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VOL. 23/39 - 18 Dhul Qa’da 1434 H PAGE 10

Life in a Small Town in Bygone Days Commonwealth Games: Pakistan’s Men’s Hockey Team Miss Glasgow Glasgow: An internal sporting dispute means Pakistan’s men’s hockey team will not play at next year’s Commonwealth Games. The Pakistan Olympic Association split into two factions earlier this year, one recognised by the International Olympic Committee and the other backed by the state-run Pakistan Sports Board. The Pakistan Hockey Federation ignored the IOCbacked faction of the POA as it relies on the state-run board. As a result, it showed no interest in sending a team to the Glasgow Games. POA president Arif Hasan said the decision would damage hockey, a hugely popular sport in Pakistan. “Every Pakistani has emotional association with hockey, but the apathy from the hockey officials has led to this exclusion,” said Hasan, who added that Pakistan would be GLASGOW, P29

PTI Chief Proposes Opening of Taliban Office in Pakistan Peshawar: Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday urged the government to declare a ceasefire if it was serious about holding peace talks with militants in Pakistan. The PTI chief also called on the government to allow militants to open an office in Pakistan similar to the Afghan Taliban office in Qatar to facilitate the dialogue process. Speaking to media representatives after visiting injured persons of the Peshawar church bombing at the Lady Reading Hospital, Khan said that on one hand, there were talks of holding negotiations whereas on the other, war was still ongoing. How would it be possible to hold peace talks, he questioned. The PTI chairman moreover said that after the fourth All Parties Conference (APC), it was decided to hold peace talks; however no solutions had come about. Khan stressed that the government should take negotiations OFFICE, P29

The Largest Circulated Pakistani-American Newspaper in North America

Friday, September 27, 2013

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Discovering America

Imran Key To Saving Pakistan Peace Plan

Sharif to Meet Indian PM in NY United Nations: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said he looked forward to meeting his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh to resume peace efforts between the two South Asian countries. Nawaz Sharif said this in a brief comment following Indian Prime Minister’s statement in which he stated that he would meet the Pakistani leader on the sidelines of UN General Assembly session in New York. “I will be very happy to meet him and we hope to pick up Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan Prme Minister Nawaz Sharif expected to the threads from where meet in New York this weekend. we left in 1999,” the prime minister said, when re- The meeting between the power in May this year, Control in the disputed porters sought his reac- two leaders would be their and it takes place in the Kashmir region. tion to Singh’s statement first since Prime Minis- backdrop of recent ten- Earlier on Wednesday, on meeting him. ter Nawaz Sharif swept to sions along the Line of MEETING, P29

Massive Earthquake: Death Toll Hits 400

The rubble of a house is seen after it collapsed following the quake in the town of Awaran, southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan, September 25, 2013.

Quetta: The death toll from a major earthquake that hit southwestern Pakistan rose to 400 on Wednesday, provincial officials said, with more

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fatalities feared as rescue teams reach the remote affected area. The 7.7-magnitude quake hit part of Baluchistan province on Tues-

day, destroying thousands of mud-brick houses. At least 350 people have been confirmed dead and more than 440 injured, according to the Provincial Disaster

Management Authority and the Baluchistan government’s earthquake response control room. In the village of Dalbedi, the earthquake — Pakistan’s deadliest since the devastating Kashmir quake of 2005, which killed 73,000 — flattened some 250 houses. Bewildered villagers dug with their hands through the rubble of their mud houses in Dalbedi to retrieve what was left of their meagre possessions.Their simple houses destroyed, they used rags, old clothes, sheets and tree branches to shelter their families from the sun. Farmer Noor Ahmed, 45, said the tremors lasted for two minutes and turned buildings in the village into piles of mud. “We have lost everything, even our food is now buried under EARTHQUAKE, P29

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Nawaz Says Pakistan Needs Malala The Most Right Now

New York: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif while meeting with teenage education activist Malala Yousufzai during a conference on education in New York on Wednesday remarked that Malala, like all Pakistani daughters, was like his daughter too, Express News reported. Malala, who was shot in the head by the Taliban last October due to her writings against them. She then had to leave the country for further medical treatment, and cannot return due to the risk of reprisal attacks. MALALA, P29

Earthquake: Opposition Walks Out Over Government’s Inaction

Islamabad: Despite its claims of being active on the ground, the government showed only dim interest in the National Assembly on Wednesday about Tuesday’s killer earthquake in Balochistan, provoking an opposition walkout and a scathing charge that it was insensitive to the disaster in a remote region. It was after some procedural confusion and argument that the treasury benches endorsed an opposition-sponsored resolution that the house passed unanimously to express its “deepest shock” over the 7.8-magnitude quake which, according to a provincial government control room in Quetta, killed more than 300 people and injured over 400, mainly in Awaran district, and called upon the government to “expedite its rescue and relief efforts in the affected regions”. And then, seeing empty front ministerial benches in the house, Leader of Opposition Khursheed Ahmed Shah WALKOUT, P29


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OPINION

P4 – PAKISTAN LINK – SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

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n By Muhammad Jameel, PhD (Edinb) Fellow of the Institute of Physics (London) Adjunct Professor University of Karachi Karachi

The Fall of Man

T

his article is not about the fall of a particular civilization or culture, but about the fall of Man as a species. It is argued that mankind, considered globally, reached its zenith around the middle of the twentieth century. Since then, it has been on a monotonic decline despite some notable technical developments such as Internet, jet aircraft, cellular phones etc. A number of indicators, physical and social, are cited in support of this thesis.

Physical Indicators: There are a host of physical indicators pointing to this decline; some of these are briefly described below. Population: The population of the world has always been on the increase, thanks to advances in farming, industry and medicine. But the steep rise since the 1950s is quite unprecedented, and we could soon burst past the carrying capacity of the Earth. Natural Resources: Fresh water is the most valuable resource for the sustenance of mankind. And it is finite in amount. We simply cannot afford to squander it in the way we have been doing, especially since the 1950s. The unbridled damming of rivers, to collect fresh water, more for wasteful than productive use, has followed the same pattern. After water, land and forest cover are highly important God-gifted bounties which we have been treating just as badly. We used up about 8% of primitive forest in the 250 years before 1950, and we have managed to destroy an additional 20% since then! And almost as much virgin land has been brought under urban or agricultural use in the past 60 years as in the preceding 200 years. There is now only 60% of land left for posterity, largely in areas increasingly difficult to access. The loss of biodiversity is just as stunning in extent and rapidity. About 50,000 plant and animal species have become extinct since 1950, compared to less than 10,000 in the centuries before then. Human Extravagance: The global GDP has grown tremendously from about 7 trillion to 40 trillion dollars (in 1990 values) over the last 50 years. But so has the disparity between the rich and the poor among nations, communities and individuals. Thus, while the poor struggle for bare necessities, the extravagance of the rich knows no bounds. The growth in energy consumption and in the number of motor vehicles on the road serves to illustrate this general phenomenon; we may note again the accelerated trend since the 1950s. Environmental Degradation: Linked directly to our wasteful use of fossil fuel and other natural resources is the degradation of the Earth’s environment. Two important indicators of this deterioration are shown here. The rapid accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere since the 1950s has precipitated the onset of global warming; ozone depletion diminishes the atmosphere’s ability to filter out harmful ultraviolet rays. The accelerated change in all the above-mentioned physical indicators since the 1950s, from favorable to unfavorable values, is unmistakable.

The Intellectual Scene: While human culture has progressed steadily under various civilizations, there was a virtual outburst of intellectual activity around 1600, a landmark being Galileo’s exploration of the sky using the newly invented telescope. The momentum continued through more than three centuries with the thrill of new ideas, trends and discoveries permeating all fields of sciences, humanities and arts. Galileo, Newton, Leibnitz, Fourier, Lagrange, Linnaeus, Harvey, Darwin, Shakespeare, Rembrandt, Descartes, Voltaire, Kant, Goethe, Marx, Ghalib, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner are just some of the outstanding path-breakers of that period. The early twentieth century brought Planck’s quantum theory, Einstein’s relativity, Picasso’s cubism, Stravinsky’s music, Tagore’s poetry, Fleming’s pioneering life-saver penicillin, Kafka’s surrealism, followed by Watson-Crick’s DNA double helix in 1953, and Salam-Weinberg’s ‘standard’ theory of Nature’s fundamental forces in the 1960s. And then the well of human creativity seems to have suddenly run dry – with no intellectual breakthrough in the past fifty years or so. No doubt, there have been considerable technological advances in medical practice, computers, electronic communication, transportation (including rocketry and space travel) etc. But these are mostly incremental developments made by large groups of highly skilled technologists, generously funded by industry or the military establishment. The flash of genius has been conspicuous by its absence. One cannot help but wonder if this represents the intellectual dimension of the Fall of Man. Social Indicators: The norms of society, all over the world, have also been on a rapid downward slide over the last few decades. A few indicators are briefly described here. Bigotry and Hypocrisy: Bigotry and hypocrisy, in various shades like religious, racial etc., are increasingly in evidence in most societies. In Muslim countries, religious bigotry appears as verbal denigration of other people’s views and, in extreme cases, as sectarian violence.

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The Sunni-Shia differences, which Muslims had lived with for centuries, have – over the past fifty years or so – been politicized into a major transnational issue. In addition, other minor rifts have spawned a large number of smaller sub-sects, each seeking to outdo the other in mutual taunts and abuse. As for hypocrisy, a very visible sign is the rapidly increasing corruption in all forms, matched by the growing obsession with dress and appearance: beards for men and hijab for women. Rather than transforming oneself from within, it seems much more convenient to overlook the Qur’an’s repeated reminders that real piety does not consist in outward gestures of submission, but in true belief in God and His prophets … spending, for His love, on deserving relatives, orphans, destitute, wayfarers … observing prayers and zakat … fulfilling one’s commitments … showing forbearance in adversity etc. (see, for example, Albaqarah:177). In the West, Christ’s teaching ‘to turn the other cheek’ has been stood on its head, with oppression of the weak being adopted as de facto State policy by major powers. The ‘justification’ usually offered for blatant aggression is reminiscent of the fable about the wolf and the lamb. The fact that most victims in the past few decades have been Muslim countries reveals the true face of religious bigots masquerading as ‘champions of liberalism’. The Western media, too, have played their part in promoting obscurantism by deliberately creating semantic confusion among the very different precepts of fundamentalism, extremism, and terrorism – glibly linking all three in the gullible public mind with Islam. Similarly, the ‘love of democracy’, professed by the West, is vividly manifested in its unabashed support of totalitarian regimes across the globe, the AngloAmerican backed re-instatement of monarchy in Iran in 1953, the manipulated thwarting of people’s will expressed in Algeria’s democratic elections of 1992, etc. Another notable instance of Western hypocrisy is that the State, which seems most concerned that weapons of mass destruction should not fall into the ‘wrong’ hands, is in fact the only one which has actually used all three types of WMD (nuclear, biological, chemical) in the battlefield and over civilian populations. In South Asia, the self-proclaimed followers of the philosophy of ‘ahimsa’ (non-violence) have been tormenting minority communities and attacking churches and mosques with increasing impunity and intensity over the past decades. In short, bigotry and hypocrisy are palpably on the rise the world over. Unequal Wars and Treaties: Men have fought each other throughout recorded history, with the two World Wars of the first half of the twentieth century setting new records in brutality, battlefield casualties and civilian devastation. But even those two wars were waged between roughly equal sides, the opponents being comparable in military and economic strength. There has been a qualitative change in warfare since the 1950s. The opponents have been invariably unequal, sometimes drastically so! One need only mention the examples of Vietnam, Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq, Bosnia to recall the

horrendous damage inflicted upon human lives and civilian lifelines, such as water, medical, communications and energy infrastructure, by the technologically far superior forces of the “Christian” West. Add to this the genocidal battles in Africa and South America, and we get the grim picture of the Fall of Man to a level far below that of the beasts. The treaties enforced at the end of wars have invariably been loaded in favor of the victors. But the period since 1950 has the ‘distinction’ of seeing unequal treaties implemented in peacetime! A prime example is provided by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty which divides its adherents unabashedly into two classes: five States which are accorded the right to develop and stockpile nuclear weapons virtually without limit, and all the rest which are denied this right and whose access even to peaceful nuclear technology is restricted by stringent ‘safeguards’. And such was the awe of the superpower proponents of the Treaty that virtually all countries of the world compromised their sovereignty and signed on the dotted lines! Erosion of Family Values: Through the ages, the family has been the basic unit of human society. During the past few decades, family ties have been increasingly stressed – more visibly in Western societies. First came the neglect of filial duty by the offspring, leaving their elders to ‘enjoy independent life’ in Old Folks Homes. Then we witness the spread of single-parent ‘families’ and, more recently, acceptance of samesex ‘marriages’. Thus the very fabric of civilized living, inherently based upon inter-dependence and mutual respect, is threatened by a distorted sense of individual freedom. Conclusion: The physical and social indicators, briefly discussed above, point unerringly to the steep decline of homo sapiens, in its habits and habitat, since the 1950s. Fortunately, there is nothing to suggest that this descent to disaster is irreversible. Human intervention is indeed possible and can play a very positive role in reversing the trend. What is needed is, first, recognition of the reality, followed by identification of measures required to reverse the trend and, finally, collective will and concerted effort to implement those measures. The Kyoto Protocol, which aims to limit the emission of greenhouse gases, is a first step in that direction. When universally accepted, it would certainly benefit our physical environment; but much more needs to be done – and soon.

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OPINION

P6 – PAKISTAN LINK – SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 n By Saroop Ijaz

T

Lahore, Pakistan

he passing of the first death anniversary of Neil Armstrong last week is an opportunity to reflect on our own connection (admittedly flimsy) with the first man on the moon. Two years before Armstrong landed on the moon, Ghulam Abbas wrote Dhanak, one of the best satirical short stories (The short story has been ably adapted by Shahid Nadeem into a play named Hotel Mohenjodaro) of all times, and unnervingly prescient.

Written in 1967, the story begins with the first man landing on moon, not Armstrong, but a Pakistani PAF Captain, Adam Khan. Local and international dignitaries gather on the rooftop garden of the 71-storied Hotel Mohenjodaro in Karachi to listen to Adam Khan’s message from the moon. His brief message is, “I am Captain Adam Khan. I come from the district of Jhang in Punjab … I have landed safely. All praise to Allah … Pakistan Zindabad.” Pakistan is congratulated all over the world and celebrations begin all around the country. However, like most good things, the triumph is short-lived. In a small town, outside of Karachi, a local imam terms the journey to the moon un-Islamic and satanic. The call of jihad travels from one mosque to another and in a jiffy, the whole country is engaged in the holy battle, chanting for Adam Khan’s death for trespassing into the forbidden domain. Briefly, the government loses the fight and an Amirul Momineen takes over. Sharia is imposed. Foreigners are driven out. All languages other than Arabic are banned. Beards are mandatory. Women are forbidden to leave the

The Dark Side of the Moon

house. All technology and ‘Western’ medicine is declared haram. The construction of any building higher than the Jamia Mosque is unlawful. This descent into piety happens in just one month from the sanctimonious landing on moon. All is not well, still. The initially overlooked question of which sect’s Sharia would be implemented rather violently rises up. Blood runs in mosques. Muslims kill Muslims, both sides fighting in the name of faith. Medievalism descends into chaos. The story ends with foreign aircraft bombing Karachi to rubble. The date of writing is worth mentioning again — 1967. There might be very few writings in all of world literature that get the trajectory of the future so spectacularly, accurately right. Hotel Mohenjodaro, despite being on a par with anything that Orwell or Huxley have ever written on the subject, is not taught in curriculum in Pakistan. That is unlikely to change in the near future, very particularly in KhyberPakhtunkhwa (K-P). The K-P government has decided to reintroduce the verses mandating jihad into the syllabus. The K-P government is also firmly against the Muslims fighting Muslims business, even if the other side of the Muslims has no such qualms about blowing up schools and buses filled with schoolchildren, etc. Women were not allowed to vote in many constituencies in K-P and Punjab. Agents of Western medicine, polio workers are still attacked on a regular basis. Adam Khan’s Jhang is not known today for producing top rate astronauts or PAF officers.

Till present, Mian Sahib has not made a serious effort to be appointed Amirul Momineen. However, in Mian Sahib’s Punjab, the Al-Bakistan licence plates are all the jazz. What we lack in the fight against the Taliban is made up by increasing the intensity in the war on technology. The reports on what the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) seeks to ban are contradictory and murky. However, one thing remains clear — that the PTA is extremely concerned about our morality and decency. The Supreme Court has also, in the past, expressed grave apprehension on the issue of late night telephone call packages, no doubt the evil at the center of all our ills. Websites are blocked to protect us from sin and being led astray. Prime television programs discuss jinns at length. Economists argue for the virtues and efficiency of ‘bonded labor’. The one point solution that solves our econoic problems is to get rid of ‘Riba’, don’t ask how, and just have faith. The closest thing that we have ever come to landing on the moon is Dr

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Abdus Salam winning the Nobel Prize. Like, Adam Khan, Dr Salam lost, and the small time, violent Moulvi won. In a country of water kits, the grave of Dr Salam stands vandalized. Ahmadis are being told to leave ‘Muslim’ areas, and the tricky bit here is that all areas are Muslim areas. Krishn Nagar in Lahore is now renamed Islampura, Dharampura is Mustafabad. Bhagat Singh’s birth and death anniversaries pass unnoticed, while Ghazi Ilm Din is remembered. To use ‘Hindu’ while intending ‘Indian’ is acceptable practice, even in ‘educated and polite’ society. Using condescending terms and tones while referring to ‘minorities’ is not frowned upon. After an attack on ‘minorities’, the educated and liberal feel ‘ashamed’ at not being able to protect ‘them’, noble sentiments, however blatantly exclusionary. Not outraged, like when ‘we’ are attacked. Dr Aafia Siddiqui is one of ‘us’ never mind the US citizenship and conviction on terror charges. Aasia Bibi is someone that some of us feel

sorry about to discharge our civic responsibilities, of course when she is uncomfortably and occasionally brought up. What is happening to Aasia Bibi is at best (or is it worst?) a ‘shame’, whereas Dr Aafia Siddiqui is when our blood really boils, in ‘how dare they’ tones. We already live in Ghulam Abbas’s, “Hotel Mohenjodaro”, yet worse, the landing on the moon never happened neither the rooftop garden on the 71st floor. We nosedived even before take-off. No high point, not even for false nostalgia. What is the point of all this, we already know that? Yes, we do. However, the lesson of “Hotel Mohenjodaro” is that not only can it get worse, but it will get worse; inertia. Once the almost twin Buddhas of Bamiyan were destroyed, it was only a matter of time before other twin structures were hit. What the PTI and Mian Sahib need to wake up to is that appeasement and surrender do not work with those who ask for the entire world, perhaps ponder over Ghulam Abbas’s warning, cities and countries are sometimes reduced to rubble. PS: As August came to an end and the mighty sought to restrict freedom of expression, while at the same time fumbling with their own speech, WH Auden’s “August 1968” predicting the Prague Spring because of the inability of those in power to speak to the people bears rereading. “The Ogre does what ogres can, Deeds quite impossible for Man, But one Prize is beyond his reach, The Ogre cannot master Speech, About a subjugated plain, Among its desperate and slain, The Ogre stalks with hands on hips, While drivel gushes form his lips.” (The writer is a lawyer and partner at Ijaz and Ijaz Co in Lahore. The Express Tribune)


OPINION

SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 – PAKISTAN LINK – P7

n By Dr Mohammad Taqi Florida

T

he Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed the killing of Major General Sanaullah Khan, GOC Swat Division, along with Lt-Colonel Tauseef and Lance Naik Irfan Sattar in an IED bombing in Upper Dir on Sunday. In a statement released a day after the attack, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani said that while peace must be given a chance through the political process, no one should have any misgivings that “we would let terrorists coerce us into accepting their terms” and that “the military has the ability and the will to take the fight to the militants.” Frankly, there is little in the general’s almost decade-long track record at the helm, first as the ISI director and then as the army chief, to suggest that he would deliver on his pledge, especially with one foot out the door. General Kayani, like the politicians who signed the September 9 declaration of the All Parties Conference (APC), did not deem it necessary to even name the enemy that he intends to take the fight to. Of late the Pakistani media is abuzz with the claims that the Pakistan army wishes to fight the Taliban while the politicians lack such resolve. The fact is that the army has been ceding territory to the jihadists of assorted varieties for about 10 years now. And wherever and whenever it has acted against the terrorists, it has done so reluctantly and after dragging its feet not for days or months but literally years. The Swat operation is often cited as a success story and also to show that the-then ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Awami National Party (ANP) wanted to negotiate with the TTP while the army wanted to act decisively. The reality however is that the TTP takeover of Swat happened over at least two years while the mullahs governed the Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa and the army chief General Pervez Musharraf ruled the country. The PPP-ANP coalition was forced into negotiating with the TTP when the army — the only fighting force they could rely on — was gun shy when it mattered the most. Consider the much-trumpeted Rah-e-Nijat operation in South Waziristan Agency. The operation was announced some six months before the action actually started in October 2009. Stealth and caution were both thrown to the winds. As expected, the Taliban did not stay and fight pitched battles and simply melted away into their hideouts in the neighbouring North Waziristan Agency (NWA), Orakzai Agency and Balochistan. Media fanfare surrounding the Pakistan army’s incursion into and conquest of Kotkai — the hometown of the TTP head honcho, Hakimullah Mehsud — sounded then as if the Allies had descended upon the Führerbunker. Only there was no Hakimullah there. Fast forward four years almost to the date and the TTP chief is dictating terms to a nuclear-armed state! It is indeed somewhat surprising that almost all top TTP leaders from Nek Muham-

The Pakistani State On Its Knees

Without setting the parameters for what exactly is the state willing to concede to the TTP in exchange for peace, the prime minister and his APC have left the door wide open for the terrorists to keep making highly perverse demands mad Wazir and Baitullah Mehsud to Wali-ur-Rehman escaped alive from the Pakistan army operations. They were all killed in the much-maligned drone attacks. The simple point is that if the Pakistan army wished to build a case against the TTP it could have done much better than the six-monthly speeches that General Kayani delivers about the internal threat being the pre-eminent danger without naming names and ever pointing a finger. Sheer incompetence, of course, cannot be conclusively excluded but it is hard to believe that with its tremendous wherewithal, including a whole division of media men and women that virtually raised hell about the PPP’s attempt to bring the ISI under civilian control, the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act and the Memogate matter, the army failed to capture and mould the narrative to fight against the TTP.

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There is little doubt, at least in the minds of many in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, that the army did not wish to take on the Taliban for various reasons. The three primary reasons being: a) the military establishment’s plans for the ‘endgame’ in Afghanistan; b) concerns about the domestic terrorist fallout that might not be manageable, especially in Punjab province; and c) the army’s rank and file lacking the will to fight the jihadists they have supported for decades. Additionally, when the army-friendly media machine went into overdrive to build the image of the pro-Taliban/negotiation Imran Khan, many other leaders took it as their cue to hop onto the dialogue bandwagon. Nonetheless, what Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has presided over in the name of an APC is nothing short of a humiliating collective capitulation to the TTP, which has been rechristened as ‘stakeholders’ in the declaration that reviles NATO, the United States and its drones as the cause of terrorist evil in Pakistan. It merely shows how delusional, hypocritical and cavalier the political leadership is. Mr Khan might be naïve about the TTP being amenable to unconditional talks but Mr Sharif is most certainly not. By letting Mr Khan and his ilk virtually hijack the APC and dictate its outcome, Mr Sharif has virtually offered the TTP a velvet fist in a velvet glove. States, especially those brandishing nukes at the drop of a hat, do not negotiate with terrorists. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) model cited by some is a false analogy. The IRA subscribed to everything that a modern state stands for while the TTP rejects everything that is modern. Without setting the parameters for what exactly is the state willing to concede to the TTP in exchange for peace, the prime minister and his APC have left the door wide open for the terrorists to keep making highly perverse demands. Drone strikes and the US presence in Afghanistan may end soon but the TTP would certainly find another pretext to continue its violent campaign. The TTP’s negotiations ruse has always ended in more bloodshed and there is little reason to believe it would be different

this time. Mr Sharif might have thought that sharing responsibility with other leaders would help build consensus for action if/when the talks fail. But chances are that like the TTP, its apologists too will come up with yet another justification for continued terrorism when drones and the US are out of the picture. After all, it previously was the Palestine and Kashmir problems that the jihadists used as a license to kill and their apologists for blaming the US and others. The TTP has clearly brought the Pakistani state down to its knees. Unless the army and the political leadership stop deluding themselves, this learned helplessness will only get worse.

daki

The writer can be reached at mazdaki@me.com and he tweets @maz-


P8 – PAKISTAN LINK – SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 n By Syed Kamran Hashmi Westfield, IN

E

ven if the parents of Shahzeb Khan, the slain 20-year-old college student, have indeed agreed to receive Rs 350 million, as speculated by the media, from the family of the convicted murderer of their son Shahrukh Jatoi, I still do not censure them for making that decision. Although a great deal has been written on social media to show disapproval of their action and has been discussed extensively on television, I fully support them in their attempt to end the dispute, an option that not only provides them physical security but also secures their financial future. I believe that in Pakistan any person who cannot take revenge by himself or, as a matter of personal choice, does not believe in violence, or does not have the muscle to make the state institutions get him justice should do exactly as the parents of Shahzeb Khan have done: forgive in the name of Allah and be rich. Pakistan was not created for weak, imbecile and decent individuals, who do not have any family connections in the power corridors. It did not come into being to serve honest and noble people who believe out of their naivety that by following the rule of law they are going to stay safe, or assume if they ever get into trouble the state is going to come to their rescue. It is not going to happen, not any time soon

Shahzeb’s Murder: Another Victory For Assassins in our country. And the sooner they realise it, the sooner they would find peace. But the peace that they may find, I am sure, is not going to be in Karachi or Lahore. It would instead be in Melbourne, Toronto or New York, countries where their honesty and talent would be appreciated and rewarded justly. Which is why, thousands of families have already left Pakistan to settle permanently in the west, a process of ‘brain drain’ that continues till today and has resulted in the loss of a tremendous amount of talent for Pakistan. Shahzeb Khan’s family is probably in the process of doing the same. Many reports, although unauthentic and to some extent unreliable, suggest that in a matter of a few weeks, if not days, they will emigrate to Australia, leaving behind the country which, on the one hand, gave them so much in the form of public support after the murder of their son, and on the other, could not ensure the security of the living members of their household including his sisters and first cousins. With their departure, the whole facade of a vigilant civil society that can stand up for the rights of ordinary citizens and provide justice for a middle class family through public pressure will end and the pretence that the presence of a hyperactive media can bring a meaningful change in the fundamental structure of the Paki-

stani broken legislative system will conclude logically. Having said that, the real loser in this situation is not only the family of the victim, it is not his father, sisters, cousins, uncles, aunts, or even his mother alone; the ultimate loser is, in fact, Pakistan. First, it

failed to protect a brother who tried to do the right thing for standing up to defend his sister’s dignity. Second, it was unable to retain a conscientious family who represented the vulnerable, helpless and educated middle class. Third, it is going to be stuck with the criminal, his family and his clan forever who will now be

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From day one, Pakistan was created to serve the interests of the

Pakistan was sliced out of India in the name of Islam, not to act upon the Divine principles but to exploit them exclusively!

OF E PEAC D IS MIN CELESS PRI

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encouraged even more to disregard the value of human life; and in the end, it was unsuccessful in building the confidence of the people, yet again, in its ability to protect and uphold the rule of law.

SAM AWAN

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powerful, the rich and resourceful people; people who know how to take their share out of the lion’s den, who could use both religion and money to obtain their objectives, and people who have the audacity to waive the victory sign in public and in front of the camera after being sentenced by the court

OPINION for committing a crime against the whole humanity. It was supposed to serve only those interconnected families who have a three star general serving in the military on their maternal side, a high ranking police officer or a powerful bureaucrat among their in-laws and a member of the National Assembly on the paternal side. For them, Pakistan is a paradise on earth with unlimited resources at their disposal and unrestrained power in their hands. Pakistan was sliced out of India in the name of Islam, not to act upon the Divine principles but to exploit them exclusively. We did not want to have anyone else who could poke fun at God’s will while pretending to be obeying His command, and disrespect the principles of the Quran, the laws that were intended to bring peace in society, while acting as if we were following its instructions and ridicule the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) as blatantly as we do in the name of respecting and observing the Sunnah. We wanted the freedom to practice Islam in its letter and spirit, the religion that was egalitarian in its essence, and just at its core, and the religion that was supposed to protect not only its followers but also its opponents, so that we can make it subservient to the rich and powerful in its own ‘fortress’. That is the real tragedy that we face today after we hand over another victory to the murderers of a young boy. The writer is a US-based freelance columnist. He tweets at @ KaamranHashmi and can be reached at skamranhashmi@gmail.com


OPINION n By Professor Nazeer Ahmed

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Concord, CA

ecular man who believes only in the material and the rational overlooks the flaws in his worldview. As an illustration, consider the red color of a beautiful rose. Ask a materialist to tell you where the redness in the rose comes from. His description will be something along the following lines: Electromagnetic waves from the sun hit the rose. All waves except those around .63 micrometers are absorbed by the rose. When reflected, they travel through the air and are received by the eye. They hit the retina, travel along the optic nerve and are recorded in brain cells. Ask yourself: where in this picture is the red color of the rose? It is not there. The red color is neither in the rose nor in the eye. It is somewhere else. It is in the Self (soul).

The attributes of color, beauty, joy and sorrow that make our world rich and meaningful are absent from a materialist worldview drawn purely on the basis of the empirical and the rational. Such a worldview is flawed and incomplete. It is also deceptive, erroneous and misleading. The Exalted Station (Maqam) of the Heart: Iqbal wrote: Mahroom e tamasha ko woh deedaye beena de Dekha hai jo kuch maiN ne, awroN ko bhi dikhla de (Grant the vision (O Lord!) to one who has not witnessed the show, What I have witnessed (with the eye of my heart), show it to others too.) In all of God’s creation, there is nothing as noble, as sublime as the human heart, for it alone is capable of knowing the Name of God. Nothing, not the body, not the mind, measures up to the heart in its nobility, its expanse and its heavenly character. Mohammed ibn Ali al Hakim al Tirmidhi, that great Sufi Shaikh of the tenth century, in his treatise Bayan al Sadr wa al Qalb wa al Fuad wa al Lubb, compared the heart to the throne of God. He wrote, “The heart has a nobler position even with respect to the Throne (arsh), for the Throne receives the Grace of God and merely reflects it, whereas the heart receives the Grace of God, reflects it and is aware of it.” The sublime attribute of the heart is that it is aware of the Name of God; it knows what the angels do not know. A Hadith e Qudsi (divinely inspired saying of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh)) says: The heavens and the mountains and the earth were not large enough to contain Me. But the heart of the believer was large enough to contain Me.” The heart as it is used here should not be confused with the physical heart. It should be understood as a collection of attributes. Based upon the terminology of the Qur’an, Imam Tarmidhi, ascribes four ascending stations to the heart, each with its own distinct characteristics. The Sadr. This is the outmost station of the heart. It is open to the goodness that comes from the spirit as well as the distractions of the world. It expands with the light of the spirit and contracts with the darkness of evil whisperings. In this sense it is like the aperture of a camera. The more it opens, the more it admits of light. The Qalb. This is the heart proper. The word Qalb in Arabic means that which turns. It is like a gimbal in a spacecraft. One face of the heart turns towards the Light of the spirit. The other face turns towards the distractions of the world. The heart that turns towards the spirit receives the light that comes from Divine presence. A heart that turns towards the deceptive appearance of the material world is sealed off from that light. The Fu’ad: The word Fu’ad comes from the word Fayida which in Arabic means that which is of benefit. It is the kernel of the heart. It is that attribute which enables the heart not only to be aware of the Di-

SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 – PAKISTAN LINK – P9

Unveiling the Secrets of Allama Iqbal’s Khudi - 5 vine Name but to see the presence of God around it. Hence it is the eye of the heart. The Birr. This is the essence of the heart. It is like the oil in the lamp, that which gives off light. It is the station wherein are manifest the beauty and majesty of Divine presence. It is the inner sanctum of the heart that gazes in its rapture at the ruh or the spirit and receives the infinite Grace that comes from God’s presence. The word Birr has two letters, b and r. The “b” stands for Baraka. The “r” stands for ra’a, that is to see. The Birr is a perpetual witness to the blessings that accrue from the presence of the Divine. This is the highest station of the heart, the one that is attained by the sages, the awliya. The Kashaf (curtain) of the Body and the Mind: There is a divine light in every man, woman and child. It is bestowed upon a human at birth. However, it remains hidden by the curtains that man himself erects. Some sages say there are seven layers of curtains between the spirit and the Self, some say there are seventy thousand layers of curtains. The struggle of man is to remove these curtains so that the pristine essence of man gazes in its fullness at the spirit and partakes of the beauty and the majesty of Divine presence. That is the essence of knowledge. The curtains that man erects between himself and the Divine light are called kashaf. The body, mind and the outer heart each erect curtains or veils between the light that comes from the ruh and its perception by the Self. The Kashaf (Curtain/Veil) of the Body: The kashaf of the body is its deception. The materialist worldview confuses reality with the images gathered by the senses. It is like confusing the image in a mirror with the object. We will offer examples to illustrate this observation. Consider the song of a bird. A physical description of a bird singing at dawn on a beautiful morning would go something like this: P-waves generated by the bird travel through the air. They are picked up by the ear drum which generates impulses for the audio nerves and is then heard. Where in this description of P-waves, transmission through the air, eardrums and audio nerves is the sound? Nowhere. The act of hearing is neither in the P-waves nor in the ear drum. It is somewhere else. It is in the Self (the soul), which remains hidden but acts as the seat of cognition and knowledge. The Kashaf (Curtain/Veil) of the Mind: The kashaf of the mind lies in its limitations. Noble as it is, the mind is dependent on logic, structure and reason. It is the king of ilm ul hujjah (the science of argumentation and disputation). But it cannot explain that which is beyond reason. What is the reason to love? Or, for that matter, what is the reason to hate? What is the reason to climb a mountain or to conquer space? Why does a man sacrifice himself for a cause like a moth striking a lamp and burning itself up in the process. Love, honor and sacrifice are attributes of the heart. They are not accessible to the mind. The rationalist who assumes that reason is the limit of man’s knowledge erects a curtain between himself and reality and cannot comprehend the mysteries that transcend rational thought. What is the Nafs: The Nafs is a composite term which includes the body, the mind and the heart. Like the heart, it is a collection of attributes and is not to be confused with a specific part of the body. Depending on the context it is translated as “person”, “soul”, or the Self. It is the “I” that remains hidden and yet makes itself felt through the body, the mind and the heart. In the English language it is sometimes incorrectly translated as “the Ego”.

The Ego is only one aspect of the Nafs; it does not capture the full, comprehensive meaning of the Nafs. The secular perspective denies the existence of the Nafs. In its materialist outlook, it confines itself to the concrete and the rational. “What is material is real and what is real is material” is its perspective. Consequently, secular man cannot come to terms with the emotions and the passions that govern the world of man. In the secular perspective there is no color, only wavelengths. There is no joy and no sorrow only chemical changes in the body. The secular world is cold, rational, devoid of the higher impulses that make us human. Attributes of the Nafs: The Nafs is distinguished by its attributes, just as are its individual elements, the heart, the mind and the body. Some of the most important attributes of the Nafs are: 1. The Nafs is the seat of cognition and knowledge. The sounds that we hear are “heard” not by the ear but by the Nafs. The sights that we see are “seen” not by the eye but by the Nafs. The “heat” and “cold” that we experience are not experienced by the skin but by the Nafs. The Nafs (soul or the Self) is the cognitive element in a human being. 2. The Nafs is the fountain of speech. The faculty of “bayan” as it is called in Arabic, is not merely the ability to speak a particular language such as English, Urdu or Zulu, but it is that human ability to transform sounds and signs into ideas, to dissect, combine and integrate them and build the tree of knowledge that distinguishes the world of man from the world of the beast. Speech is not in the tongue; it is in the Nafs or the soul. God, Most Gracious, Taught the Qur’an, Created the human, Taught him speech.” (The Qur’an 55:1-4) 3. The Nafs is the owner of free will. Humankind is distinguished by its free will. “I will, therefore I am”, is the succinct way to state this. Man has the free will to choose and realize his existential potential. It is this same free will that makes a man climb a mountain, conquer the oceans, ride the waves, and send a rocket to the moon. 4. The Nafs is the knower of beauty, of order and proportion. And the Nafs

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And the sense of order and proportion bestowed upon it. (The Qur’an 91:7) The Nafs has a sense of order, proportion and beauty. Every human, man, woman and child is endowed with these attributes. That is how even the most unlettered person can relate to the enchanting beauty of the rainbow or the serene majesty of a mountain. The Nafs recognizes beauty, order and proportion in the external world and relates to it because the external is a reflection of what is already in the Nafs. It is like looking in the mirror; the beauty of the image is a reflection of the beauty of that which causes the image. 5. The Nafs is the seat of the Ego. The Nafs is sometimes mistranslated into English as the Ego. In Arabic, the corresponding term for the Ego would be “Anaya”. The term “Ego” is a Freudian term used in Western psychology and has its own specific connotations. The Nafs is a broader term than the Ego inasmuch as it includes the hidden attributes of the body, the mind and the heart, and hence connotes the total human being, or simply, the Person. It is the Ego that incites the human to self-aggrandizement, rebel against the commandments of God and set himself up as an open adversary to Divine Will and in the process lays the groundwork for his self-destruction: Nay! But humankind does rebel In that it considers itself autonomous (self-sufficient); We will drag him by his forelock, A lying, sinful forelock! (96: 6-7) 6. The Nafs has a conscience and is the differentiator of good and evil. Perhaps the most important characteristic of the Nafs is its ability to know right from wrong, good from evil (…And its guidance as to what is wrong and what is right… Qur’an 91:8). The propensity towards evil and its ability to say “no” to that tendency is a uniquely human ability. Humankind is born with “deen ul fitra”, in the natural state with closeness to Divine presence, but through its own actions gets away from the Divine presence and has to be reminded again and again to return to the Divine fold. The Kashaf of the Nafs: The susceptibility of the Nafs to evil makes the Nafs the biggest barrier between the Light that comes with the Ruh and its perception. Properly trained, this barrier can be removed and the Nafs can become the carrier of that Light. The progression of the Nafs from an obstructer of Light to a carrier of Light is a continuous process. Four stations of the Nafs are identified in the Qur’an: Nafs e Ammara: This is the dark side of man, prone to whisperings from the evil one. Nafs e Ammara stands steeped in darkness, cut off from the light emanating from the Spirit. Nafs e Mulhama : This is the aspiring Nafs, the state when a person starts questioning the evil tendencies of his own Self and tries to rectify them. Nafs e Lawwama: This is the blaming Nafs, the station from where the Self, having overcome the evil inclinations of the Self, reaches out to a higher station, to find the Light that comes from Divine presence. Nafs e Mutmainna : This is the highest station of the Nafs and the closest to Divine presence. At this station, the Nafs has overcome its Ego and has shunned whisperings of the evil one and has turned with complete surrender to Divine presence. It is the station of satisfaction, tranquility and peace. Tarmidhi tabulates the stations of the Nafs with respect to the stations of the heart: Nafs e Ammara corresponds to Sadr; Nafs e Mulhama corresponds to the Qalb; Nafs e Lawwamma corresponds to the Fu’ad, and Nafs e Mutmainna corresponds to Birr. (Continued next week)


OPINION

P10 – PAKISTAN LINK – SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 n By Dr Khurshid Alam Khan

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Karachi, Pakistan

Life in a Small Town in Bygone Days

hen one is blessed with longevity and reaches more than seventy years of age, the accumulated memories of the days gone by are both voluminous and indelible. Looking back, it appears that the technological breakthroughs have irreversibly and unimaginably changed the quality of our lives. My memories take me back to mid1947 when I started school in a small town, my birth place, named Shamsabad, situated in-between the city of Farrukhabad and the famous Pathan settlement, Kaimgunj, India. The local school consisted of mud walls and a thatched roof and provided education only up to 8th class. For further education one had to move to other cities. Shamsabad comprised more than a dozen communities, was separated by orchards of mangoes, guava and oranges. There was an abundance of giant tamarind trees that provided shade in hot summer months. After blistering heat, the long awaited monsoon rains brought happiness to the faces of the people and suddenly the whole landscape would change. The sight of rain-washed trees and a carpet of fresh green grass laid as far as the eye could see are still vivid in my memory. The Pathans, the ethnic community to which my family belonged, migrated from nearby Kaimgunj. Especially notable was the community of Syeds, who arrived from Iran in the eighteenth century. They lived in a brick-walled community, called Godam. Its huge gate had a brass gong and a gate keeper who struck it on the hour -- twenty-four hours a day -- using a hammer. In the stillness of night, the sound reverberated and was audible in all localities. In Shamsabad, there was a sizeable Hindu population, which lived in complete harmony with Muslims, each community showing regard for the other. Long ago, the Ganges flowed on the northern periphery of the town, but it shifted course and now flows about 5 km away. The fertile soil left behind by the river is responsible for the famous water melons and cantaloupes of Shamsabad, much liked for their taste and texture. Historically, Shamsabad, an ancient settlement once named Khor, was ruled by

n By Frankie Martin Ibn Khaldun Chair Research Fellow American University’s School of International Service Washington, DC

a Hindu Raja. Later, Sultan Shamsuddin Altamash conquered it and renamed it Shamsabad. Altamash, the third ruler of the Mamluk dynasty of Turkish origin, was originally a slave of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Aibak, but had become very close to the king. In the year 1211, he deposed the successor of Sultan Aibak, Aram Shah, and became Sultan himself. He was very courageous and conquered many smaller states and annexed them to his empire. How Shamsabad was conquered is an interesting story, which is not referred to in any history books. It was passed on from elders of the family to their children. In order to conquer Khor, the army of Sultan Altamash needed to cross the Ganges, but the fierce resistance put up by the Raja’s army repulsed his attacks. According to a legend, one evening a storm struck the area and most of the tents of the army were blown away. The Sultan took a round of the area to assess the condition of his army and found most of the tents destroyed, except one in which one of his soldiers was offering prayers. He asked him, “Why, despite having such pious soldiers as you, we are unable to defeat the enemy?” The soldier answered that a saint, Azizullah Makki, lived on the other side of the river, and if the Sultan crossed the

river in the stillness of night and met him, he might be of help. Altamash followed the soldier’s advice and met the pious man. The saint advised him to collect a herd of cows, tie cloth round their horns, sprinkle oil on the cloth and ignite it -- and let the cows cross the river followed by his army. Since Hindus have great respect for cows, they would not fire arrows on them. The Sultan came back and followed the instructions. The soldiers of the Raja, seeing the cows with flames on their horns, thought that they were angry with them and ran away and so the battle was won. Altamash built a mosque for the saint in Shamsabad.. Every year, people used to gather around his grave, food was distributed to the poor and devotional songs, qwwalis, were recited throughout the night. A nostalgic glimpse into the pace of life led in small towns like ours in the mid-1940’s may be both amusing and perhaps educational for the younger generation. Facilities like electricity, telephone, newspapers were nonexistent and the news was often brought back by people travelling to nearby cities for different purposes. The kerosene oil lamps to light the streets were lighted regularly by staff of the municipal corporation, irrespective of weather conditions. During the British rule,

Discovering America

A

s I sat in the American University class ‘Dialogue or Clash of Civilizations’ taught by Akbar Ahmed, American University’s Chair of Islamic Studies, little did I know that four years later I would be completing and starring in a major motion picture.

The film is the result of an unprecedented nine-month trip across the United States headed by Professor Akbar Ahmed. Unlike other studies that rely on poll data and phone conversations, here our team visited over 75 cities and over 100 mosques and met Muslims in their homes. The trip stemmed from a previous trip we took to the Muslim world for the book Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization in which our team journeyed to nine countries and met the whole range of society from students to politicians like former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and the late Benazir Bhutto. In every country that we visited, the idea that Americans harbored negative opinions of Muslims was named as the “number one threat to the Muslim world” in surveys we distributed. We undertook this project in part to address this question and see what Americans really thought of Muslims. We also wanted to see how Muslims were living in America and how they were fitting in. The project began as a study of American Muslims but we soon realized we were looking

at something bigger. In our travels some people told us that Muslims could not be American. This brings up the definition of “Americanness” itself. What does it mean to be an Ameri-

be surprised to discover, such as the 70,000 Bosnians in St. Louis or Houston’s 40,000 Nigerian Muslims. In Miami, we spent an afternoon with Cuban Muslims and in Los Angeles,

Many Muslims actually told us that America was the “best place to be a Muslim” because of the religious freedom afforded in America is nonexistent in many Muslim countries can anyway? We asked this question to everyone we met, Muslim and non-Muslim. We asked scholars like Hamza Yusuf and Noam Chomsky and politicians like Jesse Jackson and Missouri’s former governor Bob Holden. We asked people on inner city street corners and corporate boardrooms; on Indian reservations and affluent suburbs. We met every kind of Muslim and visited communities that most Americans would

Cambodian Muslims. Many Muslims actually told us that America was the “best place to be a Muslim” because of the religious freedom afforded in America is nonexistent in many Muslim countries. In Arab, Alabama one of our team members, Hailey Woldt, dressed in a full body abaya to gauge the response of locals with surprising results. In New Orleans we spoke with Mardi Gras revelers and in Grand Island, Nebraska interviewed Somalis who were fired for de-

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a railway network was laid in India but, due to some strange reason, the railway station of Shamsabad was located some 6 miles away from the town. So, the usual mode of travel to and from the railway station was horsedriven carts. A popular method of transport in my days was what was locally called chopaiyah, meaning four-wheeler. It resembled a large animal cage with two small wheels in the front and two disproportionally large wheels at the back, pulled by a camel. The passengers would embark on the vehicle after Isha prayers, attired according to the weather conditions, with their sheesha for smoking and equipped with books like Rubayat Omar Khyam, Qissa gul bakaoli Musnavi Maulana Rome for reading. The distance of 12 miles to the nearest city took nearly the whole night to cover. The rattling noise of the cart combined with the sound of bells tied to the neck of the camel would announce unmistakably the arrival and departure of this vehicle. Sometime later, a bus, locally called motor or lorry, was introduced to travel to the city. In the absence of a self-starting mechanism, the bus was started by introducing an iron handle into an orifice in the front of the engine. A man with strong muscle power would swing it in a semicircular motion. His strength and the prayers of the passengers would usually start the engine. The Second World War had ended and the British had decides to grant freedom to India. Much was happening on the political scene. Therefore news was eagerly sought by everyone. In the absence of modern telecommunication systems, radios, possessed by very few, were the only source of news. It was an amusing sight to see people getting ready to go to the house where a radio set might be available to listen to news. The drawback with these radios was that short-wave reception was poor and the sound used to fade in and out during the broadcast. Life in those days was simple and people often formed close bonds with one another, ready to share troubles as well as happy moments. Mental tension was minimal, so were psychological and stress-related diseases. Yes, people did not have many material goods, but they enjoyed a greater sense of contentment. (The writer is a former director of the publications division of Pakistan Council of Scienmanding time to pray during the holy month of Ramadan. We saw another side of a Las Vegas meeting with an African American imam struggling to feed the homeless and discussed Islam with rural people in the coal mountains of West Virginia. We heard horrifying stories of violence and detention from Muslims caught in post9/11 dragnets but also stories of hope, optimism, and inspiration. The result is a captivating portrait of the United States at a key moment in its history that should be seen by every American, Muslim or otherwise. Ideally, the US should have no problem with Muslims. Founding Fathers like Thomas Jefferson welcomed Muslims to the United States and Benjamin Franklin once expressed his desire to see the Mufti of Istanbul preach from a pulpit in Philadelphia. In our film Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota recounts his story of how he came to be sworn in on Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an, a powerful symbol of American pluralism. But the aftermath of 9/11 has meant that many Americans see Muslims as a dangerous threat. This perception can only be challenged by speaking to our neighbors and getting to know each other. We have tried to encourage this effort with our film. On July 4th we should think about what America means to all of us. Is America a country for White Protestants or people who act like White Protestants (which some people on our trip told us it was) or is it the inclusive society as envisioned by the Founding Fathers? It cannot be both. The US needs to rediscover the inclusiveness and moral courage of the Founding Fathers if it is to create a truly pluralistic society for all its citizens and lead the world in the 21st century.


OPINION PAKISTAN

SEPTEMBER27, 27,2013 2013- –PAKISTAN PAKISTANLINK LINK -–P11 P11 SEPTEMBER

Church bombings

PPP, MQM, PML-F United Against Talks With Taliban

FIA Team Arrives in Peshawar to Investigate Church Attack

Islamabad: A Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) team has arrived in Peshawar from Islamabad to start its investigation into the twin suicide blasts that killed more than 80 Christian worshippers.. The team will collect evidence from the blast site and inspect the church building and its surroundings. According to initial investigation, each of the bombers carried at least six kilogrammes of high explosives in his suicide vest. "Ball bearings were also used in the devices to maximise casualties," Additional AIG (Special Branch) and head of the Bomb Disposal Squad Shafqat Malik told The Express Tribune. "We found the skull of one bomber soon after the explosions, while the second head was found on the rooftop of the church," he added. Two attackers struck at the end of Sunday Mass at All Saints Church in Peshawar on September 22. The bombers entered the

church through the main gate which was reopened for the Sunday Mass after almost three years of closure. Police also found a 9mm pistol at the site which substantiated some witnesses' account that the attackers fired gunshots and lobbed a hand grenade to engage the police guards at the church. As the death toll from the blasts mounted to 83, the intensity of protests escalated - with the enormity of the tragedy sinking in more deeply into the national psyche. Enraged Christians took to the streets in several parts of the country - some protested peacefully, while others resorted to violence. Medics and government officials said that 78 parishioners, among them 34 women and seven children, were killed The K-P govt announced Rs500,000 in compensation to the families of victims in the attack.

PIA's Management Fights Back Privatisation

Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon enjoys a laugh with MQM MPAs during the assembly session.

Karachi: In a Sindh Assembly session recently, majority of the members of the provincial assembly (MPAs) demanded the federal government should revisit its policy of dialogue with the Taliban and start action against extremist elements without any delay. This decision came in the aftermath of the Sunday's barbaric suicide attacks on a church in Peshawar's Kohati gate area. The assembly also adopted a resolution unanimously condemning the attack and demanding the perpetrators be dealt with an iron hand and given exemplary punishment. In a joint resolution, lawmakers of the Pakistan Peoples' Party (PPP), the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) said, "In this hour of grief, we stand in solidarity with our fellow Pakistan Christian brethren and pledge to continue our fight against terrorism and work towards a progressive, peaceful Pakistan as envisioned by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah." Dr Mahesh Kumar Malani of the PPP, Arif Masih Bhatti of the MQM and Nusrat Seher Abbasi of the PMLF were among other movers of the resolution. The opposition leader in the

provincial assembly, MQM's Faisal Subzwari, while terming the dialogue with the extremists a vicious circle, said, "It is high time to stand up against these terrorists." He said Pakistan had a minority population of 22 per cent at the time of independence and this figure has now reduced to only three per cent because of the attacks on their lives and properties. "The wave of terrorism is not because of drone attacks, but these terrorists are operating to destabilise the country," he said. Senior Minister for education, PPP's Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, said, "A targeted operation has started in Karachi against the criminals, but the prime minister is still willing to give more time to terrorists. We should go beyond the process of dialogue," he added. Khuhro alleged that the PMLN leaders have a soft corner for the terrorists. "It is not possible for the PML-N led government to start an operation against terrorists as they had given the party a level-playing field in the last general elections." He was of the view that some people and parties were afraid of taking action against the Taliban. "I appreciate the members of this house who have talked against Mullah Umar and his people." Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon demanded the parties who had attended the all parties' con-

ference to revisit the decision of negotiating with Taliban, who, according to him, have broken a number of promises. "We have lost our leaders, including Benazir Bhutto, but some parties are using the terrorists in their favour," he lamented. Mehtab Akbar Rashdi of the PML-F suggested that all members in the house should avoid using the word "minority" for non-Muslims, adding that the ongoing war in the country could also affect the next generation. "We should devise a policy against these elements and implement the same rather than making hollow promises and speeches." 'PTI is misunderstood' While condemning the incident, PTI MPAs stressed the need to continue the process of dialogue. "These attacks have started in the wake of drone strikes in Pakistan, in which thousands of innocent people have been killed. The attack on the church is yet another conspiracy to derail the ongoing negotiation process," said PTI's Khurrum Sher Zaman. PTI's Dr Seema Zia was of the view that negotiation with the Taliban was the last warning to them. "Our party's viewpoint is being taken out of context. We are not supporting Jihadi elements, but we don't want to indulge in a civil war like situation in the country by starting bloodshed."

Reshuffle: Top Military Commanders Transferred Islamabad: In a major reshuffle before his retirement, Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, recently, approved several transfers and postings of some of the top military officials. According to the sources, Lieutenant Gen Naweed Zaman has been appointed as the corps commander, Lahore. He was serving as Military Secretary at General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi, and will now replace Lt Gen Maqsood Ahmed, who has been selected as Special Representative on International

Peacekeeping to the United Nations Secretary General, sources added. Replacing Gen Zaman at the GHQ will be Lt Gen Mazhar Jameel, who has been appointed as military secretary. He was serving as Commandant of the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA), Kakul. Lt Gen Khalid Asghar has been appointed as inspector general, communication and information technology. He belongs to army's Engineering Corps and headed the military's Operations Directorate. He has been instrumental in shap-

ing the armed forces' development strategy. Maj Gen Ahmad Hayat, who has recently been promoted, has been transferred to the InterServices Intelligence (ISI) where he will head the spy agency's analysis wing. Similarly, Maj Gen Javed Mehmood Bokhari has been made General Officer Commanding (GoC), Swat, replacing Maj Gen Sanaullah Niazi (Shaheed), who was killed in a roadside blast on September 15 on his return from the PakAfghan border.

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Islamabad: In what appears to be a last ditch effort to ward off privatisation, the management of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) recently unveiled a plan to add international flights to boost revenue and achieve breakeven within a year. PIA will add 16 weekly services to cities like Toronto, Manchester, Birmingham and Dubai as part of its initiative to use limited aircraft on profitable routes and rollback operations from loss-making destinations, PIA Managing Director Captain Junaid Yunus told a press conference. It has also decided to give a tough time to domestic competitors as it starts operating nine additional flights between Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore and Quetta from next month. Yunus, who remained composed throughout the press conference despite facing stringent questions, insisted PIA's main problem

tional 2,700 working on contractual basis. But the measure for the proposed turnaround of PIA comes at a time when the government has announced its intentions to privatise the national carrier. In a speech broadcast last week, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif described financially troubled stateowned enterprises including PIA as a drain on taxpayers' money. "I am not challenging the government's decision in any way," said Yunus, who was appointed last year. "All I am saying is that we realise that PIA cannot continue to eat up Rs3 billion a month from national exchequer and we are trying to fix that problem on our own." PIA has set a target to increase revenue by additional Rs1.5 billion from these additional flights. Out of the 38 aircraft in its fleet, it has 26 operational planes. Yunus said the engineering department has been able to make eight A-310 aircraft serviceable

PIA will add 16 weekly international services and nine domestic routes in pursuit to use limited aircraft on profitable routes and rollback operations from loss-making destinations

was lack of revenues. "The entire PIA problem is that of (lower) revenues. If we are able to shore up sales, then we will breakeven in a year," he said. "We needed aircraft for that and unfortunately there have been delays." About the high number of employees, he said salaries were not a substantial part of cost. "In the next five years, many of them will retire and we estimate the strength will reduce to 12,000 to 13,000." Currently, PIA has 16,600 employees on its payroll with addi-

while another one is being worked upon. "We have fought really hard for the aircraft. As a matter of fact, the highest number of tenders have been issued in my tenure," he said. In the last couple of months, the airline made nine attempts to lease aircraft that were all interrupted because of political or other reasons. "Nevertheless, we are going ahead with our plans to induct 14 aircrafts by 2014. The government has given us only Rs3 billion for this. We are talking with banks to raise the rest," said Yunus.


PAKISTAN PAKISTAN

P12-–PAKISTAN LINK–- SEPTEMBER SEPTEMBER 2013 P12 PAKISTAN LINK 27,27, 2013

PESHAWAR CHURCH BLASTS

Death toll spirals to 83 amid grief filled protests

Members of civil society light lamps during a peace vigil in Lahore.

Peshawar: As the death toll from the Peshawar church blasts mounted recently there was a visible escalation in the intensity of protests with the enormity of the tragedy sinking in more deeply into the national pysche. Some 24 hours after the blasts, some protested peacefully, while others resorted to violence - as the number of those killed in the twin blasts climbed to 83. The most violent protest was reported from Karachi where mobs of Christians and Muslims - clashed with each other for several hours in the Khulfa-e-Rashideen Colony, Korangi area. There were incidents of arson, in which one house was gutted while another was partially burnt. Aerial firing was also reported and one man was killed by a stray bullet. After five hours of rioting, Rangers and police personnel finally took around two dozen suspects into custody. Meanwhile, in Islamabad, more

than 600 protesters blocked a major city highway for several hours during the Monday morning rush hour, causing long tailbacks. In Peshawar itself, demonstrators took to the streets, smashing windows at the Lady Reading Hospital, where many of the victims were still being treated. New K-P IGP appointed In a key reshuffle, KhyberPakhtunkhwa IGP Ahsan Ghani was replaced by Nasir Khan Durrani, senior government officials informed The Express Tribune. "The decision was taken at the highest level," said one official. The appointment of the IGP is at the prime minister's discretion. Secretary Establishment Division Shahid Rashid also confirmed the appointment, "We issued the notification on Monday." Durrani was working as Punjab Counter Terrorism Department Additional Inspector General Police. Officials claimed that Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar recommended his name after K-P CM

Khattak sought Durrani, a reputed police officer. The relations between now former IGP Ghani and CM Khattak had been reportedly strenuous. However, Shiraz Paracha, CM Khattak's spokesperson, denied Ghani's removal had anything to do with the twin blasts. Meanwhile, an investigation team led by SSP Investigation Masoodur Rehman Khalil began the probe on Monday. The team visited the church, met with the injured and talked to the people of the Kohati area to record statements. The police recovered two pistols from the bomb site, a police official said. Contrary to initial information, the police found no evidence of the suicide bombers wearing police uniforms. "These are baseless rumours. According to our investigation, they were in plain clothes," he said. The heads of both the bombers were found and it would help the police in preparing sketches of the suicide bombers, he added.

Talking to Taliban is not For Us to Decide: High Priests

Karachi: Sitting side by side at the Holy Trinity Cathedral recently, the top prelates of the Church of Pakistan and the Catholic Church said it was up to the government whether to hold dialogue with the terrorists or to proceed with an operation. "This is a political question," Archbishop, Joseph Coutts responded to a question. He further said, "Being just two per cent of the population, we are not in a position to influence the government decisions but we have always been good followers and would support the government move." Bishop of Karachi Diocese, Sadiq Daniel, solemnly said, "I don't know or understand what should be done with whoever admits to these killings. The government knows better [how it intends to deal with them]." In a show of unity, the two Church leaders stated their opinions at a joint press conference to express solidarity with the victims of the Peshawar church bombings. Bishop Sadiq Daniel said that they do not understand why they were brutally attacked. "The bombing was so unexpected. We are peace-loving people and fail to understand the cause of this massacre." He said that everyone knows where the roots of militancy lie and party leaders would have to work together to eliminate terrorism. "As patriotic citizens we always wishing and covet peace and solidarity in the country," he said as he appealed for an inquiry into the suicide blasts. Bishop Sadiq Daniel asked that

all places of worship be given security and protection. "Masjids and Imambargahs have been attacked in the past and this time it was a church. We call for security at all religious places so that all the people could pray freely." The two prelates leaders said that they did not support rioting and rowdy protests based on violence. "Protests are a way to raise the voices of the oppressed. They should be organised in a peaceful and harmless manner." Father Emanuel Victor said that the Christian community has remained silent in the face of oppression, but that did not mean that they were 'deaf or dumb'. "We can do so much in retaliation but our Christian faith does not allow us to block roads, have a stagein and create difficulties for others." The hymns were sung and a oneminute silence observed at the gathering. Jamaat-e-Islami's Naimatullah Khan, Pakistan Peoples Party's Taj Haider and Bashir Jan of the Awami National Party were present at the congregation. Separately, Bishop Kaleem John of the Church of Pakistan's Hyderabad Diocese expressed support for the government decision to negotiate a peaceful settlement with the Taliban. "The decision of the All Parties' Conference provides a better roadmap for long-term peace. The security operations and other violent measures are not a solution," he said. Bishop John urged the people of his community to remain peaceful while they protest against the bombings and to pray for peace in Pakistan.

Catholic Archbishop of Karachi, Joseph Coutts.

Government Vows to 'Pursue' Masterminds

ISLAMABAD, Sept 23: Amid international outrage at the massacre of over 80 people in a suicide bombing at a church in Peshawar on Sunday, the government vowed in the National Assembly on Monday to "pursue" the masterminds of the act, before a mournful house too unanimously called for bringing the perpetrators to justice. But Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said in a speech to the house that due to lack of intercepts so far, he was unsure about the authenticity of a claim of responsibility for the attack made by a group called Junoodul Hafsa, a faction of the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP). However, he assured the house "what people are behind this (act), we will pursue them with full force of intelligence and security forces" and that God-willing they would meet an "exemplary" retribution. Besides condemnation of the attack by leaders of most parliamentary groups in the house, opposition leader Khursheed Shah assured the

government of full support of opposition parties in pursuing those responsible for the attack in the same way as they gave it a "mandate" in a Sept 9 "all-party conference" to initiate peace dialogue with "all stakeholders" in order to eliminate militant violence in the country. "Even also, all parties are ready to give the government a mandate that you decide, pursue them, and the opposition and 18 crore people of Pakistan will stand behind you," he said. But a question mark arose over the fate of the Sept 9 initiative after four Taliban-claimed attacks on security forces on Sept 15, one of which killed an army major-general, Sanauullah Khan Niazi, along with an accompanying lieutenant-colonel and a lance naik in the Upper Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and the Taliban put forth some difficult pre-conditions for talks such as a general amnesty for Taliban fighters, release of their prisoners and withdrawal of troops to their barracks in the militantinfested tribal belt.

While the last Sunday attack drew condemnation from Pope Francis as well as government leaders and ambassadors of several western nations, the National Assembly suspended its normal business for the day as part of a threeday national mourning, to discuss and adopt a joint resolution to condemn what it called a "heinous, brutal and inhuman terrorist attack", which it said was "an attack not only against the Christian community but against all Pakistanis". Earlier, on a suggestion from a lawmaker from Peshawar, Ghulam Ahmed Bilour of the opposition Awami National Party, members of the house and visitors in the galleries stood up to observe a minute's silence for mostly Christians among over 81 fatalities, which was followed by a Fateha prayer for Muslim casualties of the attack, which, according to the house resolution, wounded more than 137 people. Expressing solidarity with the Christian community, the resolution demanded that the federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial

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governments "take all necessary measures to safeguard the rights of non-Muslims as laid down in the Quran and Sunnah and provided in the constitution of Pakistan", provide the best medical facilities to the injured and security to all places of worship, particularly those belonging to non-Muslims, and "bring the perpetrators of these suicide attacks to justice". Chaudhry Nisar praised Christian community leaders in Peshawar for their patience and said he saw during his visit to the city on Sunday. He said the government would call a meeting of Christian community leaders from all over the country to discuss what he called a national policy to provide security to their institutions. He said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) was formulating its own plan and that "we would also like to involve" the Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan provincial governments to play a role in a federal-level security committee.


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SEPTEMBER27, 27, 2013 2013- –PAKISTAN PAKISTAN LINK LINK –- P13 P13 SEPTEMBER

IMRAN FAROOQ MURDER

London Police Extends Suspect's Bail

Imran Farooq. — File photo

Karachi: The bail of a man who was arrested by the London Metropolitan Police in the murder of former Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Dr Imran Farooq was extended. The 52-year old man, a British citizen of Pakistani origin, was arrested in June from London's

Heathrow Airport. The man had just arrived in Britain from Canada before the police arrested him. After his arrest, he was taken to a west London police station for questioning before being released on bail two days later which was to last until a date in September. The extension in his bail comes

days after the London police said that the slain politician's wish to launch a new political party before his death remained a key line of probe in the murder investigation. The MQM subsequently said the idea that Farooq was seeking to form a new political party was simply unimaginable. MQM leader Dr Imran Farooq, aged 50, was on his way home from work when he was attacked in Green Lane on Sept 16, 2010 outside his London home. A postmortem examination found that he died from multiple stab wounds and blunt trauma to the head. The 52-year-old man's was the first arrest carried out by London Police in relation to Farooq's killing and has so far been the most significant progress in the case in over a year. Farooq, one of the founding members of the MQM, then known as the Mohajir Qaumi Movement, had been living in self-imposed exile in London since 1999. The party later transformed into the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and became the fourth largest political force in parliament, and is the largest political party in Karachi.

Energy crisis

fragmentation of policy-level institutions was a major impediment in resolving the energy crisis in the country, he added. "Circular debt cannot be controlled by privatising the power sector." Sustainable Development

A senior IB official told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity that the amended rules did not allow employees to possess nationalities of other countries, and even quoted rules, claiming that even if one's spouse was a dual national, he or she could not serve the civilian intelligence unit. PPP lawmaker Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho had sought details of government officials holding citizenships of other countries. Though NA Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq deferred the question and answer session, The Express Tribune obtained details of government employees holding dual nationality.

NA told some 80 govt employees share nationalities of other countries.–File photo

Broad-Based Reforms Needed: Experts

Islamabad: During a discussion recently, experts termed bad governance a threat to the stability and security of the country, said a press release. In a panel discussion on "Energy Governance in Pakistan," they expressed concern over increasing inequality and the energy crisis and were of the view that social justice and pro-poor policies were mandatory for the country's progress. While suggesting the adoption of alternative models for the equitable use of national resources like gas, Member Energy of the Planning Commission Shahid Sattar said "The high subsidy on gas bills is a loss of national wealth and causes disparity and injustice." He added that as a part of a much-needed integrated energy policy, Nepra should be made responsible for the management of power sector instead of the Ministry for Water and Power. The

NAB, IB Officers Hold Dual Citizenship

Islamabad: In a rare disclosure, the government informed lawmakers recently that senior officers of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) are among the 80 government employees who possess dual nationality. IB Assistant Director Zafar Iqbal holds dual citizenship of Canada, a cabinet secretariat minister in charge informed the National Assembly (NA) in a written reply. The previous government headed by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) reinstated Zafar along with dozens of other IB employees under the Sacked Employees Act 2010.

Policy Institute (SDPI) Executive Director Dr Abid Qayum Suleri, while launching the fourth volume of the Sustainable Policy Economic Bulletin, said Pakistan's real problem depends on three E's energy, economy and extremism.

Pakistan's real problem depends on three E's - energy, economy and extremism, says SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid.

Gen Bukhari to Succeed Slain GOC

Islamabad: Maj Gen Javed Mahmood Bukhari, currently commander of the 8th Division in Sialkot, has been appointed the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 17th Infantry Division, which is operating in Swat, in place of Maj Gen Sanaullah Khan Niazi who was killed in a terrorist attack on Sept 15. Gen Bukhari, from the Corps of Engineers, had earlier served as the director general of the Frontier Works Organisation. The appointment came as part of a major reshuffle announced by the army. Addressing officers during his visit to the Division Headquarters in Swat over the weekend to pay his respects to the slain commander Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had said that the army would remain in the valley to preserve security gains made during a counter-militancy operation. Gen Bukhari's first task in his

new posting would be to raise the morale of his troops after the assassination of Gen Sanaullah in an improvised explosive device attack in which a colonel and a sepoy were also killed. He would also be expected to work for fulfilment of Gen Kayani's pledge of "bringing the perpetrators of the cowardly act of terrorism to justice". D.I. KHAN: In another important move, 40th Division (Dera Ismail Khan) GOC Maj Gen Ahmad Hayat was transferred to the Inter-Services Intelligence agency as head of the analysis wing. Gen Hayat replaces Maj Gen Sahibzada Isfandiyar Pataudi, who was superseded in promotions announced last week and is awaiting his next posting. Gen Hayat was the GOC in D.I. Khan when Taliban attacked the fortified jail in the town on July 29 and freed about 250 inmates despite intelligence alerts about the attack.

Milking the exchequer

AGP Catches 18 Senior Bureaucrats Illegally Availing Rs7.6mn Islamabad: In a shocking revelation, the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) has informed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that 18 top bureaucrats of the country, including top management of the finance ministry, illegally availed budget honorariums amounting to Rs7.6 million in 2011-12. These grade 21 and 22 officers, according to the latest audit report on the affairs of the finance ministry, availed honorariums of up to seven basic salaries in the financial year 2011-12. In 1996, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet had decided that a budget honorarium will be given to officers of Federal Board of Revenue, Planning and

Development Division and Ministry of Finance. The ECC had allowed honorarium only up to the level of grade 20 officers. According to the AGP office, in 2011-12 the ministry of finance had paid Rs120.1 million in honorarium, of which Rs7.6 million was paid to the officers of basic pay scale 21 and above, against the directives of the ECC. Further irregularities unearthed by the AGP office showed that all honorariums were paid without deduction of income tax. Apart from this, the two officers who availed this honorarium were not on the strength of the finance ministry either. Given these revelations of serious financial misdemeanour, the AGP has recommended

immediate recovery of tax payers' money from senior bureaucrats and recommended that responsibility should also be fixed against those who sanctioned the honorariums. The disclosure that the top economic managers of the country, who are entrusted to ensure prudent financial management, are themselves involved in financial impropriety has raised many questions, including whether these officers should be allowed to serve in these important posts. Prominent bureaucrats who availed budget honorariums include incumbent secretary finance Dr Waqar Masood, additional secretary finance (now OSD) Abdul Khaliq, additional secretary finance (now serving

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member Federal Board of Revenue) Aftab Anwar Baloch, senior joint secretary finance now secretary ministry of parliamentary affairs) Manzoor Ali Khan, economic advisor Ministry of Finance, Ejaz Wasti, additional secretary finance (now serving secretary ministry of national food security and research) Seerat Asghar, additional secretary finance (now additional secretary ministry of petroleum) Arshad Mirza, and additional secretary finance (now Managing Director Public Procurement Regulatory Authority) Nazrat Bashir. The two officers who were not serving on the strength of the ministry but availed honorariums nonetheless include Farah Ayub

Tarin, Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue and Raja Hassan Abbas, additional secretary of Establishment Division. In its written response to the AGP office, the finance ministry has taken the position that the ECC had approved honorarium of more than one basic pay to all officers of Finance Division, Planning and Development Division and Revenue Division. It has further maintained that the honorarium paid to the officers of grade 21 and above had the approval of the finance minister in his capacity as chairman ECC. The AGP has rejected the ministry's reply and maintained that it was in violation of the ECC decision.


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SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 – PAKISTAN LINK – P15

n By Salahuddin Haider Karachi, Pakistan

A

lthough the projected peace plan of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was severely jolted by successive incidents of the killing of two senior army officers, and suicide attack on Christian church in Peshawar this Sunday, a ray of hope still rests on Imran Khan to salvage the situation and save Pakistan from further damage.

The cricketer-turned politician, who after years of struggle, finally managed to form a government in the bordering province of Khyber Pukhtoonkhawa, is seen as a possible, and perhaps the sole savior because of his sympathy for the Taliban, the die-hard religious group, engaged in a do-or-die battle with the army in the northern tribal belt and many other areas of the country. The Taliban, though primarily from the Islamic teaching institutions of the scholarly politician, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, however, have changed drastically in their goals, attitudes and approaches, and are no more considered the baby of the radical right wing party of Jamiat-e-ulema-i-islam (JUI), which the Maulana has been heading for long time. They are divided now in over 60 different groups, each with their own philosophy and ideas about “Islamic fundamentalism”, and trying to gain supremacy over the other. That had already posed a major problem for the governments in Pakistan, who despite keen on negotiations with them, could not exactly pinpoint as who to pick up for proper response. Former military strongman General Musharraf, in control of the country for 9 years, came closer to breaking the ice twice, but found himself ditched by elements entering into peace treaties with him. Similar was the fate for Zardari, succeeding him after the 2008 elections, and now Nawaz Sharif adopted a better strategy to form a national consensus on the subject, but he too looked disillusioned by the Peshawar blast that killed 83, mostly Christians and wounding 145

Imran Seen As Key To Saving Pakistan Peace Plan

Whether Imran would accept that, to take upon himself the responsibility of bringing the gunwielding guerillas to negotiation table, appears pretty difficult at this stage. Nevertheless, he is the only hope the country can count on, for the present at least. others. His Information Minister Pervez Rashid tried to convince the people with optimistic remarks that peace attempts will remain unaffected by the tragedy striking the heart of the capital city of a province, considered most sensitive because of its being close to Afghanistan. But Nawaz was much more realistic in telling the media in London during stop-over on way to United Nations in New York that his administration, has been ”hampered from forging ahead with its

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peace plans “. A smaller Jundullah group of the Taliban has accepted responsibility of the twin attack, in which 34 women and 7 innocent children, lost their lives too. Prior to that a two-star General and a colonel had perished in the mine blast near Afghan border. The incident could have incited uneasiness in the army, but Kayani, heading the country’s land forces now, calmed them down, placing strong trust in the civilian authority’s ability to handle the issue. Now that a major disaster has stirred an uproar among minorities, and an obvious sympathetic wave in the form of violent agitation among overwhelming Muslim majority of the strife-torn State, the government woes naturally has enhanced manifold. Christians recently have thronged in large numbers in front of the provincial assembly of KPK, and mobs burnt tires and faced tear gas shells from the police in Karachi, to give rise to a situation which may assume dangerous proportions sooner than anticipated. In such a bleak backdrop, Imran looks the sole option, capable of influencing the Taliban who have reposed trust in him in the past. But the PTI chief ’s insistence on first, halting the US drone attacks in northern areas, will have to be softened. Whether Imran would accept that, to take upon himself the responsibility of bringing the gun-wielding guerillas to negotiation table, appears pretty difficult at this stage. Nevertheless, he is the only hope the country can count on, for the present at least. Maulana Fazlur Rehman, once the Taliban God father, has lost face after his party’s defeat in his home town of Dera Ismail Khan last week in by-elections to Imran’s Tehrik-i-Insaf nominee, and several other pathan religious leaders, with strong connections with these primitive looking soldiers in the former North-Western Province, may not even dare to approach them for peace with Pakistan government. Nawaz has a tough job at hand, for he had publicly committed to try all other options first before resorting to military operation to flush out the terrorists from his country. Prospects are currently dim, but even the remotest chance has to be availed.

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COMMUNITY

SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 – PAKISTAN LINK – P19

Community Link Friday, September 27, 2013

VOL. 23/39 PAGE 20

PAGE 30 egum PAGE

Anjuman Taraqi-EUrdu: An Evening with Basir Kazmi

18 Dhul Qa’da 1434 H

PAGE PAGE25 17

Flashback: The Queen and I

The Muslim World’s Answer to Thomas Jefferson

For news, updated round the

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Joint South Asian Eid Event Features Sudhir Narain’s Ghazal Performance

n By Ras H. Siddiqui San Francisco, CA

I

n a joint effort by San Francisco Bay Area Indians and Pakistanis, a late Eid event was held at the India Community Center facilities in Milpitas, California on Saturday, September 7th to the delight of approximately 300 people present. Eid-ul-Fitr or the end of Ramzaan actually fell on August 8th this year in most of the US, but it appears that the mood for celebration continues and the logistics of holding a special follow-up fell into place rather belatedly, bringing the local Aligarh Muslim University Alumni Association (AMUAA), the India Community Center (ICC) and the Pakistani American Culture Center (PACC) to jointly lift our spirits by inviting Ghazal singer Sudhir Narain all the way from Agra, India to perform here. The evening was special as the cuisine was Mughlai and the décor inspired by many flickering flames, enticing people from the Indian and Pakistani community (including some from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Fiji) to take a trip down memory lane of bygone Eids in their respective homelands. Event

emcee’s Sabahat Rafiq and Kamal Ahmed set the tone of what may well have technically been a “Basi” (old/ aged) Eid but still one fresh in terms of the tradition of bringing all south-Asians together at this event. Brief backgrounds of the AMUAA, ICC and the PACC the hosting organizations were also presented. Cultural preservation is indeed a tall order, as passing some of its values on to the next generation continues to be a challenge. An official Eid greeting from President Obama was included here at this event along with an explanation of the background of its religious aspects (for the non- Muslims in the audience). Local inter-faith luminary Iftekhar Hai took the podium to explain the importance and need for mutual respect and understanding between all faiths, and that our adopted country (U.S.) honors pluralism a recipe which continually contributes to its success. A short segment devoted to kids in the community brought some children to the stage to be recognized for their first Roza (fast) and others to show their best of Eid attire. The only thing missing was the Savaiin (sweet vermicelli) dessert to make things complete here!

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The entertainment segment featured Sudhir Narain accompanied by Surjeet Singh on tabla and Dhiren Singh playing keyboards. The Ghazal genre has lost two of its giants with the passing of Ustad Mehdi Hassan and Jagjit Singh Sahib. Sudhir Narain is cut from the same cloth although unlike the two masters he was not born in the state of Rajasthan. Sudhir started off with a call for spiritual unity with a divine number. But the legacy of Jagjit Singh and Mehdi Hassan dominated most of his amazing three hour nonstop performance as the organizers and listeners in the audience wanted little else. As a plus any night of Ghazal entertainment which starts off with the Urdu poetry of Ghalib and ends with Faiz Ahmed Faiz along with works of Ahmed Faraz and Bahadur Shah Zafar (and more) thrown in cannot be anything but mesmerizing, especially with Sudhir Narain singing. To conclude kudos to the three organizations who put this event together. Talat Hasan of the ICC, Shaheer and Nihal Khan of AMUAA and Asghar Aboobaker of the PACC along with their respective teams made sure here that the positive spirit of Eid continues to bring people together and overcomes boundaries.


COMMUNITY

P20 – PAKISTAN LINK – SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

An Evening With Basir Kazmi Arranged By Anjuman Taraqi-E-Urdu

n By Anwar Khawaja

A

Los Angeles, CA

njuman Tariqi-E-Urdu arranged an evening with famous poet Basir Kazmi at Shahnawaz Restaurant in Lakewood, Californai. Basir Kazmi who came from London, UK, is not only a very well known poet himself, but he is also the son of a very famous poet Late Nasir Kazami. Mrs Rehana Qamar, President of the Anjuman Taraqi-E-

Urdu had made very exquisite arrangements for this evening and the event was well attended by the fans of Urdu literature from near and far. Dr. Sabahat Asim Wasti, who came from Abu Dhabi and Zaheer Tashi, who came from San Francisco, presented papers on the poetic works of Basir Kazmi. Afterward a Mushara was held in which Basir Kazimi, Dr.Sabahat Asim Wasti, Zaheer Tashi, Sonia Khan, Wasi Hasan Naqash, Tabish Khanzada, Zaf-

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far Abbas and Rehana Qamar presented their poetry. At the end Consul General of Pakistan, Mr. Tasawar Khan welcomed the poet Basir Kazimi to Los Angeles. Consul of Pakistan, Dr. Khalid Ejaz, presented a portrait made by Zaffar Abbass of the poet Basir Kazami. The event was conducted by Zaffar Abbass of Urdu Times very well. The event that was enjoyed by all ended at midnight.


SPORTS SPORTS

SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 – PAKISTAN LINK – P21

Sethi Backs Under-Fire Misbah to Lead Against SA Next Month

LAHORE: Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq recently received full backing of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) caretaker chairman Najam Sethi to lead the team in the challenging series against South Africa, scheduled to begin in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Oct 14. Misbah, who despite his fine performances with the bat, has come under fire for losing a Test and a One-day International to the lowlyranked Zimbabwe in the recentlyconcluded series. The seasoned batsman, in his meeting with Sethi, expressed his deep concern over the scathing criticism from critics following the Zimbabwe tour. But Sethi, reposing full confidence in Misbah, asked him to prepare himself to lead the team in the upcoming series against South Africa. Sethi said the PCB does not believe his (Misbah's) performance played any negative role in the two defeats on the Zimbabwe tour and he should not worry too much about it. It may also be mentioned here that even the newly-appointed manager, former Test captain Moin Khan, in his report to the PCB has suggested that Misbah needs to bring some change in his attitude but he is other-

"I can't hold their bats to make them play sensibly all the time," Misbah was quoted as saying in his meeting with the PCB. -File photo

wise a fine captain. Sources said Misbah discussed the Zimbabwe series at length with the chairman and explained the reasons behind his long stay at the wicket at times during the Tests and insisted that he tried his best to motivate the players. "I can't hold their bats to make them play sensibly all the time but I feel that with me bat-

ting for longer hours and steering the team out of crisis, the rest of the batsmen should also get inspired to play longer innings," Misbah was quoted as saying in the meeting. He advised the chairman to consider in-form players for the South Africa series and to strictly select them on their performance at the domestic and international level.J

Umar Gul Raring for Return to Competitive Cricket

"I would love to play against them [South Africa], but it all depends how it all goes for me in the coming weeks."

KARACHI: Senior Pakistan fast bowler Umar Gul, who underwent knee surgery in Australia last May, announced recently he was ready to return to competitive cricket after a lapse of more than six months. The 29-year-old right-arm bowler was sent to Melbourne where Dr David Young, a renowned orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in sports injuries, performed an arthroscopy on the right knee after the cricketer limped out of the one-day series during the

South Africa tour. Consequently, Umar was ruled out of the ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales and the subsequent tours of the West Indies and Zimbabwe. In his enforced absence, Pakistan failed to progress beyond the preliminary round of the Champions Trophy where they lost all three games before winning both the Twenty20 and ODI series in the West Indies. But the national side had a mixed trip to Zimbabwe. Despite winning the Twenty20 and oneday series, Pakistan suffered a shock 24-run defeat in the second Test in Harare which enabled lowly-rated Zimbabweans share the two-match rubber. Since returning from Australia, Umar - the leading bowler in all Twenty20 Internationals with 74 wickets in 52 matches - had spent the best part of last seven weeks at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore. Under the guidance of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)'s team of Dr Sohail Saleem and trainers Yasir and Ashraf, Umar had been undergoing rehabilitation programme to regain complete fitness. "Thank God, everything appears to be settling down. The knee is fine with no signs of ill-effects from the surgery I had a few months ago. Over the past 15 days, I have started bowling in the nets as well." J

SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 - PAKISTAN LINK

Asad Rauf Charged in IPL Betting Scandal

MUMBAI: Pakistan umpire Asad Rauf and the son-in-law of the Indian cricket board's (BCCI) president were charged by Mumbai Police recently in a betting scandal surrounding the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament. Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of BCCI president N. Srinivasan, was arrested in May after being quizzed by police probing illegal betting on the Twenty20 league. A total of 22 people have been charged for gambling, cheating and fraud, the police said. "The chargesheet runs into 11,609 pages and was submitted in the honourable court this afternoon," Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of Mumbai Police, told reporters in Mumbai. The 57-year-old Rauf, who has officiated 48 tests and 98 one-day internationals, was removed from the Champions Trophy panel in May by the International Cricket Council following reports of his involvement in the scandal. He has maintained his innocence and called for proof regarding the allegations of corruption against him. The BCCI last week banned former India fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and another player for life on spot-fixing charges. BCCI chief Srinivasan has distanced himself from Meiyappan, who

was a top official with the IPL's Chennai franchise. "This is a matter for Mr Gurunath Meiyappan to deal with. If he is chargesheeted, the law will take it own course," Srinivasan told reporters in Chennai. "It is up to him to defend his position, it has got nothing to do with me." J

Iqbal, Akbar Crash Out of Snooker Ranking Event

KARACHI: Defending champion Asjad Iqbal suffered an agonising exit from the 3rd Jubilee Insurance Ranking Snooker Championship which ended his hopes of sealing a berth in Pakistan's squad for the upcoming IBSF World Championship. Iqbal was sent packing by world champion Mohammad Asif, who had been looking to avenge his defeat in the final of last year's championship. Asif was off to a bright start winning the opening frame, but Iqbal put up a fight in the second. However, Asif hit a break of 101 to seal the victory with game scores of 92-18, 4473, 69-66, 64-65, 55-47 and 10101(101). Player rankings at the end of this event will determine which top two cueists will accompany Asif to the

World Championship. Asif will now face top seed Imran Shehzad, who defeated Abu Saim 4-2, in the quarter-finals, while Muhammad Bilal will be up against Khurram Agha. Earlier, Bilal defeated Mohammad Majid 4-1 withscores of 71-01, 32-76, 61-32, 63-49 and 84-34, while Agha won in straightsets against Mohammad Javed, 1210(121), 125-0, 54-16 and 61-52. Amir Tariq also won 4-0 against Naveen Perwani. Mohammad Sajjad will lock horns with Abdul Sattar and Shahid Aftab will take on Amir Tariq. Sattar sent Humza Akbar packing as he won 4-0, while Sajjad rallied to a 4-3 victory against Shahid Aftab by game scores of 65-53, 85-22, 41-49, 12-69, 77-0, 21-67 and 63-44. J

Pakistan on Track to Qualify for 2022 World Cup: PFF Chief KARACHI: In June next year, football fans in Pakistan will be mulling over which team to root for at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. In another four years, when the football extravaganza will be held in Russia, fans here would be faced with the same dilemma. But Faisal Saleh Hayat is hopeful that fans of the beautiful game in the country would be supporting the Pakistan football team in the 2022 edition of the tournament which will be held in Qatar. The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) president believes that the national team's improved performances of late and the increasing appeal of the game in the country mean there is no reason to be pessimistic about Pakistan's chances of making it to world football's top table in nine year's time. "I'm fairly hopeful about our chances to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar," Faisal told Dawn in

Faisal believes the PFF's focus towards developing youngsters will be a contributing factor towards Pakistan's 2022 aspirations. -File photo

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a wide-ranging interview in which he also discussed the possibility of the event being shifted to winter. "The national team has made good progress and PFF's investment in youth has reaped its rewards." Faisal's disclosure comes despite Pakistan exiting the recently-held SAFF Championships in the group stage and the U-16 team failing to defend their SAFF U-16 Championship title last month. Pakistan slumped to 170th in the FIFA rankings following the SAFF Championship in Nepal but Faisal believes that the quality of football played by the national team has improved. "Sometimes you need luck on your side," Faisal said. "At the SAFF Championships, we lost by the slightest of margins. "We lost due to an own goal [in the 1-0 defeat] against India, conceded a late equaliser to Nepal [for a 1-1 draw] before beating Bangladesh [2-1] in the final game. J


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P22 – PAKISTAN LINK – SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

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COMMENTARY n By Akhtar Mahmud Faruqui

T

he formation of APMA - All Pakistan Male Association - with the avowed aim of supplementing APWA’ s efforts for a nobler cause could hardly pass as a non-event.

So as the husbands savored their first spasm of freedom, the begums lined up their forces to scuttle the fledgling Association. And in this subtle male-female confrontation came a fresh proof of Newton’s third law of motion every action has a reaction. “Bol kae lab azad haen terae,” came the emotional Faiz Ahmad Faiz exhortation from a peelay hath enthusiast at one of the begum gettogethers. Recalling school-day rhymes, the bewitching speaker poetically waxed eloquence: Trust no Future, however pleasant! Let the dead Past bury the dead! Act, act in the living Present! Heart within, and God overhead! “Bravo,” said a portly lady in the chair. “APMA is tragically on a regressive course . Haven’t man globally acted on Professor Higgin’s famous refrain in My Fair Lady,’ Why can’t a woman be more like a man?’ Fifty percent of prospective scientists in the Soviet Union are women and we make up forty percent of the US media corps. The superpower status of the two countries, Ladies, is a point to ponder!” As she continued, her buxom frame and charming affectations betrayed her background. She was a ‘bureaucrat begum.’ “When we courted marriage, my silly husband was almost a write-off. His promotion had been stalled. Papa had to lobby and I labored to rehabilitate him. He was then a pineapple of politeness. Perhaps he knew the way to kill a woman with kindness. It was roses, roses all the way. Now suddenly he has the audacity to colaunch APMA!” A young begum, ten years younger than her hubby, then chose to speak. With a tear in her

n By Dr S. Amjad Hussain

A

Toledo, Ohio

civil society depends on the generosity of its citizens for the support and strengthening of its basic fabric. Charitable giving adds to the beauty and durability of the warp and weft of this fabric.

Americans, considered the most generous people in the world, give away 240 billion dollars a year to charitable causes and a full 75% comes not from big corporations or foundations but from individual donors. About 86% of all American households share their blessings with others. America is not a monolith but a sum total of its numerous ethnic groups. Among this mosaic is a relatively small group, 500,000 by some conservative estimates, who lead the pack in charitable giving. They are the Pakistani-Americans. There is a general assumption that immigrants in general and recent arrivals in particular tend not to give as much or as often as the established ethnic groups. This as-

SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 – PAKISTAN LINK – P23

The Forgotten Role of the Middle Class - 2 eye, she applauded the marriage institution thus: “I am no feminine iconoclast but I do agree that marriage is a man-made hell on earth where all married women are damned to suffer.” The petite lady quoted from a women’s journal to portray her anguish. “My hubby unfortunately happens to be one of those cases which are beyond help, medically or magically. His disposition never improves though I have tried everything from distemper shots to pirs, fakirs…” She was pretty, pretty as Tahira Syed and every heart in the gathering appeared to share her grief. Her marriage had begun with a real coup de foudre but was now sadly perched on the rocks. Despite her husband’s joggared, jeaned, and hair-dyed outfit, the fatherly image persisted. And so did the mental blocks. The nonchalance was mutual. The beauty in distress was succeeded by a nouveau riche begum who prided on transforming a ‘nobody’ into a ‘somebody.’ Regretfully, her husband continued to remain a great disappointment and passed his time in ignoble sloth. Every morning, he would lounge around unshaved after a leisurely breakfast or listlessly tinker with the car. He faithfully avoided the ‘right’ circles and little realized how parties lubricate business. To her repeated supplications, he had one stolid reply: “If thou must love me, let it be for naught. Except for love’s sake only.” Next, it was the turn of the social worker begum to bemoan her weary lot. “My husband is a recluse. He is little known, save as my soul-mate. Yet he jealously disowns this identity and claims himself a ‘have been.’ You see so many of such have-beens in the US. He has no exalted opinion of my strivings to usher a social change but excels in the role of a hermit. Despite this decided setback, I stick to my task, clinging steadfastly to Burke’s inspirational wisdom: “He

that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.” “Bravo,” interjected the lady in the chair. It was now the turn of the working begum to inspire the gathering. “I am an absolute drudge with an eighteen-hour working day, a double-shift performer so to say. The office boss has his own eccentricities and so has Mian Sahib. No respite, no rest. And then I have to put up with the children’s precocious prattle. Two checks on the first are some consolation. I wonder who really is the weaker sex.” “Aren’t you the editor of the local paper?” asked the bureaucrat begum in the chair. The answer was in the affirmative. “Have you seen this piece by one of your male colleagues?” The title appeared tantalizing. ‘Begums of the world unite!’ “The call is noble but the contents are slanderous,” so saying the weather-beaten charming shedragon went on to read the article’s contents: “…seriously, begums in Pakistan, whether the wives of senior and military officers or of political personalities in power, are inclined to think of themselves as national housewives , ordering people

about, enjoying official facilities, treating their husbands’ PA as their own, and generally making a nuisance of themselves. Administration experts say that more than half the corruption in the country owes itself to their demands and whims. This may be an exaggeration but I can name half a dozen members of the defunct CSP who lost their jobs because of their wives…” “Outrageous. Many more than six CSPs have lost their jobs,” fumed Her Domestic Majesty. “Why blame the journalists alone,” interjected a professor of literature. “Even dramatists, poets and writers will have to own this impeachment. Shakespeare had the audacity to claim ‘Woman, Thy name is frailty!’ Monstrous words. I wonder what prompted Shaw to resolve to ‘dig him up and throw stones at him.’ With our unmistakable gains will someone now seriously attempt writing ‘Taming of the Sahib’? We have seen how well men act as qabachas .” Haseena (Moin) could be asked. Her characters are so entrancing!” approvingly observed the portly lady in the chair as a radiant smile played on her lips. She asked the next begum to narrate her woes. “My husband used to be a plucky, chirpy char-

Who Says Pakistanis Are a Cheap Bunch sumption also considers Pakistanis as more clannish, more inward looking and thus not inclined to share their money with others in the society. Not true, says Professor Adil Najam, the director of Pardee Center for the Study of Long Range Future at Boston University. Professor Najam shared the 2007 Nobel Prize for Peace with Mr. Al Gore and the scientists who served on Mr. Gore’s International Climate Council. Recently Dr. Najam discussed the findings of an extensive survey of Pakistani expatriates in the US that was published in his 2006 book Portrait Of A Giving Community: Philanthropy by the PakistaniAmerican Diaspora (Published by Global Equity Institute of the Asia Center at Harvard University). Taking the colors and hues from the pallet of his methodical and extensive research Professor Najam paints a flattering picture of Pakistanis in America. There are approximately halfmillion Pakistanis in America who

give away 250 million dollars in cash and kind every year in charity. In addition they contribute more than 43 million hours of volunteer work which, when translated in monetary terms, come to $750 million making the total giving at an impressive $1 billion. Forty percent this giving goes to charities in Pakistan and an additional 20% to Pakistani causes in this country. Forty percent is donated to causes that have no connection with Pakistan. In the post 9/11 climate while support of causes in Pakistan have declined due to fear of sending money abroad and a relative lack of clarity about restrictions on foreign remittances. The most striking findings however is that Pakistani Americans give 3.5% of estimated household income to charity whereas the national average in America is 3.1%. And yet, the researchers found, Pakistani Americans suffer from what Dr. Najam calls a misplaced sense of philanthropic infe-

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riority. Some how Pakistanis believe that they do not give as much as some other ethnic communities in America. They also think that people living in Pakistan give proportionally more to charities than they do. The study also found some interesting idiosyncrasies. Most Pakistanis giving, for example, has a faith-based motivation. Pakistanis tend to give to individuals in need rather than to charitable organizations. This, in part is, the result of their general distrust of charitable organizations here in the US but particularly in Pakistan. Though they do appreciate and trust faith-based charitable organizations they still prefer to give to individuals and not to organizations. They just have no confidence in Pakistani government or the myriad Non Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) to use their donated money wisely and prudently. It is a shame that because of

acter but ever since he came to the States (US) he has transformed into a dullard. He has long spells of abstraction and sits oblivious to everything that happens or passes around him.” “Good for you,” commented the lady in the chair. “No, a wife needs her husband’s attention as much as daily shopping at Macy’s and JCPenney,” the speaker explained. “We lived in a posh locality in Karachi but there was no electricity, no water. I believe he misses Pakistan. There are no blackouts and the water keeps running in the tap. He would probably be at home here if we went without water and power. ‘ Ab to yahain marna hae ,’ he often says as if coming to the US to DIE was the sole purpose of his pilgrimage to this country.” Meanwhile, the scheming husbands got air of the proceedings and were visibly alarmed. Reformation, nay, retribution at home again! They couldn’t add to the pleasing punishment that men so willingly endure. So a few APMA enthusiasts agreed to approach the begums in a peaceable way. “Disband APMA,” came the peremptory demand as the begums appeared in no mood to be jested with. Could APMA serve as an appellant group for erring husbands only? “No, not certainly. APWA will act to tackle your problems if you try not to take a tiff,” said the bureaucrat begum. As the harried hubbies feigned forced courage the shrewish begum observed: “Just to settle your nerves let me quote a piece from the Holy Qur’an: Men shall have the benefits of what they achieve and acquire and women shall have the benefit of that which they similarly achieve and acquire.” Religion has been an encouragement rather than an impediment to independent enquiry. As she pontificated, her enfeebled monarch stood beside her like a pet poodle. He had been superseded during the brief estrangement! It was time for the benevolent protectress to act. afaruqui@pakistanlink. com, editor@pakistanlink.com historic distrust of the government and NGO’s, Pakistani Americans are not helping institution building in their native land. Giving to individuals and families in need is a commendable trait that is gratifying in short term. One can see the results immediately and in real time. But future directions of a country or people are set not by feeding a hungry person but by building and nurturing institutions. I met Dr. Adil Najam last week in Detroit where he spoke at a fund-raiser for Human Development Foundation. The Foundation, based in Chicago, works in Pakistan to ameliorate poverty by improving literacy, providing micro credit, vocational training for women etc in rural and so-called backward areas of the country. In one evening the group, true to Dr. Najam’s research, raised $250,000. Philanthropy is an attitude that is not dependent on the amount of wealth one has. People give because they want to spread the blessings around for the greater good of the society and humanity. .


COMMENTARY

P24 – PAKISTAN LINK – SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

When a US President Was a Friend not Master... n By Ghazala Akbar

A

London, England

s Pakistan’s ‘battered wife’ relationship to the US recovers and improves from an all-time low, members of the Ghairat Brigades, serial effigy-burners and armchair theorists –- convinced of a Hindu– Zionist conspiracy and a perennial anti - Muslim bias of US policy should make an exception of at least one US President: Richard M. Nixon. He may have bugged his opponents, he may have been ‘tricky Dick,’ but when it came to backing Pakistan in 1971, Nixon was truly masterful. A record of telephonic conversations in the dark days of December 1971, between the President and his chief mastermind, Henry Kissinger, reveal just how intensely the duo were prepared to battle for Pakistan. Geo-political considerations of the Cold War, a personal liking for General Yahya Khan, (‘agood friend’) an intense dislike for Mrs. Indira Gandhi (‘Old witch’) were some of the factors that shaped their views during the War for Bangladesh in 1971. Pakistanis were ‘straightforward and sometimes extremely stupid’, Indians were ‘more devious...sometimes so smart that we fall for their line.’ Intriguingly, the conversations also reveal the possibility of an ‘Intelligence Mole’ in the Indian Cabinet! After details of the bloody crackdown in East Pakistan had filtered to the outside world, there was worldwide sympathy for the Bengali cause. When War broke out, Nixon’s unqualified support for Yahya was at complete variance with the official US stance of neutrality, arms ban, pro-Indian views of the bureaucracy, the State Department, Liberal politicians and the American media. He took them all on. In the final analysis, behindthe-scene orchestrations by the Nixon-Kissinger duo had no bearing on the outcome on the ground realities of the War in East Pakistan. It was a losing battle from the very beginning. Arguably Nixon’s ministrations prevented Pakistan from further dismemberment, denied India an opportunity for making any meaningful gains in Kashmir and forcing a settlement. However, it is now acknowledged that US policy towards Pakistan and China did have an impact on India’s decision to conduct a Nuclear Test in 1974. What is commendable is that the United States of America and other Western democracies periodically de-classify archival material -- albeit selectively – but even -- if some of the material is sometimes politically embarrassing. It is better to face up to history than sweep it under the carpet. If only the other players, Russia, India, China and Pakistan were equally forthcoming. Until we have all the facts, this is only a partial picture of the events of 1971. Here is a selective transcript

of three telephonic conversations between President Nixon (P or RN) and Kissinger (K or HAK)) on two significant days: 4th December1971, a day after all out war broke out on the western front between India and Pakistan. The second conversation takes place on 16 th December 1971, the day Pakistani forces surrendered in the East. The Telecons were summarized by General Alexander Haig and sent to Henry Kissinger in Jan 1972. The parts relating to Presidential authorization of arms shipments to Pakistan are underlined in the original copies. (Note. I have added the designations of

Press? K: I am getting with the Intelligence people at 11:00 and then getting Scali to put it out. P: Turn Scali loose and on knocking the silly thing Church said down. [John Scali, ForeignAffairs Adviser, formerly of ABC News, Senator Frank Church, member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee] K: We have an urgent appeal from Yahya. Says his military supplies have been cut off — in very bad shape. Would we help through Iran? P: Can we help? K: I think if we tell the Irani-

RN: Say, I want Scali to blame India. HAK: I’ll get Scali. RN: Let’s get some Public Relations out on them –put the blame on India. It will also take some blame off us. Our story about getting off militarily didn’t get much play. They will feel the economic one. We have got to help re-build Pakistan. RN: Sure -- major economic development for Pakistan in a month when the smoke clears. RN: The US cannot be responsible for maintaining peace everywhere in the world. We can use our influence, but may not al-

A record of telephonic conversations in the dark days of December 1971, between the President and his chief mastermind, Henry Kissinger, reveal just how intensely the duo were prepared to battle for Pakistan various persons in parenthesis 2. Blanks possibly denote expletives expunged from the original transcripts). Telecon 1: December 4, 1971 10: 50 AM P: How is the battle going today? K: On the matter we discussed last evening, how to handle getting it to the Security Council we followed your instructions and it turned out to be exactly right. It appealed to Bill [William Rodgers, Secretary of State] when he understood he would be way out in front again. P: On the announcement? K: Yes, we had agreed to the day’s line-up. Take it there about Noon. State will put it out an announcement and Bush will call the Council. P: Anything new on the fighting itself? K: It is getting clear the Indians are the attackers. P: Is that getting thru the

ans we will make it up to them, we can do it. P: If it is leaking, we can have it denied. Have it done one-step away. P: I like the idea...the main thing is to stop India from crumbling them up. K: Russians have replied to the letter. They thought there should be a political solution first. Inconclusive. They are having a good time. We have informed the Chinese last night, we will probably go to the Security Council. No problem with that. P: Good (Note: Page two of the original transcript now has initials as RN for Richard Nixon and HAK for Henry Kissinger) RN: Now what else? HAK: I think we should get off Letters of Credit worth 99M – that is underway. We should not be giving any economic aid to India. We gave 60% to economic development in India.

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ways be successful. US public will welcome that. HAK: We won’t get blamed. Walters [Barbara Walters TV Anchor] was in the other day and she asked me about India and Pakistan and I gave her some facts. She said why not put it out for God’s sake. I couldn’t get any of the bureaucrats. We will get it out Mr. President. RN: Meantime things will continue... HK: If war does continue, give aid via Iran. RN: Good at least Pakistan will be kept from being paralysed. HAK: The PR is the important thing. Scali, Bush. We will put in a Resolution asking for withdrawal and ceasefire. RN: How about Sanctioning? HAK: No before we get it — we won’t get it thru at all...the Soviets will veto it if it gets a majority. Now that Indians will occupy all Pakistan, we will see their real motives. If the East Banglas get (BLANK), if they think the

Pakistanis are brutal, wait till India gets them. India will push the Moslems into such a narrow area than they already have. HAK: For all those reasons, the Indians will not run like injured victims in six months. RN: Will the Press get the point – to talk as though the Indians are the aggressors. Call Sisco [Assistant Secretary of State forNear Eastern Affairs] to do the background and I expect to see it on the news summaries this evening. Telecon 12/4/71 12:15 PM RN: Upon studying these reports on Pakistan – the main thing that needs to be done is the PR side of it. As far as the White House, we are weaker than we should be. I want it to be a necessity to get Scali turned loose on whatever we are doing...what we have done and blame India. The ‘Libs’ can say we brought this on by the Arms support to Pakistan. That will be their argument. India will be doing PR to make Pakistan look like it caused it. Get the point? HK: Yes. RN: Be sure to give Scali full reign. He must understand it. HAK: I am setting out to do some background. RN: Let him be responsible. State [Department] should be pitching it. HAK: They are being evenhanded. They are more interested in how they look. RN: Well I understand. When they (blank) thought the Russians were responsible, they were loving it. The Indians are picking up on China’s faults. HAK: This is the worst setback for two weeks. We have known what is needed and couldn’t get it down. We should have (Blank, Blank) when they started two weeks ago. RN: Going from here, this couldn’t or can’t go on long. HAK: India is waging a fullscale war on East Pakistan. India will then be moving in on West Pakistan. RN: What other lines can we go—what about the Security Council? HAK: At the Security Council Indians and the Soviets are going to delay long enough so a Resolution cannot be passed. If it was, the Soviets will veto. The UN will be impotent. So the Security Council is just a paper exercise – it will get the Post and Times off our backs. And the Libs will be happy we turned it over to the UN. The damage won’t show up for a few years. At the moment we retrench around the world, this proves that countries can get away with brutality. Page 4 of transcript K: But not You, Mr. President. P: No, but my point is we try everything we can, but we have to realise the Russians — we have to let them know our options. HK: Our options are limited. RN: Our options are limited but even then, we can’t deal with those Soviets and continue to talk about sales and other problems. HK: Our options are not all that good.


COMMENTARY

SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 – PAKISTAN LINK – P25

n By Akbar Ahmed

American University Washington, DC

You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship. . . . We are starting in the days when there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one state.”

These are the words of a founding father -- but not one of the founders that America will be celebrating this Fourth of July weekend. They were uttered by Mohammed Ali Jinnah, founder of the state of Pakistan in 1947 and the Muslim world’s answer to Thomas Jefferson. When Americans think of famous leaders from the Muslim world, many picture only those figures who have become archetypes of evil (such as Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden) or corruption (such as Hamid Karzai and Pervez Musharraf). Meanwhile, many in the Muslim world remember American leaders such as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, whom they regard as arrogant warriors against Islam, or Bill Clinton, whom they see as flawed and weak. Even President Obama, despite his rhetoric of outreach, has seen his standing plummet in Muslim nations. Blinded by anger, ignorance or mistrust, people on both sides see only what they wish to see, what they expect to see. Despite the continents, centuries and cultures separating them, Jefferson and Jinnah, the founding fathers of two nations born from revolution, can help break this impasse. In the years following Sept. 11, 2001, their worlds collided, but the things the two men share far outweigh that which divides them. Each founding father, inspired by his own traditions but also drawing from the other’s, concluded that society is best organized on principles of individual liberty, religious freedom and universal education. With their parallel lives, they offer a useful corrective to the misguided notion of a “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West. Jefferson is at the core of the American political ideal. As one biographer wrote, “If Jefferson was wrong, America is wrong. If

The Muslim World’s Answer to Thomas Jefferson

America is right, Jefferson was right.” Similarly, Jinnah is Pakistan. For most Pakistanis, he is “The Modern Moses,” as one biography of him is titled. The two were born subjects of the British Empire, yet both led successful revolts against the British and made indelible contributions to the identities of their young nations. Jefferson’s drafting of the Declaration of Independence makes him the preeminent interpreter of the American vision; Jinnah’s first speeches to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan in 1947, from which his statement on freedom of religion is drawn, are equally memorable and eloquent testimonies. As lawyers first and foremost, Jefferson and Jinnah revered the

rule of law and the guarantee of key citizens’ rights, embodied in the founding documents they shaped, reflecting the finest of human reason. Particularly revealing is the overlap in the two men’s intellectual influences. Jefferson’s ideas flowed from the European Enlightenment, and he was inspired by Aristotle and Plato. But he also owned a copy of the Qur’an, with which he taught himself Arabic, and he hosted the first White House iftar, the meal that breaks the daily fast during the Muslim holy days of Ramadan. And while Jinnah looked to the origins of Islam for political inspiration -- for him, Islam above all emphasized compassion, justice

and tolerance -- he was steeped in European thought. He studied law in London, admired Prime Minister William Gladstone and Abraham Lincoln, and led the creation of Pakistan without advocating violence of any kind. No one in public life is free of controversy, of course, not even a founding father. Both were involved in personal relationships that would later raise eyebrows (Jefferson with his slave mistress, Jinnah with a bride half his age). In political life, the two suffered accusations of inconsistency: Jefferson for not being robust in defending Virginia from an invading British fleet with Benedict Arnold in command; Jinnah for abandoning his role as ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity and becoming the champion of Pakistan. The controversies did not end with their deaths. Jefferson’s views on the separation of church and state generated animosity in his own time and as recently as this year, when the Texas Board of Education dropped him from a list of notable political thinkers. Meanwhile, hard-line Islamic groups have long condemned Jinnah as a kafir, or nonbeliever; “Jinnah Defies Allah” was the subtitle of an exposé in the December 1996 issue of the London magazine Khilafah, a publication of the Hizb ut-Tahrir, one of Britain’s leading Muslim radical groups. (Jinnah’s sin, according to the author, was his insistence that Islam stood for democracy and supported women’s and minority rights.) But today such opinions are marginal ones, and the founders’ many contributions are commemorated with must-see national monuments -- the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, Jinnah’s mausoleum in Karachi -- that affirm their standing as national heroes. If anything, it is Jefferson and Jinnah who might be critical. If they could contemplate their respective nations today, they would share distress over the acceptance of torture and suspension of certain civil liberties in the former; and the collapse of law and order, resurgence of religious intolerance and widespread corruption in the latter. Their visions are more relevant than ever as a challenge and inspiration for their compatriots and admirers in both nations. Jefferson and Jinnah do not divide civilizations; they bridge them. (Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun chair of Islamic studies at American University’s School of International Service. This essay is adapted from his new book, “Journey Into America: The Challenge of Islam)

Of Hazrat Aisha’s Age at Marriage By Nilofar Ahmed It is said that Hazrat Aisha was six years old when her nikah was performed with Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Makkah, and nine years old when she moved in to live with her husband in Madina after Hijra. This piece of misinformation has led to the wrong view that child marriage has the sanction of Islam. It must be noted that establishing the authenticity of hadiths, the narrators’ circumstances and the conditions at that time have to be correlated with historical facts. There is only one hadith by Hisham which suggests the age of Hazrat Aisha as being nine when she came to live with her husband. Many authentic hadiths also show that Hisham’s narration is incongruous with several historical facts about the Prophet’s life, on which there is consensus. With reference to scholars such as Umar Ahmed Usmani, Hakim Niaz Ahmed and Habibur Rehman Kandhulvi, I would like to present some arguments in favor of the fact that Hazrat Aisha was at least 18 years old when her nikah was

performed and at least 21 when she moved into the Prophet’s house to live with him. According to Umar Ahmed Usmani, in Surah Al-Nisa, it is said that the guardian of the orphans should keep testing them, until they reach the age of marriage, before returning their property (4:6). From this scholars have concluded that the Quran sets a minimum age of marriage which is at least puberty. Since the approval of the girl has a legal standing, she cannot be a minor. Hisham bin Urwah is the main narrator of this hadith. His life is divided into two periods: in 131A.H. the Madani period ended, and the Iraqi period started, when Hisham was 71 years old. Hafiz Zehbi has spoken about Hisham’s loss of memory in his later period. His students in Madina, Imam Malik and Imam Abu Hanifah, do not mention this hadith. Imam Malik and the people of Madina criticized him for his Iraqi hadiths. All the narrators of this hadith are Iraqis who had heard it from Hisham. Allama Kandhulvi says that the words spoken in connection with Hazrat Aisha’s age were tissa ashara, meaning 19, when Hisham

only heard (or remembered), tissa, meaning nine. Maulana Usmani thinks this change was purposely and maliciously made later. Historian Ibn Ishaq in his Sirat Rasul Allah has given a list of the people who accepted Islam in the first year of the proclamation of Islam, in which Hazrat Aisha’s name is mentioned as Abu Bakr’s “little daughter Aisha”. If we accept Hisham’s calculations, she was not even born at that time. Some time after the death of the Prophet’s first wife, Hazrat Khadija, Khawla suggested to the Prophet that he get married again, to a bikrun, referring to Hazrat Aisha (Musnad Ahmed). In Arabic bikrun is used for an unmarried girl who has crossed the age of puberty and is of marriageable age. The word cannot be used for a six-year-old girl. Some scholars think that Hazrat Aisha was married off so early because in Arabia girls mature at an early age. But this was not a common custom of the Arabs at that time. According to Allama Kandhulvi, there is no such case on record either before or after Islam. Neither has this ever been promoted as a Sunnah of the Prophet. The Prophet married

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off his daughters Fatima at 21 and Ruquiyya at 23. Besides, Hazrat Abu Bakr, Aisha’s father, married off his eldest daughter Asma at the age of 26. Hazrat Aisha narrates that she was present on the battlefield at the Battle of Badar (Muslim). This leads one to conclude that Hazrat Aisha moved into the Prophet’s house in 1 A.H. But a nine-year-old could not have been taken on a rough and risky military mission. In 2 A.H, the Prophet refused to take boys of less than 15 years of age to the battle of Uhud. Would he have allowed a 10-year-old girl to accompany him? But Anas reported that he saw Aisha and Umme Sulaim carrying goatskins full of water and serving it to the soldiers (Bukhari). Umme Sulaim and Umme Ammara, the other women present at Uhud, were both strong, mature women whose duties were the lifting of the dead and injured, treating their wounds, carrying water in heavy goatskins, supplying ammunition and even taking up the sword. Hazrat Aisha used the kunniat, the title derived from the name of a child, of Umme Abdullah after her nephew and adopted son.

If she was six when her nikah was performed, she would have been only eight years his senior, hardly making him eligible for adoption. Also, a little girl could not have given up on ever having her own child and used an adopted child’s name for her kunniat. Hazrat Aisha’s nephew Urwah once remarked that he was not surprised about her amazing knowledge of Islamic law, poetry and history because she was the wife of the Prophet and the daughter of Abu Bakr. If she was eight when her father migrated, when did she learn poetry and history from him? There is consensus that Hazrat Aisha was 10 years younger than her elder sister Asma, whose age at the time of the hijrah, or migration to Madina, was about 28. It can be concluded that Hazrat Aisha was about 18 years old at migration. On her moving to the Prophet’s house, she was a young woman at 21. Hisham is the single narrator of the hadith whose authenticity is challenged, for it does not correlate with the many historical facts of the time. (The writer is a scholar of the Qur’an and writes on contemporary issues. Dawn)


COMMENTARY

P26 – PAKISTAN LINK – SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Roth IRA Conversions Open the Door for All Income Levels n By Saghir Aslam Irvine, CA

(The following information is provided solely to educate the Muslim community about investing and financial planning. It is hoped that the ummah will benefit from this effort through greater financial empowerment, enabling the community to live in security and dignity and fulfill their religious and moral obligations towards charitable activities) The Roth IRA, originally established as an attractive retirement savings vehicle for middle-income Americans, has been out of reach to high-income earners until now. But under a new provision beginning in 2010, investors can convert retirement plans and IRAs to Roth IRAs. This means that even high earners who convert to Roth IRAs will benefit from the tax-free withdrawal benefits the Roth IRA offers. For the first time beginning January 1, 2010, people earning a modified adjusted gross income over $100,000 will be able to convert any amount of their traditional IRA assets to Roth IRAs. Investors in Roth IRAs pay income tax on the money they invest now and withdraw it tax-free in the future -- the reverse of the traditional IRA structure. Those who convert will also be able to spread those upfront tax payments over two years. For all these reasons, Roth IRAs should definitely find their way back into affluent investors’ toolkits.

There is ample reason to consider a Roth conversion and to discuss this notion with your own tax advisor[1]. Roth IRA presents certain advantages to eligible investors. The Roth affords eligible investors tax-free withdrawals, tax-free growth, no minimum distribution requirements and estate planning benefits. Instead of claiming a tax deduction from current income in the year you contribute, a Roth IRA offers tax-free withdrawals on the back end, as long as you meet certain requirements. It is important to understand what these changes mean in your own financial situation: while the conversion from a traditional to a Roth IRA is open to anyone regardless of income or filing status, new contributions continue to be capped by income for those who make direct contributions. The income threshold for a full contribution for 2009 is $105,000 for single persons and $166,000 for married persons filing jointly. For a reduced contribution, the income threshold is $120,000 and $176,000, respectively; however, the benefits phase out at even lower income levels. Both traditional IRA and rollover

IRA assets are eligible for the Roth IRA conversion. A conversion creates taxable income for the year in which it takes place; however, in 2010, investors will be permitted to split the conversion tax amount over two years, 2011 and 2012. Unlike a traditional IRA that requires withdrawals beginning at age 701/2, funds may grow tax-deferred in the Roth IRA indefinitely or be withdrawn on your own schedule. Another attraction of the Roth conversion for affluent investors is that it can reduce the size of one’s taxable estate. The account can be kept intact and passed on to your heirs income tax free. There are many factors to think through before you convert an IRA to a Roth IRA or invest in a Roth, and investors are advised to consult with a financial advisor to evaluate this investment option. Work with your advisor to learn more and to take steps to take advantage of this opportunity in 2010. (Saghir A. Aslam only explains strategies and formulas that he has been using. He is merely providing information, and NO ADVICE is given. Mr. Aslam does not endorse or recommend any broker, brokerage firm, or any investment at all, or does he suggest that anyone will earn a profit when or if they purchase stocks, bonds or any other investments. All stocks or investment vehicles mentioned are for illustrative purposes only. Mr. Aslam is not an attorney, accountant, real estate broker, stockbroker, investment advisor, or certified financial planner. Mr. Aslam does not have anything for sale.)

No Turning back for the PPP n By Anwer Mooraj

A

Karachi, Pakistan

photograph of outgoing President Asif Ali Zardari on August 27 showed a smug, smiling, sated, satisfied man. On the same page was a news item that stated that the Muslim League government was going to play dominos by creating another debt by borrowing $12 billion to retire previous debts. Mr Zardari, who will be leaving his highly barricaded fortress on September 10, may believe he has done a good job, in spite of allowing the terrorists a free hand to strike at will. But he will be leaving behind him a questionable legacy, a trail of gross mismanagement, of controversy and unanswered questions. Recently, he unveiled his triptych of what he believed were singular triumphs. In my opinion, his only enduring achievement was ensuring that the PPP government, headed by him, successfully completed its five-year term. He may leave the presidency a satisfied man, but he will never be able to shake off the nickname of Mr 10 per cent, which he acquired during his wife’s first stint as prime minister, or the Swiss Bank scandal, which hangs like a millstone around his neck.

From time to time, the PPP came out with full page advertisements at the taxpayer’s expense, lauding its many achievements. It would, therefore, be grossly unfair to maintain that the party didn’t accomplish any worthwhile undertakings. In fact, though it was operating in what is probably the world’s most

misogynistic, testosterone fuelled male chauvinist society, the PPP did manage to push through certain reforms designed to treat women as

In my opinio¬n, Zardar¬i’s only enduri¬ng achiev¬ement was ensuri-ng PPP govt succes¬sfully comple¬ted its five-year term human beings rather than cattle to be bought and sold in the market place. This resulted in the establishment of a women’s bank run exclusively by women and also a police station manned exclusively by them. Of course, it is quite another thing that the government didn’t receive any cooperation from the police and retrogressive sections of society that condoned prehistoric customs like vani. But at least, they made the gesture. The more intelligent members of the party point to the constitu-

tional reforms carried out by their lawyers, particularly the Eighteenth, Nineteenth and Twentieth Amendments, which provided for provincial autonomy, the transfer of presidential power to parliament, the smooth installation of caretaker governments and most important of all, the striking down of the president’s power to dissolve the assemblies. There is also a whole string of other accomplishments, as long as my arm, which the provincial governments trumpeted from time to time, like lifting the ban on trade union activities, reinstating workers previously sacked, increasing the wages of workers on two occasions and giving labor the right of pension after retirement. However, in spite of all this, voters rejected the party at the national elections. I have always found a contradiction in the original manifesto of the Pakistan Peoples’ Party. The creed was quite straight forward. “Islam is our religion/ Democracy is our politics/ Socialism is our economy/ All power to the People.” The party also promised the elimination of feudalism in accordance with the established principles of socialism. We still had intellectuals in those days who argued that Islamic Socialism was a contradiction in terms. Either you had Islam, or you had Socialism. You couldn’t have both. And then there was this business of abolishing feudalism. While the slogan shone with a copywriter’s burnish, it didn’t really make any sense, especially as among the founding fathers of the party were quite a few feudal chieftains. In fact, the first line of the manifesto destroyed the myth that the PPP

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Exchange Rates for Currency Notes* Countries

USA S.Arabia UK Japan Euro UAE

Selling Rs. 99.94 26.65 152.04 1.0037 130.54 27.21

(*Source: Dawn, July 3, 2013)

Buying Rs. 97.56 26.00 148.43 0.9792 127.43 26.01


RELIGION

SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 – PAKISTAN LINK – P27

Issues and Questions

Hajj Akbar, Qurbani, Taharah and Zakat n By Dr Muzammil H. Siddiqi Q 1. Many people have mentioned that Hajj on Friday is considered Hajj Akbar and it is worth seven Hajj at another time. Is this true? What do you say about Hajj Akbar? A 1. Among the masses of Muslims it has become famous that if the Day of ‘Arafah occurs on Friday, then it is Hajj Akbar (Great Hajj) and it has more blessings. There is no verse in the Qur’an or Hadith of the Prophet - peace upon him - to support this claim. In the Qur’an, Allah called the day of Hajj, every Hajj, Yam al-Hajj al-Akbar (alTawbah 9:3). Of course Friday is a great day of blessings and the Day of Hajj is even a greater day, but it is not right to say that the reward of Hajj is seven times more if it occurs on Friday. Only Allah and His Messenger know the amount of reward and blessings in our worship and good deeds, we have no right to speculate and make our own claims in these matters. Q 2. When does Qurbani become Fard (obligatory) on a person (both male and female) and if it’s not Fard on someone and that someone still wants to have it done in his name then does it become Sadaqa or is it treated as Qurbani in Allah’s eye? A 2. The Qurbani (sacrifice) of animals during the day of Eidul Adha is obligatory (wajib) upon every Muslim male or female who owns the Nisab of Zakat (i.e., about 3 ounces of gold or its equivalent in cash value). It becomes obligatory when a person owns the Nisab. So if a person has in his/her possession about 1200 US dollars beyond his/her personal needs, then he/ she should make a sacrifice. The jurists are unanimous on its obligation on the adults. Allah says in the Qur’an, “So pray unto your Lord and sacrifice,” (al-Kawthar 108:2). It is reported in al-Bukhari (Hadith no. 912) that the Prophet peace be upon him - said in his Eid Khutbah, “The first thing that we do today is that we pray and then we make sacrifice. So whosoever makes sacrifice after the prayer he followed our Sunnah…” There are many other Ayat and Ahadith on this subject. The jurists differ on the obligation of Zakat on the minors. Some say that like Zakat it is also obligatory on the minors, if they possess the Nisab, but their guardians should perform it. The sacrifice should be done any time after the Eid prayer until before sunset on the 12th of Dhul Hijjah. Those who do not own the Nisab can also perform sacrifice, if they wish. Q 3. My question is regarding Taharah. Usually I come with Taharah and Wudu from my home, and avoid using the bathroom till Friday Prayer, but sometimes I cannot resist, and I have to use the bathroom, and clean myself with paper instead of water, as there is generally no water available in the toilets in America. Personally, I think no

Gems from the Holy Qur’an From the translation by Muhammad Asad (Leopold Weiss) About the translator: Muhammad Asad, Leopold Weiss, was born of Jewish parents in Livow, Austria (later Poland) in 1900, and at the age of 22 made his first visit to the Middle East. He later became an outstanding foreign correspondent for the Franfurter Zeitung, and after years of devoted study became one of the leading Muslim scholars of our age. His translation of the Holy Qur’an is one of the most lucid and wellreferenced works in this category, dedicated to li-qawmin yatafakkaroo (people who think). Chapter 6, Verses 162-163 Say: “Behold, my prayer, and [all] my acts of worship, and my living and my dying are for God [alone], the Sustainer of the worlds, in whose divinity none has a share: for thus have I been bidden – and I shall [always] be foremost among those who surrender themselves unto Him.”

matter how hard you try, you cannot be as clean without using water as you can be with using water. I miss my Friday prayer thinking that I am not with Taharah. Do you think I will be able to attend the prayers after Wudu or I have to take a complete shower and change clothes? A 3. Cleaning oneself after the natural urges is called Istinja in the terminology of Fiqh. The use of water is highly emphasized for Istinja, but it is not compulsory. If one can clean oneself with other absorbents, it also permissible. Thus the use of toilet paper as well as dry clods of earth (Jimar or what we call in Urdu Dhelas), stones, rags or other clean absorbents is permissible. You can use toilet paper or you can wet some toilet paper and use it to cleanse yourself and then use dry paper. You should not miss your Friday prayer or any prayer for this reason. Prayers on times are obligatory and they should not be missed for any excuse. There is also no need for taking a shower or to change clothes after the use of toilet. We should observe cleanliness, but exaggeration (ifrat and ghuluww) in any matter is not in the nature of Islamic teachings. Q 4. We are involved in projects in the fields of education, health and poverty alleviation. Instead of giving money to people we are interested in long-term solutions like establishing hospitals, schools and training institutions in an integrated manner in rural areas. Can we use Zakat money for establishing such institutions? A4.Majority of Muslim jurists of the past were of the opinion that Zakat money should be given to the poor and needy. They should be made owners of this money (tamlik al-Zakat) and it should not be used in public and social welfare

projects. Thus you will find in the books of Fiqh statements emphasizing that the money should not be used to build schools, hospitals, hostels, mosques, etc., because this money belongs to the poor and it should be given to them. There are some jurists who still hold the same opinion in a very strict manner. However, there were some earlier jurists and there are a number of modern jurists, such as Muhammad ‘Abduh, Rashid Rida, Maulana Mawdudi, Amin Ahsan Islahi, Yusuf al-Qaradawi and some Fatwa organizations in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt, who are of the opinion that Zakat money can be used to finance public welfare programs in poor areas. They argue that in the past Muslim governments used to finance such projects from ‘Ushr, Ghanimah, Khiraj, etc. Now these sources are not available and also many governments are negligent in this matter. Many Muslims are living in areas where there are no Muslim governments. Furthermore the financial needs of the people have become so enormous and diverse that earlier rules and restrictions cannot be applied and may not be very useful. This issue is controversial but I am inclined to accept the position of modern scholars in this matter. It seems to me that the best way to alleviate poverty among the Muslims is to develop financial institutions. There will be always some need for cash disbursement of Zakat, but some Zakat should be used for the social welfare of Muslims. It is important to keep in mind that Zakat is only for those categories of people who are specified in Surah al-Tawbah, verse 60. One must be very careful that this money is not misused and it should

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not become a means to enrich the rich and to neglect the poor. The schools and hospitals that are built from this money should be primarily for the poor and in poor areas. The rich people, if they use them, should be charged a reasonable fee and it should go back to such charitable institutions. Q 5. Since we are administering Zakat donations from donors to recipients, how much can we keep for our expenses? Can we keep a fixed amount (like 5% or 10 %) or has it to be determined RELIGION, P29 RELIGION FROM P27

each time based on total expenses? A5. According to the Qur’an (al-Tawbah 9:60) one of the eight categories of people who can take Zakat are “those who are employed to collect it” (al-’amilin ‘alayha). Those who collect the Zakat are allowed to take their reasonable expenses from the Zakat charity. These expenses may include office expenses, employees’ salaries, travel expenses, postage and bank expenses, etc. However, the expenses have to be actual expenses, you are not allowed to take more than what you spend. However, to make a long-term plan to establish a Zakat agency you may need a sure amount of funds for your annual budget. You have to keep some money for office rent, for the salary of employees and other related expenses. Thus it will be permissible to withdraw from Zakat funds a fixed amount such as 5% or 10% or more for this purpose, but you are only entitled to keep the actual expenses. At the end of a year whatever is left after meeting the expenses should be returned to the Zakat fund and should be disbursed among the recipients of Zakat.

Chapter 6, Verse 164 Say: “Am I, then, to seek a sustainer other than God, when He is the Sustainer of all things?” And whatsoever [wrong] any human being commits rests upon himself alone; and no bearer of burdens shall be made to bear another’s burden. And, in time, unto your Sustainer you all must return: and then He will make you [truly] understand all that on which you were wont to differ. Chapter 7, Verses 33-34 Say: “Verily, my Sustainer has forbidden only shameful deeds, be they open or secret, and [every kind of] sinning, and unjustified envy, and the ascribing of divinity to aught beside Him – since He has never bestowed any warrant therfor from on high – and the attributing unto God of aught of which you have no knowledge.” And for all people a term has been set: and when [the end of] their term approaches, they can neither delay it b a single moment, nor can they hasten it. Chapter 6, Verses 54 - 57 Verily your Sustainer is God, who has created the heavens and the earth in six eons, and is established on the throne of His almightiness. He covers the day with the night in swift pursuit, with the sun and the moon and the stars subservient to His command. Hallowed is God, the Sustainer of all the worlds! Call unto your Sustainer humbly, and in the secrecy of your hearts. Verily, He loves not those who transgress the bounds of what is right: hence, do not spread corruption on earth after it has been so well ordered. And call unto Him with fear and longing: verily, God’s grace is ever near unto the doers of good. And He it is who sends forth the winds as a glad tiding of His coming grace – so that, when they have brought heavy clouds, We may drive them towards dead land and cause thereby water to descend; and by this means do We cause all manner of fruit to come forth. Even thus shall We cause the dead to come forth: [and his] you ought to keep in mind.


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P28 – PAKISTAN LINK – SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

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PAKISTAN GLASGOW FROM P1 sending athletes to Glasgow to compete in other sports. Pakistan have won four hockey world titles and three Olympic golds, but the men’s team failed to progress from the group stages at the London Olympics and they have failed to qualify for next year’s World Cup. The team’s poor performances forced the federation’s secretary, Asif Bajwa, to resign last week. And former players have demanded changes in the country’s hockey set-up and threatened to destroy their medals unless the government addresses the slump in the sport. The two parallel Olympic bodies to emerge from the Pakistan Olympic Association have been locked in a power struggle, risking suspension by the IOC. The world body has now summoned officials of both factions and government officials to Lausanne to try to settle the dispute. Michael Hooper, chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation, told BBC Scotland that his organisation had given the POA a month beyond the original 16 August deadline to submit an entry for the 2014 Games. However, the POA did not receive the assurance it required from the country’s hockey federation that it would provide a team and so it made no application to come to Glasgow. “Unfortunately common sense hasn’t prevailed. It’s sad,” said Hooper. “The POA did everything they could to get the PHF to work with them but it simply did not happen. We have now issued an invitation to the first reserve on our list to send a team instead.” Pakistan finished sixth in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India. Their best finish was a silver medal in the 2006 Games in Melbourne. Meanwhile, applications for tickets for the hockey semi-finals and finals have outstripped the capacity of the new stadium at Glasgow Green. However, with matches being played on all 11 days of competition, organisers say there is a good chance of ticket applications being successful, especially for the preliminary stages. MEETING FROM P1 Indian premier Manmohan Singh confirmed he would meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif this weekend in a major step towards better relations following rising tensions. Singh said he will hold talks with Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, the first such meeting in three years, amid heightened friction over a string of deadly military attacks across their border in disputed Kashmir. “During my visit to New York, I... look forward to bilateral meetings with the leaders of some of our neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan,” Singh said in a statement before leaving for the United States. Singh will first head to Washington to meet President Barack Obama to try to strengthen economic ties between the two world’s largest democracies including on nuclear power, before leaving for New York. “Over the past decade, our relation-

SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 – PAKISTAN LINK – P29 ship with the United States, which is one of our most important relationships, has transformed into a global strategic partnership,” his statement said. New Delhi and Islamabad have been working behind the scenes in recent weeks to secure a meeting, which was in jeopardy after deadly skirmishes in recent weeks between their militaries. The attacks repeatedly broke a ceasefire in place since 2003 along the de facto border in Kashmir. The picturesque Himalayan region is divided between India and Pakistan by the UN-monitored Line of Control (LoC), but is claimed in full by both countries. Two of their three wars have been fought over Kashmir. The deadly flare-ups followed an ambush in August that killed five Indian soldiers along the LoC. India blamed the Pakistan army for the attack, a charge that Islamabad denied. Since winning a general election in May, Sharif has been vocal in his desire for better relations with India. Last month he urged both sides to work swiftly to shore up the 10-year ceasefire after India’s defence minister hinted at stronger military action along the LoC. Analyst K. G. Suresh said the incidents in Kashmir, along with attacks by allegedly Pakistani militants on Indian soil, were among issues expected to be raised at the meeting — set to be held at a New York hotel on Sunday. But Suresh said that talk of a resumption of peace talks as a direct result of the meeting was premature. The talks were halted in January, shortly after they had resumed, following a deadly flare-up at that time along the LoC. “The meeting is definitely a huge step forward (to improved relations),”said Suresh of the Vivekanand International Foundation think-tank. “The Indian PM has taken a calculated risk by agreeing to meet Sharif ahead of elections next year,” he added. India’s embattled ruling Congress party faces national elections next year and is under domestic pressure not to be seen as too soft on Pakistan. The premiers of India and Pakistan last met in 2010 on the sidelines of a regional summit in Bhutan’s capital Thimphu, with both sides reaffirming the importance of moving forward with dialogue. Peace talks were suspended for three years after the 2008 attacks in Mumbai which killed 166 people and which India blamed on Pakistani militants. India has been demanding that Pakistan speed up trials for militants on its side thought to have been behind the attacks. MALALA FROM P1 Nawaz, though, said that the country eagerly awaits her return. With the country reeling from yet another terror attack, with the latest one a twin suicide attack on a church in Peshawar on Sunday that killed over 80 people, Nawaz said that at this moment Pakistan needed Malala the most. The premier added that she would be made an ambassador for education in Pakistan. Nawaz said that his administration is working to improve education in Pakistan, including implementing a uniform education system and working on war footing for ensuring

school enrollment of every child. He also promised to double the education budget in a year. Malala said that education was the only solution to all the problems in the country. ”Wars can’t be ended with wars. Don’t send soldiers, send teachers.” “Instead of sending guns, send books. Instead of sending tanks, send pens. Instead of sending soldiers, send teachers.” She welcomed a four-fold increase in the education budget but said that more was needed to be done. OFFICE FROM P1 seriously, adding that it should declare a ceasefire. Furthermore, he also said that the government should allow militants to establish a political office in Pakistan to hold peace talks in the absence of which negotiations would not be possible and the decade-long war against terrorism would continue. While discussing the Peshawar church bombing which killed 81 people, Khan alleged that the tragedy had been politicised. He said 170 blasts had taken place in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the past nine years under previous governments, but PTI had not politicised those tragedies. EARTHQUAKE FROM P1 mud and water from underground channels is now undrinkable because of excessive mud in it due to the earthquake,” he said. The death toll is expected to rise as rescue teams reach more villages in the area, which has been shaken by more than a dozen aftershocks. Jan Muhammad Buledi, spokesman for the Baluchistan government, said that more than 300,000 people had been affected by the quake across six districts — Awaran, Kech, Gwadar, Panjgur, Chaghi and Khuzdar. “People are still trapped under the rubble but it is a huge disaster and it will take time to reach and rescue all the people,” he said. Teams were working to recover bodies but the priority he said was to move the injured to hospitals as soon as possible — a difficult task in a desolate area with minimal infrastructure.“We are seriously lacking medical facilities and there is no space to treat injured people in the local hospitals,” Buledi said.The army has rushed medical staff and troops to the devastated area to help with rescue efforts, along with seven tonnes of food and a tonne of medicine. Six helicopters are taking part in rescue work, the military said.The scale of the territory involved is daunting. Awaran’s population is scattered over an area of more than 21,000 square kilometers (8,000 square miles). Baluchistan makes up about 45 percent of Pakistan’s area but is the country’s least populated and least developed province. On top of the difficult terrain, the area is rife with separatist and Islamist militants as well as bandits. Tremors were felt on Tuesday as far away as New Delhi and even Dubai in the Gulf, while people in the Indian city of Ahmedabad, near the border with Pakistan, ran into the streets in panic. According to an ISPR presses release, rescue and relief operations continue in the earthquake affected areas of Balochistan by Pakistan Army and Frontier Corps troops. So far 174 wounded persons have been evacuated

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from different areas of Awaran to District hospital Awaran by Army/Frontier Corps troops. 7,000 kilograms of food items, 1,000 kilograms medicine and 200 tents have been distributed among the earthquake affectees. Cooked food is also being provided to homeless people in Awaran. Field Medical facility comprising 21 Doctors and 50 paramedics are providing medical treatment to those injured in Khuzdar and Awaran. 300 troops of Pakistan Army and Frontier Corps personnel were moved Tuesday night for rescue operations in earthquake affected areas and the strength has now risen to more than 1000. Six Pakistan Army helicopters are also participating in rescue operations. So far 10 sorties have been flown to affected areas of Awaran and Khuzdar. Tuesday’s quake caused a new island to appear close to the coastline at Gwadar, officials said, prompting astonished locals to rush to the shore to take a look.“It looked very very strange to me and also a bit scary because suddenly a huge thing has emerged from the water,” Gwadar resident Muhammad Rustam said. The island was given the name ‘Zalzala Jazeera’ (earthquake island). The National Institute of Oceanography has sent a team to survey the island, which stands about 20 meters high. Experts said a similar small island appeared at the same place in the sea after a major quake in 1945 but disappeared after some time. Later another island surfaced off the coastal town of Ormara in Balochistan province. According to World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the new island appeared near River Basil. In April, a 7.8-magnitude quake in southeast Iran, close to the border with Baluchistan, killed 41 people and affected more than 12,000 on the Pakistan side of the border. WALKOUT FROM P1 blasted the government for what he called its lack of interest in the people’s suffering. The protest walkout by all opposition parties, led by Mr Shah, came after the house reassembled following a break for Zohar prayer with hardly any minister present, and prompted a counter-charge by Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, who came to the house later, that the opposition was playing to the galleries. It was amidst some chants of “shame, shame” from the opposition benches that Mr Shah noted the absence of most ministers from the house in his speech after the house passed the resolution and regretted the government’s “silence” on such a big disaster a day after its occurrence. “What the government is doing?” he asked and said it should have come with a statement in the house about the number of casualties and damage caused by the earthquake in Awaran and some other districts of Balochistan. “It is easy to come to power but it is very difficult to run a government,” Mr Shah said in his harshest remarks to date about the 114-day-old PMLN government and added that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, now in New York to address the UN General Assembly session, should have drawn world’s attention to the calamity. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmed promised a detailed government statement to be made in the house on Thursday, although he said the federal government was in touch with the Balochistan government while the prime minister too had assured the

provincial government of all possible federal assistance. The railways minister reacted mildly in his first speech to what he called “valid” criticism of the opposition leader about ministerial absenteeism — though he said at least seven ministers were present in the house when he was speaking — but he unleashed an outburst in his second speech after the opposition walkout, mainly targeting the PPP, accusing its previous government of brining torment to the country. PPP lawmakers did not return to the house after the walkout, though some others did, before the house was adjourned until 10.30am on Thursday.

PM Urges World Community To Focus On Trade Not Aid New York: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has urged world the community to focus on trade and not aid for the economic development. Addressing a high-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York‚ he said the development agenda should not be based on aid alone. He said that he is an advocate of trade and not aid‚ market access‚ economic partnerships‚ transfer of technology and scientific know-how. The Prime Minister said he is against aid because it creates dependency and stunts the growth of states. PM Nawaz Sharif said his government is giving incentives to the private sector to generate maximum employment in the country. Meanwhile‚ Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has outlined the goals and targets at his government to promote sustainable energy in Pakistan. He was speaking in a trilateral meeting on Sustainable Energy for All with the Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg‚ and Danish Minister for International Development Christian Bach on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York. During the meeting‚ it was agreed that the three countries would push for a goal on Sustainable Energy for all as part of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Nawaz Sharif highlighted that Pakistan national framework is aimed at generation of inexpensive energy‚ exploitation of renewable and sustainable energy potential and a culture of energy conservation and responsibility. The prime minister said energy issue the highest priority of his government. The Norwegian Prime Minister assured the Pakistani leader that he would encourage the private sector and business houses as his country to look at the of investment opportunities in energy sector of Pakistan. PM Nawaz Sharif also held a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in New York‚ and discussed bilateral ties including energy cooperation. The two leaders also exchanged views on regional and international issues particularly the challenges being faced by the Islamic Ummah. They agreed that Afghanistan’s neighbours need to work closely with the Afghan government and support an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led political process. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was also called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in New York.


ENTERTAINMENT & LIFESTYLE

SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 - PAKISTAN LINK

ENTERTAINMENT

P30 – PAKISTAN LINK – SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

L

ook at this" a relative of mine said, holding a photograph that must have been taken almost half a century ago. "It has Shamim Ara, Waheed Murad and the Queen of Melody - but what are you doing among them?" I had forgotten about this photograph but the moment I saw it, past events came rolling back as if they had happened only yesterday. I was a young Pakistan Foreign Service officer on my very first assignment to Sri Lanka. The year was 1971 and the Sri Lanka airport was being used as a landing and refuelling point for our PIA and C-130 flights carrying military personnel to East Pakistan where trouble had started brewing, as India had banned our airlines from flying over their territory. The Sri Lanka prime minister, Mrs. Bandaranaike, had no great love for the Indian government and had granted us landing and refuelling rights for our military air-

craft in spite of India's strong protests. Around this time, our government had decided to send three national artistes on a goodwill mission to Sri Lanka as part of a film festival. The Sri Lankans, many of Pakistani origin, were thrilled at the prospect of a film festival from Pakistan. But we had also been warned that given the troubles emerging in our eastern wing there would be a body of people trying to sabotage the festival. On the very day that our film stars arrived in Colombo a Sri Lankan newspaper carried a half page ad in the movies section stating, "Now showing: Genocide. Starring Yahya Khan, Shamim Ara, Waheed Murad, and a cast of thousands. Filmed on location in East Pakistan in gory colour." Of course, we objected to the ad but the editor said he'd really had no idea it was a propaganda spoof and promised to vet all ads carefully in future. But this had already sounded alarm bells that a movement to sabotage the festival had begun, and the high commissioner thought it best to apprise our film stars and ask them if they felt comfortable going on with the show. In case they were apprehensive, we could cancel their personal appearances at the festival. Noor Jehan answered on behalf of all. She said this was a cultural visit and they had come to give people a good time, and there was no way they were going to cancel. They would attend the festival for the entire week, no backing out. I was given the pleasurable task of looking after the entourage and to show them around. Our first trip was the Kollupitya market. I didn't think anyone would recognise our actors in the busy local bazaar, but to my surprise someone

shouted, "Arey, Noori hey, Noori hey!" and in a matter of minutes our car was surrounded by hundreds of people. But this was not an unruly crowd, rather an admiring one, and Noor Jehan seemed to enjoy the adulation. She asked the man who had screamed out her name how he had recognised her; he replied that he was originally from Bombay and as a young man had seen all her films! Fortunately, there was never

any untoward incident during the visit, except once during the festival while we were watching the inaugural show. As the movie began, a sign appeared at the bottom of the screen "Dr. Mujeebur Rehman required immediately by heart patient." I left my seat and hurriedly made a beeline for the

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projection box where the projectionist claimed he had no idea who Mujeebur Rehman was, he thought it was a genuine call for a doctor and it was for this reason he had flashed it on the screen. Outside the theatre we were met by pickets proclaiming "Stop the genocide" "Pakistani musicians fiddling while East Pakistan burns" and a whole lot of similar signs. But the Sri Lankans had come out in full force to watch all the shows and the pickets were simply pushed aside. Noor Jehan and her two colleagues mingled fearlessly with the crowds, never for a moment afraid that some fanatic would suddenly attack or aim a bottle of acid at them. Indeed, it seemed the lady who sang "Merya dhol sipaya, tenu Rabb diya rakha" had a heart as valiant as the jawans she sang for. As the festival got underway, it was time to take my three visitors on a tour of the emerald isle. From the well-stocked zoo in the city to the lush green hill station of Kandy and the serene white sand beaches, these were the most entertaining excursions, more so because this team of artistes was full of fun, and we shared loads of laughter and jokes, almost as if we were a bunch of school kids on a picnic enjoying ourselves. Totally unassuming, vivacious and bubbling with joy, it felt wonderful to be with them. During one of these happy moments Noor Jehan told me I reminded her of her own son who, incidentally, was also named Akbar. Towards the end of the tour, there were some official receptions, and the grand finale, where Noor Jehan took the stage and delighted the guests with her songs. I was not supposed to be anywhere on the stage, but during our picnics I had joined them in singing, and Noor Jehan

announced, "We have a member from our embassy who I've discovered can also sing, and I would like him to join us on the stage." As a mere bathroom singer I was hesitant to join this melodious triumvirate, but the Queen's command was an order that had to be obeyed, and I took my place on the stage, with Waheed, Shamim Ara and her majesty, providing the chorus for the divine voice as it enthralled the audience. Forty-three years have passed since the photograph was taken. Noor Jehan and Waheed Murad have passed away and Shamim Ara is not in the best of health, so I alone am left to tell the tale of the photograph when a young diplomat took the stage with the one and only Queen of Melody on an enchanted island far away. Courtesy Dawn


CALENDAR LINK

SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 – PAKISTAN LINK – P31

DATE

EVENT

ORGANIZER Texas

LOCATION

FOR MORE INFO CONTACT

Aug 11-Nov17

Weekly Dars-e-Quran Class in Urdu

Sheikh Hafiz Abdul Waheed

Houston

khutba@darsalam.org

Seattle

m.rizvi@comcast.net

Washington Oct 19

Consular Camp at Seattle

Consulate General of Pakistan, Los Angeles

(206)356-0870 Arizona Oct 26

Consulate General of Pakistan, Los Angeles

Consular Camp at Phoenix

sardarbabar@gmail.com

Phoenix Airport Marriott

(623)570-9526 California July 19-Oct 25

Berkley Jummah

Omar Rehmane

Berkley

berkmsa@gmail.com

Sept 15- Nov 8

College Islam

CIS

Anaheim

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5-Oct

Mushaira

Urdu Writers Society of North America

Artesia

(310)532-7755

12-Oct

20th Anniversary Gala

Islamic Relief

Hilton Hotel-Anaheim

sw@irusa.org

19-Oct

Muslim Family Day LA

Islamic Circle North America

Six Flags Magic Mountain-Valencia

muslimfamilyday.com

2-Nov

A night of Ibna Sina

UMMA

Garden Grove

skhazaal@ummaclinic.org

9-Nov

Annual Banquet

Helping Hand

Orange County

ishrat.rahman@hhrd.us

16-Nov

Faith in Freedom

Cair California

Los Angeles

(714)776-1847

Sept 29-Nov 16

Subodh Art @ The "Heaven & Earth Exhibit"

Vanguard Community Art Gallery

Moreno Valley Mall

subodhfineartstudio.com

23-Nov

Consular Camp at Northern California

Consulate General of Pakistan, Los Angeles

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