The Smashing Pumpkins Always Know What To Say
Peace will not come to this lonely heart
There are some things I'll live without
But I want you to know that I need you right now
The Smashing Pumpkins Always Know What To Say
You can't at whim and fancy convert from one religion to another.
The battle-lines between the Sunni sectarian groups and the government were now drawn and throughout 1999 there were thirty-six extra judicial killings of activists from the SSP [Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan] and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. The police were told that anyone who managed to kill Basra [Riaz Basra, head of LeJ] would be given a 5 million-rupee reward.
Despite this, the security forces proved incapable of controlling the militants' activities. Riaz Basra showed his contempt for the police's capabilities when he turned up at one of Nawaz Sharif's political surgeries. Having slipped in with the petitioners who wanted to see the prime minister, Basra positioned himself directly behind Nawaz Sharif and got one of his accomplices to take a picture. Three days later staff at the prime minister's house received a print of the photograph. The faces of Sharif and Basra, within a few feet of each other, had been circled and underneath there was an inscription: 'It's that easy.'
But if the only way to prevent Iran from being a nuclear weapons power is to destroy one or more facilities that will give them that capability I see no moral basis for rejecting that option.
Even after recognising that some of the information [on Iraq's WMD] was wrong, the judgment that Saddam proposed a threat and a serious threat was right.
'Oh I'm very religious. Got Milk?'
The record for bumblefuckery has been smashed, yet again. And kudos to Al Dastur for the last line, I loved it.
CAIRO -- A professor at Egypt's Islamic Al Azhar university Monday retracted a controversial religious edict which states that a woman can only be left alone with a strange man if she breastfeeds him.
Ezzat Attia, president of the university's Hadith department which studies traditions based on the Prophet Mohammed's words and deeds, withdrew his fatwa and apologized for any inconvenience he caused, in a statement distributed by Al Azhar, Sunni Islam's main seat of learning.
Attia's edict, which sparked an uproar in the media, stated that a woman can only be alone with a man to whom she is not related - such as an office colleague - if she nurses him "directly from her breast" at least five times.
In his retraction, Attia said the fatwa had been a result of his personal analysis of Islamic texts and was in fact "a bad interpretation of a particular case" during the time of Prophet Mohammed.
According to Mabruk Attia, a professor of theology at Al Azhar, the Prophet had advised a woman to nurse her adult adopted son, to become his wet nurse, following an Islamic ban on adoption.
The woman gave the man her milk from a bowl, and not directly from her breast, Mabruk Attia said.
The fatwa sparked a furore in Egyptian and Arab religious circles and in the press.
"If the country's top cleric himself had made the same statements, he would not be considered respectable," Malika Yussef, a professor of theology at Al Azhar told the weekly Al Karama paper. She said even debating the issue was "insane."
"When you walk into a government building, you should not be shocked to find a 50-year-old civil servant suckling his colleague," the independent daily Al Dustur said ironically after the fatwa was issued.
The World's Subways
My ex and I divorced nearly 10 years ago; we have two children and share custody. We have both since remarried, and our relationship is very friendly. Now that our children are older and busy, family time is harder to find, so we've decided to share beach week this year. He and his wife will take the first three days along with our two children and his stepdaughter. My husband and I will take the last four days. All the kids (his stepdaughter also) will stay for the entire week. He will pay for three days, and I will pay for four. If it were only our children going, that would be fine with me, but his stepdaughter will also be there, so I feel that he and his wife should pay for his stepdaughter's portion of the vacation. I prorated the costs, having him pay for one of our children's time at the house, me paying for one of our children's time, and he and his wife paying for his stepdaughter's time. I also included a proration schedule for the adults so that he pays only for three days for himself and his wife, with me paying the remaining four days for me and my husband. He thinks I'm nitpicking and we should not worry about the kids. Well, that's nice for his stepdaughter to get a free four-day beach vacation! How would you break down the pricing for this vacation?
How would I break down the pricing? I'm having a breakdown just thinking about your spreadsheet. What do you say to the stepdaughter at breakfast? "Caitlin, please, you've taken all the cream cheese the prorating allows." Your ex is right, you are being ridiculously nitpicky (could this have been an issue in your marriage?). Be glad everyone gets along, make sure they all wash off their feet before coming into the house, and leave the proration schedules for the office.
I think it's safe to say that Dear Prudence has found her way to my permanent reading list. The column has the added benefit of being named after my favorite Beatles song, so it's a no-brainer, really.
Goodbye Cruel World...
Don't paricularly want to add to the gloom currently enveloping the blog, but just read this story (courtesy metroblogging karachi)and fuck em all, seriously, fuck em all...
Here's an excerpt:
"Nobody came to collect the body of the elderly driver of an Edhi Ambulance, Serive Faiz-ur-Rahman, 65, to carrying out his funeral. Rahman was murdered in cold blood by rampaging terrorists on May 12 when he refused to throw out the injured man in his ambulance, who he was shifting to the hospital from in front of Karachi airport, which was one of the day’s battle grounds.
After keeping the body in the Edhi morgue for three days in the hope that some family members or relatives would come up to collect the body for his funeral, Faiz-ur-Rahman was buried as an ‘unclaimed’ person by his friends and employees of the Edhi Trust at the Mauch Goth graveyard in Karachi on Tuesday, hundreds of miles away from Naushehra, his ancestral town in the NWFP.
“On May 12 noon, terrorists were firing even on ambulances and no ambulance driver wanted to take the risk of moving injured and the dead from the battle ground. They were shooting at ambulances to keep them at a distance from the sites of their killing sprees,” an Edhi Trust employee recalls.
Faiz volunteered for the job and reached Wireless Gate near Karachi Airport despite intense firing, from where he picked up two injured, Zubair along with his two relatives as well as another unidentified person in critically wounded condition.
“At Chota Gate, some armed terrorists stopped the ambulance and asked Faiz-ur-Rahman to throw them out from the ambulance and let them die on the road. He refused, arguing he would even shift them (terrorists) to hospital if they get injured,” another Edhi ambulance driver and a colleague of deceased Faiz-ur-Rahman told The News requesting anonymity.
“On his refusal, one of the armed terrorist shot Faiz in the head from point-blank range. He was shot three times, once in the skull, then in the neck and later in the abdomen. It was a cold-blooded murder instead of what media reported as an accidental killing,” he claimed.
The merciless terrorists even went a step ahead and did not allow another Edhi ambulance driver to transport Faiz’s body to hospital. There was an attempt to burn the other ambulance, he informed adding that on intervention from one of their accomplices, they (terrorists) allowed him to remove the body."
Obama And His Prospects
The overwhelming first impression that you get - from the exhausted but vibrant stump speech, the diverse nature of the crowd, the swell of the various applause lines - is that this is the candidate for real change. He has what Reagan had in 1980 and Clinton had in 1992: the wind at his back. Sometimes, elections really do come down to a simple choice: change or more of the same?
Look at the polls and forget ideology for a moment. What do Americans really want right now? Change. Who best offers them a chance to turn the page cleanly on an era most want to forget? It isn't Clinton, God help us. Edwards is so 2004. McCain is a throwback. Romney makes plastic look real. Rudy does offer something new for Republicans - the abortion-friendly, cross-dressing Jack Bauer. But no one captures the sheer, pent-up desire for a new start more effectively than Obama.
There's just a couple of points to be made about this, points that are so obvious I feel stupid making them. One, Obama is going to have quite a time just getting the Democratic nomination. While pundits all around the country may have a strong dislike for Hillary, the fact remains she's the front-runner. The latest polls give her a 15 percentage point lead (38-23) over Obama with Democratic voters. Now, it's patently true that it's waaay early and that at this point, poll numbers matter little in the larger scheme of things. But the presumption that Obama is more popular with "the base" than Hillary really needs to be revised. He's not, and merely wishing it will not make it so.
I would tell everyone: Come and learn from us. We are sitting here knowing exactly what is happening on ground. You sitting in the West don’t know anything. So, don’t teach me, come and learn from us. Come and understand the environment. And then decide on what has to be done and what doesn’t have to be done. We are doing more than any other country in the world.
Unfortunately the people in the West think that their lives are more important than our lives ... they think the gun fodder should be from these countries like Pakistan and developing countries. If their soldiers, one soldier, dies, there is a problem, but 500 of ours have died. And then, yet they are blaming us. Isn’t 500 important? ... And yet Pakistan is blamed for not doing enough.
Outside the museum scientists may assert that the universe is billions of years old, that fossils are the remains of animals living hundreds of millions of years ago, and that life’s diversity is the result of evolution by natural selection. But inside the museum the Earth is barely 6,000 years old, dinosaurs were created on the sixth day, and Jesus is the savior who will one day repair the trauma of man’s fall.
Doesn't He Have Anything Better To Do?
Amidst perhaps the greatest judicial crisis in our country's history, acting Chief Justice Rana Bhagwandas is ruling on...this:
Ibrarul Haq was summoned to the Supreme Court in Islamabad over his song that apparently contained words "Parveen you are so salty".
The move came after a girl called Parveen had claimed that the lyrics embarrassed her and her family.
But Mr Haq said the song did not use the name Parveen but Parmeen - which is not a recognised name in Pakistan.
"It's a misunderstanding - the general public has misunderstood... it's not my fault," Mr Haq said.
Parveen is a common name in Pakistan, and a number of girls are reported to have been teased about the song's words.
The court case began after a university student from Lahore called Parveen wrote to Pakistan's acting Chief Justice Rana Bhagwandas, claiming that Mr Haq's lyrics embarrassed her.
The song has proved to be a hit in Pakistan, with roadside stalls and cafes playing it repeatedly.
"This matter is very sensitive and such things cannot be allowed in Pakistani society," Mr Bhagwandas was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.
"Nobody can be allowed to hurt the sentiments of others," he said.
I just have one question. "Parveen you are so salty"? Seriously?
The iron is hot, but after a few weeks or months it will start melting and I will go when it starts melting. He can put the handcuffs [on me] if he wants -- he put me in jail for 14 months earlier.
ALL over the world men wish to find the perfect wife. Of course, women, too, desire to have the ideal husband but men are usually the ones who have more money, so it is easier for them to get the partners of their choice.
A good wife is heaven's best gift to man, his gem of many virtues, his casket of jewels; her voice is sweet music, her smiles his brightest lay, her kiss the guardian of his innocence, her arms the pale of his safety, her industry his surest wealth, her lips his faithful counsellors, her bosom the softest pillow of the cares.
You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State. As you know, history shows that in England conditions, some time ago, were much worse than those prevailing in India today. The Roman Catholics and the Protestants persecuted each other. Even now there are some State in existence where there are discriminations made and bars imposed against a particular class. Thank God, we are not starting in those days. We are starting in the days when there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State.
Christians in north-west Pakistan are demanding government protection following threats of bomb attacks if they do not become Muslims.
An unsigned letter received 10 days ago said they had to convert by Thursday....
"Only the few policemen who patrol there on the motorbike are watching the Christians, but no significant security is provided," said religious minorities spokesman Shabaz Bhati.
"We are very much in fear that due to the lack of security these extremists will find a way to attack our people easily."
Mr Bhati also asked government officials to publicly condemn the threats but says he has got no response.
It has been a long while since I have posted on this blog, but if ever there was a time to write something, anything, this has to be it.
Is it overly melodramatic to state that Karachi bleeds when I can see blood stains on Shahrah-e-Faisal?
At this moment I am sitting in my office that is located on main Shahrah-e-Faisal, between the Kala Pul and Baloch Colony bridges. There are cars on the road and people walking about, having ventured out of their houses to carry on their lives as usual. It is rather surreal seeing the city return to normal as it has. The normalcy however, is superficial. Scratch the surface and there is a great deal of tension and fear. Amazingly the eerie silence has compounded the fear much more than the echoes of unremitting gunfire. Nobody is quite sure what will happen next, or where the next flare will be.
This fear for me is highlighted by two events.
As I write this, a friend of mine is traveling with her mother – two women, from Hyderabad to Karachi. They had gone on Friday and were meant to come yesterday, but obviously could not. In Hyderabad they sat all of yesterday, in front of a TV and watched Karachi burn. They could’ve come tomorrow or day after, but they simply can’t bear being away from Karachi. My friend’s mother has been physically sick watching the TV and just wants to return to her home, for being away, even though safer, remained much more frightful for them.
My sister flew in from the US yesterday, she had no idea what was in store for her, she did notice that there was something wrong when the plane flew from Dubai earlier than scheduled, but almost completely empty. Throughout her journey nobody from the airline told her what was going on, and she landed in Karachi at 1 P.M. The Chief Justice had landed 15 minutes earlier.My parents and I left our house around 10, trying to go to the Airport. We had to turn away from the Korangi Expressway after people started coming wrong side, we did not try and see why they were doing that. Next we went off to Gizri to go to Clifton Bridge, we couldn’t get on to Gizri let alone Clifton Bridge. Kala Pul the next stop, beckoned. As we going we saw an increasing number of MQM flags, in cars and buses all around us, still we continued. No police anywhere. We reached the main Korangi Road, on the side lanes we could now see white flags, then right before Kala Pul starts, we saw a large group of people with white flags – they all read MMA. They had been ripping off the banners that the MQM had put the night before. With MQM all around us and MMA in front of us, we knew this was not going to end well, so we turned around speeding on the wrong side. This left us no choice but to head home.On the way I stopped at a bakery and bought some brownies and saw Expresso (a cafe) on Khy-e-Shahbaz doing roaring business – in Phase 5 it was business as usual!
It was not till 6 p.m. that my Parents, having heard that the roads were clear, headed to the Airport. My sister sat at the airport all this while, exhausted but rather lucid she decided in these few hours to become an Investment Banker and live in NYC – that’s one way of picking a career! My parents ran into some ruffians who were braking apart a jeep in front of FTC but nothing more. My mother though was mortified throughout the entire journey. She was afraid because there was no one, not a single car on the entire stretch of Sharah-e-Faisal from Kala Pul to the airport. She was much more afraid at this time than she was when she could see the MMA and MQM clashing.
I did not go to the Airport. I was shadowing my parents, as it were, in NB’s car. We went up from Baloch Colony, on to an empty Shahrah-e-faisal and reached FTC. By this time the jeep my parents had seen 5 minutes earlier had been overturned and was being burnt (NB post the picture). There were stones and glass everywhere. We retreated to Defense and had chai at Café Clifton.
I guess the point of this entire post, was not only to retell my experience of yesterday but to convey the sentiments of the city. The city is not back to normal nor is it simply recovering from its wounds. There are people on the roads, our and about, but it seems as though the entire city speaks in hushed whispers, awaiting something worse, soething more gruesome. This silence is mortifying. That is why my friend and her mother are about to cross Sohrab Goth and NIPA. That is why my mother could bear violent clashes and not the silence. Nobody can bear the silence that has enveloped Karachi, because nobody is quite sure as to what will follow next.
The Day After Yesterday
The third major incident took place at Baloch Colony Bridge on Shahra-e-Faisal. ANP workers said their bus was stopped by armed men who forced them to get off and walk back, upon which they were shot at from behind.
I am a doctor. I work at a tertiary care, govt run, large and very well known hospital in khi. Forgive the short hnd style of typing here. I am, and hav been here at work for more than 32 hrs, and am surfing/typing on my cellphone. I rode with my ambulance drivers, was in the hastily set up emergency room in our lobby, attended multiple gunshot wounds victims etc. but nothing struck down my soul more than what 9 fully armed workers of MQM alongwith 2 sector office bearers did. They tried to drag out the wounded and dying body of a Sunni Tehrik worker (we later learnt he was sunni tehrik) for presumably finishing him off. Whn my junior residents said we could not allow that, they slapped my junior, dragged us both by our legs to the back of the gurney alley and with shotguns, pistols and ak-47's in hand, ran in to our lobby presumably attempting to search whr the man in question was being treated. I ran out to the rangers and police a.s.i. some distance frm our front gate who when approached by myself said, and i quote 'jaante ho inn logoun ko phir bhi kyon larta ho...hamain upar se order hai ke inn ko 4 baje tak karne do jo karna hai. 4 baje ke baad kuch dekhainge' [Why do you fight with these people knowing who they are? We have orders from above to let them do what they want until 4 o'clock. We'll decide what to do after 4]. I recognized the sector office bearers of the MQM, bcoz I have made the mistake of voting for the MQM in the past. I called a friend in Bohrapir, who is related to Farooq Sattar. 5 mins later the sector charges recieved a call on their cell, and they left, one with a bandana threatening me with 'naam dekh liya hai tera. Koi shor sharaba karne ki zururat nahi hai baad main warna samajh ja kya hoga' [We've seen your name. There is no need to create a hullabaloo about this; understand what will happen if you do]. He also took my junior residnts mobile fone saying 'chikna set hai' [It's a sweet set]. The guy they had come looking for had been shot one more time in the head. The o.t dress we had dressed him in 10 mins earlier was freshly bloody.
Fear, Facts and Rumours
Karachi is pretty scared at the moment. I've listed some facts, and some rumours below which explain and reflect that fear. The question really is as to how much truth there is in any of the rumours or speculation.
"The house of Munir A. Malik, president of the Supreme Court Bar Association and a member of the panel of lawyers defending Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry in the Supreme Court, came under a gun attack early Thursday morning."
Source:'Gunmen Attack Malik's House', May 11, 2007 Dawn.
The MQM has already started 'fortifying' the Quaids Mazaar (the expected flash point for tomorrow, as that is where the rival rallies intersect). MQM anners have been strung all across the city, with the rally routes particularly saturated.
Significant numbers of party workers Haqqiqui, Sunni Tehrik and the MMA have already been detained.
Buses are being Highjacked in both Karachi and Lahore so as to ferry people in to beef up the numbers attending the Karachi and Islamabad rallies respectivley.
The Government is considering closing down all Gas Stations in Karachi, in case of possible security problems.
(Rumour Credibilty: Medium - Low - How shutting all of Karachi's gas stations is really going to help matters is beyond me, but the gas stations on Sharah e Faisal have alread been shut and cordoned off by Qanaats.
Ahsan points out validly: "that shutting down gas stations is very useful because setting fire to them is really easy and makes news, which is part of what any rally wants." To which I would agree. Still, shutting down the entire city's gas stations doesnt really mean that they're un-torchable, and protecting them all from arson is impossible. I imagine its more likley that they'll shut down and protect the high risk ones.)
MQM party workers have been instructed to bear arms for tomorrow in great numbers, and are expecting to use them.
(Rumour Credibility: High, owing to our source)
The Army might be out in force tommorow.
(Rumour Credibility: Minimal, due to alternative sources + I havent seen any signs of this as yet + it escalates matters + the rangers and the police have already started being put in place)
Some people are actually 'expecting' 200 - 300 people to be killed tomorrow, as the Government is apparently looking for a pretext to impose an Emergency. Pir Pagara seems to fear as much as well, though what his opinion is worth is anyones guess.
(Rumour Credibility: Completely Unknowable - in my opinion low, in Ahsans opinion High.)
While scary as all hell, I personally have strong doubts that its in the interests of the Government to impose an emergency, just yet anyway. Ahsan agrees with me in that whether or not the government plans to impose an emergency is the most important issue. However he disagrees with me in that he feels that the Government has tacitly declared its intention to impose an emergency. I've posted his comment below.
"[Imposing an] emergency, is exactly what the govt wants to do. Witness the multiple statements given in the past three weeks on the matter. An excellent way of telling the government's intentions is to see:
(a) how much they talk about something and
(b) how much they confirm, deny, prevaricate and attempt to leave everybody in confusion about something.
For instance, when it came to the PPP deal, for about a year we witnessed mutlplie statements in the press saying it may be happening. We also witnessed multiple statements saying it wont be happening. Rumours and innuendo dominated the fray. The point to be made is that:
(a) they talked about it a lot and
(b) they confirmed and denied it a lot.
The same can be said of Musharraf's uniform issue in 2004, which if you remember observed the same general contours (lots of statements, nothing definite). The question of emergency has been the same. The Government has made sure to put it out there, but in a way no one can be sure of its intentions. That tells me they want to do it, and are looking for an opportune time. Well, the opportune time is here."
Personally I feel that while theres still not enough information upon which to draw conclusions, theres enough reason to be fearful. If there has already been a decision to impose an emergency, then theres also been a decision as to how much violence there will be tommorow, and how many people will die. I suppose we'll all just have to wait and see. In the mean time, in the unlikley event that this post came as news to anyone currently residing in Karachi, please buy your provisions tonight, fill your car with fuel and be extremely careful of where you step out tommorow, particularly if its in the vicinity of the Airport (the Cheif Justice arrives around noonish I beleive), Sharah-i-Faisal, and especially the Quaids Mazaar.
We as Pakistani’s make donkey pump choices all the time. Parents counsel their children to be accountants and lawyers, not leaders and artists and writers. Not enough people are voting or paying their taxes. Too many people are chilling on their armchairs while mullahs spout hate and hypocrisy or when our politicians and military leaders make stupid or corrupt decisions. We love to blame the system, go with the flow, excuse ourselves and screw each other.
Take for example, the school I attended during my O’Levels. There have been repeated instances wherein the administration behaved arbitrarily and unfairly. Personal lives were interfered with over petty issues, individual students were punished by having their prospects of university admission reduced, through expulsion, non re-admittance and possibly through tarnishing personal references sent discreetly to the child’s universities.
While it is beyond me to substantiate any of these claims or rumours, the fact remains that at the very least, there exists an unequivocal perception of unfairness and abuse of position amongst parents and students alike. Regardless, when some wrong is perceived to have been done to a student, nothing is done, and no action is taken. The children complain to the parents but are told to remain silent lest their own university and career prospects are jeopardized. The choice for parents is once again as follows:
Option A: Rally other parents to petition the administration and the school board, and to collectively decry what is perceived as injustice or unfairness against a student, until such point where the message has registered with effect or the situation is duly remedied (this process works within civilized countries)
Option B: Shut the hell up and tell your kid to shut the hell up too, and tell him to stay far away from the victimized child. This would be the Donkey Pump Option.
Everyone I know opts for B. Hence the parents deserve the education and school administrators their children receive. It is through this process that the school's administration has remained instated and incumbent for 20 odd years or something equally ridiculous. The same child who is counseled to abide by Option B may be the next to suffer unfairly, and when his or her parents look desperately to other parents for support, they will receive as much as they themselves were willing to offer.
Postscript on the Donkey Pump War
Where were we? Ah yes. Our whole neighborhood now has donkey pumps. At this point Amjad 1 will inevitably sit and ponder. He’s started a movement, a trend. He thinks to himself;
“All these bandwaggoning bastards have employed my clever idea, thereby neutralising its utility.”
Amjad now has another brilliant plan. He will install a bigger and more powerful donkey pump, with two horsepower this time! What’s more, it will possess two belts instead of one, and will come from Japan, or even Germany!
“Muahaha!” he says. “I’ll screw those assholes with my pump!” Amjad 1is kind of grossed out by what he has just said, but not really.
Amjad 1 installs pump. Pantshirt 2's flow is reduced. Pantshirt 2 then figures out what’s happened and upgrades to an even better donkey pump. The entire neighborhood follows suit and the same stupid process repeats itself again and again until were all left having spent billions of rupees installing thermo nuclear donkey pumps in our houses while still having achieved nothing more than the original pathetic trickle of crappy pipe water which if not boiled causes diarrhea, which is precisely what we deserve.