Lessons Pakistan can learn from Turkey and Egypt

In  recent years, and decades, the Islamic world has seen various military interventions in the political affairs of Muslim countries. Pakistan, Algeria, Turkey and the recent events in Egypt are just a few of the many. This highlights one thing: democracy hasn’t taken roots in most of these countries. In Islamic countries, democratic GOVT are toppled frequently, reasons presented are sometimes their incompetence (even if popular) and in some case their lack of popularity and support (even if competent). Following is a list of things that Pakistan can learn from the recent coup in Egypt and the mass protest against the authoritarian rule of Erdogan in Turkey.

  1. Never celebrate a coup: while most of us would remember the images of ignorant Pakistanis distributing Mithai (sweets), when elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who had two third majority in parliament, was sacked by general Musharraf. In Egypt only few thousands cheered the sacking of Morsi and even better, thousands made it to the streets to support him and raise their voice against the unlawful coup by the army.
  2. Believe in democracy: people of Egypt got a very short opportunity to taste democracy, though not in the best form, but still there they are standing up for their leader and condemning the people who intend to sabotage it.
  3. Few would have thought that Nawaz Sharif will make a comeback in the country’s mainstream politics, but here he is the third time prime minister, and the only one in the country to hold this record. How? Because of democracy.
  4. Democratic leaders have to take tough decision, yet it’s imperative that they don’t lose their popularity.
  5. One big problem faced by countries like Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey and Algeria is the civil-military power imbalance. Obviously if the GOVT is corrupt, not making the right decisions, instead of improving the economic conditions in the country it degrades it, not able to solve problems but instead adds to the problems, it will ultimately lose the support of its people. If the GOVT wants to stay in power and shift the civil-military power imbalance in its favor, there is one only way of doing that: solve critical problems that are crippling the country and spur economic development. This will not only help GOVTs stabilize its own position but will also restore the faith of people in its GOVT and indirectly in democracy.  This is what exactly happened in the case of Turkey. Just like Pakistan, their armies had frequent interventions in their political affairs, but since Erdogan has spurred economic growth and was also able to solve key problems; he is able to look everybody in the eye and is holding the office for the third consecutive time.
  6. Democracy doesn’t take routes and solves problems in just one year (or a few years for that matter). It is a process that slowly but persistently results in the development of a country. As a wise person said once, “democracy needs four consecutive elections, after every GOVT completing its term”.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s Oscar and What it means for Women in Pakistan

Every year many women in Pakistan are a victim of brutal acid attacks, most of the incidents go unreported and the culprits are never convicted. Women who are a victim of such brutal torture never receive proper medical care and access to first aid, the result of which is a plethora of skin related diseases and problems.

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy winning the Oscars

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy‘s oscar, apart from the glamorous hustle and bustle, would do one thing, it will create more and more awareness about such a huge issue. It’s only because of her achievement that the issue which never made news has come to the limelight and is being discussed on every platform.  In Pakistan, Law making related to such important issues and human rights are both neglected areas.

Before this Oscar almost 50 percent of Pakistanis on Facebook and Twitter must have been completely alien to this issue. after the Oscar now everybody is talking about this issue and discussing it, which is the most important step in removing this menace from our society. Firstly it will create awareness and draw attention of the masses, secondly it will pave way for new laws and legislations to stop crimes of this sort and  thirdly it will create urgency in non-profit sector organizations to start working for this cause.

After the winning the Oscar Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy launched anti-acid campaign which shows her determination to get the society rid of this menace. And it’s not just her duty to work for this cause but the whole nation should stand up to atrocities of every sort. The media should also play its part by encouraging such film makers. None of the Pakistani News channels would have bought such a documentary before it won the Oscars  but now all of them must be already in queue to buy this film. If our News Channels can show Sheila, munni and other Bollywood news in their headlines so why can’t they highlight such problems?

Saving-Face

Apart from helping the survivors of these incident, film making would get a huge boost in a country where film industry is dying fast. it would encourage young film makers to come forth. It’s high time that we collectively pledge to remove this and other such problems and encourage people who stand for such causes.

Politics 2.0: Imran Khan’s triumph through the social media

2012 is fast approaching. Everything is changing fast, at the speed of light and politics is no exception. Gone are the days when political parties and candidates used to communicate with their potential voters only through public gatherings, because now is the time of Social media.

What we have seen in the previous couple of years is a real change in the way politics are done in Pakistan.  Now presence of almost all the major parties and its candidates can be observed on twitter, Facebook and Youtube. What it shows is a change in the mindset of the political parties. there is a complete paradigm shift in politics, now the political parties realize that the voter in Pakistan is far more politically aware than let’s say what they were a couple of decades back.

Use of social media in politics is not unprecedented, the recent uprising in the Arab world started from the social media and perhaps the same is happening in Pakistan. Although the movement and uprising, in Pakistan, might not be as troublesome as it was in the Arab world. A common perception was that advocates of various issues and causes on the social media would hardly do anything for the same issues on the ground, but recent developments proved otherwise.

Couple of months back PTI and Imran Khan launched a social media movement Jaag Utho, which means Wake up, on various platforms like Facebook, Youtube and Twitter. The basic purpose of starting this movement was to interact with and mobilize the youth of Pakistan, and PTI is very successful in achieving its goal.  The recent public gatherings of PTI in Lahore and Karachi clearly show the penetration Imran Khan and his party has achieved, to a great deal, through the social media. What social media does is, it leverages interaction, and that’s what PTI has done. It has interacted successfully with the public and especially with the youth of Pakistan. It shows the start of a new phenomenon, Politics 2.0 which means that now politics would be done online through social media, instead of spending billions on promotions and demonstrations fewer bucks would be spent on social media to achieve greater results.

Others are also following in the footsteps of PTI in launching their own social media movements and that clearly shows the power of social media. After the successful public gathering in Lahore and Karachi compelled the Sharifs and Co. to start taking the social media seriously and not overrule its role. The current trend would bring almost all the parties to follow and that would do one thing, only concise and clear messages would bring in more followers. So in the coming future, for the projection of ideas, we would see the parties giving more importance to the social media and more money would be spent on online political activities.

The Great Irony

Irony may be defined as incongruity or contradiction i.e. one part of a sentence negates the other half of it. Or to be more precise in layman terms, Irony is the discrepancy between appearance and reality. The reason for writing this article is to highlight, some of the many ironies in our education system, the first being the word “Education” itself.

If we search the meaning of education on the internet and in dictionaries so we would be able to conclude that education means to learn, to know and to acquire a body of knowledge, not just that but learning to become humans. The irony of our education system is that instead of humanizing the students who study in it, become inhumane and

Pakistan Education System

Picture Taken from: http://funinlife.wordpress.com/2007/11/28/pakistans-education-system/

insensitive to the sensitivities of our society. They are not even able to distinguish between right and wrong, instead they follow what is commonly perceived to be wrong. As if it has been somehow installed or programmed in their analytical brain to opt for something wrong by default.

Basic education is the most important thing that can ever happen to kids of any nation. Give them good basic education and they can become intellectuals, entrepreneurs, engineers, lawyers and sound politicians. Why do we always whine about the quality of our higher education and college education? The very same reason, that all these students are a product of that pitiably wretched basic school system. How can you expect “THE GHOST SCHOOLS” to present results and make and develop your future leadership, schools which only exist in paper or where teachers exist in paper only. The schools which are a reality run on the every green method of rote learning, where students only know how to memorize things which are completely alien and unfamiliar.

Corporal punishment is one of the most concerning issues in these GOVT schools, where they come to learn education from their teachers, but instead of learning those very same teachers become the reason for the destruction of their future. I have studied in such a school where the teachers used to bestow the students with their love in the form of a dozen lashes with a freakishly hard stick in a freezingly cold weather, when you can’t even expect to move out your hands from your warm pockets. Once these students pass through this intense psychological trauma they start hating the school and the school becomes a place of torture and trauma in their minds from where they only want to run away. This thing needs to be instilled in the barbarian mind of these evil minded teachers that they are the spiritual father of these young minds, on whose shoulders lay the liability of making, molding and developing the future of these innocent little angels.

If we can spend 90 percent, public and hidden, of the budget on defense, so why not on education? Which is responsible for the development, leadership, defense and every other function that a country supposedly posses. Before it gets too late the people who are responsible should start getting serious about this gigantic problem being faced by our country, instead they should call the “Education Emergency” in place to make everybody realize that this is the most important thing for the survival of this country and nothing else but education and true education. Education is the sole panacea for almost 90 percent of the ills which has torn apart every fabric of this country. The first thing that needs to be done is to actually educate the ones who are responsible for educating others; otherwise the already leaked boat of this country is going to sink big time.

If we compare our education budget to our neighbor countries so we would be able to get a clearer picture that we are spending the least amount of money on education as compared to our neighbors, that means either they are very rich or we are very poor, but luckily none of this is correct, what we lack is administration, fiscal and financial management and most importantly of all the will to educate this country.

Our tainted Politicians


Daily I think about the politicians of our country, the pain and emotion that they bring in their speeches and discussions make them top class actors in my opinion. Even actors like Al Pacino and jack Nicholson can’t compete with them when it comes to be emotional and to be emphatic.

Like the character of a Hollywood copied Indian movie, the people of our country also forget things very quickly. If am not wrong Nawaz Sharif is the same person who signed a deal with Musharraf to be allowed comfortable life in Saudi Arab, he is the same person who attacked Supreme court and whatever he did to Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah is not hidden, he is the same person who looted nation’s money by the ” karz utharo mulk sanwaro” scheme. It amazes me to look at this fact that our people forget these things so quickly. These are some of the un-washable stains on Nawaz Sharif’s very neat and clean clothes.

The persona that Nawaz Sharif is portraying and the paragon that he is showing is only a facade. I don’t think Nawaz Sharif is sleepless at nights because of the poor state of our country.

One person who really disappointed me is “Imran Khan”, i thought he can be the next ZAB (Zulfikar Ali Bhutto) in some areas and that he will be able to strengthen his party at the grass root level and then will be in a position to bring about some kind of change but to me that is very unlikely to happen. Imran Khan is also now a part of right wing politicians. I do not see any difference between other right wing politicians and Imran Khan. Together all these right wing hypocrites are trying to hold this country in abeyance.

I am a strong supporter of a strong and free judiciary but not at cost of a Martial Law. It has been only one year that we have gotten rid of the Martial Law and these Selfish and bigot politicians are again pushing this country to the acme of agitation and lawlessness.  There can be a peaceful solution to this whole drama instead of playing for themselves and damaging the country. At least they should realize that if this country exist only then can they play these gimmicks and play politics.

Our hoggish politicians’ didn’t learn anything from the sagas of 1971, 1977 and 1999. The reinstatement of judges looks more like a political gimmick rather than a fight for morality.

Alas! our politicians always rubbed their hands after doing disastrous damages to Pakistan, we can only hope that it doesn’t happen again.

Indian Media a tool for war propagation

I thought Indian media would change its stance on the Mumbai terror attacks and instead calm down their nation and give a message of peace and tolerance to their nation but they are going to every limit to prove Pakistan as a culprit. In fact they have created a very tense situation. The very role of media is to come up with investigative reporting, but in case of Indian media reports they have completely ignored this sinewy feature in their news.

If we compare the Medias of India and Pakistan so their is a great difference in their Agendas. Pakistani media mostly criticizes its own country for everything that is going wrong but the story is entirely opposite if we talk about Indian media. They blame everyone for anything and everything that is going wrong in India. Instead of criticizing their security agency’s failure to stop a group of few people from taking their business hub as hostage, they started criticizing Pakistan from the word go with out even trying to remove the black curtains off their eyes to at least investigate first.

A so called mature media, Mature in a sense that it has been nurtured in a democratic environment, it still showed an unexpected level of immaturity. They created a big hype of this incident and exaggerated things up to the extreme level.

I would give credit to Pakistani Media for calming down the nerves of Pakistanis in response to such irresponsible behavior of Indian media but at the same time i would severely criticize the Pakistani Media for not presenting our case to the world in the true sense.

Yesterday i was watching News eye with Saima Mohsin on DAWN NEWS and Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed my favorite politician from Muslim League Q was the guest. I was quite impressed with his profound thinking on this issue. He rightly termed down the Indian media as a tool for war propagation.

The need of the hour is that whether its any media it should focus on realities instead of over exaggerating a situation to their advantage. they should base their news on investigative reporting instead of hypothetical scenarios and assumptions that’s the only way media can contribute towards the prosperity and transparency in their own particular countries.
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India-Encircled by Illusions

In the aftermath of Mumbai attacks the Indian media and GOVT is in a very aggressive mood. This is not something unusual for us keeping in mind their past record. Since the inception of Pakistan the Hindus are reluctant to accept the very existence of Pakistan.

The Indians are so used to blaming Pakistan, no matter  what happens in their country so Pakistan is blamed for it. We the Pakistanis are used to blaming our own self no matter what happens but this thing is completely opposite in the case of Indians they blame others for anything that goes wrong. If somebody attacks Indian parliament Pakistan is blamed for the attack, if a train which is carrying most of the Pakistanis is bombed in India (Samjhota Express) so Pakistan is blamed for it. there are 16 freedom movements in India and Pakistan is blamed for all of them, even if Manmohan Singh sneezes so they will say that the virus has come from Pakistan.

I was surprised to see that during the first few hours of the Mumbai blasts the Indian were blaming Pakistan without any investigation, evidence and proofs. Indian media is used to presenting their Police’s perspective and over reacting. they are used to presenting their army, Police and country above anything in the universe. That’s why it was quite hard for them to accept the intelligence failure on their part. Every hour they were denying whatever they earlier. Once you lie, you will always have to lie to protect your lies that’s what the Indian did. their media kept on lying. Everybody was expecting that the India media will show maturity because they have spent all their time in a democratic environment unlike ours. There are some examples where Indian media has done some good job but this one is not the greatest of examples.

The first reason the Indian GOVT attacked Pakistan is that elections are round the corner. The BJP has already accused the Manmohan Singh GOVt to be softer when it comes to terrorism, the other accusation is that Congress is eyeing on Muslim votes, so to acquit itself from these accusation and get away with its failure to stop the terror attacks the Indian GOVT opted for the traditional recipe that was to throw everything on Pakistan’s shoulders.

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