Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Boys Knock Out Arch-Rival India and Our Nation Celebrates

Pakistan won the ICC Champions Trophy Match against India and we watched it live

Yesterday night, Pakistan beat India by 54 runs in the ICC Champions Trophy. I did not watch the match myself but witnessed a running commentary on Pakistaniat and I got the news of Pakistan’s victory from my friends’ status messages on facebook. Funny but creative, the status messages on facebook were reflective of the immense pleasure my fellow countrymen and women had derived after India’s defeat by Pakistan.

A friend of mine felt like dancing over Pakistan’s victory and his status message was “bhangar-ing over Pak victories in ICC Trophy..... dil bolay Hiddpaaa!!!! :):)”. A couple of friends expressed their joy through songs “we will..we will rock u..!! (We beat india) keep on rocking the free world.... “Hum hein Pakistani hum tau jeetein gay haan jeetein gay!!! :)))))))))))”. Few of my friends felt blessed to watch this match live and their status messages were “Pak Vs India ICC Champions Trophy. Pakistan won yayyyyyyy... and we saw it right there :) and now my throat is badly scratched because of all the "na'ara bazi" of PAKISTAN ZINDABAD and JEEWAY JEEWAY PAKISTAN”, “”Pakistan won the ICC Champions Trophy Match against India and we watched it live!! Awesome!!! :)”. Somebody happened to give credit of Pakistan’s victory to the newly appointed Psychiatrist for Pakistan team in this way “ First ever defeat to India by Pakistan in any ICC event. Thanks to Psychiatrist :-) Congrads !”. A very close friend of mine who considers himself a cricketer but everyone knows he faces the ball with his legs rather than a bat admired Pakistan team’s yesterday performance and called it a brilliant game, his golden words were  “ PAKISTAN SMASHES "TEAM INDIA". A guy born after Sachin had started his international career got his wicket!!! Way to go Aamir!!! You made us proud!!! Brilliant game!!!!”. Another gentlemen tried to keep a check on his and other’s emotions by calling everyone to appreciate players of both the teams in these words “I love India/ Pakistan matches matter who wins ..One team has to lose..People keep ur emotions in check and salute the players from both the teams..Great game of cricket” . A friend of mine had sent birthday wishes to another friend (whose birthday is on 27th October) and called Pakistan’s victory a great birthday present for her… and this list is never ending.

Great were all such status messages of people on facebook but they also made me think if people are happy because Pakistan has won against India or whether they are happy because Pakistan’s chances to enter semi-finals are bright now. I have not seen such an enthusiasm of people in the first match Pakistan played in this ICC Champions Trophy. I have got my answer “My fellow country men and women are happy and jubilant because Pakistan has defeated arch-rival India. Yes, our traditional arch-rival and the cricket game between these two countries is not a mere a match between two teams but a fight in a battle ground between two arch-rivals. Yes, it’s a love-hate affair between two teams, two countries and two nations”. Since 1947, more than 60 years have passed but we the people have not forgotten anything, we have not moved forward and we still consider India as our only ‘enemy’ even if it a cricket game we are talking about. I wonder when we are going to get rid of this deep rooted hatred against India….

originally written for

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Public display of PPP’s flags in Islamabad – Is it a democratic action by an elected government?

Public display of PPP’s flags in Islamabad - Is it a democratic action by an elected government?
Hoisted on the birth anniversary of Benazir Bhutto, yes, PPP's flags are still ton display in the heart of Islamabad . Some 18 days have already but nobody knows how long these flags  will remian hoisted in the capital city.  These flags are giving Islamabad a look of PPP's own capital rather than Pakistan's capital . I wonder if this public display of PPP's flags is the decision of some bureaucratic 'chamcha' who is trying to please our accidental-president Mr Zardari for some monetary gains or is it the decision of the federal government itself ? Well, whatever it is, this is a non-democratic action and could lead to political confrontation. Democracies do not behave in such a manner but such an attitude could be observed in countries where authoritarian rule is in place . Last year, we  have gone through a transition from an authoritarian system of governance to a democrtic system of governance.  Our elected government should at least show some democratic norms if they consider themselves 'democratic' or they should stop claiming to be a 'democratic' government.

originally written for

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Scavenger Children at Work in Islamabad

Scavanger Children at Work in Islamabad

This is summer vacation time in Islamabad for school going children but not for  Afghan scavenger children who in their ragged clothes, unwashed faces travel long distances everyday to pick recyclable waste in their waste collection bags from waste dumping points located in markets, residential areas as well as hospitals. Their parents are unskilled, illiterate and live in abject poverty. Parent's poverty forces these kids into scavenging. While other children of their age are going to school, these scavenger children become earning hand of their poor families living in abject poverty. Nevertheless, they are not only exposed to various health hazards but also become victims of sexual abuse. We should appreciate the hard toil of these scavenger children because they, unlike hundreds of beggar children found begging in various markets and roads of Islamabad, are not begging but are earning their living through hard means.

Despite the fact that the Government of Pakistan is a signatory of the Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989, the steps taken by the government to protect children rights are still invisible. I wonder if this is the sorry state of affairs in Islamabad as far as the implementation of Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 is concerned then what would be the situation of child scavengers in other parts of the country. My question to all of you is what our government should do to protect child scavengers from all sorts of exploitation and hazards? Should the government ban scavenging altogether keeping in view the associated health hazards for scavengers and promote a culture and awareness of recycling at the household level as is done in developed countries or should the government formulate a comprehensive policy for the rehabilitation of scavenger children while providing them free education and offering their poor parents some monitory assistance or should the government continue doing business-as-usual?

originally written for