A SWEET AND SOUR PAKISTAN VISIT #53

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From diaries of an expatriate

EID-UL-AZHA September,2016
I had to make a rather urgent program of visiting Pakistan this EID-UL-AZHA and packed my bags with the same conventional excitement to meet and mingle with my loved ones. After one day of rest, I visited Baqra mandi of Bhains Colony on Sunday the 11th September,2016 with my uncle and cousins. It was fine cloudy afternoon and people from all trades were out to shop for qurbani. After much struggle with high rates and seeing variety of behaviors we found our destined man who insisted on giving us Baqras and deal was settled shortly; what a fine gentleman from interior Sindh he was…Thereafter we carried our Bakras in an open Suzuki run by 3 persons one of which was an apparently educated young man.I felt a strange attraction in him specially his calmness and deep eyes; we talked in from of short question and answer all along the way and then both of us got lost in our own businesses after delivery…EID-UL-AZHA remained a busy day as all family members got together to do justice with 8-9 Baqras and distribution of meat was the next task. People were quite happy and relaxed as fear of snatching animal skin was no more; again #thankyouRaheelSharif

Dealing with Utility Providers

I ran from post to pillar for carrying out some documentation and formal procedures for my new under construction house. As a Semi-Outsider, it was real experience to see different flavors of people working in these authorities. I visited SSGC office 3 times for a meter shifting issue. People got more active when they came to know that I was a Qatar resident; one of them said “I am completing this task as you are living abroad or else you will go and spread negative word about us”. I am really thankful for this kindness. Pursuing my case aggressively, being calm with them and being an expat, I was able to finish my obligations and now wait for their action. Everybody seem to be happy and smiling in SSGC itching and pitching with each other; more focused on enjoyment and taunting less on work. I am pretty sure this work would have been buried for months if it was not followed up properly.

Then came K-Electric which was found competent and active of all. I asked a very old question burning in my heart to one vibrant gentleman out there “Why are you doing load-shedding in some areas and not in others; when will load-shedding finish in my area?”…”Actually in your area there are considerable losses and regularizing people is also very difficult” he replied…”But what is my fault, me and my forefathers have never theft a single rupee of electricity?” I said.Then he opened up in-front of me. He shared his views on condition of Pakistan and specially Karachi in particular. According to him situation in Karachi was deliberately spoiled and king makers were destroying the city step wise as there were stages of decaying bread, first its attacked by fungus and slowly it becomes completely rotten and uneatable. “Me and my daughter are unwell for the last 1 month due to unbearable overflow of gutters leading to unhygienic condition in our area; perhaps people are right in leaving this country” he sighed…”Gentleman you do justice in your capacity and I will handle my area of responsibility; that’s the best we can do today” I uttered and left K-electric office after shaking hands!

Karachi water and sewerage board was an all different world. “I will not beat about the bush, honestly there are 2 ways of getting customer name on Bill changed” the officer said: “1) You pay me Rs.1000 and we will get everything fast tracked for you and you will get name changed by next month, I am taking only Rs200 share out of it. 2) You go by the book and we will post your application to the head office, may be the postman forgets your application or its missed somewhere in the middle; the procedure will take around 1- 1.5 years but its not guaranteed that your work will be done.” And I was thinking why government does not raise their salary packages and legalize fee/commission procedures so as to save everyone of us from Hell-fire…

Losing a dear Cousin: Unfortunately I lost one of my cousin Ms.Shahida Sultana during this visit and it was again a reminder that this world and all associated stuff is temporary and everybody will have to taste death one day. May her soul rest in peace and Allah increases her place in Jannat…

Roaming in Karachi
Karachi was a different place this time. I saw people moving freely in huge numbers along-with expansive mobile phones contrary to us expats who carry one phone for outside and other for inside home. Sea view was alive and people were having great past time enjoying horse, camel and caught bike rides.Observed overwhelming display of love for General Raheel Sharif as I moved on the roads of Karachi and saw many vehicles with Raheel Sharif and Baba Qaid posters with Pakistan flag background; and you know what, most of them were pasted on auto riskshaws. This buries theories of racism and provincialism; people love and support anyone who strive for betterment of Pakistanis does not matter to which place he belongs or whatever domicile he carries. Public care for those who care for public. As I left my home; like always my mother filled us with all sorts of food and saw us off with half gate opened reciting various Suras and Duas. She always watches me till last until my car is gone off the street!

Train Journey to Punjab
A man learns a lot while he travels this world; same happened with us while we travelled from Karachi to Sargodha with a brief connection at Faisalabad. A/C class was not available directly to Sargodha from Karachi therefore I booked 3 A/C seats to Faisalabad on Millat Express on 28th September,2016. We enjoyed sole compartment upto Nawabshah where we were joined by a seasoned journalist Mr. Aslam Munir, another gentleman from Rohri and the last one from Sadiqabad. It was a pleasure to travel with Mr. Aslam Munir having an overall 57 years of experience currently serving for Nawai-Waqt who treated me and family like his own family. Our discussion spanned form family life in Pakistani society, to journalism to evolution of various news agencies and condition of employees within news business. He shared his experience from various spheres of life to make our journey a real treat. Facilities within A/C class were quite good and system was working satisfactory. We switched from A/C to economy class from Faisalabad towards Sargodha and it like moving from Heaven to Hell. Nothing was in place in economy class from people to luggage. Fans were not working and dust from outside was fading everything.Luckily we avoided need to use toilet. Government should make efforts to raise standard of economy class in trains and provide respectable environment to lower income class. In contrary to witty Qulis of Karachi and Faisalabad, the one in Sargodha was a cool guy who shifted our baggage in reasonable rates without much argument.

City of Sargodha and end of journey
This was my 5th brief visit to Sargodha and as always it was found to be a peaceful ,neat, clean place with easy going people. My brother in law Ali introduced me to Doodh Wala from Karachi who was selling milk for drinking sitting by a footpath. I was impressed with cleanliness of the place having crystal clear glasses and no flies at all, milk’s taste was awesome; will definitely try again next time. Ali also showed me various landmarks of the city including Army Cantt area. Daewoo travel was comfortable to Lahore from where I eventually got flight to Doha-Qatar. Sitting inside plane, my mind’s screen was flashing with fast events happened to me in Pakistan, quiet faces of loved ones saying so many things with their eyes and my very own people who played their role by giving something and taking something from my life. Allah Hafiz Pakistan, meet you soon again!

Article No.53
Please note this article has been published at following links:

PARTY… #PAKISTANZINDABAD #52

PARTY… #PAKISTANZINDABAD #52

“Lets support the best political party in the world”
“And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided”. (Sura Al-Imran,3:103)
For the past many years during Independence day a very common SMS is shared between Pakistanis viz “In 1947, a nation was searching for a country and today our country is searching for its nation”… I just can not forget that moment from August,2014 during first ‘Dharna days’ near Imran Khan’s Lahore residence where there was a canal in between the supporters of Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif. All of them were carrying Pakistan flags and throwing stones at each other outrageously…  There is high need of finding whats went wrong in between creation of Pakistan and today’s mess!
All India Muslim league was formed in 1906 as a necessity to represent Muslims for united India against all odds and with sheer commitment, our forefathers were able to form beloved Pakistan for us. Until now, Pakistan remains a unique entity along-with Israel created on religious ideology. Unfortunately, we lost our founding father soon after independence while they were trying to set up a direction for a new born nation. Since then, we see lack of a comprehensive/visionary process to build nation.
At birth of Pakistan, there were not many political parties. Political parties started to emerge as constitution was put in place alongwith a democratic system of elections to run the country.As a result, today we see hundreds of parties having their own supporters against their rivals chanting variety of slogans all over the country. Political romances and breakups takes places as per situation and need of time.If today, 2 leaders are hugging each other; there is no guarantee of tomorrow.Similarly their supporters will either shake hands or deal with fists & kicks to the other side as per orders of their leader.
I have a firm belief that application of western democratic system in our society is a biggest mistake ever made and political parties are biggest obstacle to our national unity. I can openly challenge a happy family of 5 persons sitting on the same dinner table; if you start taking sides and supporting different parties and their leaders in your discussion; you surely will end up with outrage and argumentative fight. Such phenomenon is very much evident in daily talk shows. This is ‘jamhooriyat ka husn’ we are facing today.
Referring to a recent example when anti Pakistan speech was made by MQM chief, Pakistanis all over the world condemned it with a solid “Pakistan Zindabad” response. Pakistan Zindabad response is clearly evident whenever we win some world sport event or when faced by natural calamities like earthquake or floods. After the Peshawar APS tragedy the whole nation backed Pakistan army to achieve the incredible through operation Zab-e-Azb. Our best responses come when we act as Pakistanis.
Human beings live on earth in different groups; depending upon your intelligence/maturity level you can visualize as many sub divisions as possible. One party based on brotherhood was formed by our beloved prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) by preaching Allah’s message to complete Islam. Religion surely was the biggest recognition and ideology at that time. Talking of today’s era, various nation states exits ,over 200 of them and there is a history attached to each nation state.
Nation states interact with each other at state diplomatic level , not on further sub division parties or tribes level. In united nations, heads of countries represent their nation as a whole not as fragments of their society. That’s how interests of a large group are being presented/defended in front of all other countries. I believe that nation states form realistic political parties representing their nations today.
Coming back to Pakistan, today we see dozens of political parties and hardly anyone of them carries a unanimous national respect. Parties in Pakistan mostly supported based on provincial, linguistic and ethnic basis. Notable individuals often form their own party to participate in so called Democratic process, forming a sub-group who feels they can bring Pakistan back on track and whose manifesto, flag and electoral sign is different from the other. Hence dividing a great nation into so many segments.
We can see intense debates on social media where supporters of one party just rips off other parties. Interestingly, when I pointed out few blunders of Imran khan on social media, one of my friend said “I have followed your posts since a long time, I know very well you are a supporter of PML(N); can’t you see what wonders Imran Khan is doing in KPK”. Believe me,it took some time after that friend was somewhat satisfied as I shared some critical posts regarding PML(N) and Nawaz Sharif. Overseas Pakistanis are considered all fans of Imran Khan and all living in Punjab are considered buddies of Nawaz Sharif. Interior Sindh’s population considered pro-PPP and generations of migrants from India are believed to be all supporters of MQM etc.
Lets take a deep breathe and imagine which party our army is working for; was it electoral democratic process that brought up GEM like General Raheel Sharif? Which party Pakistan cricket team is playing for? Which party are we representing on all International airports while carrying Green passports? Against which party our internal and external enemies working?  That single party is Pakistan. So why we further go down the hill. Is there any further need of any other flag after Green Flag? Why consider our own brothers and sisters our enemies based on Political/party affiliations?
So can’t we get rid of such things which makes us oppose each other?. Can not we stop opposing each other on party basis? Can we hold to that Party which binds us together? With a clear mind, one ideology, one identity; can we become die hard political workers of a much bigger and meaning full party that is our beloved PAKISAN!…After that its Allah’s will how he generate self cleansing process for our country…
Fellow Pakistanis must be mature enough to realize their binding forces, hold hands of each other so that we can have a different SMS during upcoming Independence days “Nation and Country stand together; NO POWER ON EARTH CAN UNDO PAKISTAN”…
“And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided”. (Sura Al-Imran,3:103)
Article No.52
Please note thus article has been published on 26 August,2016 at following links:

Special cases need special attention! #51

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Last year on 18th September 2015, my sister in Law gave birth to quintuplets(5 kids at once including 3 boys and 2 girls) in C.M.H. Sialkot-Pakistan and this news was catched by almost each news channel. The family tried to keep this news as secret but the media somehow came to know about it and almost forcefully reported this as special news story of the day. News reporters were so desperate to win the breaking news race that some news channels reported false facts and figures. For example, a news channel reported 3 girls and 2 boys but in fact they were 3 boys and 2 Girls. They named childern’s father as Atif whereas his name was Asif. They reported that father of these babies was residing in Qatar but in reality he was living in Greece.One channel even promised that they will give special gift for these children but that promise was never honored.

The whole family was so happy but as the news spread around via TV, situation was somewhat difficult to handle. Few “Bay Awlaad” random people approached  this family and requested to give away 1 baby to them. An awkward scenario was created and was difficult to avoid.

Practically speaking, having 5 kids at once can shake budget of any typical family. And the same happened with this family as well; anyhow few family individuals came up to the cause and provided their best support realizing their responsibility towards this unusual situation. Soon-after one baby boy out of 5 passed away; now 2 kids are with their mother while 2 are being raised at maternal grandmother’s home.Worthy to mention, the baby boys have lately gone through eyes treatment due to ailment. While observing the whole episode; it was so painful to see the role of media and society as a whole who took it as a juicy news story but no one thinking as to what would happen thereafter? Nobody came forward to support this blessed family.

I have a very firm belief that special children and other special cases like the one discussed above arise due  to definite reasons; as exam for normal blessed human beings like most of us. Nature tests us to how we respond to the call of duty. How well we accommodate special cases within our society. We should play best possible role within our domains so that nobody feels lonely or dejected in this world.
Surprisingly,there have been quite a few cases of multiple child births lately in Pakistan. Government, news channels and related child products companies(making diapers,clothing,toys and Milk etc) should take initiative to provide support for at-least 2-3 years as a good will gesture. Providing few hundred thousands to people in need is like peanuts in comparison to huge amounts spent on advertisements. Later, they can add this work under their publicity campaigns which would certainly encourage others to get their act together for serving society at large. Such social issue does have an opportunity of community service and well being.

Particularly speaking regarding the news channels, I strongly feel that some boundaries need to be established as regards to respecting privacy of people. Big question is that “Is just reporting a story enough or do we need to go an extra mile to issues related with a particular story?”. Media may appeal and direct suggested measures/steps to related authorities and individuals.A grand review/followup TV program could be arranged at the end of month to review status of news reported in passed month. As an practicing Engineer, whenever we highlight any issues on our project, we always come up with probable solution or options of resolution. This must be trait in all other trades as well. Why can not our media adopt similar practice?

Apart from our professional routine life roles, we have a greater part to play towards the community; and you would definitely feel on a much higher ground after considering above suggestions affirmatively.

Article No.51

Please note thus article has been published on 11th June,2016 at following links:

http://blogs.dunyanews.tv/13468/special-cases-need-special-attention/

Special Cases need Special attention!

Sadiq Khan’s Victory and our Identity Crisis #50

Sadiq Khan’s Victory and our Identity Crisis #50

What are we cheering up for?

Mr. Sadiq Khan became the first Muslim mayor of London and this news was broken as major headline especially on Pakistani media as his father was a Pakistani immigrant bus driver. Looking closely at the tempo of information storming, there was a feeling as if a Pakistani has won London Mayor-ship. Sentences like “Englishmen used to rule whole world from London but now its biggest ruler will be of Pakistani origin” were a norm. Such news about achievements of Pakistani origin or dual nationality persons are greatly highlighted in our media and some people cheer such triumphs as their own wins. But do such accomplishments really mean anything to us?

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In past, famous British boxer Amir Khan’s wins have been treated as if a Pakistani has won whereas in reality he is representing Britain for all his fights. Many take professional success of British singer Zayn Malik integrated with popular looks/style as a Pakistani hit due to his Pakistani background. Similar celebrations have been noted while dual nationals such as Ms. Sharmeen Obaid-Chenoy and Ms. Nergis Mavalvala achieved respective milestones.

Coming back to Sadiq Khan, can anybody please review his manifesto and figure out what good he is going to do for Pakistan being a London Mayor?  What does Pakistan benefits from him being a London mayor? If the answer is NOTHING; then why and what are we celebrating for him??? He will surely be working to raise London and Londoners as their elected representative; not for Karachi or Quetta.

In the midst of many of my friends and acquaintances getting foreign nationalities and existing dual nationals, I have observed the nationality crisis and other things tied with it.  How can anybody be loyal to Pakistan and any other country at the same time; there are pauses and uncertainty while you discuss various interlinked ideological, moral and social factors with  Pakistani Americans or British Pakistanis etc. Condition of next generation is more miserable as they get disconnected from Pakistani society and the foreign society never accepts them completely. Individuals’ use their foreign passport status on their CV’s to attract employers and keep Pakistani passports also as an option when and wherever required. I firmly believe that Pakistan must BAN dual nationality to avoid such confused states of mind and clearly define Pakistani citizenship criterion. Either you are a Pakistani or you are a foreigner, nothing dual nothing mixed/in between; a clear approach will resolve many things for sure.

The purpose of writing this article is certainly not to de-value achievements of Sadiq Khan and such others but to seriously re-consider if we are celebrating a real thing? The main question is why people leave Pakistan and run behind other nationalities? What factors in Pakistan stops people to magnify their true potential? Why not correct our own system so brilliant individuals do not run behind other nationalities and bring such a time where there are no suffixes or prefixes to success stories; a time to celebrate genuine Pakistanis. Instead of celebrating such individuals whose forefathers ONCE belonged to Pakistan and now their off-springs are satisfying western interests; why not glorify our very own heroes who do not search for other passports and put all their energies to raise our Sabz Halali (Green flag) only?

Note:
This article has been published on 14th MAy,2016 at following websites:

http://blogs.dunyanews.tv/13141/sadiq-khans-victory-identity-crisis/

Sadiq Khan’s Victory and Nationality Crisis

Article No 50

 

Pakistan Leaks #49

Pakistan Leaks #49

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Leaked issues of our Nation…

Panama leaks are the most IN THING these days where everyone seems to run behind our Prime minister and his family after charges of money laundering and notorious investment in offshore companies. There were instances in past when people used to blame PM and family for financial corruption BUT since now it’s from an international forum; opponent parties see an opportunity to cash and exploit these reports. Apparently, it seems legal action against PM and/or his resignation will resolve everything. Our country’s looted wealth will be restored and we will start moving on path of prosperity…

Let’s make a small effort and see can things be resolved by       removing PM or grabbing these big fishes only? Does anyone or anything else carry responsibility of Pakistan’s failure as a nation?

By virtue of this article, I want to leak our own moral and national fault lines; let’s see if we can reach to something better at the end. Pakistan leaks are as follows:

  • Ideological Failure: It’s said there are only 2 nations based on Ideology; first is Pakistan and second is Israel. But Pakistanis have either forgotten this or they are too indolent to learn about Pakistan’s Ideological foundations. Their forefathers carried quiet clear vision with right actions but current breed seems to have forgotten enormous scarifies during Pakistan movement and purpose for which Pakistan was made.
  • Divided amid ethnic, linguistic and sects: People do not follow order of unity given by Allah (S.W.T) and taught by their past real leaders/heroes. They often fight amongst each other based on these differences and display favoritism for their own sections. Pakistan society is limping on endless levels of separation and they let politicians and thugs exploit these divisions.
  • Cultural Crisis: Pakistanis are largely impressed with Indian and Western culture that includes speaking, dressing and behaving like others. They are not keen to learn and apply very own cultural norms like Arabic, Urdu and societal behaviors; they fail to understand power of originality.
  • Lack of team effort: Pakistanis are known to carry enormous talent but this is largely true at Individual brilliance level; combined national effort is scarcely visible.
  • Disrespecting rule of Law: This nation often violates law in their own country and the same people when go abroad then happily follows overseas laws.
  • Traffic Laws: Pakistan nation is one of worst users of road and traffic principles. Scattered traffic, disrespect of general driving/transport principles and fight upon a given accident are usual scenes on roads.
  • Business values: Many individuals do not care much about moral values and established business principles. This is so evident in recent exposure from Ms. Aisha Mumtaz and various TV channels showing unhygienic conditions in restaurants and food factories. Economic terrorism is at its peak during holy month of Ramadan when businessmen become looters as regards to high demand items. “Many people want to make money by any means rather than by fair means”.
  • Hypocrisy, differences b/w theory and practical: Pakistan is surely a Hypocrite society. They do not do what they really believe in. They teach something to their children and then practically do something else; resulting in confused new generation. When somebody raises question to wrongdoing they say “Yeh kaam tu aise hee hota hai RATHER THAN theak kaam aise hota hai”.
  • AASHIQ-E-RASOOL (S.A.W.): Pakistanis claim to be biggest and truest Aashiq-e-Rasool (S.A.W). They are prepared to die in prophet (S.A.W.) name at any time BUT sadly speaking they do not consider living like beloved Muhammad (S.A.W). They fail to display great values of truth, honesty, humbleness, forgiveness, piety, loyalty, faith, discipline etc like our great prophet (S.A.W).
  • Leadership Crisis: Pakistanis continue to wait for a True leader for ages; a supernatural person who will come with a Magic stick (or Danda) and resolve everything in minutes. They lack faith in theirs selves and are not ready to start by leading their own life setting righteous trends.

Above are few of many charges that Pakistanis carry on their shoulders. The key question now is does any corrupt politician, sneaky policeman or ruthless Gangster stops us to corrects such ailments?

After reading Pakistan Leaks, now what do you think dear brothers and sisters; apart from financial corruption are we also not responsible for country’s failure? Shall we make a Judical Commission to sort out our national weaknesses? Parliamentary or Non Parliamentary Committee? Retired or Present Judges will fix above? Does anybody need to give Dharna or long march against us? Shall we do suicides or resign from our current positions? What really shall we to get freed from charges of Pakistan leaks?

Answer awaited!!!

Note:

This article was published on 17 April,2016 at following in April, 2016

Pakistan leaks

http://www.zemtv.com/2016/04/17/pakistan-leaks/

Article No 49

 

 

 

JIGAR KHAMOSH HOGAYA… #48

JIGAR KHAMOSH HOGAYA… #48

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Aslam was a loud and shout boy during our academic days; he was always participating during the lectures. Some people thought that “He is trying to become one and only of the class”. Slowly and gradually, he made a huge circle of friends and adopted few new habits like smoking. We then realized that he was a very social person and our initial perspective for him was not that right. Later, as his ship of friendship got too much occupied, he stopped participating in the class. He was known everywhere having good Salam Dua with everyone in a short time and people started to call him Aslam Jigar. How he manages such a huge circle of friends? We often thought this…

I discovered his various characteristics with the passage of time. Soon, I developed a strong feeling that apparently lively and socialized Jigar is somewhere empty inside his heart. Aaah!

As life moved foreword and Social media became an integral element of our lives; Aslam carried same Jigar type passion forward into the online world.  He was out there in most of the friends circle related discussions; intense presence in the outings and gatherings snaps. But at times, I felt that he had become an object of humor and absurdity where each comment relating to him was made in a casual manner. Serious and considerate attitude was scarcely found regarding Aslam Jigar. Main question for any sane person studying Aslam was that; ‘Will all this continue for the rest of the life?’

And while switching gears of his career path; Aslam curtailed his social circle rather quickly. He was just vanished from the social media and also from all discussion forums. This whole change in attitude was really indigestible for me. Every now and then someone inside me asked me “Jigar ko kiya hogaya hai, why is he not vocal anymore?” I tried to express this feeling with some related people but got rather casual replies.

I personally felt that lack of proper care and concern from others forced Aslam to eradicate Jigar from his persona. Everybody else was progressing well in their careers with very smart planning; I was doubtful anybody bothered to discuss Aslam’s career path with him as he was there to only satisfy Buddy thing for all. While following his Jigri habbits, he perhaps reached that intense point from where it was impossible to return back. So he might have decided to mark an end to all this to start a brand new life.

I then decided to brake the shackles, wrote few pages of my perspective regarding turnaround in Jigar’s persona and send it to him being rather nervous. I wanted to know reason behind this 180 degree change in his behavior. My concern was right but surprisingly most of my apprehensions proved out to be wrong. In his response, Jigar open his heart out in front of me. I was now reading a genuine tale of transformation, from Jigar to a well mature gentleman. Aslam outlined distinctive phases of his life in front of me. From a Mummy Daddy boy raised in strict middle class to his path to educational institutions. Loosing some loved ones in a very young age with some added tragedies in life broke him from inside. With a passion to explore his individuality in life, Jigar faced a turbulent Professional life. Jigar traveled many parts of the world and as he says in his own words.

“The person who keeps on changing (or exploring) his paths face more challenges and difficulties. Perhaps this was the same for me. Love yourself first!! is the lesson which I learnt all along my life. Having said that, I can say that there have been times when my friends were there when I needed them the most. But somehow I feel that there are times in your life when you get to love yourself first.”

Jigar further tells me his story and says:

“Coming back to the “Jigar” part of my personality, I think I have it as a reserve but now I use it for only some selected people. A very important part of this is I now also want to fulfill my other wishes just as reading books, meditation to Allah, and even sports. I mean there is a lot in life than just to spend times in chit-chat with friends. Probably, the number of deaths I have seen in a very young age should be enough source of lessons to me. I will be insane if I don’t take lessons from those events.”

He then briefly explains his traveling experiences and becoming more mature with the passage of time. Jigar concluded as:

“I will do share with you one lesson. And that is in these times only few people will sympathize with you; few people will be honest in your terms with you. Alhamdullilah, there are not many stringent experiences that I have got like these but I have observed so many. Matlab kee duniya hai aur log pata nahi kiyun sirf apne aap k liye jee rahe hain…There are few who are really honest and really empathetic…there are few who will be there for you no matter what… The key to your happiness is don’t expect much from anybody. Yet make yourself available to help in the maximum capacity you can. That is something which you can mention to Allah while begging in duas.Serving humanity is the best exchange to ask something from Allah.”

Jigar showed me his inside with deep emotions; sadly not often we try to see how other people are fighting their battles…

This is only one case; I have seen 2-3 other scenarios as well where such kind hearted, sincere and friendly people gets their FULL STOP at certain stage each after their own experiences and circumstances. The readers must have witnessed quite a few instances within their social circles. But the irony is when people leave them at their own, forgetting things they had done for us and in process looses such pure people from our lives. This world is such a place where we do not value people who are giving value to us and keeps running behind those who are not much caring. As a result after sometime, we loose the real jewels from our lives…

We must give due respect to all Jigars, Janis, Yaars and Lalas. Need to be very careful in dealing such people as such people are very sensitive and have very intense feelings. As it is very well said by someone “Never take someone for granted, hold every person close to your heart because you might wake up one day and realise that you have lost a diamond while you were too busy collecting stones.” Remember this always in life…

Ahh and life continues, we wake up in morning and run like machines for the whole day. Money is there, luxuries are there, I am there, rest everyone is there, Aslam is also there BUT Jigar is no more…Jigar khamosh hogaya!

Note:

This article was published at following in 14 April, 2016

The friends who make us laugh often need a shoulder to cry on…

Article No 48

 

Choked Pak-India Series: 1 Series AUR 100 Afsanay #47

Choked Pak-India Series: 1 Series AUR 100 Afsanay #47

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Current trail of efforts for Pak-India cricket series has lead us to a cycle of trickery and false hopes from India. They did not produced appropriate measures to fulfill their commitment for a Pakistan’s home series outside Pakistan. At first, BCCI proposed to play limited over series in India which was not accepted from our side on principle. Then the UAE option was refused from India. Shaharyar Khan’s Visit was sabotaged by Shiv Sena activists in Mumbai. Then somehow they calmed down and Option of Sri-Lanka came our way. Strightaway, Indian media started to politicize the matter by airing some really extremist people against Pakistan. People started guessing if the matter was a part of Sharif-Modi brief discussion in Paris. Speculations were high when Indian Foreign Minister lately visited Pakistan for attending “Heat of Asia Conference” but all hopes shattered as there not even a slight indication on this series.

Surprisingly, PCB has shown sheer optimism towards India even after getting a strict & disgraceful treatment; they keep on raising their voices of lean hopes even coming up with shorter series options. PCB’s Chairman Shaharyar Khan should get a special award of “Unbreakable Hope” at the end of this drama. After bashing of PCB and Pakistani players all over the years, our officials still seem to miss the trick and keep on getting humiliated. It is definitely Politics and not sportsmanship; the Ball got stuck in the Indian Government’s Court with perfect Glue and we were left guessing that Large Modi Smile other night in meeting with Imran Khan. We should learn from past politics and enormous damage done to Pakistan from Indian side.

The most visible reason for this desperation is atrocious financial situation of PCB. There is high probability that PCB was relying on this series to execute PSL and subsequently get their financial affairs moving. Relying on hostile country like India is really a matter beyond comprehension. Why we always remain on the receiving end and do not adopt aggressive policies based on fairness and dignity? With well thought of policies, PCB can still become a profitable unit. From the auction of teams in PSL, we can see how positively Local brands welcomed the event.  If we carry out things with focus & thinking outside the Box with self confidence; I am quite sure there will be all smiles our way.

Pakistan cricket will certainly not die if we do not play India. Answer to be given in same strong language especially when situation in Pakistan is much better then mess (of religious extremism) in India. Wise people always keep alternative options in their bags. After this sneaky attitude from India, alternatives should have been considered rather than begging them to play with us. There are other good teams like Sri-Lanka who always support Pakistan. Teams like Zimbabwe and Afghanistan would be more than happy to play with us even inside Pakistan.

After observing doubtful situation over Pak-India series, PCB should have raised this matter much strongly in ICC to show concerns on unfulfilled promises and attached financial loss. I personally fell that Pakistan should develop a strong pressure group with Sri-Lanka, West Indies and South Africa to raise their voice against the injustices imposed on International cricket by the Big-three.

Respect, Honor and Dignity are far above weighted than gains and profits in the world. It is very sorry to say that “Mr. Shaharyar Khan, by virtue of over-receptive attitude; you and PCB are not depicting true honored face of Pakistan and become a source of embarrassment for our nation”.

Note:

This article was published at following in 12 December, 2015

Choked Pak-India Series: 1 Series AUR 100 Afsanay

Choked Pak-India Series: 1 Series AUR 100 Afsanay

http://pakistanheadlines.com/2015/12/12/choked-pak-india-series-1-series-aur-100-afsanay/

Article No 47

Overseas Pakistanis and Hajj #46

Overseas Pakistanis and Hajj #46

“An account of Issues faced by Overseas Pakistanis willing to Perform Hajj”

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I and my younger brother are residing in Qatar with our wives and kids; our parents and majority of family lives in Karachi. I and my family were too concerned about getting my parents to Hajj for the past few years. Both my father and mother are around 60 years of age. I somehow convinced them to go to Hajj this year and subsequently started gathering information about criterion and documents required during the application process. Our initial group was formed of 6 persons including My Parents, Me, my wife with an infant son and my mother in Law (living in Punjab). Keeping the growing good reputation of Government Hajj scheme, we decided to try our luck with the same. The main questions that arose were as below:

  1. How can Overseas Pakistanis apply through government scheme and how the Passports will be shipped to and from Pakistan for Visa purpose. Can we form same group with our parents?
  2. Can a person living in Punjab make a group with those living in Sindh?
  3. Is an Infant aged one and a half years allowed to go with Parents?

I started from calling the Ministry of Religious Affairs Office in Islamabad who were very helpful and Co-operative. They responded affirmatively to the above questions. They said that you have to come to Pakistan about 2 months in advance for the visa purpose; I said that I cannot have such a long leave from my company. “Once your Hajj application is approved, you can write an application to the Ministry requesting special handling of your application as per your constraints; hopefully they will resolve this issue”. Then to further refine my plan, I called Haji camp in Karachi and discussed my situation with the responsible person there. He was also very considerate and co-operative. “You apply for Hajj and once your application is approved, we will handle everything Insha-Allah” he said. Now, I was quite satisfied and confident and gave green signal to my father to go ahead with the application process explaining him the strategy.

With the passage of time, 6 more family members were added to our Hajj group making a handsome potential group of 12 including an infant. Our family chose Seelani Welfare trust for filing our Hajj application who applied our Hajj application for initial screening in the local bank.  I was alerted by my relatives that Seelani and bank showed reservations on my application due to residence abroad and cannot assure of my application. “The only option is that you come here in Ramadan to give your passport for visa stamping” they told me. I then again contacted the Ministry of Religious affairs who again told me the same thing (as mentioned above) but without taking any responsibility on their part. I then contacted Embassy of Pakistan in Qatar who told me “Sorry we are not doing anything regarding Hajj  applications and you should contact relevant ministry in Islamabad”. “As you know I cannot get such a long leave of about 3.5 months and can you provide me assistance transferring my passport for this purpose within your diplomatic mail?” I asked. “We usually do not do handle passports, you can come and contact Higher Officials for special consideration” they said. During all this activity, I observed that there is no proper procedure for Hajj application of Overseas Pakistanis; there are different un-conventional way-outs but ON YOUR OWN RESPONSIBILITY. While the applications were finalized by the bank, the bank manager demanded that all the applicants must be present in front of him and that he will not entertain applications of absentees like us (living elsewhere). So dream of doing Hajj with my parents received a major blow. The feelings cannot be explained in words…

I kept on trying my luck through various different Channels. I applied for Hajj application through the online system practiced in Qatar; here I found out that only people living for 3 years or more here are eligible for application. So my wife’s application was automatically rejected due to this clause.

Overseas Pakistan nationals usually go to Hajj via Hajj Quota given for Expats in few countries OR through Private scheme in Pakistan. In private Hajj scheme, they apply via private tour operators and send their passports with their acquaintances back home and then after visa stamping somebody coming back from Pakistan bring their passport back. But worthy to mention, this is illegal practice as per rule #6 listed down at the last page of Pakistani Passports (see Image below). “Sending passport through mail or some other way is illegal as per Laws”. The second option via private scheme is to go back to Pakistan about 7-10 days ahead of Hajj flight and the resourceful Hajj Operator gets visa stamped within this time; this way is usually more expansive than normal channels.

Passpot.pdf

I contacted one of such private tour operator by which one of my friend went to Hajj 2 years back. “We will do everything for you; you just need to send us documents and payment on time”. When he came to know that my parents have applied via Government Hajj scheme, he said “Ohh Son what have you done”. “What happened?” I asked him. “Son the difference between Government and Private Hajj Schemes is same as the difference between Civil Hospital and Agha Khan Hospital, government Hajj scheme leave people helpless at times” he said.”People dealing with us are majorly from America, UK and Gulf countries” he told me proudly.  I absorbed the situation somehow. I contacted few other Hajj Operators in Pakistan and followed their Facebook pages as well. While explaining their Packages the most marketed things were Buffet, type and variety of food/drinks, the quality and standard of hotel etc. The whole episode seemed to be a mere Business dealing leading to a leisure holiday rather than a spiritual journey; Ahhh…

After considering my budget, level of risk/uncertainty involved and intend of not taking un-due favor from my colleagues and acquaintances; I dropped Private Hajj Option. Now I was relying upon my pending online application through Qatar ministry of Islamic Affairs. While I browsed my chances through this option I came to know that Qatar has only 1200 Nos. this year due to renovation of Haram out of which only 300 were available for non-Qataris like me. My chances were lean and wrapped up soon after.

I reached Karachi at the end of August, 2015 where my uncle was Co-coordinating with his friend tour operator for any probable chance (on waiting List) which never came my way. One option was to get visit visa and perform Hajj without Official documents; I discarded this option as I was not ready to perform Hajj in this way. Reduced 8 family members went on to Hajj with majority of elders. Luckily one of my cousins Farrukh Shah went with this group and played a brilliant and memorable role (like an angel) especially for my mother who needed special attention on wheel chair. May Allah grant him all success and satisfaction in life and hereafter.

I was continuously following website of Ministry of Religious affairs Pakistan over past year. The ministry shared useful information all the time and also kept people informed and educated though newspapers. The good intention and sincerity was very much visible. My family on Hajj was praising Pakistani delegates on such wonderful arrangements for the pilgrims. I would like to congratulate Government of Pakistan, Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousuf and all his team for their efforts. They are gaining confidence and respect every passing year and will remain in our prayers forever.

However, the purpose of writing my struggle is very simple i.e. to let resourceful people know about unseen issues faced by overseas Pakistanis. Above events are just a summary, if I try to note down a detailed review; it would become a small booklet of problems I faced while trying to be a Hajj Companion with my parents. There is no proper procedure and policy for us and people have to spend more money and find un-conventional/risky procedures to perform Hajj. Government should consider devising an appropriate Hajj application structure for 6.5 Million (Approx) Overseas Pakistanis around the world. This can be easily done via Embassies. Such efforts will certainly go a long way; serving Millions of patriotic overseas brothers and sisters and earning priceless payers.

Note:

This article was published at following in 20 November, 2015

Overseas Pakistanis and Hajj

My experience of applying for Hajj

http://www.pakistantimes.com/2015/11/20/overseas-pakistanis-and-hajj-an-account-of-issues-faced-by-overseas-pakistanis-willing-to-perform-hajj-372891.html

Article No 46

Local bodies Election and Shahbaz #45

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31st October, 2015…When Shahbaz Observed His Nation and … Questioned Himself!

He is a hopeful Pakistani soul and follows each probable opportunity of change with enthusiasm and spirit. Shahbaz observed the local body elections held in areas of Punjab and Sindh on 31st October, 2015. He was present everywhere, from main cities to minor rural districts. He watched TV transmissions sitting in cozy sofa abroad with mixed feelings of optimism and concern.

Dozens of Parties and Independent contenders were in the playing field to defeat their opponents. Notably just before elections, news of violations of code of conduct for the election campaigns were often reported causing no improvement whatsoever on foul play going on in the ground.

As always, Pakistani media was fully energized and active on 31st October; most of them were claiming to broadcast biggest elections transmission and newest breaking news. Hope was building from many corners that this devolution of Power will change many things, alleviate life of a common man. Media excitement on that day would have taken many believe that “Everything will change after today and we would no longer need to worry about our problems”

Also read https://msultanshah.com/2015/10/10/naya-qanoon-aur-mangoo-ustaad-2/

And then the world started to witness some astonishing news from the polling stations:

“13 years old child casted his vote based on his political affiliation, you just need to have influential party’s Badge on chest and AGE does not matter after that”.

“Media caught people Red-handed while purchasing votes with money in Larkana”.

“12 people killed in Khairpur in a clash between two political parties”. This news stunned the whole country…

Extreme mismanagement was reported; few polling stations could not receive ballot boxes on time. At some places, the election symbols were printed wrong against the candidate’s name.

Police was reported to give undue favor to certain parties by means of their influence and resources.

Shahbaz saw many people getting messed up beating each other in different parts of the country. Uncontrolled fighting mobs were common scenery on 31st October, 2015.

Soon after the polling results started coming out, supporters from winning parties started celebrating; dancing wildly. It’s however not clear the exact reason behind all excitement. It’s unknown whether they were taking it as a festival OR they had witnessed any betterment after any of the previous election…

Shahbaz was standing shocked and speechless in the middle of all this chaos. “Is this the way Nations behave? Can brothers and sisters become enemies like this?” “Do the Celebrating Dancing Bhangras have any idea of what is hidden in their future??? He asked himself…He was lost in extreme pain and anxiety and saw two familiar faces with utmost sad portico sitting at some distance from the crowd…Jinnah and Iqbal looking at him; silent not saying anything at all…

Now having mob in front, Silent Jinnah and Iqbal at sidelines, Shabaz’s mind was circulating like a wheel…Is this the same nation having one of the finest armed forces in the world which recently won the gold medal in Cambrian Petrol?? Is this the same nation which responds in natural calamities as brilliant as it could be…Is this the same nation who forgets everything while supporting Pakistani cricket match chanting Pakistan Zindabad crazily when Pakistan wins? Why such extremities? What is the missing point?  Where is the fault line within us?

http://www.pakistankakhudahafiz.com/news/national/pakistan-army-secured-gold-medal-at-cambrian-patrol/

While tackling this mind boggle, Shahbaz heard some voices:

“And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided”. (3:103 – Surah Ali ‘Imran)

“Why we get divided?” He thought…

“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety (taqwa) and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves”. (Quoted from Last Sermon of Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustafa (S.A.W.)

“While our supreme leader Muhammad (S.A.W.) has given lessons of brotherhood how can we harm our brothers and sisters in the name of Democracy (Jamhooriyat)?” Shahbaz was waking up…

“Deo Istabdad Jamhoori Qba Mein Paye Koob,
Tu Samjhta Hai Ye Azadi Ki Hai Neelam Pari”

“In Demos-dress let tyranny’s old demon-dance be seen,
Your fancy calls up Liberty’s blue-mantled fairy queen!” (Allama Iqbal)

 http://iqbalurdu.blogspot.qa/2011/04/bang-e-dra-162-jawab-e-khizar.html#uds-search-results

 

And finally one voice citing Wasif Ali Wasif sahib “Jhootay Muashrey mein Saccha Insaan kis se vote maangay ga???”

Mob was in front of him, Silent Jinnah and Iqbal on the sidelines and mixed voices trying to remind him some Old forgotten lessons…Tears curving form his eyes seeing his nation in such a condition.

“What are you doing Shahbaz, where do you stand in all this disarray?” His inner conscious whispered…

And now slowly and gradually he started reading the situation and recalling real orders from Real leaders. Love and brotherhood instead of hatred and fight…

No more sub divisions, no more linguistic, tribal and provincial subdivide. Pakistan’s flag as one icon instead of so many meaningless flags and identities…

Shahbaz was slowly figuring out what was wrong with nation…Whenever we focused on Pakistan as one nation, we amazed the world with our unmatched potential. And wherever we followed confused methodologies leading to injustice, hate and divide; we always fell apart. We could not get ourselves right due to lack clear approach sound system…

“Now that I know, what is wrong; what should I do next? How can I eliminate all differences within Pakistani society?” Shahbaz asked himself…

“No need to worrying about it at all, this is enough that you have realized. Do your part sincerely and honestly. Wherever you are, whatever you do; just do not betray your people and country. People who disperse Hate and divide can never be your companions; people who try to unite this nation are your real friends. Become leader of your own life and lead circles under your influence. The bigger change will follow, Insha-Allah” someone said in his ears…

He suddenly turned his head; Jinnah and Iqbal had left leaving everlasting impressions. Now focused Shahbaz was standing in front of the mob; ready to play his part TO TRANSFORM THIS MOB INTO ONE NATION UNDER ONE FLAG…

Also Read

Who is Shahbaz??? https://msultanshah.com/2015/08/21/rabi-ul-awwal-and-shahbaz/

14 August, 2014 and Shahbaz https://msultanshah.com/2015/08/07/14-august-2014-and-shahbaz/

Note:

This article was also published dated 13th November, 2015 at following:

http://www.zemtv.com/2015/11/13/local-bodies-election-and-shahbaz/

Article No 45

Pakistan Super League (P.S.L.)…A Bundle of Opportunities #44

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We should make most out of PSL!

Scheduled Pakistan Super League (PSL) in February, 2016 (UAE) is a breath of fresh air for Millions of cricket loving Pakistanis around the world. The feeling of owning an International cricket league is just amazing and expectations are really high. Before starting the Pakistan Super League (PSL) we have so many bench marks and lessons leaned from ICL, IPL and BPL etc and doors of countless opportunities.

PSL’s Venue

Pakistanis in Qatar were overjoyed when PSL was announced late in August, 2015 to be played in Qatar. Later, it was shifted back to the UAE; our favorite home outside home. It’s really good but I strongly feel at least few matches must be played in Qatar. Qatar is making all possible efforts to host notable International sporting and other recreational events. At the same time, they are building high class sporting facilities to cater FIFA 2022 World cup. In the shadow of so many business opportunities; Qatar is moving its focus towards Pakistan gradually. PSL is yet another fantastic opportunity to get the two countries together and share our past experience of organizing sporting events. This will not only work for Qatar to stroll towards future big sports events and also will give us an alternative venue for future cricketing series/tournaments. Having few matches in Qatar will show our thankfulness to this brother country that backed us when we were short of the event’s Venue.

Sponsorship Sector

PSL has potential to make a big Pakistani International brand with the passage of time. Apart from Key sponsor(s); PCB should spread the sponsorship rights into various segments. Pakistani entrepreneurs including TV Channels, Banking and Industrial sectors must be encouraged to embrace and own Pakistan Super League. From the telecast rights to kit logos and potential hospitality/tourism opportunities; well thought off sponsorship strategy can go a long way.

Opportunity for young Talent

PSL is a blessing for our new talent. Rising boys from Domestic arena will go into the league and get the exposure of the Best in Business. This will definitely help us in filling the gap of International cricket in Pakistan. Junior cricketers must grab this opportunity with both hands which surely is going to open new doors of success for them. We will surely get some future stars out of PSL.

Link with UAE’s business Arena

Dubai is the most visited city of the Middle East attracting visitors from around the world; famous for shopping and other interesting events. It will serve the players and spectators to enjoy some attractive night activities. Smart planning and hospitality management will certainly benefit UAE’s economy, business chances for various companies and provide a healthy environment for the players.

Connectivity with Pakistan

PSL can effectively be linked with some parallel activities in Pakistan. It can be telecast in cinemas as per public demand. Our cricket stadiums can re-live during PSL. Short matches among zonal teams can be conducted in grounds (just before a PSL match); after which spectators could have a choice to watch live telecast of PSL on screens. Food and gift stalls to be arranged to serve the masses. I am quite sure, people will be more than happy to visit such festivals alongside their families.

Menace of fixing, dark scars

We have seen issues of spot fixing, money corruption and betting during the IPL. PCB should make all possible efforts to stop illegal activities during the PSL. It should be mentioned very clearly in the code of conduct. Youngsters must be given special lectures before they leave for the event. Un-necessary mixing with the strangers to be avoided as any minor thing will be exploited specially by foreign media. All efforts should be made to get it through neat and clean and avoid awful situations came about in IPL.

Cheer Leaders

Dancing girls as cheer leaders just do not suit our culture and taste as a nation. We have seen controversies during the IPL related with economic and emotional exploitation of these Cheer leaders. We must avoid it. We have a diversified Desi culture; people with various traditional clothing/get ups representing assorted places in Pakistan can be shown off as Cheer Leaders. We have a potential to change Cheer Leaders trend. Just imagine four provinces and Kashmiri get ups waving their hands on fours and sixesAhhh awesome!

PSL and IPL

Pakistani players have been missed from the IPL over the years. The way our players were ruled out from IPL was just pathetic. I just can not forget that meaningful notorious Shilpa Shetty smile while names of Pakistani players were called on and all the buyers just kept silent instead of bidding. I fully believe that nature has reversed the curse and we all can see enormous ebb IPL is facing these days.

PCB should not run behind Indian Players; they will come anyhow if they wish to; no need of bowing down to BCCI. PCB should make efforts to make PSL a much better and zerocontroversial event. We have great chance to prove our metal, to surpass IPL; Insha Allah.

Fingers Crossed

PSL is a fresh start and ray of hope for struggling Pakistan Cricket. With sincere efforts and hard work, PSL can become a symbol of quality. Let’s hope that this tournament would be a success and eventually the league will come back to Pakistan in coming years.

Note:

This article was published at following, dated 26th October, 2015

Pakistan Super League (P.S.L.)…A Bundle of Opportunities

Article No 44