I regret it…but we did not know

I regret it…but we did not know

Sadia had been going around in a haze for a few days. Her children were depressed too, so not much help there either. It was natural! Her umbrella for 45 years, her dear father was gone. Nothing could reconcile one to knowing she will never hear him speak again.

Then she remembered. His last day, he had said read the message I have left you in the drawer beside my bed. It jolted her into action. How could she be so remiss to forget?

The envelope had a feel as if she was talking to him. It was addressed to her.

‘Beta, much as I could tell you this now, I feel you would like it with you as my last message. It is my absolute regret that, I leave you and your family to face uncertain times. That it is directly mine and my generations fault, I am totally convinced. Our only excuse is that we did not understand the consequences of our lack of action. So the purpose of this note is to recognize how such small errors can be amplified, to what we have become today and so give you a blueprint of things to watch out for.

The two actions which we all watched and did not see the significance of, were both in 1953 stemming out of the Ahmadiya riots. We were troubled that rioting and killing was happening in Lahore and so when General Azam was brought to suppress the riots via Martial Law, we breathed a sigh of relief. On the back of that, came Khawaja Nazimuddin’s dismissal for failure to control the riot. Justice Munir then applied the “doctrine of necessity” and called for elections, rather than declare the action illegal. Such little events and many among us applauded them too- applauded in relief that peace and status quo was maintained.

Those two actions changed our world and to this day we pay for the events. In later years, General Ayub and Iskandar Mirza used the Azam Martial Law as a precedent and the Legal justification was amplified by the “doctrine of necessity”. Beta, when it happened in 1958, very few of us saw deep enough, though some were troubled by the actions. But what it did was it created the psyche of the quick fix; time and again we went down this route. The end was more important than the means.

When you take the first wrong step, little do you realize the eventual mutations which prevail half a century later? We were an upstanding country, with good systems, fairness, good quality manpower and generally a meritocracy. We had come from being bankrupt in Sept 1947 to being considered the most important Muslim country. All that changed!

First step we killed our meritocracy, then threw fairness out, with bad consequences in future years. Ayub’s Pakistan was prosperous, but favorites rode on a high horse. It resulted in the disasters of 1971, as unfairness thrived. We not only lost a war, but we lost our country, our vision and our passion. People lost faith in Pakistan and from that day the slide was incessant, through Bhutto’s army actions in Baluchistan and the quota system, Zia’s Martial Law, the ISI interference in 1990, the awful musical chair of the 90s, the Martial Law of Musharraf and finally our reliance on blood money post 9/11. Sure we rose up at times, infact three times in 1968, 1977 and 2007. But the result of an adhoc uprising was even more horrendous, each time the system becoming worse than before. We simply did not follow evolution, we went for quick fixes.

Beta, my message to you and others around you is simple…righteousness has no equal. The long right way is the best way, even if it means suffering in the middle. I do not judge on the type of government, but I do know that wrong will abet evil and evil will never triumph. We have gone from short cuts, compromises and good intentions, to being on the wrong side of goodness. Till we make amends in this character flaw, we will throw up the same stuff and society will descend further into the quagmire, with terminal consequences. You cannot find gold in a dump of sewerage.

So do not compromise on what is right, stand up and be counted.  I failed and my generation failed. History’s lesson is that this generation must rise and take back its right to do good once again. The rest of success will follow, Inshallah. May Allah bless you and the family and may Allah guide our people.’



Sadia with tears in her eyes sent the note to the newspapers for printing. Her fight had begun.

Kallar Kahar recalls

Kallar Kahar recalls

I sit here now in Kallar Kahar and today the cars speed by on the M2, going to their busy destination. But I have seen different times also, when the plains in front were all forest and Babur came by with his armies for a tryst with greatness at Panipat. He sat in my bosom for months on the Takht-e-Babri, loving the local loquats, while his army rejuvenated and prepared to meet Ibrahim Lodhi and change history.

Down the plains, long ago in the age of man, the civilizations of Indus lived in peace. The Indus was mighty then and raged like a torrent and in monsoon season you could not see one bank from the other. I remember a young lad who landed at Debal on the Arabian Sea with his army to take on Dahir Sen. He came with vision and inspiration and conquered too. But this land is all enduring and either it conquers you or you depart. Muhammad bin Qasim went and never returned. But like most he left a legacy for this land to absorb and even today they remember him.

Up north, I vividly recall the sunlit day when Alexander crept across the Torkham and sneaked into the pass of Khyber. Then when his armies had crossed and strong in numbers, he rushed down to the Jhelum, just next door to me. Was that a battle and Porus stood proud in defeat and Alexander was suddenly tired. The battle lust gone; he turned away. But some others were tired too and they did not go with him. Instead they wandered by, went into Hunza, and were relieved to find a land to settle near the Kailash. For two millennia I saw them live a life of peace, unadulterated, lost to civilization. Now …well they are being assimilated into this advanced world.

In the beginning when the land came and hit the Asian tectonic plate, I was formed and for hundreds of millions of years kept rising. Great pressure was applied on me and salt formed and it was a painful period. But I too endured, now am upstanding and watch the comings and goings of man in this plain, which spreads from the Himalayas and Karakorum down to the sea. I have seen great upheavals and changes and then at the tail end man, self important, small, and very potent. He changes things at bewildering speed and has no consideration for others.

In a miniscule amount of time, man took away the forests. Those lovely, friendly trees, who would converse during the day, waving away. We would talk about the dinosaurs, ice age and the animals. Then one day in some corner there was a strange busy creature and he had a new item called fire. It caused wonder, but it scared everyone. We learned that he called himself man and was like no other. Selfish and totally at one, with his own needs. Such was his outlook! We saw him grow and then history formed. His history; not ours! He was a predator par excellence, because he could think and he could talk. But he had a weakness too. He differentiated within himself. First, against his own mother and then against his older people. Later he exploited his weak ones and formed into tribes and hunted and killed his own kind. As I said selfish and at one with his own needs.

Some decades ago these local tribes drove away the light colored ones. They were a species like Alexander’s people, but colder and more calculating. With a few thousand people they ruled over this land for centuries and used the local ones against themselves. They stripped the place and caused starvation and poverty; took away the culture and language. It was painful to watch such evil visited on this local civilization, which were in my sight for 8000 years.*

Then the local ones got wise and drove away the farangi.  But I knew what was coming! They came in their hordes from all over exchanging lands to be together and they had one passion only…to populate and make this land the land of the righteous. But they should have asked me. I know the land and I know its inhabitants. For eight millennia in the plains below me, the same drama has been played out. There have always been the ruling ones. From the time of Harappa, then Chandragupta Maurya, Prithvi Raj, Akbar and Ranjeet Singh. They all ruled and ruled for their own pleasure and preferences. The people were there to serve and the ruling ones lived in luxury. Their land, their crops, their livestock. The gold was theirs too and so were the women. In the end all belonged to them! The populace lived in submission, to serve and to be at beck and call. So why should this change with ideology? The DNA and genes are the same. They think and speak in terms of the ruler and man oppressed.

One day the sea will sweep back the land and reclaim it, the humans will be gone and equal in destruction. Till then the lands call is to serve its rulers and to subjugate its people. I…well I have patience eternal and I watch this drama and wait for the inevitable end.

*the Indus civilization circa 8000 years, not the first entry of man some 195000 years ago into India.

My Favourite Blogger

My Favourite Blogger

Sitting there reading blogs and comments by readers, it is fascinating how wrong perceptions occur due to varying filters. So the intention of what’s written is lost and the commentator forces their own perception on others. Then I realised, that in assessing the blog, I also do not know the intention of the blogger. I too am applying filters and my perception could be as wrong.


In the end, there seemed a call of conscience to figure out what do I actually believe in. Amazingly, the absolute core is not that many, which define my favourite blogger.


My favourite blogger should believe in one Allah and all his Prophets, specifically in Muhammad (saw). Out of that comes other stuff. This world is built for a purpose and we are going there. When that purpose is achieved, we shall come together on a cataclysmic day. In the meantime it’s a struggle between good and bad. 


In a typical day, my blogger believes in eating. Without that there is no survival. But food should be obtained honestly. He/she does not over consume, but loves sweet things and avoiding those sweet things is a daily struggle. So the blogger believes in controlled eating.


In the morning he/she should wake up with a larger intention, otherwise it’s a waste of time.  The blogger should dress accordingly, otherwise people (with their own filters) will not understand.


My blogger leaves home in a happy state of mind so as not to cause problems on the road and in their surrounds throughout the day. 


The blogger should believe in thinking out of the box and that life is an adventure. The brain has to think up new things, otherwise it stagnates. When new things happen, the evaluation should be with conscience, to see if it fits society and environment. If it does, then it is incumbent on him/her to try, because it’s for a larger purpose.


The blogger believes commerce is an essential. But, also believes, it is a red herring. Humanity should just search for enough…not more. The purpose of life is to develop oneself in ones environment, but not to become a ravenous collector. We belittle ourselves when we do that. So commerce should be limited, all corporate and money making institutions should be put in their secondary place. Not primary. Our titles should not define us. We should all come home by 5 pm.


The blogger believes in family and friendship. This can be immediate family, school friends, workers, colleagues and even people one meets in passing. Oh yes! He/she believes in optimism. No point in being cynical and thinking X will not work. If one gives up hope, one fails in life. It is a test of Allah.


The blogger also intensely believes in a lack of superiority. No one is superior to another and when they act superior, they should look at themselves in a mirror. They look like idiots! Everyone thinks they are right. Most of them are not! That is why the world is moving towards its final destination. In this regard, the blogger is often wrong and therefore not superior. Similarly people are good, unless they prove otherwise. If they prove otherwise, the blogger is good to them, as they might change. But he/she ring-fences them, so they do not cause harm. If they still harm one, well the compensation will be in the hereafter.


Our blogger believes in responsibility. Everyone has to be responsible.  So there is accountability based on delivery and results. But it starts with the self. As lead person, responsibility is the sum of those who report to him/her. So if they fail, first it’s the bloggers responsibility. He/she also strives to delegate to someone who does things better. Then there is teamwork! The blogger lives teamwork daily. 


During the day, our blogger believes in emotions. Laughter, anger, hurt, love, happiness, ecstasy. There is no need to hide it, but the blogger chooses the middle way and avoids extremes. 


He/she believes in politics and that it should be left of center. Humans need caring. But they should also be allowed to experiment. So entrepreneurship, capitalism and care should all be mixed together ideally and served as a khitchri. But the ruler needs to be the servant of the people rather than master. The ruler should not have to be guarded for safety, because then he/she has been doing things to drive people to extremes.


Let our blogger also believe in chilling out. There are times we need to do that.  It refreshes the mind. But hard work is good, as it keeps the mind busy and the body supple. Sports is essential – cricket, football, tennis, F1, golf, hockey, basketball, squash and snooker were made in that order of preference. Without a combination of these, life will not be worth living.


Our blogger believes in the environment, climate change etc and unless we do something, mankind’s judgment day is going to arrive soon, with water disappearing from our houses and tables; the consequences are obvious. But in his/her mind, it is still a positive, because sooner rather than later mankind will find a way to resolve this tragedy.


Then, the blogger believes in reading. Needs to read to find wisdom -not knowledge. If you read enough searching stuff, you will learn about yourself and life.  Lastly they believe in sleep. Without this blessing we will all collapse.


Maybe you should go and think about your ideal blogger.

*The photo is taken from Wylio, a free picture site

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