Tuesday, August 28, 2007

We want Heroes not Villains please...

Choice between Villains...
Is it our destiny that we can only choose from a list of proven villains, each twice failed. Do we not deserve heroes? Or is it too much to expect? Perhaps. Where are the heroes? Who I consider as heroes is not the hero for others. There is only one undisputed hero and that is Mr. Jinnah. Every single leader after that is tainted one way or the other.

For me Ayub was a hero, probably he was the first Pakistani leader I heard about when growing up. I sort of liked him. But you talk to people they disagree. He is accused of derailing democracy and destroying the then existing institutions.

I even attended the funeral prayers of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. But no one agrees that he is a hero. He is accused of autocracy, arrogance, vendetta, lack of vision and above all integrity. For me his biggest blunder was nationalisation of industries that crippled the economy and stunted growth. He made many industries no more viable and Pakistan lost the world export market by overnight becoming uncompetitive. He is also blamed for dismembering the country into two.

Every thing that Zia did, I wonder if he did anything besides Umras, is over shadowed by his military credentials. It is a long story what he did and didn't.

However I can't recall any thing big he did on the domestic front in Pakistan. He may have had some successes on the international arena. His Kashmir policy was a failure so was Khalistan policy after initial successes. His crowning glory is the success achieved in ousting a super power in Afghanistan. But that did not help Pakistan but we fought a proxy war for another super power that has never been nor can ever be our reliable partner.

But the price we paid for America and Afghanistan is so great that for the next 50 years we are stuck with it. The Kalashnikov Culture. So Zia is most certainly ruled out also as a hero. I would have liked to call him a hero for his humility and his histrionic talents.

But one thing is clear in my mind and that is the regimes of Benazir, (now called moothorama by media) and Nawaz Sharif. My, what periods. Truely tumultuous for its incompetence and rampant corruption. They competed against each other in loot and plunder. If one was the patron of a 10%, later cent per cent, the other was a looter par excellence. Remember his "dollar bhijao and mulk bachao".

God alone knows where all that money went. The country went bankrupt in Nawaz's time and was about to be declared a default state. In moothorama's time her husband is on record as having said "things are good today, only 50 died." This is the state of our elected so called democratic leaders. Heroes? Where are they? Villains. Villains. Villains.

Don't we have a third choice? So far none, because whatever development Pervez Musharraf might have done is disregarded because he hails from the military. He is a very strong contender though from what he has achieved on the domestic front. An assembly completing it's full term is an achievement in itself. There has been development all over Pakistan even in remote towns and villages.

My driver who hails from a remote town in Punjab says they could never have imagined, roads and drainage there and he attributes that to the present people at helm and prays for Pervez Musharraf. People have benefited. The prosperity is visible. Mega projects have been completed in record time and the work goes on. If his policies reach there logical conclusion the country will benefit enormously. History will then judge if he was a hero.

There surely are the down sides like inflation that went uncontrolled. He did not introduce any measures to remove feudalism. He failed miserably to understand the Indian psyche in solving the Kashmir problem and did not even take advantage of 9/11 in solving the same issue. He did the dirty job that America should have done for itself. Why should we have been involved in problems which Arabs create for themselves by being inactive for past 100 years. Why should we pay for their follies when they do not even consider you as Muslims.

But what ever he may do he will never be accepted as a hero publicly although in heart of hearts of poor people he could possibly be a hero. So let us leave at that.

I have not the faintest idea how we could have a hero as a leader. I am clueless for the time being. If you have some ideas how we can have a hero as our leader please post it here.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Introduce Land Ceiling

Equitable distribution of scarce resources is the key...
Land is limited and people unlimited. Land cannot increase, people go on multiplying. Arable land is still more difficult to find. That means an ever increasing demand on this scarce finite natural resource. And here we have a person or two owning thousands of acres of land. Is this fair?

The modern civilised answer is, no. More and more people should have access to these limited resources. A natural resource like land cannot be allowed to be in the hands of just a few who may and may not put it to optimum use. This may or may not contribute to national productivity. It definitely does not contribute to national revenue as they pay no taxes on agriculture.

Can land be allowed to be the fiefdom of a few? No. Why? When large tracts of land is in the hands of a few it is called hoarding. The world abhors hoarding so does Islam in no unclear terms. See the life of our prophet, what a simple life he lead. There are hundreds of Hadith that would testify to this. With one having every thing and the other nothing it creates tension in the society of haves and have not. Their results are manifest in every thing from utter lawlessness, corruption, dacoity to illiteracy, mismanagement to poor national productivity.

We cannot have a society of masters and slaves in this 21st century. It is also misnomered as the ruling class and the ruled class. In a democracy can you have masters and slaves and yet call it democracy? A ruling party and an opposition party is acceptable but not a ruling class. Give me a break.

All countries have done away with feudalism. Even the most backward of the people Egypt has also addressed this issue by abolishing land lords and the feudal system. After independence India did away with feudalism by introducing land ceiling. England did this by introducing huge death duty.

But has Pakistan taken any steps to address this anamoly? Yes there have been two attempts 1,000 acres of Ayub Khan and 300 acres by Z.A.Bhutto, the former being a little bit more successful than the later.

Now every ruling party must have in their manifesto to limit land to a maximum of 50 acres of and irrigated only say 18 acres so that more people can have land. The excess land must be taken over and distributed among the landless poor and then the Bangladesh micro-finance system introduced to help them make it a profitable business venture. Then see where the nation stands. Tall among the comity of nations.

More on this later.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Law should be for all not a few... Sanjay Dutt case

Hunt down all the murderers not a few if India is truely democratic and secular...
Thank God Sanjay is free on bail. About a hundred mostly Muslims have been convicted. But what needs to be seen is why the same commitment of hunting down the culprits was not used on the perpetrators of the crimes before and after demolition of The Historic 400 year old Mosque. They are on the celluloid but no action has ever been taken. When all are Indians is it not the responsibility of a secular democratic government to do justice and provide succor to all the sufferers. We are not saying don't convict the culprit who ever it is. But please do not leave the other murderers free. The Government knows whose hands are tainted with blood. It is about time they started hunting down the killers of Muslims in about 9,000 pogroms conducted since 1947 not just running after Salman Khan or Sanjay Dutt.

No body is above the law or is it?

You cannot be a little bit pregnant...
This wheeling dealing in politics is very disturbing. If people are corrupt they are corrupt or they are not. You are either pregnant or not pregnant. You cannot be a little bit pregnant. So is the case with Benazir and Nawaz Sharif. They are either clean or unclean.

If they want to serve the country and the people of Pakistan then they should come to the country from where they have fled, appear before the courts and acquit themselves of all the accusations. If they are guilty then they should be punished and after serving their terms they can always serve Pakistan. You can serve in many ways. Is it written in any holy book that they should only be Prime Minister? No. They also serve who stand and wait.

Since no one is above the law they like all other Pakistanis should follow the due process and why not? Pervez Musharraf has no business to pardon those who have plundered the country or those who took foolish actions against the military. The courts should decide that. He should also not withdraw any cases lest he sully his own image further. It is already in jeopardy as it is with his uniform despite the good work he seems to have done so far except in the case of Kashmir.

Two nation theory, is it permanent or temporary?

In response to some disinformation campaign
History should not be distorted to suit selfish ends...
Mr. Jinnah was never ever a selfish person. When he spoke of Pakistan he was referring to the best deal for the Muslims of India indeed. It was not to benefit a few and certainly not for a few tribes and feudals to rule and enjoy themselves. Pakistan was never made for a few tribes.

The Two Nation Theory was a permanent one. On a temporary theory you do not make such a monumental decision that affects the lives of Muslims in every nook and corner of the country - The Undivided India. He used to cry over the moth eaten Pakistan (Stanley Wolpert in Jinnah of Pakistan). He knew very well that this did not solve the problems of Muslims. He never differentiated between this Muslim and that.

When these landlords took over, they truncated the two nation theory and said Muslims cannot enter Pakistan after 1951. Was The Two Nation theory time bound? If so, it is the selfish act of a few. Mr. Jinnah was never selfish. So this cannot be true. Indira Gandhi was 20 years too late in saying "now we have thrown the two nation theory into the sea". The feudals in Pakistan did that in 1951.

A great ideological issue, not a petty land issue please...
Those in power made this great ideological issue into a petty land issue. Only two countries have been created on the basis of religion. First was Pakistan followed by Israel. While every Jew can migrate to Israel any day regardless of time, a Muslim in India cannot do the same and go to Pakistan.

However the culprits were those who had no feelings what so ever for their comrades in the same struggle. They would talk disparagingly about them and would gloat about themselves. Their typical statement will be "we are well off". That we should have been who is questioning that? Muslims in India are surely happy for us.

One wonders how you cannot feel more for our bretheren Muslims left in India. They are in an enemy land where the Government makes policies to deprive them of every thing. It is not their fault. Take a lesson from how India helped the Hindus in Fiji. They shook the world with back door diplomacy with USA, Britain, Europe and indeed the United Nations. The local that took power is now languishing in jail.

Where is our Muslimtha?
Does Pakistan have a policy that helps Muslims across the border. None. If they die they die. If they are discriminated against, so be it. We are well off what do we care? This cannot be the attitude of a good Human being leave alone of a good Muslim. Where is our Muslimtha? Their Hunduthwa works but there is no Muslimtha within us.

And then Gujarath should take place despite Pakistan is a matter of absolute shame. Not only Gujarath, about 9000 pogroms have taken place since 1947. That shows Pakistan had no policies that helped the Muslim bretheren across the border in any way. We have not moved the world. We have taken no action. What are we talking about.

Anti American feelings, think well before you take sides...

Allah rewards those who think hard, work hard and are committed, not the ignorant and the lazy...
Anti American feeling? These Islamists should think again. Don't they know that Allah is just. He rewards only those who understand the ways of the world and take actions accordingly. We are suffering for the inaction or the misdeeds of The Arab World.

Only after I read The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E.Lawrence and The Desert King by David Howarth did I understand how easily Israel was created. Read and you will know how they acted like pawns in the hands of The British to throw Turks out. Once that was accomplished it was easy to make Israel.

Now Jews are a smart people. They work hard and first they research, think and then plan hard. They have invested hundred years on USA and also UK. They cultivated the minds of five generations and continue to do so.

If these Islamists wanted to do any thing they should first understand how the world works.

It rests on three pillars. The core power to be used as a deterrence, diplomacy most of the time and media 24x7 all the time. Do they do it? No.

Remember none of this terrorism will ever make a policy change. Things will get worse and worse each time. What will work is a long term persuasive effort.

USA had not invaded a single Muslim country untill 9/11. Take a good look at history. Had these terrorists done something to change matters of their own countries things could have been a lot better. They had no brains.

How could they when they were a product of a society that is not allowed to think independently and where there is no culture of learning, debates and difference of opinion. They have closed minds and can never think out of the box.

Please do not assume I am in any way supporting the aggressive actions of the present US regime and the way they totally unnecessarily went into Iraq and destroyed a whole country. For that USA must pay 5 trillion dollars to Iraq and Mr. Bush tried like in the Nurenberg trial. If the world does not do this then they are no different than the same terrorists that are responsible for 9/11.

Yet there is no need to be anti-American, there is a lot of good there and good people, however bad and foolish the present regime is.

For Pakistanis please do not die for these Arabs thinking they are Muslims. These Najadis do not even even consider you as Muslims. Do not die for them please.

Let a commo man serve, not rule, Pakistan

In a democracy there is no place for rulers, all are co-rulers, let a common man serve the people of Pakistan...
Have the people forgotten the utter misrule and corruption in the periods, two each of Benazir and Nawaz Sharif? Do they want the country to be plundered again with wanton disregard to national interests.

If Pervez goes and if he is replaced by a commoner who feels, thinks and acts for Pakistan it makes sense, but if were to choose once again from the failed two villains then the third villain is a better choice.

There should be a struggle against the feudal system that is at the core of all the ills in Pakistan. Who ever brings in land ceiling, does away with the land lords and the vested interests we shall bring him into power. We don't want the same villains again please.

Freedom of The Press

Responsibility must precede freedom of the Press...
If you have watched Indian media you would have observed the media would never ever give a point of view that is different from the Government stand. For example in the case of Kashmir they dare not issue or refer to one statement that would reflect the Kashmiri or people's point of view. While India boasts of democracy if we talk of a democratic solution to Kashmir and fulfilling the aspirations of Kashmiris you will either be pulled up or put in jail. Not only that, you dare not talk one word derogatory of Rahul Gandhi let alone Sonia or Manmohan Singh.

And what a contrast is Pakistan. Every single vehicle in any media be it press or electronic, they target just one guy and that is Pervez Musharraf The President of a country. It is truely freedom of press. Yes fine but are you being responsible? Media like the judiciary cannot take sides. Once you take sides you can never ever be honest and objective but dishonest and biased.

Ary, Aaj and Geo are all now a part of the opposition party. They throw all kind of muck on The President but spare Benazir. As Cowasjee said openly and reflected public opinion that she is a thief. And she is called "Mohtharama", why? Can thieves be called "The respected lady". While she is so disrespectful of Pakistanis and every body else except United States. Check out her statements. She is on record having said "I am born to rule", "we know where to keep the people" as if we are her subjects.

The media has given Benazir the title "Mohtharama". Could Indira Gandhi have ever said she was born to rule despite the fact that her father was a successful and popular Prime Minister and so was her grand father. But she would always talk of serving the people and country and not ruling. She was neither foolish nor arrogant to that extent.

Has the media forgotten the utter mis-rule and corruption in Benazir's time. Why do they deliberately ignore it or are promoting her? Sir this is not the job of the media. Have they forgotten when her beloved husband had said "today things are very good, only 50 died". Why do you forget all that? I went to Rani Kote and a poor man who is the custodian there said that they had a lot a antiques till ten years back. I asked what happened, he a Sindhi like me said that "Sir Asif Saheb has taken them away". There are thousands of instances of Asif Zardari corruption. If she comes back all this corruption comes back too.

Yes indeed General Pervez Musharraf belongs to the Military Establishment but the guy has performed and no major issues of corruption have surfaced so far. He seems to be at least an acceptable villain better than the other two proven villains who failed in two terms each. Give the devil his due. He saved Pakistan from total annihilation post 9/11 although he should have bargained to get Pakistan problems solved too in which case there would not have been problems of terrorism and suicide bombings he now faces. Least of all he should have got the Kashmir problem solved and avoided bloodshed in a divided area. After all Kashmiris are as much human as Indians or Pakistanis are. There aspirations are no different. This is an un-necessary issue that is bedevilling the relations of two similar brotherly nations. I am sure both nations would be more at ease.

Why does the media not take up the real issues that affect all Pakistanis like addressing the core issues and the structural reforms that Pakistan so desperately needs. Corner stone of any economy is agriculture. It is controlled by whom? The land lords. How can the basics of economy be ignored. It is no more a secret that the root cause of all lawlessness is feudalism. Why does not the media take up such important issues.

The media should be more responsible and highlight both sides points of views and not take sides at all, if you want to be credible. The way media is behaving it has no parallel any where in the world be it US, India, UK or any other country. I hope the media, if it is responsible takes note.