Thursday, December 25, 2008

Quaid- e- Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah's Birthday;some thoughts

As the dawn breaks on the blue december sea kissed Karachi beach I stroll and think about the thoughts,sacrifices and passions for the creation of pakistan.As a fellow blogger said long live pakistan.This is all what we want.We love our country ,our freedom.I read an enlightening article in Dawn by Shariful Mujahid an authority on The Quaid.Says he;It would not be wrong to say that Mohammad Ali Jinnah was a liberal,par excellence.In tandem with his liberal ethos and his consuming concern with human rights was his burgeoning passion for reversing the "wretched" conditionof women,who stood marginalised,not only in pre-modern east,but also in the modern west,in the later half of the twentieth century.He goes on to say that Jinnah took Fatima Jinnah ,his younger sister on official journies to tribal NWFP and Baluchistan.,where decision making process especially by women was unheard of.When inquired about the foundations of our state bieng laid on conservatism,he emphasised that Pakistan will be a progressive country in the building of which women will be seen working shoulder to shoulder with men in every walk of life.He was proud of acknowledging women"s contribution in the freedom struggle.He said "half of Pakistan is yours because you have put in no less effort to achieve it than the men"." He was a very enlightened leader..who sincerely wanted that women should get status equal to that of men"Said Begum Khursid Ara .
The quaid wanted a progresive ,modern ,egalitarian Pakistan,where women and women both contributed to the development of the society.It is so sad that he died so early in the history of our country.Had he lived bit longer we would have been what he had envisioned for us.
We should promise ourselves to be true to his ideals and develop our future accordingly.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Factory Floor

Factory Floor
Factory Floor,
originally uploaded by Horrgakx.
Post industrial human activity.Geometric Visuals designs.


originally uploaded by uryevich one.
Post military human activity.Alien Eyes!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Another tragedy strikes Rawalpindi,Mumbai style!

Today a massive tragedy has struck Rawalpindi exactly one year after the death of Benazir Bhutto in the wee hours of the morning. Alarge electronics,leather goods and cloth market right in the center of the city has been burning with a large part falling and the other part about to fall.The rscue workers were trapped inside the fallen part where a new fire is raging. The rescue operation is inadequate as the available snorkels are few and do not reach the upper floors. The Marriot tragedy in which the ambassidor of Chekoslovakia died will always be remembered for the tragedy s the living persons literally died of burning alive. Only yesterday a loaded oil tanker crashed against a moving train in Punjab. No further news available on this.
The owner of the shopping plaza says this is an arson attack as the short circuit would not cause such a prolonged fire.These accusations aside it is obvious that these buildings have no exits,fire alarms, sprinkler systems,evacuation and emergency plans.These big buildings a re run on adhoc basis .There is no manager.Only a chowkidar or guard looks after the whole building.There is no coordination with fire department or any government agency.
It comes to mind was this an arson attack by the terrorists,the people who were involved in Marriot fire or some other terrorists.Were the same people who were involved in Mumbai attacks were involved in this?
Who gains from this? the same people who gained from Mumbai attack?
What will be the reaction of the Pakistan government?
We are waiting anxiously to see what is happening in the subcontinent.

The Political Economy of Social Sector Development ;some thoughts

The gender disparity issue is again raising its ugly head in our excessively underdeveloped,human disparate society due to the unexpected,illiterate kind of edict or sermon thrusted by the Council of Islamic Ideology that the gender parity is un "Islamic".I read a book by Dr Iftikhar published in 1997 which showed clear differences in gender development ,social sector underdevelopment and poverty,ethnic intolerance,clear linkages to reliogiosize the society leading to massive underdevelopment.Eleven years hence we stand at the edge or maybe inside of an hole of massive underdevelopment,polarisation of society and almost no hope for coming out as the time for corrective measures has passed.The irony is that we take guidance and loans from institutions such as world bank and the IMF,not understanding their policies,their failures and what they are doing to us a s people and our society.We need to internalise our thinking in order to understand our society which is very diverse in its ethnic,religious,racial make-up.We clearly need to cultivate the values of fratenity,pluralism,socialistic behaviour and egalitarianism.Only a truely insightful attitude towards development,especially of the social sector will enable us to improve our indicators.No quick fix solutions to any measures will help.
Pakistan has a very large population ,of which fifty percent is women.They are actively involved in house work,farm work ,raising family,industries,service sector and other activities.They are contributing a large part to the economy in both formal and mostly informal economy.Their rights are not defined, addressed,or bestowed upon them.There is no mechanism in our society where human rights are disseminated as international agreed criteria and issues are made aware to all sections of society.We have not utilized the forum of religious scholars to adress this issue.Now in the post 9/11 world all religiuos issues have been superceded by terrorism.The good offices of the religious scholars to propagate the human rights to all masses has taken a backseat.Now there is so much confusion over secularism,human rights implementation of laws that almost no work is bieng done on scolarship of tehse issues.No muslim scholar has done any independant work on these issues so that we can live peacefully in modern world.All scholars shun away from new work as there are no chairs for such scholarship.Idealism as that of Iqbal is now used of context as some sort of magic wand to wake up muslims.It has worked to the detriment of society as various groups have used it for their own presumed advantage.(end of part 1)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Environment Topic;Latest Oil Spill Disaster in Karachi

About three years back a large tanker Tasman Spirit carrying tons of crude oil broke in Clifton port off karachi,spilling all its contenets in sea.I live by the sea and as the gusty winds of July hit our skins and our homes I could smell diesal fumes.Whats this, somebody,s generator orsome storage tank burst,I thought. When I saw brown crude oil drops on my mosquito netting I was aghast.The blue waves had turned brown clearly showing oil inside.There was no information from the government. As I have ahabit of collecting data for health I designed a health questionairre on health effects of oil spill and started gathering data.This was later used in a review of the population Affected.At that time after much hue and cry by NGOs and concerned citizens some kind of plan was made by authorities to make some kind of disaster management plan.After much press fanfare and propaganda,every thing returned to {normal] and everything was forgotten.A third world response as qouted by a foreign expert.Today as I watched tv news I was shocked to see a gallons of crude oil fountain spewing oil ferociously in the air ,drowning a densely populated area consisting of residents,small bisunesses.There is now alake of crude oil which has enterd are damaged and people are drowned.They cant even close teh valves as the source is closeby.There is no dister management plan in place.The army rangers appear in uniform and just to cardon off the area to keep people out. In the end we the people are the losers.This shows the true might of the people and its representative armed forces as they are the real rulers in this area.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Health topic;Pollution in Karachi

Our nazim/mayor gets an award for bieng the second best mayor in the world.Good encouragement but there are so many unattended issues.First and foremost are simple practices that reduce pollution that affect the health of Karachiites.The waste disposal system is incomplete and in efficient.The practice of burning waste goes on in residential areas unabated so much so that a very large population like a million peoplle residing in defence, a posh locality and its surrounding lower middle class and slum areas are under constant threat.The area known as defence view has a bridge or bund like area which seperates large waste dumps from residential areas.Every night as the traffic passes through the road on this bund,it is impossible to drive through safely as burning waste smoke fills the air.This acrid polluted air travels through to other areas of defence and reaches the residential areas by the sea by midnight.The irony is that the educated, influential residents of defence turn a blind eye to this,as perhaps they think this would not affect their health.It is proven that asthma,other chest diseases, cancers ,genetic mutations can all occur due to pollution.As there is no monitoring of the smoke constituents, their dosage etc.,nobody knows what will happen to whom.The closeby residents will have immediate effects such as increase in number of cases of asthma,chronic bronchitis,etc.,but the more dangerous consequences like cancer and genetic mutations in pregnant residents of other affected areas can also occur.This becomes the responsibility of everyone residing and driving in this area to create awareness and lobby for banning this practice and insist on safe removal of this waste to a safe disposal site.The nazim alone cannot make decisions we as responsible citizens must emphatically lobby for these issues and take action.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mumbai blasts ,Marriot blasts.Whither war against terrorism?

AS the bombing ,shooting and hostage drama continues we are forced to think about the war on terror or war against terrorism.Is the war changing course,yes it is bieng mixed with fight against injustice,freedom struggles,underground or criminal activity,idealism,The older people in charge are not in tune with the activity logistics of terrorists.The phenomenon of celling,incubating and then attacking after identifieng with a cause is now a well followed tactic of these groups.The new war strategists have now to think out of the bix and plan defence.India is now failing totally in preventing these attaccks as recent history shows .So now their policy of expansionism,keeping smaller neighbours under their hegemony has to change. The whole world is changing.The war against terror will have to be fought under new directions,with new guidelines.State level containement is now to be completely changed with regional and international level.Manmohan Singh is totally out of sync when he blames Pakistan for these attacks.It is local deccan mujahideen who have taken responsibility.Look at their statement is
better to die once than again and again.The injustices against muslims have to stop once and for all.Look at their actions ,bombings,indiscriminate firing,target places Oberoi hotel,Taj hotel,hospital.

It points at the facts that muslim women are bieng used as prostitutes in India .In hotels like Oberoi and Taj this kind may be supplied.It is amazing that Indian police is ignoring this fact or deliberately hiding it.This for the detriment of their own society.We must all now be honest if we really have to be safe and provide people a sense of security.It is horrible,this mayhm and torture of innocent people.This must stop.We must cooperate against terrorists .

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Whither Pakistan Politics?

After listening to few current afairs programs on Pakistan tv channels a few things struck me ; The comperes were deliberately trying to bring in topics that would lead to making the current political dispensation look inefficient,foolish,only representative of the elites and liable to be removed by a revolution or maybe another martial law.This line of discussion appears foolish and a sure formula for self destruct mode as the elected government and another elected party have won a heavy mandate.By choosing the guests for discussions these comperes specially manouver the program towards bringing in alternatives for governance.This is a highly dangerous trend and appears to serve a vested agenda.Away from people and more towards fascism.This at a time when Pakistan is already fighting against militancy,religious dogmatism,fanaticism,ethnic intolerance,moral corruption and a highly polarised society.The mandate given by the people to major political parties is there for all to see.It is for peoples representatives to govern under all cuircumstances.Not a few king maker groups.This time if the USA does interfere with its half baked policies in the garb of slogans Pakistan may not be able to take the assault,The consequences will be bad for everyone including India.There will be a domino effect .Russia is keenly watching so is China. If India thinks it can have some kind of benefit from chaos in Pakistan it is sadly mistaken.We are not part of the now totally failed and corrupt,out of sync establishment.We are not part of the elitist groups either. We are ordinary folks who havePakistans stability and of the worlds at heart.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Reflections on women rights and status in Pakistan

After the post election results in American presidential elections a few thoughts come to mind about the situation of pakistani women and its slutions.As the womens rights and struggles evolved in USA in the last two centuries we can learn lessons .We find ourselves in a unique situation where we are in the twentyfirst century and pre American civil war situation as well.The complex issues of women political rights, such as voting bieng allowed and di sallowed at the same time, polio vaccination bieng given and rejected by certain population at the same time,the children bieng given modern education and schools bieng burnt in the name of talibanisation ,women attending offices parliament as members and women bieng killed inthe name of honor.The dillemma remains as how do we clear this mess of polarization of our society.The American society went through periods of change in a gradual and ladderstep fashion.We have a huge convoluted mass ,entangled snakepit of issues.We need to dis entangle it ourselves.If we use catch phrases as Bush and Musharraf did we will mess things further.Look at the mess of Iraq war and Afghanistan war America finds itself.It was this catchphrase war mentality that has put America back many centuries.We also must desist from this.The new solutions will be difficult but simple for Pakistan.We must reduce poverty and corruption,we must start simplicity in everything we do, maybe lean more towards left, we must expand middle class but do not follow consumerism and capitalism, maybe some form of Islamic socialism.WE must emphasize on values of liberty,fraternity,develop strong alliances with neighbours such a China, India,Iran,even Russia.Our foreign policy shift should reflect on our internal scene.We must start dialogue internally with a fresh clean slate.Talibanisation is a reflection of poverty, injusctice and warlording of groups in pakistan. This can only be solved by building a just society.The poor in the hills do not see an opportunity of sucess in this corrupt society so they follow extremist ideologies.Thanks to the Zia regime the adhoc military training of jihadis resulted in this mayhem.It is hoped that the new elected Pkistani legislators will understand the voice of the masses and help them overcome this horrible wave of violent self immolation of our society.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Incidence of post traumatic stress disorder in Pakistan

My day started with reading an article in daily dawn by dr.Amin Gadit,about the incidents of stress disorders in karachi. Street crimes such as mobile and valuable snatching bieng very common, another reason is road traffic accidents, lack of security by police personnel, kidnappings for ransom,internet crime,non availibility of medical and judicial care for rape and sexual harrassment,all these lead to a sense of insecurity for the average common citizen.The attitude of the responsible persons like the main officer incharge of police is complacency and sense of lording over and corruption.The mayor of the city now known as nazim of Karachi, in his excitement,enthusiasm,and niavette, wants to do so many things himself(to give credit to his political party etc),instead of making a board of advisers purely voluntary citizens ,technically and intellectually experienced to plan policy, direction, action issues and make teams to devolve authority and bring about actual performance change in initiatives taken.He has done many things for the city and bieng youg can do still more.The first priority should be law and order. Police reforms need to be implementd.More educated officers with a clear sense of direction and non-political profile should be inducted on a n emergency basis .Their absorption into becoming amoebic and complacent should be checked by the citizen advisors under a regular monitoring progarm.These citizen advisors are a plenty, people who have done voluntary work in related fields and already know the issues and their solutions. The interior minister incharghe should make sure that such persons are inducted on a regular basis.The police promotion and monetary benefits should be linked to the situation of law and order under their direct jurisdiction,the citizen advisors performance monitoring report etc.Only this way their complacency in handling thes isues will be checked.Power centering control under one man like the mayor/nazim should only be to the extent of coordination,communication and overall management.The thana culture/attitude should be totally discouraged.A prominent human rights lawyer pointed out in his tv appearance the dire need to do away with this suffocating culture. This much needed change will only come about if the police and the people in power own this change. The fundamental rights should be prominently displayed on the boards of police stations .Both lawyers and human rights groups should use propaganda mechanisms such a
stv and print to educate groups to their rights and use of laws pertaining to their use in greiviences. Often the individuals donot know whom to approach . The nazims office should ofer helpline for such complainents.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Random thoughts for today

New morning ,old feeling ,what is depression ? According to statistics every fourth person in Pakistan is suffering from some form of mental illness.With a population of 160 million this comes to 40 million which is a major burden on our society both in economic and social terms. Productivity in all sense,economic, intellectual,social relationships, healthy evolution of societal groups, their interactions all suffer.The literacy rate in Pakistan bieng very low this burden shifts to all groups in our country may they be social such as family,economic such as labourers,artisans, farmers,special gender groups such as vulnerable groups of children,women,old and infirm.The lack of availibility of health care including access ,infrastructure,trained personnel such as psychiatrists,psychologists, family medicine specialists trained in psychiatry all enhances the health poverty cycle. All this translates into a vicious cycle of poverty,frustration and violence. In order to find the rudder in a sinking ship, the affected find solace in justifying violent behaviour as some form of religious duty.This is a form of trying to build self esteem.I see all forms of violent behavior in our society directlty linked to poverty, illiteracy ,and mental health problems.The funny part is this that the most educated, influential and politically powerfull groups are behaving in a most base a nd corrupt way.They truly lack vision, character,are corrupt,insincere to the core,tryig to follow a lavish lifestyle and education which is not purpose built..Most of the research papers are plagerised.Only the resourcefull and sycophants with false and almost no values get into the higher education systems.The results of all the excercises in development framework are excercises in futility as most of the funding usually by World bank,Asian developmement bank USaid is totally wasted.All the social sector programs either fail or are rolled back incomplete.Latest scandal o f the GAVI AIDS,Tuberculosis, program failing is a case in point. I may be sounding very bitter but this is the stark truth.As regards the talibanisation factor this is not so much an ideological war a s much as it is linked to poor social sector development,poverty and total lack of social and judicial access to justice to the common man.Bad luck for Pakistan that 9/11 fell at a time when our cauldron of injustice,poverty,total lack of opportunities for ordinary folks,some 160 million of them was boiling to a pont of no return in this Hamletian body.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Stray Thoughts For Today

Hi today started for me in this roller coaster rider country with editing my hubby,s new article series about development in Pakistan.As usual thre was a lengthy newspaper survey of what is happening here.Now that I have decided to write my blog I have to find topics close to my heart and find some willing readers.Topics will include women issues,health,jokes,critique on art, people and of course some poetry.From politics I will make some chutney both national and international...maybe a birds eye view of famous issues like American presidential elections...The Futility of all the economic excercise and the financial soap suds in the US balcony...tripping...falling some for tomorrow bye.