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:

Sadiq Khan’s victory and our identity crisis

Sadiq Khan’s Victory and Nationality Crisis

Article No 50

 

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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

http://blogs.arynews.tv/pakistan-leaks/

Pakistan Leaks

Article No 49

 

 

 

JIGAR KHAMOSH HOGAYA… #48

Jigar

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

http://blogs.arynews.tv/the-friends-who-make-us-laugh-often-need-a-shoulder-to-cry-on/

Article No 48

 

Who will Win P.S.L. ???

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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

http://arysports.tv/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

“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.

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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

http://blogs.arynews.tv/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