Crocodile Tears

Crocodile tears. That’s what you all are shedding for Palestinians. You hypocrites.

Your Prime Minister goes – every now and then – to embrace the butchers of Yemen in Saudia. With military support. For blood to spill.

Around 40 people – mostly young girls – died in a bomb blast in Kabul. You have our share in that massacre. Because blood is on your hands too.

You loved snakes. Good ones. Bad ones. Playing with Dollars in one hand and dead bodies on the other.

Cunning hypocrites.

A woman died of heart attack. She was asking for justice for her husband who was missing for last three years. Leaving behind a daughter. Fatherless. Motherless.

Did you cry?

That’s one of the thousands of stories of missing people.

Sahiwal Massacre happened. Rao Anwar’s 444 happened. Ehsan Ullah Ehsan happened and unhappened. So much happened inside your home when you were snoozing and yawning.

Over 70,000 were murdered here. As collateral damage. While the business of ‘War on Terror’ was on play; generating revenues worth of billions.

People were sold to US. Musharraf wrote that in his book. As bounties. For Dollars.

Did you mourn then? Or were you moaning?

Anyway.

Don’t cry now. Don’t waste your crocodile tears. Stop nurturing snakes first. Stop killing and missing your own people. Stop supporting the good old bad guys in the neighborhood.

And feel pain for everyone.
For Yemen. For Uighur. For everyone.

But first of all, for people at home. Because from home starts your domain to which you will be answerable to Allah on the Day of Judgement.

So, save your tears and have some mercy on yourself.

Assistant Commissioner, Sialkot & Our Bureaucracy

Neither civil. Nor service. Nehru said that. Churchill also said something to that effect. Firdaus only went a few steps ahead; from literature into theatrics.

Establishment is a curse. And we have two establishments: civil and military – who poke their nose into everything they shouldn’t.

This is going to be a long one. However, it won’t be boring. Trust me.

Let me clarify first. Firdaus Aashiq Awan is one ugly duckling of PTI, who has a political history with PPP. Her overall political career has nothing to offer except utter(ing) nonsense. That’s it; those are her credentials. A few days back, Rana Sanaullah of PML-N was threatening a bureaucrat publicly too. So, don’t jump into the wagon of any political party at the moment.

These ministers and parliamentarians have the political life of merely 5 years. A tenure. Then they have to work hard again – with money mostly – to be in the game for another 5 years. Another tenure. Tenure by tenure, they struggle to stay.

On the contrary, are these bureaucrats. They stay. They have a tenure of life. They don’t die. They keep sucking the blood of the public. Like leaches and parasites. And they treat the same public as Dalits are treated in India.

Let’s focus on this civil establishment for a while without any political affiliation. Let this be non-political. Apolitical.

Most of the times, these parliamentarians face the heat of lethargic red-tapism of bureaucrats. Since East India Company, the drafting and noting is still the same. Official e-mail communication is absolutely absent because this doesn’t suit them. They will have to read emails themselves, which they can’t do.

The laws are as old as the Civil Secretariat building. And with amendments and substitutions, things are so complex that these bureaucrats themselves are clueless. They have made this web of rules and laws that they keep on changing without knowing the history of these same rules and laws. In the end, they have established a matrix where THEY are the virus.

They will remain clueless.

An MBBS doctor can become the Inspector General. BA Islamiat can become Secretary Health. Finance Department can be run by a Civil Engineer. Most of the lot is of MA and BA graduates, who – with a little luck and cramming – become the rulers. No insult is intended here to anyone; except to the intellect we get in the bureaucracy.

Have you seen them after passing the exam and establishing their Twitter handles? They all tell the same tale. I did that. I followed that. And guess what? People who have attempted all the 12 papers and have failed; have exactly the same tale to tell. Honestly speaking, no one knows how they passed or failed. Because there is a very thin line of success and failure.

When I scored 65 in essay, I know how I did. As I didn’t go to any academy and I didn’t know any rules, I did what I liked. I used markers. I used Urdu and Punjabi poetry. My topic was blasphemy (in light of Charlie Hebdo’s episode) and I chose it solely because I knew not many people would choose that one. I wanted to be different so as to end the boredom for the paper checker. I presented liberal views, with Ghamidi’s interpretation of the religion, and ended with Voltaire’s freedom of speech and our freedom to ignore such issues. 65. That’s what I got.

I failed Precis and this is the point where His Highness will resume the main topic of bureaucrats.

They call themselves the ‘cream of the country’. Even though they know that the cream doesn’t even participate in CSS exams. I participated and I was the worst one – only academically, behave! – in my extended family.

And some don’t even participate. Army has 10% share / seats in PAS (ex DMG), FSP and PSP. They get into Civil Services without even CSS exam and interview. This is another legacy of Zia. Still intact. But who cares. Top notch civil posts are with the army anyway. Why don’t these bureaucrats get offended here?

All they know are some words. Some jargon. Some poetry. Some philosophy. Some lopsided Marx references. Some Iqbaliat. Some religion.

And attire. Perfectly suited and booted. Shaved. Cologned. Manicured. Pedicured. Scented. Nothing stinks.

Noted. May be considered. Ok. Please put up. Please examine. Signed. Approved.

You remember when an AC from Burewala attacked a guard physically? All these bureaucrats were not that furious then.

Anyway. Let me narrate to you how this shit of bureaucracy works in the civil secretariat.

Have you seen the Secretariat? Everyone is running. Officers, personal assistants, naib qasids, officials; everyone is running around. With pages and files. Working papers and Summaries. Everyone is working; yet there is hardly any work being done. That’s the game.

And then there are these bureaucrats. The whole Department is dependent on the mood. If the mood is off, all the visitors from as far as D. G. Khan, Rahim Yar Khan, and Mianwali will have to go back from Lahore without a meeting. The public, in general, comes to the center with fingers crossed. Most of the times they have to return because the bureaucrat is either not in the mood or is absent from office.

Meetings are called and then postponed at the last minute. People come to the center and then leave to their districts without a second thought.

For development schemes, PC-Is are prepared. These PC-Is are uploaded online too. Yet tens of copies of thousands of pages are printed. This is a separate business. For example, for every PSDP (Federal funded) scheme, 50 copies of PC-Is are submitted to Planning Commission, Islamabad. A single copy of PC-I can be of 2,000 pages. Imagine this. This is all trash.

Every single scheme – even before its approval – incurs a wastage of thousands of pages. And if PC-I is amended or revised – a minor change of a single table or graph – the whole exercise is repeated. Loads and loads of trash who nobody reads. No one.

There is the same amount of pages of Working Papers for each Cabinet Meeting. In federal. In provinces. This is a business of paper. Of procurement. Of margins. These margins can be in cash or in air tickets.

Do you want to learn a little about procurement? Tenders. Bids. Technical evaluation. Financial evaluation. Award. Order. Delivery. Inspection. Payment. Every single stage is a business. Every single stage is of corruption.

I wrote about the ‘General Wing’ before, that it is the center of corruption of any department. Section Officer (General) is at the bottom most tier. He manages POL (petroleum, oil, lubricants), TA / DA, daily expenses, salaries, etc. of the Department. And this is the hub. Even an honest person cannot claim his/her TA/DA without offering a certain share.

The ugliness of the General Wing is to this level that they even take a share from the salaries of daily wage workers. Those who are hired on Rs.18,000/- per month, get Rs.16,000/- or Rs.17,000/- per month. This wing doesn’t even shudder on robbing the lowest most strata of the economy.

They can eat Zakat. They can eat funds for mosques. They can eat leftovers. They can eat anything. Like leaches and parasites. But with decorum. With knives and forks. And a smile.

The Accountant General office is another misery. People have to run up and down the rotting, rickety stairs to get their pensions initiated. Without bribery, the system does not work. Online system is adopted only in those areas where corruption has the least chances. In the remaining areas, physical file work is in place since the colonial times. To rob people. To make them suffer. So that they get tired of the system and pay. This is how hell operates.

You must have your own experiences of Excise and Taxation, Customs, Railways, Trade, etc. Every department has the same system which has been established for corruption to flourish.

And have you seen the attitude? They abuse people. They call them bad names. They make them stand when they want to. They make them wait outside for hours. They tell them to shut up. They raise their voice whenever they want. There are some who are so ugly that their juniors quake with fear. Because they terminate you when they can or they throw you far when they cannot terminate you.

Now the AC Sahiba of Sialkot, who was sitting in her air conditioned car and got burned. Garmi main kharab.

She was clueless to be honest. She came late. She had no idea what was being sold. She was trying to present stupid justifications to all the questions. She even mentioned the hot weather. For her, her work is nothing but a way to live a prestigious and elite life. If ministers cannot scold them, no one can. Literally, no one can.

The fruits were rotten because they were for the public and the public doesn’t matter. The loud-mouth minister has been wrong all her life, but that day, she did utter some sanity. She was absolutely right about the pathetic attitude of the bureaucracy and their lack of empathy towards their job and the general public.

In the eyes of the establishment or the bureaucracy, you don’t exist. Digest that.

You people must have your own opinion. You must. You have been ridiculed and offended by these colonial leftovers. You see, they are so colonial that they are attracted to all the colonial buildings. They love to reside in their colonial heritage.

This is an outdated system. George Orwell called it outdated in the 1940s. it’s 2021 for God sake.

There can be technocracy. There can be a private model of organic growth where employees grow from the bottom to the top. There can be particular education for a particular post. There can be proper training for their brains and not just “Commoners Training” to teach them they are special. There can be other benchmarks. But this one: civil bureaucracy, is outdated, rotten, pathetic and ugly.

You don’t exist for them. Hence, nothing is offered to you.

Once a driver of a senior bureaucrat told me, “Sir, they don’t even consider us humans.” My instant rebuttal was, “And we don’t consider them sane OR intelligent.” We both laughed and then I maintained my decorum.

After all, His Highness is in a different league altogether.

10 Years of Bin Laden

Yesterday was International Labor Day.

Today is National Embarrassment Day.

Yes. Bin Laden happened today in 2011.

Whether we knew about Bin Laden or we didn’t; is equally embarrassing.

If we knew about the American operation or we didn’t; it’s the same embarrassing tale to tell.

Can US Navy Seals through two Black Hawks come for an operation, near the Federal Capital Islamabad, in the Garrison City of Abbottabad, and then operate for 40 minutes, and then leave successfully without any hurdle?

We knew. Or we didn’t. Embarrassing.

A commission was made. Like usual. But then the Abbottabad Commission Report was not revealed officially. Like Hamood-ur-Rehman Commission Report. So that blunders can be made, again and again, with the heads up high with pride.

Anyway. That Bin Laden is a hero and shaheed for our Prime Minister. He said this in the Parliament. While sitting in the lap of those who made the blunder of his Shahadat.

A beautiful world it is. Everything is connected. Even blood, violence, the dumb and the duffers.

We have an existential crisis, and we have a rationalism crisis too. We can’t think on our own. With blood of thousands on Bin Laden’s hand, we are still unsure if he was a hero or a villain. Right? Wrong.

He was a villain. Like anyone who plays with lives. And in the story of Afghanistan, there are no heroes. There are only villains. The Soviets, the Saudis, the Afghans, and the Americans; all were villains.

Ah! No. Not us. We were not villains in Afghanistan. We were mere pimps. Just making our cut from the business of war and blood.

So, Happy Embarrassment Day. Hear nothing, feel nothing.

At ease, soldier!

Random Numbness (May 2021)

RANDOM NUMBNESS – May 2021

Happy late Labor Day! Nothing to be happy about being labor or the day. It is what it is. A holiday for the bourgeoisie.

Maulana Tariq Jameel has joined the business and is celebrating labor day too. Now he will be selling what he never brought. It happens in business and business is not the issue. The issue is the discretion you allow yourself when you want to make some bucks.

The world, which was a useless place a while back, with lust of money and graveyard of sins; is suddenly a market now. Not a dead cow anymore. A cash cow.

Anyway. He has always been a Maulana of the bourgeoisie. Not the proletariats. Maulanas have markets too. Some have a niche and a unique selling point. Some have nothing but hate and discrimination. Whatever sells. Whatever makes you sit and listen to them.

The other day, NA-249 happened. Like shit happens. Vawda left the seat for his post as Senator, because he was unqualified to be an MNA. Strange. But his legacy was simply unmatched. The winner of 2018’s PTI was not even in the race this time. Ugly Vawda. Ugly legacy. But who cares.

Iremember his one big demo where he brought a boot in a TV show to present the complete political history and present of Pakistan. Rightly so. For that, he deserves to be a Senator. An untouchable senator, nonetheless. His service – of that TV show – will always be remembered.

But the ugliest part was a banned outfit contesting the elections. The state banned it. The state let it have a re-run. How a state can be so dumb and dummy is beyond comprehension. The whole episode of banning it and letting it contest in the by-polls happened in a mere couple of weeks.

No wonder that GSP+ status granted to Pakistan is in question. It was always in question due to blasphemy cases and attacks on journalists; but this banned TLP’s contest in by-polls must have been a trigger.

But thank goodness we have a PM who understands the West.

His boasting of knowing the West in every single presentation is becoming a nuisance. Same speech. Be it any city. Be it any issue. He has the same stance. In a single speech, he goes from Riyasat-e-Madina to Chinese Model to Scandinavian Welfare System to a mixture of everything and a final touch of religion.

A little Nawaz. A little Bhutto. A little past. A little religion. Then boasting. A lot of boasting. Then some more religion. Then more Nawaz. Then the West. Then filtering of the West. Adding the East with patriarchy. A little salt of the latest debacle – which can be blasphemy, rape, sugar crisis, corruption, inflation, something, anything – and then again some Nawaz and then some religion. The dish is ready to be served.

However, the dish is not selling anymore. It didn’t sell in Daska. It didn’t sell in Karachi.

The fall is evident but it doesn’t matter. The selectors will have the final say and it can be anything. It can be the PM again. And again. And again. Because he’s so good.

In other news, Chief Justice of Lahore Higher Court, Mohammed Qasim Khan took the stage to be the new voice in town against the fascist. He took the actual land mafia by the collar and dragged it for a whole day in his courtroom. He called DHA as illegal and tagged them as the biggest land mafia. He was so furious that he mentioned that even 50-kanal of land of Lahore High Court has also been grabbed by the boys.

Boy on boys. Wow!

Dr. Israr Ahmad once mentioned Punjab and its army as a British stooge. He was elaborating the difference between Sindhis and Punjabis and lambasted Punjabis for always siding with the one in power. He said Sindhis must be proud of their history as they took brave stands and were never in service of serving the masters. He praised G. M. Syed and Bacha in the lecture.

Rightly so. Punjab must admit. Like Habib Jalib did. Punjab needs to rise above its selfish interests to become a voice of the weak people. It must. It must nurture brave warriors like Asma Jahangir.

Oh! An Asma Jahangir from the other side of the border – Arundhati Roy – has just jolted the whole system with her article in The Guardian. She took the Modi Sarkar by the collar and reminded her government that not long ago, Modi was running an election campaign with “Shamshan! Shamshan!” just to oppose “Kabristan”.

And, here is India: a giant Shamshan because the government was shamelessly unprepared.

I will share fragments from that long article of Roy in a day or two. But don’t get goosebumps just yet. We have our own Sarkar with similar stupidities and blunders. We have our Modi. We have our Amit Shah. And we have our Yogi Adityanath.

The only difference is of spectrum. And that they have an original cast while we have mannequins.

Pardon me, but we don’t matter. In South Asia, the general public doesn’t matter. We hate each other because this is what our TV screens tell us to do, but we are genuinely living in the exact same shithole. Be it that side of the border or this.

They have public crisis. So do we.
They have drought. So do we.
Their farmer is looted. So as ours.
They have Dalits. We have minorities.
They have business mafia. We have land mafia.
They have blasphemy charges. We have blasphemy laws.
They have hunger, thirst, illiteracy… and we have exactly the same problems.

Yet, the poor classes hate each other just because they are on the other side of the border. Equally poor. Equally illiterate. Equally extremist. Equally misinformed. Equally malnourished.

Equally unequal.

Hush, His Highness!

Back to Islamabad.

Qazi Faez Isa won by 6-4. 6 were traitors. 4 were lickers. Depends on your side of bias. The thing is, the President Alvi – being a puppet – made a mockery of himself and his government. There was absolutely no need to file a reference.

Faez Isa gave a verdict. A very significant and far sighted one. But as he hurt the boys – one boy actually – so he was dragged and insulted. Only if we would have taken Faez’s verdict with some sense, TLP’s recent episode could have been avoided.

But no.

We play politics with religion, blasphemy, fire and the mob. Because the proxy version of politics is the key version to have power in Pindi and not in Islamabad.

Well, what else do you want?
His Highness will have His Sehri now.