Today we see few media groups starting to pose a positive and true image of Pakistan and now make a clear stand, which was long awaited by people of Pakistan. Especially when we talk about sensitive issues like terrorism and internal chaos faced by Pakistan society over the time. These sections of Media have now become heroes in the eyes of a common Pakistani. Especially after the huge success of a Pakistani blockbuster movie WAAR, amazingly you see the whole nation standing and supporting the movie like a rock. I see bigger and far greater prospects behind the success of WAAR.

I had a chance of watching this movie few days back in Doha. It was a real treat to see Pakistanis coming out of their homes and watching the movie with sheer passion. Thoroughly enjoyed the film, which surely is an untiring effort by some dedicated people. I think the main reason behind the success of this movie is the concept and Pakistani view point of current situation which was never shown before. This movie gives the viewers an idea of what Pakistan society is going though while facing an undeclared ongoing war. The scenario which our forces face during ongoing operations and their dedication to Pak-Sarzameen is very well depicted and awakes the patriot sleeping in every Pakistani.

Mubashir Luqman at the other hand coming up with crispy pro-Pakistani punches; be it getting a stay order against Indian movies or exposing the GEO every now and then. Worthy to mention names of Nawa-i-Waqt group and Din news(specially their program Debate with Zaid Hamid giving a critical/righteous Analysis against wrong Govt. policies); seem to be carrying Pakistan flag when it needed them the most. They deserves due appreciation for their sincere efforts. Mentioned names and other such elements have a long way to go as need to they need to fill huge holes dig by some irresponsible and opportunist people. Then we see example of Sheikh Rasheed, it was the same Sheikh Rasheed few years back and he was just like any another typical politician famous mainly for his own style of wit. Now with his open stance and bold pro-Pakistan expression, News program carrying him bloom in all ratings. This is only because of his open and clear stance on national issues.

After getting Success, appreciation and respect, above elements in patriotic media groups must realize that their success is mainly because on presenting Genuine Pakistani concepts and people see them defending nation’s perspective. They are gaining attention and fame because of the flag and concept they carry, not because they are super-Humans. They are ascending today because they represented true feelings of people. WAAR-2 will only get successful if it carries same passion and will during its making. This is worthy to mention because in the wave of fame, sometimes people are carried away and falls in deep ditches.

I can give many examples where our heroes disappointed/ditched us. Almost every Pakistan ruler wants to stick to the Power Chair forever and gets humiliated ultimately. Contrary, we see shining examples of Nelson Mandela (South Africa) and Mahatir Muhammad (Malaysia) who stepped down at such time when they could continue governing their countries. Especially the regard and honor that Mandela carried on his death lately is just blazing. Coming back, we see the example of Dr Abdul Qadir Khan and his recent attitude Yeh meri technology hai , yeh mera bomb ha and so on bla bla he seem to demand attention and self propagation all the time, at least lost respect a great deal in my eyes and many others. We see Ex. Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudry disappointing the whole nation who stood by him after he was forced back home. Nation placed him back on his seat in 2008 and what a shame, he failed to device equal justice for all Pakistanis. Hundreds of terrorists got released in his era due to loop holes in our judiciary system to again nail us from all sides. Then we see Injections to nation by some of our cricketers lately Salman Butt and Co. did it. They not only fell down, but shocked and ashamed whole nation after building so many hopes.

WAAR and few positive things happening in Pak media were the driving forces behind this article. The sole purpose being that I fear for Patriotic media’s future, like many heroes of Pakistan failed to maintain their position and respect among masses. Groups of positive media have a great responsibility and role to play. If this all proved out to be yet another dismay, I am not sure then will be any time for this confidence revival. I pray that all this opposition to negative media is Genuine and not due to some personal clash. You need to be very careful; people do not love the faces of people in WAAR. These are mostly same actors working for many years in industry. In fact, people responded to the very concept of this movie that is so close to their hearts. So you should get the essence behind overwhelming public response and keep focusing on country.

WAAR end on such a High note when Mujtaba (Shaan) says: “As long as history will be written by hunters, lions shall never be glorified”. So dear media: “It’s up to you Guys now to glorify our Lions”. Carry this flag with sincerity, people of Pakistan are hopeful again with patriotic media…Do not stab them ever!!!

Note: This article was first published at the following address on 21st December,2013

http://blogs.arynews.tv/bravo-patriotic-mediastill-long-way-to-go/

Bravo Patriotic Media…Still, Long Way to Go! – M. Sultan Shah

 

 Article No: 08

UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL… #7

“If we want to be together and can display Unity in Patches, so why obey theories of conflict???”

We have lately witnessed a very tragic incident on 10th Muharram in Rawalpindi-Pakistan in which groups of people involved in a clash when the spark of sectarianism was ignited. Not only fought each other but also damaging businesses of common people who have nothing to do with that given scenario. People are angry on the incident they want justice for sufferers and punishment for the people responsible for this incident. And the aftermaths of that event, tension remained within the nation, strikes and hot debates etc. A pity to see a nation in such a messed-up situation which was created on the very concept of two nation theory. We evolved as one nation who was beloved having their own ways different from Hindus of United India. And a nation that carried the trademark and all ingredients of nationhood. A real Pity!!!

“Hold fast to the Rope of Allah, all of you together and do not separate”…

is the point where we started and now standing like nowhere and no direction. At one place, living in an era which claims huge advancements in science and technology, tolerance & civilization with such ignorance at the other place. There is something seriously wrong out here, serious issues.

 

Sometimes I feel, if we could spent the same amount of time and effort (which we waste in finding and blowing our differences) in our common interests, what would happen? Want to share an event witnessed sometime back. It was the third year of my University in 2005. One fine day, I was getting ready for my practical lab classes with my classmates. Arrangement of Lab Classes was such that the labs were lined up in a sequence and open grassy spaces were located just outside the buildings at regular intervals. Different trees were situated and pots of water and Bajra (Pearl Millet) for birds placed here and there. Just for a moment it was all silent and complete peace in the environment. I felt something different was happening in that moment. I observed and saw there were fewer students in the vicinity and a vacuum free from noise, what an amazing sight. Different birds like Sparrow, Dove and Myna all were gathered in a very close space and each one was eating something. Little Squirrels jumping around every now and then. The striking thing was that none of them were notching each other and were just eating calmly. Just for a moment I thought what special thing lies in that situation, why there birds who are different from each other bearing each other so easily? Instantly the reply came in my mind, Common Interest, that moment calls to eat and not to mess with each other and they were doing exactly the same. And YOU & ME goodness me, cannot we find common interest, things and ways which are not conflicting with each other???Yes we can, and I can give very concrete examples for that.

When you watch a cricket match, the whole nation becomes united and each and everyone commenting on the team’s situation with full interest. Regardless of any division, people prays for Pakistan team altogether. Celebration of famous Cricket world cups victories, what do they tell us? People gathering around each other in natural calamities like earthquakes and floods, forgetting all the differences. When I recall the spirit of people and their sacrifices during the worst earthquake in 2005 and compare it with today’s situation I feel very sorry. Can’t we display same integrity all the time?

 

Even in common masses nobody wants conflict, majority wishes to get peace to keep them going at a reasonable pace. When you are following your leadership (Or so called leadership) you have to be very careful to what they say and intentions behind that. The one who is spreading Hate and divide can never be our friend; surely…Such people are negating our very ideological foundations of One Islamic nation and deserve a different treatment. When we turn back to pages of history, we see that even the greatest of Imam’s in Islam had some differences with each other but they never paved ways of conflict to each other’s followers. What does this teach us? That we should not blindly follow the path of hate and direct conflict just on the prompt of anyone. Otherwise tragedies like Rawalpindi will continue to happen.

Difference of thinking and difference of opinion can be there in even a small household family. But if the family members start fighting up each other, they will be ending destroying their own home. Pakistan is our home and only shelter when all shelters are gone. People should be mature enough to focus on our common interests and ignore differences especially in today’s situation. Fighting on differences will only benefit our enemies who never wanted Pakistan to be created and prosper in any way.

Last but not least “Hold fast to the Rope of Allah, all of you together and do not separate” this is the only way we can survive and move forward towards achieving some pride in this world and peace hereafter…

Note: This article was first published on 9th December,2013 at the following addresses:

United We Stand, Divided We Fall… – M. Sultan Shah

 

Article No: 07

PAKISTAN IDOL…(Entertainment OR a Slap to Ideology???) #6

A very unwanted feeling while I first heard it. When I Saw an add showcasing ‘Pakistan Idol’ with whirling bodies responding to soothing Music, “What the Hell is that?” was my first impression. Following the Western and Indian footsteps of a famous TV show, the whole scheme is planned for Pakistan now. It’s really not a surprise that GEO again hitting foundations of Pakistan.

 

What’s going to happen next? Holy auditions in which the young generation will apparently be dying to participate and become celebrity overnight. Judges will judge and pass their insight comments on people and selecting best voices that have a cutting edge attitude to contest for most Cool individual/best voice in Pakistan. A Dancing and singing Icon who will rock the stage and ultimately become identity and face of Pakistan. But the question is, does it really suits us and matches with overall thinking of our society? Was Pakistan created for this day? Does it fit to compliment word ‘Pakistan’ to associate in a singing/dancing show? I will explain my thinking in upcoming lines.

To second my thought of uneasiness about this show, I discussed it with my friends and colleagues and found that majority of them felt in the same way and disliked this idea. Young Generation is less convict as they are always waiting for something, some direction to follow and grabs opportunities overwhelmingly which comes their way. Teenagers, as we all know need guidance to distinguish between right and wrong. Majority of mainstream media just does not propagate the real Pakistani thought and culture and runs a race of RATINGS to attract the popularity within masses. So people run towards each opportunity, be it NACHLE or PAKISTAN IDOL…

 

What I understand Pakistan is??

1) A piece of land meant to be an Islamic Welfare state.

2) Pakistan mean ‘Pak’=Tayyab in Arabic & ‘istan’=Home, City or Place i.e. Madina in Arabic. When combined together, it become Taayyab Madina OR in other words Madina Tayyaba (Holy city of Saudi Arabia,s resting place of prophet S.A.W).

3) As per my understanding, our real heroes are likes of Hazrat Umer (R.A.)Khalid Bin Waleed (R.A), Tipu Sultan(R.A.),Tariq Bin Ziyad (R.A.),Muhammad Bin Qasim(R.A.), Jaber bin Hayyan, Allama Iqbal, Quaid-e-Azam, Jehangir Khan, Noor Khan, Arfa Karim Randhawa etc etc. Their accomplishments should be our source of guidance and idealism not INDIAN IDOL and STAR VOICE OF INDIA.

 

Adding to above, there are hundreds of such sacred things attached to Pakistan which have been witnessed throughout our History. So INDIAN IDOL type things really do not suit us. It’s not representing our background, aims, thoughts and culture. Still, today when our ship seems to be sinking, we see Grip of moral values and Islamist approach within our families. Unfortunately, this thinking is not depicted across the horizons and majority of media tries to follow Indian type format always propagating things against our culture and desires of masses.

In the absence of concrete training and direction to our nation, air of confusion and unsubstantiated entertainment is often aired by media specially GEO trying to replace above stated ideals/heroes with Dancing bunnies and attempting to create a hollow identity of our Nation. Being silent and letting them do whatever they want will not do any good for us. We can not control their initiatives but we can try to resist to the best of our capabilities. The concept of PAKISTAN IDOL is so Hurting and disturbing that I could not control myself to write this article as a sign of protest with a sense of Duty.

 

Pakistan ship seems to be sinking and media plays a great role by propagating crispy and negative stories about society (closing their eyes to many great and selfless attitudes within our people specially our Defense Institutions). The least we can do is to recognize our duty and obligation to this great motherland, we can try to block holes in this ship and stop hands of people making these holes. In this air of CHAOS and DISPARITY, my BOTTOM LINE for PAKISTAN IDOL show would be… pious word of ‘Pakistan’ to be removed from this show, GEO IDOL would be perfect word I suppose and then Enlightened moderates can enjoy as much as they can!