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Archive for category SOHNI DHARTI’S BELOVEDS

Dharna Visit – A Lesson in Discipline & Organization under Two Great Leaders

 Islamabad  Dharna-  6 Sept 2014


 My wife and I teach in Rainbow Foundation School. Fired by the appeal of Dr Qadri, we decided to do our bit. We talked to the students for donations – whatever they could for those men, women, children who are braving the weather and time for our future. The children responded far better than one expects from children. Next morning we had a pile of a variety of gifts – even personal toys, which was very touching indeed.

 On Saturday, 06 September 2014, with our car loaded with the neat packages clearly marked with contents, reaching up to the roof of the back seat, we left our house in Chaklala – 1,Rawalpindi at about 0645 in the morning. Not knowing the route,( poor Pindiites!), we took a few wrong turnings, and ultimately reached right into the Dharna camp from the Margalla Road side at about 0800 hours. This ia what we saw.

 All along the route, the police were very helpful. Seeing the load in our car, they would happily wave us on towards the correct direction without check or hinderance. The camp started from about three hundred metres from the Margalla road. There were numerous men about,with name tags indicating their party and assignment, wanting to enquire and direct. The camp showed activity, but surprisingly, no noise.  Considering that there were thousands and thousands of men, women and children about, this was the first pleasant surprise. We asked one of the persons where could we hand over the packages to some authorised to collect them. He walked in front of our car towards the nearest Control container.

 Driving through the camp we noticed various sights and stages of activities of early morning routines.People were shaking out their mattresses, spreading clothes out in the sun, which had happily come out after three days of continuous rain . There was a clear water mountain stream flowing through the camp, where people were washing up. Beyond, we could see a long row of toilets in containers. Nearer, we found lines of almost military discipline leading to a langar. Every one had his or her utensil and were being served breakfast by the caterer quite efficiently. On my asking whose party line was this one, the guide told me proudly “Sir, for eating time we are all together”! And I could scarves of both PTI as well as PAT in the same line. Very gratifying.

The nearest command container we came to, was the one we keep seeing on TV with Dr Qadri’s arms spread out and upwards. On asking to see someone in charge, some one came up introduced himself as Mr Ayub or Yaqub, who later on I was informed was, I think, an advocate! I said these parcels are from Rainbow Foundation School children, an Amanat, and therefore I need some photos so that I can put them up on the notice board for them to see. Within minutes he had organised 4-5 men with name tags who unloaded all the packages, lined them up, took out the toys , displayed them on top of the cartons, gor a press photographer . My wife acting as the press photographer, kept taking photos with my cheap camera. Seeing the pile of goodies, some women and men came up asking for an umbrella or warm Chador, but the PAT man in charge said no one would get anything here. “we have no authority do give out any thing. Dr Sahib will come at one o clock and personally distribute them. He will announce on the speaker who these are from”. And he didn’t. After the photo session, he asked my name and address, and the cartons were lifted up onto the container and stacked according to category. Very organised, very efficient. Being ex Army, I noticed, and was very pleased.

 Thereafter we went around and drove through. What we saw was a real eye opener, and, I would say, a confidence builder.

 In spite of all those thousands and thousands of Pakistanis of all casts and creeds and languages, having been in those unsettling conditions for over three weeks of sun and rains, there was no sign of fatigue, frustration or anxiety. People were calm and peaceful.

 Inspite of such close proximity for so long in trying circumstances ther was no sign of frayed nerves, of quarrels, disputes or even heated arguments. Every one had a peaceful and content expression. Pakistanis are great cribbers. There was no such sign anywhere. Which was great.

 The crowds had a high percentage of well to do, educated people amongst men as well as women. One group of young women that went past us were definitely teachers. We were told that the books, copies and pencils etc we had brought would be used in the schools for small children! So they already have schools going!

 There were tents, shaamianas, tables and chairs in small groups, some occupied some vacant. Men were seated on some quietly, discussing whatever. Women and children were moving freely. Their body language clearly depicted a sense of total security, which was pleasant as well as amazing, considering our normal culture elsewhere.

 Some entrepreneurs ahd set up shops and ‘khokhas’ doing roaring business, serving all sorts of wares from eatables to utility items, specially umbrellas!

 Considering the multicultural conglomeration of teeming mankind there, the calm and homogeneity was remarkeble, almost unbelievable. The whole area gave the impression of a hastily built mini city, well organised and self contained.

 The general impression exuded was “we have come to stay”. More importantly, I was impressed by the discipline, organisation, the calm determination, the sense of ‘doing the right thing’and self control of all the Pakistanis gathered there in such a small confinement.

 All because of just two good leaders who have given this cross section of so called unruly Pakistanis, a sense of direction and conviction and hope:  Hope of a new and better Pakistan.

 We came back full of confidence in these two leaders and confidence in the Pakistani nation. They have raised our hopes of a better future and dared us to take charge of our own destiny.

 We are both old people, well beyond seventy. We came back very happy. We hope to go again next weekend. Inshallah.

 May Allah bless these two leaders of ours with success. Aameen. 

If only the other so called ‘leaders’ could take lesson from them instead of piling ignorant ridicule on them


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IN REMEMBRANCE OF A GREAT PAKISTANI: Ardeshir Cowasjee: The Curmudgeon of Karachi

Ardeshir Cowasjee: The Curmudgeon of Karachi


Remembering Pakistan’s most caustic columnist. 

One evening in Karachi, in the early 1960s, Ardeshir Cowasjee and his wife, Nancy, raced to pick up a friend whose husband had kicked her out of the house. The Cowasjees were furious and drove the distraught woman to see the country’s military ruler, Gen. Ayub Khan. The next day the general summoned the errant husband and gave him an ultimatum: take back your wife or lose your cabinet post. It is unlikely that the proud Zulfikar Ali Bhutto ever forgot this reprimand. Years later, as the country’s prime minister, Bhutto appeared to respond by nationalizing Cowasjee’s shipping business. Cowasjee, who died last month at age 86, was the ultimate insider-outsider, an irreverent and caustic columnist whose status and education afforded him opportunities few could dream of, but whose faith—Zoroastrianism—and belief in a pluralistic Pakistan made him a welcome outlier in an ever-radicalizing country.

Ardeshir Cowasjee

The blunt opinions of Ardeshir Cowasjee, at right, anchored Pakistani liberals for 22 years. (Courtesy of Zia Khaleeli / Newsweek Pakistan)

For years Cowasjee vented his plutocrat’s indignation in a popular weekly column for Dawn, an English-language daily with a fraction of the readership Pakistan’s popular Urdu newspapers. Part call to arms, part mournful introspection, Cowasjee’s blunt opinions and hard truths anchored Pakistan’s liberals for some 22 years. The son of a shipping magnate, the wealthy Cowasjee had the unique freedom to say what he wanted and get away with it. On a much-celebrated cable-talk-show appearance, he leaped at a politician, calling him and his late father crooks. As Pakistan’s favorite curmudgeonly columnist, Cowasjee waxed eloquent on religious minorities—whom he often urged to emigrate if they could—as well as corruption, the environment, and business. Never simply an opinionated bystander, Cowasjee also put his energies into preserving tree-lined dividers on Karachi’s roads, as well as taking on developers and venal government officials. “It’s constant war, all the time for the last 50 years,” he once said of his efforts to keep the trees around his family home safe from bulldozers. Through the Cowasjee Foundation, he also educated young students and funded hospitals and charities. Before he fell out with Bhutto, Cowasjee even helped establish Karachi’s second port.

Through all his efforts, Cowasjee considered the country’s founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, as the only true leader that Pakistan has ever seen. He was partial to former president Gen. Pervez Musharraf (“the best of the worst lot,” he called him in 2008). He hated President Asif Ali Zardari (“the worst of them all”) and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif (a “relic of the 1980s”) equally and viscerally, as he wrote in a column last year. As Cowasjee’s health failed, the realization that Jinnah’s vision for Pakistan would never materialize dimmed the columnist’s warrior spirit. I went to see him last year for a story on an abducted liquor mogul who shared his faith. “Please don’t let the bird bite you,” he told me playfully, referring to his white cockatoo, as he slowly walked into his living room followed by army of Jack Russell terriers. The Grand Old Man of Karachi—who was normally never at a loss for words—was unable to speak more than a few sentences at a time. His death, in his beloved city from a chest infection, was a moment of shared national loss. Zardari expressed “grief and sorrow” at his passing, and other politicians whom Cowasjee made a career of excoriating lined up in dutiful condolence, secretly relishing the chance to finally have the last word. Cowasjee would have been amused.


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Just give me my Aircraft
If I die in battle zone
Box me up & send me home
Put my medals on my chest
Tell my Mom I did my Best
Tell my nation not to cry
I was soldier born to die  … Officer Pakistan Air Force
Comments of  Retired Soldiers
I am sharing these pictures of our young Army, Navy, and Air Force Officers and Men who embraced Shahadat while safe guarding our beloved country,
fighting against terrorism.You will find a couple of views of my course mates including mine as well.
Thank you so much for sharing the photographs of Shaheed ‘s with me. I am truly shocked to see these many photographs. 
Being located so far away, I did not realize that so many young officers have already lost their lives for the defense of Pakistan.
I am sure that there must be many many more soldier/jawans who also lost their lives with these officers. 
May Almighty God give these shaheeds a place in heaven and their families strength to bear this loss. 



This is not the first time that we have lost wonderful young men defending Pakistan.On every call to duty our young and the spirited rose to the occasion and wrote chapters in bravery, leadership and comradeship under fire.


A Retired Soldier’s Thoughts

Since the day , I received this e-mail of yours, I have seen the pictures of our national heroes But something somewhere in my heart was boiling and all the time I tried to name it out but could not neither I could diagnose it that what is it all going there in my heart. At least it revealed to me that no doubt that I am a old man BUT not with a Dead Heart. There are mixed feeling of sadness , sorrow , grief but above all there was anger too .But unable to express my true feelings to convey. I am grateful to our dear friend Brig.Mehboob Qadir who has spoken my mind and I endorse the same. These heroes shall ever remain there in my heart and in my laptop till my eye sight fade out and my hands stop working to operate the lap top.



Salute them – They gave their life for us..




 Captain Junaid Khan (Shaheed) of SSG . “Tamgha-e-Basalat”


Captain Najam Riaz (SSG) Shaheed

Major Umair Khan Bangash TAMGHA-i-BASALAT’ shaheed
Captain Bilal Zafar Shaheed..
Squadron Leader Masood Rizvi Shaheed. 

Captain Fasih Babar Shaheed Presented Guard of Honor. He got commissioned in Pakistan army in October 2007. He had a wife and a son whose age was just about one and a half year. His funeral prayers were being offered in pindi.

Who survived the Mi 17 crash in jan  before dying on 14 july 2012 crash. 


After the crash he pulled out 2 men who have both survived and walked to the ambulance before collapsing unconscious. Unable to open his eyes, he told his wife to take care of his mother and 2 daughters before he was evacuated to Kharian Army burn hospital. He asked about Amir, his co pilot and coursemate who didnt survive the crash. Multiple heart attacks, swellings and infections finaly took him from us. His heroic act of valor in saving his crew while he himself burned will be not be forgotten. ALlah bless him the highest place in jannat. 

LT Wajeeh Bangash Shaheed after getting rid of 7 militants got a sniper shot on his head and embraced Shahadat! 


Capt. Raja Farhan Ali Shaheed…

Capt. Mannan Shaheed with His Mother…
Lt Colonel Amir abbas Shaheed With his 2 cute angels Syed Khariq Abbas n Syeda Areeza Abbas…


capt zubair shaheed.(left)


capt babar shaheed


Captain Doctor Muhammad Ali khan (Shaheed)
Capt. Abdul Qadir Khan who embrace shahadat on 20th October.He was born in 1983.He joined Pakistan Army in 2003.

Capt. tariq,survived a IED attack in march 2009,died in feb 11 in ops bar
Lt. Taimoor Shah , S/O Ashfaq Hussain Shah
A valiant Son of 71 Baloch Regiment Belongs to Haider 118 ..Taimoor was born on 14 Aug 1986
He Embraced shahdat Near Kashmoor On Sep 23, 2009…

Capt Tariq Jamal Shaheed……


Lieutenant Yasir (Shaheed) 
Capt Mannan Shaheed
Captain Dr. Sharjeel has just embraced Shahadat in waana Waziristan.
LT. Ammad (Shaheed) 
Captain Hassan Abid Shaheed.
Captain Haider Nawaz Murawat 
Lieutenant Faiz Sultan Awan Shaheed 

Lt Atta Ur Rehman Shaheed

Amjad Razaq Shaheed SSG(N)

Capt. Rahman.SSG, Shaheed

Memorable pic of Ft. Lt. Ali Raza Tarar Shaheed.
Muhammad Bin Hassan, son of Captain Hassan Shaheed.
Born of June 10,2011. 4 months after Capt. Hassan embrace Shahadat.

Major Zia ul Haq Shaheed. Embrace Shahadat on 30th July ,

Cute Son of Captain Rashid Hakeem (Shaheed) 
Mohammad Rashid… 

Squadron Leader Muhammad Hussain shaheed… 
Got Martyred on 14 of november in the incident of JF thunder crashed at a hill near the garrison town of Attock, 65 kilometres northwest of Islamabad..
May his Soul Rest In Peace ..

PROUD SONS OF MOTHERLAND PAKISTAN. Major Mujahid and Captain Usman — Embrace SHAHADAT together on Salala checkpost defending Pak Sarzameen! 22 other soldiers who Embrace Shahahdat with them

 Captain Salman (Shaheed)

Lt. Atta Shaheed
Maj Zaka (shaheed) his daughter widow,  a son was born after he died.

Shaheeds in PAF Trainer Crash


One year Old Son of Major Muddasir Bajwa (Shaheed)
Son of Major Zahid Bari (Shaheed)




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Shaheed Parveen Rehman: A Modern Muslim Saint Falls Victim to Karachi Terrorists & Land Mafia

Parveen Rehman, a leading social worker in Pakistan was shot dead by unidentified gunmen amid rising ethnic, sectarian and criminal violence in Karachi city. 56-year-old Parveen was killed right outside Orangi, on March 13, 2013, where she headed the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP), one of Pakistan’s most successful non-profit organisations, which helps poor communities.

Orangi is considered Asia’s largest slum and houses close to a million people in Karachi. A trained architect, Parveen also worked tirelessly to document land in the ever growing slum and in Karachi, to protect it from the city’s notorious land mafia, who she had been receiving death threats from for years.







Parveen Rahman. Image from Twitter courtesy Alexpressed

On his blog Alexressed Diary of a concerned Pakistani, Ale Natiq writes:

Most people know her as the Director of the Orangi Pilot Project but she was more than a mere NGO Director. She and her organisation have left footprints across a wide area of Karachi and have influenced several thousand lives. It will not be unfair to say that she influenced the lives of half a million people or half the population of Orangi in one way or the other. Karachi’s slums and katchi abadis have lost a mother figure.

Among other milestones, the OPP is known for initiating one of the most successful community-driven sanitation programs in the world. Since its inception in 1980, it has helped 2 million people improve their sanitation by installing underground sewer pipes and indoor toilets across Pakistan.

Steve Inskeep, host of NPR’s Morning Edition and Author of Instant City Life and Death in Karachi, which features an interview with Parveen, remembers on Twitter:

 @NPRInskeep: Outsiders would get a little tense just visiting Orangi, the vast gang-infested zone of Karachi where Rahman cheerfully worked each day.

Karachi Violence

The day Parveen was murdered, seven other people were killed in various incidents of violence in the city. There was a feeling of extreme loss and grief among Pakistan’s Twitterati. Pakistan Director at Human Rights Watch Ali Dayan Hasan tweeted on March 14, 2013:

@AliDayan (Ali Dayan Hasan): Slowly but surely, everyone and everything good in our country is being targeted and killed.#ParveenRehman #Pakistan

Others including journalists Beena Sarwar, Mohammad Hanif and columnist Cyril Almeida echoed his sentiments:

@beenasarwar (beena sarwar)#ParveenRehman RT @mohammedhanif: this is the saddest thing. And we thought we have seen too much sadness. Can’t even muster up anger

@cyalm (cyril almeida): A selfish thought tonight: am sick at the thought of the growing number of ppl in my phone book who have been cut down. Too much death.

@BhopalHouse (Faiza S Khan): I realise, I’ve known for some time, that no depths to which Pak won’t sink. Grateful that I still feel heartbroken. Soon that too will end.

@AmSayeed (Amima Sayeed): the negative propaganda against NGOs has led to this:#ParveenRehman shot dead. It is the blind hatred that doesnt see contributions!!

Tribute to social worker Parveen Rehman killed by terrorist in Karachi, Image by Ayuib. Copyright Demoyix (14/3/2013)

Parveen’s Fight against Karachi’s Land Mafia

Before joining the OPP in 1982, Parveen worked as a architect. She continued to teach at various architecture schools over the years to create socially-responsible architects in the country. Parveen, had spent years documenting land in the fringes of the ever-expanding metropolis Karachi. According to her students and colleagues she had been receiving death threats from the mafia involved in grabbing precious land in the city:

Ms Rehman was an ardent compiler of the record of precious lands, which were on the fringes of the city in shape of villages but were speedily vanishing into its vastness because of ever-increasing demand by thousands of families who were shifting to Karachi every year from across the country. She said on record that around 1,500 goths (villages) had been merged into the city since 15 years. Land-grabbers subdivided them into plots and earned billions by their sale.

Journalist Fahad Desmukh tweeted his audio interview with Parveen Rehman in which she talks about threats from the land mafia in Karachi: 

@desmukh (Fahad Desmukh): Parveen Rehman: “We said all that you can do is kill us. What else can you do? We’re not afraid of you” #LandMafia

SesapZai an artist from Pakistan writes in her blog:

It almost seems to me that people in Pakistan do not want to develop; development is a looming monster that becomes a huge threat as soon as someone tries to push it forward. And rather than supporting and encouraging such brave humanitarians — like Parveen Rehman — who’d dedicated as well as put their lives on the line, to help the poorest in the region live better lives, they are instead murdered. And with them, all hopes and dreams for a better, more economically sufficient future, wither away too.

Creative Commons License

Written by Qurratulain Zaman 
Posted 16 March 2013 7:28 GMT · Print version Print version


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NOTES FROM A SOCIAL SCIENTIST: The March 23rd Outswinger!

The March 23rd Outswinger!
By Dr. Haider Mehdi
The Nation, 3-6-13
NOTE: Several readers who reviewed my last week’s article (“Fraudulent Intentions – Deceptive Motives,” The Nation, Feb. 28th) have asked a question: How are we going to get rid of “Muk-Muka” democracy in Pakistan?  Today’s article is my response to this important query.
If you have played cricket yourself, or if you are a passionate fan of the game, then you will know that a fastbowler’s outswinger is his most deadly weapon against any top-class batsman. Decades ago when the Australian cricket team came on its first tour of Pakistan, I remember Fazal Mahmood clean-bowled Neil Harvey with his famous outswinger (an inswinger to left-handed Harvey).  The bails literally flew to the boundary.  Pankaj Roy, Indian former opener, repeatedly lost his wicket to Mahmoud Hussain’s (my older brother) outswingers.
Indeed, outswingers are deadly ammunition in the bowling arsenal of a pacebowler, specifically when the wind is blowing from behind the bowler’s end.  Imran Khan swung the ball both ways (outswings and inswings) with tremendous speed, razorblade sharpness and pinpoint accuracy.  He surprised his opponents with the sudden quickness of the ball and controlled directions during his bowling spells.  That was Khan’s masterpiece on the cricket ground.  And that is what he is going to do on the political field – clean-bowl his political opponents out of the game with his splendid outswing. 
PTI’s March 23rd “jalsah” at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore is going to be Imran Khan’s political outswinger to knock his opponents out of Pakistan’s fast-changing political game.  It will be a day when Khan’s long-held claim of shattering all three wickets in one ball will come true. It will be a day of PTI’s tsunami hitting hard on Pakistan’s political soil.  It will be a day of reckoning – the day that a fundamental change, both in Pakistan’s political field and in the ways the political game has been played so far in this country, has inevitably come.  It will be a day of victory for the politics of change in the country. 
Indeed, the day’s triumph will belong to Imran Khan’s PTI’s movement for change.  Hundreds and thousands of PTI political activists, supporters, workers, and common citizens from all over Pakistan will most certainly descend on Lahore to participate in this historical moment.  80,000 of PTI’s elected representatives will take oath to their party’s ideological manifesto.  PTI’s political manifesto will be presented to the general public, media and international news agencies.  Speeches will be made. Political goals will be set and the objectives of a movement of change will be reiterated.  It will be a massive demonstration of the public’s democratic sentiments and aspirations.  It will be an occasion of fun and delight with subtle sound and serious declarations of an agenda of political change in this nation of deprived people, unstable institutions, collapsed economy, non-existent law and order, which is facing existential threats and at the edge of a political abyss – all  caused by 5 years of “Muk-Muka” democracy.
But the massive gathering of people is not a political doctrine or a desired political goal in itself.  It is the significance of such public participation that matters.  If hundreds and thousands of Pakistanis from one end of the country to the other, come to the March 23rd “jalsah” at Minar-e-Pakistan, and they certainly will gather in immense numbers unprecedented in Pakistan’s political history, it certainly will be a demonstration of public indictment against the traditional ruling elites, politics of status-quo and the political system they have vowed to protect, sustain and promote.  Already, several public opinion polls have vividly indicated that over 80% of Pakistanis desire a fundamental change in political structure, political culture and the political leadership of this country. 
Ironically, at this crucial and critical juncture of Pakistan’s political history, the traditional political forces and their leadership are still committed to the reactionary “farsooda,” non-progressive, non-democratic ways of yesteryear. Take, for example, the PML-N’s present strategic approach to the forthcoming elections: traditional electables are being inducted into the party with enormous efforts all over Pakistan.  Party alliances with all major status-quo forces are being organized.  Hence, it is vividly apparent that the PML-N leadership still believes that increased public consciousness is of no real political significance; they believe that the masses’ heightened political awareness cannot adversely affect the traditional political system and its highly empowered political organization devoted to vested interests political leadership and their associates.  PML-N and PPP leadership seem to becertain  that no real change has occurred or can occur in political outlook in the foreseeable future of this country.  Political business will continue as usual – they are confident of their victory and electoral success to political power. 
Imran Khan’s PTI has prepared their political pitch to play the game with meticulous understanding of the undercurrents affecting the country’s political landscape.  PTI’s leadership fully appreciates public sentiment for change.  In fact, Imran Khan’s anti- status-quo doctrine has helped people in perceptual awareness of political backwardness that has plagued the country for the last 65 years and most specifically the damage the present-day “Muk-Muka” democracy has wreaked on the nation. 
Imran’s political direction, political organization and ideological doctrine is accurately in sync with public sentiment and democratic norms, and is in step with the political undercurrents going through the entire society and its demands for a fundamental change in the present-day political system and culture of this country.  PTI’s political strategy for the forthcoming elections is sound and methodically planned.  Imran has done his homework – he understands his opponent’s weaknesses, drawbacks and fears.  He knows it is time to deliver a lethal outswinger. It is time to win a well-deserved victory. 
March 23rd is going to be the day when Imran Khan will strike his opponents on the political field at Minar-e-Pakistan with a deadly outswinger – shattering all three wickets with one ball!
It is quite simple: outdated, out-of-form, out-of-sync and strategically weak and fearful players are no match to the hellfire of a deadly outswinger.  One way or the other, the March 23rd public  gathering at Minar-e-Pakistan is going to be the end of the game for the PPP, PML-N, and all of the status-quo forces in Pakistan.  

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