freedom1

 

Freedom is something so subjective, yet many people claim to know what it exactly is. They discuss it as if they own freedom. The fact is, in this world, there was never a singular or mutually accepted definition of freedom. If there was a single version of freedom, the world would have been a peaceful place as that version would have been implemented a long time ago. Let’s listen to a fictitious conversation between four people in Liberty Market Lahore discussing freedom. The characters are Rocky (The far-leftist), Hussein (The far-rightist), Chaudhry (The businessman) and Butt (The average Joe).

 

Rocky: Guys freedom is the freedom to do whatever you wanna do. I think we should have casinos, dance clubs, bars.. basically …like..everything in Lahore. Why not you know? Why the hell not? Even marijuana should be legalized. California is about to do so. We should stop thinking stone age and progress towards a tolerant society that provides complete freedom to all kinds of lifestyles! Why should anyone care if I drink a couple of Tequilas with my friends at a bar? Ek to yeh daarhi waalay.. argh…

 

Hussein: Tauba karo kaafir. Pakistan was found in the name of religion. People like Rocky will never understand the value of true freedom. True freedom means implementing Islamic laws that protect our eyes and hands from engaging in any kind of unislamic activities. Thank god they are implementing the Sharia law in Northeast Pakistan. Now watch how that place gets showered with God’s blessings. That’s freedom to you my brother whose imaan has gone astray.

 

Chaudhry: Stop this religion spat guys. Freedom means “free” market enterprise. The freedom to do whatever you wanna do to make quick money. Imposing any kind of religious or judicial laws on how we make money is utter BS. Stop cutting zakaat from my fixed deposits. Stop imposing taxes on rich people like me. The government never puts these taxes to use anyway. It all goes into Zardari’s pocket. Please stop this liberal-conservative drama and talk serious business.

 

Butt: Freedom is whatever way Geo News defines it to be.

06anger

I was watching Oprah yesterday where she was discussing abusive husbands in her show. It just made me think about how a male in the Pakistani society can get away with so much because of his gender. His abusive nature or poor anger management is ignored (and even admired) by comments like “bahut garam khoon hay”, “Mughlon waala ghussa hay”, “kabhi kabhi paara charh jaata hay” and even “angry young man hay”. The fact is anyone overreacting (by getting verbally or physically abusive) when angry has a problem. The problem needs professional treatment. Again in Pakistani culture seeking professional help for behavioral issues is considered humiliating or embarrassing. So if an “angry young man” is asked to go to an Anger Management therapist, he would decline the offer without giving it a single thought. It’s sad and has to change. But nonetheless it is very important that we educate each other on the cures and most importantly, the symptoms of anger! I have managed to compile this list by filtering some online researches I made. I think the following symptoms are more familiar to our culture.

 

ü       Explosive outbursts resulting in damage of property (bartan torna) or physical attack (kisi ki phainti lagaana ya kisi ko chapaire karaana)waterball_by_wasiolka

ü       Exaggerate hostility to unimportant irritants (Tumhaari problem kya hay ? Khaanay may itna zyada namak kyun daala!!!??)

ü       Rapid and harsh judgments made about others (Ye saara Shumaila ka kiya dhara hay!!!!)

ü       Use of body language such as tense muscles or clenched fist.

ü       Social withdrawal due to anger (Tum log khaana khao, mujhay bhook nahi hay I’m going to bed)

ü       Refusing to following instructions or rules (Nahi karoonga may homework kya karlaingi aap?)

ü       Verbal abusive language is utilized (Uss saalay ki to #%^#$&^&##^)

 

 

I know some of them sound really normal to many but they aren’t. Many of these “normal” reactions evolve into more serious issues later in life.

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Pakistan now faces a bigger threat than ever with the security situation deteriorating faster than Dow Jones. One single element for the fast declining safety condition is “suicide terrorism”. We don’t know who exactly these terrorists are. Media keeps telling us they either belong to the Taliban groups, Lashkar e Tayyaba or the Die Hard 2 fan club. Whichever groups they belong to, I personally believe they can be fixed. How can we fix them exactly? Introduce them to technology! These dudes need something to keep themselves busy with. They are obviously bored. So bored that they are ready to give their lives for just about anything. Anything at all. Even for really trivial stuff like lassi and pulao. Just a few ideas on how to effectively use technology to distract these suicide bombers.…

 

  • Build movie multiplexes in the Northern areas. Play Shahrukh Khan’s bubblegum romance movies. I can assure you these movies will soften the hearts of these terrorists. They wouldn’t kill a fly afterwards forget human beings. A smart idea would be to substitute Coca Cola with Makkah Cola at the popcorn stands. Try to keep the atmosphere as jew-free as possible.

 

  • Perpetually repeat telecast all seasons of “Friends”. It will get the terrorists occupied. Change the name of the characters. Ross can be Rizwan, Chandler can be Cheema, Joey can be Jawad, Monica can be Mehreen, Rachael can be Raheela and Phoebe can be Phauzia.

 

  • Build huge malls in these areas. Open outlets that cater to very specific needs of these people. Designer pagris (with bullet pouches), steel toe peshawri chappals and Junaid Jumshed kurtas (blood stain resistant). Do not under any circumstances open any “gora” outlets!

 

  • Bring Internet to these areas. Help them create facebook accounts. Create customized facebook applications for them. It’s bound to get them addicted to facebook. Some facebook applications that might work are “Which kaafir is this?”, “Osama vs. Obama” and “Best ways to kill yourself!”.

 

  • Provide them with Nintendo Wiis with a good supply of customized war games. The villain should always be Amreeka or Israel. Make sure the player always wins or else he might take his anger out somewhere “else”!

 

  • Get them addicted to the “I Phone”. Give them unlimited access to free I Phone application downloads. This will keep them busy for a long long while….

 

tali

Not the best month for Pakistan. Political stability “supposedly” improved, financial strength deteriorated and Pakistan is obviously losing its war against terrorism. Not only has it been unable to control the attacks, but rarely is a suspect or a terrorist captured. Being from Lahore, I know how crowded the “Liberty chowk” can get. It amazes me on how a couple of fanatics gunned down numerous policemen and open fired at the Sri Lankan team’s bus without getting caught. It was a big failure for Pakistan’s government but no resignation announcements came. Instead of focusing on throwing the ball in each other’s court; the national, provincial and local governments should have collectively focused on capturing the culprits. Shameful! Let’s have a quick recap of March now.

 

March 3rd – 8 gunmen attack the Sri Lankan cricket team near Liberty Market, sri-lanka-team-attacked-11Lahore. Around a dozen policemen die. Two Sri Lankan players get shot. 250 suspects arrested but none really turned out to be affiliated with the real assailants.

 

March 16th – Pakistan’s president (Gillani? Right?) reinstates the sacked judges including Iftikhar Chaudhry.

 

March 28th – Governor Rule in Lahore comes to an end as per Zardari’s orders.

 

drone_attack_obama_090123_mnMarch 29th – Obama promises that there shall be no more Drone attacks in Pakistan without taking Pakistan’s approval (Pakistan’s approval or Zardari’s consent?)

 

March 30th – Ten terrorists (dressed as policemen) attack the police training centre in Marwan (near Lahore) and kill about a dozen police recruits. One terrorist actually gets caught while 3 blow themselves up to avoid arrest.

 

March 31st – Shehbaz Sharif gets restored as the Chief Minister of Punjab. Pakistan receives USD 840 million from IMF and USD 500 million from World Bank. Zardari takes out his calculator.

 

Lahore stayed in the news mostly for the bad reasons this month. Hope April brings some hope and peace to Pakistan.

 

 

The prestigious Foreign Policy Magazine has released a list of the top 13 biggest losers (in terms of reputation) in the world. Guess who inadvertently made it to the top 5?

 

 

  1. Josef Fritzel
  2. The pope
  3. Bernie Madoff
  4. Chris Dodd
  5. Asif Ali Zardari

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Yes ours truly, Asif Zardari is there just behind people like Madoff and Fritzel. Actions are being taken against Madoff and Fritzel as they sit behind bars waiting for gruesome punishments. Even Chris Dodd has been media-targeted heavily and might even appear in court very soon to explain the failure and malpractices at AIG. But Zardari, who is as disrespected abroad as he is within the country, enjoys the presidency of a country with a 170 million strong population. Unfair! Pakistanis need a better representative. Someone who has actually gone to a real college and not some “fake” university Zardari’s resume includes. Pakistanis need someone whose criminal record isnt full of hundreds of bullet points highlighting corruptions, murders and power abuses. Pakistanis need someone who actually intends to solve the crises the nation faces today. I hope Zardari’s tenancy contract at the Presidential house expires sooner than expected.

 

Humaari Qaum Bechari ki Pehchaan Zardari?