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Archive for category NAYA PAKISTAN

Pakistan’s Daughters: Pakistan Air Force Officers

 

 

 Pakistan’s Daughters: Pakistan Air Force Officers

 

 

Pakistani female fighter pilot is ‘war ready’

Ayesha Farooq, first to pass qualifying tests for combat, says she will do “same activities” as male colleagues.

Jun 2013 10:53

Ayesha Farooq said she does not feel different from her male colleagues at Mushaf base [Reuters]
Pakistan’s first war-ready female fighter pilot has said she is ready to defend her country, and sees no difference between herself and her male colleagues when it comes to “precision bombing”.

Ayesha Farooq, from Punjab province’s city of Bahawalpur, is one of 25 women who have become pilots in the Pakistan Air Force over the last decade.

Out of the 25, there are five other female fighter pilots who have yet to take the final tests to qualify for combat, news agencies said on Thursday. Non-fighter pilots fly slower aircraft, ferrying troops and equipment around the country.

“I don’t feel any different. We do the same activities, the same precision bombing,” the 26-year-old said of her male colleagues at Mushaf base in north Pakistan.

Because of terrorism and our geographical location it’s very important that we stay on our toes

– Ayesha Farooq, Pakistan’s first female fighter pilot

A growing number of women have joined Pakistan’s defence forces in recent years as attitudes towards women change.

“Because of terrorism and our geographical location it’s very important that we stay on our toes,” said Farooq, referring to Taliban fighting and a sharp rise in sectarian violence.

Deteriorating security in neighbouring Afghanistan, where US-led troops are preparing to leave by the end of next year, and an uneasy relationship with India, add to the mix.

Farooq was at loggerheads with her widowed mother seven years ago when she said she wanted to join the air force.

“In our society most girls don’t even think about doing such things as flying an aircraft,” she said.

Family pressure against the traditionally male-dominated armed forces dissuaded other women from taking the next step to become combat ready, air force officials said.

 

‘Less of a taboo’

“More and more ladies are joining [the force] now,” said Nasim Abbas, Wing Commander of Squadron 20, made up of 25 pilots, including Farooq, who fly Chinese-made F-7PG fighter jets.

Farooq, 26, told her mother she wanted to join the air force seven years ago

“It’s seen as less of a taboo. There’s been a shift in the nation’s, the society’s, way of thinking,” Abbas told Reuters news agency on the base in Punjab’s Sargodha district.

There are now about 4,000 women in Pakistan’s armed forces, largely confined to desk jobs and medical work.

But over the last decade, women have become sky marshals, defending Pakistan’s commercial liners against insurgent attacks, and a select few are serving in the elite anti-terrorist force.

Like most female soldiers in the world, Pakistani women are still banned from ground combat.

Pakistan now has 316 women in the air force compared to around 100 five years ago, Abbas said.

“In Pakistan, it’s very important to defend our front lines because of terrorism and it’s very important for everyone to be part of it,” said avionics engineer Anam Hassan, 24, as she set out for work on an F-16 fighter aircraft.

“It just took a while for the air force to accept this.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Shukriya Pakistan – 30 November Islamabad

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Dr. MOHAMMAD IQBAL – A philosopher ahead of his time by Dr.Kausar Talat

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Dr. Mohammad Iqbal – Philosopher ahead of his time

By

Dr. Kausar Talat

Positive Pakistan

Ktalat@blogspot.com

November 09, 2014

 

 

 

Dr. Mohammad Iqbal is regarded as the most influential poet and scholar of the 20th century with revolutionary poetry and burning desire to move into the modern world with his belief and faith intact. Among many religious scholars at the time who prefer the status quo in Islamic teachings, it was Iqbal who showed Muslims the way to modern world in light of Islamic teachings. For that Iqbal had to face the wrath of ‘Mullahs’. He was declared an infidel for his poetry and philosophy for integrating Islam into the modern world or vice versa. Though Iqbal was born in 20th century, his philosophy and thoughts were ahead of his times. Not only that few philosopher at the time were able to interpret and understand his message to people, his very own people, Muslims, at large were unable to comprehend and failed to decipher his message. Actual recipient of Iqbal’s message have miserably failed so far to carry the torch and wisdom conveyed in Iqbal’s philosophy. Iqbal and Islam are inseparable as it should be for a practicing Muslim. To understand Iqbal, one has to take a peak of the world history and contributions of Islam to modern world. Iqbal opened his eyes in the subcontinent at a time when after ruling more than one thousand years, Ottoman Empire was on the decline and taking its last breathe of existence. Muslims, all over the world were suffering chaos, mental decline and latency. International political scene was changing at a speed that literally had spun the mind of Muslims intellectuals. On the technology front Muslims were aloof to the advancements in science and engineering while West was celebrating the ‘theory of relativity’ by Albert Einstein which is a proof in itself of Iqbal’s concept of God’s relationship to His creation. (Dr. Schimmel, 1989) observed that Einstein’s theory affirmed Iqbal’s thoughts on God’s relationship with universe. —- That, the universe is limitless and finite. (Dr. Schimmel) further observes: …. that the European philosophy and scholarship as explained by Iqbal through his poetry is not a threat to Muslims and their culture, and try to convince Muslims of India that new knowledge and concepts are nothing but their own heritage already discovered by Muslim scholars of the past. Interpreted in this way, European and Western civilization is a revival of the Muslim glorious past and no longer a danger for the Muslims but a motivation to reform themselves and their understanding of Islam. Among ancient scholars, Iqbal is very critical of Aristotle and other Greek philosophers as their philosophy, according to Iqbal’s perspective, was poisonous for the human ego as well as detrimental to Islamic thinking. Iqbal was very fond of Dante’s poetry. His idea of peace, love for the human kind was dear to Iqbal similar with Islamic thinking. Iqbal was also close to Goethe because of his philosophical thoughts. As Iqbal mature, his appreciation for Goethe also increases because of their similar thoughts on emotions and mutual desire to control animalistic desires of human. Iqbal is a philosopher in transition, adventurous, open mind, faithful and limitless. Among western thinkers, Iqbal was more influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche, German thinker and writer who is considered to be the father of postmodernism but a disbeliever. Iqbal (1996, p. 89) in ‘Reconstruction of Islamic Thoughts’ described Nietzsche: “His brain is unbelieving, but his heart believing” as a result of Nietzsche’s statement: “God is dead” that is in absolute conflict with Iqbal’s own belief in creator of this universe. Probably Nietzsche‘s ideas and theories that are similar in their implications are very close to the teachings of Islam. Nietzsche’s influence on Iqbal is limited only to some of his ideas as a poet and to Nietzsche’s concept of ‘superman, but did not agree with atheism and statement of God being dead. Nietzsche’s concept of ‘superman’ that is considered as the start of postmodern age and the end of the era of Man is quite similar to Iqbal’s concept of ‘Mard-e-Momin’ (perfect man), which may have been an influence by another Muslim philosophers Rumi, whom Iqbal called his spiritual guide. Bergson’s (Dar, 2000, p. 177) theory of ‘creative evolution’ ….that only intuition can find out the reality of ‘creative evolutionary’ duration and this reality, which intuition finds in this way cannot be communicated to others with the help of written or spoken words. So reality can be found only through personal intuitive experience impressed Iqbal. Just like Bergson, Iqbal is of the opinion that pure knowledge can be acquired only through personal ‘intuitive’ experience (Dar, 2000). Though Iqbal’s concept of intuition is similar to that of Bergson’s with the same meaning but has given preference to this concept of intuition over rationality. Iqbal consider universe as the creation due to evolutionary changes which are powerful examples of his creator. Apparently Iqbal is in concurrence with every thinker whose thoughts are in alignment to his belief and faith.Dr. Shariati (1991) describes Iqbal’s advice to humanity: “Have a heart like Jesus, thoughts like Socrates, and hand like the hand of Cesar, but all in one human being, in one creature of humanity, based upon one spirit, in order to attain one goal.” That is, to be like Iqbal himself an integrator of all the best thoughts and theories man can develop. He finds that in the message of Qur’an. Iqbal had tried to define a dynamic Islam under the influence of Goethe and Rumi. Iqbal, (1996, p. 111) is always of the opinion that the human being is called upon to improve God’s universe in cooperation with his Creator, and that one should exhaust the never ending possibilities of interpreting Quran in order to survive ever changing circumstances. Iqbal, (1996, p. 97) did not rely exclusively upon intellect, but while admiring the modern technology and progress, called upon Muslims to participate in it. In his poem “Message of the East” Dr. Iqbal (1990) suggested that critical analysis and loving synthesis, must work together to create positive values. Thus it can be said in reality that Iqbal is a philosopher in transition who cannot be labeled, as he not only believed in action and motion but encourages the human to rise and change this world. Dr. Mohammad Iqbal is regarded as the most influential poet and scholar of the 20th century throughout the Muslim world with profound effect on sub-continent. His concept of Islamic revival did not only lead to the creation of Pakistan, but also the Iranian revolution has been credited to his poetry and philosophy. His works also played an influential role in the break- up of Soviet Union into republic, most of which are Muslim majority. Iqbal was a poet and a philosopher constantly in conversation with his people, a philosopher attempting to retrieve a Muslim Self to counter the overwhelming march of the West. That prompted Iqbal into a deep introspective study of Islam itself. One should be aware that Iqbal’s view of Europe and the West in general is not simply negative. For Iqbal the question is not of choosing between the East and the West but rather to find a middle ground where one do not have to abandon his real identity to be part of the modern world. Iqbal’s interpretation of philosophy calls for an engagement of East-West reciprocating ideas as such that both ideologies can share their core values to create a better world. For Iqbal the future does not just depend upon gaining Western knowledge but also by balancing this knowledge against Muslim traditions and faith. German Scholar Dr. Schimmel (1989) defends criticism of Iqbal on embracing the concept of Nietzsche’s “superman” reflecting Iqbal’s self and ego. She agrees with Iqbal’s approval of ‘Sharia’ as the appropriate set of limits for the self or ego that marks the distinction between Iqbal’s Perfect Man and the Nietzchean ‘superman.’ Iqbal has also been criticized for his advocacy to reject Western cultural influences. His poetic descriptions of the true practice of Islam some time are considered impractical and wrongly dismissive of diverse societies and cultural heritages. Nevertheless, his activism for the oppressed, downtrodden, often discriminated masses through Brahmin caste system and his concept of ‘Self” that earns him much of respect among Muslims as well as from non-Muslims. However Naipaul (1998, p. 250) and other Indian nationalists have criticized Iqbal for approving and encouraging the differences of Muslims with other religious communities in India. Because of this, responsibility of partition and fragmentation of India has been also credited to Iqbal. Hindu nationalists, however pointing the breakup of Pakistan suggested that Iqbal’s two nation theory was technically flawed and was wishful thinking, but they ignore the fact that Bangladesh chose to remain separate Muslim state instead of merging with India. Now India has two Muslim states two deal with. Despite this Hindu criticism Iqbal today is widely admired and followed in Pakistan, Iran, and Middle East as well as in Germany remembered as a reformer who attempted to balance East and West without compromising his own belief and faith. Iqbal was attracted to modern technology and excited to integrate his philosophy of Islam with the advancements of science, to build an understanding and to root out mutual mistrust at the highest intellectual level. He expressed this thought as: “In the West, Intellect is the source of life, In the East, Love is the basis of life. Through Love, Intellect grows acquainted with Reality, And Intellect gives stability to the work of Love, Arise and lay the foundations of a new world, By wedding Intellect to Love” (Iqbal 1877-1938)

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FIRST PICTURE POSTED ON PAKISTAN THINK TANK : Captures The Spirit of Pakistani People

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SPIRIT OF PAKISTAN

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Why we must support Change : even if we don’t like Imran Khan or Dr Tahir Ul Qadri by Haider Mehdi

Why we must support Change: even if we don’t like Imran Khan or Dr Tahir Ul Qadri

 

 

by

Haider Mehdi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have always admired the analysis and commentary of many leading geo political thought leaders and subject matter specialists from within and outside Pakistan, who specialize and voice their views on Pakistan and its current crisis.

Most of them have the masterful ability to analyse and present complex issues with amazing simplicity and powerful facts and logic. 

But of recent many of these thought leaders have unfortunately failed their own usual objective lens test of presenting Pakistan’s current imbroglio. There writings and commentaries are laced with anger, bitterness and acrimony rarely seen in their writings, especially in the manner they address the two protagonists of change, IK and TUQ, or objectively speaking what these two consider as “change”.

While I am not an Insafian or a TUQ mureed and do not in any form or shape endorse any direct or indirect extra constitutional intervention by any internal and or external institution / force, but believe that this time we have to suspend judgement and our personal biases and dislikes for these two.  I personally don’t have anything against the two, but even if I did, I would also suspend judgement for the following reason.

And the reason is simple. For 67 years, our constitutional and extra constitutional inputs have only produced this current and rotten political, social, economic, religious output/environment. So if we want change we have to change the inputs to get a different, hopefully better and more positive political, social, economic, cultural and religious order.

As Alcoholics Anonymous famously say. It’s Insanity to expect different results from the same behaviors. 

Therefore, if all well-meaning Pakistanis, including these genuine pundits referred to earlier, but not the “Raqaam BarhaoNawaz Sharif Hum Thumharay Saath hay Najam Sethi types”  to expect that “THINGS” will change by continuing with the same is, in my opinion, quite frankly extremely juvenile and perhaps even suicidal.

So what are our options. Pretty much two.

 

 

What-place-the-tavern-in-Naya-Pakistan-10172014

One. Sit tight, close our eyes, stick our necks in the sand, and pray that when we open them the World and Pakistan would be this heavenly paradise. And in the meanwhile as we live in Cuckooland, these goons and the terrible order, lead by NS and AZ and GOD FORBID, that royal idiot of idiots Bilawal Zardari (can’t call him a Bhutto) and Hamza Sharif supported by their courtiers who are more like Leechees sucking the life blood of this nation, lead us to destruction. 

Two. We finally stand up for our rights, after centuries and thousands of years of abject servility slavery and serfdom, and seek the establishment of a just and fair society which delivers better governance and improves the quality of life of this miserable nation. And in my 58 years this is perhaps the second time after that great and brilliant pretender Zulfi Bhutto, who also let us down so terribly, that we have in IK and TUQ, the symbols, the seeds, the possibility and fragrance of such a change.

So while IK and TUQ may have their Achilles heels and some skeletons in the closets, but they do represent the cry of the hundreds of millions of the downtrodden, once again looking for hope succour, salvation and a better today and a tomorrowfor themselves and their children.  While these two could be the Pied Pipers of Hamelin as some suggest, or the Source of our Salvation, as others hope for, the truth is…only time will tell.

But and it is a BIG BUT, bigger than all the BUTTS put together,  if we don’t make an effort and if in our personal animosities and in our pettiness, and in our prejudices, and perhaps misguided reading of the tea leaves and the stars or misguided by our own frames of intellectual references and our anger towards these two, we try and douse this fire and desire for Change, we are certain to perish or fall to such lows ….God Forbid…perhaps never to rise again.

So let us all support these forces of change and let us also be cautioned that in this desire for Change let us not open the doors to authoritarianism or military dictatorship, while getting rid of this horrible putrid old order.

And also let not the frailties and perhaps imperfections of IK and TUQ (and pretty small compared to the horrors of the Sharif’s, Zardaris, Khans,  Rehmans etc) cloud our objectivity and our judgement. 

We must make a go of it.

For in this imperfect world, we just have to make do with what we have, wherever we are, in the best way we can.

 

Why we must support Change…………….even if we don’t like Imran Khan or Dr Tahir Ul Qadri

 

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