George Floyd

Malcolm X is as relevant today as he was back in the 60s. His brutally honest words took him to his grave. He knew he would be assassinated. There were attempts and phone taps and followings.

But he didn’t bow down.

Not to the FBI. Not to the US Government. Not to Elijah Mohammad. Not to the NOI. Not to anyone.

So – as he said after Kennedy’s assassination – chickens are coming home to roost.

US has seeded racial, religious and class discrimination across the world. Here, it is facing what it has done. But there are so many divisions among the Black community itself that it wouldn’t be now. Not this time. Until another Malcolm X arrives with the same brutal honesty.

Not Martin Luther King. Not Elijah Mohammed. Not Wallace Fard. But Malcolm X.

Now come to the police brutality.

Well, isn’t it the same here? Have you forgotten Sahiwal massacre? If you’ll compare US’s police with our local police, it will be a grotesque comparison. That cop who killed George Floyd has already been charged. On the contrary, our security personnel always go free after years of cooling-down-the-anger.

Like the killers of Sarfaraz Shah. The incident was recorded and went viral. But impotency here is so high that there wasn’t a single rally against the perpetrators.

And who can forget Rao Anwar’s 444 encounters. Even Supreme Court succumbed to his tactics.

And even if the police will do something tangible, like they did in case of Raymond Davis, boys will come to the rescue. Remember Pasha escorting Davis to the airport? Yes, you do. You didn’t utter a word.

But.

Your hypocrisy is conveniently making you talk. Big words. Justice. Equality. Law. Punishment. Shame.

Shame!

We are still on our way to become an uglier society. For over a decade, Hazara community has been targeted and killed. By state owned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. Even IK tweeted this once.

Now, Hazara community has done the same and killed three young boys. This is completion of the cycle. But it is just the beginning of a vicious cycle. When victims become perpetrators, you know what’s coming.

So, don’t bother. You still have to compete with your own hypocritical dumbness.

And you have a topic. That Uzma, Usman, Sadaf, Shehroz stuff. Talk about that. Because you still have to figure out what’s better: to cheat and keep OR to divorce and marry.

Carry on.

Music!

Letter

Dear Taya Abu,

Glad to know you are doing so well in Ladakh. We are going mad with happiness. We are already trolling Phupho on Twitter. Proud of you.

But Taya Abu! While you are doing so good, do come forward for our little cousins in Srinagar. This is a request. End their misery once and for all.

In return, we will remain unconscious about our cousins in Uighur. Who? We don’t even know them. Keep making your concentration camps. If you need any help – I mean labour – we are a yuan away.

P.S. we accept your sons’ proposals for our sisters. You are welcome to take them anytime.

Best regards for your future endeavors in Hong Kong.

Collectively yours,
Begana Abdullah.

Random Numbness (May 2020)

As the number of confirmed cases are growing exponentially on a daily basis, we are here with eased-locked. Or smart lockdown. Or whatever.
The official binary debate was: save jobs vs. save lives. And it’s ‘save jobs’. [Why do I feel like writing ‘Steve Jobs’ instead of ‘save jobs’?]. Well, with 5 million kids coming in the next six months, the decision is quite sensible. You can make ‘lives’ on bed but you can’t create ‘jobs’ that way.
PM was right. And smart.
With the binary debate, I got to remember that binary question which changed our fate forever. Remember when Islamabad got a call from Washington after 9/11? “With us or against us?” Exactly. Smart. Catastrophically smart.

[Not using ‘dumb’ or ‘duffers’ today as people complained that I get personal. Duly noted.]
Every other day, PM opens his puzzle box and no one is sure what he is playing. Sometimes he praises his actions and other times his inactions. Sometimes it is a conspiracy of elites and other times it is his charisma.
Just when he was worried about the hungry and the poor and needy and the jobless; ECC approved a grant of Rs.1.66 billion for the richest for a telecom monitoring project.
A conspiracy of elites! To keep an eye on you. To make Orwell’s Big Brother stronger. And better. Because now is the ideal time for real business.
In the name of national security.
In a parallel universe meanwhile, two Baloch graduates of Quaid-e-Azam University were killed in Balochistan by Security Forces. This happens when you keep on labeling people and are not ready to talk.
Like in 1971, we were not ready to talk to the inferior Bengali race. Today, we are not ready to bear these inferior Baloch and Tribal races. So, there are a couple of million traitors in the country at the moment.
Words will bleed.
We will ponder for a while.
Then we will switch on the TV. For stupid debates and advertisements of things we don’t need.
And Ertugrul.
Game of Thrones had a crowd following. So does Ertugrul. So, not on the cards and not at all interested.
But if you are interested in Turkey, then remember this country did something in recent history which we never could. In July 2016, Turkish Military attempted to impose Martial Law. The public came out and stood before tanks. And the coup met with a historical failure.
This is a better story than falling in love with Ertugrul and then feeling betrayal after googling ‘Halime Hatun’.
[Watching movies / series / dramas are based on personal interests. As long as you are having fun – and learning – keep watching. Anything.]
Sadly, we don’t cherish our ‘own’ heroes. Like Bhagat Singh who stood against oppression. We cherish those who came and assaulted us. Mughals, Ghazni, Bin Qasim, Aibak, Ghori, Abdali… were all foreign invaders. Who came for their vested interests. Like America came to Afghanistan.
Moreover, why don’t we wonder why we always cherish those who killed thousands / millions? These warriors rarely fought for anything moral or upright or anything other than their own personal interest.
But yes. When the invaders become rulers, they become part of the society. They become part of the culture. Urdu came into being that way. The monuments of the last 10 centuries are our heritage. That’s why we cherish Mughals. Then why don’t we cherish British rule?
Argh…
Wrong question.
History works in mysterious way. With the sword of the powerful. And the pen of the writer.
All we need to do is: to know history and to be critical of it and never to repeat follies.
And never, ever to forget.

You need to be Dumb to be that Numb

Asim replaces Firdaus. So? Nothing.

You need to be dumb to be that numb.

Once upon a time, Vawda brought a boot on a live TV show. To make a point. He did. Boot was the point. But you didn’t get it.

Anyway,

Shit happens. Security lapses. Bombs blasts. People die. Collateral damage. For the sake of argument… fine.

But ‘Ehsan Ullah Ehsan’ never happens. The one who is responsible for the goriest incident in the history of the country, doesn’t ‘escape’ like that. That doesn’t happen.

Yet it happened.
As if nothing happened.

This country was hijacked from the very beginning. Those who ran the machinery for their Colonial Lords, took charge of it.

Gora sahibs transformed into Kala sahibs. Same establishment. Same bureaucracy. Same nawabs. Same military.

Jinnah knew that very well. That’s why he was suspicious of Ayub and made stern remarks against his political ambitions.

But Jinnah died and a vicious cycle of ugliness started. People were labeled. Treason was imposed. Blood was sold. Jihad became business. History was mutated. To make a fortune of conglomerate businesses based on the political empire of violence and power.

Even Fatima Jinnah wasn’t spared. She was abused, labeled, defeated and then silenced. The first opposition leader died mysteriously in her Mohatta Palace.

With Fatima Jinnah’s death, dissent was muted. Forever.

But every now and then, Asma Jahangirs and Habib Jalibs came. They roared. Their roar became words of defiance. And they were labeled too.

And here with real masters behind the curtains, we have puppets presenting an expensive show; Buzdar as CM, Tareen as no one. All the visionaries of change being ugly and greedy. Being busy in legal crimes to make fortunes with subsidies.

People believe a democracy is in place. Which is not. Which never was.
People think that the PM is the PM. Who is not. Who never was.
People think that Parliament has power. Which does not. Which never had.

And you are too numb to get the point.

Wanna-Be Warriors against Covid-19

Two Black Hawk Helicopters took flight from Jalalabad (Afghanistan). Reached Abottabad. Executed a brutal operation for around 40 minutes. And flew back to Afghanistan.

Those who couldn’t detect that, are spying on Covid-19 suspects. Imagine the irony.

Let’s look at it another way. Let’s ‘assume’ they knew about the operation. And were part of the plan: to feel without moaning. And they did as were told.

But doesn’t the second case make it even more deplorable?

No. Let’s take the first-case. And behave! They didn’t know.

But irony sustains.

I remember when a judge inquired ‘them’ about a guy who was abducted for weeks without a proper trial. And they said that they were unable to unlock the laptop.

Irony. Sustains.

And Ehsan Ullah Ehsan. Those who were ‘unable’ to keep an ugly terrorist in custody, are trying to portray as frontline warriors against a pandemic. Or maybe, the ‘escape’ was… Behave!

Such irony.

Pimps. Sold Jihad. Sold religion. Sold people. Sold blood. Sold narrative. Sold every single thing they could sell.

Even our history is ironic. For example in 71, majority got tired of minority and decided to separate ways. Let me rephrase. Majority. Got tired. Of minority. And founded another country.

Irony.

A question: Why duffers are always referred as ‘intelligence’?

The virus had at least taught the world who the actual frontline warriors are. The doctors. Not the duffers.

All they want is to portray themselves alongside the doctors. All they want is to keep the stage. To be relevant. To be the frontline warriors. However, they have always been the backstage dealers.

Anyway. With all the precautionary paradoxes and the PM and his team and Tariq Jameel and his tears and the intelligence and all the puppets of the uniform disguising a civil rule… we don’t need to panic.

Covid-19 is in safe hands.

Random Numbness (April 2020)

No more Khalil ur Rehman Qamar vomiting on TV. But it doesn’t mean shit doesn’t exist anymore. It does. Only we have some other problems.

Firstly, there is this virus. Supreme Court is trying their best to control the pandemic. Forgetting that they themselves are endemic.

Then, we have this sugar crisis. Tareen’s sugar levels is high as IK – well, not IK – made the report public. Now Tareen is running here and there, looking for some Musharraf-kinda-daddy. ‘Sugar daddy’ looking for daddy. What luck!

Meanwhile Saad rafique met Pervaiz Elahi. Yes, the same ‘daaku’. In ten years, PML-Q desperately wanted to hangout with PML-N, but they were not needed before. Now political frustration has paved the way for the two ugly ducklings. This is precisely where Zia’s DNA meets Musharraf’s DNA.

And Vawda is back again. Without a boot this time. If coronavirus had a face…

Even religious scholars and mullahs are providing comedy. Yeh to ho ga. When their businesses will be closed, they will be frustrated. And in frustration, they will provide content.

Anyway, with all the fuss, comedy remained intact. IK says something. Sindh goes the other way. Punjab follows Sindh after a day or two. Then KPK follows Punjab. Then Federal endorses everything with ifs and buts. And then comes sugar and wheat report.

Government has issued vague notifications and has directed Commissioners / Deputy Commissioners to resolve the confusions. Well, the bureaucrats rarely handle straight guidelines, and here they are asked to use their minds. Embrace yourself!

There is much ado about nothing. Lockdown is here. It’s not curfew. Yes, you can open your shop. No, not you. You. I mean you, not you. Who?

But don’t blame them.

We got these laws, courts, bureaucracy and military from colonialism. Ranks and designations and hierarchies and grades are exactly the colonial way. In exactly the same offices they made during colonial era. With exactly the same mindset sucking the system.

Majority of our laws and penal codes – including 144 – are from colonial era. The exact same system is lynching the public the exact same way.

Only the elite natives replaced the gora sahibs.

That’s why our history, throughout the decades, is same. Same ink accusing the same class of the same mind.

Jalianwala Bagh before partition.
Babrra massacre after partition.

Manto wrote before and after 1947. And he wrote exactly the same stories.
Stories of atrocities.
Stories of lawlessness.
Stories of corruption.
Stories of fanaticism.
Stories of men. Men of lust.

The only difference is what he wrote as derogatory has become itself a writer with endless scripts and dramas. But we have other problems for now.

An Ideal Time

Have you thought at what time in history – present actually – this virus has spread throughout the world? Well, at an ideal time.

The vaccine isn’t here yet. It will take time. Best case: summer 2021. So, you have to wait.

You always cried for family time, right? So here it is!
Fasten your seatbelt. Because you aren’t going anywhere. And you won’t be able to. By the time it ends, you will have eaten up the loads of stored food and your belly would be swollen and your knees won’t be able to bear a hippo, you big fat f…

“THINGS YOU OWN END UP OWNING YOU.”

When a virus attacks, your body fights. This earth – motherland – was consistently being attacked by us, so it has retaliated. Perhaps it’s my illusionary-pessimistic-self talking. But anyway, considering your family life constant, it feels good. Doesn’t it?

When the patient starts to recover, it feels good. The mother earth is recovering. AQI index of ugliest cities are at par with cleanest cities around the world. The air we are breathing now wasn’t available for over two decades.

Petrol consumption is at its lowest. As is water consumption due to closed industries.

Other than that, crime rate has plummeted globally. How many kids have been saved from potential rape and murder incidents?

There is no war at the moment. Unbelievable, isn’t it?

All the missiles and tanks and jets are waiting for another man-made crisis. But this isn’t a man-made crisis. They aren’t needed now. They’ll be needed when duffers will reign again. And they will. Because insects are immune to…

You know this was – is – the ideal time for a novel epidemic. This is the only planet we own and look what we did to her.

We filled the waters with plastics and crude products. And dead bodies. Millions of dead bodies who became homeless in their homes and drowned while trying to find another home. Finding Neverland.

We even threw Luca Brasi and Bin Laden into the waters.

We destroyed the jungles. We established industries for mass consumption – including animals. We made leather from snakes and crocodiles.

We advertised brands made by hungry hands. We gave them enough to be steady but not enough to stand. We treated those hands in Africa and Asia as cows of dairy industry.

Class. Creed. Sect. Race. Religion. Nationality. We compartmentalized all the lower classes.

Meanwhile, the elite remained classless. Sitting in luxury offices finalizing bail-out packages for people wining and dining in yachts and mansions. Classless. People of the mosque, temple and church; all equal in the eyes of wealth.

Karl Marx said religion is an anti-depressant for struggling class. And he said it was necessary. Anti-depressants are necessary. Aren’t they?

So the virus is here. It was needed. It was time. Every era has to end.

Kingdoms ended. Colonialism perished. Fascism and totalitarianism jolted the world in world wars but were ceased after millions died. An era of liberalism emerged. The liberal half of the world saw its epitome of research and development in those years. While the other half kept on suffering at the hands of conservatism and religion-based politics. Then came the new wars. Wars based on information to target people and regions precisely.

It started with Iraq. Entered Afghanistan. Splashed countries like Libya, Syria and Yemen. Pimps suffered too: Pakistan lost its strategic position and Saudia lost its regional control. China initiated a surveillance war on Uighur. Burma did ethnic cleansing boldly, that too under a Noble Peace Laureate. India committed crimes legally, by passing vicious laws. Boris, Modi, Trump, Bolsonaro, Khan. Do you see there is something common all across the political world?

POPULISM.

Say what the crowd wants to hear.
Do what the crowd wants done.
Be it stupid. Be it cruel.

So, the virus came. It was long due.

Ah! I knew you would say that. ‘People will be jobless’. ‘There will be shortage of food’. ‘People will die’. ‘Blah blah’.

Yes. But, no.

That was all happening before. People were jobless before. There was shortage of food before. People died before. You just ignored all of it.

The only difference is, you will be jobless this time. You will face shortage of food. You will die.

But God forbid. Let’s hope for the best. We all need an anti-depressant.

Let me tell you, a new era is going to begin. Populism will go down organically. The generations eye-witnessing the current scenario, will not be conservative or orthodox as before. Countries will re-prioritize their future budgets. Science will have its due share as will healthcare. Religion will become a personal matter – as it should be – for some time to come.

And war. These tanks and missiles and jets. These decorated soldiers and their synchronized parades for emotional wellbeing of the crowd.

Well, behave yourself.

Post-Virus World Order

Un-globalization in process.

How many companies will adopt work-from-home model when this will be over? Isn’t it less costly?

How many people will re-shape their work-family balance?

Will the business and strategy books keep on teaching “globalization” like before?

Will China remain the production hub of the whole world?

Will the nations keep on buying weapons to build on arsenals or will healthcare get some light?

Will healthcare be adopted back by the government, as it was being privatized and outsourced in most of the countries?

Will there be Hajj this year?

Will secularism / liberalism see a boom or will the world keep moving towards populism / conservatism?

Will science be considered as important as orthodox beliefs?

Will the neighborhood life resume as before?

Will we have more divorces or more babies?

There are so many questions. We don’t even know how many will perish before a virus-free world sees the daylight. But who cares?

We deserve this.

First of all, this debate of science vs. religion will never end. It is as ruthless today as it was when Galileo said that the earth is a ‘globe’. One side can claim that science has failed to prevent the world from this invisible virus. And the same can be said for the other side.

Exactly same arguments can be thrown on both sides of the pole.

The question is, why is this even polarized. For me, it is exactly the same side of a single being.

Anyway,

We deserve this.

With bloods on our hand, we deserve this.

When kids were being killed in Yemen through drones, we didn’t record resistance. We took Sunni / Shia split sides. We defended our troops and blamed others.

When Afghanistan was being bombarded – with Jihad and without Jihad – we played dollar-based-politics. While counting dead bodies, we never shuddered and continued counting dollars.

When Rohingya were undergoing ethnic cleansing, the world watched it as silent spectators watching a horror movie.

When Syrian refugees were drowning in the water, we cried, wiped our tears, and went on to buy products of the same people who pointed guns at the refugees.

When kids were being raped and murdered, we were unable to make policies to tackle the situation. Now, see, kids are safe. Or maybe not?

We never thought of the consequences of our consumerism.
We never changed our lifestyle. Because we never had an ideology.
We never had conscientiousness.

We deserve this.

With arsenals rising, missiles getting bigger, drones getting smaller and jets getting swifter, poor people became poorer.

Those who were unable to be fed, were bombarded.
For narratives. Ideologies. Politics. Business. Religions.

We deserve this.

So, here we are.

I hope we will learn a lesson.
I hope it will be classless and ruthless.
I hope it will be liberal and secular in selection and conservative and fundamentalist in implementation.
As we have been for centuries.

Because, we deserve this.

And I hope and pray this virus will spare kids.
Because the next generation is the only hope this world has.

CSS – Neither Civil, nor a Service

Jawaharlal Nehru famously mocked the Indian Civil Service as “Neither Indian, nor civil, nor a service”.

Lord Samuel wittily lauded the British bureaucracy’s faultless ability to “provide a difficulty to every solution”.

Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, soon after becoming PM, thought she should make an informed assessment of the civil servants for herself. In May 1980, she invited 23 permanent secretaries in her government to dinner at 10 Downing Street. She groaned afterwards: “This was one of the most dismal occasions of my entire time in government.”

In the UK, according to Mrs. Thatcher, a former head of her civil service beli¬eved that bur¬eaucracy’s function was essentially “the orderly management of decline”.

A report on the Indian bureaucracy by a US think tank concluded that “corrupt bureaucrats are despised but thrive; the honest are respected but do not rise; and idealists end up nowhere”.

Now come to Pakistan.

CSS is one short-cut to an elite life. Just pass one exam – and with luck on your side – you can be sitting along with PM or CM in a decade; distributing your dufferness with etiquette.

Let me elaborate.

What most of CSPs deal with is the budget. There are two kinds of it. Development and Non-Development. Non-Development is the usual non-technical shit; like salary and non-salary expenditures. Development is about PSDP (federal level) or ADP (provincial level) development schemes which pass through different forums and feasibility steps before seeing the approval day. After which starts the release of funds and execution of the schemes.

That’s basic to know the least before chairing a meeting.

Even after serving for decades as CSP, bureaucrats are clueless about development. But then, they sit in every single development meeting and make decisions.

Result: National misery.

Sahiwal Coal Power Project was infeasible. Peshawar BRT is a slap on the face of civil bureaucracy. Lahore’s Orange Line is nothing more than an environmental catastrophe with billions of rupees wasted.

And the bureaucratic crap is faced by the Ministers.

Ministers are guided by these bureaucrats and they face all the media trial. However, the real failure is mainly because of the bureaucrats who are responsible to guide the ministers in the right direction with right decisions.

But as CSPs are surrounded by lickers, they themselves behave like lickers around ministers. To keep posts. To stay in big cities. To save humiliation of thrown faraway or becoming OSD.

The purpose of CSS was to offer secured jobs to exceptional candidates so that they can stand against ministers with infeasible demands. Yet, every single major project in every single field is political.

I remember a Secretary with 22+ years of service – who remained a Divisional Commissioner too – once asked after a development meeting “what do I have to do here?” A file was placed in front of him for signatures, which he did. Job done.

Railways. Always remained under CSPs. Ugliness of this department is a routine news.

Pakistan Post is an example which doesn’t need elaboration.

Police is another nightmare. People – even after robbed of their property and prestige – prefer not to visit police stations. With increasing bribery and crime and police brutality, one can see how dumb and clueless their top hierarchy is.

Health, education, roads and all similar departments fall under the ‘prestigious’ PAS – former DMG. And 99% of DMGs are suited duffers.

Manicure, done.
Pedicure, done.
Cologne, done.
Accent, done.
Mess, car, driver, chef, a couple of lickers around. Other than that, a couple of poetic verses – preferably Faiz and Shakespeare – and little Marxism to impress you with historical jargons.

And that’s it. National misery sustains.

CSPs don’t know but every single one is made fun of behind their back. People, their subordinates, laugh at them and mimic how the clown acted like Lincoln.

So, what’s the solution?

First thing is, CSS is outdated. CSPs should be promoted after their fair performance assessment. Those who were behind serious mishaps – train delays and accidents, merciless killing of people in police custody, billions of rupees wasted on non-feasible projects, etc. – should be punished with termination.

Technocracy should be promoted. CSPs should gradually be put into clerical stuff as they are nothing more than white-collar-clerks and have no technical knowledge.

IT sector should be managed by IT veterans.
Police should be guided by those who have done research work in criminology.
Health should be under health professionals.
Development should be seen by those who have spent years in development and planning jobs.

Here, people with exceptional education and research work stand in queue and wait to salute a BA pass bureaucrat. Don’t get offended. But if that will continue, Pakistan will keep on begging IMF and the world to sort its mess.

Unjustifiably Justifiable

I don’t know why people are hating Vawda. He should be awarded Haram-e-Imtiaz for what he did. With just one single dumb act, he summarized the complete political history – and curse – of Pakistan.

Boot. On table. The place where pen and paper (or constitution) are supposed to be. But here – in the land of pure – we have boot. Everywhere.
On our heads.
On our bums.

The debate Vawda initiated was that PMLN is a boot licker. But before going further, he said PTI is a boot licker too and is proud of it. PPP guy tried to rank himself third in the category of boot-licking while Vawda was emphasizing the opposite. That was the whole debate.

You get the message?

It is that: Everyone is a boot-licker. The issue is only about ranking in boot-licking.

Thar’s it. Simply done.

He told everyone that every party and parliament and senate and laws and everything is under the boot.

But there is an issue. The act displayed a disgusting note. That being a boot-licker is filthy. It is what it is but it’s bad. It’s inevitable. It’s unjustifiably justifiable.

Don’t hate him. No one could have done it. Historians and writers have to write hundreds of pages to publish what he presented within 10 minutes.

Hail Vawda!