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Monday, March 02, 2015

Who is traitor?

By – Kashif Sarmad


The word traitor might have comprehensive meaning in Oxford dictionary which describes the potentials, qualities and actions of traitors but in Pakistan it has only one meaning, if you are against Army you are against the country. This describes a lot, for example; if you speak counter to Army you are traitor; if you criticize army, you are traitor; if you expose any unconstitutional and illegal move of army, you are traitor. In a nut shell, your any action against this institution is considered as treason.

This is what happened with me when I as a journalist was the part of International center for journalists (ICFJ) sponsored by US department of state. In different workshops and seminars arranged by ICFJ, I admit the flaws and negativities of Pakistan Army due to Martial laws which brought the country to disintegration and dragged the nation into worst scenario of Afghan Jihad. I also disapprove the trend of Army’s involvement into the politics and in democratic regimes. I strongly demonstrated the need to implement the constitution in its true sprit as well as all democratic institutions to work within their constitutional frames.

My stance lead me to be the villain of Pakistan and some of my colleagues (who were blindly pro Army or in a relations to Army officers or were sent by spy agency in that conference to submit report to their god-fathers) pronounce me anti-state and to be precise a traitor. They started questioning my credentials and claiming that I am not journalist at all. I think they were not only pointing fingers on my credibility as a journalist but also on the credibility of most professional people in the ICFJ who interviewed us and selected us as a journalists for this program.

They (my colleagues / spies) were also claiming that I was doing it for the Asylum in the USA. I would like to increase their information which is already below the mark of worst, that my point of view in conferences had nothing to do with the Asylum in the USA and my point of views in those conferences would never help me getting asylum; it was my political opinion and it will remain my political opinion. The second thing is, the highly professional individuals are dealing with the departmental affairs with merit which deals with the immigration in USA.

I would like to add here that, I respect professional officers in Pakistan Army and I also gave tribute to those soldiers and their families who lost their beloved ones during saving people’s lives and fighting terrorism. The only problem I got is Martial laws, Army’s involvement in democratic regimes, some of Army personals links with the terrorist organizations and political activism of Inter Service Intelligence (ISI).

As ill luck would have it, In the Pakistani society, the people who criticize deep rooted but bogus political, social and religious systems have always been victim of serious blames. The one blame on Governor Punjab Salman Taseer lead him to grave-yard by his own security guard /policeman when some religious groups blamed him for doing blasphemy by passing comments on Hudood (Islamic)  law introduced by dictator Zia Ul Haq.

So if you want to teach anyone a lesson of lifetime, tag him/her with any organization or institution which people of that region hate. In Pakistan tag your disliked person with Indian intelligence agency, with Al-Qaeda, With CIA of USA, Mosaad, KGB or Terrorists; that person will be executed by anyone without your direct involvement. This is called, “third degree murder made easy”.

In Pakistan, Last year the renowned Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir was shot in Karachi but thank-God survived.

Mr. Hamid Mir’s brother, Amir Mir (Pakistani Journalist) has blamed I.S.I for being responsible for that attack; he further stated that, Hamid Mir mentioned to his family, colleagues and journalist organizations regarding the threats he had from Pakistan Army’s intelligence wing called Inter-Service Intelligence (I.S.I). Since then, unending dispute between Army and Geo News TV has started and nationwide protests by Pro-ISI groups (possibly funded by ISI) started against Geo News TV.

So as mentioned in spy agency’s recipe; Geo TV was manifested as traitor / foreign funded / state enemy. For the first time, in the history of not only Pakistan but almost the whole world, people in Pakistan were arranging public gatherings along-with banners which had ISI chiefs picture and supporting slogans. I finally saw the biggest ever political party of Pakistan (I.S.I) since 1947 on streets for the first time. According to pro - Army and ISI personalities, these supporters were ordinary but obviously, Patriotic Pakistanis who have volunteered themselves for the protest against Geo TV and to show the solidarity with Pakistan Army specifically I.S.I to boost the morale of their Army.

I know that it is an old story but we should learn from it to move to better direction and the sole cum better direction is the democratic path. The sole way to move to betterment is the honesty and discipline. All government and non-government institutions should work within their constitutional and legal limits. I know it is easier said than done in this matter because we didn’t able to stop undemocratic regimes to come in power with the help of unconstitutional moves but now we would have to stop it by all means.

I am not against liking any political party, religious party, law enforcement agency or even Army but besides liking we shouldn’t close our critical eyes on their unconstitutional acts because those acts will decide the future of our nation and generations to come. As a nation our greatness ought to be our merit, constitutional practice and justice.

I have started this write-up from the word traitor. The best meaning I found are in the words of George III, “A traitor is everyone who does not agree with me”.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Are we really progressing?

By – Kashif Sarmad Khalid 

The news popped up in the Lehya; a small town of Punjab, Pakistan. A man drowned in the river and his dead body was badly stuck in the mud of the bottom of river. The local residents tried to rescue and taking dead body out of the river but due to lack of facilities and government assistance; they failed to dig out the body. This caused immense grief to the mother of deceased. The mother was continuously sitting on the bank of river holding the rope which was tied to her son’s body. She still waits there for seven days and kept saying “Help my son”.  

This news could be small for our media houses or for those who enjoys lavish lives sitting in their luxury and million worth bangalows. It could be small news for those who make policy for the country and its inhabitants or talking about the revolution. It’s also tiny news for those who are keen to bring Tsunami of change in the country. It’s a hard slap on the face of those who still thinks that we are progressing as a nation.

We talk about the success of military operation Zarb-e-Azab; the operation that has lost its significance for the reason that all the wanted militants reallocated their bases in Kunar and Noristan of Afghanistan, everyone knows about it except our beloved military. We are spending millions in the war against terrorism but we have ignored our own war against poverty which has given the advantage to the terrorist organizations by manipulating it to gain the sympathies of some ignorant people in the society.

On 1st July 2014, another heart shattering incident took place today when twenty five year old Rabia of Khushab, Punjab of Pakistan, jumped into Jehlum River along with her three daughters to commit suicide. Although the woman and one of her daughters were saved, bodies of the other two daughters could not be found. According to the details, Rabia had been married to Zeeshan eight years ago and had given birth to three daughters. Her husband always wanted a son, which was not to be, and this became a reason for constant rift between the two. Zeeshan often beat her for this reason and when he again beat her on 1st July, Rabia took her daughters to the river and all four jumped in.

The heart breaking and unpleasant episode indicates the wretched custom and rituals that have become overriding the education as well as our Islamic teachings. The satire of the fate is these incidents have happened due to the deficient of justice system in our country. Unfortunately, after sixty seven years of independence, the justice system in Pakistan still needs to be implemented.

Prime Minister, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif constantly talks about the evolution his government will convey on the gross root level but they haven’t conveyed the rescue operation facilities in the rural Pakistan yet. Mr. Prime Minister, regrettably, your government is unable to dig-out the dead body from the mud of the river; Are you really capable to bring-out our country from the quagmire of terrorism, poverty, corruption, bad governance and injustice?

On March 27, 2013 - Forty-year-old rickshaw driver Akbar took poisonous pills along with his wife and three daughters due to poverty. Nearly six thousands suicides have been recorded in Pakistan in the past three years; most of them were male, unemployed and under 40.

According to the HRCP report, the ratio of suicides in Pakistan remained the highest last year, as at least 2,528 people - 1,725 males and 803 females - committed suicide in 2008.  The ratio suggested that around seven people committed suicide in Pakistan every day due to poverty. In 2009 more than 1,600 people committed suicide due to extreme poverty.

Pakistan is among those nations which has the enormous ratio of young people in the population. If this fragment of residents will be suitably utilized; not only I but the rest of the world can assure the economic boost any country could ever observe. The distributing laptops to youths and/or chanting slogans of revolutions (Inquilab) or Tsunami won’t help but immediate steps to accommodate them on merit would be the sole way to save youths to get off track.

The government of Nawaz Sharif in Federal and Punjab, PTI government in KPK and PPP government in Sindh – should formulate a better planning to transport facilities to the people of Pakistan on gross-root level instead of opposing each-other. All political parties are in the government even then they claimed to be in the opposition which is quite hilarious but they all need to be serious this time since temperament of people is running short now.

The mother of deceased Hafiz Muhammad Yousuf is still holding the rope of hope and so we do. We are waiting for the day when we will discover the responsible, thoughtful and honest government who would never let any mother to wait for the possession of dead body of her son.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif cried when he saw the mother of Indian Prime Minister, Narender Modi while blessing her son before taking oath for the Prime Minister. I wish Nawaz Sharif could have cried over these incidents and did something for the victims as it is his core responsibility as a P.M Pakistan.

I have just one suggestion for all political entities of Pakistan (irrespective of their political affiliation); cry over these incidents now before people will make you cry someday.