Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pakistans Rich Cultural Heritage ... The Sweet Sounds Of Sindh

the beauty of the rich cultural heritage of Sindh lies in it's serene devotional music. From Sur to Alghoza to bansuri to it's great vocalists the true serene sufi character of this beautiful land and it's people is reflected. transforming the mood of the weary traveller to that of a beautiful lake with peacocks dancing and the red ,yellow sands of the Thar desert providing a shimmering oasis of thoghts to devotional poetry of the great Shah Abdul Latif of Bhit Shah. Listen to the sounds of Sindh and 'sairab' your spirits!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Erum Javed...A Breath Of Fresh Air On Pakistani Paintings Horizon!

I had written about beautiful fine Impressionist painting in my previous post as to how it brings quiet and complete joy to the viewer. Erum Javed's fine paintings are such pieces of art that bring that calm ,good feeling to the viewer, so real and feeling that one is transformed right into the painting, standing by the lamp post, sitting besides the flower bed, smelling the fragrances of the English garden. The impressionist flavor is profound in her paintings, almost real!
She has captured the beauty of the English scenery, whether, garden, wood ,dwellings or street.
Her style is so refreshing in the Pakistani painting scene, much awaited, most welcome!

Tim Sebastian's Doha Debates,Forgiveness In a Christian Heart.

Today the eightth victim a girl student in the International Islamic University, Islamabad died. The tragedy of violence that took place in Islamabad, and which has shaken the whole country, except perhaps a few who claim to be the religious representatives yet side up with the terrorists, clearly brought home to all of us ordinary people, especially Muslim mothers how violence has entered the inner,most cherished cirle of our lives. I remember the Lockerbie bombing tragedy some thirty years ago. In Pakistan many people thought of it that it was an event so far away, to some so remote, unknown people, Scotland, where? It seemed almost unreal to many people here. Then there was a knd of sympathy for the Libyans as there was a friendship between the countries. In Mulim countries there is a quiet comeraderie amongst the elite, especially the ruling classes, almost to the level of ugly conspiracy. The level of sweeping the dirt under the carpet and looking the other way is so common almost a sinister, custom.So we never really felt the pain of the loved ones' loss as they were a different race, colour, religions.Almost nonexistence. Now as we feel the intense pain of loss of our loved ones, and this debate comes on BBC, the universal truth of the tragedy and irreplaceable loss of victims of violence is real and ah,so close! The lancinating pain of grief and sorrow, the simple and profound inability to do anything, becomes a sore.
As the debate If Al Meghrahi was innocent and why was he released, and what is the real justice, raged, a simple admission by Dr. Tim Wire brought tears to my eyes. He said bieng a Christian he found it simple to forgive and that to him was the ultimate tribute to his 20 year old doctor daughter who died in the crash. He believes that Meghrahi maybe innocent as there was not enough evidence for him to believe otherwise. Can we have that courage of conviction of belief in our hearts to forgive like he has done. But then he believes that Meghrahi is not the perpetrator. What if he is and the other families think so and so do the Scottish courts.'?Can you forgive if your daughter is raped, and killed? Can you forgive if an injustice is done to you and the perpetrator is set free? Forgiveness is so difficult.May families of victims of violence find peace.
Maybe the act of forgiveness is the real healer and then we can carry on,move ahead.

What’s Cookin’ – Merlotte’s Red Beans and Rice

What’s Cookin’ – Merlotte’s Red Beans and Rice

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Beauty Of Impressionism Lives On In Our Souls,Senses!

(Above are some master's works in Impressionism.Erums works I will put in a later post)
The intensely fine paintings in watercolour,oil on paper ,canvas and leather was a sheer joy and pleasure to watch after the intensely parched and injured senses of these last days in Karachi.
The artist Erum Javed, a fine lady artist who has lived in English and European cities, expresses her sensibility in fine painting. The dynamic and welcoming curator of the ......Gallery in the Arts Council ,made it possible for us to see this fine and I really think a great artist.She is so humble in her persona and yet her paintings reflect a technique an finesse that she has mastered. As I enjoyed from painting to painting, I came to see that she has expressed the serenity of a street in Coventry, a group of houses in Warwick,A lone boat in an English river, so dexterously, transforming and transferring the viewer right inside the painting, right into the landscape. Mesmerised you find yourself standing in that street under the lampshade , right outside the steps leading to the front door of the house. the gardens with their fine coloured display of foliage, flowers beckoning one to sit by them to enjoy the cool natural beauty.I think of Impressionism bordering on realism almost like Manet, Monet and other great Impressionists.

The beauty of Impressionism is clearly apparent in Monet, Manet but other great artists as shown here also show the vast technique pallette. Artists like Paul Cezanne, Auguste Renoir, Berthe Moriset,Ciallebotte and my favorite of all artists, Degas.
Pakistani artscene needs a breath of fresh air like Erum Javed when she is successful in touching that fine sensibility in us which is such a novelty in this fast materialistic approach to art that is prevalent now . Artist like her have given us hope that novelty,ingenuity,spontaneity yet mastery of fine technique and unique style are still the benchmark of good art. The lamp of almost realistic impressionism lives on in Pakistan.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Islamabad, Islamic University Girls Hit.

Just as I finished posting about dealing with violence and terrorism issues in my health blog, the news of two bombs exploding ,killing two and injuring eleven others broke out. This time the girls were hit. The rector said on ptv that they had not recieved any threats directly but I remember the terrorists threatening all universities and colleges to remove coed campuses. The Taleban have an agenda especially to harm girls education so that they can get hold of girls easily. The problem in Buner was this also as shown by Talat Hussain on Aaj tv that a maulvi in league with these terrorist was annuling marraiges and remarrying the women with Taleban . The parents of unwed girls were also forced to give their daughters to these terrorists. They were sick and tired of this. It seems that now they are going to do this in cities as in Islamic university most probably the girls were not so vigilant and this suicide bomber came inside. One explosion appears suicide bombing, the other appears hand grenade.
The spread of violence is the fear instilling tactic bieng used by the so called "Islamic fighters" .
I am sure the Jamaat e Islami will not condemn this attack and will say that no one is bombing our institutions as if they are not blameworthy. When asked as to why they are silent in condemning school attacks especially over girls' school they say that the army is present there . Therefore the militants attack schools and usually I see them smiling qiuetly. I hve seen this several times. What army was there in this university? Why are girls bieng targetted. Why are the Taleban against girls? Was bibi Ayesha (Razi Allahu Taala anha) not a lady?
What was the attitude of our prophet (peace be upon him) towards women and children and the weak? Was he not kind and forgiving and sweet ! It seems that these terrorists are really the followers of Satan. They worship violence and kill and injure innocent in order to please him. They spread Fitna and Fasad in God's earth. They truely spread violence in the name of Iblees (Satan).
We all stongly condemn these acts of violence on the students , staff and workers of the Islamic International University. We support them and the parents of these unfortunate students . May Allah give paradise to all those who lost their precious lives. May Allah give strength and fortitude to the people who survived and their families. May Allah save us from this violent Shar of fasadis.Innah Li Allahi Wa Ina Ilaihi Rajeoon.

Literary Musings: Woman Or Man?

Literary Musings: Woman Or Man? As the people leave their homes in displacement, the seemingly ideological war in Waziristan, the city schools close after militants threats to bomb, the children of Pakistan are at home...waiting for a "brighter" future,my poem with Jesus and rest of "Humanity"in mind seems apt.Please read and try to find answers.

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

The War Within Pakistan.

Pakistan hurts as multiple attacks , suicide bombings , other bombings and killing and mayhem continues. This whole past week we saw hurting images of injured people, women and children again and again. ordinary folks, some at work, some going to school, some security people, poor, guys killed or injured.The multiple attacks on the security offices in Lahore just showed the audacity, ruthlessness, misplaced loyalties of the terrorists. As I had previously written in one of my posts, these guys are just for rent ,to kill and spread Mayhem. A misguided fool Khalid Khwaja says on Royal Tv interview with Dr Nilofer Mehdi, why doesn't the Pak army woo the militants who according to him are energetic and Islamic and so nice, to it's side and they are bieng used by "America" and "India". What logic is this ? Maybe this shows that these militants were created by the likes of Mr Khalid Khwaja in the first place to be used as " KIRAY KE TATTOO" the mercenaries for sale in the first place. See the link? So who wants these guys? We dont, No, not Pakistanis. The security agencies and the Pak army should finish them off. The army operation in Waziristan appears one such move to rid Pakistan of such training camps and nurseries for terrorists. It seems that all those who pretend to be "normal" law abiding Pakistanis like Mr Khalid Khwaja are now really upset as their " Naan Nufqa" or foodline, seems to be in danger. What is this farce about missing persons human rights NGO bit. Is this another racket of coming into limelight?Or are they genuinely iaking up this matter?I think that the cause of missing persons is bieng jeopardised by people such as these.
As the army cleans the Swat areas and now Waziristan this din about the taking the terrorists into the army fold becomes louder. It is a desperate cry of the dogs before death. The cleanup is starting and the army has seen the light.
It is high time that Pakistan is rid of the cowebs and spiders of the "Afghan Jihad" and move on to a clear and bright future. Without violence, only in peace and prosperity. Long live Pakistani people, women and children!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Who Attacked The GHQ, Pakistan?

As usual,conspiracy theories blaming foreign elements abound.But the Pakistan army spokesman reported on television that the links have been found to South Waziristan.The surprise and cheeky attack by terrorists on the Military headquarters,which took the life of at least 6 security and army personnel two days back took every one by surprise. The hostages were around 30 in number, most were freed successfully.
Very soon in a raid by the security staff terrorist material, costumes, army lapels and badges were recovered in a small house nearby, as shown in detail by tv one Rana Mubashar program. These terrorists had written messages to the army against siding up with US. A negotiation tape was also run on tv in which the demands by terrorists were partly put on air.
As one guy who was leading this group is arrested, it becomes clear that all these groups are linked and are now desperate to spread violence and spread a sense of insecurity in Pakistan.It seems that they are trying to built a momentum, giving an impression that we are not defeated because of Malakand operation, and Baitullah Mehsud's death and we can strike at the heart of the army.
The fact is that the army will definitely starting an operation in Waziristan, to take on these terrorists strongholds and training areas. Sooner the better. Meanwhile the religious political party leaders who are Taleban sympathisers are trying their best to negotiate a settlement so that this operation is not started. It was under their 5 year government in Frontier under the Musharraf era that the terrorists were quietly and cancerously allowed to spread, gain foothold and strength. They are still demanding that US get out of Afghanistan. Why? Is US in Pakistan. Their motive and that of the jihadi, terrorist and militant groups ideal of conspiring to get hold of Pakistan is bieng exposed. Meanwhile many Pakistanis continue the denial state and blame foreign forces for trying to destabilize Pakistan.
The US is also in a dilemma as to what to do with Afghanistan. It seems their strategy is also not really working. The question bieng asked in many policy circles in US bieng asked is that is it worth making a military presence in such failed and primitive states such as Afghanistan, Somalia?What should be the nature of help to such states? Is it worth spending the taxpayers money to bring about a democratic form of government where there is no semblance of civil society and state cohesive institutions.
Meanwhile the Pakistan army and the government try hard to keep the state intact .The fight here is definitely between Pakistan and anti Pakistan forces like Al Qaeda. To deny and take the ostrich like attitude and put the whole blame on traditional foe is like fooling oneself. The enemy has penetrated deep within and it certainly has taken the garb of religious, jihadist ,even quasi political face . It must be finished completely.The fight is between those who love Pakistan and those who are the enemies. I believe that the majority of Americans are on Pakistan's side. It is some foolish people in both US and Pakistan who does not seem to see the enemy!
New suicide attacks in Shangla, killing 45 today also show the desperation of the terrorists to spread a sense of insecurity in Pakistan. As major general Athar Abbas says that Hakimullah Mehsud maybe alive, it is clear that as promise by Hakimullah Mehsud that the Taleban will attack and take revenge, the need to fight and finish these elements becomes a priority.
Pakistan is a tough state with honest, resilient people. It will come out stronger and it's enemies will be pushed out.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

DAWN.COM | Metropolitan | Death toll from Peshawar suicide car blast rises to 52

DAWN.COM | Metropolitan | Death toll from Peshawar suicide car blast rises to 52

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Aan, AAn,Aan reporting,Aaj Kamran Khan Kee Geo News Reporting, Confusing statements!

As the bad, bad, yes very bad news breaks on Geo Tv ,Pakistan, that few terrorists,fully armed broke in outside a checkpost of the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi at 11.30 am ,resisted successfully according to Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas,killing 4 terrorist and not confirmed death of 4 army personnel.
Kamran Khan while reporting previously said that the religious people playing aan, aan in the hands of our enemies India and then this was followed by further reporting of the incidence. This was 12.30 pm.At 2pm, Kamran Khan reports that an anonymous phone caller, identifying himself as of Amjad Faruqi group (of previously banned Lashkare Jhangvi ) now Tehrike Taleban Pakistan,has claimed responsibility for this attack in which aan ,aan,5 grenades were also supposedly thrown.My emphasis on his hesitational reporting is because they are not sure what really is happening. Gen Athar had decisevily told that all terrorists were killed as situation was under control.One and half hour later it is confirmed by him 2 guys are still inside the premesis of the second choki(guard post) and firing. They still cannot locate the real site of the presence.The reporters are going beserk trying to report but creating masssive confusion and scare in the process. Now a figure of 6 security personnel bieng dead. Meanwhile this Amjad Faruqi group is the same who attempted assasination of general Musharraf and they are again demanding the trial of Musharraf and also withdrawal of American ?Influence and Blackwater operatives in Pakistan.It is peculiar that this so called TTP is demanding "trial of Musharraf"? no mention of stopping or not going into Waziristan by the Pakistan Army. Is this normal? The demands are so unrealistically out of sync. And the vague term of removing American Influence. What is this demand? Just like Jamaat e Islami saying :Go America Go" when US is in Afghanistan and not Pakistan.Skewed perspective or ? Pakistan No, "Ummate Afghanistan ala mulla "O yes!So who are these terrorists?
Third demand finish NGOs working in Pakistan. Well after listening to these demands , I think these guys have the detailed knowledge of the counter insurgency manuals and take this very seriously, literally, to remove "American" presence in Pakistan.
So attacking Pak army is a good "Islamic" move? Who are these guys? Trigger happy? Or Is this part of a larger conspiracy against the Pak army. Who are they bieng funded by?Islamic Charities ? o aan, aan, India?Cloud haze.....I am lost. This is like the same as attack on FIA office last year and maybe Sri Lanka team in Lahore. Kamran Khan says it looks like an Al Qaeda attack. But tell me who is funding these , not the US, not us then who?Kamran Khan says that the Southern Punjab connection is quite apparent after this phone call.So the final statement is extremist, quasi religious (declared) groups are active and killing innocent civilians in Peshawar yesterday, and attempts to attack Pakistan security forces.
Yesterday's attack on innocent civilians shows the ruthlessness of these terrorists. It shows their quick, decisive, cold action, without shame or remorse. If these are so called Taleban then these attacks are shocking , killing even innocent babies as in Peshawar.If these are not Taleban then who are they and why does Taleban claim responsibility?So the war is actually between Pakistan and anti Pakistan forces. So do you still want to side up with the terrorist in the name of Islam?

In workplace conflict, don

In workplace conflict, don’t mistake your experience for reality

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Ah, What To Do In Afghanistan, Pakistan?Mr. Obama's Headache Dilemma?

After bieng joked about as the "most not doing anything" president in the US , Mr Obama is faced with a real headache. And he thought he had it all lyed out "Chrystal" clear! His "New" strategy on how to handle the Afghan, now "Afpak" problem, remains as elusive, mutating, hazy, smoky, "The Matrix" resembling. All the strategic experts, think tanks, advisors could'nt clear the dirty, cloudy skies above Afghanistan, Pakistan region.Why don't they listen to the Pakistan Army? It gives them sane advice!See editorial page .Why dont they heed the "right from the Horses" mouth advice, on how to handle the mess that is Afghanistan and in Mrs. Clinton's own words, "we created this mess".Why is India so active in Afghanistan? Still thinking of "Akhand Bharat".Irony! The same mentality that leads to a massive buildup of conventional weapons by India and Pakistan, and the "favorite" Religiously eulogised, claimed ,named, hateful in my point of view ,nuclear weapons,Agni, Shaheen and all such "Hell" achieving weapons is bieng applied by India for achieving some sort of objectives to "contain" Pakistan.Failed strategy! I am an ordinary, Taleban bitten female doctor laughing at you high level ,informed( or mis percieved) thinking.
The whole solution aspect has changed in the whole world. Cant you, trained, educated in the respective fields, strategists,policy makers etc , etc, see?Thanks to the digital age the divide between people who know, like specialists in military affairs, the ordinary 16 year old suicide bomber, the wannabe and would be "born and bred ,educated but then his heart changed, young Brit of Pakistani origin", the ordinary citizen, female blogger like me,the learned Ayesha Siddiqa, and independant strategic and political analyst according to Dawn newspaper, has narrowed. All of a sudden CNN, Amanpour, Farid Zakaria, want the opinion of ordinary people and believe me some of us are real ordinary, give them our opinion on their websites, facebook groups, twitter(very fashionable post Iran election),so that they can "Know" the real situation.So the "Thinking" and reaching a conclusion aspect has changed from "Specialist" focus to people centric multiple,inputs focus! Funny what I posted on Amanpour facebook Clinton/Gates interview about the whole region bieng destablised if US left early, was reflected by Mr. John McCain, in his Larry King interview yesterday, word to word. Can you see what I am saying?
So I again emphasise that why does'nt Mr. Obama listen to the Pakistan Army Methodology of the Afghan Problem solution. This is realistic and more favorable even for the Indians.
Indians have to think and "deposture" their original tough stand ,post Mumbai attacks ,start negotiating on Kashmir and really get down to solving problems with Pakistan instead of the "old" "dogmatic" unresolvable postures on most issues. This is the only way to move forward.
Funny in a previous post, I an ordinary person had voiced my indignation against "Nuclear Weapons" and amazingly this past week the UN resolution against the Nuclear Weapons has been passed. So , this is what I am talking about in the context of "opinions" and "thoughts "of ordinary people bieng important. This shows the trend , the wave,as this whole region is in war since the last thirty years we are all tired. Tired physically, emotionally, economically, intellectually!
The "Winning" strategies of the hearts and minds of the ordinary people are not by physical wars! The Ideological war is also confusing as the "good ideology" of one people maybe the "bad ideology " for another. Afghanistan and for that matter Pakistan has always resisted other ideoplogies. Islam appears to stay in this region. It is bieng distorted and imposed also as an "Good" salafist ideology by the Taleban, therefore finding resistance and unacceptability by a population that is already muslim. So all foreign ideologies will be resisted by the people themselves.
Look what is happeneing in Pakistan. Maulana Sarfaraz Naeemi, a soft spoken, non violent, anti US , favoring Islamic Caliphate, scholar was killed by taleban as he issued a fatwa, an Islamic edict against suicide bombing.The sitting minister for religious affairs, Mr. Kazmi, a kind and balanced muslim was attacked and injured by taleban extremists. These brave men are standing their ground.So are thousands of ordinary Pakistanis who have to go about their business everyday whether there is a suicide bombing or not. Majority are muslims living in state known as Islamic Republic of Pakistan, so they will fight and defend their ideology. The Islamic political parties always get a very small share in elections so they boycott, conspire and manupilate and collude with conspirators and dictators, therefore they will spread this pseudo anti US drama this time .
So I do hope that Mr. Obama keeps the hopes, aspirations, desires, of the ordinary people of Afghanistan and Pakistan and reach a conclusion to devise a strategy that will bring everlasting peace to the region. The American people also need to understand that no quick fix solutions and especially early strategic withdrawal will be able to achieve these objectives and make US safe again. Pakistan army is a major strategic player in this path to peace and stability and believe me it knows what it's talking about this time!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Relationships,Family Bonding and Roots.

A cousin of mine with whom we lost touch for the last many years got in touch through the wonderful facebook. He posted his family pics and we all connected, our hearts linked and our love swelled like an ocean upto our eyes.So we all are connecting, the children and grown up children, we are seeing the family, sharing their lives and bonding. This is a great experience,appearing out of the blue,enormous in it's impact, amazing in it's pleasureable impact.
My cousin said a very touching thing, "I thought I had lost touch with my roots".This is an amazingly powerful statement. It hits one like a tornadoe of immense power. Why do humans need to bond, find roots,love family?Yes ,this issue is discussed and addressed by the Church and other religions, and by poets, painters, writers over time.The feeling of love, bonding,and finding solace in human acknowledgement of your own existense is so important for humans. This is the whole panoramic philosophy of human existence.The Holy Book Of Muslims also exactly states in one Surah that we created for amongst your own a partner that you may find comfort in. I think this is in context of marraige or marital bonding preamble to procreation and human species propagation.The humans exist in love, for love and with love . Without love there is no story, no painting, no song , no joy.
As I look at the pictures of my family young people, getting married, some with their beautiful kids, bringing immense joy to my family a beutiful couplet by my mother a poet, comes to mind.
Muhabbat Ka Sara Jahan Chor Aye?
Tujhe Zindagi Ham Kahan Chor Aye?
Translation (attempt); Oh My Whole Life Is Lost,
But for Love!