Middle East Conudrum

It was after a thirty year war that continental Europe came on to the negotiation table to sign a truce. The Peace of Westphalia resulted in two major developments: first, the nation sate system; second, freedom of religion. The turbulent region of Middle East is devastated by the ravages of ethnic, sectarian and political problems. Moreover the regional and international proxy wars have exacerbated the crisis. Enter ISIS, a so called terrorist sate, has taken hold of the key strategic locations of the Syria and Iraq. Furthermore, tight grip of the Arab dictators on their countries is loosening which has resulted in one of the most brutal dictatorial regimes in the region. All these factors demand a political solution to a growing human crisis in Near East Firstly, the sectarian conflict in Iraq has worsened since the US led invasion of Iraq. The shiittes, though majority have mostly been living under the Sunnite minority in Iraq. The Baath part of saddam Hussain was a military junta which ruled the country before 2003. Alienating the Sunnite population, the Iraqi government paved the way for violent revolt of Sunnite and in some cases the former Baath party workers. Al-Qaida used this confusion to its own advantage by making a foot base first in syria and then in Iraq.
The curious mix of ethnic and sectarian violence has added fuel to already burning middle east. Belonging to a minority ,the partisan government of Asad family belongs to alwi branch of Shiite tree ; whereas, the former Baat part was a Sunnite led military junta, former ruling over Sunnite majority whereas latter ruling over a Shiite majority. The situation changed , however, after the American invasion on Iraq. The military elements , of former Baath party , now the self prescribed warriors of Islam , led a successful revolt against Iraqi government.With their allies gone, Iraqi government was unable to check the isis advance. The Syrian government was soon threatened by the bold projections of isis into its own territories. Rather to pacify its population, the Bashar ul asad used force onits own population. To support its arab ally, Iranian government started supporting his regime .

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia have extended its support to Syrian rebels; whereas, the iranian government has given arms to Iraqi Shia militias. Further, the regional and international proxies on both sides have failed to deliver a negotiated settlement. The old cold war politics has come to its play. Putin has not only delivered material support to Syrian regime but also provided military personnel to defend the incumbent president. On the other hand, the iraqu government has been supported by the American and NATO alliance on its fight against isis.To this mix the entry Ethnic Kurds ,though snit, but fighting purely on national terms have evoked a Turkish response. With problem of its own Kurdish elements, the Turkish military has a launched a offense to not only stop isis but also to deny the kurds a defacto state in Iraq and Syria. This jungle of warlordism requires taming.

To borrow a liberal metaphor, the jungle needs to be turned into a zoo. How can we achieve a peace in middle east because what happens to Iraq happens to arab world and what happens to Arab world happens to all of Islamic world. We need to use the auspices of both regional and international organizations, both humanitarian and political , to broker a peace deal. The totalitarian regimes need to give into democratic aspirations of their people but only through a peaceful transitions. International community needs to play a constructive not a destructive role in this affair. The regional players should respect the territorial integrity of sovereign states. What middle east needs is another Westphalia.

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Under-representation of women in higher judiciary of Pakistan

Unfortunately Pakistan is the only country in South Asia that has never appointed a female judge in her Supreme Court.Currently the number of women serving as the judges of respectable High Courts is seven which is alarming. There are only 5.8% judges in the higher judiciary of Pakistan according to a report by HRCP.

It was in 1994, when the then Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto , appointed the first female judge of Pakistan.It is a common perception that when the time came to appoint the respectable judge, Khalida Rashid from Peshawar to the higher office, she was given choice either to be a nominee of Pakistan in International Criminal Court or to leave .This is a terrible example of gender discrimination in the higher judiciary.

Women are underrepresented in the higher judiciary of Pakistan . It is a terrible trend that a country with 51% female population has only 5.6% of female judges. Women can adjudicate better when it comes to their own gender rather than men. Male chauvinism, religious hypocrisy, governmental indifference and the judicial status quo has aggravated the problem.

Solutions

1 There should be a compulsory female quota in judiciary.Government should reconsider its response on the Bill Introduced by MQM MNA Saman Sultana Jafri about the amendment to the Supreme Court Act, 1997.

2 There should not be any gender discrimination in selection procedure of judges for Supreme Court and High Courts. Currently there is no female judge appointed in Islamabad High Court.

3 There should be more female judges in Sharia Court. Only one is not enough in its history of 33 years.

4 Government should promote women participation in judicial sector by all means at its disposal.This starts from getting more women to enroll in law departments throughout the country.

5 Safer and Respectable work environment for female judges is to be ensured.

6 There should be new legislation for this purpose

7 Pakistan should fulfill its responsibility arising from her commitment to international agreements like CEDAW and Bejing declaration

Istanbul, We are with you

No one has the right to be the judge jury and executioner. No one has the right to deny anybody the freedom of speech and certainly not the right to live. I first as a human being and then as Muslim citizen of Pakistan vehemently condemn this barbaric attack on Istanbul and with the same breadth I also strongly condemn the attacks on western cities in the recent few years.

The people who commit such heinous crimes are sick minded individuals who need to be stopped at any cost. These few deranged individuals do not represent the clear picture of a faith professed by billion of people around the globe. To generalize a Muslim with a terrorist is nothing but prejudiced negative stereotyping.As once I read somewhere that the problem with stereotypes is not that they are inherently wrong but that the are oversimplified broad generalizations that may not be true for a particular individual.

The recent wave suicide bomb attacks on Pakistan and Turkey shows that these countries are not the perpetrators or the instigators of these atrocities but the mere victims of these monstrous attacks. Here the question arises that why the not the mainstream media global media gives an equal coverage to these despicable horrors within Muslim countries to show the real situation .I would not call this blind spot as willful ignorance of the facts which  may give rise to a perception in the west that the Muslim countries are exporting terrorism which is an entirely fallacious argument.

Let us not bow down to fear . Let us stand together and fight together against this evil not as east or west but as humans . let us live together in a peaceful harmonious way which maybe a naive dream of a Utopian world  but that is my dream.

 

Mughals in Paintings : Part 1

This post only explores the history of Mughal empire through a visual aesthetics of medieval era 

Mughal dynasty ruled India from 1526 to 1857. Mughals rulers have from turko_mongol ancestry. The first rule of the dynasty was Babur who defeated the Ibrahim of Lodhi Dynasty ,ruler of Delhi,  in the first battle of Panipat  in 1526 .

Painting of Babur

Painting of Babur

1 battle of panipat .Babur

1 battle of panipat .Babur

After the death of Babur his only son Humayun succeded him. He was overthrown by a brilliant military general Sher Shah Suri ,who tried to establish his own rule in India by defeated the emperor and forced him to take refuge in Persia . After the death of Sher Shah Humayun marched back to India and restored the monarchy

painting_of_humayun

painting_of_humayun

Humayun in exile

Humayun in exile

Humayun marched back to reclaim his throne

Humayun marched back to reclaim his throne

Humayun died shortly after his return to India leaving his son to sit on the throne of India at the young age of 13.Akbar tried to reconcile with the majority of the native population , who were Hindus, by abolishing Jizya (a tax on the non -Muslims) and taking steps to promote Hindus to the highest ranks of the government.Akbar launched a successful military campaign which resulted in the annexation of the various princely states with the Mughal Empire . In his reign Mughal foreign foreign relations improved with the other powers of the time.

Portrait_of_Akbar_by_Manohar

Elephants were used as military weapon

Elephants were used as military weapon

Akbar 's army besieging a city with the help of Mughal artillery

Akbar ‘s army besieging a city with the help of Mughal artillery

Akbar receiving his son and heir

Akbar receiving his son and heir

Jahngir was an idealist and a hopeless romantic . His love with a courtesan is still considered to be an epic love story in subcontinent. He was liberal ruler who , like his father, carried on the policy of tolerance towards other communities.

Portrait of emperor Shah Jahan

Portrait of emperor Shah Jahan

Celebrations at the accession of Jahangir

Celebrations at the accession of Jahangir

Mughal Diplomacy : Jahangir & Abbas I of Persia

Mughal Diplomacy : Jahangir & Abbas I of Persia

His son, Shah Jahan followed in his footsteps and also became a great lover. He built the famous Taj mahal for his dead wife Mumtaz Mehal.

images

the court of Shah Jahan

the court of Shah Jahan

Textbook Version of the History of Pakistan

( This is satirical piece which explores the textbook version of the History of Pakistan )

The text book version of the history which is being taught in Pakistani schools conveniently leaves some facts out of the picture while emphasizing others.  As a student, I have been taught an education curriculum which starts from the ancient civilizations of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa whose sole purpose is to tell that we are very different from Ganges civilization. So Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa can also be point added to our long list of two nation ideology   Invasion of Sind, by young Muhammad Bin Qasim comes next, who conquered Sind to help a damsel in distress. Next comes in line the great Mehmood Ghaznavi who attacked India and the territories that now include Pakistan , 17 times to establish the reign of peace. Iqbal’s Favourite Ayyaz was Mehmood’s slave turned brother which was a very loyal subject. This tells us the lesson that being loyal as a slave can revive the good old days for us. the next chapter includes Dehli Sultans who were good and wise rulers who kept the majority of Indians who happen to be Hindus kept in line by using strict disciplinarian measures. Yes, they were also the great Muslims too.

The next chapter in our history and Pakistan studies books is about the Mughals. Mughals were great architects and lovers, if you don’t believe it just look at Taj Mahal , Red Fort and Shahi Qila Lahore and their harem  . First come Babur, who defeated his counterpart in the famous first battle of Panipat and established the noble and pious Mughal dynasty. Babur was succeeded by his son Humyun who was a weak ruler due to his love for trinity of evil women, luxury, and infidels. Akbar, God damn him, was not such a pious ruler. He tried to rule justly over both Hindus and Muslims which made many Muslims question his sanity. The topic of Jodha Akbar is not included in our history textbooks because it was an unholy matrimony and just a political alliance and not something worth of troubling our young minds with. Jahangir was a great lover, first he seduced Anar Kali by his princely charms then his love exploits include the marriage with Noor jahan . His son, Shah Jahan followed in his footsteps and also became a great lover. He built the famous Taj mahal for his dead wife and made a huge change in the architecture of tombs by first time introducing a new shape to bury the dead since the times of pyramids in ancient Egypt..There is some western propaganda about spending huge sums of money on a building but not on the welfare or education of the people which is a total lie. After making this wonder there was no left over money to spend on frivolities like welfare of the masses. Next came the true Muslim ruler, Aurangzeb, his first noble ordeal was to imprison his father and to kill his brother in the name of Islam. A few of his other achievements include the numerous assassination, unnecessary expansion of the Mughal Empire and emptying his treasury. He was the last great ruler of Mughal Empire and is considered a saint for his numerous atrocities.

Next mughal rulers were weak so therefore we only mention their weakness in our textbooks.

Invasion of Nadir Shah of Iran, expansion Maratha Empire and Sikh Intrusions to Delhi left mughal baffled .The central authority of the mugahls weakened, which led to the establishment of hundreds of the small and big princely states. In between all of this mayhem there was second and third battle of Panipat .Students particularly fell victim in remembering the name of belligerents and the dates.

The British period started from the establishment of East India Company. Once British paid taxes to Indians to trade, later they started collecting taxes form Indians for trade. “Company Bahudur” which translates into the brave company, perfected the golden rule of, “divide and rule”. In 1757 the British defeated the Nawab (Lord) of Bengal and gained the first foothold in India, which was due to the treachery of some army officers in his ranks. According to our textbooks, this was actually the wrath of God and not the combination of discipline and better technology of the British. Later a nuisance was created by Tipu Sultan, who was only succumb, by the British after their treacherous diplomatic alliances with the neighbor princely states which were later consumed by the colonial giant by using the same treatment. There is almost a consensus between the desi writers in India and Pakistan, which is itself a strange thing, that the British victories had nothing to do with their bravado or military genius of the British forces but were actually the result of monsoon. Pakistani textbooks mention nothing about his earlier defeats which lead to the final siege of his capital in which he was killed. You may wonder if he was doing so great then what went wrong which led to his eventual demise, but you are wrong in thinking because first of all a student is not to think but to remember . Second it is not the scope of the textbook to discuss the short comings of the Muslim rulers. Our textbook mention no Hindus or Sikhs in their freedom struggles against the colonialism .Once asked about this, one of the authors of a textbook said, on the condition of  keeping his name confidential that it is the duty Indian authors to promote their own heroes not ours and it can also tone down the hate between two sates which could be totally against the spirit of the books.

The war of independence of 1857 also commonly known as Indian mutiny culminated the struggle against the British tyranny .Books mention numerous reason for the starting of the war but fail to mention good reasons for the failure of revolt. Maybe it was due to new rules of engagement by the British in which elephants were kept out War Theater. Some authors claim that the war was lost before it even started because English forces cheated by using technology in an otherwise conventional warfare

Age of Discovery: The Two Nation Theory 1857-1940

The search for the two nation theory begins from this period of time. It is believed that the intelligentsia of newly founded Pakistan sat together after the independence and read each and every statement of the Muslims Hindu and British leadership alike to gather all the quotations for two nation theory which now boast the collection of 4 to 6 quotes.

Now I would like to mention a few short bibliographies of our forefathers being taught in our course books

Allama Iqbal

He was a great philosopher and poet .He wrote poetry in Urdu and Persian. His Urdu poetry is so difficult that some Pakistanis believe it to be some kind of Persian dialect. The main themes in his poetry include ego (Khudi), greatness of early generations of Muslims  and Gabriel his favorite buddy. He is also credited with one or two vague quotes about establishing a Muslim state in India.

Sir Syed Ahemd Khan

The old pictures of a man with huge beard are known to be of Syed Ahmed khan.His major contribution to the freedom struggle includes establishing a chain of few schools much like beacon house ,roots and APS but on much smaller scale. He told Muslims to get foreign education, learn English and obey English rule. Unlike the infamous Mir Jafar and Mir Sadiq who are still abused for colluding with British, he is considered a to be hero to work alongside the British. He was nobody in Delhi before the war broke out, after that he made something of himself. He was a prolific writer who publish everything that he had written along with some of other people’s work

An Essay on Quaid e Azam   (10/10)

Quaid e Azam was born as Muhammad Ali Jinnah on 25 December 1876. He was the son of Poonjah Jinah .He went to England to get higher education. He was married before his visit to abroad as it was the tradition in those days to save the young lads from getting into the trouble of falling in for “Gori Maims”. He came back and started practicing law. He was, is and will be the greatest lawyer to ever live on the face of earth. He joined Indian National Congress to pursue peace but was disappointed to see that Congress only wanted to free India from English rule. He also joined Muslim League, at that time it was known as All India Muslim League which has nothing to do with the Q League of today. Rattanbai fell in love with Quaid because he was the most handsome, good looking and the tallest man in the whole world .At this stage, he was further disappointed by the conditions in India. He went back to England to relax and chill. When he came back he envisioned a new country in a dream. In 1940 he announced that a new country for Muslims is in making .He worked day and night to make Pakistan. On August 14, 1947 Pakistan came to be, only due to the efforts of one man and little tiny bit help from AIML

After the independence of Pakistan he made a lot of speeches in which the speech of 11 August 1947 is of no importance to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. He also introduced a lot of new government organizations which went bad and rogue after the death of great Quaid except the chivalrous armed forces of Pakistan which have saved our country on numerous occasions. He died on 11 September 1948, maybe of some conspiracy either of western or domestic nature.

In the last I’ll be talking about the history of Pakistan

Sind

Muhammad Bin Qasim invaded Sind in 712. After that there is no mention of Sind in the history books before the birth of Quaid e Azam.

Punjab

Islam spread through saints in this area who opted for Sufi poetry to spread their message. By the way, there is no mention that the famous saint patron of Lahore Data Gunj Bakkhsh came with army of Mehmood, the warlord of Ghazni. Lahore and Multan were and still are the major cities of Punjab. The next reference about Punjab comes as the birthplace Allama Iqbal. A few books mention some kind of Sikh era in Punjab but it is portrayed more of as fiction then as reality ,  so student don’t bother to inquire about it.

KP

The first time we hear about KP is as a border dispute more commonly known as Durand Line. Formerly known as NWFP (North Western Frontier Province) , because of its geographical location it is believed by some to a frontier province in the north west of British India.

Baluchistan

Sorry no record was found.

Kashmir

Kashmir was unlawfully bonded in a forceful marriage with India. Since the ancient times the valley of Jammu and Kashmir is the integral part of Pakistan. A same kind of claim is also put forward by India which is not the acceptable version in Pakistani textbooks.

History of Pakistan

From Quaid to trembling democracy 1948-1958

It is mentioned in every textbook that Pakistan is now the “promised land” of the “chosen people “after the fall Israelites from the eyes of Gods. Quaid was the philosopher king as mentioned by the Plato. After him, much like what happened after Aurangzeb, his successors fought with each other over the politics of Pakistan. It is said in some ancient chronicles of that time that angels help the first constitutional assembly of Pakistan to draft Objective Resolution as the pretext of the constitution. But the constitution of 1956 was not so fortunate; it died as an infant just two years after its birth.

Conclusion

  • Politicians are a treacherous race
  • Law making is a difficult time and taking process
  • Pakistan is no less then America as nobody in America knows who killed Kennedy, we Pakistani people also don’t know about the murderer of Liaqaut Ali Khan.
  • Bureaucracy is of no use.
  • Our foreign policy can be summarized as

We love China, China loves us back (strictly platonic love)

We hate India, India hates us back (divorced)

We love Muslim countries (bros before hos)

A for Allah, A for aid, A for America, A for Afghanistan

General Ayub

Pakistan army could not anymore be the mere spectator. General Ayub has the moral, legal, social, religious ……..  Responsibility to save Pakistan form clutches of the democratically elected corrupt politicians. General Ayaub was also the Mujahid e Awal in indo-pak war of 1965

Contributions

Made one unit

Gave Pakistan a new constitution of 1962

Made new press laws to curb the freedom of speech

Pakistan was able to defeat enemy aggression of a much larger Indian army. Pakistani Armed forces were now in a position to recapture Delhi and reestablish the Muslim empire on Mughal grounds. According to few neutral sources this is a lie but our books clearly mention the golden rule of spotting a liar which states “who says you that you are a liar is actually a liar himself”,which says a lot.

General Yayha and peaceful fall of Bangladesh

There was a peaceful transition of power from a General Ayub to General Yayha. Pakistan had successfully developed and adapted an undemocratic form of government system. General Yahayha was a drunk and fool. He appointed military personnel as the governor general of Bengal colony.

A few clarifications

Pakistani armed forces are comprised of saints so the baseless allegations of rape and genocide against them are baseless

We were not defeated in Bangladesh by any standards to save the countless lives of enemy combatants in an unnecessary war, we voluntarily surrendered our arms (obviously it was western pressure if we would have fought we would have won the war. Note here the same principle of grammar composition is involved ,if ali would have studies ali would have passed the exams)

The Bolshevik Bhutto

Mr. Bhutto is considered to be of Pakistani origin and the only communist to own thousands of acres of land   .In his famous speech Mr Bhutto claimed to drink a little to avoid drinking human blood. This does not tell us anything about whether Mr. Bhutto was a vampire or not. Mr. Bhutto was the father of Benazir Bhutto, the future prime minister of Pakistan. He established the new democratic party/dynasty of Bhutto which has ruled intermittently with House of Nawaz /democratic part known as PMLN. He is also famous for hosting OIC meeting in Lahore. Some conspiracy loving historians say that the west could not see Muslim block so they …..(the text is missing due to the legal spying of NSA).

Mr. Bhutto himself conducted elections and made sure that free and fair election would only result in his victory. After angry protest against the rigging in the elections, So , once again to save the country army took over . Here the most famous dictum associated with history repeats itself is rejected.

By applying a logical principle

If Army takes over, elections are rigged (1970s)

Elections are rigged (2014)

Therefore, Army takes over (2015)

As it did not happen, hence we can reject the hypothesis

General Zia ul Haq

He is also known as the father of the extremism. His first act as the non-democratically elected ruler was to hang Mr. Bhutto. As per the military tradition of his predecessors he also conducted free and fair elections. He considered himself as the savior and avatar of some dead Muslim general. Despite not fighting any real war he is credited by some for defeating the USSR in Afghanistan , thus ending the cold war and bringing peace and prosperity to not only the Pakistan but to the whole world. He is also the jihadist per excellence to reinvent the concept of Jihad.He is the only Pakistani dictator to successfully export the two nation theory to Afghanistan

There are others in Pakistan who claims general Zia to be the anti-Christ. They blame the general to bring intolerance to otherwise an already intolerant society. Feminists and human right activists believe him to be incarnation Hitler

He is not related to the cricketers Inzama ul Haq and Misbah ul Haq.

The Westminster style of sporadic dynastical democracy was introduced in Pakistan in late 1980s. The order of the Succession is

Benazir Bhutto

The PPP government was dismissed after the charges of corruption

Nawaz Sharif

The PML government was dismissed after the charges of corruption

Benazir Bhutto

The PPP government was dismissed after the charges of corruption

Nawaz Sharif

The PML government was dismissed after the charges of corruption

 

A short history of the first dynasty of Roman Empire

Augustus : First of his name , defeated the love birds Mark Antony and Cleopatra and turned the republic into empire
Tiberius : Assassinated a lot of people to make sure that he remains as an emperor
Caligula : Mad and sexaholic
Claudius : Attacked and conquered England
Nero : was mad and burned down the Rome
(end of story)

In the recent wave of terrorist attacks in Kuwait, Tanzania and France the world has seen some brutal and devastating attacks on unarmed civilians. These terrorist attacks are condemnable.  These attacks are not only unethical but immoral too.

Terrorism has defaced the image of Islam as a religion. The image of Islam as a conservative and fundamentalist has been reinforced in international community.

But we have to remember a very important thing here is that majority of the Muslims are not the perpetrators but the victims of terrorism. The majority has been taken hostage by a minority of militant fraction. This is the reason that not a single legitimate government in Islamic world supports the terrorist agenda.

The exceptions to this rule are the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and newly formed ISIS or ISIL in Iraq and Jordan. ISIS and Taliban are not a unified government structure but a cabal of warlords enforcing their own brand of Islamic law (Sharia). Interestingly the rise of both Taliban and ISIS is linked with the collapse of central government due to direct foreign invasion. The militant organizations have vainly tried to draw their legitimacy as the freedom fighting force against the foreign military intervention.

Muslim world has been divided in the Shiite and Sunnite factions since the very beginnings of Islam. Saudi Arab as the champions of Sunni faith and Iran as the defender of Shiite ideology have been involved in the proxy war played throughout the realm of Islam. The sectarian conflict has also fueled terrorism.

Terrorism has caused a backlash and reaction in the Muslim world. Majority of the Muslims not only denounce terrorism but also support the steps taken to eradicate terrorism within and outside Islamic world. This is perhaps the misplaced aggression against west who they feel responsible for the all the evil in their life. Why misplaced aggression because the real reason for terrorism lies in their own religious intolerance and lack of education