Monkey business

Sab pagal hain,aur mai sab se bara nahi hoon!

Posts Tagged ‘Pakistani’

Weddings (and my own)

Posted by Alta on July 12, 2009

Are a pain,for those who are getting married,their families and friends and for those who have to attend them,specially for people like me who do not want to attend any,but are forced to.

I have to attend one today,or would have attend one,given when i am able to finish this,i am hoping that it wont be too bad but then that’s asking too much.To make things even worse,its on a Sunday,my day of sleep and rest and i have to say the time is a bit odd too,8 pm? i mean am i still in Karachi?

Anyways  i have my own to look forward to,in a year or so and the engagement next month,so yeah ill be moaning and crying even more then,not that i dont want to get married,i love the girl,but i just wish that she was willing to elope with me and we wouldnt have to go through all the nonsense.

I even offered her a 5 series if she was willing to run away but she turned me down,i am not sure but i think i even offered a 7 series and that didnt work either,she says i just have to act as my best for 4 hours or so in front of a 100 odd people (i dont like them all) and then put in a repeat performance in a year.Easy for her to say!

As my cousin said “what a difficult woman you’re marrying,won’t even consider other options,i mean seriously, what girl wants to get married with her parents and family and friends around her?

But what does she know,she is a girl too,I just never realized that i would have to go to my own wedding,and sit through it all and go through the routine.But beta you will have to is the reply.

So yeah family is excited,the countdown is on,lists being made,people screaming at me,my sister in charge and taking care of things Lord knows if she wasnt nothing would be getting done,so thank you so much!

In a few weeks it will be the dress reharsal to the main event next year and i guess S is right i need to behave and act nice for 4 hours or so.But i still am hoping ke you will agree to elope(please?)

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Posted in Alta, feck, Life | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

From much sought after to ‘most wanted’

Posted by Alta on May 31, 2009

By Zahid Hussain

The faces of militant commanders for whose capture the government has announced millions of rupees seem all too familiar. Just three weeks before the start of the latest round of military operation in Swat I met most of them — not in their mountainous hideouts, but in the official residence of a top bureaucrat in Mingora, barely a few hundred metres from the army garrison.

Accompanied by dozens of well armed Taliban fighters, Muslim Khan, Sirajuddin, Mahmmod Khan and some others (who are said to be responsible for killings of hundreds of soldiers and civilians) were being hosted by the former commissioner of Malakand, Syed Mohammad Javed.

The only person conspicuous by his absence was Maulana Fazlullah, the man with a head money of Rs50 million. ‘He is in Kabal for some important work,’ I was told by one of his lieutenants.

It was April 12 and the commissioner had just returned from Buner where he had apparently brokered a truce between the Taliban threatening the district after the Swat peace deal and the local Lashkar who had long resisted the militant onslaught. It later transpired that the so-called peace accord virtually disarmed the Lashkar and handed over the control of Buner to Taliban.

There was little doubt that Mr Javed, who was known for close links with Sufi Mohammad, had drawn the accord to the advantage of the Taliban. But even he couldn’t have anticipated the consequences.

It seemed that the militant commanders had gathered at the Commissioner House that evening to celebrate the takeover of Buner after consolidating their hold on Swat on the back of the controversial peace accord.

Sitting in a corner of a large open veranda crammed with gun wielding Taliban fighters, I saw them arriving one by one with their armed escorts. There was Muslim Khan with his unruly grey beard, curly locks cascading down from his black turban, walking arrogantly past the police and paramilitary soldiers.

The man who now has a reward of Rs4 million on his head looked at home in the hospitable setting of the Commissioner House that night. I was taken aback to see top government officials standing there to receive the man who was responsible for ordering the execution of innocent civilians.

Earlier in the day when I went to interview him in Imam Dehri Madressah, he showed me a list of people whose execution orders were to be issued. Among them was a woman whose husband had allegedly served in the US army.

‘We are looking for her and she will soon come under the knife,’ the chief spokesman for the militants said smugly. Interestingly enough, Mr Khan himself had lived in the United States for many years before returning to Swat in 2002 to join Maulana Fazlullah’s ‘holy war’. It was bizarre to see him being entertained by government officials.

Sirajuddin, a former spokesman for Maulana Fazlullah who also has a bounty of Rs4 million for his capture, was huddled in a corner with some of his comrades. A thin framed man, he was appointed by Maulana Fazlullah to look after the rich emerald mines which the Taliban had seized after the February peace deal.

A former left-wing activist, he received his higher education in Kabul in 1980s during the communist rule in Afghanistan. He planned to join Lumumba University, but had to return home for reasons not known.

His transformation from a hard core socialist to a radical Muslim came in late 1990s when like many young men he fell under the spell of Maulana Fazlullah’s fiery sermons.

I met Sirajuddin for the first time in November 2007, just few weeks after the start of the first army operation in Swat. The area around Dehri was under militant control. Masked gunmen were entrenched in their bunkers just a few hundred metres from Saidu Sharif airport, where army troops had taken up positions.

The sound of artillery shells landing was getting ominously closer. The meeting abruptly ended after a shell exploded outside the house where we were sitting. He looked triumphant when I met him again on the evening of April 12.

More shock was in store when later that evening I saw Faqir Mohammed walking in with a large entourage. Escorted by an Uzbek bodyguard he was whisked inside a large hall where a number of commanders squatted on a carpeted floor.

One of the top leaders of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, Faqir Mohammed, has been spearheading the bloody war against Pakistani forces in Bajaur tribal region.

Because of his close links with al Qaeda, security agencies considered Faqir Mohammed more dangerous than Baitullah Mehsud. The presence of Pakistan’s most wanted militant leader at the Commissioner House that evening, when the fighting still raged in Bajaur, was intriguing, to say the least.

The widespread public cynicism about the action against militants was not without any basis. It is almost four weeks now since the army launched the new offensive against the militants in Swat and Buner, dislocating more than three million people and leaving around 100 soldiers killed.

The army now seems determined to eliminate Fazlullah and his commanders. ‘But will there be any accountability of those who were responsible for the return of Taliban in Malakand division. Could not the current devastation have been avoided if these wanted men were eliminated earlier instead of being patronised by the administration,’ wondered a Swat resident now forced to live with his family in Mardan.

Id like to ask the same questionwhy were they not taken care of before hand but i guess too late for that.I just hope that the army is really going after them and that they are not in someone house as i write this but hiding and fearing for their life.

Posted in Life, pakistan, Web I like | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Smokers corner: Revolutionary confetti

Posted by Alta on March 29, 2009

By NFP

It was quite a sight watching Laal ( a ‘revolutionary pop band’), being scrutinised by some three dozen young men and women on a TV channel this year on Pakistan Day.

The band is being aggressively promoted by the said TV channel — a channel which ever since the start of the Lawyers Movement in late 2007, has sprinkled itself with revolutionary confetti, cleverly treating the concept of revolution as a highly saleable software in times of socio-economic and political crises.

Of course, never is this revolution clearly defined. Instead it usually stumbles out from our TV screens as a cathartic (but highly convoluted) concoction of liberal democracy, socialism, nationalism, patriotism and religion.

Since the programme featuring Laal was live, the channel seems to have been caught unawares, believing in its own assumption that the middle-class urban youth of Pakistan too are a reflection of what the channel has been dishing out in the name radicalism and reform.

Laal mean well though, and I particularly want to single out their lead vocalist, Shahram Azhar, who seems to be a genuine, sensitive talent. However, thanks to the purely media-constructed notions of the current ‘revolutionary’ zeitgeist in the nation’s youth, I’m sure the band too were taken aback by the reception they got on that show.

Not that they were jeered — far from it, because their unplugged performance was rather marvellous — but the questions that they were asked by the audience betrayed what the electronic media has been spouting regarding middle-class youth in Pakistan.

It is a devastating case of naivety to believe (or worse, propagate), that middle-class Pakistani youth have rediscovered the revolutionary, democratic and progressive spirit that it demonstrated from the 1950s till about the mid-1980s.

The truth is, this spirit, if it really has made some sort of a comeback, seems to be confined to assorted fringe clusters, but they are noticed because to most TV channels they are saleable images.

But then these days anything is saleable if it is continuously bombarded in the mainstream media, from pop bands to whole movements. The question is, are these clusters capable of altering minds and opinions?

No is the answer if their propagated ideas are secular, especially in the political context. But yes would be the reply if the offered ideas in anyway are associated with religion.

That said the 23rd March show was a stark reminder of the above notion. The bulk of the young audience didn’t seem all that impressed by Laal’s ‘Marxist leanings’, and many of them actually suggested that good old fashioned inscrutable mantra and rhetoric of following the holy scripture.

The point is, the fringe clusters who were proudly exhibited by many TV channels during the two-year-long Lawyers Movement — passionately spouting slogans, songs and speeches about democracy, justice, free media and revolution — I’m afraid they do not mirror the spirit of today’s middle-class Pakistani youth.

I mean, coming back to that Pakistan Day show, it was naïve of the channel to believe that the audience on that show will wholeheartedly consume and appreciate Laal’s nostalgic penchant for harking back to a past dotted by such fantastic protest poets like Habib Jalib and Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

How can you expect this generation to give a hoot about Marxism, Jalib, liberalism and progressive notions of art and politics, when much of their ideas of political, economic and religious history come from hate-mongers, paranoid conspiracy theorists and at times, outright frauds, whom they see every single day on one channel or the other posing as televangelists and ‘security experts’?

Most of these kids have little or no idea about who Jalib or Faiz or Marx or Lincoln or Kennedy were. They don’t want to hark back to that; instead, they’d rather hark back to that ‘glorious age of faith’ which, in actuality, is a cleverly implanted memory in the minds of us Muslims.

Why Marx, why Laal (red), why music? The questions kept coming from the audience.

They just couldn’t intellectually comprehend a group of ‘protesters’ who (1) weren’t emotionally combusting about PPP, MQM and Lal Masjid like Imran Khan; or (2) spouting out loud long nothings like talk-show hosts, or (3) weren’t implicating the Jews, RAW, Americans and malevolent jinns in the political and economic crimes against Pakistan, the self-claimed bastion of Islam.

How can they, when most young men and women today are getting their political and historical answers from religious and political cranks!

It is a flawed assumption on part of the electronic media to think that today’s young people will be able to grasp the more liberal and progressive notions of protest.

Because on the other side of the coin are these very channels who have already captured (and arrested) this generation’s intellect with irresponsible televangelism and political programming.

Jalib is nothing but a ghostly caricature to most young people today. They’d rather debate and look out for the dreadful al-dajjal.

Posted in Life, Web I like | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Habib Jalib – Mainay Uss Say Yeh Kaha – Laal band

Posted by Alta on March 19, 2009

“Main Nay Kaha” is a satirical poem by the famous leftist poet Habib Jalib called “Musheer” (Advisor). Jalib wrote it in response to a conversation he had with Hafiz Jalandari during the time of Ayub Khan’s dictatorship. It remains just as fresh and valid today.

Translation:

I said this to him
These hundred million
Are the epitome of ignorance
Their conscience has gone to sleep
Every ray of hope
Is lost in the darkness
This news is true
They are the living dead
Completely mindless
A disease of life
And you hold in your hands
The cure for their ills

You are the light of God
Wisdom and knowledge personified
The nation is with you
It is only through your grace
That the nation can be saved
You are the light of a new morning
After you there is only night
The few who speak out
Are all mischief makers
You should tear out their tongues
You should throttle their throats

Those proud of their eloquence
Their tongues are completely silent
There is calm in the land
There is an unexampled difference
Between yesterday and today
Only at their own expense
Are people in prison, under your rule

China
China is our friend
We’d give our lives for her
But the system that they have
Steer well clear of that
From far away say “salaam”
These hundred million asses
That are named the masses
Could surely never become rulers
You are the truth; they’re an illusion
My prayer is that
You remain President forever


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Palestinians/Pakistanis

Posted by Alta on January 12, 2009

I keep getting  emails and messages on FB telling me how bad people in Palestinians have it and how many have died in the last two weeks or so,how many women,children and men.
My reply to each is a question,how many have died in Pakistan in the last 5 years,killed by our own army,and by the terrorists ? Just give me a number,i dodnt need the break down of the stats.

So protest and pray for Pakistan first,clean your own house and then worry abt Gazza and Kashmir.

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