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Monday, January 06, 2014

Happy Birthday, Iqbal …

A very dear friend of mine decided to post this on FB on his birthday today.

Iqbal IsmailIt is sad day, Quaid's Karachi is burning. 'Sindh' is resisting division. Altaf Hussain is scheduled to set Pakistan on fire. I don't know how to react to all this. But let me here point out that this is the legacy of ZAB. He was the first civilian martial-law administrator. We know that in the PNA movement against rigged election, Asghar Khan and Wali and the rest were arrested. He was the one who relied on Martial-law in selected places. He was the one that caved on the Qādiyānī issue, He was the one who adopted extreme Islam and encouraged the Maulvis by adopting their agenda. No drinking... No sex... No nothing. Be good Musalmans. And the Indians we will destroy them. We will eat grass to have an atomic power. So, tell me on what grounds does the 'PPP' talk about democracy? And to cap it all, everything that was a gift from other states went straight to his account and BB inherited the habit and bought 'Surrey Palace' and other properties. On what grounds does the PPP talk about democracy? Democracy is its own revenge says Benazir Bhutto. I reply, If this is your revenge, BB. I am migrating to the 'United States'. Keep your democracy, cheat your people, produce more "Jiyalas" I don't care.

And, as he says, he will move to the USA soon. Pity. I'll miss him when he goes. But I had to respond to his piece above, so I wrote, twice, on his Facebook page under the comments of his message. Both times, for reasons that I do not understand, the comment disappeared … so I thought I'd write a blog - based on my comment - and include all of my points in it.


Dear Iqbal,

Democracy is no one's prerogative in this country. What you have written about Bhutto is true. But let's not forget the BB and NS were removed, twice, because of their own stupidities and corruption. And BB did not storm the court — something the NS did!

A friend of mine said, "BB understands - but won't listen; NS listens - but won't understand." While you have added BB here, there is a large amount of money that NS also took - perhaps not as blatantly as Zardari. But let's not forget that there was money that was transferred out of Pakistan and it was disclosed, with bank account numbers, to Hakim Said. He was going to read out the list at ILM in Lahore. Sadly he is not here to tell us anything. Someone killed him. NS thought it was the MQM and recalled, on TV, that they had the recorded voice of an MQM man negotiating the killing. Soon he changed his mind … and one of his ministers told me that I (and hundreds of thousands of others) had heard it wrong. NS never said that.

Are they democratic? No. They headed their party under the names of BB's father and NS's godfather (Zia). Elections inside their party? No. Oh … and that letter (that we didn't see) that, eventually, made Zardari our President.

Now we come to your party: the PTI. Let me tell you that I am (was?) a great fan of IK. His Cricket was excellent. The Cancer Hospital was absolutely amazing. I wish he'd stayed at that and been our hero forever.

I have had a couple of meetings with him (although he may not remember them at all). He was late at the meeting at Naeem-ul-Haque's house the first time he came to Karachi. I left when he arrived an hour late. What was the point for a leader to not be there when he was going to show his face for a meeting.


At one point he called a group of several people to LUMS Lahore to discuss the schooling system. There was Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy, Dr Q Isa Daudpota, and about two dozen others who were called. I was also invited.

I went to the meeting at LUMS. Everyone was there. IK wasn't. He called and found everyone was there and came in about 30 minutes late. Again!!!

There he told us that everywhere he went people threw money, women threw the gold ornaments, etc., at him, asking him to 'do something for schools and education'. He had called us all to sort out the best plan to do what he wanted to do.

My question to him at that time was that he'd built a great hospital with the help of doctors  and should now build a school, or a couple of them, to alter things here. Others will soon follow. The governments will also understand and support it. We moved on and at some point - perhaps because of Pervez's suggestions - it was decided that he would 'build three technical schools: Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi'. A gentleman got up and said he was from Baluchistan and was surprised that IK had ignored the province. He stated, when IK asked, that he had come to the meeting with his own money and was very interested in having a school there. So we finally had four institutions to be built.

IK stated that it was important that the school would make everyone a good Muslim. I asked if non-Muslims would not be admitted and IK said they would … but we'd teach them Islam and they will adopt it themselves. That left Isa and me feeling odd, though we stayed for the meeting. Pervez was finally chosen to head these schools. Pervez did start the beginnings of this project but left within months, just as we thought he would. I am not sure how far it went …

My next meeting was at Khurshid Kasuri's house at a small party. I discussed matters with IK and his view was that I didn't "really understand Islam". He'd been there. Done that. He really understood our problems and was going to change all of that.

Years later, IK /PTI (no democracy there, either!) are now in power at KPK. He and NS want to 'negotiate' with the Taliban. Which group from the Taliban's 50 sects, I don't know. But negotiate they will. In fact NS has already asked Mulla Sami Sandwich to lead the team on Pakistan's side to start with this lovely Islamic and Nationalistic project.

Sami Sahab says that the earlier Taliban's were trained by him. Their early leaders were taught by his team. And he fully subscribes to their views. Fine. Let's look at their views then:Taliban will begin the negotiation talks when Pakistan meets the following conditions:1. All our Army will have to be removed from 'their areas'.2. Sharea - as practiced by them - will be made  the Law in our country.3. All prisoners, regardless of which country they are from, who have been caught for being Taliban supporters, will have to be released.4. Khilaafat will become the mode of operations here. Until then they do not accept our Constitution.5. Since Islam does not recognise political boundaries we will have to accept that the Durand Line is no longer the border between us and Afghanistan.

We can't do very much about their 'demands' since they are no longer Pakistanis under these requests, but if Sami agrees with all this, he should be in jail - tried for treason. How can he represent Pakistan and talk to his brothers from our side?

IK hasn't given us as crazy reasons so far because he has to take both feet out of his mouth to speak. But he wants to negotiate. That's for sure.

The word Negotiate in the dictionary says this: • [no obj. ] try to reach an agreement or compromise by discussion with others: his government's willingness to negotiate.• [ with obj. ] obtain or bring about by negotiating: he negotiated a new contract with the sellers.

Compromise is what the Taliban means. So, once, NS/Sami/IK start the discussion and end it by giving the Taliban all they want (Taliban cannot give up their 'claims' since Allah has ordained these things, according to them) we'll have a Taliban Government, I guess, which will disregard Pakistan as a Nation-State. That sure sounds good. Right?

Can you imagine …

• Women won't learn anything. That's forbidden in their Sharea. How will the women find a Gyno is difficult since there will only be men practicing. Ayatullah Khomeini's idea will have to be turned around: Men can practice or surgery on women if they look into a mirror and do it. (Have you ever tried to put a thread into a needle while looking at the mirror?)

• Shias will, of course, all be killed (which will lead to an encounter with Iran, for starters … but, then, who cares if the fighters have Angels on their side). So will Ahmadis  be killed, as will Aga Khanis, Bohris, and other sects … like Barelvis. (Shit! No qavvaalis, either.)

• Christians (and the two Jews we may have here) have to accept Islam or pay the Jizyah. Or be killed. At least that's what Dr Israr stated on TV once. He said the Ahlé Kitaab have been given this option … otherwise we will fight with them 'on behalf of Allah'.

• Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, and Budhists will have to leave for some other country, I suppose … since they are not Ahlé Kitaab. Or they can be converted. Or killed.

Soon this will open the door for Afpak to start their negotiations with India about Kashmir. Slowly, in the fullness of time, the world will become Talibanized. Anjem Choudari for the Khalifa?

My question is how do Leaders, who were voted into power under our Constitution, give up their country - to damned foreigners, insane people, and their chamchaas - without even asking the people who gave them this tremendous power? Has almost everyone gone mad?
If there's anyone who can talk to IK, Iqbal, you can! Try. Get him to listen and understand.

Love … and a very happy birthday

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Blogger David Stern said...

One cannot begin to describe the certain disappointment Mr. Ismail will sense with the eroding democracy here in the United States. It appears it is the nature of human beings to feather their nests when opportunity presents. Our representative government is slipping away to massive soulless multinational corporations that could give a rats ass about any individuals or populations here or elsewhere. Our own brand of "jiyalas" has evolved beating the drum of heartless conservative virtue playing into the hand of our elite class advocating abandonment of individual freedoms. Political Action Committees funded by elites and corporations rig elections broadcasting skewed diatribes numbing the population with untruths and fear. The powerless masses are nearing disenfranchisement here as elsewhere on this planet. We are a society wealthy in resources but the croupier of the elites is ladling those resources into their greedy pockets neglecting proper education and healthcare of an entire population; cheating them of good health and brighter futures. As a comparison to other societies I admit this bitter denunciation is quite a rant, an exaggeration compared to oppressive societies, but this is the course of our nation. I am not sure Mr. Ismail will find the kind of democracy he seeks on this side of the puddle.

06 January, 2014 17:29

Blogger Zakintosh said...

Thanks David - I know that and I am sure Iqbal knows that, too. But I guess 'personal safety' is another matter. A lot of people who can afford to shift, do.

06 January, 2014 17:41

Blogger David Stern said...

I have a strong desire to visit your country but personal safety is a deterrent. Do you suppose I might survive a visit to Karachi someday?

06 January, 2014 18:26

Blogger Iqbal Ismail Calcuttawala's Blog. said...

Thank you for your understanding. My response is, "Democracy is dead in Pakistan."

Place your bets, Gentlemen.

We are well on our way to fascism.

David Stern, I am so sorry that you will never experience the 'Karachi' of my childhood which I shared with my friend Zaheer. It is a dream now. But do come and visit Pakistan. It may not be pleasant but it will be useful to learn how nations lose their way.

07 January, 2014 12:25

Blogger Zakintosh said...

David … it may be a way for you to see a lost city and meet old and new Karachiites. And it's safe … regardless of what the USA says. Yes, there are bombs everywhere, with no surety. But I won't send you to those places. Promise.

07 January, 2014 14:33

Blogger David Stern said...

Gentlemen, our views appear trapped in nostalgia; the city of my youth disappeared as well, the intellectual society of our culture seemingly vanished and our urban areas riddled with crime and poverty rivaling dearth and violent behaviors reported in our Western Press about Karachi or any other developing locations in the world, for that matter.

Before the world ends, I better start booking my flights for Karachi.

Do you know the names of any good restaurants???

07 January, 2014 17:43

Blogger Zakintosh said...

Hotels are available … from the very expensive to the mid-priced. Restaurants with stay-over facilities are occasionally found but that's on a per-hour basis ;)

Good restaurants are available from Pakistani Food to European and Japanese Dishes. Most Chinese restaurants are pretty bad since they think that the Chinese Food should be laced with Pakistani spices … which makes it suck for both flavours. But a couple are OK.

Liquor is unavailable unless you are a foreigner or know a bootlegger (but it is served - illegally - in a couple of restaurants).

Taxi and Motor Rickshaw transport is cheap by your standards.

Let us know way before the end of the world that you are coming …

07 January, 2014 21:22

Anonymous Citizen X said...


Your imagination is a very scary place. Good thing we do not make decisions based on someone imagination!


17 April, 2014 19:36

Blogger Zakintosh said...

Dear Citizen X

Was my imagination scaring you? I am really surprised.

No, the Government will not take action because of my imagination … I think it'll do much worse.

18 April, 2014 02:30


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