Archive for March, 2008

Devil’s Innocent Advocate

Devil’s Innocent Advocate

One ‘devil-hearted’ driving through the canal.

Two bombs safely defused

Shadbagh police on Monday seized two homemade bombs from Tajpura Road Lahore and handed them over to the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS).

Shadbagh police Supervisory Police Officer Shahid Mehmood said that the police had spotted two bombs on the road. He said that all shops were closed and traffic was diverted to other roads to avert any untoward situation and officials of the BDS were called in.
And that the BDS officials had defused one active bomb on the spot and declared the other one inactive. He said that the bombs weighed between 1.5 kg and 2 kg.

Bombs out in the open? On a road? Dear God! Where is this country headed? Will we ever find a way out of this deep crisis?

God help Pakistan!

Source: Daily Times

I am Stopping TB, are you?

Each year on March 24th, ‘World Tuberculosis Day’ is observed in 22 countries including Pakistan to commemorate the day in 1882 when Nobel Prize winner Dr. Robert Koch astounded the scientific community by announcing that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. TB is as old as mankind and is the No. 1 infectious killer of adults in the world. While this disease is relatively subdued in the more developed countries, the number of people killed in other countries is alarming and mind boggling.The slogan for the day this year is “I Am Stopping TB”. The slogan is reflecting the reality that every one of us, the health leaders, the health workers, the patients, the family, and the community members has a role to do to stop TB.

The main objective of celebrating this day is to educate and inspire people to adopt aworld-tuberculosis-day.GIF healthier lifestyle to prevent and cure Tuberculosis, “The Forgotten Killer” and achieve a happier and more productive life. As Tuberculosis or TB is curable with six-to-nine months treatment. But unfortunately it has been reported in Punjab, Pakistan that TB patients donot complete their treatment >>> unaware of the fact that it may then develop drug-resistant strains that take up to two years to treat with second-line drugs, often with severe side-effects. Some resistant strains are untreatable with any existing antibiotics.

tb-bacteriumthumbnail.jpgTB is an infectious disease which is caused by a bacteria whose scientific name is Mycobacterium tuberculosis Know More And Here are a few types of TB.

According to a report one-third of the world’s population is currently infected with TB. About 60,000 TB patients die annually in Pakistan alone and another 2,00,000 are added to the number each year.

And now is the right time for all of us to unite and help WHO in spreading awareness how to prevent and cure this disease by organizing events, raising funds or by simply taking our prescribed medicine on time.


on the national day… in the late 00s

I was born in mid seventies. Which means I grew up in the eighties during General Zia’s era; the Afghan war (part 1), the drugs and kalashnikov culture (the former I never took, the later I was never offered), the danda bardar Punjabi movies, the parda dar PTV, and the extremely conservative, super disciplined, highly strict, boys high schools.

In the nutshell I didn’t quite grow up to begin with… living in the city of Lahore (outside the walls though) during the times when time hardly passed and things hardly happened.

Then in the early nineties I went abroad. A short stint during high school to get accustomed to the rest of the world. Interestingly, as soon as I left Lahore, the city started changing… no wait, it actually started magnifying, electrifying and embracing a major paradigm make-over. And that too at a pretty brisk pace. So it was a fairly different Lahore to which I came back just a few years later. Lahore under full fledged democracy… pseudo nonetheless. At the onset though, it appeared to be a highly corrupt, self centered and unfriendly society trying to make its mark in transparency international reports and through unaccounted for and bizarre series of socio-political and economic events. However a deeper scrutiny revealed a silent transformation towards maturity… and towards modernity. Bit by bit though, and giving way to intense materialism, as a way of side effect.

Flooded with mobile phones (without SMS; they came later… and with incoming call charges), internet and CDs (even DVDs came later), late night hangouts and soft drink sponsored basants, satellite TV (cable came later too) with Indian reality shows that hardly had anything to do with reality, expanding roads, overhead bridges, new buildings, new factories, and what looked like a dusty path towards self attained prosperity. This was Lahore on a bumpy ride… hardly perfect, but better than before… So I imagined.

Then came 2001, and the Afghan War (part 2); this time without drugs and Kalashnikov; and for a while it mattered not much to anyone living here. The city kept flourishing, progressing; new buildings kept popping up, roads kept getting better, neater, cleaner, and larger… and everything kept waking up to life every now and then. But how can there be a war (cold or otherwise) and Pakistan be not involved in it. So it did; and the war actually spilled over to our doorstep… perils of it, this time around, being suicide bombings and terrorism… not sporadic, but very frequent… not fictional, but very real. That coupled with a “crisis of the month” situation did not quite make a decent bed time story. And with time it only got worse. And with more time, it came to the point when everyone I knew had been to at least one place; a building, a road or a mosque, which later-on was subject to a (suicide or otherwise) bomb blast. And everyone I knew, hated the fact that there seemed to be less and less electricity, let alone peace and quiet at either political front, or any other. Pakistan came to be known as the most dangerous place on earth… a title I still disagree with, even though I wouldn’t mind calling it the “most happening” place on earth.

This is pretty much where we stand today.

The reason that I just wrote the above passage was not to repeat what everyone already knows. The reason for writing the above is fairly simple… and personal.

Fairly simple because I grew up in Lahore in the eighties – when time hardly passed and things hardly happened. Now I am here in the late 00s – and the time does pass quickly and things do happen… we seem to have taken a 180 degree turn (or is it 360 degrees?). But isn’t it still the same old dusty path towards what might someday be a stable, self attained, socio-economic prosperity? We still haven’t quite gotten rid of the perils of the old past (the sheer backwardness and the senseless streaks that sometimes overwhelm our society)… So how long would it take us to get rid of the perils of new present and the upcoming future?

And personal because I have just crossed the age of 30. I have to take a decision whether to establish myself for the rest of my life here, or somewhere else. Should I be hopeful as in the nineties, or depressed as in the eighties, or both at the same time? Should I watch with keen interest what unfolds every now and then, or should I just ignore it all?

On 23rd March, our national day, as I put on the TV, all I see is the flock of gigantic floats, strolling on the roads like mythical creatures, carrying missiles and tanks on their shoulders. What I don’t see is what I want to see. A peaceful, modern, stable and still very happening (without being dangerous) Pakistan. And our cities (whether Lahore, Karachi or Islamabad) that relish culture, creativity and maturity… centers of excellence.

And this is me in an optimistic tone.

Grand Slam Sunday

Soccer is the new cricket.

Chelsea take on Arsenal on Sunday (that’s tomorrow… no wait, today!).

Nothing compared to Manchester United taking on Liverpool, the very same day. Two games, live, back-to-back. By all mean, Grand. Slam. Sunday.


I have been running after a ball for almost two years now. (you may seem to think that I am playing soccer). In Lahore, we have our own stadium with FIFA officially inhabiting our country since I-dont-know-when. You should see the packed crowds at some of the well-arranged privately-organized footy tourneys. There are a lot of soccer fans and players out and about in the city of Lahore and Soccer is coming out in a big way! Go Unitedddddd!!!

(great commentary on the Grand Slam Sunday at The Lahore Tribune)

Dressed for …

Daata Darbar :-)

Faith System Originally uploaded by Awais Yaqub

Lahore Traffic Police

Easy to break traffic rules

So is it anything more than shaven and shorn, highly paid stud in the middle of the road? I really don’t think so. This project has yet been another leech on the country’s resources which gives back zilch in return of the tax payers’ money. Take a look at the visual above. Does this show any difference between the new and the old traffic police men? The Car in the foreground is on the continuous line on a traffic signal as the traffic police is busy in their tete a tete. Wonder what they’re talking about?
“Yaar aj bari garmi ay, kaanji peeni chaiydii”
“suniya ay regal te bari kamayi hondi ay!”
“Saadi te qismet kharaab defence ich duty lag gayi. Aithay te gal karo te truck langaa deindey ne utton!”
” aj teri bhabi ne baingan banaye ne!”


The city of Lahore, it turns out, has 11 twins or sister cities. Here’s the list:

1) Istanbul – Turkey.  2) Sari Won – Democratic Republic of Korea.  3) Xian – China.  4) Kortrijk – Belgium.  5) Fez  – Morocco.  6) Cordoba – Spain.  7) Samarkand – Uzbekstan.  8) Isfahan – Iran.  9) Mashad  – Iran.  10) Glasgow – UK.  11) Chicago – USA

To me, the above is quite a fascinating mix of metropolitans. But the question is, which of the above fits the title of “Lahore’s twin” most appropriately? and which of the above is least similar to Lahore? and why?

Also which other city (or cities) do you think should be twinned with Lahore?

As per the following news report, “Glasgow is the only city working on enhancing the ties between the two cities. It has offered training facilities to the Rescue 1122 officials besides donating firefighting vehicles.”

Imran Khan’s father passed away

Mr. Ikramullah Khan Niazi, father of Imran Khan passed away today in Lahore. Imran khan with family

“Verily we belong to Allah, and to Allah we return.”

May Allah grant him the highest level in Jannah and ease his family of pain. Ameen!

Lahore Badshahs of ICL

For those who are unaware of this, ICL (Indian Cricket League) has introduced a new team in its latest ongoing 20-20 tournament. The team is called “Lahore Badshahs”.

Now I understand that many of LMB readers are not from Pakistan, or this region entirely. So for their benefit in particular, let me first explain what ICL is… no wait, let me start with explaining what cricket is.

The Webster’s dictionary (named after the famous linguist, Thomas Dictionary) describes cricket as a form of insect that trots in the outdoors when one wants to have a good night sleep. Off course Webster’s dictionary says the same thing about lollywood. So we can’t take Webster’s dictionary too seriously.

Cricket in fact is a form of sport, run by a governing body called ICC. Now for those who follow the game closely on an hourly basis, you must have noticed an immense conflict these days between two major forces in Cricket…. the batsmen and the bowlers. This is pretty much all one has to know about cricket to get involved. Off course once you do get involved, chances are that you will be fed with so many intricate nitty gritties of the game, that football (another major sport) will seem like a mere prank, against the overwhelmingly complicated game of cricket.

ICL is one such complication in the game these days. So now that you have gained enough raw knowledge to comment on this post, let me get back to the main point; ICL has a new team, called Lahore Badshahs.

Captained by our ex captain Inzy, Lahore Badshahs comprises all those Pakistani players who have left the lucrative (hint hint) careers as “test rejects” to join the wannabe rebel league. And there are plenty of them. In fact, Lahore Badshahs has assembled a cast of quite a few ex-match winners, that it can, in fact, create a major upset in the tournament… such as Pakistani players winning matches… The batting line-up comprises Inzy himself, alongwith Imran Nazir, Imran Farhat, Taufiq Umer, Hamayun Farhat, Navid Latif and Hasan Raza, as well as the wicketkeeper batsman Moin Khan. But it’s actually the bowling line-up that makes the team strong, including fast bowlers such as Mohammad Sami, Shahid Nazeer, Riaz Afridi and Rana Naveed ul Hasan alongwith old (by age) spinners such as Mushtaq Ahmed, Arshad Khan, and (not so old still) Saqlain Mushtaq. All rounder Azhar Mahmood also makes the 16 men squad.

Granted, most of these players are not actually from Lahore. But then Chris Cairns in not exactly from Chandigarh and Marvan Atapattu and Shane Bond are not from Delhi either. So it’s the name of the team that’s important rather than who plays in it.

In the first round of current series, Lahore Badshahs are right now right at the top of the table, having won all 3 matches they played, securing 6 points.

Now what happens if Lahore Badshahs go on to win ICL? How would PCB react to that? Will the ban on these ICL players be lifted if they bring home some glory? and where exactly is Abdur Razzaq? are some of the questions which are yet to be answered. Till we have an answer to these, lets watch some more cricket!!!

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