Ifs & Buts

It is easy to show concern when you are away from responsibilities.

As soon as a fight ends, you always see people emerging from all sides. “Me hota to”, “Me ghar per nahi tha werna” happens. All those who were not present in the fight, emerge as loud mouths showing great concern and “if” scenarios.

Similarly, children who leave their parents and settle abroad, show more concern for their parents’ wellbeing. They know they don’t have to do anything, so they care more.

Expatriates are the same way. Settling abroad but being ultra-patriotic. They know they don’t have to bear the heat or loadshedding or steep inflation or anything; so they chant more. Their social media is all about “what to do” and “how to do” for Pakistan because they know they don’t have to do shit.

Pakistan has one of the highest number of people settled abroad. People have to take time to get appointments after months because embassies are full of requests for immigration. Fake asylum attempts are at their peak. Ask anyone and you will find every other person having a dream to settle abroad.

I have seen Pakistanis and their realities abroad. Just to settle, they do jobs which they wouldn’t ever consider in Pakistan. After doing Masters and PhDs, they opt for below-blue-collar jobs. Coming back to Pakistan is nothing less than a nightmare.

Well, it is your right to live anywhere and settle your ass wherever you want. No one can argue with that except your family. The point is; just don’t be a hypocrite. Be honest.

If you didn’t enter the fight at the first scene, don’t chant “if” stories later. Don’t be a hypocrite.

If you have left your parents or loved ones for prestige abroad, don’t be a hypocrite when you are already beaten up by your selfish self.

And if you have left your country, for another country, for better future and better life, just accept things are better outside for a reason. And stop telling others about patriotism and responsibilities when you don’t even count here or there or anywhere.

In a crowd, there is usually one person who takes charge to stand out in the fight. Whether he beats or gets beaten is another thing.

In a pool of kids, there is usually one who takes care of parents in their old age. Even after doing everything, s/he doubt himself / herself all the time. In the end, s/he has neither prestige abroad nor money here but that’s another thing.

And in a population of millions, there is usually one at a time who shines in the whole country. It can be Abdus Salam, Edhi, Jalib or Asma Jahangir. How s/he is treated by the rest of the country is another thing altogether.

Patriotism, Nationalism, Militarism & Kashmir

For a particular group of people and militarists, on both sides of the border, nothing could have been as beneficial as Kashmir. It is a cash-cow, giving budget, billions, lands, and above all unquestionable silence.

Do they want it resolved? Obviously not. It will end a big chunk of budget. What will we do then?

The defense of a country has a purpose. But it is not just that. War and being a ‘security state’ has certain perks. Because of war in Afghanistan, dollars rained over us. During Soviet times, we were over the moon. Even our religion was all about ‘Jihad’ at that time. Zia cashed the opportunity as best as he could, ignoring all the side-effects.

But, times change. The Soviets went home. And then came Taliban.

Again, we played the game so that we could get dollars. The same happened during Musharraf’s era. All we had to do was show dead bodies and ‘do more’. And we showed 70,000 dead bodies over the years to get what we wanted. Until they hushed us away.

Remember the APS incident of 2014? It is not what is shown on the media. It was a trump card move. Guess who it gave a blank cheque to? Military Courts were born without a question.

That’s how you play the game. One move at a time. But no move to end the crises. Just keep on playing the bloody game. Nothing personal. Strictly business.

Coming to Kashmir. It’s old news. A part of routine. But it is the real cash. Uninterrupted. No one wants to resolve it. Even some Kashmiris.

Back in 1965, when Pakistan moved to liberate Kashmir, it were Kashmiris who did nothing and, in fact, sided with the Indian troops, resulting in an embarrassment. Do read about Operation Gibraltar and Operation Grand Slam of 1965.

Mourn as much as you want. Wear black. Play anthems. Block the roads. Burn Modi’s pictures. But it’s all bullshit because it’s all business.

Even then, if you are too sensitive to ignore blood and mayhem, look inside. Balochistan. Hazara. Missing people. State terrorism. People being killed by police and agencies. Waziristan. And constitutional demands of thousands of PTM workers who are being labeled as terrorists.

If you can’t see inside, you are only a hypocrite who is pretending to focus outside. The same hypocrite who ignored the Bengal issue in 1960s which ultimately led to the surrender of 1971.

First and foremost, Kashmiris have to stand for themselves. They are unable to make a unified and impactful political platform in 7 decades. They are unable to make a clear stance on what they want. Do they want an independent state or do they want to join either Pakistan or India? Nothing is clear. There are oppressors and there are oppressed ones. And a perpetual business of war being played.

One should condemn India and its oppression in Kashmir. For sure. But blocking our own roads and making self-made-slogans of Kashmir – Kashmir banay ga Pakistan – is going to do nothing. We have already been doing that since 1947, unsuccessfully.

India undid everything with a single stroke of pen on Article 370. And India will suffer.

We should mend our ways first. We should apologize for our history and hypocrisy and things we have done wrong with our people and people around us.

This patriotism and nationalism is business of the elite of states. Not mine. I don’t even buy this bullshit. It is embedded in you with curriculum, songs, movies and slogans.

Let me give you an example:

Rashid Minhas took the plane down and crashed it because an agent was trying to take it to the other side of the border. Minhas embraced martyrdom and was awarded Nishan-e-Haider.

Who was the agent? What is the other side of the story?

Matiur Rehman was the “agent” who was trying to take the plane out of Pakistan. He was fighting for his nation i.e. freedom fight of Bangalis. From Bangladeshi point of view, he was their hero.

Matiur Rehman was awarded Bir Sreshtho (equivalent to Nishan-e-Haider) and is known as their national hero. Just like Minhas.

Two sides of the same coin. Same story. Same incident. Same plane. Same martyrdom. Same medal of honor.

Both were sons. Both had families. Both had dreams. Both had a life.

But who won? Business. Business of war, weapons, arsenals, jets, tanks…

And who suffered? Those who were sick, hungry, illiterate, malnourished, and striving for basics. Public. Awaam. Janta. They are still striving. Pakistan, India and Bangladesh have the highest pool of people below poverty line.

There are five members of “Security Council”. This council of security is supposed to make this world more secure. And these five countries are the top five countries of exporting weapons. It’s business.

Your craziness, dumbness, blocking of roads, chanting slogans… is nothing practical. You are playing in the hands of the elite. For their business. For their war. For their profits. For our blood.

Ending it with Arunthadi Roy’s note on Kashmir:
About the story of Kashmir and India and India and Kashmir, I can do no better than to quote James Baldwin:
“And they would not believe me, precisely because they would know that what I said was true.”

Anyway, relax! Take a deep breath. Inhale. Pause. Exhale. All’s good.

Mohatta Palace, Karachi

Miss Fatima Jinnah lived her last years in Mohatta Palace. She died there. Or may be assassinated. No one knows. She was fine a day before as she attended a wedding ceremony. Her dead body was found the next day. Her body was taken by state machinery immediately. Her last rituals were done by the state and her family wasn’t allowed.

She was buried in haste. People tried to protest at the clandestine burial activities, to which they were beaten up by the security.

Her death is a mystery even today. Just like her book which was not allowed to be published.

And that, Mohatta Palace, was her last home. She died here. But there is nothing related to her. No furniture or any item of her usage. Nothing. As if she never lived here. Or never even existed. It was literally saddening to visit this place.

She used to live on 1st floor. How many times she would have looked from those windows? To the eternal downfall of the state for which she gave her complete life.

While sitting on the bench in front of stairs, I could see her. Going upstairs. Tired and broken. In white saree. And suddenly she turns and looks down at me and I couldn’t stare in eyes.

Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah was the first Opposition Leader of Pakistan. Her success could have been the initiation of civil rule in the country. But she was labeled. Disgraced. Humiliated. Perhaps murdered too.

And with her, went down all our hopes of a democratic state.

Apna Time Ayega

A 15 year old boy – thief – was caught red-handed by a mob in Karachi. Tortured. Traumatized. Recorded. Beaten. Interviewed. Murdered.

Your soul leaving your body, inch by inch. An inch each hit. Gradually. Bit by bit.

What’s next to ecstasy? Pain. Death. Hell. Nothingness. A whole light year from pain to death. Inch by inch.


‘You thief! You will serve in hell.”
‘Huh! I just arrived from one.’

Mob justice. Mashal Khan. The Christian couple of Kot Radha Kishan. The brothers from Sialkot. Blasphemy cases. Mob injustice.

Scum of the earth.

His shirt had a quote: Apna time aye ga. Aya. Uska time aya. Everyone is seeing his video. It is everywhere. Uska time aa gaya. He’s famous now. The face of death.

Everyone is sad after watching this unbelievable incident. Apparently. Rapists are sad. Child molesters are sad. Abductors are sad. Thieves are sad. Looters are sad. Killers are sad. Kafir kafir khailne walay are sad. Sab ko maar do kehne walay are sad. The whole country – scum of the earth – is sad.

You don’t dare talk justice here. The murderer of 444 killers – Rao Anwar – is still free. The blood of the unfortunate family of Sahiwal massacre is forgotten. The mastermind of APS massacre – Ehsan Ullah Ehsan – is fine as well.

Don’t you dare abuse the abused ones by “justice” here.

Another boy was killed too, a few days back, in Gujranwala. His arms and legs were broken by a mob. His body was dumped in waste. This one didn’t get much limelight. Maybe because he wasn’t wearing “Apna waqt ayega”.


Tum sab ka bhi time aye ga. Aj uska kal tumhara.

This is hell. From here to nothingness is all there’s left to go.

Talking Dead Bodies

A military plane is flying. Late at night. Carrying 2 lieutenant colonels with 3 juniors. It crashes. Over a populated city. Over homes. Killing 13. Injuring many. Turning homes into ashes.

5 martyred.
13 dead.
12 wounded.

Media covers it. Everyone tells the names and ranks of the soldiers. No one mentions the names and jobs of the civilians. Bloody civilians!

Chief attends the funeral. Media covers it with pride. As if it’s a war. It is a war. For nationalism. Against nationalists.

‘Dushman ka mu torr dain gay!’
‘But there was no dushman up in the air.’
‘Taak main betha tha…’

“Hey! You! Saki Nama! Bloody asshole, you didn’t speak last time, right?”

I don’t speak for those who are being spoken about by everyone sir.
I speak for mutilated dead bodies.
I speak for unidentified graves.
I speak for the farmers of Okara.
I speak for the poor against giant land mafias.
I speak for missing people.
I speak for minorities.
I speak for 444 encounters of Rao.

“You telling me you don’t give a fuck? You telling me that??”

I give selective fucks. Like you. I speak when I want to. And no, I don’t speak on every single dead body. It stinks.

“Bloody civilian!”



5 martyred.
13 dead.
12 wounded.
220 million duffers!

Top Gun: 1986 to 2019

I wasn’t even born when “Top Gun” was released in 1986. Tom Cruise became a global star and Air Force Planes became a sensation for both men and women. The inverted plane maneuver is still one hell of a scene to watch.

It’s 2019. Trailer of “Top Gun: Maverick” has been released. Tom Cruise is the lead cast again. It looks promising though one shouldn’t bet against classics like that. But that isn’t the point.

In those 30+ years, while Cruise remained the lead cast / hero on screen, we went through the whole cycle of life. From Azaan in ears to passing through never-ending midlife crises.

Some of us got fat. Some went bald. White hair. Decaying skin. Decomposing. Some are unhappily married while others went through divorce happily.

Anyway, we hope, with our flop lives, that this movie will be a hit. We, the crowd, don’t like our stars to fail though our stars – our other stars – rarely align themselves.

“I’m going to need a beer to put these flames out.”

P.S. This one is for you. Not me. Because I ain’t bulky or bald.

Random Numbness

Let’s see it this way. Why there is no justice in Pakistan? Or, why over 10 children are being sexually abused daily in Pakistan?

Because everything revolves around sex and greed here. From top to bottom. From topless. To bottomless.

A Judge recently got exposed after his video went viral. He was busy making money. But he says he was threatened by “manipulated, immoral video”. You know what that is? Our expertise.

NAB is busy in losing cases abroad and Intelligence is busy collecting “who is sleeping with who” videos / pictures. You know. For future manipulations. Like the Judge said. Easy stuff to get things done.

“I am a Prostitute of Grade-18. And you?”
“A pimp! With over a decade of experience.”
“Good to know.”
“Pleasure is all mine.”

When all the Forces, Agencies and Intelligence got the assignment to catch the rapist in Kasur last year, they all got exposed. Unskilled. Apart from forensics, everyone was clueless. Even today, many people in Kasur believe that the hanged person was just a scapegoat. Who knows!

But his profile matched a rape suspect. Mullah and Madrassah stuff. Right? Let’s not go to that side.

Again but… nobody asked this: How would pimps catch a rapist? Is there a precedent?


Every political party going against the others. Elites playing the cards. Dramas. Suspense. Courts. Trials. Imprisonment. Bail. Someone in. Someone out. Same episodes. Again and again. Haven’t you seen all this in 1960s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and so on? It is same.
Defaming the opponents.
Opponents joining opponents.
Formation of new opponents.
Opponents in power.

Those who had ministries during military regime have the ministries in the ‘democracy’ now. Isn’t it fucked-up?

The fight for justice is always between rich and poor. Zalim and mazloom.
It isn’t against one monarch to another. It isn’t between Bani Gala and Jati Umra.
It isn’t between pimps.

Perverted nationalism. Perverted nation.
Drug addicts, sex-offenders, and greedy families are ruling us.

Over 1.8 million pending cases in courts. In front of ready-to-be-sold pimps. Being represented by a mafia of lawyers (read liars) who can beat the hell of a judge on any given day. Based on reports submitted by police which can abuse you as soon as you walk into a station.

Have you been in a court in Pakistan? Brothels are better, trust me.

You can get any document attested for Rs.5-10 per page. Magistrate for bail is easily available for crimes like murder or rape or both. Fake witnesses roam around the court-rooms to be hired by anyone. They will give statement, under oath, regarding anything. If you want to prolong your case, you can prolong it for years without a hearing. If you want instant justice, you can bribe the judge directly. Everything is managed by Readers who sit on left and right side of the judge.

It’s Honorable judge.
You have to stand when they enter the court room.
You sit when they sit.
And you spit when they do justice.

In the end, we expect justice for our kids from these pimps in pimp-rooms.

Welcome to the Child Abuse Capital of the World!
Please use precautions.
We just found AIDS is rampant in our kids.
Thank you!

Nostalgic Descriptivism

“Denoting” is a philosophy by Bertrand Russell. Descriptivism.

Let’s improvise: “Nostalgic Descriptivism”.

Monsoon Rains. Dampness. The whisper of wet leaves. The grass adorned with tiny water droplets.

Was it the monsoon or the dampness? Was it the person or the feeling? Was it the place or the weather?

Was it specific? Or random?

Random it was!

Isn’t descriptivism random too?

Take an example: Who is the poet who died in Kasur, loved to be called Arain over Shah, and was called “infidel” by the Mullahs of his time? This whole description is for Bulleh Shah precisely.

But what if you don’t know Bulleh Shah? This whole descriptivism is random then. Baseless. Meaningless. Is that what defines Bulleh Shah? What if he had been born in a different city? Like Narowal, to be called Faiz?

What is nostalgic descriptivism? Bertrand Russell didn’t talk about it.

Is it the person? Or the weather? Or the dampness? Or the rain?

For instance: Does it matter if she was from Lahore or Islamabad?

Does it matter if her name was not this but that?

Does it matter if she lied happily or didn’t lie unhappily?

No it doesn’t. None of the facts matter.

What matters is the time. Descriptive time. The time which is gone but rewinds. Again and again. Whenever the description matches, it hits your memory. It invites nostalgia. It gives you the same feeling and dampness. Without the presence of anyone. No presence is needed.

And I don’t know how to describe further.

By the way, next time you read descriptivism, remember I described “nostalgic descriptivism” for the first time.

For you!

Until next time…

Romanticizing Duffers in Paris

The business is same. 7 million tourists per year. To visit the steel tower. Why? Because movies say so. Celebrities keep that tower in the background of their pictures. Instagram. Models love to pose in front of it. It sells. And with that, Paris too. And consumers, the tourists, keep on coming like herd of sheep. Duffers!

It’s same elsewhere too. In Amsterdam, they have Red Light District. Tourists come even if they don’t want to fuck. They come. They spend. They visit. They roam. They spend a year’s savings in couple of days. But they don’t fuck. Yet they get fucked. Only they don’t know about it.

Well, why not enjoy the free stuff? Like sports on TV. Or do you want to be part of crowd to stand in queues for tickets, then fighting to enter, then finding the seat, then seeing the game with a binocular in one hand and selfie stick in other; posing for the world of social media which is waiting desperately for this particular duffer to illuminate their timelines.

Like. Like. Like. Heart. Love. Wow. For the ego. For self-confidence. For rest of the duffers to see the response on this duffer. Like mine. I will like yours.

Quid Pro Quo.

Even after following all their advertisements, we are tracked. Like inventory of Walmart.

Those who didn’t fit to the prescribed model of advertisements and monopoly and brands and trends; were out-casted. They were labeled. Traitors. Anti-nationals. Like Snowden. Like Assange.

And Assange is arrested. The founder of WikiLeaks is finally taken. The man who showed us a ray of hope in this ugly world of Orwell’s 1984, has disappeared.


Guess what? This sells too. Such words and books are cool. Also accepted and widely read. Writing about duffers has a market. A market of duffers. Not niche now. Every duffer believes he isn’t referred here. That’s his friend and everyone else. Not him. And that works. In writing. On laptop. In a hotel near Eiffel Tower.

Likes. Yikes!

Walli – The 6th Transaction

Pain resides over love. Love breeds around it.

Like a vine; wrapping itself round the massive and un-yielding tree of pain. Twisting, covering, inch by inch –  hiding the tree itself.

And the people passing by fully enjoy the breathtaking view of the vine. Experiencing it. Smelling it. Touching it. Without knowing what it encloses. Without seeing what lies beneath.


The last breath is never easy just like the first breath; however, for Wali, the trauma of breaths has been different. His first breaths were as conscious as the last ones. Always. He always knew the purpose, the journey, the struggle; yet failure was destined for him. The pursuit remained not for a decade or a life but for lives along with echoes of requests in parallel universe.

Yet here he is again at the Gate of Transactions with God, with the same request and the same vehemence in his eyes, to ask to pass the same journey again. Just like a moth to a flame, he has to burn. He has to die. It is his destiny. And perhaps the purpose too.

The Gate of Transactions is unlike any of the other gates. It is a combination of the physical and metaphysical dimensions. Time exists in the physical dimension and there is no limit to the time you can traverse. However, contact remains elusive; bound by a silent command. The command of ‘Kun’

This is Wali’s 6th transaction with the hope that it will be the last one. He may not have had any eminence in his four lives in the world, yet he has the royalty to be here for a conversation.

God loves to give chances. He loves to give hope. He will easily grant you another life. But He will sternly refuse any assistance. He will not reply to the old-wretched-soul of Wali. He won’t look. He doesn’t need to look.

He knows. Everything.

“Here I am again, at the mercy of You and Your creations of time and life and hope.”

God knows.

“I need to go back again. I need to start again. I need another chance. Another life. Like Adam.”

God knows.

“O Dear Lord! Grant me another chance. Send me back. Forgive me but I don’t want the eternity of heaven. I need the life of the world.”

God knows.

“I have failed but my failure is not mine alone. I am limited. I am restricted. I am confined. In a body. In a soul. I deserve another chance.”

God has always known.

Time continues to race. At the edge of chance, his heart – barely able to beat – slows down. He looks up at God, silently imploring with his eyes as words fail him.


The Guardian of the Gate approaches Wali to escort him. He has had his chance. He has had his meeting. He has had his failure. It was meant to fail. Requests, pleadings and lives are turned to ash like that.


“The vine is nothing without the tree. It lives, breeds and produces because of the strength of the tree. Pain and love go hand-in-hand like your parallel lives.” Pointing to the gate, he says, “Please leave.”

The gate closes behind his back with a clang.

Each prayer accepted and each wish resigned.

“Is this it,” he wonders.

This is it.

KUN!” comes the Commandment and the universe echoes it for the sixth time.

… follows a conscious gasp somewhere near a small hut near a cold river passing through a cold desert.