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Monday, March 16, 2009

Pakistan Celebrated the Judiciary Restoration Today

16th March is a historic day in the history of Pakistan. As soon as the govt. announced the reinstatement of the Cheif Justice of Pakistan at about 2am at night, people started to gather outside the house of cheif Justice of Pakistan in Islamabad!

The people were so much happy and excited that they didn't wait for the morning. The streets of the twin cities, Rawalpindi/Islamabad depicted a view of day time! People came out of their homes bearing torches and lights and headed towards Chief Justice Iftikhar Choudhary's House. The on-going Long March which had started two days ago from Karachi had passed Gujranwala and was about to reach Islamabad in a few hours.
As soon as the Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousaf Raza Gilani addressed the nation to officially announce the restoration of judiciary, ex. Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Nawaz Sharif who was leading the Long March, suddenly called it off and returned back to Lahore. As soon as the sun rose, people from all over the country headed towards Islamabad.
In the morning, when I reached there, thousands of people had gathered! They were dancing, chanting slogans, embracing each other and were doing anything they could do to depict their happiness!
At 11 Qazi Hussain Ahmad President Jamaat e Islami Pakistan addressed a rally in Abpara square Islamabad, so I reached there to have a look! There were thousands of activists gathered, they were all very happy and were celebrating the restoration of Judiciary! Afterwards, the activists of Islami Jamiat Talba Pakistan headed to the residence of Chief Justice of Pakistan and celebrated the success there. Here's a video of people shouting with joy!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

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Salman Taseer’s Son Exposes His Father

I just received this email and found it worth sharing!

Subject: Taseer’s son writes shocking memoirs about his father

Aatish Taseer, the 29-year old son of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, who is a journalist and lives in London, has written a book, a personal memoir, about his life story in which he has depicted his father in a manner that will shock and repel many of his Pakistani readers.

The book, titled “Stranger to History: A Son’s Journey through Islamic Lands”, is about to be launched in London in a week and in India a few weeks later. Indian magazine “Outlook” has acquired the rights to the book and as a gesture of friendly cooperation, the magazine has agreed to share their breaking story about the book with The News. The magazine will hit the stands in India on Friday.

Aatish has also been interviewed by the Outlook magazine, which says the book is ready to roll and Aatish is on the brink of entering a heady world of book launches and international book tours. It has been published by the Picador India.

According to the Outlook, the book is a fictional version of Aatish’s dramatic life story. Briefly, the story is this: “A short, intense relationship between a Pakistani politician, Salmaan Taseer, and an Indian journalist, Tavleen Singh, produces a child. As the relationship founders, the father (according to his son’s account) abandons the mother and the infant in London.

They move to Delhi, where the boy, Aatish, grows up in an elite Sikh family, but with an awareness of being ‘different’ because of his Muslim and Pakistani ancestry. “Twice in his childhood, he makes long-distance overtures to his father, but is rebuffed. In 2002, at the age of 21, he tries again, by simply landing up in Lahore, and meets with greater success. Salmaan’s political career has waned — the military rules; his party’s boss, Benazir Bhutto, is in exile — but he is, by now, a wealthy businessman and a media tycoon, with an elegant third wife and six other children.

“Relatives and family friends, who have known about Aatish for years, help him find a way into Salmaan’s life. So begins a father-son relationship that is, by no means, easy. And so dies a novel.

“There is this extraordinary story, but what does it mean? It’s not everybody else’s,î Aatish said, while looking back on his struggles five years ago to write that autobiographical novel.“Then came a turning point. In 2005, Aatish, now a journalist living in London, wrote for a UK magazine on the radicalisation of the British second-generation Pakistanis, making the unexceptionable liberal argument that it was linked to failures of identity on different fronts. Chuffed by his first cover story, he sent it to his father, to whom he now felt closer — and was shocked to receive a furious reply, accusing him, among other things, of blackening the family name by spreading ‘invidious anti-Muslim propaganda’.

“The accusations set off a storm of reactions in Aatish, from hurt and defensiveness to confusion and curiosity. How was his father, who (as he was to recount in his book) drank Scotch every evening, never fasted and prayed, even ate pork and once said: ‘It was only when I was in jail and all they gave me to read was the Quran.....(This portion of the text has been deleted as it was deemed unprintable.)

Defending his controversial decision to lay bare personal relationships and conversations, Aatish said it came from his conviction, after the letter incident, that “the personal circumstances contained a bigger story.” He, however, acknowledged that the writing of the book was also a way to overcome the despair he felt at having his relationship with his father suddenly run aground again — “a way to make my peace with that personal history.”

The memoir is a journalist’s engaging travelogue. But where the political and personal come together powerfully is in the last third part of the book, which finds Aatish in Pakistan among the Pakistanis.

Personal disappointment fuses with intellectual outrage in his searing final encounters with his father. And as a traveller trying to make sense of the broken pieces of his own ancestry, he takes political discoveries personally. He is wounded by reflexive anti-Indianism, which he encounters widely in Pakistan, and particularly among the youth.

The book quite clearly rejects the idea of Pakistan (while tacitly endorsing the idea of India), but Aatish still seems to be trying to keep the two. “I hope for this to be a book for Pakistan (though) I know that is a very naive thing to say—Neither with my father, nor with Pakistan, was it written to settle any scores. I hope that despite what looks like a bleak look at Pakistan, it is possible to see a genuine concern and affection for the place.”

The Outlook said the personal story of Aatish, meanwhile, had acquired new twists. Salmaan Taseer, with whom he has had no contact for the past 15 months — though he hears he is upset by news of his book — has been resurrected in the topsy-turvy world of Pakistani politics.

About six months ago, he became the Punjab governor. It is a ceremonial role, but since the dissolution of the Shahbaz Sharif government in the Punjab, the man wields real power — and controversially.

“The timing of the book is slightly insane,” he said, laughing uncertainly. “I wouldn’t have wished for it. He was just a businessman, and that was good enough for what I had to say. He didn’t need to be the governor of the Punjab.”

Is he prepared to lose the relationship with a book like this, coming especially at a sensitive time? “Whether I wrote the book or not, I am definitely pretty much persona non grata,” he said. But then he added: “My father is a bright, intelligent man, and well read. I hope he understands some day.”

Following is an extract of the book: “I had begun my journey asking why my father was Muslim, and this was why: none of Islam’s once powerful moral imperatives existed within him, but he was Muslim because he doubted the Holocaust, hated America and Israel, thought Hindus were weak and cowardly, and because the glories of the Islamic past excited him.

“The faith decayed within him, ceased to be dynamic, ceased to provide moral guidance, became nothing but a deep, unreachable historical and political identity. This was all that still had the force of faith. It was significant because in the end, this was the moderate Muslim, and it was too little moderation and in the wrong areas. It didn’t matter how someone prayed, how much they prayed, what dress they wore, whether they chose to drink or not, but it did matter that someone harboured feelings of hatred, for Jews, Americans or Hindus, that were founded in faith and only masked in political arguments.”

“I rose to leave the room. It was if a bank had burst. My father and I, for the first time, were beyond embarrassment. I returned a few moments later to say goodbye to him, but he had left for the day without a word. The now empty room produced a corresponding vacancy in me that was like despair. I wanted somehow to feel whole again; not reconciliation, that would be asking too much, just not this feeling of waste: my journey to find my father ending in an empty room in Lahore, the clear light of a bright morning breaking in to land on the criss-crossing arcs of a freshly swabbed floor.

“As the crow flies, the distance between my father and me had never been much, but the land had been marked by history for a unique division, of which I had inherited both broken pieces. My journey to seek out my father, and through him, his country, was a way for me to make my peace with that history. And it had not been without its rewards. My deep connection to the land that is Pakistan had been renewed. I felt lucky to have both countries; I felt that I’d been given what partition had denied many. For me, it meant the possibility of a different education, of embracing the three-tier history of India whole, perhaps an intellectual troika of Sanskrit, Urdu and English.

“These mismatches were the lot of people with garbled histories, but I preferred them to violent purities. The world is richer in its hybrids.

“But then there was the futility of the empty room, rupture on rupture, for which I could find no consolation, except that my father’s existence, so ghostly all my life, had at last acquired a gram of material weight. And, if not for that, who knows what sterile obsessions might still have held me fast?”

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Game Is Not Over Yet!!

There's is a massive movement going-on in Pakistan for the re-appointment of Ex. Chief Justice of Pakistan. Despite of going into the details, I will focus on some important points about the current Long March.
In the morning, there was a massive troop deployment outside the Karachi City Courts. Administration announced that they are allowing the Lawyers to enter the premises but Asadullah Bhutto (Advocate) of Jamat-e-Islami was arrested, however, he was released later. Similarly Prof. Abdul Ghafoor, Vice PresidentJamat-e-Islami was also arrested from Karachi despite the announcement of interior Advisor Rahman Malik, that no prominent leader will be arrested. Additionally, the house of Imran Khan Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf is raided thrice.

A friend told me that the police raided the house of his neighbor yesterday, who had passed away in 2001. When I talked to a few workers of PML-N, PTI and Jamat-e-Islami, they told that they have never faced such massive raids before.

Despite of all this situation, some lawyers managed to stage the rally and headed towards the internal Sindh from Karachi, everything was going alright, in the meanwhile, a news started to scroll on the TV screens that Altaf Hussain has just talked to the President Asif Ali Zardari and Farooq H. Naik. As we expected, just after that, vehicles set on fire and firing started at several places in Karachi, giving a reason to the administration to claim that the protest is not peaceful.

The point, I am referring to is, who set the vehicles on fire? who started firing in Karachi? If they were lawyers, why didn't they do so in Quetta?? Why is the timing of telephone call of Altaf Hussain and the mishappenings is so close?

Current news is that Ali Ahmad Kurd, president supreme court bar association has staged a sit-in at the border of Balochistan, as they are warned that they will be arrested as soon as they enter Sindh.

Things are becoming worse, and why shouldn't they? Wasn't it our population to vote PPP?? Didn't we know that Asif Ali Zardari had assassinated Benazir Bhutto? Didn't we know that Asif Ali Zardari has an international rank in corruption? So why did we vote PPP???

If the Pakistanis do realize their past mistakes, the game is not over yet! They have time to participate in the long march, for the great cause of justice! And they have the decision in their hands... they can elect the next government honestly and wisely!