Responding to Pakistan’s Emergency: Aaj bazar mein pa-bajolaaN chalo

Posted on November 6, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, About ATP, ATP Mushaira, Poetry, Politics, Society
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Adil Najam

These are distressing times. But this is not a time to be depressed.

This is a time, as Owais reminds us in his last post, to reaffirm our hopes for the future. True defeat would be to give up on those hopes. I have put up the splash image (on the front page) that I have to reassert and to remind ourselves that ultimately Pakistan will be what we make of it. Emergency or no emergency, no one can snatch our Pakistaniat from us. Not until we ourselves surrender it!

Back in May, at a moment of similar desperation, I had written a post where I had sought “solace in the one place where I always find it. In poetry. Especially in Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poetry.” The video clip I had used there is worth repeating here.

I had written then – and it seems even more pertinent today to repeat it:

Here is Faiz – in his own words, in his own voice. The second half has the same poem masterfully sung by Nayarra Noor. Enjoy this rare find of kalam i Faiz, ba zaban i Faiz. But more than that, think about what he is saying and how it relates to what is happening today.

What I had to say (including about US role) I said at length in an NPR Radio show today (or here). But what Faiz has to say is far more profound.

The words of Faiz certainly cut deeper than anything I can say. They are an invitation to action. But they are also an invitation to thought. An invitation to responsibility. An invitation to continuing the struggle no matter what. An invitation to keep moving onwards despite the odds. An invitation to celebrate the spirit of defiance of those who will not give up.

I had ended that post by reaffirming ATP’s committment “to celebrating all the diverse trials and tribulations of being Pakistan … the mundane as well as the profound; the sad as well as the gleeful; the immediate as well as the long-term.” It is time, today, to repeat that commitment.

This is our commitment to Pakistaniat. We love Pakistan not because everything is right in it. But despite that which is clearly not right. And with a commitment to make right that which has gone astray. Ameen.

145 responses to “Responding to Pakistan’s Emergency: Aaj bazar mein pa-bajolaaN chalo

  1. Expat Engineer says:

    people have always held his own political and human rights views – that is their right and no one can denounce that. Also, they are not forcing these views on any one – only venting out the same in a forum where people may agree or disagree with them. As for me, I see more pros and less cons in the present set-up.

    The successive governments that our generation has experienced comprise of zia, junejo, bb, ns, bb, ns and musharraf. Of these, zia’s regime has always been termed as the dark period starting from coup against and hanging of bhutto – and if history is written rightly – that action was highly undesirable and fully deplorable. The successive governments, except junejo perhaps, were dismissed quite unceremoniously on (proven) charges of CORRUPTION – but there was no hue and cry from the human right activists and all those who are on streets now – presumably because a civil president (aka ishaq, laghari) has more ‘civil’ right to throw off an elected government than when the same crime is committed by a man in uniform – as in 1999. And I fully support the people who are of the view that he should not have done this – he should let have his PIA commercial plane, full of civilains, crashed somewhere off the Pak soil or should have landed in India as the mid-air dismissed Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan Armed Forces – a highly intelligent move mastered by the then PM. Please note that all this has been repeatedly mentioned in both electronic/print media and has been published in his official biography – and has never been denied by our elected PM or challenged in any national/intl court of law as an attempt to defame him – proof enough for intelligent people to accept that this, indeed, is the whole truth.

    Again, coming back to comparison with those governments – those were dismissed on charges of corruption – the rulers, sorry, the elected popular rulers and the champions of civil rights (since Asma Jahangir and IA Rehman took to streets against those governments much less than now – that seems to be the only gauge available to most of the people) making their fortunes in English Palaces, through 10% commissions on high fund deals, through steel mills import rules, through swiss bank accounts, through yellow cab and Green Pakistan (etc.) schemes … the list is long and dirty. Much to the dismay of the civil rights champions and media hawks of Pakistan, the present regime failed to match their predecessors in the corruption race – am trying very, very hard to find something against musharraf that added to his personal assets and wealth, apart from the perks and benefits granted to him by army, huge and thorn for the same group of people mentioned above, but again unfortunately granted to him by the laws not set by him and are much less than the value of money held in a swiss account or the real estate value of Surrey Palace. At the same time, I am trying equally hard to find anything financial irregularity recorded against his huge cabinet – the result is the same. And when there indeed were some things, like the much touted Steel Mills case, the judicary stepped in and stopped that deal – and the government honored the verdict. So, for me at least, Musharraf is a clear loser in terms of high corruption standards set by previous rulers – and, to quote the idiot box, biggest loser jeetay ga.

    Coming to judiciary – what has been done to them is definitely wrong – but I was really wondering why it was done to them??? When CJ was suspended in March, it was on charges of corruption, nepotism and misuse of authority. When he was reinstated by his colleagues in July – the only thing that was cancelled/overruled was the way of his dismissal. That was not the reference against him; the reference was on appointment of his son to an elevated post using his influence, the misuse of government resources (helicopter etc.), the wrong claims in medical and transport bills etc. I am still to hear any SC ruling clearing the honorable (ex) CJ of Pakistan of those allegations filed against him by the government. And when the gentleman was reinstated, his comments became more masala for newspapers’ front pages than any tinsel town news. I suppose his famous comment to Chairman PIA (one of the highest civil positions in Pakistan) that went something like, ‘shakal se to aap parhey likhe aadmi lagte hain (you look like an educated man apparently)’, and many more similar comments to may other senior civil servants, made headlines but were conveniently ignored by the civil rights activists and lawyers and political parties and media hawks – probably because the civil CJP has the right to utter these things; a Martial Law Administrator should not dare say such rubbish. The chapter, unfortunately, does not finish here – the reinstated CJP and the SC suddenly woke from a long slumber and started taking suo moto notices of each and everything that was happening in Pakistan. There is no objection on why they started late – there is always a first time – but there is every reason to say that they were treading on both sides of the fine lines dividing judiciary, government and lawmakers. For any average sensible man, the language and actions of Mr. Chaudary since his reinstatement were clear indi cators that the gentleman has lost his impartiality and is no longer unbiased – the basic quality desirable in judiciary. He and his fellow judges can be made heroes and icons on their denial of oath under PCO – but personally, and I repeat personally, I believe that it would have been much better if they had taken the oaths and then took decisions on the cases pending in their courts as per law – it would have served the nation, if not them, muchbetter.

    If memory serves us right, we may remember the reaction of the same lawyers outside Supreme Court against the same judges when the decision of allowing General Musharraf to contest the presidential election went against them and their candidate Mr. Wajih. There were demonstrations, slogan chanting, setting ablaze the court verdict, denouncing the SC itself – Namanzoor, Namanzoor, Yeh Faisla Namanzoor / Shame, Shame etc. – were some of the slogans I remember now. Again, the self-appointed civil rights champions and the ever-efficient media chose to look the other way when the SC authority was challenged

  2. Ismail says:

    Very moving poem and very timely. I also loved these words in the post: “We love Pakistan not because everything is right in it. But despite that which is clearly not right. And with a commitment to make right that which has gone astray.” Yes, that is our committment too.

  3. Rafay Kashmiri says:

    Are we still walking “Pa bajolan” in the Bazar ??

  4. Rafay Kashmiri says:

    BB, Asma Jehangir, & colonial leftists,

    Congratulations, The master Raj Bahadur has
    decided to expel Pakistan from Raj aur Raj ki
    auladon chor’on ka Commonwealth if….. u know !!

    Have envy for a Samba !!


  5. Naveed Ahmed says:

    emergences from emergency:

    The Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah Said,

    “never look the people but principle”… unfortunately our rulers do not know any principle the only principle they know is “sab se pehle pakistan” a phrase which they can not justify for themselves.. and we all know that how brutally the defamed our judges who are most respective and honourable.. who are already very few in number in our country.. socrates said 2500 years ago “we have to study the state of mind of a man because man is very important”. this principle is considered as the fundamental of the principle of “rule of law” but unfortunately we have lost the importance of man in our eyes so judges is a thing of far.. if an agreived person does not get justice in our country we consider it as not a big issue but the tragedy is that the controversial suicidal attacks, artificial unstability of law & order, suspension of constitution are also no more “a big issue” for us.. we have to stand but everybody knows and wants to be stood up against this non-sense of government but we are waiting for others to take first step and same is what everbody else waiting for… come on people this is our land this is our country this is our pakistan…. ” sab se pehle pakistan hai toh ab sab se pehle main kiun nahin”…

    our country need us. our country need us to come forward. please come forward and restore the importance of “a man” in pakistan.

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