Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fun Fact Discoveries - 1st

Levers and Buoyancy Year of Discovery: 260 B.C.
What Is It? The two fun da men tal principles under lying all phys ics and
Who Discovered It? Archimedes
Why Is This One of the 100 Great est?
The concepts of buoyancy (water pushes up on an object with a force equal to the
weight of wa ter that the object dis places) and of levers (a force push ing down on one side of
a le ver cre ates a lift ing force on the other side that is pro por tional to the lengths of the two
sides of the le ver) lie at the foun da tion of all quan ti ta tive sci ence and en gi neer ing. They rep -
re sent hu man ity’s ear li est break throughs in un der stand ing the re la tion ships in the phys i cal
world around us and in de vis ing math e mat i cal ways to de scribe the phys i cal phe nom ena of
the world. Count less en gi neer ing and sci en tific advances have depended on those two
How Was It Dis cov ered?
In 260 B.C. 26-year-old Ar chi me des stud ied the two known sci ences—as tron omy and
ge om e try—in Syr a cuse, Sic ily. One day Ar chi me des was dis tracted by four boys play ing
on the beach with a drift wood plank. They bal anced the board over a waist-high rock. One
boy strad dled one end while his three friends jumped hard onto the other. The lone boy was
tossed into the air.
The boys slid the board off-cen ter along their bal anc ing rock so that only one-quar ter
of it re mained on the short side. Three of the boys climbed onto the short, top end. The
fourth boy bounded onto the ris ing long end, crash ing it back down to the sand and cat a pult -
ing his three friends into the air.
Ar chi me des was fas ci nated. And he de ter mined to un der stand the prin ci ples that so
eas ily al lowed a small weight (one boy) to lift a large weight (three boys).
Ar chi me des used a strip of wood and small wooden blocks to model the boys and their
drift wood. He made a tri an gu lar block to model their rock. By mea sur ing as he bal anced
dif fer ent com bi na tions of weights on each end of the le ver (lever came from the Latin word
mean ing “to lift”), Ar chi me des re al ized that le vers were an ex am ple of one of Eu clid’s pro -
por tions at work. The force (weight) push ing down on each side of the le ver had to be pro -
por tional to the lengths of board on each side of the bal ance point. He had dis cov ered the
math e mat i cal con cept of le vers, the most com mon and basic lifting system ever devised.
Fif teen years later, in 245 B.C., Ar chi me des was or dered by King Hieron to find out
whether a gold smith had cheated the king. Hieron had given the smith a weight of gold and
asked him to fash ion a solid-gold crown. Even though the crown weighed ex actly the same
as the orig i nal gold, the king sus pected that the gold smith had wrapped a thin layer of gold
around some other, cheaper metal in side. Ar chi me des was or dered to dis cover whether the
crown was solid gold with out dam ag ing the crown itself.
It seemed like an im pos si ble task. In a pub lic bath house Ar chi me des no ticed his arm
float ing on the wa ter’s sur face. A vague idea be gan to form in his mind. He pulled his arm
com pletely un der the sur face. Then he re laxed and it floated back up.
He stood up in the tub. The wa ter level dropped around the tub’s sides. He sat back
down. The wa ter level rose.
He lay down. The wa ter rose higher, and he re al ized that he felt lighter. He stood up.
The wa ter level fell and he felt heavier. Wa ter had to be push ing up on his sub merged body
to make it feel lighter.
He car ried a stone and a block of wood of about the same size into the tub and sub merged
them both. The stone sank, but felt lighter. He had to push the wood down to sub merge it. That
meant that wa ter pushed up with a force re lated to the amount of wa ter dis placed by the ob ject
(the ob ject’s size) rather than to the ob ject’s weight. How heavy the ob ject felt in the wa ter
had to re late to the ob ject’s density (how much each unit vol ume of it weighed).
That showed Ar chi me des how to an swer the king’s ques tion. He re turned to the king.
The key was den sity. If the crown was made of some other metal than gold, it could weigh
the same but would have a dif fer ent den sity and thus oc cupy a dif fer ent volume.
The crown and an equal weight of gold were dunked into a bowl of wa ter. The crown
dis placed more wa ter and was thus shown to be a fake.
More im por tant, Ar chi me des dis cov ered the prin ci ple of buoy ancy: Wa ter pushes up
on ob jects with a force equal to the amount of wa ter the ob jects displace.
Fun Facts: When Ar chi me des dis cov ered the con cept of buoy ancy, he
leapt form the bath and shouted the word he made fa mous: “Eu reka!”
which means “I found it!” That word be came the motto of the state of Cal i -
for nia af ter the first gold rush min ers shouted that they had found gold.

The Beast of Bodmin - Mystery


Beasts & Monsters
THE BEAST OF BODMIN: whether it is a native cat, previously thought extinct, or an escaped exotic pet, the Beast of Bodmin is a creature that refuses to disappear. Indeed, sightings of the panther-like creature continue apace and, unlike other mysterious beasts, modern technology is actually helping to prove its existence. Bodmin Moor is an area of National Park land in Cornwall, southwest England. Since 1983 there have been over sixty sightings of big cats in the area, and some experts suggest there may be a whole breeding population on the moors. In fact, one recent sighting was of a mother cat and her cub together. Despite wide-ranging testimonials from reliable witnesses, a British government report in 1995 concluded that there was no evidence of big cats on the moors. However, since 1995 some quite startling, tangible evidence has been produced. A 20-second video released in July 1998 clearly shows a large black animal roaming the moor. Experts believe the footage is the best evidence yet to support the idea that big cats are living in the area. Many also suggest the beasts may be a native species of cat which was thought to have become extinct over a hundred years ago. Around the time of the video release, Maurice Jenkins, a quarry weighbridge worker was driving near Exmoor, near Bodmin, when he spotted an odd beast at the side of the road. He trained his car headlights on the creature. Jenkins said afterwards: ‘It was a big black pussycat. His eyes reflected in my headlights and I slowed down so I could get a better look and it sat watching me. It was the size of a collie dog with jet-black head and tail. He leapt away and made off into the fields.’
The Beast strikes again; or is it in fact a fox with a rabbit?
Real biological evidence has also been found in recent years. A large skull with huge fangs was found near the River Fowey on Bodmin Moor. The bones were sent to mammal specialists at the British Natural History
Museum who, when they examined it, quickly realised that the skull did not belong to a creature normally found in the English countryside. Because of the size and position of the teeth, they also deduced that it was the head of a large cat. In November 1999 a spate of farm animal mutilations on Bodmin Moor caused a hightech option to be introduced in finding the beast. When a calf and two sheep were attacked and torn apart by an unknown creature, a motion-activated infrared video camera was installed on the moor. Similarly,
in January 2001, reserve volunteers from a nearby Royal Air Force base used state-ofthe- art night-vision military equipment to hunt for the creature. Rather than practise exercises against an imaginary foe, RAF commanders thought that it would be more interesting for the troops to look for the fabled Beast of Bodmin. Whether the RAF found any trace of the Beast is not known. Certainly, the idea of strange big cats roaming Britain is not totally bizarre. In May 2001, a peculiar, vicious-looking wild animal was found in the garden of a house in Barnet, north London. A huge team of armed police, RSPCA inspectors and vets were needed to
capture what turned out to be a lynx. A similar event happened in September 1998 when people living close by, in Potters Bar and South Mimms, were told to stay indoors whilst police looked for a large cat sighted
there. Generally, however, such animals pose little threat to the human population. Farmers in southwest England do not agree that these creatures are so benign, and many  sceptics believe the Beast of Bodmin is, if anything, an escaped foreign cat. A number go missing from zoos and wildlife parks each year, and Britain’s 1976 Dangerous Wild Animals Act made ownership of exotic big cats illegal. Some people believe that if such a pet were to escape from a private collection, its owner would be hesitant to report it missing. Whatever the truth about its origin, there is growing, indisputable evidence that a large, black, feral cat is
stalking the land of Bodmin Moor.

The-Duckworth-Lewis-Method-Boom-Boom-Afridi Song

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ramzan and Pakoray - Interesting Article by Yasir Pirzada

Ramzan aur hamari aadaat..

Taleban ya Siyasatdan - Sab Apni Jannat ki Talash mai

Bech khao

Angrezi, Arbi aur Farsi - An interesting Analysis by Aurya

Interesting stance

Blunder by PPP - Friendly Opposition??

PPP k Blunder jo Future mai Tareekhi kehlayen gai

Decision that made Mandela A Great Leader

The author... Paul J. H. Schoemaker is founder and chairman at Decision Strategies International. A speaker, professor, and entrepreneur, Schoemaker is research director at the Mack Center for Innovation Management at Wharton, where he teaches strategic decision making. His latest book is Brilliant Mistakes: Finding Success on the Far Side of Failure.

The 3 Decisions That Made Mandela a Truly Great Leader

Only a handful of people in a century command the global authority that Nelson Mandela does. These three crucial judgments cemented his greatness.Nelson Mandela's life story has long since become a legend, one that transcends borders, race, language, or culture. His leadership truly belongs to the world.
It would be absurd--let alone disrespectful to Mandela's achievements--to suggest that the issues you face as a business leader are as grave as apartheid, or that the stresses you encounter compare with his decades of imprisonment. Still, Mandela's decisions at key points in his career do hold lessons for everyone who aspires to be a great leader.  In my opinion, these three decisions especially stand out.

1985: Turning down Botha's offer of conditional amnesty

In a 1985 speech to the nation, pro-apartheid President F. W. Botha offered Mandela freedom if he renounced violence and other illegal activity. The President tried to shift the blame for imprisonment to Mandela himself: after all, he was now free to go, provided he would be law abiding. Mandela did not fall for this transparent ploy. Yes, he very much desired freedom after decades of hard labor and confinement in a small cell. But he also felt it would betray his principles, his leadership and the ANC’s long struggle. Here is how Mandela replied, in part, to President Botha’s disingenuous offer:

“What freedom am I being offered while the organization of the people remains banned?.... What freedom am I being offered if I must ask permission to live in an urban area?....  Only free men can negotiate. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts.”

Mandela turned down Botha and opted to stay in his cold, dark prison cell --  about 8 feet by 8 feet in size -- and was prepared to serve out the remainder of his life sentence.  This strategic decision was enormously powerful, since it greatly elevated his position as the face of the ANC’s opposition, while also drawing attention to his enormous personal sacrifice.

1993: Finding a way to make peace in the wake of Chris Hani's assasination

The second strategic decision occurred shortly after Mandela became a free man but before he was elected President in 1994. The trigger was the 1993 assassination of Chris Hani, a popular black leader fighting for equal rights. Hani was shot in cold blood by a right-wing white extremist  when stepping out of his car. The killer was identified by a white woman, who turned him in. The assasination ignited widespread fury and triggered huge demonstrations. Many blacks wanted revenge, and the atmosphere was ripe for looting, violence and mayhem. Recently out of prison, Mandela rose to the occasion and appealed for calm. Here is part of what he said:

"Tonight, I am reaching out to every single South African, black and white, from the very depths of my being. A white man, full of prejudice and hate, came to our country and committed a deed so foul that our whole nation now teeters on the brink of disaster. A white woman, of Afrikaner origin, risked her life so that we may know and bring to justice, this assassin. The cold-blooded murder of Chris Hani has sent shock waves throughout the country and the world….. Now is the time for all South Africans to stand together against those who, from any quarter, wish to destroy what Chris Hani gave his life for - the freedom of all of us."

1994: Refusing to stand for a second term as president

His third strategic decision occurred after his election as president: He decided early in his first term not to stand for a second, although two were possible under the constitution. This was a remarkable gesture in a continent where leaders tend to seek maximum power (such as Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe). Mandela knew that his speech would be watched by about a billion people on television around the world, and he wanted to signal clearly that he was pledged to democracy and that he represented all the people of his country, regardless of color. The most famous lines of this landmark speech are inscribed in stone on Robben Island.  Here is part of what he said:

“We have, at last, achieved our political emancipation. We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discriminations. Never, never and never again shall this beautiful land experience the oppression of one by another….

Mandela’s extraordinary achievement was to encourage racial harmony, forgiveness without forgetting, power sharing, and a strong focus on the future, not the past. As a master of symbolism, Mandela supported his strategy by being magnanimous towards his former enemies. For example, in 1995, he visited the widow of the very man who was the main architect of the apartheid regime and in effect put him in prison (Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd). He rejoiced when the national rugby team Springboks won the world championship even though this team had been a symbol of racism and Afrikaner power for decades. He proudly wore the team’s shirt during the championship match, waved his hands in support and signaled to the world at large that he truly supported a rainbow nation. Such leadership is as precious as it is rare.

MQM and N League - A Balanced Analysis.. A Realistic one

 A Realistic Analysis of N and MQM Alliance by Nusrat Javed...

اپنے ’’شریکوں‘‘ کی دیوار گرانے کے جنون میں مبتلاپنجابی محاورے والے ہمارے لوگ ابھی تک یہ بات سمجھنے کو تیار
ہی نہیں ہو رہے کہ سیاست کا دھندا کچھ بہت ہی بنیادی اور ضروری سمجھوتے کیے بغیر چلایا ہی نہیں جا سکتا۔ اپنی ناک سے آگے نہ دیکھنے کی صلاحیتوں سے محروم لوگوں کے انا پرست غصے اور تعصبات کو مزید ہوا دینے کے لیے ہمارا بہت ہی مستعد اور آزاد میڈیا بھی میدان میں آ چکا ہے۔ پاکستان مسلم لیگ نون کی طرف سے وزیر خزانہ اسحاق ڈار صدارتی امیدوار کو ساتھ لے کر ایم کیو ایم کے مرکز پہنچے تو ہماری اسکرینوں پر ’’تھرتھلی‘‘ مچ گئی۔
کسی نے یاد رکھنا گوارا ہی نہ کیا کہ الطاف حسین کے پیروکاروں نے نواز شریف کے بطور وزیر اعظم انتخاب کے وقت بھی ان کی حمایت میں ووٹ دیا تھا۔ تاثر کچھ اس طرح کا پھیلایا گیا کہ صرف ممنون حسین کو صدر منتخب کرانے کے لیے نواز لیگ والوں نے ’’اصولی سیاست‘‘ بھلا دی ہے۔ ٹیلی وژن والوں کے پاس تمام سیاسی رہنمائوں کے بیانات کی بے تحاشہ فوٹیج موجود ہوتی ہے۔ اسے استعمال میں لایا گیا۔ چن چن کر وہ کلپس چلائی گئیں جن میں ایم کیو ایم اور مسلم لیگ کے رہنما ایک دوسرے کے خلاف بڑی ہی بازاری زبان میں گفتگو کر رہے تھے۔ ان کلپس کو ڈار اور ممنون حسین کی نائن زیرو آمد کے ساتھ جوڑ کر بیک گرائونڈ میں ’’کیا ہوا تیرا وعدہ‘‘ قسم کے گانے چلائے گئے۔ Infotainment کا ایک چسکے دار Segment بن گیا جو رمضان کے خبروں کے حوالے سے ’’مندے‘‘ مہینے میں بڑا کام آیا۔
میں ذاتی طور پر ایم کیو ایم کا مداح نہیں ہوں۔ اس جماعت کے اندازِ سیاست کے بارے میں اپنے تحفظات کا ہمیشہ کھل کر اظہار کرتا رہا اور ایسا کرتے ہوئے ان دنوں بھی خاموش نہیں رہا جب ایم کیو ایم پر تنقید کرنا کسی صحافی کے لیے ممکن نظر نہیں آتا تھا۔ ان تحفظات کے باوجود میں اس بات پر اصرار کرتا رہا ہوں اور کرتا رہوں گا کہ ان وجوہات کو کھلے ذہن کے ساتھ سمجھنے کی کوشش کی جائے جو ایم کیو ایم کے قیام اور اس کے فروغ کا باعث بنیں۔ یہ ٹھوس وجوہات نہ ہوتیں تو ایم کیو ایم اتنے برسوں سے اپنا وجود برقرار نہ رکھ پاتی۔ ٹھنڈی سوچ بچار کی عادت سے محروم لوگوں کے لیے آسان بات یہ کہہ دینا تھا کہ جنرل ضیاء اور اس کی ’’ایجنسیوں‘‘ نے 1980 کے آمرانہ نظام کو بقاء دینے کے لیے سندھ کو دیہی اور شہری بنیادوں پر تقسیم کر دیا۔
ہوسکتا ہے یہ الزام درست ہو۔ مگر ضیاء الحق کے بعد ایک اور فوجی آمر جنرل مشرف نے بھی تو ایک جماعت، پاکستان مسلم لیگ (ق) بنوائی تھی۔ اس نے پانچ برس تک مرکز،پنجاب اور سندھ میں حکومت بھی کی۔ آج کل اس جماعت کا کوئی اتہ پتہ بھی معلوم نہیں۔ ایم کیو ایم کی اپنی ٹھوس بنیاد موجود نہ ہوتی تو 1986 میں مقامی سطح سے شروع ہو کر 2013 تک مرکز اور سندھ کی تمام حکومتوں میں شمولیت کے بعد اس جماعت کا خاتمہ بھی ہو گیا ہوتا۔ خاص طور پر اگر ہم وہ دن بھی یاد کر لیں جب محترمہ بے نظیر اور نواز شریف کی حکومتوں کے دوران اس جماعت کے کارکنوں پر ’’آپریشن کلین اپ‘‘ کے نام پر بڑے سخت ایام آئے۔
سیدھی سی بات ہے کہ ’’دو قومی نظریے‘‘ کے نام پر بنے ’’اسلامی جمہوریہ پاکستان‘‘ نے 1947 کے بعد بھارت کے ان علاقوں سے جہاں اُردو بولی جاتی تھی آئے مہاجرین کی دوسری اور تیسری نسلوں کو بہت ساری وجوہات کی بنیاد پر اس زمین اور اس پر حاوی ثقافت کا بھرپور حصہ نہیں بنایا ہے۔ دارالحکومت کی کراچی سے اسلام آباد منتقلی نے پہلے مشرقی پاکستان اور پھر ہمارے تین چھوٹے صوبوں میں احساسِ محرومی کو فروغ دیا۔ سندھیوں، بلوچوں اور پشتونوں نے جب اپنے اپنے احساسِ محرومی کی بنیاد پر بھرپور سیاست شروع کر دی تو اُردو بولنے والے مہاجرین کی تیسری نسل کے نوجوانوں کو بھی اپنا مخصوص احساس محرومی شدت سے یاد آ گیا۔
الطاف حسین نے بڑی ذہانت اور مہارت سے ان کے جذبات کو سمجھ کر بڑی محنت سے ایم کیو ایم نامی تنظیم کھڑی کر دی۔ جب یہ تنظیم اقتدار کے دھندے میں اپنا حصہ لینا شروع ہوئی تو اس میں موجود تمام اچھائیاں اور برائیاں بھی کھل کر سامنے آنا شروع ہو گئیں۔ میرے جیسے ایم کیو ایم کے ناقدین کی نگاہیں اسی جماعت کی اچھائیوں سے زیادہ برائیوں پر مرکوز رہتی ہیں۔ مگر ان کا ذکر کرتے ہوئے ہم اس حقیقت کو بھی نظر انداز نہیں کر سکتے کہ 1988 سے اب تک جتنے بھی قومی سطح کے انتخابات ہوئے ان کے نتائج صاف طور پر بتاتے رہے کہ سندھ کے شہروں میں ایم کیو ایم کا ووٹ بینک پوری طرح قائم ہے۔ اس میں کوئی زیادہ فرق نہیں پڑا۔
ایم کیو ایم کے ووٹ بینک کی حقیقت سے قطع نظر سچ یہ بھی ہے کہ 2005کے بعد سے ایم کیو ایم کے بہی خواہوں کی ایک بڑی تعداد نے بتدریج اس جماعت کے علاوہ دوسرے راستوں کی تلاش شروع کر دی۔ پاکستان کی نام نہاد Mainstream پارٹیوں کے لیے یہ سنہری موقع تھا کہ وہ ان لوگوں سے سیاسی روابط بناتیں اور بڑھاتیں۔ کوئی ایسا پیغام دیتیں جہاں زبان اور نسل کے اختلاف سے بالاتر ہو کر پاکستان کے لوگ ’’ذمے دار شہری‘‘ بن کر اس ملک کے جمہوری نظام میں حصہ لیتے اور ایک ایسے معاشی نظام کے قیام کی کوششیں کرتے جہاں ہر شخص کو اس کی صلاحیت کے مطابق ترقی کے مواقع ملتے۔ پیپلز پارٹی اور مسلم لیگ نے اس ضمن میں سوچنا تک گوارا نہ کیا۔ عمران خان میں ان جماعتوں کی بے حسی کے باعث پیدا کردہ خلاء کو پورا کرنے کے بھرپور امکانات پائے جاتے تھے۔ انھوں نے کراچی میں صرف ایک جلسہ کرنے کے علاوہ اور کچھ نہ کیا۔
انتخابی مہم کی گہماگمی میں بھی خاموشی سے کراچی گئے اور پھر قائد اعظم کے مزار پر حاضری دے کر واپس آ گئے۔ ان کی اس بے اعتنائی کے باوجود 11 مئی کے دن ان کی جماعت کو کراچی کے تمام حلقوں سے قابلِ قدر ووٹ ملے اور ڈاکٹر عارف علوی تو گویا ایک تحریک کے ذریعے قومی اسمبلی تک پہنچے۔ تحریک انصاف نے مگر انتخابات کے بعد کراچی کو بھلا دیا اور ایم کیو ایم برطانیہ میں پیدا ہونے والی مشکلات کے باوجود ابھی تک اپنی Core  Constituency کو اپنے ساتھ رکھے ہوئے ہے۔ آپ اس کو نظرانداز نہیں کر سکتے اور نہ ہی مشکل کی اس گھڑی میں ایسا نظر آنے کے متحمل کہ جیسے ان لوگوں کو دیوار کے ساتھ لگایا جا رہا ہے۔ سیاست میں دوسروں کو دیوار کے ساتھ نہیں اپنے ساتھ ملایا جاتا ہے۔ اس حوالے سے ایوانِ صدر کے لیے آگرہ سے کراچی آئے ممنون حسین کو اپنا امیدوار بنا کر نواز شریف نے ایک اچھا فیصلہ کیا ہے اور انتخابات میں اپنے امیدوار کے لیے ووٹ مانگنا کوئی اتنا بڑا گناہ نہیں جتنا بنا کر دکھایا گیا ہے۔

Unholy Alliance of Interests --- But y N League fell so low?

MQM and N League Alliance... In future we may see a Governor Raj in Sind...

Selection of President - Salim Safi

Ameer ul Momineen agar 3 saal iss mulk k hakim rahey to iss mulk ka Bera Gharaq ho jaye ga..

Irfan Siddiqi - Aamir Liaqat ki TC kartey huwai...

Just because he invited him to his show? or ye chacha hai he Irrational?

CNN Report on Aamir Liaqat Show...

Pakistan TV host Aamir Liaquat Hussain to audience: Who wants to win a baby?

By Saima Mohsin and Katie Hunt, CNN
July 30, 2013 -- Updated 0924 GMT (1724 HKT)
Watch this video

Pakistani TV show gives away babies

  • Pakistani game show gives away unwanted babies
  • Childless parents received baby girls during live broadcasts
  • Critics say it's a publicity stunt to win Ramadan ratings battle
  • Another newborn due to be given away in coming days
Karachi (CNN) -- Plumbing new depths in the battle for television ratings, abandoned babies are being given out as prizes on a controversial prime-time game show in Pakistan.
TV host Aamir Liaquat Hussain presented baby girls to two unsuspecting couples during his show, which is broadcast live for seven hours a day during the month of Ramadan.
"I was really shocked at first. I couldn't believe we were being given this baby girl," said Suriya Bilqees, now a mother of a two-week old. "I was extremely happy."
Another baby, a boy, is due to be given to another couple at some point in the coming days.
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The show's host has been described as a religious scholar, TV megastar and even a sex symbol. His heady mix of religion and entertainment is often followed by controversy.
"At Christmas there's Santa Claus to give everyone gifts, it's important for Christians. For us Ramadan is a really special time so it's really important to make people happy and reward them," said Hussain.
His show -- Aman Ramazan -- has been dubbed Pakistan's version of The Price Is Right, with members of the 500-strong audience receiving prizes in exchange for answering questions on the Quran.
The giveaway bonanza includes motorbikes, microwave ovens, washing machines and fridges.
He also cooks while men sing Islamic hymns and discusses religion with children in a garden full of rabbits, snakes and goats.
The baby girls given away on the show were found by an NGO, the Chhipa Welfare Association, which says it receives up to 15 abandoned babies a month.
"Our team finds babies abandoned on the street, in garbage bins -- some of them dead, others mauled by animals. So why not ensure the baby is kept alive and gets a good home?" said Ramzan Chhipa, who runs the organization.
"We didn't just give the baby away. We have our own vetting procedure. This couple was already registered with us and had four or five sessions with us."
We've created a symbol of peace and love, that's our show's theme -- to spread love. I'm setting an example. Giving a childless couple an abandoned child
TV host Aamir Liaquat Hussain
But, the couple didn't know they would be handed a newborn when they were invited to take part in the show and paperwork was not processed before the live broadcast.
Adoption is not officially recognized in Pakistan and there is no adoption law. The couple will have to apply for guardianship at a family court.
Some viewers praised the show's baby giveaway but others declared it a publicity stunt.
"Pakistan wake up," Shamim Mahmood wrote on the NGO's Facebook page. "Babies are not trophies to be handed to just anyone."
Hussain says it isn't a gimmick to win ratings during the Islamic holy month. He believes his show is unifying a fractured nation, plagued by sectarian violence, religious intolerance and terrorism.
"These are the disenfranchised babies that grow up to be street kids and used for suicide bombing attacks. We have tried to show an alternative," he said.
"Telling people to take these kids off the rubbish on the streets, raise them and make them a responsible citizen, not to destroy society through terrorism," he said.
The show has proved extremely popular, breaking ratings records and may be extended beyond its Ramadan run. He is also planning another program where the audience will be from the minority Hindu, Sikh and Christian communities.
"We've created a symbol of peace and love, that's our show's theme -- to spread love. I'm setting an example. Giving a childless couple an abandoned child," Hussain said.

Razia Ghundon mai Phass Gayi

Par nikaley ga kaun?

کیا پاکستان رضیہ ہے؟

فائل فوٹو، پاکستان پولیس
ہر آنے والے دن میں میرا شک یقین کی سرحد چھو رہا ہے کہ پاکستان ایک ملک نہیں بلکہ وہ رضیہ ہے جو مسلسل غنڈوں میں پھنسی ہوئی ہے۔
کوئی کن کٹا اس کے سر سے نظریاتی تشخص کی چنری کھینچ رہا ہے تو کسی خبیث کے ہاتھ میں اس کی سماجی شناخت کے بال ہیں۔کوئی چھری باز اس کا اقتصادی بازو مروڑ رہا ہے تو کوئی ہوس پرست اس کی کمر میں عریانی و فحاشی کی کہنی ٹکا رہا ہے۔کوئی بھینگا اسے نگاہوں نگاہوں میں ہونٹوں پر زبان پھیرتے ہوئے کچا کھانے کی فکر میں ہے تو کوئی جوتی چور اس کے پیروں سے امیدوں کی چپل اتار بھاگنے کی سوچ رہا ہے۔جو دیگر دس نمبرئیے رضیہ کو گھیرے میں لیے فحش گوئی اور متواتر اشارے بازی میں مصروف ہیں وہ الگ ہیں۔
اس رضیہ کی معیشت کو کوئی پھلتا پھولتا نہیں دیکھنا چاہتا۔چین دوستی کے پردے میں سستی اشیا کے وزن سے اس کی کمر توڑ رہا ہے۔۔۔بھارت کا اقتصادی اونٹ موسٹ فیورڈ نیشن معاہدے کے بہانے مقابلے کی اہلیت سے عاری خوف زدہ پاکستانی تجارت و صنعت کے خیمے میں گردن ڈال رہا ہے۔
افغانستان ٹرانزٹ ٹریڈ کے بہانے اس کا محصولاتی خون چوس رہا ہے۔۔۔جاپانی ری کنڈیشنڈ گاڑیاں ناقص میٹریل سے تیار مہنگی مقامی کار انڈسٹری کو جڑ سے اکھاڑ پھینکنے کی بھیانک سازش میں مصروف ہیں۔۔۔سستی سمگلڈ ادویات مہنگی و غیر معیاری دیسی ڈرگ انڈسٹری کا گلا گھونٹ رہی ہیں۔۔۔غیر ملکی سگریٹ مقامی ٹوبیکو انڈسٹری کے لیے پولیو بن چکے ہیں۔۔۔برادر خلیجی ممالک کی سرمایہ کاری قومی مواصلاتی اداروں اور تعمیراتی انڈسٹری کو نگل رہی ہے۔۔۔توانائی اور معدنی وسائل پر ملٹی نیشنل کمپنیوں کی خونی چمگادڑیں منڈلا رہی ہیں۔

مذہبی تشخص

اس رضیہ کا مذہبی تشخص بھی ہمیشہ کی طرح خطرے میں ہے ۔کبھی ہندؤوں کے ہاتھوں تو کبھی ملحد کیمونسٹوں کے ہاتھوں۔۔۔کبھی لبرل فاشسٹوں کے ہاتھوں تو کبھی بدعتیوں اور مشرکوں کے ہاتھوں۔۔۔کبھی طالبان کے ہاتھوں تو کبھی سعودیوں اور ایرانیوں کے ہاتھوں۔۔۔گویا مذہبی تشخص نا ہوا رضیہ کے سر پر رکھی مٹکی ہوگئی جسے ہر ایرا غیرا پھوڑنا چاہ رہا ہے۔
اس رضیہ کا مذہبی تشخص بھی ہمیشہ کی طرح خطرے میں ہے ۔کبھی ہندؤوں کے ہاتھوں تو کبھی ملحد کیمونسٹوں کے ہاتھوں۔۔۔کبھی لبرل فاشسٹوں کے ہاتھوں تو کبھی بدعتیوں اور مشرکوں کے ہاتھوں۔۔۔کبھی طالبان کے ہاتھوں تو کبھی سعودیوں اور ایرانیوں کے ہاتھوں۔۔۔گویا مذہبی تشخص نا ہوا رضیہ کے سر پر رکھی مٹکی ہوگئی جسے ہر ایرا غیرا پھوڑنا چاہ رہا ہے۔
اور پاکستانی ثقافت۔۔۔( آج تک کوئی نہ سمجھا سکا کہ اس کا مطلب یا متفق علیہ تشریح کیا ہے)۔اغیار ہیں کہ اس دھندلی ثقافت کو بھی برداشت نہیں کر پا رہے۔بھارت نے پہلے تو معیاری پاکستانی فلمی صنعت کو غیر معیاری ہونے کے پروپیگنڈے سے کھکھل کیا۔پھر یہاں کے فنکاروں اور گلوکاروں کو لکشمی کی چمک دمک دکھا کر اغوا کیا۔پھر اپنے چینلوں کے زریعے عریانی و فحاشی کے سیلاب کا رخ پاکستان کی جانب موڑ دیا۔ نتیجہ یہ نکلا کہ آج بھارتی ثقافتی ناگ کی ڈسی سادہ لوح جوان نسل سپریم کورٹ، قاضی حسین احمد، دفاعِ پاکستان کونسل اور انصار عباسی تک کی سننے پر آمادہ نہیں۔
تازہ غضب یہ ہوا کہ ابھی پاکستان کی میڈیا انڈسٹری ریٹنگ کی تلوار، ریپ مناظر کی ری انیکٹمنٹ کی ڈھال اور جرائم کو گلیمرائز کرنے کے رجہان کی بندوق کے زریعے بھارتی ثقافتی یلغار کے طوفان کو روکنے کے لیے کمر کس ہی رہی تھی کہ اس ملک نے حملہ کردیا جس کے بارے میں کوئی سوچ بھی نہیں سکتا۔
لوڈ شیڈنگ کی مار کون مار رہا ہے؟ را یا ایم آئی فائیو؟
ان دنوں برادرِ یوسف ترکی کی ایک ڈرامہ سیریل عشقِ ممنوع نے مشرقِ وسطیٰ کے عرب ممالک میں مقبولیت کے بعد ہر پاکستانی ٹی وی ناظر کا محاصرہ کر رکھا ہے۔ سب چسکے بھی لے رہے ہیں اور چیخ بھی رہے ہیں کہ پاکستان کی ثقافت کو ترکی کے بولڈ اینڈ بیوٹی فل کلچر سے خطرہ لاحق ہے۔اگر غیرملکی ڈراموں کو ڈب کرکے دکھانے کا رجحان نہ روکا گیا تو پاکستان کا رہا سہا نظریاتی تشخص بھی ختم ہوجائے گا ، ڈرامہ انڈسٹری برباد ہوجائے گی، مقامی فن کار بے روزگار ہوجائیں گے۔۔۔
رضیہ کو گڈ گورننس کو فروغ دینے سے اب تک کس نے روکا؟ سی آئی اے نے یا موساد نے؟ لوڈ شیڈنگ کی مار کون مار رہا ہے؟ را یا ایم آئی فائیو؟ کرپشن اور ٹیکس چوری پر کون اکسا رہا ہے؟ رشین یا ہنگیرین سیکرٹ ایجنٹس؟ انتہا پسندی کی دیمک پر سپرے کرنے سے کون روک رہا ہے؟ چلی، روانڈا یا برونائی؟؟ ریلوے ، پی آئی اے اور سٹیل مل کو بے حال کس نے کیا؟ اقوامِ متحدہ کی پابندیوں نے یا عالمی عدالتِ انصاف نے؟ چالیس فیصد پاکستانی ٹیکسٹائل انڈسٹری کس نے بنگلہ دیش میں منتقل کی؟ تعلیم اور صحت پر رقم لگانے کے خلاف کون ہے ؟ امریکہ یا یورپی یونین؟ معیاری ڈرامے اور فلمیں بنانے پر کس نے پابندی لگائی ہے؟ ہالی وڈ نے یا بالی وڈ نے؟
رضیہ ہے کہ اپنے لچھن اور چال ڈھال کی خبر لینے کے بجائے پینسٹھ برس سے صرف واویلے پر واویلا مچائے ہوئے ہے مگر رضیہ اور اس کے ہمدردوں سمیت کوئی یہ پہیلی بوجھنے کو تیار نہیں کہ آخر یہ سب اس کے ساتھ ہی کیوں ہو رہا ہے۔کیا دنیا میں صرف وہی ایک رضیہ ہے یا رضیہ اپنی ہی خیالی دنیا میں گم ہے ؟؟؟ اور سوائے اس کے کچھ سننا نہیں چاہتی کہ ہائے بے بس بچاری رضیہ ۔۔۔خود ترسی کی ماری رضیہ۔۔۔نرگسیت سے ہاری رضیہ۔۔۔چھوئی موئی سی پیاری رضیہ۔۔۔ سب کی راج دلاری رضیہ۔۔۔

Munafiqat - Pakistani Qaum ki Sab se Bari Khami

Biggest Issue of Pakistani Muslim

Actions ahead of EFF - IMF Loan

Pakistan has to take a number of prior actions before qualifying for $5.3 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) package under Extended Fund Facility (EFF). According to this newspaper on 27th July, 2013, the Federal Government is required to reach an understanding with the provinces on budget surplus, issue notices to 10,000 potential taxpayers and increase electricity tariff to eliminate power sector subsidies at least one week before September 4 IMF board meeting for the consideration of request for the new loan. One more condition might be that the State Bank of Pakistan should raise the discount rate by 150 basis points in its next monetary policy announcement because the Fund's assessment was that inflation could be in double-digit figure during the current year. It seems that the government is already moving in that direction. The issuance of notices to the potential taxpayers would begin from 15th August, 2013 to bring them into tax net before the IMF board meeting. Power sector reforms in the energy policy are likely to be announced by the end of the current month after approval from the Council of Common Interests (CCI).

The condition of reaching an understanding with the provinces about the budget surplus could also be met before the deadline if Sindh and KP governments are properly persuaded to cooperate with the Federal Government for a national cause. This was essential because after the 7th National Finance Commission Award, tilt of resources had been shifted from the centre to the provinces and the role of provincial governments had become very critical in fiscal management.

It is easy to find out why the IMF authorities are insisting on prior actions before taking the country's case for EFF to the Executive Board. This was due to the poor credibility of the country in fulfilling the agreed conditionalities in the past. On a number of occasions in the past, Pakistan failed to meet stipulated conditions on one pretext or the other after the disbursement of a tranche and then waivers were sought to continue with the programme. In international circles, Pakistan also came to be known as one-tranche country due to its inability to continue with various programmes after only a few months. At one time, even figures were doctored to show that a certain conditionality was met. This time the Fund staff did not want to take any chances. The implementation of certain prior actions will also make it easier for the Fund staff to strongly advocate Pakistan's case before the Board. In fact, the head of the IMF mission had already indicated at a press briefing in Islamabad that a staff level agreement with the authorities on the key elements of an economic reforms programme had been reached subject to timely completion of prior actions to be taken by the government. The details of the prior actions now revealed, indicate the urgency to manage the public finances of the country properly and bring down the level of budget deficit to a manageable level. The condition of undertaking serious efforts to broaden the tax base, eliminate subsidies to power sector and persuading the provinces to have surplus budgets before the case was put to the Board, seem to be directed to achieve this objective. It would be no surprise if prior conditions were also attached to successive tranches of the EFF when they are due for disbursement. Hopefully, the present government seems to have done its homework properly to ensure that various conditionalities attached to the EFF are tolerable to the vast majority of population and the programme is not derailed in between so that credibility of the country is improved overtime. The intention of the government to place the programme before the parliament is of course a step in the right direction to take various parties on board for developing a consensus on the matter and ensuring the continuity of the programme.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

An unnecessary controversy

As the provincial and federal legislatures hold polling today to elect a new head of state to succeed Asif Ali Zardari upon completion of his tenure of office, one can not but lament the unnecessary controversy that has beset these elections. It is the new presidential election schedule that has created this unnecessary controversy. The PPP, supported by its former coalition partners, the ANP and the PML-Q, has announced it would boycott the election because the August 6 date, set earlier by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), has been brought forward to July 30. The change was ordered by the Supreme Court on a petition filed by PML-N leader Raja Zafarul Haq pleading that August 6 would fall within the last ten days of the holy month of Ramazan, when many members of the Parliament and provincial assemblies - president's electoral college- would either be out of the country performing Umra or sitting in 'aitekaf'. But the Opposition said the change will leave little time for its candidate, Senator Raza Rabbani, to travel to the four provincial capitals for canvassing and hence it would boycott the election.

Announcing the boycott at a press conference in Islamabad, Rabbani posed the question "why would members of the provincial assemblies cast their votes without listening to the candidate?" The fact of the matter is that even though the election outcome is decided through secret balloting, members of the assemblies are bound by party discipline to vote for their respective parties' candidates. And Ramazan observances would have affected all parties equally. The result would not have been any different had the schedule remained unchanged. The Nawaz League supported by the JUI-F had the numbers in its favour; its candidate, Mamnoon Hussain, would have won without any difficulty. Still the PML-N decided to use the opportunity to make a show of strength whilst the PPP went for political posturing. Even though PML-N candidate would have easily sailed through poll, the party sought and received the support of the MQM with which it has had fractious relations. For the PPP, it was a chance, aside from giving hard time to the ruling party, to get back at the Supreme Court for its leaders' past and ongoing troubles. No wonder, the PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan spent considerable time at Raza Rabbani's news conference to criticise the apex court for allegedly showing special favour to the Nawaz League.

A better course for the PPP to adopt, like the PTI, would have been to express its reservations but not let the election go by uncontested. At a parallel news conference, PTI Chairman Imran Khan acknowledged that the PPP had a point in raising the objections it did, but his party had decided not to give a walkover to the PML-N candidate. He vented his anger at the ECP rather than the SC. PTI presidential candidate former Justice Wajihuddin Ahmad rightly pointed out that as per the relevant constitutional provision the ECP had a 30-day window to hold the election. Notably, the Constitution says "election to the office of President shall be held not earlier than sixty days and not later than thirty days before the expiration of the term of the President in office." The incumbent's term expires on September 8, which means the election could not wait until after Eid. Blame for the PPP candidate's boycott and the unpleasantness it has created must be shared by all those responsible for the change in schedule, especially the Election Commission which could have held the election sometime earlier this month.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

It's time to end quota system

Good 40 years on, the PML (N)-led government was expected to recognise and respect the value of merit by refusing to throw lifeline to the quota system in the recruitment to the federal and provincial civil services. But, it has not and taken the easy way out by deciding to extend the quota system by another 10 years. That was neither the vision of the framers of the Constitution, nor in consonance with the existing ground realities. The 1973 Constitution fixed period of 10 years, only 10 years, after which the Article 27 (1) was come into full play by ensuring that "No citizen otherwise qualified for appointment in the service of Pakistan shall be discriminated against in respect of any such appointment on the ground only of race, religion, caste, sex, residence or place of birth". But this was violated, first by the Ziaul Haq regime, in 1985, and then the elected government of Nawaz Sharif, in 1998. Put together, they extended the quota system for 40 years - by their selective use of the proviso of the said constitutional command, in that while they conceded its application to the provincial quotas only, they ignored the others who too could benefit like women, physically challenged.

Given that the successive governments tended to read Article 27 in the light of their political interests extending the period of quota system was easier and less risky, and this helped them in rather smooth passage of amendments allowing the extensions. One therefore wouldn't be surprised if the members sitting across the aisle in the present parliament join hands and grant another 20-year extension to the quota system. By that they would be delivering yet another stunning blow to hopes and aspirations of all hardworking, competent Pakistanis, who waited for merit to prevail in recruitments to jobs in the federal government departments and institutions. If there is literally an exodus of talented countrymen then there should be no hesitation in pinning the blame on the notorious provincial quota system. Those who fail to land ordinary jobs in the homeland invariably outshine the best in the world overseas. Take the case of recruitment to the prestigious central superior services (CSS). Under the prevailing system only 7.5 percent of candidates get jobs on merit, the rest of the 200-plus posts are filled in line with quotas earmarked for the provinces. The percentage of the provinces are: Punjab plus Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), 50%; Sindh 19%; Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 11.5%; Balochistan 6%; Fata plus Gilgit-Baltistan 4%, and Azad Kashmir 2%. So, in terms of shares none of the regions have any complaint; the complaint is that the delivery of the civil servants falls far short of the performance expected of them. The cause, said bluntly, is the quota system tends to encourage incompetence. The Nawaz Sharif government, politically conscious as it is, may like to run the risk of provincial wrath by doing away with the regional quotas in the federal services that's understandable. However, some kind of remedial action can be taken, and should be taken. Of course as a whole some provinces are more developed than others in terms of affording their residents good schooling and related services that help improve the compatibility of the applicants to the civil services. But a close look would show that the underdevelopment is not uniformly spread, it resides in pockets. That even in Punjab which is said to be more developed than others there are districts which are as backward as any in other provinces. Similarly, the development is also district-specific. At the same time there are certain sections of society that are less developed than others in Pakistan - like women, minorities particularly in Sindh and physically challenged citizens. Therefore, instead of giving a new lease of life to the archaic concept of provincial quotas the government may consider winding up the quota system over the next 10 years, by annually increasing ratio of recruitment on merit by a certain percentage, and at the same time identify and fix quotas for the underdeveloped districts and the disadvantaged. Since there is no dearth of statistical information on the level of development of districts and also there is ample record to indicate the degree of deprivation inflicting weaker sections of society there should be no problem in rewriting the draft approved by the federal cabinet to extend quota system.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

Speech by Mr. Yaseen Anwar, Governor State Bank of Pakistan at Pakistan Navy War College, Lahore

Speech by Mr. Yaseen Anwar, Governor
State Bank of Pakistan
at Pakistan Navy War College,
Lahore, March 5, 2013

Respected guests, esteemed servicemen, and students at this fine
establishment, Assalam-o-Alaikum!
I’m glad that you could join us today and thank you for inviting me
to introduce you, very briefly, to a strategy for the revitalization of
the Pakistani economy.
Our roles at the State Bank, and your roles in the armed forces, are
not very different from each other. We are both tasked with
guarding national interests and we both seek to actively mitigate
threats – both from within our boundaries, and from the outside
world. Today, I hope to be able to share with you, how we, at the
central bank, guard and guide this economy towards a path of
sustainable growth and stable prices.
But before I go down that path, I would like to put some things in
perspective here. For instance, I’d like to point out that we are not in
the middle of an economic meltdown. In fact, we are not even close
to being in an economic meltdown. That is why the topic of this
lecture “A strategy to improve economic meltdown” may just have
been a tad misleading. So yes, we certainly face challenges, but I
assure you that they can hardly be categorized as a meltdown.
Since we’re on the subject of economic catastrophes, I think it would
be enlightening if we talk about a few countries that have seen their
economies collapse in the past few years. Let’s start with Greece.
Their latest unemployment rate is roughly 27 percent. That means
that more than one in four people remain jobless. Let me
reemphasize that: one out of every four individuals does not have a
job! Can such a high unemployment rate be socially acceptable or
sustainable? Of course not. That’s why the country was beset with
riots, massive protests, political bickering and a very uncertain and
bleak outlook.
Youth unemployment in Greece is more than 50 percent. That
means that more than half of the youth – the most productive part
of any labor force – remains jobless. Can you imagine how
demoralizing that is for new entrants into the workforce? If you
throw this into the mix, you will have some very strong incentives
for social unrest, with sharp rises in crime, hooliganism, and general
despondency. It’s no surprise then that the suicide rate in the
country has doubled in the past five years. 2013 will mark the sixth
year of the Greek Depression. For six consecutive years, the
economy has shrunk. The light at the end of the tunnel is a very,
very long way off for Greece. That… ladies and gentlemen… is an
economic meltdown.
In fact, southern Europe has been teetering on the edge of an
economic disaster for a while now. Their governments borrowed
incredible sums of money when times were good in the first few
years of the 21st century, and are now struggling to repay their
debts. In some instances, their debts reached 200 percent of their
GDP – twice the size of their entire economy’s output. It was fiscal
irresponsibility at its worst. Pakistan’s national debt is 60 percent of
its GDP – and that is an uncomfortable level for us. 200 percent, on
the other hand, is a completely different ballgame. Now they have to
balance their books once more and live within their means. And
they’re discovering just how painful the process of deleveraging, or
paying off their debts, can be. Their economies are facing serious
difficulties, unemployment is very high, and the prospect of default
looms large. Since their economies are so interconnected with the
rest of Europe and indeed, with the rest of the world, they are
threatening to plunge the entire world into a recession if their
economic conditions deteriorate further. And if that happens, ladies
and gentlemen, I will be inclined to believe that we are living in the
middle of a global economic meltdown.
At this point, let me walk you through a meltdown that happened
quite recently in the largest economy in the world: the financial
meltdown of 2008-2009 in the US. It started off with irresponsible
lending by the banks, which was backed implicitly by the
government, to individuals who wanted to buy property – and not
just one. Investment banks then bought these loans from the banks
that had originated them, and proceeded to create complex financial
products anchored to these loans, which were then peddled to other
investors. Some of those investors were pension funds, and state
governments – funds that basically came from hardworking
families’ taxes and savings. Such funds are only allowed to invest in
riskless assets, ones which are considered as safe as possible.
But most investors did not truly understand the nature of these
products, and instead turned to rating agencies for assurance.
Rating agencies, such as S&P and Moody’s, evaluate financial assets
and rate them in terms of their riskiness. For reasons that should
not be mentioned, these agencies decided that the toxic assets were
of the highest quality, and least riskiness – equal to sovereign debt.
All this while, the regulators had, more or less, gone to sleep.
Eventually, they woke up to a very rude shock. Since the financial
system was so interconnected, one ripple is all it needed to create a
tidal wave in such an unstable scenario. Banks’ irresponsible
lending meant that eventually, individuals defaulted on their
mortgages. Once this cycle of defaults started, it spilled over from
mortgage companies to investment banks. Of the five large
investment banks in the US, one defaulted, two got sold, and two
others had to be rescued by the government.
The fear and panic that gripped the financial markets meant that
banks were reluctant to lend to each other – markets froze
completely. The regulators had to no choice but to step in, but a lot
of the damage had already been done. The economy went into
recession, and the next four years brought a flickering flame of
economic growth – vulnerable to the next gust of wind that
threatens to blow it out altogether.
[Governor’s comments on the future of the US and the Euro, and their
efforts to rekindle their economies after the financial meltdown…]
Let me get back now to the Pakistani economy. The word that’s
been used to describe our economy quite a few times has been
“resilient”. I think it’s worth talking about how that word describes
this economy. In 65 years, Pakistan has never gone through an
episode of hyperinflation; Pakistan has never defaulted on its
international and domestic debts; in fact, our economy has grown
consistently, but not spectacularly, over the past six decades. Not
many countries in the developing world can claim to have achieved
all of that. This has been despite periods of international alienation
and sanctions, three expensive wars, two hostile fronts, regular
political upheaval, social unrest, sharp increases in the price of oil,
and much, much more.
However, it would be dishonest to say that the economy’s resilience
is completely by design. Yes, regulation and strict oversight has had
a part to play in it. And I’d like to briefly touch upon that here. The
State Bank has always ensured that the financial system of the
country remains safe and stable. We may not have always gotten
things completely correct, but we have made sure that banks remain
healthy and depositors’ money remains safe. We have managed to
do this despite privatizing the banking system almost entirely. This
means that capital is now allocated more efficiently, and private
sector businesses can borrow freely for their requirements. I must
add though that we are a little disappointed with the current risk
aversion of the banks.
The reforms process was initiated in the early 90s and focused on
more private sector participation as financial intermediaries;
developing a more robust regulatory framework; restructuring
banks; and developing non-bank financial institutions (also known
has NBFIs), as well as equity and bond markets, as alternatives to
the banking system for both savers and borrowers. The financial
sector was essentially given a completely new look during the course
of that decade. The purpose of all these changes was to enhance
competition and efficiency in the financial sector. That would mean
that capital gets allocated into productive investment, which can
drive future growth. Simultaneously, as banks became more
efficient, savers could receive a better return on their deposits and
borrowers could finance themselves at lower rates.
The robustness of our financial system, is a direct consequence of
the reforms process and the State Bank’s constant vigilance. There’s
a lot that can be improved in our financial system – for instance, I
would love to see the development of efficient debt markets, even
better regulatory and reporting practices, and the broadening of the
financial sector’s scope to include largely unbanked, such as
agriculture, small and medium enterprises, and housing. Despite
this wish-list, the fact remains that our financial system is, by
design, secure and does not pose any threat to the economy as a
Now let’s turn to the features of this economy that have, helped the
country become and remain resilient in the face of adversity. I
believe that our social system in Pakistan influences why the
economy remains resilient. Our family structure is a huge blessing
in economic terms. Children take care of their parents, and that
spares the state from the responsibility of taking care of the elderly
and sick. Governments in developed economies are currently
struggling to meet their social commitments, with healthcare costs
surging for an aging population. Our social fabric also ensures that
informal employment is always readily available in some shape or
the other – relatives and family friends usually help out in providing
the unemployed with some form of work, and the immediate family
supports unemployed individuals financially. That spares the state
from paying out unemployment benefits to such individuals. I
believe that the nature of our society and the close relationships of a
family-oriented society, is one of the primary reasons for Pakistan’s
relatively low rate of unemployment and overall resilience to
adverse conditions.
I would like to clarify here that this resilience has come with a cost:
the size of the informal sector. The size of Pakistan’s undocumented
economy is, by some estimates, as large as the formal economy. The
informal economy does not file taxes and, while it does absorb a
significant chunk of the labor force, it also evades corporate and
labor laws. Therefore, although close informal relationships do
make the economy more resilient, they do so at a cost to the overall
economy, by eroding the ambit of the regulators. Ideally, we, at the
State Bank, would like to see a smaller informal economy, while
society retains the structure that has made it so resilient.
The second factor that has unintentionally helped the country’s
resilience is the limited interconnectedness between the Pakistani
and the global financial and economic system. Although the absence
of such integration is by no means desirable, it has happened due to
non-economic factors, and has insulated our domestic economy. It’s
also the reason that our financial system and financial markets
remain relatively sheltered from global events.
Let me re-emphasize here, that greater integration with global
markets is something that we should aspire towards. But that does
not mean we should not have proper controls and mechanisms in
place to safeguard our own interests. For instance, greater
integration with financial markets will mean that capital will flow
more quickly through our borders. It’s definitely something that
will boost the national economy, but, as most East Asian countries
learned in the 90s, it can be a double-edged sword. Therefore,
having some capital controls in place, which reduce the volatility of
capital flows, is a necessary regulation in this day and age.
Personally, I believe the role of effective regulation only increases as
the economy becomes more integrated and more market-oriented.
Markets in themselves have no moral character. Inherently, they are
neither good, nor evil. But they remain very powerful tools that
distribute goods and services across the economy. Regulation is
necessary because it gives markets a direction, and can govern them
with a set of values, which markets do not possess innately.
Less, but more effective regulation is the need of the hour for our
own economy too. It’s an essential part of what is needed today to
get the economy on a track for steady and sustainable growth. The
government’s footprint in some sectors of the economy is very large,
and quite negligible in other sectors. Such divergence is unhealthy.
For instance, the government has a very large presence in our
agriculture and energy markets. Those sectors are, in some ways,
over-regulated. Too much regulation and red tape can breed
incentives for the abuse of power, mismanagement and corruption.
It also acts as a disincentive for the private sector. And we must
remember here that it is always the private sector that functions as
the engine of the economy.
However, effective regulation is sorely lacking in other sectors. The
tax machinery can be tightened considerably. One of the country’s
most challenging problems today is the size of the fiscal deficit – and
a large part of the solution lies in increasing our tax base by
enacting regulation that encourages tax compliance, and punishes
tax evasion.
The link between better tax collection and faster economic growth
deserves to be flushed out here. Better tax collection means that the
government has to depend less on foreign support for its budgetary
needs, and can decrease its fiscal deficit. More importantly, the
government will not have to borrow as much from the domestic
banking system to finance itself. Less borrowing from commercial
banks will encourage market rates to fall and banks will lend more
to the private sector. As investment picks up, the growth potential of
the economy increases. Similarly, the government will need to
borrow less money from the central bank as well. Borrowing from
the central bank is popularly known as printing money. This is
inflationary, and I don’t think I need to introduce you to the
problems associated with high levels of inflation. If government
borrowing from the central bank falls, inflation will follow suit.
Therefore, better tax collection is a necessary condition for faster
economic growth. And for that we need to have more effective tax
Another problem that we desperately need to fix is our energy
problem. It’s something that has been affecting every citizen of the
state, and I don’t think that I need to highlight the scope of the
problem here. Similarly, I think the effect on the economy of an
energy shortage should be fairly straightforward: energy is one of
the key inputs in any value-added production process. Less energy
availability will translate into lower output. The solutions to the
energy problem will take time – unfortunately, there is no magic pill
here. We will need to invest in infrastructure for hydro-electricity,
natural gas transportation and transmission, and more efficient
power plants. Moreover, we will need to move to greater private
sector participation in the energy sector. That means there will, once
again, be a need for less, but more effective regulation – one that
safeguards the rights of both producers and consumers, while
ensuring adequate incentives for the exploitation of our natural
The most important incentive here will be prices. Unfortunately, a
large part of our energy problems today can be traced to a
mispricing of fuels. Under-pricing any commodity will always lead
to a shortage – that’s one of the fundamental axioms of economics.
Letting the market decide the price is one way of ensuring that
future shortages are averted. But remember that markets do not
have morals – and that’s why we will need regulation to make sure
that those markets serve and protect the interests of all
At this point, I would also like to touch very briefly upon the State
Bank’s efforts to accelerate economic growth. As you may know,
any central bank’s primary policy tool is the discount rate – the
basic interest rate which acts as an anchor for all other rates in the
economy. Unlike most central banks, and similar to the US Federal
Reserve, the State Bank has a dual mandate: it must tackle the issue
of maintaining price stability, i.e. inflation, while also keeping an eye
on economic growth. The preamble to the SBP Act of 1956 defines
that the institution has “to regulate the monetary and credit system
of Pakistan and to foster its growth in the best national interest with
a view to securing monetary stability and fuller utilization of the
country’s productive resources”. So at the State Bank, we need to
pay close attention to both monetary stability and fuller utilization
of the country’s resources.
That is a tough balance to strike in the best of times. The Bank’s
policy is to use any room available to cut interest rates in order to
promote economic growth. After being in double-digits almost
consistently for two years, inflation has come down substantially in
the past few months to single digit, because of this, the Bank decided
to reduce its interest rate into single-digits. The benchmark rate now
stands at 9.5 percent. We also expect that average inflation for the
year will remain in the 8.50-9.50 percent range. Interest rates are
reviewed, and may be revised, every two months, which allows our
policy responses to be nimble and respond quickly to any changes in
the economic environment. The Bank also ensures that the money
market is never short of funds, which means that monetary policy
signals are transmitted efficiently.
Our primary constraints to faster growth, however, remain the
large size of the fiscal deficit and the energy shortfall. As with most
economic problems, there is no immediate solution. Both problems
require systemic changes that will take time to achieve, through the
implementation of effective regulation and a move towards greater
private sector participation. Meanwhile, rest assured that while our
current economic situation is less than optimal, it is also very far
from what may be described as an economic calamity. In fact, over
the years, this economy has shown an inherent resilience, and I’ve
shared my thoughts about why I think our economy has the ability
to navigate through choppy waters. Nevertheless, this economy
remains quite far below its potential – however, the solutions to our
problems regarding faster growth are an open secret. It’s only a
question of implementing them.
I’d like to end my talk here on that relatively optimistic note. Unlike
the problems of the US and the Euro, our problems have very
attainable solutions. Those economies are still trying to work out
what would work best for them. We already know what we need to
do. It’s only a matter of execution now. I’m excited by the economic
potential that this country holds, and I encourage you all to become
a part of the country’s future, by becoming a part of the solution.
Thank you!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Asoolon ki Siyasat by N League

Kamal Taking by Javed Chaudry
یہ 26 جولائی 2013ء کا معجزہ تھا‘ پاکستان مسلم لیگ ن کا وفد ایم کیو ایم کے ہیڈ کوارٹر نائین زیرو پہنچا‘ وفد میں پاکستان مسلم لیگ ن کے صدارتی امیدوار ممنون حسین‘ وفاقی وزیر خزانہ سینیٹر اسحاق ڈار اور وزیر اطلاعات و نشریات سینیٹر پرویز رشید شامل تھے‘ اس وفد کا نائین زیرو پہنچنا اور ایم کیو ایم کے جید رہنماؤں ڈاکٹر فاروق ستار‘سینیٹر بابرخان غوری‘ حیدر عباس رضوی اور ڈاکٹر خالد مقبول صدیقی کی طرف سے وفد کا استقبال قوم کے لیے حیران کن واقعہ تھا کیونکہ قوم کو 12 مئی 2013ء کی شام الطاف حسین کے وہ الفاظ یاد ہیں جن کے ذریعے انھوں نے میاں نواز شریف کو پیغام دیا تھا ’’ کراچی کا مینڈیٹ پسند نہیں تو اسے پاکستان سے الگ کیوں نہیں کر دیتے‘‘
قوم کو 29 دسمبر 2010ء کی وہ شام بھی یاد تھی جب وسیم اختر اور حیدر عباس رضوی نے پارلیمنٹ کے سامنے میاں نواز شریف‘ میاں شہباز شریف اور چوہدری نثار علی کے بارے میں جن بے باک خیالات کا اظہار کیا تھا اور پوری قوم نے یہ اظہار ٹیلی ویژن چینلز کے ذریعے براہ راست سنا تھا‘ آپ ان دونوں واقعات کو فراموش بھی کر دیں تو بھی آپ 7 جولائی 2007ء کو لندن میں ہونے والی اے پی سی نہیں بھول سکتے‘ میں خود اس اے پی سی میں شریک تھا اور میں نے اپنی آنکھوں سے دیکھا اور کانوں سے سنا تھا‘ میاں نواز شریف نے تمام شرکاء کو قائل کیا ہم میں کوئی پارٹی مستقبل میں ایم کیو ایم سے اتحاد نہیں کرے گی‘
پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی نے اس تجویز کی مخالفت کی‘ جہانگیر بدر‘ مخدوم امین فہیم اور ڈاکٹر صفدر عباسی نے اس تجویز کو غیر سیاسی قرار دیا مگر میاں نواز شریف نے اس پر اصرار کیا‘ یہ تجویز منظور ہوئی اور اس پر میاں نواز شریف اور میاں شہباز شریف سمیت تمام شرکاء نے دل کھول کر تالیاں بجائیں‘ آپ یہ بھی فراموش کر دیں تو بھی آپ اس حقیقت کو کیسے بھلائیں گے جس کا اظہار 26 جولائی کی شام الطاف حسین نے سید ممنون حسین کے لیے ووٹ مانگنے کے لیے آنے والے وفد سے کیا تھا‘ الطاف حسین نے وفد سے ٹیلی فونک خطاب کیا اور فرمایا ’’ ہم کبھی کسی کے پاس چل کر نہیں گئے‘ جس کو ہماری ضرورت پڑتی ہے وہ خود چل کر ہمارے پاس آتا ہے‘ آصف علی زرداری اور پیپلز پارٹی ہمارے پاس چل کر آئی اور اب پاکستان مسلم لیگ ن کی قیادت نائین زیرو آئی‘ شکر ہے ہمیں کسی کے پاس نہیں جانا پڑا‘‘ الطاف حسین کی یہ بات سو فیصد درست تھی اور آپ اس حقیقت سے اب کیسے منہ موڑیں گے؟۔
میں نے26 جولائی کی شام جوں ہی اسحاق ڈار‘ پرویز رشید اور ممنون حسین کو نائین زیرو پہنچتے دیکھا‘ میں نے اٹھ کر فوراً ایم کیو ایم اور صدر آصف علی زرداری کو سیلوٹ کیا‘ مجھے پہلی مرتبہ آصف علی زرداری اور الطاف حسین سو فیصد سچے دکھائی دیے‘ آصف علی زرداری بھی یہی کہتے تھے‘ ایم کیو ایم سیاسی حقیقت ہے اور ہم جب تک اس حقیقت کے لیے مفاہمت کے دروازے نہیں کھولیں گے‘ ہم اس وقت تک ملک میں جمہوریت اور کراچی میں امن قائم نہیں کر سکیں گے‘ مجھے چوہدری شجاعت حسین‘ شوکت عزیز اور جنرل پرویز مشرف بھی سچے محسوس ہوئے‘ یہ بھی کہتے تھے کراچی ایم کیو ایم کا ہے اور ہم ایم کیو ایم کی اجازت کے بغیر کراچی میں قدم رکھ سکتے ہیں اور نہ ہی وفاق میں حکومت چلا سکتے ہیں.
جنرل پرویز مشرف نے 12 مئی 2007ء کو اسلام آباد میں مکے لہرا کر ایم کیو ایم کو یہ ٹریبیوٹ پیش کیا تھا ’’ عوامی طاقت کا مظاہرہ دیکھنا ہے تو کراچی میں دیکھیں‘‘ شوکت عزیز بھی ایم کیو ایم کی سیاسی حقیقت اور چوہدری شجاعت حسین بھی الطاف بھائی کے سیاسی تدبر سے واقف تھے چنانچہ یہ بھی نائین زیرو جاتے اور الطاف حسین کا ٹیلی فونک خطاب سنتے رہے‘ آصف علی زرداری‘ شوکت عزیز اور چوہدری شجاعت حسین لندن میں بھی الطاف بھائی سے ملاقات کر چکے ہیں اور یہ ان کی حلیم سے بھی مستفید ہو چکے ہیں‘
قوم کو رحمن ملک‘ وزیراعظم یوسف رضا گیلانی اور وزیراعظم راجہ پرویز اشرف بھی سچے نظر آتے ہیں کیونکہ یہ بھی ایم کیو ایم کی مددلیتے تھے اور اس مدد کے عوض ایم کیو ایم کا ہر مطالبہ مان لیتے تھے اور اس مطالبے میں ڈاکٹر ذوالفقار مرزا کی قربانی بھی شامل تھی اور قوم کو وہ الطاف حسین بھی سو فیصد سچے نظر آتے ہیں جنھیں 2008ء کی مفاہمت کے بعد یہ کہہ کر کراچی تک محدود کر دیا گیا تھا پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی اور پاکستان مسلم لیگ ن کبھی ایم کیو ایم کو حکومت میں شامل نہیں کرے گی لیکن پھر 2 اپریل 2008ء کو صدر آصف علی زرداری نائین زیرو جانے اور وہاں کھڑے ہو کر یہ اعلان کرنے پر مجبور ہو گئے ’’ایم کیو ایم سے مل کر پاکستان بچائیں گے‘‘ اور آج پاکستان مسلم لیگ ن بھی اپنی وہ پھینکی ہوئی گاجر کھانے پر مجبور ہو گئی جس کے بارے میں اس کا کہنا تھا ہم سیاست چھوڑ دیں گے لیکن ایم کیو ایم کی طرف ہاتھ نہیں بڑھائیں گے مگر صرف ایک مجبوری نہ صرف انھیں نائین زیرو لے گئی بلکہ انھیں یہ طعنہ بھی سننے پر مجبور کر دیا ’’ہم کبھی کسی کے پاس چل کر نہیں گئے‘ جس کو ہماری ضرورت پڑتی ہے وہ خود چل کر ہمارے پاس آتا ہے‘‘ اور ان لوگوں کے پاس بے بسی سے ایک دوسرے کی طرف دیکھنے کے سوا کوئی چارہ نہیں تھا‘ آپ نے اگر یہ سب کچھ ہی کرنا تھا تو پھر پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی اور صدر آصف علی زرداری میں کیا کمی‘ کیا خرابی تھی‘ وہ بھی ڈالر کنٹرول نہیں کر پا رہے تھے‘
ان کے دور میں ڈالر ساٹھ سے سو روپے ہو گیا اور آپ کی شاندار معاشی پالیسیوں کے نتیجے میں بھی ڈالر اوپر چڑھ رہا ہے‘ وہ بھی قرض لے کر ملک چلا رہے تھے اور آپ بھی آئی ایم ایف کے بیل آؤٹ پیکیج پر تالیاں بجا رہے ہیں‘ وہ بھی لوڈ شیڈنگ ختم کرنے کے اعلان کر رہے تھے‘ آپ بھی اعلانات سے کام چلا رہے ہیں‘ ان پر بھی کرپشن کے الزامات تھے اور آپ نے بھی ایک ہی ماہ میں بارہ سو سی سی ہائی برڈ گاڑیوں‘ نندی پور پاور پلانٹ اور 480 ارب روپے کے سرکلر ڈیٹ میں کرپشن کے الزامات جھولی میں ڈال لیے‘ ان کے دور میں اقبال زیڈ احمد جیسے لوگوں کا نام گونجتا تھا اور آج ہر طرف میاں منشاء‘ میاں منشاء ہو رہی ہے‘ ان کے دور میں بھی ڈرون حملے ہوتے تھے‘ پاکستان دہشت گردی کی لپیٹ میں تھا‘ بیڈ گورننس انتہا کو چھو رہی تھی‘ لاء اینڈ آرڈر ریاست کی مٹھی سے کھسک رہا تھا اور سرکاری سسٹم اپنی بنیادوں پر بیٹھ رہا تھا اور آج بھی یہی ہو رہا ہے‘ آپ پچھلے دو ماہ کے بم دھماکوں‘ خود کش حملوں‘ اغواء برائے تاوان کی وارداتوں‘ چوریوں اور ڈکیتیوں کا ڈیٹا نکال کر دیکھ لیں آپ کو صدر آصف علی زرداری اور میاں نواز شریف کے دور میں زیادہ فرق دکھائی نہیں دے گا‘ بیانات اور اعلانات کی زبان تک ایک ہے‘ وہ بھی مفاہمت کی گود ہری ہونے کا انتظار کر رہے تھے اور یہ بھی اب ’’ ہم سب کو ساتھ لے کر چلنا چاہتے ہیں‘‘ کے اصول سے اولاد نرینہ کے طلب گار ہیں‘ وہ بھی خوشحالی اور امن کے چاند جیب میں رکھ کر پھر رہے تھے اور یہ بھی وعدوں کے ستارے گرہ میں باندھ کر اچھل کود کر رہے ہیں اور قوم کو یوں محسوس ہوتا ہے صرف نام بدلے ہیں مقدرنہیں‘
کل تک اصل اقتدار ایوان صدر میں تھا اور وزراء اعظم‘ وفاقی کابینہ‘ گورنرز اور تین صوبوں کے وزراء اعلیٰ اس اقتدار کی کٹھ پتلیاں اور آج اصل اقتدار وزیراعظم ہاؤس میں بیٹھا ہے اور صدر‘ وفاقی کابینہ‘ گورنرز اور دو وزراء اعلیٰ اس اقتدار کے ’’ اے ڈی سی‘‘ بن چکے ہیں‘آپ کو یاد ہو گا پچھلے سال جون جولائی میں لوڈ شیڈنگ ہوتی تھی تو وزیر اعلیٰ پنجاب میاں شہباز شریف جلوس نکال دیتے تھے‘ یہ مینارپاکستان پر خیمہ لگا کر بیٹھ جاتے تھے اور اپنے تمام وزراء اور سیکریٹریوں کے ہاتھوں میں کھجور کے پنکھے دے دیتے تھے‘ یہ راجہ پرویز اشرف کو راجہ رینٹل کہتے تھے اور صدر آصف علی زرداری کو گوالمنڈی چوک میں الٹا لٹکانے کا اعلان کرتے تھے لیکن آج لوڈ شیڈنگ ہوتی ہے تو میاں شہباز شریف بھی راجہ پرویز اشرف کی ایجاد کردہ تسلیاں قوم کے سامنے رکھ دیتے ہیں‘ کیا یہ وہ تبدیلی تھی جس کے بارے میں میاں نواز شریف نے فرمایا تھا ’’ آپ نے غلط ووٹ دیے تو ملک بیس سال پیچھے چلا جائے گا‘‘ میاں صاحب ملک واقعی بیس سال پیچھے جا چکا ہے کیونکہ آپ نے 20 سال قبل ملک کو نائین زیرو پر چھوڑا تھا اور آج اسے دوبارہ اسی نائین زیرو پر کھڑا کر دیا ہے‘آپ قوم کو وہیں لے آئے ہیں جہاں سے آپ نے اپنی اصولی سیاست شروع کی تھی‘ آپ کو بہت بہت مبارک ہو۔
الطاف حسین نے 26 جولائی کی شام پاکستان مسلم لیگ ن کے وفد سے ماضی کی گستاخیوں پر معذرت بھی کی‘ الطاف حسین نے 29 دسمبر 2010ء کے اس واقعے کا حوالہ دیا جس میں حیدر عباس رضوی اور وسیم اختر نے میاں صاحبان کی شان میں گستاخی کی ‘ الطاف حسین نے اس واقعے پر معذرت کی اور ماضی کی تلخیاں بھلانے کی درخواست کی‘ میں بھی اس کالم کے ذریعے الطاف حسین اور ایم کیو ایم سے میڈیا کی غلطیوں پر معذرت کرنا چاہتا ہوں‘ہم لوگ بلاوجہ اصولوں کی گٹھڑی سر پر اٹھا کر پھر رہے تھے‘ ہمیں دراصل ان سیاستدانوں نے گمراہ کر رکھا تھا‘ ہم چوہدری شجاعت حسین سے لے کر میاں نواز شریف تک ہر اس لیڈر کی بات کو درست سمجھ بیٹھے تھے جو ایم کیو ایم کو کراچی کا اصل مسئلہ قرار دیتے تھے اور یہ اعلان کرتے تھے ہم مر جائیں گے لیکن ان سے ہاتھ نہیں ملائیں گے‘
ہم لوگ ان کی باتوں میں آ گئے‘ مجھے آج ماضی کے اس رویے پر شرمندگی ہے چنانچہ میں اپنی اصلاح کر رہا ہوں‘ میں بھی آج سے ایم کیو ایم کو سیاسی قوت تسلیم کرتا ہوں اور الطاف بھائی اور ان کے کارکنوں سے معذرت کرتا ہوں‘ میں آیندہ احتیاط کروں گا اور مجھے اس احتیاط کے بدلے ایم کیو ایم کے ووٹ بھی درکار نہیں ہیں کیونکہ انسان نے اگر سمجھوتہ ہی کرنا ہے تو پھر اسے دلیری دکھانی چاہیے‘ اتنی دلیری جتنی آصف علی زرداری پانچ سال اور چوہدری شجاعت دس سال سے دکھا رہے ہیں‘ انسان کو میاں نواز شریف کی طرح بے اصولی کے سر پر اصولوں کی پگڑی نہیں باندھنی چاہیے‘ اسے اقدار کی سیاست‘ اقدار کی سیاست کا ڈھنڈورا نہیں پیٹنا چاہیے۔

Bahawat ka Intezar - Lethality from Hasan Nisar


The Burka Avenger - Lady in Black

Well written :)

Burka Avenger: Why criticise the effort just because of the burka?

She looks like a ninja and fights crime wearing a costume that hides her identity and helps her blend into the crowd simultaneously. PHOTO: PUBLICITY
Imagine a young Pakistani girl. She lives a normal life; maybe she is just a reporter like Superman. She dresses pretty much like every other Pakistani girl. There’s nothing unique about her. Except.. wait! She is a superhero!
She takes on evil villains by using her superpowers, while wearing a disguise. Because, duh, every superhero has to wear a disguise. They must protect their identity.
Here’s a picture of the super-girl chilling at Karachi beach:

Photo: Ema Anis
Err. Sorry. Wrong disguise.
Maybe, this?

Photo: Ema Anis
Um. I’m not so sure…
Something just doesn’t gel here. What’s the problem?
Well, there’s nothing specifically wrong with these superheroes except for the fact that they are not really ‘Pakistani’ looking – their attire is out of place. We don’t do many swimsuits or knee length skirts here do we? No matter how hard I try, I just cannot imagine a Pakistani superwoman fighting the Taliban in say, Sohrab Goth, wearing these clothes (*shudders at the thought*).
Recently, though, I came across this incredible video for a brand new female superhero for the twenty first century distressed Pakistani. Meet Burka Avenger. Yes, that’s the name she goes by.
The first thing that came to my mind was:
“Oh my God, this is excellent animation! Finally our artists are starting to get mainstream. Oh, the quality!”

Photo: Burka Avenger Facebook Page
I was in raptures. The hunger of arts inside me received new sustenance. I immediately shared the trailer on my personal social media accounts, and clocked in a reminder of when the show would air.
But what happened next broke my heart.
I came across innumerable, disdainful tweets criticising the disguise of this local superhero:
What I interpreted from the tweets was:
“Burka! Burka! Bad burka! No burka! Why burka? This burka and that burka.”
But wait, isn’t this really good animation, very creatively produced with a positive idea promoting education?
No, the highlight of this great breakthrough is the fact that the main character wears a burka!
Being an ardent appreciator of art, this was so depressing for me. Rarely on this side of the world do we come up with something local, something creative, something original, and when we do, all we can think of doing is criticising this success.
What’s so wrong with a burka anyway?
And if it’s okay to call a veiled girl “ninja” after superhero cartoons – why is it wrong to name a veil clad superhero Burka Avenger?
This superhero is inventing her own type of martial arts. She looks like a ninja and fights crime wearing a dress that helps her hide her identity and blend into the crowd simultaneously. The character itself, the ‘ordinary’ girl behind Burka Avenger, is not hijabi. Her superhero costume is just that – a “costume”.
I’m a feminist myself and I believe in giving all due rights to women. But I ask again, what has a burka got to do with freedom? How can this piece of attire restrict freedom?
Personally, I feel more free with more clothes on; I would feel suppressed if I’m forced into shedding a piece of cloth I’m comfortable in.
My colleague who sits next to me wears a burka. No one else in her family does, and according to her, her choice has nothing to do with religious reasons. She wears the burka because she’s ‘too lazy to dress up every morning’. On other occasions, she chooses not to wear the burka and dresses differently.
My mom wears a burka occasionally; no one forces her to. When she’s cooking in the kitchen, still in her night-suit, and needs something quickly from the nearby market, she’ll pull on her burka and be back with her stuff within 10 minutes. What’s wrong with her being comfortable with this practice? I highly doubt she feels oppressed or restricted by this habit!
I’m all for freedom and I believe that the burka is not the opposite of freedom.
Yes, I agree we live in a patriarchal society where women get negligible rights; yes, I have seen this phenomenon with my own eyes; I have gone through it myself, but creating a hype about non-issues like a burka clad animated character when we have real issues badgering us every second is not going to help!
Condemning Burka Avenger will not make you ‘cool and liberal’. I think this innovative cartoon series is an excellent effort. It’s unique, it’s Pakistani and children will be able to relate to it. And please, I highly doubt that any girl will feel compelled to wear a burka after watching a cartoon who does. Stop criticising just for the heck of it.
She’s fighting all the bad men – the “Vadero Pajeros”. Be happy with that!