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 on “What Gives You Hope For Pakistan’s Future?”

  1. Adnan Ahmad says:
    March 23rd, 2009 10:06 pm

    There are times when I think of every ehl-e-safa mardood-e-haram pakistani, as Andy Dufresne of Shaw Shank Redemption, and that alone gives me hope. And I know it will not die.

  2. March 23rd, 2009 10:26 pm

    And we must not let the forces of status quo snatch this hope from us.

    Pakistan Paindabad.

  3. ASAD says:
    March 23rd, 2009 10:27 pm

    I am actually hopeful about democracy. I think the media and civil society will make sure that it lasts, even if others try hard to derail it.

  4. Maqbool Ahmed says:
    March 23rd, 2009 10:28 pm

    We are a long way from a “civilized” society in Pakistan. Wait a minute; don’t take offence from the comment. If you want to judge a society or a culture one simple litmus test is how they treat a woman. I mean a woman walking alone in a bazaar or on a street or in a shopping store or in a park. How comfortable is a woman being alone in a society. That is a litmus test in my eyes for a civilized society. Its a long way to go in that sense. No democracy or change of regime will change basic attitudes in a society yet. The change we need is an improvement in basic civics such as being on time, keeping neighbourhood clean, traffic sense, politeness in dealing with other people, being fair and just in everyday life. All these things which we get used to here in this American or western society. Now none of these will be improved by a democratic or a dictatorial regime.

  5. Usman says:
    March 23rd, 2009 10:50 pm


    You said it dude! I agree with you!

    However your comment doesnt address the question: What gives you hope for Pakistan’s future?

  6. Bloody Civilian says:
    March 24th, 2009 12:03 am

    It gives me hope when I can still find Baluchis who are patriotic Pakistanis, despite all that we have done to them. It gives me hope to imagine what they might think of and do for Pakistan if only we deign to let them have a slightly bigger fraction of their unalienable birthright; If we can have the self-confidence ourselves, to trust and respect them as fellow Pakistanis. It gives me hope to see Sindhis celebrating re-instatement of the judges, at the Bhutto family shrine. To see many Sindhis still believe in Pakistan despite how they have been treated. How their real problems have been ignored, and their anxieties have been exploited.

    It gives me hope since this provincial autonomy derives from the Lahore Resolution that we commemorate today. Nothing more than a simple restatement of this fact formed Point No. 1 of Awami League

  7. haroon says:
    March 24th, 2009 12:04 am

    Well said Adnan.

    It is in the mardood-e-haram that the hopes of Pakistan lies.

    Aaj bazaar mein paa-bajoulaan chalo!

  8. SH Kavi says:
    March 24th, 2009 12:06 am

    You said it all.I will only add that Pakistani diaspora also gives me hope b/c recent history tells me if diasporic community uses their material and intellectual resources wisely and effectively, they can act like a catalyst to help bring about a positive change in the country of their origin. One can give the example of Ireland, Greek Cyprus, India etc.

  9. Aamir Ali says:
    March 24th, 2009 12:08 am

    I think Pakistan will limp along for the forseeable future. Ironically the much-maligned characteristic of Pakistanis of having very short memories is actually useful in these troubled times.

  10. Eidee Man says:
    March 24th, 2009 12:17 am

    Personally, what gives me hope is that for the first time, it seems that we seem to be moving away from politics based on ethnic and linguistic differences.

  11. Azra says:
    March 24th, 2009 12:18 am

    Listening to the Mehdi Hasan song you have put always gives me hope.

    t also brings tears of emotion for the song and praying for Mehdi Hassan’s life.

  12. Aik Pakistani says:
    March 24th, 2009 12:56 am

    Happy Pakistan Day Everyone!

    It’s something deep inside me still alive, which gives me hope. A bit hard to explain but I’m sure every Pakistani feels it.

    Also, it’s the glint in the eyes of Pakistanis that gives me hope. It’s the resilience of average Pakistanis (like Mooba rehRay Wala) who despite all hardships refuse to give up, gives me hope. It’s the dedicated and talented Pakistanis across the world who give me home. Also, every single Pakistani who stood up for the rule of law, progress and prosperity gives me hope. It’s a friend of mine who recently passed the CSS exam and wants to serve our nation with honesty and dedication that gives me HOPE!

    It’s the sound of Amant Ali which gives me hope! http://tinyurl.com/dfgc86

  13. shahzad shameem says:
    March 24th, 2009 1:20 am

    Every idea and suggestion has been discussed but here I have to say either believe it or not:-

    Whenever any Nation passes through a Crisis it produces a Leader. Just see in the creation of Pakistan we have a chain of Leaders from 1857 to 1947 but after that we got only chain smokers (sorry to say).

    From last 15 years our Nation and Country is passing through a chain of CRISIS, one after an other. And during this Nation get awared again, motivated and united many times i.e. at Russia attack Afghanistan, at Sailab in 1992, at Qarz uttaro time, at Earthquake of 2005 and last at the reinstation/bahali of C.J. Ch. Iftikhar.

    The Nation did many tries but unfortunately there was no such Leader who could have keep such moto, unity of Nation forever.

    You could find new faces in every field of walk

    But during this tenure many youngsters were under process of becomeing a LEADER and few of them can LEAD the Nation anytime when they have opportunity. You could find the new faces in every field of walk.

    So I am very hopefull in near Future our Nation’s future is very very Bright, as Allam Iqbal said,

    Zara Num ho tou ye matti bari Zarkhais hay Saqi

  14. Zecchetti says:
    March 24th, 2009 3:03 am

    I read this article on BBC News website today:


    This really does give me hope for Pakistan – that even the LEADERS are accountable before the law.

  15. Alix_khan says:
    March 24th, 2009 3:42 am

    Everytime I watch Umeed-e-Sahar by LAAL. I get all teary eyed.

    A 40 year old father of three that is a hopeless romantic about the future of his land. I guess as long as there are hopeless romantics like me, there is a chance :)

  16. faisal says:
    March 24th, 2009 3:55 am

    I don’t think any other country has gone through as many misfortunes and we have in such a short period of time (60 years are not many), but we have survived them, badly beaten and bruised but still standing.

    I truly believe Pakistan is a miracle of Allah, and this is what gives me hope.

  17. wasiq says:
    March 24th, 2009 4:00 am

    What gives me hope is to see my fellow Pakistanis produce a world class product of any kind. ATP is a world class website and the quality of the articles, the writing, the humane and open presented in each — these give me hope. Strangely enough, another thing has given me hope recently. As you may recall, during the Summer of 2007, PIA flights were banned by the EU because of concerns regarding the air-worthiness of their aircraft. I live in Lugano Switzerland and to get to Pakistan from here, I catch the twice weekly PIA flight from Milan and seeing that flight cancelled was a huge disappointment, but the grounding actually brought out the best in the airline. Now, PIA sends its best aircraft to Europe and the PIA flights into and out of Milan feature spanking new jets, highly professional crew, and promptness that would be the envy of the Swiss — this makes me proud to be Pakistani and gives me hope in the country’s future. We can be world class if we choose to and we put our brilliant minds to the task, if we avoid pettiness, rivalries, and putting one another down — there is nothing then that can hold us back.

  18. March 24th, 2009 6:37 am

    My hope is that power will be given tp provinces of Pakistan to run their affairs. My hope is people of Pakistan and today when we celebrate Pakistan day, we must not forget Balochistan and its grievances. For far too long we have tried to establish a state based on religion but it must be said that this experiment has not been an unqualified success. In the process we have created monsters like Taliban and now these our very own creations are making life difficult for average Pakistanis.

    Pakistan must revisit the national question at its very core and turn itself into a country which does not require any religion to survive but love of people for their land which is far stronger and long lasting than a religion which has no national boundaries.

    The new Pakistan should be based on the principles of equality and justice for all, be they the people or the federal components.

    There must not be a perception that Punjab is having more than its fair share as we all know that not only the act of justice is important but the perception of justice being done is as important as well. Here are some of my suggestions to create more harmony among the provinces of Pakistan:

    1. There should be more provinces carved out of the present four.

    a. Punjab which should be divided into three provinces of Pothohar, Central Punjab and South Punjab

    b. Balochistan should have two provinces of North Balochistan & South Balochistan

    c. NWFP should be divided into Pashto & Non Pashto speaking parts and Pashto speaking part should be renamed as Pakhtunkhwa

    d. Sindh should be divided into two provinces of North Sindh & South Sindh

    e. FATA, Azad Kashmir, Northern Areas should get provincial status

    2. All these provinces must have sweeping powers to manage their own affairs and very few areas should be under federal jurisdiction

    3. Federal Government should have five responsibilities

    a. Defence

    b. Foreign Affairs

    c. Currency ( Central Bank)

    d. Communications ( Roads, rails, ports & telecommunications)

    e. Education

    4. All major ports as part of communication should be joint federal/Provincial jurisdiction

    5. Every citizen will pay two taxes (both will be at a reduced rate based on United States and Canadian Model), one to the federal government and the other to the respective provincial government. This will make the provinces self sufficient and central funding should be allocated on basis of need for development as well as population.

    These are just few of the suggestions but must be taken into consideration as the individual populations of Punjab, Sindh & Pakhtunkhwa are so large that they cannot be governed properly and a lot of people will have to live without access to government. Following are the population figures for the each of the components of Pakistan ( courtesy Wikipedia) which clearly shows that Pakistan must have more provinces than it currently has:

    a. Punjab – 81,845,433

    b. Sindh – 46,378,000

    c. Pakhtunkhwa – 20,215,000

    d. Balochistan – 10,247,362

    e. FATA – 5,600,000

    f. Northern Areas – 1,800,000

    g. Azad Kashmir – 4,567,982

    As you can see for yourself, most of above mentioned federal components could be countries in their own right and it is not wise to run them with such a centralised administration. I am raising this issue because I believe that it is of vital important for Pakistan

  19. Ehsan says:
    March 24th, 2009 8:36 am

    The Army & Pervez Musharraf gives me hope for Pakistan’s better future :)

  20. Anwar says:
    March 24th, 2009 11:27 am

    I am optimistic. But my hopes are with the new younger generation… I also wish them well in cleaning up the mess “we” made for them.

  21. Bloody Civilian says:
    March 24th, 2009 11:56 am

    Sikander Hayat, your suggestion holds out the best hope of solving the problem of institutionalised tendencies towards injustice as part of a bad administrative structure. However, existing institutions cannot change the structure, as it would be counter-intuitive, and self-harming for the present institutions. If a dictator comes in and creates the new provinces, the change will be unlikey to survive the personality (even if ignore all the other devastation that dictatorships do and have caused). Yet, we badly need to move towards the smaller, several provinces model you suggest, somehow. It’s the only hope of getting out of this mess.

  22. -Farid says:
    March 24th, 2009 12:02 pm

    Undoubtedly the youth.

    When the earthquake hit Pakistan in 2005, I was amazed and inspired by the way the youth took charge, organized themselves, and got things going.

    (I blogged about it here at the time:

    I remember coming home at that time time and telling my family: “I’m not worried about this country any more, our future is in safe hands”.

    I never stopped believing.

  23. Jusathot says:
    March 24th, 2009 12:05 pm

    Many countries rose to zenith because they got more out of their people. Pakistanis too have great potentials. They are a resilient and vibrant bunch that even under very adverse circumstances that could crush many do a lot more than merely survive! The restoration and renovation work in Pakistan will NOT be carried out by our ruling-elites

  24. Riaz Haq says:
    March 24th, 2009 12:14 pm

    I am hopeful that people of Pakistan, especially the young entrepreneurial and the professional classes, will continue to do their best to help extend the positive legacies of Musharraf-Aziz years. I believe it can be safely said that the communications revolution (accompanied by dramatic growth in the vociferous electronic and new media) as well as a significant enlargement of the middle class in Pakistan helped sow the seeds of the end of arbitrary actions by President Musharraf. In other words, Musharraf pulled a Gorbachev (a la perestroika that unleashed uncontrolled energies) by enabling powerful resistance to his arbitrary rule. Some of these changes that Musharraf brought are durable and I hope will make our rulers more accountable. There will still be abuse of power but the media spotlight will hopefully shine brightly on it to the detriment of the abusers. Eventually there will be real participatory democracy to serve all Pakistanis with appropriate checks and balances imposed by a much larger and more powerful and aware middle class essential for true democratic governance in Pakistan, or anywhere else.

    Please read more at: http://www.riazhaq.com/2008/12/pakistani-boom-amidst-doom-and-gloom.html

  25. Ghazanfar Ali says:
    March 24th, 2009 1:03 pm

    ATP gives me hope.

    Where people can indulge in honest and tough dialogue on difficult issues and yet be so strongly attached to identity, then one has hope.

    ATP Zindabad. Pakistan Paindabad.

  26. Mohsin Irshad says:
    March 24th, 2009 1:17 pm

    1. People of Pakistan and its youth.

  27. PMA says:
    March 24th, 2009 1:40 pm

    In spite that Pakistan seems to lurch from one crisis to the next I am optimistic and forever hopeful for the future of my homeland. Poor people of Pakistan give me the hope that in the face of their daily hardships they have never given up their hopes and dreams of a better future. Education is one important road that can lead our poor people out of poverty, hunger and disease. Only if our middle classes could somehow be convinced to help educate children of our poor like they do for their own children. With little help from our middle classes their is no reason why our country can not progress and advance in the future. The raw material is their. In needs to be molded into useful products. The middle classes can help.

  28. March 24th, 2009 2:17 pm

    This is a new Pakistan my friends thanks above all to the lawyers movement. This new Pakistan is a work-in-progress and I believe the rays of hope Adil Bhai noted give us all hope. I echo the sentiments of Darwaish, Asma and Owais too.

    However I will add one other ray of hope which is that all provinces and political parties are keen to resolve the injustices meted out to Balochistan. Indeed a consensus is being formed on a new social contract for all provinces and the federation which will bring about a stronger Pakistan.

    I also salute the fact that the common Pakistani never gave up in fighting Musharraf’s martial law. Indeed today I am celebrating the end of 507 days of martial law, see post below:


    Feimanallah Pakistan


  29. Riaz Haq says:
    March 24th, 2009 2:47 pm

    While hope is essential for moving forward, and there are some hopeful signs that Pakistan can emerge from the multiple crises of food, water, electricity, militancy, economy, overall governance and public confidence, we must recognize that the last three decades (1980s, 1990s and the current decade) have been dominated by a series of disastrous foreign interventions in the region that have contributed to the growing fears about Pakistan’s imminent demise.

    I do hope I am wrong but, given their high level of motivation, extraordinary commitment and readiness to die for their cause (however misguided it may be), it looks more and more likely now that the Taliban will defeat both the US and Pak military forces to assert control over the whole region after a historic bloodbath, claiming millions of innocent lives. And then they will turn back the clock by several centuries.

    Only a dramatic change in US policy can avert this horrible specter. I do hope that the Obama administration’s ongoing strategic review leads to fundamental changes in America’s posture in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Please read more at: http://www.riazhaq.com/2009/03/pakistans-demise-imminent.html

  30. Shahid Rafiq says:
    March 24th, 2009 3:40 pm

    Pakistan is a gifted country. The people have potential to do wonders. I am hopeful of a good future due to the fact that we recently saw a movement by educated people of Pakistan (Lawyers) to succeed. This is not an ordinary thing. It started with lawyers and then politicians, civil society and other people joined. Media played a very good and positive role in it. So this will to not accept the wrong government decision, will to fight and (finally) participation of different groups for one good cause is an indication that we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
    Shahid Rafiq

  31. Faraz says:
    March 24th, 2009 3:53 pm

    The response of the people of Pakistan in the aftermath of the Kashmir earthquake is something that has alway given me hope.

  32. Anwer says:
    March 24th, 2009 6:20 pm

    chund saa-ay jo door chiraa-ghon kay gird larzaan hein
    na janey mehfil-e-ghum hey, keh bazm-e-jaam o suboo

    jo rung her dar o devaar per paree-shaan hein
    yehaan say kuchh naheen khultaa, yeh phool hein keh lahoo

    (Faiz Ahmed Faiz)

    dar-baar mein ab satvat-e-shahee kee alaamat
    dar-baan ka asaa hey, keh musannif ka qalum hey

    aavara hey phir koh-e-nida per jo bashaarut
    tamheed-e-musarrat hey keh tool-e-shab-e- ghum hey

    jis dhaj-jee ko gal-leon mein lee-ay phirtey hein tif-laan
    yeh meraa gree-baan hey, keh lashkar kaa alum hey

    jis rung say hey shehr kee devaar da-rukhshaan
    yeh khoon-e-sheedaan hey keh zer-khaanaa-e-jum hey

    iss shum-maa ko hal-qaa kee-ay bei-thay raho yaaro
    kuchh roshanee baa-qee tow hey her chund keh kum hey

    (Faiz Ahmed Faiz)

  33. Sridhar says:
    March 24th, 2009 6:36 pm

    Happy Pakistan Day and best wishes for the next year.

  34. Gorki says:
    March 24th, 2009 8:11 pm

    As a well wisher I congratulate all on Pakistan Day. I agree with Mr. Najam and others that by far, it is the vibrancy and the spirit of the Pakistani people that gives me the best reason for hope for its future. In addition, I would like to mention the following three things that stand out to my outsider

  35. Maqbool says:
    March 24th, 2009 11:10 pm

    What gives me hope is that if India can build a civil society then it is not a genetic defect amongst us. We would be able to build a civil society as well. But as he said,”barri mushkil say hota hay chaman mein dedawar paidah”

  36. bonobashi says:
    March 25th, 2009 3:17 am

    The emerging middle classes, the professional people who have found their voice, flexed their muscles and sensed their power.

    I hope and fervently pray that the movement to re-instate the Chief Justice will lead to other similar movements with a more constitutional tone and trend, and that you will gradually be able to merge extra-constitutional methods into the methods recognised by the constitution. I hope to see the day when civil society will lead the governance of a democratic Pakistan, living in self-confident peace and amity with all.

    As an alien well-wisher, I salute you on this forum and the forum itself as one of the important voices of this emerging source of legitimate power.

  37. Fawad says:
    March 25th, 2009 10:52 pm

    The editors of this blog have already mentioned most of what gives me hope but I would also say that I couldn’t agree more with the sources of “Bloody Civilian’s” hopes for Pakistan. If we can nurture the budding civil society, continue strengthening constitutional democratic institutions and manage to fight off the brutal and ignorant extremists threatening to annihilate the country as we know it, Pakistan can and will thrive over the long run.

  38. readinglord says:
    March 26th, 2009 8:53 pm

    @Bloody Civilian

    Well done dear! Keep it up except that please do not treat the poor as a class like the feudal system treat them as ‘Kammi’. We are poor relative to the advanced world. What is needed is the development and alleviation of general poverty, what the economists say ‘To increase the size of the cake’.

  39. Bloody Civilian says:
    March 27th, 2009 2:54 pm


    1. I believe an equitable sharing out of the ‘cake’ is far more important than ‘increasing its size’. It is to belittle, indeed insult, a human being and human society to suggest that the only incentive it can, and does, respond to is, and ever can be, money…. to the exclusion of all else.

    2. Therefore I emphasised the fact that the poor are victims of a heinously criminal injustice where their work (‘kaam’) gets no where remotely near its deserved worth. And ‘the lack of opportunity’, is actually a deliberate shutting, and keeping under lock, of all doors. This is exploitation by man, nothing to do with luck or destiny as a feudel would see it as the lot and rightful place of a ‘kammi’.

    3. Yet your misreading a minor detail or two of what I wrote is a non-issue. 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. For you to go to a thread all the way back from 2006, http://pakistaniat.com/2006/11/15/mukhtaran-musharraf-books/#comments, to repeat the suggestion that Ms Mukhtaran Mai’s subsequent behaviour in any way justifies or lessens the rape, at any level, or in any dimension, sadly, says more about you than it does about Ms Mai. Actually, it exemplifies how she and many women, if not all, are victims at so many different levels and in so many different ways.

  40. a woman says:
    March 27th, 2009 3:25 pm

    @ Bloody Civilian

    Great rebuttal !

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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:


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

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


    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

    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

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

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

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


    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

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


    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.


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

    @ Reading Lord
    You wrote:

  49. bonobashi says:
    March 30th, 2009 1:39 am

    After thinking long and hard about the matter, my conclusion is that it is all a terrible misunderstanding caused by a technical error, what we call in computers a rounding off error, especially when we need to convince the board of our client bank that it is actually not our fault or the fault of our software that they lost millions.

    Where advised to count to a 100 before thinking, it seems that some of us, reading the wrong source code and with only a wobbly grasp of Napierian logarithms, have been under the impression that 10^100 is a 100; a natural mistake and forgivable, as every fellow programmer caught red-handed will readily agree.

    We have not only followed that counsel with regard to our thinking, we have failed to wait at all before bursting into print with our undoubtedly interesting though somewhat eccentric views. This unfortunate asynchronicity – that is the correct term of obfuscation for the benefit of all of you out there not learned in these very technical matters – is responsible for all the discomfort that has been caused. All a technical error, due to a misreading of the code.

    Nothing to worry about, Gorki, it’ll all be fixed in the next revision; just a temporary inconvenience.

  50. Bloody Civilian says:
    March 30th, 2009 7:44 am

    You are claiming that because the accused have not been found guilty beyond reasonable doubt, therefore, this somehow (in your head only) proves beyond all doubt that the victim must be guilty. You are convinced of that, in exactly the same spirit and manner as the dispicable Hudood Ordinance (of your ‘favourite’ Zia and his mullah friends). You too are saying that since the guilt of the accused has not been proved beyong all reasonable doubt, the victim can be no better than a liar. Except, instead of taking your accusation against Ms Mai to a court of law, you presume yourself to be the judge too.

    Neither any of the respondents to your flawed view of justice, nor Salman Cheema (

  51. readinglord says:
    March 31st, 2009 9:12 pm

    @Watan Aziz, Gorki, Boody Civilian

    Oh God, I have to face three musketeers who are dead sure that Mai was raped as though they had watched the operation, six penises, going in and out of the vulva of Mai, like a thread going in the eye of the needle. They should know that rape is basically ‘Zina’ in terms of the Holy Quran and Sunna and it does attract all the conditions laid down thereby to prove its occurrence. Otherwise, whether the alleged zina is consensual or in-consensual (rape), it shall be held just an accusation (Tohmat) and the accuser would be liable to 80 lashes as a liar (being guilty of Qazaf).

    I wonder why Mai married an already married constable, only because he threatened to commit suicide, a very hackneyed tactic indeed, but refused to accept marriage with Abdul Khaliq Mastoi who actually risked death sentence twice in claiming her to be his wife in the court.

  52. bonobashi says:
    March 31st, 2009 10:52 pm

    @Watan Aziz, Gorki, Bloody Civilian

    It is a shame that you can spend time thinking about threads, needles and sewing when there are so many other things to think about. Take a deep breath, count to 10^100, take a cold shower, drink a glass of cold water, and point your muskets in some other direction.

    While we are discussing these things, stop obstructing the course of true love. Why would the Mastois have bothered to get introduced (that 80 lashes thing is a real vocabulary expander) to the lady unless they truly loved her? To the point of one of them volunteering to marry her after the act? of introduction, of course, is what I mean.

    If you were women, you would understand. Unfortunately, you are not; else you would know very well that a woman can only fall in love with a true man who takes up a sewing machine and shows her that he is truly a man, not a wimp snivelling on and on about his love for her and whingeing about getting married.

    Things will only change for the better when you city slickers get off your ivory towers, come within whiplash range and learn how Real Men handle these situations.

  53. readinglord says:
    April 2nd, 2009 9:03 pm


    So dear bonobashi has also joined in as a fan of the Mai but the ‘extremist’, Nasir Gabol, got her by mere threat of committing suicide and divorcing his wife with a number of children. I wonder what message she is sending to the women at large and the West, especially, where polygamy is a crime.

    If I had been a woman in the situation of Mai I would have certainly accepted the offer of marriage by Abdul Khaliq, the accused Mastoi, who had risked death sentence twice by claiming Mai to be his wife . In fact, in Judaic law, it is the punishment for the rapist to be married with his victim to become responsible for the results of his crime.

  54. YLH says:
    April 2nd, 2009 11:15 pm

    Is it just me or has everyone started threatening everyone with “lashes” under “sharia”?

    Gorki I apologize for the behavior of my uncivilized compatriots.

  55. April 2nd, 2009 11:25 pm

    WE request readers to please stick to the topic of the post. We will be removing irrelevant discussions or discussions that can easily be conducted on other relevant posts.

    We also request commenters to not repeat themselves again and again. If people did not agree with the argument the first time it is unlikely that pasting the same material again or on multiple posts will change people’s mind.

  56. OPTIMIST says:
    April 4th, 2009 11:45 pm

    Pakistan’s civil society gives me hope in Pakistan’s future.

    As they did with the video of the Taliban beating a young girl, they will not let the forces of evil prevail in Pakistan.

  57. readinglord says:
    April 9th, 2009 10:40 pm

    @ATP Admin

    Would you please suggest where to go to discuss Mai’s case which is as ‘important’ as Pakistan’s future? In fact this and the flogging of a girl in Swat represent it is an epitome of Pakistan.

    @All friends discussing Mai’s case

    Why not go to Mukhtar Mai’s Blog where to I have transferred all posts relevant to Mai’s case?

  58. baseer says:
    October 30th, 2009 5:05 am

    can i post this on my web forum ?

  59. EJAZ KHAN says:
    March 15th, 2010 12:44 pm

    Name of pakistan give me hope. The word pakistan make me exited. Word pakistan give me a base at every stair of my life.

  60. Adnan Munir says:
    February 12th, 2011 5:04 pm

    Hope is all here.. The soil of my homeland gives me HOPE it is shining with our ancestor’s blood. She have to give us hope when our forefathers join their voice standing on this land and said

  61. Nice Heights says:
    July 9th, 2011 11:22 am

    I am afriad there might be a tendency emerging in Pakistani society to be attracted towards cults. This attraction towards “cults” is another factor which may damage our society deeply. I am afraid, a part of our society may become Irrational brain-washed zombie dumbasses giving loyalty and obedience to their cult leaders…..

    I still have hope though, I think improving our law enforcement agency and directing our funds to develop it more, instead of developing the army, may help. Also, this democratic system needs to continue in order for our society to develop. I hope there is not another military take over, we have seen what happened in last 3 military take overs……

    These are my concerns and opinions for now, donno whither they are right or wrong though…

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