Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Punjab Assembly does it yet again

The Punjab Assembly has passed a resolution banningconcerts in institutions. During the debate they added the word ‘objectionable’ to the resolution. However, no one was bothered to define the term objectionable. So with a lot of crazy things going around in our country, the PA has given one more front to the nut cases (& we have a lot of them) to use as an excuse for doing as they please. 

Suffocating the people is what seems to be the objective of this assembly & the irony is that they are paid for it by the tax payers’ money. No matter how much we want to forget the horrors of the Zia era, they keep coming back in one form or the other. Like always, they used religion to back their mindless ideas. I wonder why they don’t find anything mentioned in Islam, about liars, hoarders, hierocracy, rapist, poverty etc, real issues of the people, so that they can pass laws for them too. Not that these issues are not mentioned in the religion, they are but they choose to ignore them as they will be at the receiving end then.

This is the same assembly that was discussing polygamy & trying to justify it. The same day I met a school kid whose tuition fee was due & he was out on the road trying to sell stationary to be able to raise the money. Another gem that is credited to the PA, is the lota foot ballmatch that the members performed in the grounds of the premises.

The fact that the issues of the people are never discussed in the assembly, drain out hope for democracy. Institutions need time to establish themselves, but when people responsible for them don’t show that they mean serious business, their survival is at stake. This is especially true for a country like Pakistan, where a large majority is deprived of the basic needs of their lives.

p.s Zoo & the Punjab Assembly are located in the same area, merging them won't be that bad an idea, keeping in mind the direction in which the PA is headed.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pakistan - India Relaxed Visa Policy

In this globalized world, it is quite easy to communicate with anyone around the planet. One can travel other countries in hours as compared to days & months. The case of Pakistan & India is different. Two neighboring countries, whose citizens can’t visit each other with ease. The visa process is hell & one of the most difficult one. A difficulty, which is solely reserved for each other. No wonder then that SAARC is a failed organization & has done nothing substantial for the region. How can it succeed when both the main players have a trust deficit which no one is interested in improving? Not that the situation can’t be approved, after all France & Germany were able to do it.

In an effort to improve the Indo-Pak visa policy & highlight its benefits, Institute of Peace & Secular Studies (IPSS) arranged a conference on the 14th of January. Dr. Khalid Zaheer was one of the speakers, who spoke on the topic ‘How will a relaxed policy help attain peace?’ By the time I reached the venue his session was already in the Q & A phase. In answering one of the questions he said that the reason for the success of the negative forces is that they are very much committed to their cause, which we in the majority believe to be wrong. Those of us who are in the majority are not committed to the cause in which believe in, thus, tilting the balance in their favour.

Rtd. Professor Nabeela Kyani of Government College Univerity, narrated a story titled ‘An Ink Bottle’. The story revolved around an old man, who had witnessed partition of subcontinent. He left his belongings in the custody of his Hindu friend. When things settle down & they start waiting for the stuff, the delay causes his family to believe that they will never see their things again. The old man however, sticks to his belief that his friend is a good & trustworthy person. Meanwhile he falls in love with a University professor & takes his mother to her place, who rejects the proposal because the girl is Christian. In the end a truck does deliver their stuff along with a handwritten list, which even had the empty ink bottle listed & returned.