Faces of Change, not Change of Faces!

On Imran Khan’s massive jalsa in Lahore, America’s prestigious Huffpost has this to say. As the country looks ahead to a national election later this spring, the biggest wildcard is shaping up to be cricket legend Imran Khan, who rallied at least 150,000 flag-waving supporters in the eastern city of Lahore last week.
After years of trying to gain a foothold in Pakistani politics, the shaggy-haired, ruggedly good-looking 60-year-old has finally elbowed his way into the big league. Casting himself as a populist anti-corruption crusader, he is seen as a threat to the two parties that have long dominated elections.



by Nayyar Hashmey


Umair Ghani is a man of diverse traits. He is writer and a renown photographer. Has earned many awards in the realm. He is also a man well conversant with Sufism, a concept that is very much needed in today’s Pakistan, a Pakistan that is so badly riddled with the extremists of all sorts, but mainly the rabid Wahhabism, the Saudi brand of Islam that is slowly eating up the liberal sociopolitical outlook of the Pakistanis.

For such extremists, Sufis who believe more in the humanistic spirit of Islam [factually, the real face of this religion of peace], offer an elixir, an antidote to the infestations that have corroded the minds of these renegade youth. Such is the stage of these infestations that they are ready to kill even their co religionists in the name of Islam, an Islam they think is the real version, but in fact is a version that the greatest blesser of mankind, the Holy prophet Muhammad (S) absolutely despised. (more…)


Pak–Russia Relations

Times change and change demands a re look on country’s long term foreign policy objectives. Apart from all what is on board out of mutually beneficial relations between Russian Federation and Pakistan in different sectors, a fact is that  Russia is our neighboring country.
And with large segments of Muslims living in different regions of Russia, and the newly independent energy rich Central Asian states, the problem of religious and narco terrorism, the vast potential that Pakistan offers to its giant neighbours including India needs to be exploited.
Pakistan offers the most pivotal trade route, opening a new chapter in Pak Russia relations will be the most appropriate and opportune approach, a bold step in the right direction.



by Nayyar Hashmey


Historically Russia Pakistan relations have seen many ups and downs, though these have mostly been on the downward side than otherwise. Reason for these falls was primarily the Russian tilt towards India – at the expense of Pakistan.

Though in terms of realpolitik what the successive Pakistani administrations adopted as India-centric policy might have been the correct approach yet seen from pure Pakistan-centric angle, it was never a true patriotic Pakistani approach.

The basic flaw in this policy was to put all our eggs in one basket. So, we thought, by vesting all our interests with the United States, not only shall we assuage our security, but also would make great economic strides, as vis-à-vis the Soviets, Americans were in far more better position to come up to such Pakistani expectations.

While doing so, however, we totally forgot the hard damn fact of life that in intentional relations its pure business that dictates and defines the contours of the foreign policy of a nation. (more…)

New Social Contract between Federation of Pakistan and Balochistan

The driving force behind a social contract is that people think that under the new dispensation they have a better chance under a federal structure; deliverance of their needs, their aspirations, their respect and honour and above all a secure future for their families, their children. That is their stake in the state.
So to make the state work they agree to cede part of their sovereignty and certain powers to the state to run their affairs. If the state stops delivering, the social contract evaporates and people lose their stake in it.




by Nayyar Hashmey


This post by Humayun Gauhar when read in conjunction with the one by Sikander Hayat, throws ample light on what is happening these days in our land of the pure. And mind it dear readers! This is not only a happening of today. It has already happened with us before. Forty two years past we had a similar situation.

While going through this piece I noted in particular and I quote: The driving force behind a social contract is that people think that under the new dispensation they have a better chance under a federal structure; deliverance of their needs, their aspirations, their respect and honour and above all a secure future for their families, their children. That is their stake in the state.

So to make the state work they agree to cede part of their sovereignty and certain powers to the state to run their affairs. If the state stops delivering, the social contract evaporates and people lose their stake in it. This is what happened in the Soviet Union.

Gauhar has quoted in this context the case of the erstwhile Soviet empire, the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics. But why go so far. It happened right within our home too, when the former East Pakistanis thought they were being marginalised by the very Islamic Republic to whom they had ceded part of their sovereignty and certain powers to run their affairs. But when it did not happen, it didn’t work, they started agitating against the very state they had voluntarily opted to become a part during the 1947 partition.

Unfortunately even after the 1970 debacle, things have not happened as sanity would suggest. Circumstances something similar to what happened in the then East Pakistan are prevailing now in present Pakistan as well. (more…)

Ground zero

The world was stunned today as nuclear devastation fell on the Subcontinent. Enormous areas of Mumbai, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Delhi were reduced to radioactive rubble in the early hours of this morning. Both Hyderabads have been obliterated, as have Sargodha, Bahawalpur and Jaipur, by weapons thought to have had a yield of about 40 kilotons (the Hiroshima bomb was less than half that).
An Indian strike against Karachi failed, when nuclear-armed Su-30 aircraft had to take evasive action and released their bombs about fifty miles east of Pakistan’s largest city – but then prevailing winds drove massive clouds of radioactive sand across the entire urban area and far along the coastline.
Ground zero for Pakistan’s nuclear missiles aimed at New Delhi appeared to be symbolic: India Gate, the city’s business area, centred round Connaught Place, no longer exists, and destruction was total in the diplomatic enclave of Chanakyapuri and north to Civil Lines, perhaps further.




by Brian Cloughley


Note for WoP readers:  The following post is a stark presentation of the nuclear Armageddon, a scenario which could beome a reality if sanity between India and Pakistan did not prevail. The war mongers in both the nuclear armed neighbours seem to have absolutely no idea of what a nuclear confrontation could entail between these two nations of the subcontinent. Or perhaps they intentionally have their own axe to grind, oblivious to what could happen to the vast multitude of humanity all across the subcontinent.

Agreed there are differences between the two. This is quite natural. Even when there are two persons, its not always the foregone conclusion that they will have the same opinion on every issue that comes into the orbit of their interaction. Simialrly countries too have differences. But to sort out opposing opinions, differences there is a civilised way. Fighting wars for territories, ideas, hegemony and economic interests is the most brutal way of sorting out such matters for a war in most cases brings nothingg but death and destruction.

India and Pakistan have been having differences on many issues right from the day both countries got independence when they came out of the yoke of British empire in 1947.

Instead of fighting a war which will result in no Kashmir, no India, no Pakistan, leadership in both the neighbouring states need to sit together and seriously make a bid to sort out their differences. If the leaders are sincere in settling the disputes, there will be a solution. God forbid if there is no solution, there will be nothing to discuss, nothing to rule, nothing to take pride of being Pakistani or a proud and patriotic Indian….. [Nayyar]


Wink and Compromise [1 of 2]

To the world beyond Islamabad, after the great dharna ebded in the capital of Pakistan, victors were harder to call and the revolution tough to locate. After all, the vehement Qadri was not able to get the National Assembly dissolved, nor accomplish a sending away of the President or his Ministers. They all stayed in place, many of the reviled waving from the same podium where they had been denounced so heartily by the man in the silver cap.
To the angry revolution seeker, the end was an anti-climax, a hand holding that seemed in its neat reliance on the basis of an agreement, of future meetings and detailed delineations wholly unsatisfactory.
To those seeking relief from theocratic overtures, the relief was just as mixed, coming after too many crowds and too much capitulation and without the decisive excision that would thwart future attacks.



by Nayyar Hashmey


The great drama staged by Professor Dr. TUQ has been a breaker. News and views, comments and columns continue coming up on national as well as international media. I though profess to know not much about TUQ but my personal experience on two different occasions tell a totally different story.

The learned doctor who by passage of time, through is books, his oratory skills and his apparently elegant persona has got built for himself, a hallow of scholarly, noble conduct, full of reverence and vision in the eyes of his followers, his readers and to a good extent among the general masses.

The incidents I’m talking about relate to the time when Maulana had started his sermons on the state run PTV, which in those days was the one and the only electronic medium and therefore had a nation wide coverage without competition whatsoever, as in those days there neither were the private run satellite channels, cable networks, nor the mobile phones which today have become a ‘zarurat’ and at the same time a recreation for all and sundry.

It happened in those very days, that I was driving from Lahore to Sialkot. About 15 kilmeters ahead of Sialkot, on the highway connecting Gujranwala to Sialkot, all of a sudden I saw a sea of cars, trucks, Suzuki pickups and even trucks fully occupied by people carrying banners, flags and such other paraphernalia.

I was just surmising what had happened, when all of a sudden I was taken over by four SUV’s carrying men who all had loaded kalashnikovs and such similar fire power. While I was already drivng at the speed of 80 mkilmeters an hour, I was ordered by these deadly armed men to stop my car on one side of the road. When I asked them why should I, came the reply, “Professor Sahib is coming”.

I asked these armed men, who the hell this professor is and why should I stop my car, (BTW, I was already driving on the left side of the highway and causing no obstruction in anyway to the ongoing traffic). But to my utter dismay, I was told, “Janab ziyada baehs na krain warna ham apko sakhti se apni baat manwa lain ge”. Sir do not indulge into argumentation with us. If you do not obey us, we will make you obey.

Having seen no other alternative (as I love my life and didn’t want a ‘haram maut’ at the hands of such diehard followers of Maulana), I obeyed the ferocious looking hoodlums of the Maulana and parked my car on one side of the road. After a few minutes Maulana’s landcruiser passed and I had a sigh of relief.

I don’t know whether Maulana had ordered his bodyguards to ward off common sinners like me or not, but the incident was an indication to me for a man is known also by the bodyguards he keeps.

The next two incidents took place after some years at and near my residence. It happened so that one day at my residence [Before 2010 when I shifted to Rawalpindi, I was living in Lahore at Askari-I apartments, in Lahore Cantt.] a young boy knocked on my door and enquired whether I needed a domesticc helper / servant type of person. I asked my Gharwali whether she needed a helper / servant for his domestic chores.

My wife then talked to the boy named Iqbal. The boy was industrious and obedient, therefore, we were very satisfied from the help he rendered. Not only that we took him as a member of our family. The boy too was also very happy. Once when he went to his village in Tandlianwala on holidays, he came back with a big stock of fresh, juicy and sweet sugar cane for us.

The things were going smoothly when one day I was again knocked by a neighbour, a retired major. The person did not introduce himself, nor was there any courtesy but a ruthless order carrying some threat as well. I asked the genteman what had happened that made him talk so rude. To this he replied that he was sceretary general of the PAT and Dr. TUQ has been his class fellow at Jhang. OK, I said but Sir what has this to do with me.

‘You have snatched my servant and I take it as a big offence. I told the guy, the boy came on his own to me and if he wants to go back with you, Please take him along. It carries no sense that two neighbours enter in a row just becasue of a very very petty matter. But said the man, no you will dismiss the chap from your service at once. We are landlords and politicians, said my neighbour. We know how to tackle such Kammi Kameen. Its beyond you to handle such village rogues, its we the landlords who know them. We give them good beatings and so do they remain obedient to lick our boots. These damn poor creatures have remained like this for centuries, are still like this and so shall they remain forever, always, Neither will this chap stay with you nor will I allow you to retain him any more.

Now this was enough for me too, to bear such type of language and threats. I said to the man, Sir you may be landlord and you may be a politician. For me you are a neighbour and I respect you more as a neighbour than landlord and politician. And mind you Major Sahib, the days of landlords are over, neither am I a Kammi kameen of your estate in Tandlianwala nor do I care a damn about your political credentials. Now Sir, this boy is with me. I will not order his dismissal nor do I care a damn about your threats. If the boy is willing to accompany you, take him along and I have absolutely no objection. But if he does not want to go, nothing going, I will retain him because he is with me, no ghulam of yours on an estate.

So the Major Sahib left in indignation and while departing said, ‘Come what may I will pick the boy up from you. OK, I said, dear Major, let’s see what the boy decides.

This matter though a personal one and really a very very petty issue but what makes me relate these incidents is the mentality of such men in our politics who make emotion ridden speeches in the public and the innocent public thinks here is our Messiah.

A year after this second incident, the same guy i.e. my neighbour invited Dr. Tahir ul Qadri at his residence. Before the arrival of Maulana, our locality was given such a thorough search that we thought we were livining in a concentration camp where nobody could enter or leave the camp without proper scrutinies and searching [I’m talking of the days when there were no such things as suicide attacks, bomb blasts, target klling etc. Lahore was much peaceful locality in those days]. The overall nvironment in our area being located in the cantonment and the residential colony being a military run housing complex, was even more secure than other localities in the city.

But all these things perhaps did not ensure a security for the learned professor and hence all such search and rescue operations. Any way the learned professor came. My neighbour’s residence was the venue. At about 2 am, professor started his speech. The loudspekers were at such sound blasting volume that no one could sleep in the dead of night. I’m sure on that night every resident in our housing complex [except the office bearers and the followers of the professor], like me had a terrible restless night.

Dear readres, imagine when you are sleeping in your home sweet home and all of sudden the louspeakers start blaring at full volume piercing right through your ears, should I say it was all OK because it was by a learned professor who made so many common people like you and me to shiver in the freezing temperatures of Islamabad while he with his family, was sitting in cabin having all the comforts of a seven star hotel room trying to snatch niche in the arena of our national politics. I leave it entirely to you to decide if I am wrong in asserting my opinion on the much hallowed venture of Professor TUQ who of late is being eulogised by a big chunk of our people as saviour of the nation.

Note: The next post by Humayun Gauhar ;which forms part two of this essay is titled Wink and Compromise, but I would deem it more as ‘Shout and Compromise’.


Next: Wink and Compromise [2 of 2]

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More from Nayyar Hashmey on Wonders of Pakistan

1. Wahhabi Doctrine: Origin and the Manifest under House of Saud [in three parts] 2. Will the Taliban opt for peace? [in two parts] 3.  Motorway and the Dark Ages [in two parts] 4Salam, Abdus Salam [in two parts] 5. ‘Project Malala’: The CIA’s Socio-Psychological Intelligence [in two parts] 6. Wave of Democratic Revolutions in the Southern Hemisphere 8. Achievers 6espite heavy odds [in three parts] 9. Rewinding the Tragic Saga 1947 10. The Quaid and the Significance of Pakistan

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1. Pakistan: The End of Time for Rulers! 2. Libel and Blasphemy
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