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Wake up Pakistan ! Presently the Muslim societies are in a state of ideological confusion and flux. Materialism, terrorism,...

Monday, February 29, 2016

13 Inventions You Didn’t Know Came From Pakistan

Although Pakistan was only established in August 1947, there is a rich history of science and culture, Pakistan is the motherland of numerous inventions that have changed the world!

The Brain – Chip Connection
Biomedical engineer and faculty member of the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute Dr Naweed Syed is the first scientist to successfully connect a silicon chip to the human brain. The silicon chip, which was created in 2004, has lead to a variety of biomedical breakthroughs, including reversing memory loss and helping amputees to control their artificial limbs.

The Pleuroperitoneal Shunt
Dr Syed Amjab Hussein of Peshawar was the first to invent the pleuroperitoneal shunt, a surgically implanted catheter used to treat pleural effusions in cancer patients. Once implanted, the catheter delivers fluid, which has built up between the pleura lining (tissue) and the lungs, to the periloneal cavity where it can be absorbed. Once this treatment has been administered patients are usually able to breathe much more easily. Following his invention, Dr Syed Amjab Hussein was inducted into the Medical Mission Hall Of Fame.

The Ommaya Reservoir
Created by Ayub K. Ommaya, a Pakistani neurosurgeon in 1963, the Ommaya Reservoir allows chemicals to be injected into the brain, via a catheter, to treat brain tumors, leukemia and leptomeningeal disease.

The Human Development Index
In 1990, Mahbub-ul-Haq revolutionised economics with the creation of The Human Development Index. According to Mahbub-ul-Haq, the sole purpose of the index was “to shift the focus of development economics from national income accounting to people centered policies.” That is, the HDI focuses on the health, education and living standards of areas to measure development, not on the amount of income.

Higgs Boson
Whilst working with Steven Weinberg, the first Pakistani Nobel Prize winner Professor Abdus Salam predicted the existence of the Higgs Boson subatomic particle.

The SMB Probe
As far as dangerous energy sources go, nuclear power has to be one of, if not the most dangerous of all. Since it’s creation, nuclear power has created multiple disasters around the globe, causing many deaths and toxic environments. In an attempt to counteract this problem, Sultan Bashiruddin Mehmood created the SMB Probe which is thought to reduce the chance of a nuclear disaster by a significant amount. The SMB Probe’s job is to keep power plant operations under control and check whether there are any heavy water leakages, thereby reducing the possibility of accidents.

( c) Brain
In January 1986, the Farooq Alvi brothers invented the world’s first virus for MS-DOS. Born in Lahoor, the brothers created ( c) Brain , a virus that infiltrates the boot sector of storage media and is still used widely today to prevent hacking and identify piracy.

The Water Generator
Rehan Aziz Farooqi, an engineer from Swat, invented a generator that can not only run on water, but can also allow any engine – whether it’s diesel, gas or petrol – to run on water as well. The generator works by separating the hydrogen and oxygen found in water and converting them into viable energy source. As hydrogen is extremely explosive however, the generator’s inventor wants to ensure there are no dangers before making it available to the public.

Community Sanitation
For many third-world countries, the risk of contracting deadly diseases due to poor sanitation is a huge problem. In an attempt to lower these risks, Professor of Sustainable Infrastructure at Loughborough University Sohail Khan invented a lavatory that transforms human waste into minerals that can be used to enrich soil. The facility also processes water to ensure it is clean and consumable.

The World’s Cheapest Electricity
Shahzaib Hussain, a seventeen-year-old from Quetta, created a device that can be used to reproduce electricity when he was only in Grade 11. The device was first proven to work when Shahzaib managed to light 44 LED lights that would usually require 3 Watts with only 1.5 Watts that were fed through his machine. The device is currently still in it’s prototype stage, but could lead to huge developments in the near future.

The Anti-Terrorist Algorithm
At Startup Cup Pakistan last year, a startup named Go-Fig Solutions dominated the media’s attention. Go-Fig Solutions had created an algorithm that claimed to be able to predict where the next terrorist attack would occur, simply based off of behavioural patterns and data mining. After the algorithm received a success rate of 35%, Go-Fig Solutions won the World Startup Cup.

Non-Explosive Fertilizer
Pakistani firm Fatima Fertilizers has invented a formula for fertilizers that do not contain ammonium nitrate, thus cannot be used to create bombs. Since it’s creation, the fertilizer has been praised by the Pentagon, with US Army Lieutenant General Michael Barbero, the head of the Pentagon’s Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization stating: ‘such a long-term solution would be a true scientific breakthrough.’

The Sagar Veena
Whilst working at the Sanjannagar Institute, Lahore in 1970, Raza Aslam created the Sagar Veena, a string instrument capable of registering a range of pitches that no other instrument can achieve. Although there are already a variety of string instruments used in North Indian Classical Music, the Sagar Veena is unique in its ability to provide a rich array of notes.

By Siobhan Harmer, pakwired.com


Reporting on the future- Justice Munir-Keyani Report

"If there is one thing which has been conclusively demonstrated in this inquiry, it is that provided you can persuade the masses to believe that something they are asked to do is religiously right or enjoined by religion, you can set them to any course of action, regardless of all considerations of discipline, loyalty, decency, morality or civic sense."

Much has been written and debated about the 1954 ‘Munir-Kayani Report’. The hefty report was based on an exhaustive inquiry conducted by the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mohammad Munir, and a Punjab High Court judge, Rustam Kayani.

The inquiry was first demanded by Shaukat Hayat Khan, a veteran politician and colleague of Pakistan’s founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Hayat had had a falling out with his former associate and Chief Minister of Punjab, Mian Mumtaz Daultana, when, in 1953, violent riots erupted in the Punjab against the Ahmadi community. The riots were largely perpetrated by a group of religious parties demanding the excommunication of the Ahmadis from the fold of mainstream Islam.

Martial Law was proclaimed in the province and the riots were ultimately crushed by the army. The commotion badly shook the centrist Muslim League government.

More than half a decade has gone by, yet the relevance of the 1954 report on anti-Ahmadi riots in Punjab is debatable
Hayat accused the Punjab CM, Mumtaz Daultana, of ‘engineering’ the turmoil in the Punjab to dethrone the then sitting prime minister, Khwaja Nazimuddin. He claimed that Daultana had given the rioters his ‘tacit support.’

Two government ordinances were issued a few months later, ordering a full inquiry into the causes of the disturbances.

Over the decades, the Munir-Kayani Inquiry Report has often been quoted in the on-going debate between the country’s ‘modernist Muslims’ and conservatives. The modernists specifically mention that section of the report which suggests that no two Muslim scholars agree upon even a single aspect of the faith. Each had their own interpretations which they believed were the correct ones.

This finding was penned by the judges after they had interviewed 117 Islamic scholars from all Muslim sects and sub-sects in the country. The conservatives, however, are critical of the report, claiming that it was biased against them and that both the judges had preconceived notions about the ulema and the clergy.

In his book, Religious Exclusion in Pakistan, professor of history and author, Ali Usman Qasmi, writes that more than being just an inquiry into the 1953 disturbances, the extensive report actually took the shape of becoming an elaborate mediation on the evolution of Muslim nationalism and ‘modernist Islam’ in South Asia.

The report remarked that Muslim nationalism (upon which Jinnah’s Pakistan came into being) was a moderate and modern entity which was being challenged by those trying to raise a ‘religious Leviathan’ (totalitarian state) based on an intransigent and rigid understanding of the faith.

Twenty-five years later, Justice Munir, in his 1979 book, From Jinnah to Zia, wrote that his (and Kayani’s) report had predicted a situation such as the one Pakistan faced when a general pulled off a military coup in July 1977 (Zia), and began to shape a more rigid and myopic regime and society.

Opponents of the report claim that, in 1953, the judges were influenced by the government to ‘implicate the ulema’ by already ‘painting them in a bad light’ before the inquiry.

By this the critics of the report mean an incident which Ali Usman also details in his book: Right after the military crushed the rioting, famous Islamic scholar, Khalifa Abdul Hakim, penned a pamphlet titled, Iqbal & Mullahism.

An authority on Islamic texts and also on the writings of South Asian poet-philosopher, Mohammad Iqbal (d. 1938), Khalifa used verses from some of Iqbal’s poems and quoted Iqbal’s scholarly opinions on the clergy to suggest that the views of the clergy and many of the ulema were contrary to the understanding of the faith of Pakistan’s founders.

The government published 5,000 copies of the pamphlet and then another 4,500, including an Urdu translation of the text. It then distributed them free of cost across the Punjab.

Justice Munir was born into an affluent family in Hoshiarpur. After bagging a degree in Economics from college, he passed the bar exam and became a successful lawyer. In 1943, he became a judge of the Lahore High Court. He was well liked by Jinnah.

In 1954 he was elevated to the position of chief justice of Pakistan. Munir was a sophisticated, well-read and calm man. In 1958, he went on to back the military coup of Ayub Khan and partially influenced Ayub’s public disposition as a ‘moderate and modernist Muslim’.

Justice Kayani on the other hand, was born in a village near Kohat. After his initial schooling at a village school, he was sent to Lahore by his father to further his studies at a college. He did well there and got accepted into the civil service. He then won a scholarship to study at the prestigious Cambridge University in the UK. On his return, he joined law and became part of the judiciary.

Kayani was well-versed in English, Persian, Pashto, Punjabi and Urdu, and was a practicing Muslim. Ali Usman informs that though he was regular in his prayers and read the holy book every morning before going to court, he was vehemently against the mixing of religion with politics. In the 1960s, Kayani and Munir drifted apart when, unlike Munir, Kayani opposed the Ayub dictatorship.

Their report’s relevance went beyond Pakistan. For example, in an era when Muslim nationalists in most Muslim-majority countries were aggressively trying to merge the concept of their respective nationalisms with modernity, the Munir-Kayani Report was requested by and ended up (to be studied) in Iran (during the Shah regime), Turkey and Egypt (during the Arab nationalist government of Gamal Abdel Nasser).

Many of its exponents today believe that in this day and age when Pakistan is embroiled in an ‘existentialist battle’ against extremism, the report is now even more relevant than ever. Its critics continue to disagree.

By Nadeem F Piracha Dawn: http://www.dawn.com/news/1242056

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Allama Iqbal: The Bulwark against terrorism. The Counter Narrative. Who hate Iqbal and Why?

Iqbal is bulwark against terrorism and violence faced by Muslims and the world. "The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam" is s a compilation of lectures delivered by Muhammad Iqbal on Islamic philosophy and published in 1930. In Reconstruction, Iqbal called for a re-examination of the intellectual foundations of Islamic philosophy. The book is a major work of modern Islamic thought. Read more here after end of Urdu excerpts :-

سعودی عرب میں علامہ اقبال کی تحریروں کو کفریات کیوں کہ سمجھا جا تا ہے ؟

Professor Fateh Muhammad Malik, (born 1936),  a Pakistani literary critic and scholar. He has authored several books. Iqbal is his key influence and he wrote at least six books on him including his book Iqbal's "Reconstruction of Muslim Political Thought" published by University of Leicester, England. His major work while working for National Language Authority was a five-volume book on the origin of Urdu.
Malik served as the chairman of the National Language Authority. He served as Rector of the International Islamic University, Islamabad until 2012 when he was sacked by then President Zardari under pressure of from the Saudi government. Before being sacked from his post, he criticized Saudi Arabia's practices as uncivilized and anti-women during a seminar. He also served this university as a dean of the faculty of languages, literature and humanities. Before starting his career in Pakistan, he taught in Columbia University of New York, Heidelberg University and Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany, and Saint Petersburg University of Russia for ten years.
Here are his views on Iqbal and why the KSA has banned his works. The Urdu interview was published in Sunday magazine Dunya, on 21 February 2016

 نئی فکری صف بندی .... ریاست کی شکل کیسی ہونی چاہیے، ملکی تہذیب کیا ہے اور مغربی تہذیبی یلغار کے ساتھ کیا معاملہ کیا جائے؟ اس میں کیا کچھ قبول اور کسے مسترد کیا جائے؟... یہ ایسے سوالات ہیں، جن پر بار بار بات ہوتی رہے گی۔ ان کے ساتھ ساتھ تاریخ و تحریک پاکستان اور قائدین پاکستان کے حوالے سے ضمنی مباحث بھی جاری رہیں گے۔

 اقبال خاص طور پر ان کا ہدف ہے کہ اس دیو کو ہٹائے بغیر ان کا مقصد پورا نہیں ہو سکتا۔ علامہ اقبال کے پاس ورلڈ ویو ہے، جس کی ہمیں ضرورت پڑے گی، نوجوانوں کے لئے راہ عمل اور وہ فلسفہ زمان و مکان اور مابعدالطبعیات بھی جو ''گریوی ٹیشنل ویو‘‘ کے ادراک کے بعد کی دنیا میں متعلق اور اہم رہ جائے گی۔ سردست دینی ذوق رکھنے والے نوجوانوں کو ایک نصیحت کہ فکری محاذ گرم ہو رہا ہے۔ ٹی ٹی پی، القاعدہ اور داعش جیسی گمراہ کن تنظیموں نے مسلح جدوجہد کے نام پر دہشت گردی کو رائج کیا، اینٹی امریکہ جذبات استعمال کر کے بہت سے نوجوانوں کو اپنے جال میں پھنسا کر ضائع کر دیا۔ کرنے کا اصل کام فکری میدان میں ہے۔ یہاں اخلاص، کمٹمنٹ اور سمجھ بوجھ رکھنے والے نوجوانوں کی اشد ضرورت ہے۔ کالعدم حزب التحریر جیسی تنظیموں میں وقت اور توانائی برباد کرنے کے بجائے مین سٹریم (مرکزی دھارے) میں رہ کر پُرامن نظریاتی جدوجہد کی جائے۔ روایتی دینی طبقے کو یہ بھی سمجھنا چاہیے کہ مسلم تہذیب کے لئے اصل چیلنج مغربی تہذیب اور اس کی لبرل سیکولر اقدار ہیں۔ میںاسلاف کے احترام کا قائل ہوں، مولانا آزاد اور شیخ الحدیث علامہ حسین احمد مدنی جیسے اکابرین ہمارے لئے محترم ہیں، مگر پاکستانی رائٹ ونگ یا اسلامسٹوں کو اپنی لڑائی لڑنے کے لئے حضرت مدنی کی جگہ علامہ شبیر احمد عثمانی اور حضرت تھانوی کے افکار کی طرف جانا، اقبال کو پڑھنا اور سمجھنا چاہئے، جبکہ مولانا آزاد کے بجائے قائد اعظم کی سیاست اور تقریریں مفید ثابت ہوں گی۔ ''جی ویو‘‘ یا ''گریوی ٹیشنل ویو‘‘ (Gravitational Wave) ایسا موضوع ہے، جس پر الگ سے کلام کرنا چاہیے۔ -  

"The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam" and Anti Forces:

Iqbal is bulwark against terrorism and violence faced by Muslims ans the world. "The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam" is s a compilation of lectures delivered by Muhammad Iqbal on Islamic philosophy and published in 1930. In Reconstruction, Iqbal called for a re-examination of the intellectual foundations of Islamic philosophy. The book is a major work of modern Islamic thought.

Iqbal was aware that the new generation of Muslims could not remain aloof from the values of modern western culture. It was therefore necessary for them to remain Muslim and at the same time to become modern.

Since this book discussed modernity in Islam, some of the Indian Ulema were quite annoyed with it. The conserves are not yet ready to accept the change that has taken place in modern life. A few years ago a seminar was held in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) where some one asserted that his book contained nothing except heresies, and that the Muslims must not read it. However, this is an extremely important book. Some eminent Muslim scholars whom Dr.Javed Iqbal had the opportunity to meet in Istanbul, Damascus and Cairo feel that a book like this has not been written in the Islamic world for the past three hundred years, and that the importance of this book is increasing in the world of Islam with each passing day.

Subject may be called either ‘Modern Reconstruction’ or ‘Reformation’. But it is not the reconstruction of Islam or the Islamic faith, as was the movement of Martin Luther in Christianity. This is the era of Muslim cultural and ideological revival, and the book was written during this period, because Iqbal belonged to that period of the history of the subcontinent when the process of reformation had commenced even before his birth. Shah Waliullah, Syed Ahmed Shaheed, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Maulana Shibli Nomani were personalities who were senior to Iqbal, and had already started the process of the reconstruction of Islamic thought.

It is very interesting to note that after one thousand years of the death of Imam Ghazali, Iqbal for the first time in the modern history of Islam disclosed that there were three negative forces against which Jihad should be waged, and that only through the extermination of these forces could the new Muslim Society be brought into being. According to Iqbal, these three negative forces are:

(1) Autocratic Monarchy,
(2) Ignorant Mullahism (Islamic priesthood) and
(3) Decadent Sufism.

Iqbal emphasised to do away with autocratic monarchy in Islam and to proceed towards democracy, which according to him was to return to the original purity of Islam. [How could Saudi Kingdom, combination of monarchy and orthodox Mullahism could accept Iqbal?]

According to Iqbal; the republican form of government is not only thoroughly consistent with the spirit of Islam, but has also become a necessity in view of the new forces that were set free in the world of Islam. [Saudi Arabia has a hereditary form of monarchy, with religious backup of orthodox ideology of Ibn Wahab. Hence writings of Iqbal, a modernist reformer cannot be acceptable to them. Saudis keep on changing their priorities.

Molana Maududi was the first recipient of the Saudi Arabian King Faisal International Award for his service to Islam in 1979.[After his death his Gayby Salat al-Janazah in Mecca, making him the second person in the history whose prayer was observed in the Kaaba, preceding King Ashama ibn-Abjar.

Saudi Arabia bans books of pro-Muslim Brotherhood clerics and Abul Ala Modudi in December 2015. So what was good yesterday is bad today.
In order to benefit the public at large "The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam" is the antidote to the extremism and radicalisation of Muslim youth. Special permission was sought form Iqbal Academy Pakistan for publication of lectures by Iqbal in the Defence Journal. Iqbal Academy is a statutory body of the Government of Pakistan, established through the Iqbal Academy Ordinance No. XXVI of 1962, and a centre of excellence for Iqbal Studies. The aims and objectives of the Academy are to promote and disseminate the study and understanding of the works and teachings of Allama Iqbal. [http://www.iap.gov.pk]. The President of Pakistan is the patron-in-chief of the Academy under Section-8 of the .Iqbal Academy Ordinance 1962.

"The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam" is an innovative book that will be of great interest to most modern day educated Muslims who are fed up with the extremist, dogmatic outlook of their religion.
In brief the four main messages of the book are :

1. This universe is dynamic and so is God. He is the Creator and is constantly busy in creation.
2. God has given man complete freedom of choice and man is not restricted by his destiny.
3. Muslims have made a big mistake by discontinuing the evolution of Islamic law and by confining themselves to four major (Sunni) schools of law. Since the world is constantly changing, we need constant evolution of Islamic law to keep pace with the world. Modern democracy can go a long way in achieving this goal and the concept of 'caliphate' can be replaced by the concept of 'republic'.[anti Daesh, ISIS, Taliban ideology]
4. Mystic religious experience is not only possible but is the only way to find the Ultimate Reality.
Iqbal understood the spirit of his time and raised new intellectual questions with the background of the basic customs of his time. Even if Iqbal had not offered answers to these questions he would have enjoyed unique eminence. But the greatness of Iqbal lies in his not leaving these questions hanging in the air and tried to provide their answers with serious thought and deep insight. These “Lectures” of Iqbal are a mirror of our national perceptions. Again, as Iqbal himself has said in the “Preface” to the “Lectures” that:
“It must, however, be remembered that there is no such thing as finality in Philosophical thinkings. As knowledge advances and fresh avenues of thought are opened, other view, and probably sounder views than those set forth in these lectures are possible”.
We neither do nor should insist on the finality of the thoughts presented in the “Lectures”. On the other hand, as said by Allamah Iqbal in the above reference:
“Our duty is carefully to watch the progress of human thought, and to maintain an independent critical attitude towards it”.
This means that just as Dr.muhammad Iqbal viewed the Islamic and Western knowledge with due regard to the growth and development of human thought in his own age we should also keep a careful eye one the growth and development of human thought of our own times, and should organize the perceptions of today in the light of ‘Allamah Iqbal’s scientific intellectual conclusions. 
Nonetheless, the book offers some food for thought and courageously challenges the status quo. Its not the last word on the subject but agitates the minds to start thinking from a different angle for change.

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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Valentine’s Day Pagan roots: Catholic & Muslim views [English & Urdu]

ویلنٹائن ڈے کی مخالفت کیوں؟
Image result for valentine day

Image result for valentine day pagan history

February 14th is often celebrated as Valentine’s Day. Should you celebrate it?
Christians who may be tempted to compromise need to ask themselves about the origins of Valentine’s Day.

Notice what the Roman Catholics teach,

The roots of St. Valentine’s Day lie in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, which was celebrated on Feb. 15. For 800 years the Romans had dedicated this day to the god Lupercus. On Lupercalia, a young man would draw the name of a young woman in a lottery and would then keep the woman as a sexual companion for the year (The Origins of St. Valentine’s Day. (http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/ValentinesDay/).
It is of interest to note that the same Catholic source states,
The Catholic Church no longer officially honors St. Valentine, but the holiday has both Roman and Catholic roots.
It is good that the Church of Rome no longer officially honors Valentine or the holiday.
Image result for valentine day pagan history
Look at some of what the Muslims say about Valentine’s Day,
Celebrating the Valentine Day is not permissible because: Firstly, it is an innovated holiday that has no basis in the Sharee`ah…Christians were aware of the Pagan roots of Valentine’s Day. The way the Christians adopted St. Valentine’s Day should be a lesson for Muslims. In fact, the failure to fully separate Valentine’s Day from its pagan roots explains why Islamic scholars and a number of Muslims avoid adopting traditions of non-Muslims, even though they could possibly be Islamicized…We should avoid anything associated with pagan immoral practices -…- Islam does not encourage flirting or suggestions of romantic relationships before marriage – Love between families, friends and married people does not need to be celebrated on a day with such un-Islamic origins (Ruling on Celebrating Valentine’s Day. (http://www.contactpakistan.com/news/news144.htm ).

What is the ruling on Valentine’s Day?…
Firstly: Valentine’s Day is a jaahili Roman festival, which continued to be celebrated until after the Romans became Christian. This festival became connected with the saint known as Valentine who was sentenced to death on 14 February 270 CE. The kuffaar still celebrate this festival, during which immorality and evil are practised widely…Secondly: It is not permissible for a Muslim to celebrate any of the festivals of the kuffaar, because festivals come under the heading of shar’i issues which are to be based on the sound texts…Partially joining in, at the very least, is disobedience and sin…it is not permissible to celebrate the festivals of the ignorant and the mushrikeen (polytheists). (fatwa No. 73007. What is the ruling on Valentine’s Day? (http://islamqa.info/en/ref/73007 )
So, according to Muslims, it is improper to celebrate pagan holidays and the so-called “Christians” clearly adopted a pagan holiday.
In Pakistan and other Islamic-dominated lands, steps to minimize its impact have been taken:
Conservatives in Pakistan tacked up posters urging people to boycott Valentine’s Day on Thursday, saying it’s a western-inspired event that’s spreading vulgarity in their country…
For them, Valentine’s Day is nothing but an occasion to encourage illicit relations between the country’s young  unmarried males and females. It’s a sign that Western culture and values are eating away the fabric of Pakistan’s traditional, Islamic society. Valentine’s Day, they say, is not a Pakistani holiday and not part of the culture here…
In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, government officials and clerics in Jakarta called for young people to skip Valentine’s Day, saying it was an excuse for couples to have forbidden sex. Santana R. Valentine’s Day under attack in Pakistan. AP, February 14, 2013  )
Pakistan’s Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, or PEMRA, sent a letter to TV and radio stations reminding them that the holiday is “not in conformity to our religious and cultural ethos.” The report warns that “a large segment of society” has complained about “Valentine’s Day celebrations” and blames Valentine’s Day for “depraving, corrupting and injuring morality of Pakistani youth.”…
The letter begins:
It is generally observed that in the past “Valentine’s Day” is celebrated on February 14 by all the satellite TV channels whether an Entertainment or News & Current Affairs channel. PEMRA has been receiving complaints from a large segment of society that Valentine’s Day celebrations are not in conformity to our religious and cultural ethos and has, therefore, condemned its unequivocal propagation through media. Furthermore, such events have been perceived as a source of depraving, corrupting and injuring morality of Pakistani youth as well as violating Code of Conduct developed by PEMRA in pursuance of Rule 15 & PEMRA Rules 2009. (Dewey C. Pakistani regulator warns media against promoting Valentine’s Day (Washington Post, February 14, 2013.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/02/14/pakistani-regulator-warns-media-against-promoting-valentines-day/)

Notice that because of sexual immortality associated with Valentine’s Day, many of the states in Malaysia have taken proactive steps to try to stop sinning then:
PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hasan Tantawi said the Kedah, Kelantan and Selangor governments have directed all local authorities to work closely with police and Rela in order to carry out operations to check immoral activities during Valentine’s Day…He said the National Fatwa Council forbids Muslims from celebrating Valentine’s Day because of elements of Christianity and sin. (Move on Valentine’s Day ‘sins’ Malaysia Star – Feb 8, 2011. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/2/9/nation/8024821&sec=nation)
KUALA LUMPUR – More than 300 volunteers between 19 to 25 years-old today joined a programme to make Muslims wary of the importance of not celebrating Valentine’s Day.
Islamic Development Department (Jakim) director of Family, Social and Community Division, Saimah Mokhtar hopes parents take the ban on Valentine’s Day celebration seriously as it has elements of Christianity and mixed with vices forbidden by Islam.
The programme called “Jerat Hari Valentine” (Valentine’s Day Trap) targets several locations in Kuala Lumpur, said Jakim director-general Datuk Othman Mustapha. (Bernama. Now Jakim wants parents to ban Valentine’s Day celebration. Malaysian Chronicle. February 3, 2013. http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=51672:now-jakim-wants-parents-to-ban-valentines-day-celebration&Itemid=2)
Notice that many of the Muslims associate Valentine’s Day with Christianity (obviously the false compromising kind) and sin.
In other words, Valentine’s Day causes the name of Christ (through the term ‘Christianity’) to be blasphemed among the Gentiles (Romans 2:24; Isaiah 52:5)!
Valentine’s Day causes the name of Christ (through the term ‘Christianity’) to be blasphemed among the Gentiles–which is something that the Bible warns against doing:
24 For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written. (Romans 2:24)
How does this pagan holiday help get the true gospel out?
It does not.
And that is the point.
Of course, Valentine’s Day is NOT a real Christian holiday and does have its basis in sinful pagan practices.
Jesus did not observe Valentine’s Day or anything close to it.

Valentine’s Day is not a biblical holiday.
It is essentially based upon lawlessness and does not edify Christ. 13 years ago, an article in Christianity Today stated:
There are more tales of the “origins” of Valentine’s Day than arrows in Cupid’s quiver. As expected, most have something to do with pagan ritual (pretty much every holiday—from Christmas to Mother’s Day—has something to do with pagan ritual). Four centuries before Christ, Romans had a day called Lupercalia. Without going too much into it, I’ll sum it up as a sexual lottery. Pull names out of a box at random and couple with a young member of the opposite sex. After a year, you get to pick another name (Olsen T. Then Again Maybe Don’t Be My Valentine. Christianity Today. February 12, 1999).
The modern practice of giving cards to ask/tell someone to “be my Valentine” seems to be a holdover from the ancient sexual lottery.
None who profess Christ should observe this February “holiday”–it simply is not a Christian holiday. It began as a sexual lottery and still has sexual ramifications, even in the 21st century. Modern Muslims and modern Catholics realize this, shouldn’t you?
For more information, please consider studying the following articles:
Valentine’s Day: Its Real Origins Christianity Today suggests that Valentine’s Day is good for Christians to observe. Is this true?  There is also a YouTube titled Should Christians Observe Valentine’s Day?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? 

Source: cogwriter.com

ویلنٹائن ڈے کی مخالفت کیوں؟

ویلنٹائن ڈے کے حوالے سے ہمارے ہاں تین مختلف قسم کے ردعمل موجود ہیں۔ کچھ لوگ اس کے حق میں ہیں، اسے پروموٹ کرتے اور اس کے لئے دلائل دیتے ہیں، چونکہ اس معاملے میں کارپوریٹ معاملات شامل ہیں۔ بعض پراڈکٹس ویلنٹائن کے حوالے سے فروخت ہوتی ہیں، اس لئے کنزیومر ازم بھی ساتھ شامل ہو جاتا ہے۔ ویلنٹائن ڈے کی پروڈکٹس (چاکلیٹ، پھول، ٹیڈی بیئر وغیرہ) کی فروخت سے جن کے مفادات وابستہ ہیں، ان کی حمایت کی وجہ سمجھ بھی آتی ہے، مگر ویلنٹائن کو نظریاتی اور فکری بنیادوں پر سپورٹ فراہم کرنے والا حلقہ بنیادی طور پر یا تو عیش پرست ہے جو موج مستی کرنا پسند کرتے ہیں یا پھر یہ لبرل عناصر ہیں،جو فرد کی آزادی کے موید ہیں۔ جس کا جو جی چاہے ، وہ کرے، کوئی پابندی نہ لگائی جائے۔ ادھر ویلنٹائن کی مخالفت کرنے والے حلقے میں روایتی مذہبی لوگوں کے علاوہ لوئر مڈل کلا س کی روایتی اخلاقیات والے لوگ شامل ہیں، جن کے خیال میں اپنی مشرقی اور اسلامی اقدار کی حفاظت کرتے ہوئے ہمیں اپنے بچوں کو مغرب کی تہذیبی یلغار سے بچاناچاہیے۔
ویلنٹائن ڈے کی حمایت میں تین چار دلائل دئیے جاتے ہیں۔'' یہ محبت کے اظہار کا دن ہے، اس پر پابندی کیوں لگائی جائے؟انسانی زندگیوں میں نفرتیں اس قدر زیادہ ہوچکی ہیں ، اگر ایک دن محبت کے نام کر دیا گیا ہے تو اس میں کیا برائی ہے؟ نوجوان لوگ کچھ دیر کے لئے خوش ہوجائیں، کچھ ہنس کھیل لیں تو کون سی قیامت آ جائے گی، مولوی حضرات کسی کو خوش دیکھ نہیں سکتے ... وغیرہ وغیرہ۔ ‘‘ایک اور دلیل جو عام طور سے دی جاتی ہے، ''ویلنٹائن ڈے صرف لڑکے اور لڑکی کی محبت کا دن نہیں ہے، محبت کا صرف یہی رنگ تو نہیں ، ماں ، باپ ، بھائیوں وغیرہ کو بھی پھول دئیے جاسکتے ہیں۔ پرخلوص محبت کا اظہار ہی ہے، ایک دن مقرر ہوگیا ہے تو اسے منانے میں کیا حرج ہوسکتا ہے؟ ‘‘بعض لوگ اس الزام پر برہم ہوجاتے ہیں کہ ویلنٹائن ڈے مغرب سے درآمد شدہ تہوار ہے، جھنجھلاہٹ میں یہ ایک ہی فقرہ دہراتے ہیں،''ویلنٹائن مغرب سے آیا ہے تو پھر کیا ہوا؟ اس میں کیا حرج ہے...؟ ‘‘ 
ویلنٹائن ڈے کے حوالے سے کوئی حتمی رائے قائم کرنے سے پہلے دو تین باتیں سمجھ لی جائیں۔ سب سے اہم یہ کہ ہر تہوار یا دن کا ایک خاص پس منظر اور ایک مجموعی تاثر (Overall Impact)ہوتا ہے۔اسی مخصوص پس منظر ہی میں اسے دیکھنا پڑے گا ، یہ ممکن نہیں کہ آپ اس کے کسی ضمنی اثر(Side Effect) کو قبول کر لیں اور صرف اسی کی بنیاد پر رائے قائم کر لیں۔ مثال کے طور پر روزے ہم اللہ کے حکم کی تعمیل میں رکھتے ہیں اور یہ ایک طرح سے تذکیہ نفس کا طریقہ ہے۔ اس کے ضمنی فوائد بے شمار ہوسکتے ہیں، بعض ماہرین اس کے طبی فوائد بھی گنواتے ہیں۔ یہ ثانوی اثرات یا فوائد خواہ جس قدر ہوجائیں، مگر روزے کا بنیادی سبب جو ہے ،و ہی رہے گا۔ ایسا نہیں کہ کوئی سمارٹ ہونے کے لئے روزے رکھنے شروع کر دے، ایسا کرنا ہرگز عبادت نہیں کہلائے گا۔ یہی بات نماز کے بارے میں کہی جاتی ہے۔ اللہ کا حکم ہے، ہمیں رسول اللہﷺ نے یہ سکھایا اور اس کے اجر سے متعارف کرایا۔ اب نماز پڑھنے کے ضمنی اثرات کئی ہوں گے ، بعض سکالر اس میں ورزش کے پہلو کی جانب اشارہ کرتے ہیں، تو کچھ اسے ذہنی سکون کا نسخہ تصور کرتے ہیں وغیرہ وغیرہ۔ یہ سب کچھ اپنی جگہ ،نماز مگر نماز ہی رہے گی، اللہ کی بندگی کا ایک اسلوب، نبیﷺ کے بتائے ہوئے طریقے کے مطابق ۔اس کا مجموعی تاثر بھی وہی رہے گا، اسی سے یہ عبادت پہچانی جاتی ہے۔ تہوار کی بات چل رہی ہے تو عیدکو لے لیں۔ عید الفطر انعام ہے رمضان المبارک کی عبادت کا، اس دن کو اسی پس منظر میں دیکھا اور جانا جاتا ہے۔ 
عیدالضحیٰ میں قربانی کی سنت پوری کی جاتی ہے، تاریخی پس منظر ہے،جس سے اس دن کو پہچاناجاتا ہے۔ 
ویلنٹائن ڈے کا ایک پس منظر ہے، مغربی تاریخ میں کچھ روایات ہیں اور پھر جدید مغربی تاریخ میں اس دن کو منانے کا بدلتا انداز ہے، جس پر اب دو عشروں سے کارپوریٹ روایات اور کنزیومرازم کا غلبہ ہوچکا۔ ویلنٹائن بنیادی طور پر پرو نکاح یا پرومیرج تحریک تھی۔ جب ایک خاص زمانے میں بادشاہ وقت نے نوجوانوں پر شادی کرنے کی پابندی عائد کر دی کہ شادی شدہ لوگ اپنی بیوی بچوں کی محبت میں فوج میں شامل ہونے سے گریز کرنے لگے تھے۔روایت کے مطابق سینٹ ویلنٹائن نے اس ناروا شاہی حکم سے بغاوت کا راستہ نکالا اور نوجوان جوڑوں کی شادیوں کا سلسلہ شروع کر دیا۔اسی جرم میں اسے سزا بھی ہوئی ،مگر یہ سلسلہ چل نکلا۔ بیسویں صدی کے دوسرے نصف حصے میں جب مغرب کی بدلتی اخلاقی قدروں میں شادی کا انسٹی ٹیوشن کمزور پڑنے لگا تو ویلنٹائن ڈے کا انداز بھی بدل دیا گیا۔ اب محبت کرنے والے جوڑوں کے مابین عہد وپیمان اور کھلے اظہار محبت کے لئے اسے استعمال کیا جانے لگا۔ رفتہ رفتہ اس میں کنزیومر ازم کا رنگ بڑھتا گیا۔ اب صرف اظہار کافی نہیں بلکہ سرخ پھول ، چاکلیٹ ، ٹیڈی بیئر وغیرہ لازم ہوگئے، ویلنٹائن ڈنرروایت ہوگئی اور پھر ویسٹرن سٹائل میں رومانوی شام منانے بلکہ زیادہ کھلے الفاظ میں شب بسری کے تمام لوازمات شامل ہوتے گئے ۔
ویلنٹائن ڈے کی مغربی روایت میں اور جو لوگ پاکستان جیسے ملک میںیہ دن رائج کرنا چاہتے ہیں، ان سب پر یہ واضح ہے کہ یہ خالصتاً مرد و عورت کے مابین اظہار محبت کا دن ہے۔ یہ اظہار محبت بھی مغربی کلچر سے مستعار یا اخذ کردہ ہے۔ مشرقی کلچر اور اسلامی روایات میں جس کی قطعی گنجائش نہیں۔ جس طرح کسی نئی چیز کو معاشرے کے لئے قابل قبول بناتے ہوئے پہلے کچھ تکلفات اور ادب آداب کا لبادہ پہنایا جاتا ہے‘ اسی طرح اس دن کے حوالے سے کہہ دیا جاتا ہے کہ اسے ماں باپ یا بہن بھائیوں سے محبت کے اظہار کے لئے بھی استعمال کیا جا سکتا ہے۔ نہیں جناب، یہ دلیل درست نہیں ہے۔ یہ صرف ایک حیلہ، دھوکہ اور تنقید کرنے والوں کا منہ بندکرنے کا حربہ ہے۔ ہمیں اپنے والدین اور بہن بھائیوں سے اظہار محبت کے لئے غیر اخلاقی، مشکوک پس منظر والے کسی دن کی ضرورت نہیں۔ اول تو مقدس رشتوں کے ساتھ اظہار محبت کو الگ دن کی ضرورت نہیں۔ ہمارا مذہب، ہماری روایات ہمیں یہ سکھاتی ہیں کہ اپنے ان عزیز رشتوں کے ساتھ محبت ہمیں ہر لمحہ اپنے دل میں زندہ رکھنی اور اپنے عمل سے اسے ثابت کرنا ہے۔ کسی فرماں بردار اولاد کو اپنی سعادت مندی اور محبت ثابت کرنے کے لئے سرخ پھولوں کی ضرورت نہیں۔ اسے صبح سے شام تک کے عمل سے جھلکنا چاہیے۔ اگر ایسا نہیں تو پھر خواہ کتنے پیسے پھولوں، چاکلیٹوں پر خرچ کر دئیے جائیں، وہ سب بیکار ہیں۔ 
ایک اور اہم نکتہ سمجھنا ضروری ہے کہ محبت کا جذبہ قدرت کا تحفہ ہے، مرد اور عورت کے درمیان محبت ہونا فطری چیز ہے، مخالف جنس کے لئے کشش رکھنابھی ایک حقیقت ہے۔ اس کشش، محبت اور تعلق کو دیرپا بنیادوں پر استوار کرنے اور پھر قائم رکھنے کا ایک طریقہ، قرینہ اور سلیقہ ہے۔ ہماری اسلامی اور مشرقی روایات میں مرد اور عورت ایک خاص اسلوب اور طریقے سے رشتے میں بندھتے ہیں۔ ہمارا مذہب اور سماج اس کی اجازت دیتا ہے، بلکہ حوصلہ افزائی کرتا ہے۔ یہ صرف اسلام کا معاملہ نہیں بلکہ مشرقی تہذیب میں رچے بسے غیر مسلموں کی بھی یہی روایات اور آداب ہیں۔ اس خطے میں رہنے والے ہندو گھرانے ہوں، سکھ یا عیسائی... ہر ایک میںبزرگوں کا احترام کیا جاتا ہے، والدین کی رضامندی سے معاملات آگے بڑھائے جاتے اور اپنی محبت کے جذبوں کو نفاست اور شائستگی کا لبادہ پہنا کر مزید خوبصورت بنایا جاتا ہے۔ اپنی انہی روایات کا احترام کرنا چاہیے، ہر معاشرے کے کچھ بنیادی اجزا ہوتے ہیں، سماج کا فیبرک جن سے جڑا ہوتا ہے، انہیں ادھیڑنے کی کوشش پورے سماج کو درہم برہم کر دیتی ہے۔ 
ویلنٹائن ڈے کی مخالفت کرنے والے جنونی ، متشدد یا محبت کے مخالف نہیں۔ ان کے دلوں میں بھی بہاریں آتی، جذبے مہکتے اور آنکھیں سپنے دیکھتی ہیں۔ یہ لوگ مگر اپنے جذبات کے کھلے، بے لگام اظہار کو حیوانی فعل گردانتے ہیں۔ یہ چاہتے ہیں کہ محبت جیسے حسین ترین جذبے کی توہین نہ کی جائے۔ عامیانہ، سطحی اور بازاری انداز سے اس کے اظہار کے بجائے مہذب، شائستہ انداز میں رشتوں کے تقدس اور نزاکتیں ملحوظ خاطررکھی جائیں۔ خواہشات کی اس انداز میں تکمیل محبت کو نہ صرف مقدس اور پاکیزہ بنا دیتی ہے بلکہ رب تعالیٰ کے بتائے ہوئے طریقے پر عمل کرنے سے رحمتیں اور برکات بھی شامل ہو جاتی ہیں۔ 
Source: http://dunya.com.pk/index.php/author/amir-khakwani/2016-02-13/14364/56620965#tab2

Pakistan’s balancing act between Iran and Saudi Arabia

Of the three chief sources of security problems, Pakistan has recently been quite vocal about the foreign-funded sectarianism. According to interior ministry sources, 147 seminaries/madrassas in Punjab, 95 in Gilgit Baltistan, 30 in Baluchistan, and 12 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and one in Sindh are getting the funding. The funding and other support is being provided by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Iran, Turkey and Iraq. In Punjab, 122 schools are Saudi-backed and 25 get Iranian funding. Saudi money funds most madrassas in Baluchistan and Peshawar while Iranian money funds most in Gilgit Baltistan in the north.

As is evident, most of the funding, about 75% to 80%, comes from “Sunni Arab” Gulf countries. It is due mainly to the fact that Pakistan itself is predominantly a “Sunni” majority country. And, it is perhaps for this very reason that Pakistan has to maintain a very calculated distance from Saudi Arabia.

While Pakistan continues to repeatedly invoke the ‘Muslim Ummah’ mantra for public consumption, crude geo-political calculations rather than religious concerns are actually shaping broader contours of its foreign policy. Pakistan’s imperceptible distance from Saudi Arabia is not an isolated event (read:  last year, Russia replaced Saudi Arabia as the biggest exporter of oil to China); it is deeply rooted in the ‘territorialization’ of Pakistan’s foreign policy, being shaped as it is by larger geo-economic factors as well as the formation of new alliances.
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Friday, February 12, 2016

Is worst form of democracy better than military dictatorship?

September 15 was recently commemorated throughout the world as the International Day of Democracy. Yet, for a majority of Asians, true representative democracy remains an illusion. The ‘elected dictatorship’ most often in practice in this region allows people to vote once in four or five years, but they have little say in the decision-making process, matters of governance, or in the development work going on in their area.
According to a survey conducted by International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, 60 per cent of the respondents in Pakistan supported military rule till a few years ago.>>>>> 

Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

Pakistan is to complete 69 years of its existence this year. During this period, Pakistan has undergone all sorts of experiments to improve governance. We tried parliamentary system under a strong Governor General in 1947-48 and parliamentary system under heavy influence of civilian bureaucracy cum military oligarchy from 1948 to 1958.
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This period witnessed palace intrigues of Ghulam Muhammad and Iskandar Mirza and disgusting role of Muslim League. It crossed all limits of probity to remain in power. C-in-C Gen Ayub Khan was given the additional portfolio of Defence Minister and given extensions in service which allowed him to have a strong say in state affairs. Ayub Khan put an end to democratic era and laid the foundation for military dictatorship in October 1958. He lifted martial law and introduced controlled democracy in the form of Basic Democracies (BD system) to have the façade of democracy and yet remain all powerful. Although his ten-year rule is remembered as the golden period of Pakistan, yet his over centralism bred separatism in East Pakistan and damaged growth of democracy. His successor Gen Yahya Khan imposed martial law in March 1969 and had the misfortune of presiding over separation of eastern wing from the body of Pakistan in December 1971.
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After his ouster and takeover by ZA Bhutto, the latter wore the hats of president and civilian chief martial law administrator. Soon after introducing 1973 constitution and restoring full parliamentary system, he made seven amendments in the constitution to gain more power. Bhutto laid emphasis on Islamic socialism and nationalization to perk up the lot of poor. He became the most popular leader after Quaid-e-Azam but lost his standing because of his despotism and failing to provide bread, clothing and house to the downtrodden as promised by him.
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He was unseated by Gen Ziaul Haq in July 1977 through a coup and martial law was imposed. Later on, following in footsteps of Ayub Khan, he too introduced controlled democracy under Junejo but kept all powers under Article 58-2B with him till his death in an air crash in August 1988. He stressed on Islam and introduced host of Islamic laws. Pakistan then went through excruciating experience of parliamentary system from November 1988 till October 1999 during which governance and morals nosedived and corruption peaked.
Image result for pervez musharraf and nawaz sharif

Gen Musharraf came to power through a military coup and ruled the country with an iron hand for eight years with rubber stamp national assembly under his wings till February 2008. He was replaced by another very powerful civilian president Zardari with an acquiescent elected parliament under Yusaf Gilani  and Raja Pervaiz. PPP completed its 5 years (mis)rule under Zardari and was replaced by Nawaz Sharif after controversial elections in 2013. His tenure was marred with corruption and rumours of military take over, but he survived. Nawaz Sharif rule left Zardari far behind in misrule and corruption. Military take over seemed imminent during Dharan by PTI [Imran Khan] and PAT [Tahir ul Qadri] against rigged election however military refrained from take over. However Nawaz Sharif does not seem to have learnt any lessons and continues with his family rule and business empire building. 

Each time the military stepped in after forcefully removing the elected government there were rejoicings in the country. Disgruntled politicians nudged military to seize power. Judiciary too had a major role in legitimizing illegal and unconstitutional acts of coup makers. Each military ruler commenced his inning with a big bang and went about introducing host of reforms and correcting the wrongs of politicians and bureaucrats through juggernaut of accountability and produced pleasing results. Euphoria waned within two to three years once the military dictators under pressure from world powers invited same old discarded politicians to share power and legitimize their rule under so-called democracy. Mixture of military and civil never worked since it was like half partridge and half quail. It did not take long for the small group of ruling generals to come under the sway of cunning politicians and bureaucrats. Using their forked tongue they would use their skills of sycophancy, sweet talk and manipulation to disarm the military brass.

Lacking in art of running state affairs, ruling cabal would slip into the carefully laid trap and came out of it only when their goose got wholly cooked. During each martial law, stories of corruption scandals of few generals made headlines. Whatever gains made in the initial years got washed away by corruption and mal practices thereby reigniting misgivings, frustrations, resentment and despair among the masses. Taking advantage of growing despondency of the people, yearning for return to parliamentary system was sparked by discontented politicians to enable them to return to power and recommence their loot and plunder. Major theme of the propaganda campaign against the military dictator revolved on the plank that that the military never allowed democracy to nourish and flourish.

In defence of democracy we derive satisfaction by saying that;  "Even worst form of democracy is better than military dictatorship" [misnomer]. We close our eyes to the hard fact that real democracy implies freedom of speech, protection of rights of the poor and alleviation of their sufferings. Our sham democracy has all along protected the rich and neglected the downtrodden classes. Our populist leaders like ZAB, BB and Nawaz were despots who had zero tolerance for dissent. ZAB despite being a populist leader had turned autocratic. He subverted the constitution he himself had authored, opened up Dalai camp, created draconian FSF to browbeat his political opponents and imposed mini-martial law in major cities to defeat PNA movement. BB indulged in massive corruption, antagonised the judiciary, came down heavily upon the MQM, indulged in political gerrymandering to replace provincial ministries with PPP led governments and became overly pro-Indian.

Nawaz Sharif now enjoying his third term as PM, previously tried to arrogate all powers and dreamt of becoming Ameer-ul Momeneen [Commander of Faithfuls]. He locked horns with all the army chiefs as well as the presidents. Gen Musharraf became very popular in his first two years of rule. He lost direction the moment he held farcical presidential referendum, made accountability selective and brought King’s Party to power through rigging. Unflinching loyalty of band of puppeteers allowed him to commit numerous sins without any qualms of conscience which heightened public hatred against the army. Current democratic government sours its throats shouting pro-democracy slogans but all its acts are undemocratic. In fact it is neither presidential nor parliamentary form of government which has bred more confusion and instability. With all powers arrogated in the hands of President Zardari, he has gone a step ahead of Musharraf led regime in pursuing anti-people and pro-US policies. He has turned Gilani led parliament into a toothless national assembly and seems least interested in implementing Charter of Democracy.

Out of 69 years, we have had over 36 years of democratic rule. [52%] Within 33 years of military rule, [48%] military rulers had 16 years [23%] of hotchpotch of military cum controlled democracy. It can therefore be said that military rulers had only 17 years of pure military rule [24%] in their four stints. Negatives of both systems are almost alike. Corruption has been a common factor during military and civilian rules but corruption was institutionalised and touched new heights during civilian rule.

During military rules, apart from few shady persons who brought bad name to the army as a whole, only less than about 5% of the army got involved in martial law or state affairs. In terms of management and governance, military rulers had an edge because of their inbuilt accountability system, honour code, discipline, training in peace and war. Army officers are critically judged by their superiors in fields of man management, leadership qualities, instructional and staff, and imparted regular academic disciplines in multiple fields through educational institutes within and outside the country. Four-star General attains the coveted post of COAS after climbing up highly competitive pyramid system of promotion without a blemish in his service record as well as moral turpitudes. It is a different matter that Generals lose their head once they takeover reins of total power. They get intoxicated with glamour of power and pelf and love to be surrounded by flatterers. They start behaving like feudal lords and resort to trickery to prolong their rule. Believing that their main political power base resided in the army, they cling to their uniform out of fear of losing power. Their beneficiaries keep buttering them and coax them never to remove uniform or abdicate power, but desert them the day they fall from grace.

Civilian rulers devoid of academy grooming are found clueless how to handle state affairs efficiently, honestly and judiciously. Local Bodies [LB]elections were held during military rules, providing nursery for grooming of young leadership. However so called democratic governments avoid LB elections. Zardari avoided it completely during his  5 years tenure. Nawaz Sharif /PML had to hold LB elections in 2015 on orders of Supreme Court.[LB elections are  held by provincial government]. They are reluctant to grant powers to LB elected representatives.
Reasons are that politicians are from among the rich feudal class belonging to few well-known families. Most are ill-mannered, semi-literate, corrupt, and self serving and suffering from feudal mindset. Majority are loan defaulters and hoarders with criminal background. They have no respect for rule of law and ethics and derive a sadistic pleasure in breaking or bending rules. The executive head is tied to political expediency, since his survival lay in keeping gluttonous MNAs in good humour. One way to please them is to write off heavy bank loans and to keep them out of the tax net. National institutions are headed by incompetent and corrupt managers who serve the interests of their bosses only. Heavy loans obtained from IMF and World Bank on high interests is squandered on wasteful expenditures and on maintaining high lifestyle of the ruling class.

None can deny that neither democracy is the panacea of all evils nor it is a perfect dispensation. In fact it is full of contradictions and frankly speaking it doesn’t suit our genesis. Democracy suits the elite groups only to keep the masses befooled. In Pakistan, 70% illiterates do not even know the meanings of democracy or their basic rights. Owing to wide scale illiteracy, the gullible masses get misled by catchy slogans by the competing politicians during election campaign and vote them to power again and again despite getting repeatedly ditched. How interesting, in Pakistani democracy the peasants are represented by land lords, labourers by mill owners,. Government of the elite by the elite for the elite not for the people.

The lawyers movement in the wake of unjust removal of chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar which galvanised the civil society was the only instance when the people boldly defied the powerful elites sitting in corridors of power and after weakening and ousting Musharraf won their battle on 16 March 2009. Later the CJ, Iftikhar Ch was exposed, was found protecting his son in corruption allegation. Now he has launched his own political party. His role has left many unanswered questions.

Our leaders – both civilian and military – have betrayed the trust of the people; they failed to live up to the confidence reposed in them. Muhammad Ali Jinnah was the lone exception who kept national interests above his self interests and died fighting for Pakistan. Barring Liaquat Ali, all others who followed him were pygmies interested only in how to prolong their rule and enrich their private coffers and how to preserve their selfish interests. Each one eulogised Quaid-e-Azam and never got tired of quoting his exemplary life but none tried to emulate him. If we make a critical comparative study of performance of military rulers with civilian rulers in terms of economic records and governance, former have excelled in a big way. GDP during Ayub, Zia and Musharraf eras ranged between 6-7%. On the contrary both economic and political graphs of latter remained dismal since sham democracy was practiced.

Under the prevailing contaminated environments and acute dearth of leadership, weak powerless Election Commission, hope for a real democracy is a pipedream unless after electoral reforms, elections are held after strict scrutiny of candidates according to section 62,63 of Constitution of Pakistan. This dream becomes more unachievable during unipolarism since USA is bent upon imposing its own brand of democracy in all Islamic states. Our civilian leaders are tied to the aprons of Washington and lack will to charter independent foreign policy or to change the status quo. Profuse bleeding of the nation owing to US imposed war on terror has brought no change in their attitudes or lifestyle. While the urban based literate seculars are mostly west lovers and affluent, majority residing in rural areas is poor, conservative and religious minded but being illiterate have no say in state affairs. This ignored and uncared for class having been repeatedly betrayed and having suffered the most has become despondent and frustrated and is desperate for a real change. Have-nots having nothing to lose have got invigorated and talk of bloody revolution is in the air.

Islamic fervour had begun to gain momentum in this region in the 1980s. Islamic revolution in Iran and defeat of a super power in Afghanistan acted as a catalyst for energising Islamism within 57 Muslim states rived in secular-Islamist divide. Occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq and persecution of Islamists has not diminished but intensified Islamic militancy the flames of which have engulfed Pakistan as well. Military action in Swat has controlled the flowing lava and has provided temporary reprieve, but has not blocked it permanently. Success was achieved because fake leaders and the led within so-called Taliban movement were sponsored by foreign agencies. Their agenda was to harm Pakistan and not to bring Islamic order. Genuine Taliban are still fighting occupation forces in Afghanistan with zeal and fervour.

Operation Zarb e Azb launched by military has met success but lack of action by political government in implementation of 16 points of NAP [National Action Plan] by civil government is hindrance in achieving the the objectives.

Ideological movement cannot be defeated by military means since it grows like mushrooms. There has to be counter narrative to  defeat the ideology of terror. Death of Baitullah or subjugation of Waziristan did not end militancy in Pakistan. Daesh [ISIS] in Middle East is showing its presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan. A good genuine democratic system, providing justice, security, equal economic opportunities, health care, education and welfare to eradicate poverty will help in discouraging, countering terrorists propaganda efforts.

Islam is not a static pond but like a flowing river. It is growing rapidly even within non-Islamic world despite taking stringent measures and defaming it. Pseudo Islamists have taken up arms because of sustained injustices and repression by US led allied forces together with Muslim rulers subservient to their dictates. Secularism within Muslim countries is one way of diluting Islam but farce of secularism and pro-rich secular democracy has been exposed.

How to get out of Quagmire ?

Till such time the nation attains over 70% literacy rate and find a leader like Quaid-e-Azam, what we need is an authoritative but incorruptible and selfless military dictator imbued with sincerity of purpose assisted by a small team of carefully selected God fearing highly competent technocrats. Criteria for their selection should be on the basis of honesty, integrity, piety, and high reputation with no blemish in their past conduct and their proficiency in the assigned job. Judiciary should be made completely independent and all black sheep within it as well as within legal fraternity weeded out through judicial reforms. Besides, robust accountability cell under a hard nosed and morally upright man of character should be created. [Note: This  option is  not supported, because it is based upon individuals not institutions. What is the guarantee that this set up will not try to prolong its rule. It does not enjoy any constitutional cover.]

The General Raheel Shareef model, institutionalised approach to pressurize the politicians and government to perform according to constitution, eradicate corruption and eliminate all types of terrorism [religious, armed, economic, corruption] and root out its sympathisers and supporters.

The government [or proposed set up, if adopted in Option-1] should first cleanse govt and semi-govt departments, media and educational institutes of corrupt, morally depraved elements and then rinse the society from criminal elements, quislings and anti-social elements by awarding them exemplary punishments. Feudalism and absentee landlordism should be crushed with an iron hand and frugal and austere living should replace ostentation, pomp and show. Widening gap between rich and poor should be abridged and sense of nationalism and patriotism inculcated among the youth. The team should then earnestly work towards improving moral and education standards and setting up a welfare state under real democracy. The Islamic system of governance and laws should be introduced to set right the moral compass of the society and remove the cobwebs of immorality, obscenity and vulgarity and restore the pristine virtues of Islam. Electoral reforms, empower EC like India, electronic voting, punishing those officials found to be guilty in previous elections.

This is modified, updated  version based upon original; "Is worst form of democracy better than military dictatorship?" By Asif Haroon Raja, Asian Tribune,  published in 2009; http://www.asiantribune.com/node/22301

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