Archive for the ‘Memories’ Category

‘Taliban Zindabad!’

 

The writing is a slogan in Urdu which reads in English as"Long Live Daawat-e-Tableegh, Long Live Taliban"

The writing is a slogan in Urdu which reads in English as; "Long Live Daawat-e-Tableegh, Long Live Taliban"

 

I still remember the day when, about a year ago, I met a guy in the university who was from North Waziristan. Hearing that he is form tribal areas; I just couldn’t stop myself asking him to sit with me for a while. Probably, it was the first time I was meeting anyone from the tribal areas.

I just wanted to ask many questions that I never planned to ask from him or from anyone. But considering the meeting an opportunity, I just uttered the questions to him.

I don’t remember exactly from where did I start but one important thing was definitely discussed. I asked him,”Who are Taliban?” He said,”We don’t know them and in fact we don’t even support them.” His answer was really astonishing to me and I uttered,”…but as the people are showed; you fight against the government and you fire at your own people.” He looked as if he wanted to explain me something. I tried my best to understand what he was trying to say and here is what he told me or what I got…

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Changing Lahore

Imagine Lahore only ten years ago: It was a different city; socially cohesive, closely knit. Young children could go visiting neighbors or to nearby shopping centers to get groceries and other things but not now. People then knew each other personally and had strong social bounds; hence courtesies for each other.

Things started changing with an exponential increase in urbanization. Large number of outsiders started moving in Lahore to live and or work. Now even the immediate neighbors do not know each other and people act like total strangers. Garish housing societies have come up on all the open spaces inside the city and Lahore has expanded much beyond what used to be municipal boundaries. The crime rate has grown with mush faster speed than the city.

What are the apparent causes? Many experts say that crimes are a result of disintegrating familial and dwindling community values that are contributing in turning young people into violent criminals.

Due to the growing demand for educated workforce and skilled labor, an employment base that used to provide jobs for those without a school certificate has shrunk considerably. This situation has resulted in a general lack of hope. “If one does not have skills, training, and when socio economic situation looks desperate, does that young man really have hope? I think that ties into the anger,” says a sociologist Dr. Muhammad Anwar, “This anger seem to be translating in to crimes, petty in the beginning that leads to more heinous ones at later stages.” This is the reasons that the criminals mostly are in their mid teens to mid-20’s.

One finds unskilled workers sitting in a linear fashion with their tools — mountains of paint brushes, piles of colour scheme cards, number of empty paint cans, digging paraphernalia and or hammers of different kind (who said unskilled labour) — along any city roads and squares waiting for a day’s job. Thy all come from suburbs to earn their livings. What options do they have when they do not get the job for the day and they have to go back home to family that is to b fed, is the question. They not only lose hope but may get frustrated that may lead them to resort to unfair means, what ever is possible for them.

Similarly, the army of maids and home servants who come from nearby villages and towns when dazzled by urban glamour are incited to commit to petty crimes and thefts.

Not only unskilled and uneducated segment, even degree holders find it difficult to get their first job after graduation because traditionally the job market in slow economy of Pakistan has always been tight. Which is why one reads reports of crimes (from purse and mobile phone snatching to car lifting to burglaries and murders) being committed by people from effluent class and living in posh localities of Lahore? Though generally, the poorer neighborhoods are considered to be the hubs for frequent criminal happenings. Let me hasten to add, this does not imply that there are no crimes in posh localities like Defense Society, or Gulberg or the criminals living in these localities can not commit crime around Railway Station or Badami Bagh Bus Terminal or Lakshmi or Bhatti gate.

Besides hopelessness, crimes are attributed to greed, to an evil nature, to poor parenting, to television, to movies, to the Internet, to whatever seems to be popular and not in accord with our old societal value system. These and many other are the reasons that we find crime rate rising on an alarming rate.

Crime statistics, like any other officially reported data, cannot be considered reliable. In the past decade, Lahore has been awash with guns. Empirical evidences tell that Kalashnikov and other automatic weapons have become ubiquitous in Lahore, city called cultural capital of Pakistan. This fact makes the crime quick and fast, much faster than law enforcing agencies to track.

Criminality extends into all levels of society and it cannot be restricted to the largely undefined boundaries of Lahore. Given the fast and efficient communication means (roads network, mobile phones, more transport), it has been observed that criminals sometime come from suburbs, make their day and go back uncaught. Those who study crime debate say, “Criminals may be from anywhere but all crime is local, of course, and each city has its underlying causes.”

Analyzing crime is an absorbing exercise. It throws up new facets of crime and new ideas on how to cope with them. The real tragedy, however, is that there is hardly a national debate on crime, like the one seen in the developed world; where the crime are more. “Unless crime hits hard personally, I am not concerned,” is the worst attitude that is exhibited some time.

The only long term solution to put an end to crimes and make our society more civilized is to end hopelessness. How to create hope in the people and tolerance in our society are the real issues that need to be addressed. And this can happen when every one is conscious and does what ever is possible.

The solution is not with police or any other law enforcing agencies. “The problem is much deeper and the solution has to be long term. Combating crime firmly and honestly is one thing. Provision of education, heath and other social securities, fair play in practices and procedure are some other starting points. Collectively, we should act responsibly and are some factors to start if we have to combat crime,” Dr. Pirzada Inam Karim.

Data Ganj Baksh’s 964th death anniversary

The three-day ‘Urs’ or death anniversary of the 11th century saint Syedna Ali bin Usman Hajveri also known as Data Ganj Buksh (R.A) or simply ‘data sahab’ starts today in Lahore at his mausoleum, popularly known as Data Durbar. Governor Khalid Maqbool and Caretaker Chief Minister Justice (r) Ejaz Nisar will inaugurate the event with the traditional chaddar-laying ceremony and a milk-sabeel (free distribution of milk) at the shrine. As the preparations for the 964th urs are in full swing, security has been beefed up in the city.

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It is generally thought that in his lifetime the great saint was called as Gang Bakhsh but afterwards he became too famous as ‘ Data Gang Bakhsh’. Ali Hajvery (R.A.) was a Persian sufi and a scholar. The greatest saintof the sub-continent born in Hajver, a town of Ghazni in Afghanistan, in 1000 A.D (400 H) and died in Lahore in 1063 or 1071A.D. In the course of his spiritual journey to God, he journeyed physically to many countries, including Turkistan, Transoxania, Iran, Iraq, and Syria where he met innumerable Sufis and Sheikhs, many of those have been mentioned in his book ‘Kashf-ul-Mahjoob’.

During the urs the shrine and its whereabouts are beautifully lit. A large number of devotees from different parts of the country besides tens of thousands from the city will visit the Data Darbar to pay their homage by reciting verses from the Holy Quran, qawalees, and recitation of naats and poetry to the saint. Separate arrangements are made for women to visit the shrine. ‘Langer Khana’ (distributing free food) and milk sabeel also attract a large number of people. The tradition of milk-sabeels traces its roots to a time when the people of Lahore used to give tax in the form of milk to the city keeper Ray Raju Jogi. Legend has it that when Hazrat Data Gunj Baksh arrived in Lahore, he stopped them from this practice. As a result, their businesses flourished and followers began giving the milk to the saint to give to the needy. Today, milkmen continue the practice by donating milk to destitutes.

Sultan al-Hind Hazrat Khwaja Moeenuddin Chishti paid his homageto Data Ganj buksh in the following words:

Ganj Bakhsh-e faiz-e aalam, mazhar-e Noorr-i Khuda
Naqisaan ra peer-e kaamil, kaamilan ra rahnuma

“The bestower of treasure (Ganj Bakhsh) in both the worlds, the reflector of the splendour of God, An accomplished spiritual guide for the learned and a guide for the ignorant”.
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Time is the best healer?

Time! Time is the second four-letter word which has the single-most influential and controlling factor in the world (No prizes for guessing the first one ;).It’s been more than week from now (eleven days to be precise) since the charismatic, much loved Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto passed away, yet her fans are still into so much grieving. She died on Dec. 27th, 2007 and the cause of her death is still a mystery.

In her honor, a silent gathering has been organized in the afternoon at Minar-e-Pakistan on Jan. 8, 2008 (tomorrow). The schedule for the gathering was announced at a prayer ceremony organized by the All Pakistan Minority Alliance (APMA) and the Campaign for Democracy and Rule of Law in Pakistan (CDRLP) at the Cathedral Church on Sunday. The ceremony was held to pay homage to Benazir for her struggle against dictatorship and for the revival of democracy in the country.

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Remaining Updates: Jatti Umrah before the arrival.

Here are some of the remaining updates which were not delivered to the LMB due to constant network failure there at Jatti Umrah, Link Raiwind Road. The updates are really late coz I just got home a while ago but; they (updates) are factual, unlike the ones aired by the media to favor/promote/support the Sharif’s arrival.

Updates:
(read the updates from the bottom)

12:15 am – I left the scene for my home.

12:00 am – Security increased and a bus carrying 25 policemen arrived with the indication of more vans to come.

No police force is seen except 4 to 5 personnel.

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The roads are deserted at Jatti Umrah at about 8:30 pm.

No person is seen except the media and the management. They both combined to form a group of about 25 to 30 people total.

10:00 pm – The banners are being displayed and are tied with the trees, on the fences and above the roads.

9:00 pm – The chairs from the catering company arrive for the seating arrangements arrive.

8:47 pm – Son Hussain Nawaz arrives with two cars following him. The second car was having black covered screens and no one came out or showed one’s presence inside the car. It’s doubtful that the wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz had been present in that car.

8:45 pm – Daughter Mariam Nawaz and her husband Captain Saffdar (Retrd.) arrive at Jatti Umrah.

6:25 pm – DSP Raiwind City Police Station, arrives with his squad of 12 policemen. (no special forces or no special security arrangements) The policemen were from the police station and were on their regular duty and were not especially assigned for Sharif’s arrival.

Phillips Talbot – a Lahori from the old times

Senior US diplomat as well as a distinguished journalist, Mr. Phillips Talbot was in town to revive his memories of the time he spent in Lahore and to get feedback on his latest publication; ‘An American Witness to India Partition’.

Talking to Daily Times during his recent visit to Lahore, he recalled memories of Lahore, a city that he considered the loveliest and relatively liberal in Pakistan. He wished to visit the place – Minto Park (now Minar-e-Pakistan) – where once Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had passed the Pakistan Resolution and historic buildings like National Museum on The Mall. He termed consistency of democracy key to Pakistan’s progress.

He said, “I still remember the tall buildings of the Aitchison College and the National Museum. He said, “Lahore is the only city in Pakistan I am affiliated with.” During his stay in Lahore, he said, he used to write for several newspapers.

He said he had a bulk of memories, which he later published in his book An American Witness to India Partition. “I have heard that Lahoris are conservative, but I have still to see any evidence of this.”

News Source: DT

8th October and 08:50:38 AM

I hope you guys remember this date and time. I am talking about the moment that changed the face of Kashmir, Bagh, Mansahra, and many other areas including Islamabad. We cannot be mournful enough for the damages that fatal earthquake caused.

Lahorees, please do remember those departed souls in your prayers and don’t forget to pray for stability and prosperity of those areas today.

A Researcher’s Rainy Route-Quaid-E-Azam Library

Four panicked Post-graduate students, One fast-approaching research paper deadline, Trillions of drizzling droplets of rain, and what do you get? A memorable trip down to Lahore’s Quaid-E-Azam Library, situated smack dab in the middle of Bagh-e-Jinnah, in pursuit of Library membership.
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Partition – A woman’s story

In 1947, Subhadra Butalia was only 26 years old and used to work as a teacher in Delhi. At the time of partition, she had her family, including her mother and brother, living in Model Town, Lahore as they all orginally belonged to this city.

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Subhadra Butalia [Image Courtesy: BBC Online]

In a touching memory recall, Ms Butalia shares her own experience of the events; scenes of massacre & utter madness; a family’s suffering and the circumstances in which her own brother refused to leave for independent India and did not let even their mother go, falling victim to insecurity, greed and selfishness and finally converted to Islam due to social pressure and inside fears.

Audio Slideshow: A Memory of Partition

If I’m not wrong, Ms Butalia’s own daughter has also written about her reunion journey to Lahore where she met her lost maternal uncle and his family. Her story, which has been published in several newspapers and books, was titled as ‘Ranamama’ (Uncle Rana).

An evening in Lahore

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Sharing a beautiful evening with you guys. I took this picture almost two months back. Enjoy.

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