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<i>"Taliban Aa Gayay"</i>: Silence of the Lambs

Posted on April 20, 2009
Filed Under >Samad Khurram, Law & Justice, Politics, Religion, Society
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Sammad Khurram

""Back in 2002, I was returning from Friday prayers when I saw an unusual gathering of singing and quasi-dancing Mullahs. Unusual because I had always assumed Mullahs to be against all types of art. The amused crowd were listening to chants of “Taliban aa gayay, Taliban aa gayay.”

I smirked. As if!

Pakistan is a nuclear country with the seventh largest army. We’re safe.

The Mullahs’ songs have been answered – the Taliban indeed are coming. And with them the cowards are bringing a lifestyle that destroys everything Pakistan and Islam.

Oh no. Wait! "This guy is on the paycheck of those who are trying to break Pakistan. Taliban are heroes, its America which is wrong." Yes, this is the typical self defense mechanism coming to full force. Having nothing to lose, and having been already declared a CIA agent earlier in life I suppose I’ll continue. Continuing with a genuine fear, that these words are falling on either deaf or hostile ears. Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s Pakistan is over if all this chaos continues.

Jinnah’s Pakistan is a dream gone wrong. Perhaps if he knew that the dreamland for living in peace, harmony, religious tolerance and freedom was going to become arena for public flogging where laughs of sadist barbarians and the screams of minors will echo, he would not have decided on creating it. Had he known that there would be more suicide bombs in his country than any other place in the world, where fundamentalists would go around the cities threatening women, where school children would have to undergo security protocols as if they were in a war zone, would he have even bothered to work for the green and white?

Still, Pakistan is not what we worry about. All our esteemed talk shows chatter on is whether there should be 17th Amendment or not and on the statements by America and India. Yes, American drones and Indian statements are a threat to our sovereignty. Yes, the balance of power is important. But even when the Taliban have killed more people than India, American Drones or our tyrant rulers, taken over more of our land and have made us feel more unsafe than anyone else in the past thirty years? What other definition of sovereignty is there than protection of lives and property of people, maintaining writ of the state across the territory and having people feel secured? Why can’t we have some programs discussing the atrocities of the Taliban, the acts of terror that they do and how they have destroyed Pakistan?

No, it’s the “Hindu Zionists” (notice the contradiction?) working on a CIA sponsored conspiracy to break Pakistan. There are the good Taliban who fought the Kuffar off and the real issue is the CIA. Apparently, everyone has all the time in the world to devise every action we do, plan it to perfection and then make the evidence of their involvement disappear. Are we really that important for the rest of the world to worry about when they have their own countries and problems to tend to? Even if the Taliban are foreign funded should does that not mean we should double our efforts? Remember when India briefly occupied few territories near Lahore in 1965 how the whole country ran to defend it? My grandfather had stories of people going with sticks to support the army. I am afraid I will not have any such stories of patriotic resistance to tell anyone when another enemy has taken control of a fourth of NWFP and roughly one twentieth of Pakistan. Perhaps we should ban “Yeh watan tumhara hai, tum ho pasban is kay” for it seems no one really care about Pakistan, except the Zionist Hindus of course.

But no, remember the glorious days of the Caliphs? Remember the great Pakistani Fauj, who under the Ameer-ul-Momineen, Zia–ul–Haq, crushed the Russians? This is only a plan to make America taste the same fate! For a nation which already lives in denial, these conspiracy theories are all we need to turn us completely schizophrenic. Army is great and it will deal with any task assigned to it. More of the same comes from everyone turning patriotic everywhere. This automatic knee-jerk mechanism has seeped in our blood and shut off our brains.

For the love of God can anyone explain me why the great Army of Allah, whose laurels we sing from the day we are born, has still not been able to jam radio stations pouring terror in Swat? Have the core commanders not even tried asking the army engineers how radios work and how easy it is jam them without even having to be in the line of fire? Can they not even figure out if they only played “Who let the Dogs out” at the frequencies the Taliban use it would stop this vitriol? Why is it that these Taliban leaders can appear before journalists in broad daylight and roam freely without any trouble even when they claim responsibility of attacking Pakistanis across the country?

Perhaps the real question I should ask is why do I even care?

When I took time off from Harvard to be part of the lawyers’ movement I had seen a ray of hope. There were concerned citizens and lawyers who stood for what was right no matter what the consequences. We fought for a principle and won with the hope that things will slowly improve. Today the very judges we had faith in released the cleric of Lal Mosque whose crimes everyone knows about. If the judiciary was going to release people whose crimes were recorded on TV perhaps it does explain why Taliban are spreading like an incurable cancer. Imagine who would be hanging in “khooni chowk” had Mullana Abdul Aziz kidnapped a few Taliban officials or fought against them and killed their men?

Yet when you think all’s over, somehow someone comes up. Someone whose name keeps your head from drowning. Perhaps this sick torture has to be long and painful where we chase mirages of oasis, never to really reach them. Perhaps for all the atrocities we have committed to our own people require us to be made an example of so no other nation follows our path. Why do ray of hopes like Afzal Khan, who has socked it up to Taliban and refused to be removed from Swat alive, appear every now and then? However he stands to die in the rain. Alone.

Can anyone please name one Pakistani leader who has said the same? Forget that has anyone Pakistani leader said that he will go and get the Taliban to give up their arms? Will the real leader who can get rid of these monsters stand up? Imran Khan? Qazi? Nawaz Sharif? This silence is criminal!

What’s worse that these leaders of ours have unanimously approved a state within a state run, which is not accountable to anyone, absolves all crimes of the Taliban and gives a safe haven to those who are there to kill us? What sort of a Nizam-e-Nonsense is this when no one even tried to debate the issue properly and even consider for a second that giving blanket amnesty to the Taliban might not, even if it be infinitesimal, the right thing to do? No for the politicians this does not matter. All they are interesting in mudslinging at each other and more ministries. Our media and sheeple are busy devouring the latest gossip while Pakistan burns.

But unlike what people think it will not be because of Zardari’s corruption or Gilani’s incompetence or Salman Taseer’s antics.  We have survived them in the past, and so we’ll do again. But any country that falls to the Taliban will never recovered.

The Taliban are here to stay and unless we stand up against them in every possible way Pakistan will be lost – for good! It will be the silence of the lambs which destroys us. You will be responsible if Pakistan fails.

Sammad Khurram is a student at Harvard University and turned down an award from the US ambassador as a mark of protest against killings of Pakistani soldiers by US drone attacks.

Omaha, Neb., Officials Hold Great Expectations for Planned Hilton.

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News October 5, 2002 By Steve Jordon, Omaha World-Herald, Neb. Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News Oct. 5–The site looks like a Roman ruin right now, with columns sticking up from the mud. Across the street, the giant convention center-arena is under construction at 10th and Cass Streets.

But by April 4, 2004, or sooner, the Hilton Omaha will be teeming with people attending meetings, sipping coffee in the open-concept lobby and strolling over the street on a 200-foot, glass-enclosed overhead walkway connected to the convention center.

At least that’s what city officials envision for the $71.2 million Hilton, which will serve as the headquarters for conventions as well as a general hotel in its own right.

“It’s going to be quite an elegant setting,” City Planning Director Bob Peters said.

“It is a luxury hotel at the level of Hilton standards,” said Randy Stone, principal in the Dallas architecture firm RTKL Associates that is designing the hotel.

“I can feel the grandeur and beauty already,” said Julia Hansen, who is setting up shop in downtown Omaha as the Hilton’s sales and marketing director.

That’s right — Hansen is already booking rooms for 2004 and 2005, even though Stone is still working out the final design so contractors can bid on the finishing work on the hotel’s lobby, restaurant, meeting rooms and guest rooms.

It’s not too early to start booking rooms for the 2004 College World Series, Hansen said. And Omaha business guru Warren Buffett has talked about having his company’s 2004 annual meeting, which attracts more than 10,000 shareholders, in the new facility, too.

When it’s done, the Hilton Omaha will be Nebraska’s largest hotel, with its 450 rooms passing up the 413-room Doubletree hotel six blocks away. Hansen uses the April 4, 2004, date as a starting point for bookings, but rooms may open before that if the hotel is done sooner.

Peters said the opening date makes sense for another reason: “You don’t bring a hotel on line in the winter months in Omaha.” Owned by a City of Omaha nonprofit corporation, the Hilton was born in controversy, with Mayor Mike Fahey and the City Council disagreeing for months on the design, the size and the hotel operator. site city of omaha

Compromise resolved the dispute, and the nonprofit corporation issued $103 million in 30-year bonds to finance the project, including land acquisition costs and other expenses. Revenue from the hotel is to repay the bonds. The City of Omaha would have to cover any shortfall, Peters said.

Construction work is on schedule at the site, said Terri Dusek, a spokeswoman for Landmark Organization of Austin, Texas, the hotel developer. Landmark is responsible for meeting the construction deadline and staying within the budget.

The hotel’s foundations are in, and later this month Nebraska Machinery Co. will move from 401 N. 12th St. to new facilities in west Omaha. After removing some fuel-contaminated soil and demolishing the Nebraska Machinery buildings, the City of Omaha will turn the property over to the hotel corporation and construction on the hotel parking garage will begin.

Having work under way is “a major milestone” for the city’s efforts to attract conventions, said Charles “Sonny” Mares, chief of the Omaha Convention & Visitors Bureau.

This week the bureau is hosting a group of meeting planners from around the country. One of the planned stops is the construction site.

“Most meeting planners won’t consider a location until they see construction start,” Mares said.

True, the convention center and arena will open at by next September, about seven months before the hotel. But he said that’s no problem.

“The community as a whole needs to understand and be a little patient with the fact that 2003 and part of 2004 are well behind us, because most convention groups are booked a couple of years ahead,” he said.

The bureau is courting meetings that will take place later in 2004, in 2005 and beyond. That means that the Hilton-less months between September 2003 and April 2004 won’t hurt Omaha’s convention chances.

Mares said he welcomes the new Hilton office in Omaha. “Hilton certainly brings a world of experience that will help us all in the sales process,” he said. go to web site city of omaha

Hansen, the Hilton sales director, has helped open other Hilton locations during her 18 years in the hotel industry, the past dozen with Hilton. She plans to hire an assistant and two sales people within the next 60 days.

“You want to be prepared when the hotel opens with business all ready,” Hansen said.

She plans to work closely with the convention bureau and the Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority, which will operate the convention center and arena. She stops by the construction site regularly and is familiar with its contemporary design and features.

“I think it’s going to be a pretty dynamic-looking building, lots of sunshine,” she said. “Everybody will be very pleased.” Hansen moved here from Philadelphia. “Omaha seems to be a very nice place, and I think I would like to make a home here for awhile,” she said.

Stone, the architect, said the Hilton Omaha is designed to work hand-in-hand with the convention center, hosting banquets in a 10,000-square-foot ballroom, breakout meetings in smaller rooms and informal gatherings at hospitality suites. There’s a “concierge’s lounge” on the top floor.

The covered walkway between the convention center and the hotel’s second-floor meeting rooms will be an important connection between the two, he said, adding convenience for convention-goers or for people who are staying at the hotel to attend arena events.

“There’s a lot of flexible space that can be divided up or used as a large overflow area for the convention center itself,” Stone said.

The main street-level entry to the hotel will be on Cass between 10th and 12th. There’s a covered motor court for loading and unloading and fountains inside and outside the building.

Rather than following the typical floor plan with the ballroom in the interior of the hotel, RTKL moved the ballroom to the main corner by the convention center, overlooking 10th and Cass.

“We really wanted to get the energy of the project pushed out to the corner where it would be visible and celebrated,” Stone said.

The ballroom and the first-floor restaurant will have some outdoor seating along 10th Street. The exterior glass will have a natural green tint.

“I’m extremely pleased,” said Peters, the city planning director. “It’s going to be a noteworthy addition to the downtown urban landscape.” HLT,

169 comments posted

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  1. Salman says:
    April 20th, 2010 12:59 pm

    Taliban cannot be threatened into retreat..

    threat as a weapon against crime is successful only if the perpetrator considers himself a criminal..

    but if the perpetrator of the crime considers himself exalted while alive.. and even more if killed.. then it would be quite STUPID to bomb them… and think they would retreat..

    the Taliban are successful only because we are stupid.. our policy makers all the way to the top.. are STUPID.. We are bombing them only in reaction.. while it is actually FEAR in us that is driving the current war.. and they are winning it every day…

    The Taliban are the only ones wholeheartedly practicing their beliefs.. no matter how criminal they be.. they are not it war.. they are the ones at peace with themselves..

    This war cannot actually be won until we seriously examine our social structure and its foundation.. even if it would be “blasphemy” to do so according to scripture.. our prevalent belief system is just a pick-and-choose version of the Taliban’s belief system..

    and this hypocrisy will take us down.. Inshallah..

Comment Pages: [22] 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 121 » Show All

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