paksitan

don’t act like this is something new. police brutality and the mistreatment of black people has been going on since the establishment of america (and before, fuckit). the palestine-israel conflict has been going on since the end of world war two. the conflicts in pakistan have been going pretty much since the establishment of the british raj. this is not new. this is not “sudden”. the world is not “suddenly changing”. this isn’t “what our world is coming to.”. it’s always been this way. you’re only seeing it now.

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Former President Pervez Musharraf on the Daily Show

Last time Musharraf went on the Daily Show as the President of Pakistan and was offered Jasmine tea and Twinkies by Jon Stewart. As the first sip of the tea was being taken, Jon very coyly asked Musharraf: “Where is Bin Laden?” (See Below)

This time around he was offered Powerade and balance bars. Oh the symbolism!

One thing I still like about Musharraf is that he’s willing to allow himself to be grilled and go to places where he will be asked tough questions. Here’s a three part interview where he holds his ground although there are moments where Jon Stewart’s quick wit definitely stumps him.

For Example:

Musharraf: $5 billion over 6 years is not some kind of money that Pakistan can not live without..Overdoing this aspect of the financial aid given to Pakistan, is unfair..

Jon Stewart: Well, probably the mitigating circumstance there is that, we [US] are broke now. So $5 billion may not seem like a lot to Pakistan but to us, we are hurting..

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Musharraf on the Daily Show in September 2006 (Part 1)

► In this world of lies and deceptions, truth is always a rare commodity to find. This is how they create consent for wars.

Kuwaiti Drama Queen

► Nayirah Testimony: In August 1990 there was conflict between Iraq and Kuwait, mostly over oil fields as Saddam Hussein accused Kuwaitis of theft of these resources. On October 10th the whole world turned its eyes toward a fifteen-year old girl named Nayirah, who wept profusely as she talked about inhumane crimes committed by Iraqi soldiers. Nayirah stated that after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait she had witnessed Iraqi soldiers take babies out of incubators in a Kuwaiti hospital, take the incubators, and killed 300 babies.

►The dramatic speech touched the hearts of viewers and managed to drum up overwhelming support for the involvement of the United States in this conflict and the outbreak of the Gulf War. Though reporters did not then have access to Kuwait, her testimony was regarded as credible at the time and was widely publicized. It was cited numerous times by United States senators and the president in their rationale to back Kuwait in the Gulf War.

► When the battle dust settled, In 1992, it was revealed that Nayirah’s last name was al-saba (Arabic: نيره الصباح) . Quickly it became apparent that the sobbing girl in front of millions of viewers was the daughter of Sheikh Saud Nasser Al-Saud Al-Sabah – Kuwaiti Ambassador to the United States and a member of the royal family. The child was handed to PR whizzes – Hill & Knowlton company, where she passed a course in comprehensive acting training. It had to work out – the company bosses signed an $11.9 million contract with the Kuwaiti royal family. The task was simple — to persuade the U.S. military to take action against Iraq. Nayirah lied. IT WORKED.

2

On this blessed day of Ramadan while we all are rejoicing with our family and being around our loved ones, let me tell you about a faithful daughter: Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. How can we forget her, Prisoner No. 650

Dr Aafia Siddiqui, A Pakistani PhD. Having 144 Honorary Degrees & Certificates, In Neurology, From Different Institutes Of The World, The Only Neurologist In The World Have The Honorary Ph.d From Harvard University,

Hafiza al-Quraan (memorised entire Qur’an), Aalima (scholar), Not even a single American matches her qualifications, she was kidnapped along with her 3 children, by the FBI from Karachi, With Help of Paksitani Government Alleging Connection with Al-Qaeeda, Now She is in USA prison, Having Lost Memory, Due to physical, Psychological & Sexual Torture, She is Imprisoned with Men.

“She is certainly not a sister, as she has no brothers! Sisters are loved and protected, not sold and humiliated. Brothers sacrifice their own blood, to provide their sisters’ bread; they never sell their sisters for their own bread! She is not a sister, since a sister’s name awakens precious memories and proud feelings in the hearts of her brothers, it reminds them of her innocence, and love and affection. On the other hand, the name that makes them revise their calculations, and recount the money, that she was supposed to be worth; can that be the name of a sister”??

She has gone through pain beyond what we can imagine yet no one cares or have even heard of her name, with the firmness in my heart that duas won’t be rejected in this blessed month of Ramadan, I ask Allah relieve her pain and grant her the freedom she deserves, ameen. Indeed justice will be prevailed and Allah definitely will in the hereafter ameen.

The recent news of her extradition (prisoner swap) is welcoming, Aafia Siddiqui Could Be Back in Pakistan Before Eid. http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/07/22/314973/the-strange-case-of-aafia-siddiqui/


Everyone is leaving this summer. So far I’ve heard China, India, Quebec, US, Pakistan, and Saudi. I really miss Pakistan. I had full intentions of going but I’m gonna wait it out till next December for my cousin’s wedding. Frankly, I don’t have the money really. Even after all these years, I still get home sick. Canada hasn’t ever, probably will never feel like home. My sisters are so well adjusted here but I really can’t seem to do so myself. On some subconscious level, I think I just don’t want to.

The smell of bun kebabs; the gunnay (sugar cane) ka juice after a hot school day; my aunt dragging me to suddar in a rickshaw, and I’d only go with her if she promised to buy me chat; calling every shop owner ‘khan’ and staying there for like 45 mins just talking about irrelevant shit that had nothing to do with buying the clothes until the other guy came in and got us chai; the Sunday morning tradition of going to buy halwapuri with my dadaji on his Vespa.

Since most women wore the niqab, I loved making eye contact because that was really the only place to look. It’s refreshing to pickup on the facial expression of these women by only looking into their eyes. I used to grab on my mom’s abaya when we crossed the Karachi streets because my other sisters would always get her hands before me. 

Every morning I woke up to like 6 different adans because we had a mosque on every street corner. I didn’t need the automatic computer adans or an alarm or a calendar to tell me to pray. 

I realize Pakistan gets so much bad publicity but I really do love it. I have witnessed bombs and shootings and robberies but it’s more than that. A lot more than that. 

One of my childhood friends had a glorious voice. She used it to recite naatain at any given chance she got. Her favourites were Zah-e-Muqqadar and Fasloon Ko Takaluf Hai Hum Sey Agar. I mention this here, today, because it is 12 Rabi ul Awwal, and it feels like the Prophet’s (P.B.U.H) birthday has become a marketing strategy for so many religious factions who are in a race to do one up on their rivals by holding a bigger Milaad gathering. There was one near my new home the other day, and what was being recited on the microphone neither moved me nor convinced me that I should be paying attention to this recitation. 

Now, my friend, when she recited these Naatain, with her big eyes shut tight, her small hands clutching her neatly set dupatta tightly, her slim, small body swaying back and forth with an internally organized rhythm, moved people to tears. Even me, in my self-imposed phase of indifference (age 13; it’s a tough time for anyone). I can admit to this now without embarrassment. And I think I had to admit it because the world has suddenly taken a strange turn. We are now all collectively embarrassed about owning up to our harmless religious pageantry because it has been hijacked by people who have taken it away from childlike adoration to rabid fanaticism. It is a shame. I don’t know what can be done about this, only that I am currently listening to Qari Waheed’s beautiful rendition of Fasloon Ko Takaluf Hai Hum Sey Agar, and I am quietly content about knowing the worth of personal faith. 

And for anyone out at this time in Lahore, or any city of Pakistan: please stop and take a look at the ‘pahadis’ the children make to celebrate the Prophet’s (P.B.U.H) birthday. It’s all beautiful because it is somewhat removed from the politics of religious factionism and fanaticism. And while you are doing that, have heart. Perhaps there will be a time to be good again. I hope we are all around to see it.  


There is no dedication on this post, but it is partially written for my friend Ambreen, who made me understand that you don’t need to have a voice like a nightingale to sing about the things you love. You just need to sing. 


Badshahi Mosque; photo taken on 11th October, 2011, at 5:42 PM.