Youth Are The Lifeline

I am posting here an old essay of mine that I wrote back in 2011 but the relevance of which cannot be denied in today’s or future Pakistan, though the relevance and importance of a young population could spring hopes of a better future anywhere in the world.

A French proverb goes like ‘youth lives on hope, old age on remembrance’. Here we would discuss in detail the first part of the French wisdom that is universal in soul and has proven right time and again.

The evolution and progress of societies need solid grounds i-e the strength of population, the economic resources, cohesion etc. Today’s world that is massively populous, less ethical and dangerously power-centric, is a practical example of Herbert Spencer’s coined phrase of ‘the survival of the fittest’. Hence for a given society to survive and thrive, it must have a well managed and conspicuous chunk of youth population, for youth are the most potential and capable of all the segments of a society.

In the above context, the struggle for the independence of Pakistan was the fruition of the efforts of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan who channelized the energies of the Muslim youth through the Aligarh Tehreek. Allama Mohammad Iqbal deemed the awakening of the Muslim youth to be the only way out of the British and Hindu manipulation. He did stir that hope in the Muslim youth, hence the creation of Pakistan.

The preservation of independence they say, is the hardest part. Sadly enough the post independence era in Pakistan saw the demise or ageing of the stalwarts of the Pakistan movement and there was no next breed of the erstwhile inspired youth to carry the country through to progress and prosperity. Men with myopic vision and unsatiable lust for power took reigns one after the other squandering  a significant part of the country in the process.

Yet Pakistan emerged out of many a catastrophe mainly courtesy the vibrancy of its youth. Were it not for the  valiance of its Jawans in the war of 1965, Pakistan could so easily be a victim to the whims of the neighbor. The devastating earth quake of 2005 saw the emergence of a new, refreshing face of the Pakistani youth who employed all their capacities to help the earth-quake stricken stand on their feet. Be it helping the war-hit IDPs or the flood affectees, we have numerous examples of the sincerity and capability of the Pakistani youth to transform despair into hope.

Pakistan is fortunate in a way as to have a youth population of more than 50 percent, larger than any other neighboring country. If properly channelized and groomed it could make wonders. Today when Pakistan is caught in the worst internal and external crises, one finds hope to see the organized bodies of the Pakistani youth on the social networking websites and their activism on roads to help bring positive change in the society. In the prevalent gloom if the national horizon flashes with any light they are the silver lines drawn by the brilliance of youth.

 

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The OBL Episode

The last couple of days have been eventfully immense. The guy who figured central in the security turnarounds in Afghanistan and Pakistan for the last 20 years or so, someone been dubbed as the most wanted person to the USA, the enigma called Osama Bin Laden is said to be killed and ‘taken out’ from a house in Abbottabad in a Sting operation conducted by the US Army. The US civilian and military leadership pronounced the news to be a great victory and ‘justice’ to the victims of the twin towers in New York. The US military took all the credit of the operation terming it their own and that they were in surveillance of the hideout for quite some time.

The details of the event as they poured in and swelled through the idiot boxes in Pakistan, made the masses bamboozled much like Osama did the world media and leadership at large. Our ‘democratic’ and military leadership were caught unawares leading the former, the PM of Pakistan to issue an abrupt statement much in the tone of Obama.

The military are still keeping mum as to what exactly transpired. The significance of the event is such that the Pakistan Army might find itself between a rock and hard place. If it confesses a role in the operation, it in effect invites the wrath of a wounded enemy; if it denies an involvement, serious questions arise over its ability to defend the national borders.

The operation itself looks dubious. The haste it involved, the city the location and the very presence of the person who suffered renal failures almost a decade ago. Somebody told this scribe that Osama had a dialysis session at the CMH Rawalpindi in the late nineties and that he was gifted a dialysis machine by the hospital administration. How on earth could an aged dialysis patient survive without constantly been treated, especially when no such equipment was found in the house that is said to have been constantly monitored and whose inhabitants are said to be aloof and isolated? Why such haste to dispose the body of the most wanted criminal on earth? And why the waters when he could be showcased to the world for the fate he met? The more one probes the matter the more deceitful the story appears. We haven’t yet forgotten Donald Rumsfeld’s confession of the false grounds Iraq was invaded on.

However twisted the story seems, the US of A delivered a decisive punch to floor an ‘ally’. The points it aimed to score are;

  • To send a message that it can strike anyone, anytime and anywhere
  • To salvage something of a war it is finding hard to win
  • To keep its ‘strategic partner’ under pressure to ‘do more’
  • To legitimize its claims of a ‘double-game’ the Pakistani spy agencies play
  • To further alienate the Pakistani masses from an erstwhile trusted Army
  • To legitimize drone insertions

These are tricky times for an energy short, ill governed Pakistan. The confidence of the people ever dwindles. The civil and military leadership need to come out firm and erase the layers of ambiguity around this whole OBL episode. We could always start afresh if the sincerity and will is there.

Random Thoughts

Floods: They have wrecked the body structure of Pakistan. Starting from the mountains in the north in KPK and protracting through the plains of southern Punjab to Sind and Baluchistan. The waters were never so high and never so wide to sweep along high buildings, bridges, houses, crops, cattle and most of all precious human lives. The dent to the infrastructure is immense. The misery of millions of our folks is heart-wrenching. People are starved of food, bereft of shelter and exposed to water rife in epidemics. What they need now is the support of us all spared by the calamity. The magnitude of the disaster makes it our obligation to try and restore the lives, pride and dignity of our people in troubled waters.

Altaf bhai: As if we were short of the disasters, bhai saab wants us to be hit by another. In his recent signature telephonic sermon the moron politician invited ‘the patriots’ in military to come forth and take over the reins of this ill-governed state (of the government he himself is a part). He acts crocodile when says he is moved by the cause of the flood-stricken – advocating the cause in his cozy London flate where he’s glued from eternity come hell or high water. And more so, his proposed military takeover to him is neither a martial law nor something unconstitutional – a marriage of both amid the larger national tragedy. He wants chaos, utter chaos!

Spot-Fixing: Let us not bash them left right and center. Let us not propose punishments. It is pre-mature. The allegations are still to be proved. Till whatever comes this latest scandal of spot-fixing by some of the Pakistan cricketers is damaging with a potential to taint the very image of Pakistan and its cricket beyond redemption. Controversies of one or the other kind has been a regular feature on the Pakistan English tours throughout history. The English media is always on a lookout to malign the gifted players from our part of the world. This is not to say our cricketers are innocent. There is a possibility of black sheep everywhere. But they ought not to be considered guilty until proved so. I feel for Aamir. He is too young, too talented to lose his reputation and career in the nasty business of match or spot-fixing. I wish he’s not the culprit!

Progression Of An Elegy

A poem is coming;
oozing through a tiny opening
of the block —

a bullet hole
from the left to the right hemisphere
in the skull of this Waziristan child.

A poem is coming
wrapped in a blood-stained sheet
upheld in a charpoy
over the shoulders of the bereaved
of a drone strike;

is coming,
screaming to be heard,
staggering under crimson curlicues,
intruding onto the blank peace,
of your apathy.

Another translation ..

The gifts of Globalization are many, so are its curses like colonization, wars and monopolies but since I’m sick of the wars and violence around, I deemed it appropriate to resort to poetry. Incidentally, the name of the below translated poem is also ‘Globalization’ which thankfully is having a different context.

In this modern age of Globalization

The distances have so shrunk

In a manner,

That these seem unreal

Like a dream,

Or like a mere figment

Of one’s imagination.

People in the world

Have become so close

As those living in a village

Or in a same little house.

But you and I,

The eternal unfortunates,

Are dwelling in the same city

For years,

Without a contact,

Without a relation.

We are so oblivious

Of the whereabouts of each other.

What sort of a cave,

Of the times bygone is that

Wherein we are resting?

Which kind of a season,

Or times we expect

And are waiting for?

Faraz Kaisay Bhulaoo’N Teray Firaaq Ka Ghum!

Yesterday, August 25th was the first death anniversary of the revolutionary poet Ahmad Faraz. His absence still confounds the logic, for his words, his magic is all around us. We felt an overwhelming presence of the spirit of Faraz in the recent Lawyers Movement and his pugnacity is always cited where there is a struggle against the forces of evil.

Like his resistance poetry, his tributes to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) too are filled with the concern he felt for his downtrodden people struck hard by the illegitimate forces of the State as well as exploited by the Political jugglers in the visage of religious clerics. Below here is one such Naat that angered the dictatorial regime of the time to an extent that Faraz was jailed for reciting it in a forum at a gathering in Karachi.

مرے رسول کہ نسبت تجھے اجالوں سے

میں تیرا ذکر کروں صبح کے حوالوں سے

نہ میری نعت کی محتاج ذات ہے تیری

نہ تیری مدح ہے ممکن مرے خیالوں سے

تو روشنی کا پیمبر ہے اور مری تاریخ

بھری پڑی ہے شب ظلم کی مثالوں سے

ترا پیام محبت ہے اور میرے یہاں

دل و دماغ ہیں پر نفرتوں کے جالوں سے

یہ افتخار ہے تیرا کہ میرے عرش مقام

تو ہمکلام رہا ہے زمین والوں سے

***************

مگر یہ مفتی و واعظ یہ محتسب یہ فقیح

جو معتبر ہیں فقط مصلحت کی چالوں سے

خدا کے نام کو بیچیں مگر خدا نہ کرے

اثر پزیر ہوں خلق خدا کے نالوں سے

نہ میری آنکھ میں کاجل نہ مشکبو ہے لباس

کہ میرے دل کا ہے رشہ خراب حالوں سے

ہے ترش رو مری باتوں سے صاحب منبر

خطیب شہر ہے برہم مرے سوالوں سے

مرے ضمیر نے قابیل کو نہیں بخشا

میں کیسے صلح کروں قتل کرنے والوں سے

میں بے بساط سا شاعر ہوں پر کرم تیرا

کہ با شرف ہوں قبا و کلاہ والوں سے

The Dual Challenge — A Repost

Below here is the repost of a poem I wrote sometimes back. It has become quite a norm when we celebrate the independence of Pakistan amid the perils to the very unity of our dear homeland courtesy a plethora of internal and external threats. Yet our hopes remain intact to see the vibes of passion and love oozing out of a common Pakistani for his/her country, every year on the 14 of August. This year too is no different; while we’ve largely succeeded in flushing out the nuisance of Talibanisation, we are yet to bring to the fold the fringe elements in Baluchistan. If cured with sincerity the ailments to our unity can be treated with the remedy of ‘the just distribution of revenue as per the sources of production in a Federating unit’. Though it would be naive to look at the scenario in total black and white, yet our history is replete with instances of troubles emerging out of the poor distribution of wealth. Its the cry of the time not to repeat the blunders we’ve made in the past, for they become history who don’t learn a thing from the history itself.

مرے خدا مجھے اتنا تو معتبر کردے

میں جس مکان میں رہتاہوں اس کو گھر کردے

Happy Independence Day To The Nation Pakistan! 🙂

A Dual Challenge:

The honest toilers; our ancestors,
collected the stones thrown at them,
and the mud slung at them, to build a house.
They mixed the ingredients with their
sweat and their blood; the color of love
To make it a home.

A few seeds of mistrust evolved into trees of
contempt in the hearts of the second generation.
And with the help of neighbors
they themselves erected a wall of separation.

The nameplate of my home which used to
read, ‘unity’ is rusted and withered since long.
Suspicion crept into our yard and settled
in every corner of the square as if
measuring a division.

I can hear the footsteps of aliens fast
approaching our home, and I’m faced
with a dual challenge; of repairing the
storm lashed doors and of wiping all
the germs of contempt.

I’ll keep the forces of ‘division’ at bay
‘Its a negative process’ said a mathematician.