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What Gives You Hope For Pakistan’s Future? : ALL THINGS PAKISTAN
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What Gives You Hope For Pakistan’s Future?

Posted on March 23, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Society
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Adil Najam, Owais Mughal, Darwaish, Asma Mirza

In this, the final post in our series on Pakistan Day 2009, we want to look towards the future. Not on what the source of our concerns are, but on the source of our hopes.

The spirit of this post, as you will see, is best expressed in the great song by Mehdi Hasan – Yeh Watan tumhara Hai. We have written about this song before, but as Khan Sahib struggles for his life in a Karachi hospital today, this March 23rd is a good day to remember his song and remember him in all our prayers.

Each of the four editors of this blog asked ourselves the same question that we ask you: “On this Pakistan Day, what gives you hope for Pakistan’s future?”



Here are our answers. Do please share with us what your answers might be. (Those who want to talk about threats and concerns can do so in the last post; but, please, do respect the question that this post focuses on).

DARWAISH: The Lawyers Movement, emergence of a vibrant civil society and the awareness created in masses by media has given me new hope for a better future. I know we are not there yet and it’s just the beginning of a long road ahead but independent judiciary is the first step in right direction.

The ruling elite and others sitting in the corridors of power can no longer do whatever they want and get away with it. They will be exposed and that’s a very positive change. A transparent and fair public accountability process, which has been long absent from Pakistani society, can now hopefully be achieved through a combination of independent judiciary and media.

I also hope that now we will see extensive judicial reforms which are desperately needed, especially in the lower courts which deal with more than 90% of public issues.

ASMA MIRZA: When I compare general attitude of an average youth now with that of ten years ago, I totally get amazed at the change we went through. Ten years back the life of an average youth probably revolved around gaming, a bit of gossiping on media (read: films) and studies. That’s it.

Today things have taken a total turn. When I talk around with young people, the spirit they have for Pakistan – the hatred they have against evils that are killing us as a nation – makes me revive my thoughts of hope and respect in Pakistan’s future. It may be the media that is spreading the awareness but the willingness to ponder about things – about Pakistan’s future – is gratifying. This, more than anything else, gives me hope in Pakistan’s future.

Long live Pakistan ~ The land of beautiful people. Young saplings give me hope for Pakistan. This blood has got the potential and I feel happy that this blood knows their rights too. It is through this generation that I see Pakistan a better and progressive land in coming decades, Inshah Allah.

OWAIS MUGHAL: What gives me hope on this March 23rd are the women cricketers of Pakistan. Pakistan recenlty ended up at 6th position in the Womens’ Cricket World Cup but the ladies from Pakistan conquered much more than sixth position. They conquered the taboo of following their dreams, they conquered the no-no of coming from extreme rural background and competing against the best in the World.

I took special note of the places where these ladies came from. Some of these places have never been able to send a male player to Pakistan’s national team but these ladies have shown there is no limit to what one can achieve by aiming high and with dedication. One player of Pakistani women team came from Nankana Sahib in Punjab, one from a place as remote as Chaghi, Balochistan, 1 from Quetta, 3 from Abbotabad, 1 from Hyderabad, Sindh and 3 from Multan. Rest of the team came from Karachi and Lahore.

This was a truly a Pakistani team comprising of players from remote cities as well as mega cosmopolitans. My congratulations to Pakistani women cricket team on this birthday of Pakistan Resolution. You give us hope!

ADIL NAJAM: My response to this question is not much different from my colleagues, in that it is the people of Pakistan that give me hope as well as sustenance. There are many many manifestations of the hope they stir, here are just five examplars (representative, but not comprehensive):

So, this is what we think… your turn now.

61 comments posted

Comment Pages: « 8 7 [6] 5 4 3 2 1 » Show All

  1. Gorki says:
    March 29th, 2009 11:52 pm

    @ Reading Lord
    You wrote:

  2. Watan Aziz says:
    March 29th, 2009 11:16 pm

    RL,

    You have now presented two alleged versions by one person who claims that the guilty may be innocent. These two versions as presented may not be accurate either. As a matter of fact, I think there are gaps here. And this is not attested testimony (as if that would be truth) of anyone, just a writeup. What is also missing is the testimony of the panchayat. Have not heard their version in this writeup.

    You are entitled to your opinion, but not the facts. Things are missing here, we may never know the truth, and frankly, I do not care about it either.

    However, you have not only gone too far in turning on Gorki (and he never threatened you; take a deep breath; calm down. Count till 100 before you think.) but you are also misquoting and misrepresenting Qur’an. There is nothing in Qur’an about producing 4 witnesses by a woman for a rape allegation. Do try to read it again. It is in plain language, without any ambiguity and without any need for explanation.

    The good thing about Qur’an is that it is safe from you. There are no bogus statements attributed to it as they have done to Hadees and Sunnah. As for whatever sharia you may claim, well, that is pure bogus and made up by ignorant mullahs and equally baseless as your statement is; it is not based on Qur’an.

    No need to apologies to Gorki. I think we (at least I) understand that on this matter, you may not favor reason as the hole you are digging relentlessly is getting deeper. And do not bother for a rejoinder on my account, I do not care what comes to your mind on this issue. I do care that you needlessly went overboard on Gorki’s opinion and misrepresented Qur’an in trying to bully your way through. Gorki may not have a comeback on this, I do; and you just got it.

    Enough.

  3. readinglord says:
    March 29th, 2009 8:30 pm

    @Gorki

    I am sorry to say that your attitude has become threatening as though you have some wested interest in NGO-Media fraud exploiting Mai’s case. According to Sharia you become liable to 80 lashes for supporting the accusation by Mai without producing four witnesses. Let the Taliban come they would perhaps settle the case dragging for over 7 years within three days as they are doing presently in Swat

    In the meanwhile you read this artical appearing in ‘The News’ of today:

    ” The curious case of Mukhtar Mai

    Monday, March 30, 2009
    Salman K Chima

    12 Angry Men is a movie worth seeing. It is about a murder trial. Eleven out of twelve jurors are convinced that the accused is guilty of murder

  4. Gorki says:
    March 29th, 2009 1:29 am

    @ RL, BC, Bonobashi:
    Since this is a post titled

  5. readinglord says:
    March 28th, 2009 8:18 pm

    @Bloody

    Excuse me, Sir, your information is all lopsided. Just read the book by Ms Bronwyn Curran, mentioned here-under and see how convincing her story is against the one-sided lies spread by Kristofar and media in general to blacken the image of Pak-Muslim culture of which you became a victim:

    “PAKISTAN: Book on Mukhtaran Mai’s ‘case’ launched

    Former AFP correspindent launches book on tribal society

    Dawn
    Thurdsay, June 21, 2007

    Karachi — A book on Mukhtaran Mai was formally launched at Gallery Changez here on Thursday.

    Written by Bronwyn Curran, a former correspondent of the Agence France Presse (AFP), Into the Mirror — The full and untold story of Mukhtar Mai’s Case explores tribal society in rural Pakistan.

    At the book launch, Ms Curran said she reconstructed both sides of the story to unearth the true events of June 22, 2002, in Mirwala. “My book is different from the biography of Mukhtar Mai as I have included the entire case proceedings, full investigations and all the accounts that were reported, or those that remained untouched so that a simplified version could be presented to readers when it was a much-sought-after story in and outside Pakistan,” she said.

    Her research entailed many visits to the area and interviews with Mukhtaran Mai. During the process, many assumptions were proved inaccurate.

    “One such example is the reports that she was paraded naked in front of thousands of people, which was not true,” said the Australian author. “Mukhtar Mai herself denied such reports during her interviews with me.” She added that “it’s hard to believe that thousands of people were present in the outskirts of a small village when night had fallen.”

    According to Ms Curran, the evidence behind the case was fully scrutinised for the first time. “This book poses sensitive questions and dares to delve into both sides. It places Mukhtar Mai’s case into context with an examination of surrounding tribal customs and histories, the societal dynamics of her village, and the practice of using women to resolve feuds,” said the author. “This book shows these practices stem not from Islam but from the corruption of old tribal ways.”

    Date Posted: 6/21/2007

  6. bonobashi says:
    March 28th, 2009 8:33 am

    It is difficult to avoid wondering why a poor woman with such powerful odds against her is the target of such concentrated venom and contumely.

    These are such stirring times; the people of Pakistan have looked into their own hearts and minds, and rallied themselves, and won a famous victory; on another front, the great leaders of the world are solemnly determined to ensure victory for this nation, in a matter of importance to all nations; there is war in the West and a wave of bloody violence inside. A thousand enemies are available in plain view, dancing up and down and brandishing their weapons, jeering and calling out insults. And whom have we in the dock?

    Someone who may, or may not, have been punished in the most soul-killing way that a woman can be punished, who sought justice, awarded, then withdrawn, now under deliberate, detailed consideration, who is now accused of conspiracy to malign her supposed violators, for the sake of a rustic feud.

    What a noble target to select! Worthy of our steel. I am lost in admiring contemplation of my discernment, my gallantry and my courage in being a part of this noble enterprise.

    But some other part of me thinks at this moment of that incomparable knight, the soul of chivalry, far worthier than the paladin Bayard himself of the appellation ‘sans peur et sans reproche’, who was brought to our notice by a learned member of this very list:

    http://tinyurl.com/d6o78k

    I wonder what that hero would have thought of all this.

  7. Bloody Civilian says:
    March 28th, 2009 5:38 am

    Neither I, nor any of the others on ATP who have responded to you, have said whether the rape happened or not. This is not a court of law. The outrage is caused by you suggesting:

    1. That an absence of evidence beyond reasonable doubt necessarily means the victim is lying. Knowing very well about the typical levels of Police incompetence, and the attitudes taken when it comes to investigating crimes against women. Not to mention, a poor, illiterate woman.

    2. That some kind of “NGO-media fraud” that you have established beyond all reasonable doubt inside your head ought to be condemned and the good works, schools, and women refuge centres it has created and operates mean nothing whatsoever and can and should be totally ignored. (At least you no longer call it the “NGO-media-mullah fraud”.)

    3. That, most preposterously, your subjective view of a victim’s behaviour after the alleged rape somehow makes her claim of victimhood unworthy. Actually, no behaviour, before or after the incident, affects a victim’s innocence, whether viewed subjectively or not.

    Your view might have been slightly less subjective if you were a poor, illiterate woman, having been through everything Ms Mai has been through (as you see it), still living in the same village, trying to do something good. You might have been better able to see the possibility of her continuing victimisation. It’s a social, historical and state level injustice that you could have decided to remain a part of or step outside of. But this is like pouring water over a duck’s back…. one which is pitiably cynical.

  8. readinglord says:
    March 27th, 2009 8:27 pm

    @Bloody Civilian

    You allegedly said:

    “What is really preposterous (to say the least) are your repeated attempts to suggest that any alleged behaviour on the part of the victim of rape have any bearing at all on the gravity of the crime perpetrated against them or their innocence as a victim.”

    No, Sir, you too misread me. What I have always been stressing in Mai’s case was my doubt about the very facts of the ‘alleged’ crime of rape. The Multan High Court had rejected the entire story and had passed a strong stricture against the Trial Court for sentencing the 6 accused to death without any evidence.

    In view of the above and the fact that no independent inquiry has been held so far to look into the facts of the case which is still subjudice in the Supreme Court how can you say that the Mai was really raped?

    Btw, what message will she be sending, by accepting marriage as a second wife, to the world at large , especially the Western world, which holds polygamy as a crime and which she tries to justify by advancing preposterous excuses. All this indeed confirms my view that Mai is not at all a victim of rape but stories about it are just an NGO-Media fraud of the century.

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