Manipulating the Pakistani narrative

The problem with crowdsourced information is that those most ready to engage and with the most time to do so get to control information online
There are three crossroads in its pre-1971 history where Pakistan could have become the kind of inclusive, modern democratic state Pakistanis could be proud of. The first occasion was in 1958, had the general elections been allowed to take place under the 1956 Constitution. A pro-west elite feared the rising left in Bengal too much to allow it to win elections, which it most likely would have. Hence, we were inflicted with the Ayub-led military dictatorship by an unthinking civilian president, Iskandar Mirza. The second moment was in the presidential elections of 1964-1965. Fatima Jinnah — the combined candidate of most of the democratic parties — was wholeheartedly supported by the people of East Pakistan and had it not been for the rigging in the west, may well have beaten Ayub Khan decisively.
Finally, it was the 1970 elections whereas the clear winner, the would-be father of Bangladesh, Mujibur Rehman, begged Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to join a common cause against the military establishment. General Yahya Khan — more adept at dividing than ruling — managed to turn the two popular leaders of Pakistan on each other. Had there been a PPP-Awami League in 1970-1971, a modern, democratic and secular Pakistan would have emerged. In such a Pakistan Ahmedis could not be declared non-Muslims for one thing. It was this Pakistan, Jinnah’s Pakistan, which was laid to rest in 1971. Those who like to blame all of Pakistan’s ills on its founding should take note. A united Pakistan under the kind of democratic dispensation that slowly but surely was emerging would have been an exemplary country in this region, far ahead of India or any place else.
The alienation and separation of Bangladesh should have given our military establishment pause. It did not. Unlike the West Pakistani populace by and large, having been part of the popular struggle for Pakistan, Bengalis were not easily blackmailed in the name of Islam, which is what the regime increasingly did in the late 1960s and decisively under General Yahya Khan. He unleashed on Pakistan with full fury Abu Ala Maududi, the man who his predecessor, Ayub Khan, had described as a “dog” worthy of “lynching” and “an enemy of Islam”. Maududi, who had been a bitter opponent of Jinnah and the making of Pakistan, now set about infecting Pakistan with his own series of untruths and lies, mostly about the ideology of Pakistan. Maududi, with the encouragement of the state, went about with his abrasive propaganda against the Awami League in the main and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) as well. The idea was to emphasise the Islamic identity of Pakistan as a nation building exercise. Bengalis rejected this blackmail and went on to build their separate destiny, which they have done better than us.
Having lost its majority and with it the idea that it was the Muslim homeland in South Asia, the Pakistani establishment leaned heavily on the newly discovered Islamic ideology, with mania reaching a fever pitch in the 1980s under General Ziaul Haq. What was then limited to an exercise of re-writing history and textbooks in the country has now become an industry of its own, with autonomous actors carrying out the policy of their own accord, offline and online but especially online, which is the wave of the future.
A prominent example of this today is the crowdsourced encyclopedia, Wikipedia, taken to be the gospel truth by our semi-literate internet using population. It is clear that our deep state is obsessed with controlling information and moulding it to fit its narrative. On Wikipedia, a number of ‘users’ and ‘editors’ have been planted to ensure that only Pakistan’s official stance or the Nazaria-e-Pakistan is reflected in the pages on Pakistan. Consequently, the pages on Pakistan’s history read like a secondary school Pakistan Studies textbook. Even Jinnah’s famous August 11 speech is censored with Jinnah’s page — a featured article — making no reference to it at all. All alternative views on Pakistan’s constitution, role of religion and federalism are stifled by this group. The problem with crowdsourced information is that those most ready to engage and with the most time to do so get to control information online. Without any safeguards this is a dangerous proposition. If one were to venture a guess it would be that these manipulators of the Pakistani narrative on sites like Wikipedia and others are operating out of some nondescript building in Islamabad’s G sectors. The people behind Wikipedia have no idea what has hit them and anyone who raises a voice against them ends up getting his own contributions reverted. Freedom of speech is non-existent on Wikipedia when it comes to Pakistan.
There are of course non-state manipulators of knowledge as well. Take for example Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) activists on social media. They have been circulating an invented quote attributed to Jinnah that promises Pakistan to become a laboratory of Islam. Mr Jinnah is supposed to have made this comment speaking at Islamia College, Peshawar on January 13, 1948. It is fake because Jinnah was in Karachi on this date, not Peshawar. He did speak in Peshawar’s Islamia College on April 14, 1948 but his speech contains no reference to a laboratory of Islam. Yet, over time, this fake quote has come to be accepted as the truth by people, having made its way into textbooks as well. Countless such fabrications are being invented in Mansoora and being slipped into discourse on the Pakistan Movement and Jinnah. The refrain that Jinnah said all sorts of things to all sorts of people has come out of this, making Pakistan’s incorruptible and upright founder of the nation sound like a hypocrite.Unless and until Pakistan is able to revisit its narrative with more realistic self-analysis, it is bound to keep going in circles and repeating its mistakes. No matter how you look at it, the Pakistani federation is not strengthened by the foundational myth that Pakistan was created in the name of Islam, primarily because it was not and secondly because the foundational myth has failed to paper over real differences and constitutional issues that need to be reckoned with in order to build Pakistan as a true federation.
The writer is a lawyer based in Lahore and the author of the book Mr Jinnah: Myth and Reality. He can be contacted via twitter @therealylh and through his email address

Sexual desire often fades in relationships

Matty Silver
Published: February 17, 2015 – 12:00AM


One of my clients is a 35-year-old man who has been in a relationship with his current girlfriend for about two years now. This is the longest time he has been with a partner – all his other relationships have lasted between only a few months and a year. His initial sexual attraction towards his girlfriends is usually very strong but after a while just disappears.

This time he was convinced he’d found the “right” one. He was very happy because he felt it was time to settle down and was looking forward to starting a family. However, even though he adores his partner, he has again started to lose his sexual feelings for her. He isn’t motivated to have sex with her any more; sex has slowed down to once a fortnight, instead three or four times a week. He doesn’t see himself as sexual or passionate, and he’s worried because his pattern of losing sexual interest means he finds it difficult to sustain physical and emotional connections. Not surprisingly, his partner has started to notice and complain about it.

He also feels he is cheating on her. He has started fantasising about other women and he is now convinced he is unable to love his partner.

My client is not alone. Many men and women experience feelings like this that make them extremely confused. The problem is, they are under the impression that love and lust are the same thing.

In 1979, American psychologist Dorothy Tennov coined the word limerence; this is defined as a period in a relationship known as the falling in love and lust stage. It’s driven by the neurotransmitter phenyl ethylamine (PEA) which, combined with dopamine and norepinephrine, creates pleasingly positive feelings between people.

These so-called love chemicals can prompt euphoria, increased energy and sexual desire. They are responsible for intense passion and the rose-coloured glasses we see our partners through. Limerence feels good, but unfortunately it has a shelf life lasting from about six months to two or three years. Its decline is gradual.

When I explained limerence to my client, he agreed this is exactly how he feels in relationships. But this time he doesn’t want to break up, he loves and is committed to his partner and wonders what he could do to help the situation. Meanwhile, she just doesn’t understand what is happening.

Another client fell madly in love and became engaged within a year. She was excited and spent months planning their fairy-tale wedding. The date was set, the venue chosen and their families and overseas friends had booked airline tickets to attend. But three months before the wedding she got cold feet and realised that she and her future husband had little in common and she wasn’t in love with him any more.

She didn’t know what to do. How could she possibly tell him or explain her feelings to family and friends?

Another client realised that the woman he thought was “the love of his life” wasn’t the one after all, but by then they were expecting a baby!

I hear it all the time: “I love my partner but I am not in love any more … what can I do?”

Most people believe the excitement of those early months and years will last forever, but unfortunately this doesn’t happen that often. We live in a society that projects romantic love as the be-all and end-all on TV, movies, popular magazines and novels.

When the limerence stage fades away, a deeper commitment – an emotional intimacy – is needed.

While the emotion of falling in love is intense, the emotions of falling out of love can be as intense, but the signs may not be that clear.

When love/lust seems to disappear, people usually start spending less time together. They start having fights, arguments or stop talking; they may feel unappreciated, and resentment can build up and they drift apart. It’s easy to understand how people become disappointed and frustrated with each other, and eventually will stop having romantic feelings and having sex.

One reason this happens is a lack of emotional intimacy – it’s extremely important for couples to make a habit of spending time together and connecting again.

There is no easy fix, but when you start noticing the passion disappearing in your relationship it may give you an opportunity to discuss what you are experiencing with your partner and find ways to turn things around.

If you know the signs, you can use them to rework your relationship. In the worst case scenario, you’ll know why you need to walk away from a relationship that may not go the distance.

This story was found at:

Mosque versus state

The writer teaches physics in Lahore and Islamabad.
The writer teaches physics in Lahore and Islamabad.

THE mosque in Pakistan is now no longer just a religious institution. Instead it has morphed into a deeply political one that seeks to radically transform culture and society. Actively assisted by the state in this mission in earlier decades, the mosque is a powerful actor over which the state now exercises little authority. Some have been captured by those who fight the government and military. An eviscerated, embattled state finds it easier to drop bombs on the TTP in tribal Waziristan than to rein in its urban supporters, or to dismiss from state payroll those mosque leaders belonging to militant groups.

Very few Pakistanis have dared to criticise the country’s increasingly powerful mosque establishment although they do not spare the Pakistan Army and the country’s political leaders for their many shortcomings. For example, following the Army Public School massacre, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s promise to regulate the madressahs was immediately criticised as undoable. Had he instead suggested that Pakistan’s mosques be brought under state control as in Saudi Arabia, Iran and several Muslim countries, it would have been dismissed as belonging to even beyond the undoable.

The state’s timidity was vividly exposed in its handling of the 2007 bloody insurrection, launched from inside Islamabad’s central mosque, Lal Masjid, barely a mile from the heart of Pakistan’s government. It was a defining point in Pakistan’s history. The story of the Lal Masjid insurrection, its bloody ending, and subsequent rebound is so critical to understanding the limitations of Pakistan’s fight against terrorism that it deserves to be told once again.

Very few Pakistanis have dared to criticise the country’s increasingly powerful mosque establishment.

In early January 2007, the two head clerics of the Lal Masjid demanded the immediate rebuilding of eight illegally constructed mosques knocked down by the civic authorities. Days later, an immediate enforcement of Sharia in Islamabad was demanded. Armed vigilante groups from Jamia Hafsa and nearby madressahs kidnapped ordinary citizens and policemen, threatened shopkeepers, burned CDs and videos, and repeated the demands of tribal militants fighting the Pakistan Army.

At a meeting held in Lal Masjid on April 6, 2007, it was reported that 100 guest religious leaders from across the country pledged to die for the cause of Islam and Sharia. On April 12, in an illegal FM broadcast from the mosque’s own radio station, the clerics issued a threat to the government: “There will be suicide blasts in every nook and cranny of the country. We have weapons, grenades and we are expert in manufacturing bombs. We are not afraid of death….”

The brothers Abdul Aziz and Abdur Rashid Ghazi, who headed the Lal Masjid, had attracted a core of militant organisations around them, including the pioneer of suicide bombings in the region, Jaish-e-Mohammad. Their goal was to change Pakistan’s culture. On April 12, 2007, Rashid Ghazi, a former student of Quaid-i-Azam University, broadcast the following chilling message to our female students:

“The government should abolish co-education. Quaid-i-Azam University has become a brothel. Its female professors and students roam in objectionable dresses. They will have to hide themselves in hijab otherwise they will be punished according to Islam…. Our female students have not issued the threat of throwing acid on the uncovered faces of women. However, such a threat could be used for creating the fear of Islam among sinful women. There is no harm in it.”

For months, unhindered by Gen Musharraf’s government, Lal Masjid operated a parallel government. Its minions received the Saudi Arabian ambassador on the mosque premises, and negotiated with the Chinese ambassador for the release of his country’s kidnapped nationals. The showdown came in July 2007. Copious TV coverage showed armed madressah students with gas masks firing away into the dense smoke. The final push left 10 of Pakistan’s crack SSG commandos dead, together with scores of madressah students. A tidal wave of suicide attacks — as promised by the cleric brothers — duly followed.

Amazingly Pakistan’s civilian courts exonerated Abdul Aziz and Umme Hassan (his wife, who headed Jamia Hafsa). Ignoring TV footage, the court ruled that possession of heavy weaponry by the accused could not be proven. Today Abdul Aziz remains firmly ensconced in Lal Masjid and hundreds pray behind him. He has threatened to unleash a force of 8,000 students from nearby madressahs if he is again arrested. At the behest of the then chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, the destroyed Jamia Hafsa was awarded 20 kanals of choice land in sector H-11 of Islamabad for rebuilding. The land tycoon, Malik Riaz, lavishly reconstructed the damaged mosque.

How many other Abdul Aziz’s does Pakistan have? Clerics who propagate Taliban and Daesh (Islamic State) views to their followers and who, like Aziz, are unmoved by the Peshawar massacre? No one knows even the number of mosques in Pakistan, where they are located, and, most importantly, what their khutbas (sermons) contain. This must change if Pakistan is to make any progress towards containing religious violence.

The first baby step towards bringing an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 mosques under state control requires tasking local authorities at the district and tehsil level with documentation: mosque locations, sizes, religious affiliation, and known sources of funding. The second is to monitor Friday sermons, a possibility offered by modern technology. Many worshippers have mobile phones capable of recording audio. A sermon, once recorded, could be uploaded to a website operated by the Ministry of Religious Affairs. Readers wishing to see how this might be done should visit where sermons from scores of mosques in rural Punjab have been recorded, transcribed, and categorised for full and free public access.

A crisis is said to be a terrible thing to waste. Before the horror of the Peshawar atrocity fades from our collective memory let the state act decisively — albeit in small steps — to restore its right to regulate religious activities within its boundaries. Else the people of Pakistan shall continue to suffer terribly.

The writer teaches physics in Lahore and Islamabad.

Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2015

How to Add Hibernate to the Power Options Available in Windows 8 & 8.1
One of the changes related to power options in Windows 8 and 8.1 is that the Hibernate option is not available by default, when accessing the Power menu. In order to use this feature, you have to activate it manually. That’s why, in this tutorial, I will share step-by-step information on how to enable the Hibernate option in Windows 8 and 8.1, so that it is displayed in the Power menu. Here’s how it is done:

What is Hibernate in Windows?

Hibernate (or suspend to disk) is a way to power off your system so that you can resume your activity exactly where you left off. It is similar to Sleep, except that the system is able to keep the hibernation state for much longer, with lower energy consumption.

Furthermore, the system can maintain the hibernation state even after disconnecting it from the power source. However, resuming the system will not be instant, like when using Sleep. The resume duration will be similar to the startup procedure after an ordinary Shut Down.

Activating Hibernate will use additional space on the partition where Windows is installed. The space it takes is approximately the equivalent of your RAM memory. This space is reserved for copying information about running programs, when you use Hibernate. Therefore, when you resume from Hibernate, all your opened programs, apps and files are available, exactly from where you left off prior to starting the Hibernate procedure.

Read this article on Wikipedia [1], if you want to learn more technical details about Hibernate and the way it works.

How to Activate Hibernate in Windows 8 & Windows 8.1

Before going ahead with this tutorial, please log on with a user that has Administrator permissions, so that you can perform the required changes.

To activate the Hibernate option, you should open the Control Panel [2]. Then, click or tap Hardware and Sound.

Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Power options, enable, hibernate, power menu

Next, click or tap Power Options.

Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Power options, enable, hibernate, power menu

Here is where you will change anything related to power plans and energy saving features, including enabling hibernation.

If you are viewing the Control Panel using large or small icons, click or tap on the Power Options icon.

Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Power options, enable, hibernate, power menu

In the Power Options window you will see the main section in the middle where you choose or customize the active power plan. More advanced options are available in the column found on the left side of the window.

Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Power options, enable, hibernate, power menu

On the left hand side, click or tap “Choose what the power buttons do”.

Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Power options, enable, hibernate, power menu

This will open the System Settings window, where you can set your system’s power management features.

Click or tap the link that says “Change settings that are currently unavailable”. The little shield corresponding to this action means that you need administrator rights to be able to make changes in the “Password protection on wakeup” and “Shutdown settings” sections.

Scroll to the bottom of the window, until you find the Shutdown settings section.

Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Power options, enable, hibernate, power menu

Check the Hibernate checkbox, then click or tap Save changes.

Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Power options, enable, hibernate, power menu

Hibernate is now enabled in Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.

How to Hibernate Your Windows 8/8.1 Tablet or PC

Hibernate has been activated and you can find it in the Power menu, used to Shut Down or Restart your system.

If you don’t know how to access this menu, read this tutorial: 6 Ways to Shut Down or Restart a Windows 8 & Windows 8.1 PC or Device [3].

Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Power options, enable, hibernate, power menu

If you want to deactivate Hibernate, use the same instructions as for enabling it, uncheck the Hibernate box and press Save changes.


Now that you know how to enable the Hibernate option in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, I would like to know what do you use more often: Sleep, Shut Down or Hibernate? What is the reason you prefer to do so?
Did you miss the Hibernate option when using Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 for the first time?




Illegal Afghans to be expelled immediately: CM KPK

Illegal Afghans to be expelled immediately: CM

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has said that government will take steps to immediately expel all illegal Afghan refugees.

He said that a mechanism would be evolved for honourable repatriation of legal Afghan refugees as soon as possible. “Similarly our borders with Fata also need immediate attention to secure Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and rest of the country from infiltration of miscreants wherein sending back and deployment of FC platoons at Fata borders is prerequisite,” he added.

Mr Khattak said durable peace, prosperity and progress was possible with strictly following the golden principles of Quiad-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

In his message to the nation on the birth anniversary of the founder of the country, he assured the people of the province to have full confidence in their elected government as it was taking all out measures to ensure peace, safety and prosperity by practicing the Quaid’s teachings in letter and spirit.

Says mechanism to be evolved for honourable repatriation of legal Afghan refugees

Mr Khattak said that the best way to pay homage to Quaid-i-Azam was to maintain complete unity and solidarity among our ranks by leaving aside all the petty interests. “We have to utilise all our capabilities to bring the nation at par with other developed nations of the world,” he added.

The chief minister said that due to the ill-conceived policies in the past, the country faced a very critical and challenging situation.

He added that though the provincial government was making all possible efforts for the restoration of lasting peace in the region but it was not possible until and unless their geographical borders were duly secured and foreign policy revisited as per national interests.

Mr Khattak expressed the hope that the federal government in the light of the recommendations of the APC in Peshawar and as per the aspirations of the nation would take bold steps to secure the country and nation in all respects.

The chief minister said that the Peshawar school incident awakened the entire nation and stirred conscience of the world community to understand real problem of Pakistani nation in respect of terrorism.

He said the presence of millions of Afghan refugees on their soil was main reason of persistent occurrences of terrorism, unrest and crimes.

They were not only used by miscreants as the facilitators for such misdeeds but they had also increased pressure on the feeble economy and meagre available resources, he added.

Mr Khattak said that government both at provincial and central level would take steps to immediately expel all the illegal Afghan Refugees.

Modus operandi would be devised for honourable repatriation of legal Afghan refugees staying there as soon as possible.

He appealed the people to demonstrate complete unity in their ranks so that Pakistan could be turned into a real welfare, democratic, peaceful and developed country as per vision of Quiad-i-Azam.

Published in Dawn, December 25th, 2014





Meeting Zia ul Haq

Meeting Zia-ul Haq

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Pres Zia-ul HaqAfter retiring as the ambassador of India in Ankara in 1996, I decided to become a journalist, rather a commentator on international affairs, having started my diplomatic career in Cairo as assistant press attaché in early 1960s.

To enable me to work and function as an accredited journalist, Kuldip Nayar’s Mandira publications appointed me as its roving correspondent for the region.

I have known Kuldip since 1964, when along with many other senior Indian journalists he had come to Cairo for the nonaligned summit. Kuldip was the managing director of recently minted; with shoestring budget the United News of India, a rival news agency to PTI. He has always been very affectionate like an elder brother and very hospitable.

Kuldip is the first successful journalist to establish a Syndicate in India, Mandira publications, which has done very well since decades .He had syndicated my articles to nearly a score of major Indian regional newspapers from 1996. At the same time I had begun writing articles for Turkish daily News, Ankara, Khaleej times is Dubai, Pioneer New Delhi and other English language publications in India.

In spite of requests from friends and editors to write short pieces of 1300 words for newspapers in Turkey, Lebanon and other places, my experience and background of 35 years as the diplomat half of it as an Ambassador gives me greater facility to write in-depth articles. Since 2002, I have written over 500 online in-depth articles for major newspapers, websites, and blogs etc. all over the world, which have been translated into a dozen major languages of the world.

However, I felt that I should share my experience as a diplomat and a journalist with Indians, who mostly read newspapers and magazines in India’s regional languages. Mandira Publications has provided me that opportunity.

Meeting with Gen Zia-ul Haq in Bucharest

(From the Ambassador’s Journal)

“Why do not you come to Islamabad? Natwar is leaving Pakistan shortly”.” Excellency, all my teeth are still intact and I am somewhat junior diplomat to come to Pakistan,” I replied to the visiting Pres. of Pakistan Gen Zia ul Haq to whom I was introduced. During my post in early 1980s in Bucharest, Romania, then under the communist rule of Nicolai Ceausescu, all heads of mission were summoned to the presidency and in order of precedence introduced to the visiting head of state or government.

Apart from exchange of pleasantries with the Pakistani president and to meet with him in person, some of us are very curious because prior to his visit there were some media reports that the Pres. had instructed that the women of Pakistan should wear only Salwar and Kameez and not sari, since some extremists in Pakistan considered sari to be a Hindu costume. So we were pleasantly surprised and reassured that almost all the ladies accompanying him were dressed in saris. At the end of the introductions, the president and his party mingled with the invited guests and the president was quickly surrounded.

I sauntered over to a group which had three well dressed and articulate ladies from Pakistan delegation. We talked about India and Pakistan. The wife of the Minister of industry, if I remember correctly, who was connected with Karachi, was full of praise for our previous consul general Mani Shankar Aiyar, a very bright younger colleague, who was born in Lahore.

I casually remarked how was it to travel with the Pres. Of course, she praised the president and added that although he was not trained to be a politician or Pres. he was doing splendidly. I could not resist myself and said, “But of course any young cadet joining the Pakistani military Academy always aspires to occupy the presidential Palace.” After this, I quickly left the group.

Later while posted to Amman, I heard much more about Gen Zia, who as a brigadier was deputed to train Jordan’s military (1967-70). In the beginning, there used to be British military officers seconded to Jordan , created by Winston Churchill after WWI at a dinner table in Jerusalem when on a napkin he mapped the Emirate of Trans-Jordan East of river Jordan , to pacify Prince Abdullah , son of Sharif Hussain of Hejaz and the keeper of Mecca and Medina .The Sharif was fooled into aiding the British against the Ottoman Caliph and Sultan in Istanbul on assurance by Lawrence of Arabia of freeing the Caliph’s Arab subjects after WWI .But nothing of the sort happened .The perfidious British and Gallic French divided the Arab territories , created Israel and put new Arab kingdoms under their control .

King Hussain, a direct descendent of Prophet Mohammad, the ruler during my tenure (1989-92) had himself done a shortened course at the British Military Academy at Sandhurst. In fact, King Hussain married Antoinette Avril Gardiner, the daughter of a British military head of a training mission .Their son; King Abdullah also trained at Sandhurst, now sits on the Hashemite throne in Amman.

Brigadier Zia left an abiding impression among the population of Jordan about his religious proclivities. Some of them said that there was no Mosque in Jordan, where Brig Zia did not pray .But he was heartily detested by Jordanians of Palestinian origin who were expelled from Palestine after the creation of Israel and now form majority in the Kingdom. Brig Zia was the brain and strategician behind the defense and counter attack when the Palestinian guerrilla fighters organized the Black September insurgency against King Hussain. Jordan troops under Brig Zia crushed it and expelled the insurgents into Syria. Later for this Prime Minister Zulfikar Bhutto promoted him 4 Star superseding seven Lt Generals.

A source told me that after the whole operation was over there were big celebrations at the Hashemite Palace. The King himself sent a message to Pakistan that Brig Zia had saved a kingdom. At the party, naturally, Brig Zia was the cynosure of all eyes specially charming and enchanting ladies. A few of them with wine glasses in their hands came enthusiastically and enticingly to Zia and requested that he drink a toast with them for the success, hinting that he deserved whatever he wished or commanded .Brig Zia was a complete teetotaler, so in spite of repeated requests and entreaties by the ladies ,he continued to refuse politely . Finally, he said that did they desire he give up his lifelong absentension. At this the ladies desisted and Zia remained a teetotaler.

During his presidency Gen Zia hoodwinked many foreign leaders and took full advantage of the geopolitical location of Pakistan after the ingress of the Soviet troops into Afghanistan invited by the leftist rulers in Kabul. He wholeheartedly joined with US led West and Muslim counties in the Jihad against USSR in Afghanistan I would not repeat the adverse external and internal consequences of this decision and Islamizing the state of Pakistan, .He also fooled Indian leadership while planning rebellion in Indian Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir .As always, India’s RAW remained generally clueless .Zia would visit India for Pakistani cricket team’s tour or to visit a Muslim holy center. One Pakistani diplomat said the Gen Zia kept his mustaches lowered but was very successful in achieving his internal and foreign policy objectives.

Gen Zia originated from peasantry class called Rain, mostly involved in horticulture, but his father was clerk, a good position in pre-partition days. Born in Jullundur, after graduating from St Stephens College, Delhi, he joined the army .In 1947 he opted for Pakistan. He was able to fool PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and finally had his benefactor hanged a very common thing in the history of Islam. Three of the first four Arab Caliphs died of violence. Among Mongols and Turks the sovereignty resided in the family and the fittest could take over the throne after the death of the ruler.

To counter the old established elites of Pakistan comprising of feudal landlords and the rich bourgeoisie, who looked down upon Gen Zia, he promoted another refugee family, of Nawaz Sharif from in Amritsar district in India, where his family had grown out of a flourishing blacksmithy business. He joined politics when the family’s steel business was nationalized by Bhutto. It was therefore funny of him to take potshots at Indian PM Manmohan Singh for old rustic women talk as if he belonged to the genteel aristocracy.

More on Zia and Pakistan

Unlike India, Pakistan began with weak grassroots political organizations, with the British-era civil servants strengthening the bureaucracy’s control over the polity and decision-making in the country. Subsequently, the bureaucracy called for the military’s help, but soon the tail was wagging the dog. In the first seven years of Pakistan’s existence, nine provincial governments were dismissed. From 1951 to 1958 there was only one army commander in chief, two governor generals, but seven prime ministers.

While the politicians had wanted to further strengthen relations with the British, the erstwhile rulers, General Ayub Khan -encouraged by the US military – formed closer cooperation with the Pentagon. And in 1958 the military took over power, with Ayub Khan exiling the governor general, Iskender Mirza, to London. A mere colonel at partition in 1947, with experience mostly of staff jobs, Ayub Khan became a general after only four years. Later, he promoted himself to field marshal. He eased out officers who did not fit into the Anglo-Saxon scheme of using Pakistan’s strategic position against the evolving Cold War confrontation with the communist bloc.

General Zia ul-Haq, meanwhile, was a cunning schemer, veritably a mullah in uniform who, while posted in Amman, helped plan the military operation, which expelled Yasser Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization from Jordan in the 1970s. But he is more remembered for having prayed at all the mosques of Amman, if not in the whole of Jordan. He seduced the north Indian media with lavish praise and chicken and tikka kebabs meals. He planned Operation Topaz, which in 1989 fueled insurgency in Kashmir, while hoodwinking Indians with his goodwill visits to promote cricket contacts between the countries. His Islamization of the country made the situation for women and minorities untenable, while the judicial killing of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1977 turned General Zia into a pariah.

But the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan made him a US darling, restoring and fatally strengthening the Pakistan military’s links with the Pentagon. This made the Pakistani military and the ISI’s hold pervasive, omnipotent, omniscient and ominous in Pakistan. This defense alliance, the seeds of which were planted by Ayub Khan, and the symbiotic relationship between the ISI and the CIA bolstered under General Zia, was never really dismantled and is unlikely to be fully disentangled.

The form of government in a country has seldom bothered the US in the pursuit of its national interests. Otherwise, why would it embrace Pakistan, or say Egypt, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia or any of the other kingdoms and sheikhdoms and repressive regimes around the world, and shun democratic India. Beginning with Ayub Khan’s unofficial visit to the US, the foundations for bilateral cooperation in the military field were laid. These have survived through thick and thin, like a bad marriage where neither side can let go, and despite bad patches, such as the takeovers by Zia ul-Haq and Musharraf. In fact US find military or other dictators easier to handle.

Like the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, September 11 revived the necessity, if not the passion of the 1980s, for Pakistan and the US to come close to each another once again. A divorce now, as naive Indian policymakers and media propose, is wishful thinking. The US needed Pakistan to protect itself from a backlash of its earlier Afghan policies of creating the mujahidin and supporting the jihad in Afghanistan and then Taliban, After 11 September, Washington desperately needed to stop Pakistan’s nuclear bombs or material from falling into jihadi hands, and to eliminate, or at least curtail, further damage to US

– See more at:





Do Not compare your kids too much with others

Why you shouldn’t compare your children to their siblings

Thuy Yau
Published: October 14, 2014 – 3:00PM

How to encourage siblings to be friends
Siblings of sick kids suffer too
I was 24 years old when I finally learned to embrace my individuality. I spent most of my childhood hating who I was and wishing I was different. My low self-esteem and self-confidence would often be triggered by comments made by my mother. When I was in high school, if I was doing well at English, it didn’t matter to her because I was struggling in Chemistry and Physics – subjects my older brother excelled in. When I was accepted into university to study Psychology, she didn’t bat an eyelid because I had failed to secure a spot in my brother’s university. What hurt me the most was when she would yell at me, “Why can’t you be more like your sister?”

At the time, I felt that I’d failed as a daughter, as a person, that I wasn’t good enough, that I wasn’t loved for who I was. The comparisons that she made between my three siblings and I not only hurt the relationship that I had with my mother. But they undermined the relationship that I had with my brothers and sister. Even now, our relationship as adults is strained because we never knew how it felt to really be there for each other as siblings.

When parents compare their children to others

As human beings, it’s natural to want to compare our own progress with the progress of others. By the same token, parents often feel compelled to compare their own children to other people’s children.

But there’s nothing wrong with engaging in a bit of comparison, according to parenting expert, Dr. Justin Coulson.

He explains, “We like to see how we’re going as parents, and how our kids are going in their development … It’s an entirely normal and natural thing to do.”

Clinical psychologist, Sally-Anne McCormack, says that comparing our children to others can even be incredibly beneficial at times.

“Some comparisons are quite helpful. They help us notice whether our children are reaching all the appropriate developmental milestones,” says McCormack.

However, it’s our intentions behind these comparisons that are really the crux of the matter.

“A minor degree of comparison is fine because that’s normal, human behaviour. As long as it’s observational as opposed to judgemental.”

“But if parents are constantly doing it – looking unfavourably either at other people’s children, or their own children – then that’s damaging for everyone,” says McCormack.

When parents compare siblings

Dr. Coulson says that parents often compare siblings as well, which isn’t always a bad thing.

We can evaluate their progress, compare their strengths and weaknesses, and look at the remarkable way that we are all so different.

“It can be fun to look at how tall a child was at one age versus the sibling,” says Dr. Coulson.

“But when the comparison starts to become laden with judgements and evaluations that make kids feel superior or inferior to their sibling, we start to get into dangerous territory.”

McCormack says that in pitting siblings against each other, we might overlook one child’s athletic ability because we’re too focused on the other’s academic skills.

“We forget to celebrate differences. We place our values on our children and expect them to live up to certain expectations, but these might not be reasonable or possible for our children.”

The effects of sibling comparison

Children who are constantly told, “Why can’t you be like your brother/sister?”, are likely to end up basing their self-worth on how they compare with others.

“It teaches them that life is about competition and comparison, and they will always feel that they can never be enough – because there’s always someone better than they are,” says Dr. Coulson.

“It undermines sense of worth, it reduces motivation, it increases anxiety, and it leads to sub-par outcomes on a range of measures.”

McCormack says it’s very important to be mindful of our words.

“Our children value our opinions. Before they have their own little inner voice, they hear ours. If ours keeps saying, ‘You’re not as good as your brother/sister’, then that will be the self-talk that they grow up with – ‘I’m never going to be as good as my brother/sister’.”

When you compare your child to their sibling, what they actually hear you say is, “You’re not good enough. You’re a failure,” says McCormack.

Embracing your child’s individuality

McCormack says that rather than focusing on what our children can’t do, we should be focusing on what they can.

“Every single person is different. Focus on the positives and strengths in every single child, rather than looking at what they’re missing,” says McCormack.

“Learn more about whatever strengths they show – whether it’s sporting ability or even social skills. Whatever their strength is, do what you can to promote that.”

“So, if you have a a child who is incredibly social, for example, enrol them in acting classes.”

“Note down their strengths and then find avenues for them to express it in some type of activity.”

Dr. Coulson adds that we should always look for ways to acknowledge our children’s unique contributions to the family.

“This will make them feel loved unconditionally for being who they are, regardless of what their sibling can do. They will be recognised for their individual strengths and capacities. They will become resilient, confident, and happy.”

McCormack reminds parents to reflect back on what they truly want for their children.

“Most parents want happy, healthy children. The only way to do that is to make them feel valued, special and important.”

“That can only happen if we embrace and value their positive qualities.”

Thuy Yau is a freelance writer and mother of three. She is incredibly passionate about raising happy and confident children. You can follow Thuy on Twitter, join her on Facebook, or read her personal development blog at Inside a Mother’s Mind.

This story was found at:

Pakistan a Toxic Jelly State

Re-inventing the “toxic jelly state”

Islam in government and as a political philosophy has proved its inadequacy from the beginning and is hardly the model worth pursuing. Many Islamic societies continue to live in despotism, exploitation and insecurity

Sindh’s latest polio victim received vaccine only once

Sindh’s latest polio victim received vaccine only once

Published about 9 hours ago

BILAL in the lap of his uncle in their home on Wednesday.—White Star
BILAL in the lap of his uncle in their home on Wednesday.—White Star

KARACHI: Two-year-old Hazrat Bilal looks at people around him with tired eyes. His uncle, Abdul Razzaq, tries to get his attention by calling his name but Bilal looks up for a few seconds before looking away.

Presently residing in Liaquatabad’s Khamosh Colony, Bilal is one of the five children to have contracted polio recently.

This is the 14th case in Karachi and 15th across Sindh making its way among the 171 polio cases in Pakistan at present.

Know more: Sindh records year’s 15th polio case

On Wednesday afternoon, the family sat in one of the empty rooms inside their home to discuss what went wrong with Bilal. As his father, Khayal Mohammad, was busy at the roadside restaurant owned by the family, his uncle Abdul Razzaq spoke on his behalf. “He was really ill a month back,” he says as he tries to swaddle Bilal’s lower body with a wrapping sheet. “Our family doctor at the nearest Imam Zainul Abideen Hospital thought that he had got a meningitis fever as his neck arms and upper body had no movement in them. We shifted him to the National Institute of Child Health immediately soon after the doctor asked us to.”

The child had diarrhoea and fever for almost a week before being taken to the hospital, the family says. On being taken to the NICH, the doctors there asked them to wait for a ventilator to be available that alarmed the parents. “He almost made it to the ventilator but was declared ‘out of danger’ after five hours. He was admitted in the hospital for 13 days after that,” says Razzaq.

During this time, Bilal couldn’t sit properly. His arms were also paralysed for a while until he started making some improvement but he is in a much better condition now.

His mother Zakiya (last name not given), a 25-year-old woman, however, says that he still cries at night. “He wakes up in the middle of the night and cries till morning, and then there are times that he doesn’t wake up at all,” she says. Sitting in her lap, the child’s left foot is motionless until someone from the family touches it to make a point, making him wince in pain. Bilal is the youngest among Zakiya’s four children. She says, “I gave birth to him at home, back in my village in Tor Ghar tehsil of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. There are no hospitals over there so he didn’t get immunised. It was only when I brought him to Karachi as a one-year-old that he got polio drops from a polio team that had come to our doorstep.” The mother said that was the only time the child had received the polio vaccine until he got seriously sick a month back.

The home, where12 more children apart from Bilal live, houses five families, says Razzaq. “We are very scared for them now. Their immunisation was done at a private hospital after we saw what happened to Bilal. We have never refused immunisation by the polio teams. What happened to Bilal was maybe because of the sheer laziness on our part, I think. We thought nothing would happen to him,” he adds.

The patriarch of the family, Gohar Ali Khan, moved to Karachi in the 1950s from Tor Ghar tehsil. He owns a number of restaurants in Liaquatabad, managed and supervised by his five sons. Sitting in the same room as his family, he quietly eats his lunch at the time of the interview, remarking later, “There were no immunisations during our times, and yet I survived for so long.” On hearing that, his son says that he has had a bypass surgery and is a sugar patient on medicines at the moment.

The family has been waiting for Bilal’s reports which were sent to the National Institute of Health in Islamabad for further verification, making him, what senior paediatrician Dr Ghaffar Billo calls, a “suspected polio case”.

Dr Billo says a polio case can be further verified after sending it to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia for gene identification, if the parents want to be completely sure. “But since we don’t have the basic practice of taking children for vaccinations, going for an advanced option like this becomes a luxury availed by only a few people,” he adds.

Immunisation coverage

About the current crop of cases specifically in Sindh, Dr Billo says the routine immunisation programme till the 1980s “was the best period for Pakistan as it covered 95 per cent of the children. The World Health Organisation started a national immunisation programme worldwide in 1988 but in Pakistan it kicked off in 1994. That period in between, where there was no activity with regard to polio, left the space for the virus to take its hold.”

Also, since then, he explains, “The population coverage for polio remained between 65 and 75 per cent; whereas it should be 95 per cent otherwise it won’t have the desired impact. So in a way, 35 per cent of our population has always remained uncovered with regard to polio immunisation, be it Fata, KP, Quetta or Qilla Abdullah in Balochistan.”

In Bilal’s case, he says, “One dose a year won’t make a difference, as it takes at least seven to 10 doses, with proper monthly gaps, to ensure immunity.”

Executive District Officer for Health Dr Zafar Aijaz says there are around “325 centres for polio immunisation across Karachi. And we, on our part, have been requesting the families to come to these centres to get their children immunised.”

He insists that it’s not only a job of government hospitals “but community at large to ensure there is awareness about polio”.

Like Dr Billo, Dr Aijaz also says that routine immunisation “is the main concern of our department. If routine immunisation is properly sustained and followed it will help us fight other diseases too.”

However, Dr Billo says that unless and until, “there’s proper reportage of cases and a genuine utilisation of funds we’ll be faced with same problems over and over again.”

Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2014