Sunday, October 30, 2016

Lawyers or Hoodlums!

Note: I had written this article a few years ago after the brutal and insane death of a domestic servant girl at the hands of a lawyer. The murderer lawyer was not tried under the demonstration and hooliganism of the fellow lawyers. The same situation has been repeated as narrated in the article posted by Nizami Khalid under the caption, “Brutus is an honorable” man! Mr. Nizami’s s article grips the heart because the law custodians become law breakers. Notwithstanding the time difference, the themes is identical in both these articles.

October 30, 2016
By Saeed Qureshi

The custodians of law and interpreters of the sacred document titled constitution turned into an unruly crowd the other day in Lahore to press the court for bypassing the legal process and release their cohort lawyer accused of torturing to death a domestic servant 12 years old girl.

Some 300 lawyers held a raucous demonstration in front of the court, raised questionable slogans incongruent with the dignity of their profession and demanded circumvention of the judicial hearing. Such bandit lawyers have no right to be in the legal profession because by a roguish behavior they have forfeited their right to be on the right side of the justice. These vulgar guys should be debarred from taking part in the legal practice and their licenses cancelled.

If today the law protectors turn law breakers and take the law in their hands what legal or moral barrier can stop the ordinary litigants not to storm the jails, ransack the courts and kidnap the judges and jurists till they get their dictated verdict. The lawyers have set an ugly example to the effect that when a member of the bar is nabbed, the legal community was at liberty to hold boisterous demonstrations and cut short the due process of law.

What lesson these legal minds and jurists are emanating to the people: the lawyers themselves are above law, they are immune from the normal proceedings and can subvert the courts and threaten the judges because they have an influential peer put behind the bar for an insidious and a gruesome crime of murdering an innocent and helpless girl of a minority community, already hard-pressed by the sheer apathy and discrimination of the religious sections of the majority.

Their bizarre assemblage in front of the Lahore court that is hearing the case of accused Chaudhry Naeem advocate also emits a reprehensible signal to the jurists and legal practitioners around the world that here is a faction of their fraternity which can turn into the scum of the earth and debase their honorable profession meant to aid the afflicted and the wronged humanity.

 It is a self-inflicting detrimental wound by this band of rabble rousers to their own prestigious profession and more so to their personal conduct. The melee of these lawyers would leave an indelible blot on the radiant and fair face of Pakistan’s legal system and the defenders of law. If the judicial system in Pakistan succumbs to the highhandedness and mob mentality of the lawyers, then Pakistan is ready to turn into a lawless jungle.
Even otherwise Pakistan’s justice system has remained tainted and egregiously faulty. As the proverb and common cliché goes, “better buy the judge than hire an advocate.”  Such is the gross travesty of justice in Pakistan. The judicial system in Pakistan can be circumvented and thwarted in myriad manners. It is mostly devoid of healthy and fair practices relating to the implicit covenant between the clients and the lawyers on one side and lawyers and the adjudicating authorities on the other. 
The judges and magistrates from top to bottom, with fewer exceptions, accept or demand bribes to hand out unjust verdicts. It’s not a guarded or uncommon secret that after the day’s work, the lawyers both from the prosecution and the defense sit together in cozy settings for hilarious evening extravaganzas. 
Same is true of the judges’ collusion and personal equations with the lawyers, the latter cultivating the judges for favorable decisions for the agreed amounts of money, besides other entertainments that better not narrated. Most of the so called lower or junior courts look like shops where justice is sold rather dispensed with according to the book or in compliance with the imperatives of justice. The laws or caveats are practiced more in breach than observance. 
The clients or the litigants keep paying hefty fees to the lawyers who seldom prepare the cases because they use the power of money to buy the tampered justice. Quite a few lawyers buy law degrees and their knowledge of the law is as good as a common man in the street. However, they are adept in wheeling dealing and striking underhand deals to get the decisions of their choice. There might be exceptions but such is the general picture of the realm of the justice and judicial system in Pakistan.
So the judges and lawyers are the chips of the same bloc that survive on fleecing the harried citizens desperately hankering for justice for such crimes as grabbing of their small piece of land by a powerful goon or such heinous crime as the rape of their women or murder or abduction for ransom. The basic human values that are reiterated from the pulpit five times in a day are willfully and with rare abandon trampled from top to bottom.  The common man with no social clout or financial backbone is at the mercy of an assortment of thugs, bandits, murderers, looters, rapists, touts, blackmailers and so on. On top they get swindling lawyers who keep milking the client as long as they can.
The litigations continue interminably for years especially for serious crimes and most notably with regard to the vacation of a property or sale or purchase of land. Invariably, a person trapped into the vicious cycle of land disputation would not see the decision either way during his or her lifetime. The laws about land are so infamous and complicated that even if the judiciary was on the right tracks, these cannot be conclusively decided in favor or against of either contending party. 
In the meantime, the farmer sells his other lands to pay for the fees and grafts, becomes penniless, get older and dies. The forcible occupation of prized lands is common in Pakistan and those in occupation have long arms to silence the dispensers of justice by force or bribe. On the other hand, for small felonies as a verbal brawl or lifting a pair of shoes, a convict with no connections, languishes in jail for longer terms.
Although in the past the Supreme Court’s role and conduct in treading the unalloyed and sublime path of justice has not been above reproach, yet during the past two years it has manifested itself with a laudably upright demeanor and strict propriety. From the time of removal of the chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry to his restoration and till now, the apex court has exhibited what has been termed as independent judicial activism. Chief Justice Chaudhry has been viewed as a symbol of democracy and rule of law
 The ongoing tussle between the superior judiciary and the government bears an incontrovertible testimony to the sordid phenomenon that the establishment was ignoring or dishonoring the court’s decisions. The supreme court of Pakistan overturned the amnesty granted to over 8000 corrupt and criminal individuals in NRO.  But the government by all indications seems determined to thwart this historic ruling. Various phony and fake excuses are pouring out of the government portals that signal that implementation of the follow up action is not going to be a smooth sailing. 
Now if the executive wants to promote and justify corruption and shelter the rank corrupt persons then the sanctity of the constitution and supremacy of rule of law stand robbed. In such an inclement environment, it looks a tall order for the accountability and law to prevail. Small wonder then, if the lower rank lawyers and advocates make a mockery of law and undermine its inviolability by their disruptive and villainous behavior.






Pakistan May be Drifting Towards Another Martial law!

October 28, 2016
By Saeed Qureshi

The PMNL government has come down with a heavy hand on the rioting PTI workers who in compliance with the order of Imran Khan are bent upon assailing Islamabad and agitate. Imran Khan uses filthy language against the prime minister of Pakistan and goes to any length of indecency in tarnishing his image. Their latest upsurge is fifth or sixth solely aimed at destabilizing the political order that came into being through a democratic and constitutional procedure.
Imran Khan and his ilk should wait for the next elections due in May 2018 and try their luck through the legitimate course of people’s mandate to come into power. Any other course would lead to socio-political mayhem scuttling the democratic process and perhaps lead to the imposition of martial law in Pakistan.
It appears as if Imran Khan has either personal enmity with the Sharif family or else he has some ulterior motives to pursue at the behest of forces inimical to Pakistan. It further surmises that as a result of this hooliganism perpetrated for malicious intentions and spurious goals, Pakistan would fall into the line of some terribly destabilized Islamic countries such as Iraq Syria and Yemen.
The removal of the present government would entail a complete breakdown of the order and social peace that has been in place for quite a few years. More grievously, it would negatively impinge upon the monumental milestone project CPEC that would be a turning phase and milestone for the territorial integrity, prosperity and economic uplift of Pakistan.
The general elections held in May 2013 gave a mandate to the PMNL to form the government. The next elections are due in May 2018. It would be in order and desirable that PTI and the opposition parties should harness their efforts and launch their political maneuverings for that elections and try to win the public opinion to come into power and unfold their agendas for progress and prosperity and advancement of Pakistan.
The PTI’s provincial government in PKH province has not thrown up any miracles that they deserve to seek a short cut to the power at the federal level. Has Imran Khan a bag of miracles and a magic wand that with PTI’s coming into power the country would turn into a garden and there would be flowers everywhere. It is foregone that PTI has slim chances of assailing into power corridors as witnessed in Azad Kashmir elections and other bye-elections on vacant seats in Pakistan.
Imran Khan possesses a mindset to settle score with Sharif family for some personal reasons or vendetta.  If it so, then it is indeed a very shabby and flimsy ground to demolish and pull down an established political order now half way through its tenure.
Notwithstanding, the conclusively proven allegations of money making or money-laundering (Nawaz family may not be alone in the entire country), the incumbent PMNL dispensation is doing much better governance than any other government so far in Pakistan. Money laundering or corruption is worldwide culture. In Pakistan’s context, the corruption should be investigated by FIA and other concerned agencies. Till such time that the charges are proven, any government or individual should not be punished or harassed.
The term corruption has been variously used in Pakistan as a handy poly and rather stunt to demonize the political contenders. I would vouch that Nawaz Sharif must have accumulated underserving wealth but then the question is who has not done so in Pakistan and elsewhere in the world. Do we, per say, forget the title of Mr. 10 percent.
Why Imran Khan is so riveted on Nawaz Sharif and wants him to abandon power and tried for corruption? Why he doesn’t call for across the board and non-discriminatory probe against all those who were involved in such heinous scandals of money laundering and ill-gotten wealth.   For instance, what about the PPP government and its stalwarts against whom the charges of corruption are as manifest as the rising sun? He is lashing out only at Sharif family which connotes that he has mala-fide intentions against them.
Yes, corruption must be investigated but through the judicial and legal systems. But if Imran Khan doesn’t believe even in judiciary, still it doesn’t mean that a government should be brought down through street agitations and by creating a social and civic disorder which hurts the people more than the rulers.
In this vindictive campaigning against Nawaz Sharif and his government, the sideline actors have too joined hands. Look at the misdemeanor of Sheikh Rashid who himself doesn’t have honorable credentials to decry a political opponent by using a language of threat and abuses. Don’t these pygmy politicians have any sense of decency and decorum to behave and restrain from using filthy jargon and slogans.
Per say, let us suppose through a miracle the PMNL is dismantled before the May 13, 2018 general elections and PTI, and PMLQ and Awami Muslim league combine seizes the power. Would they not expect the PMNL to return the same compliment to them through street violence, sits-ins and burn and besiege tactics now being employed the PTI and its cohorts. Imagine where such political vendettas and sinister rigmarole would lead Pakistan already exposed to internal and external threats to its sovereignty and existence.
So, if this chaos and turmoil continues unabated we may well forecast that the armed forces would have to intervene. It means imposition of Martial law. The country would drift back to apolitical stage and whatever democratic edifice has been built would crumble.
If the PTI and their political cohorts want the military government to take over, then they may continue with their mindless and ruinous protests and rallies. They would be direly mistaken that with the advent of the military rule, they would be honored as heroes: not at all. However, the country would suffer immensely and may be the ongoing internal disorder would get worse.
But the most insidious and frightening outcome would be that the Taliban and other militants would try to intervene and plunge the country into a conflict that might result in disintegration of Pakistan. Already in Baluchistan province, separation movements and insurgencies are going on that keep the army to counter them around the year.
These breakaway movements notably Baluchistan Nationalists, Baluchistan Liberation army, Baluchistan people’s liberation Front of Khair Bakhsh Marri (BPLF) are engaged in sabotage and a kind of guerilla war against the federation of Pakistan. The religious militant outfit, “Lashkar-e- Jhangavi” has been attacking Hazaras community who mostly belong to Shia sect. some of these groups are believed to be supported by India.
So PTI and Sheikh Rashid and other anti-Nawaz bands should eschew the tendency of scuttling a political system erected on popular will. Nawaz Sharif and his government may go but in return PTI and other dissidents would not be able to heal the deep wounds inflicted on the body-politic of Pakistan.





Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hillary Clinton would be the Next President of USA

October 25, 2016
By Saeed Qureshi

With the last day of voting drawing to a close on 8th November, it is getting obviously clear that the Democratic Nominee, Madam Hillary Clinton would be the next 45th president of the United States of America. It would be an historic and landmark happening as since the founding of the United States on July 4,1776 as she will have the unique distinction to be the first female president of the country. This year’s elections are 58th quadrennial U. S. presidential elections.
Her opponent in the elections the Republic party nominee Donlad Trump had also bagged sizeable chunk of votes. Yet obviously for his questionable demeanor, filthy jargon and propensity for indecency towards women, he lags far behind Hillary.
To win the present presidential elections a candidate has to obtain 270 electoral votes or delegates out of total number of 538 count. Thus, far the trend of polls show that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s standing in the electoral and popular voting is very robust. Out of the total declared number of 538 electoral delegates she has achieved 278 which exceed the threshold number of 270 votes. Donald is far behind with 179 delegates. The pollsters predict that she enjoys over 90 per cent of the chance to be the next president of the United states.

 The White population is America 74 per cent and they could have supported Donlad Trump who raised racial slurs against the Latinos and the Muslims. had he a clean conduct he could have been elected. But because of so many drawbacks in his past and present lifestyle the white and neocons and evangelists too were divided. His anecdotes with the women in the past too proved to be an “Achilles Heel” for him. Even a segment of white or right leaning Evangelists dropped their support for him. It was indeed a great setback for him.

The electoral process in United States is quite complex and tricky. Candidates for the presidency typically seek the nomination of their respective parties mostly through the mode of the primary elections to choose the candidate for the party. In the primary elections, the voters cast ballots for a slate of party delegates pledging support to a particular candidate.
First through the primary elections a party elects presidential candidate which in 2016 is Hillary Clinton for the Democratic party and Donlad Trump is for the Republican party. It is followed by the electoral voted a kind of indirect polling to elected a candidate to become the president from either of the contesting parties in the national elections.
The general elections culminating on November 8 are also an indirect election, where voters cast ballots for a slate of members of the Electoral College these electors in turn directly elect the President and Vice President. The election or winning of candidate in the general elections is not based upon the popular votes but on the number of electoral votes.

Briefly there are three stages to elect the president. One is primary elections to elect a party candidate. The second is electing an electoral college or a group of members. The Third is that these electors then elect the president or the vice president of the country.






Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Obesity is Taking over America

AOctober 11, 2016

By Saeed Qureshi

One shudders to learn that 61 % American adults as well as children are obese or overweight. Overweight is a malady that is less injurious than the obesity which when exceeds the BMI of 30, can cause premature death. Obese people run 50-100 % increased risk of premature death than the normal humans. Every year around 300,000 people die of obesity or excessive fatness. Obesity is the second killer after smoking, which kills 400,000 Americans every year. The cumulative yearly financial loss to United States is staggering $ 117 billion.

The deaths caused by obesity and overweight have doubled since 1980. In children, it has increased three times. It is shocking that children should be suffering from diabetes, blood pressure and heart problems which usually appear in adults or in old age. All these horrifying statistics are mentioned in the Surgeon General’s report, which further says that overweight and obesity threaten the health gains of the American nation.

It is indeed a poignant warning which clearly connotes that the money being spent on health or measures taken in that regard would become futile as the nation would be overtaken by a deadly syndrome of obesity.

Human beings die of starvation, famine, and hunger but seldom because of overeating. These are the bizarre absurdities and paradoxes of humanity that in one part of the world the people die because of famine or mal- nutrition while in other parts they leave this mundane world because they eat more than what they should.

The urge for eating for many people in America has become an obsession or a craze and there are several compelling reasons for that. Not only that the reason for obesity is over eating but also the propensity for heavy intake of junk and fat making food. Such foods are delicious mostly but gradually adversely affect the natural metabolism and body chemistry.

The crudely obese and excessively heavy women and men as well as children are the common sights in America. Some of them walk with great difficulty. They swing left and right and can walk by exerting greater force. They are handicapped by the very food whose main purpose is to sustain life, provide energy and keep the people smart and symmetrical.

It should be understood that the obesity that afflicts most of the Americans is not of hereditary nature in which obesity travels from parents to children and this process goes on. In America there might be such cases of obesity but mostly the obesity prevalent in the American society is from excessive eating, lack of exercise and precedence of leisure over physical activity.

The Surgeon General and other agencies monitoring the national health, outline a host of factors that lead to obesity. These are eating of junk and nutrient-lacking food, excessive watching of Television, lack of physical exercise minimum for at least half of an hour, lack or inadequacy of physical exercise facilities at schools, work, provision of improper food at educational institutions and the shortage of parks for jogging or walking.

The report also underlines the need of educating both adults and children about prevention from obesity and how to take physical exercise and maintain their normal physiques. Besides daily physical activity and taking of nutrient food, breast-feeding by expectant mothers has been pointed out as one single factor that it serves as a natural check against obesity.

No one bothers about the Federal Food Guidelines aimed at preventing the growing obesity. The schools are still giving the same old prescribed and standardized food without realizing the baneful ramification of such a myopic and straitjacket course. The shortage of parks still persists. Moreover, people pressed by the time constraints because of work for earning more money, prefer not going out for walking or jogging.

The security problem in parks and gardens or open places is yet another compelling factor preventing citizens for a stroll in the fresh air and straightening or stretching legs and limbs. The expectant women or those having infants would not like to waste time on breast-feeding for keeping themselves symmetrical and in good physical shape. Breast-feeding by the modern women is considered as an uncultured or obsolete practice. In the first instance the choice of many women trying to look smart is to have foster children than having their own. The question of breath feeding in such cases does not arise.

America is a haven for food franchises. There must be countless varieties of foods, cuisines and culinary recipes offered by these franchisees serving fast food or otherwise. Most of the people are used to eating fast food which normally consists of grilled, roasted or fried chicken, beef, pork, fish served exclusively or in sandwiches or burgers.

Besides Pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, salads, soups, tacos, huge varieties of other cooked foods are also served. It is very convenient to stay in front of a fast food window while sitting in your car, order and get the stuff in a few minutes. This is the usual practice that the people adopt and go by it as a daily routine. The drinks taken with the food, carry lot of sugar in due course, lead to diabetes both in adults and children.

Here in the United States there are innumerable Chinese, Korean, Thai, Taiwanese, Indian, Mexican, Mediterranean, African and other countries’ restaurants. As such whatever food is separately available in those countries; in America all these are simultaneously available presenting a mosaic of culinary delicacies.

Fast food is primarily the American food culture. It is exclusively unique to America alone although now it is also spreading to other countries especially McDonalds, Subway etc., which are now becoming universal favorites. The other fast food franchises are also taking a cue from the McDonalds.

The fast food is relished by the Americans, generations after generations. It contains lot of cheese, meat and a good portion of sauces that produce fat in the body. The food served at signature restaurants like Chili’s and Olive Garden, is relatively expensive and therefore can be enjoyed only by a particular section of the society with sizeable income. In such restaurants one may spend many times more than on the fast food.

In these high profile restaurants, the cost depends upon the number of people sharing the food. So the low and modest income sections mostly eat fast food, which is relatively cheaper, does not involve hassle of waiting and at the same time is delicious and can be shared by more people.

This intake of fast food, which becomes a matter of habit over the years, adds fat and other undigested and surplus stuff in the body and ultimately assumes the form of obesity. The overeating of ubiquitously available junk food like chips etc. with no physical exercise to burn this heavy load harms the digestive system.

The fast food serves such people who are in a hurry or short of time or money. While going to the office or coming back and at a limited lunchtime the fast food takes a few minutes to pay and five minutes to eat. Thus one is used to this kind of life for days, weeks, months and years. So an adult or a kid who keeps on eating the same cheese, meat, sauce, salad for years naturally start storing this stuff which besides filling the empty belly produces lot of fat. Thus a dangerous process of accumulating fats in the body starts.

Those voracious or compulsive eaters, who eat passionately and with gusto, conserve more fats and protein in their bodies. The body starts ballooning and moving towards overweight and the deleterious obesity.

A good portion of TV and commercial ads is about food and eating-places. These ads highlight in a mouth-watering manner the tasty, juicy and crispy aspects of the food they are advertising. Besides, the size, the quantity, the price and such features like second and the third layer or toppings are hammered in the minds of the viewers to prompt them to prefer their recipes. Naturally one is moved by all these enticing jingles.

The food franchises can be divided according to their categories, timings and menus. Some are open round the clock while some open in the morning and close in the evening. Some serve only breakfast, and some only soups and salad. Some of them merely sell sandwiches, some of these burgers and pizzas, while other dish out snacks, wings and fried items such as chicken and fish. As such there is a vast array and variety of food for everyone, catering for every pocket, and satisfying every taste and temperament.

America, thanks to franchised food looks like a vast display and service center for a limitless variety of food recipes. This fast food culture has become an indispensable feature in the American society. The vying food serving enterprises have their own competition between themselves and therefore the prices of food keeps fluctuating: some time dwindling and sometime hiking. The industry of pre -cooked food is always in big profit.

Working for long hours takes its own toll. After a long day’s heavy work, one tends to either rest at bed or else watch TV for hours. Those who are alone or even couples become habitual of remaining before TV from the time of arrival in the house till the time of going to bed. A majority seldom goes out for a walk or jogs or exercises for either security reasons or simply due to sloth and laziness or fatigue. The junk and rich food in the stomach needs additional physical labor to burn or to digest. The result is fatness.

 Children either stay at the school or at homes. For them there is nothing interesting at home except to watch television. The parents are away at work. Even if they are at home they may also take rest along with their kids. It is reported that 40 per cent population does not do any physical activity for one reason or the other.

On top of that, there is plentiful intake of sweet beverages and other sugar-rich stuff like candies and chocolates. An American adult or adolescent takes sugar many times more than is medically recommended. Sugar needs to be burnt through walking or other kinds of physical labor, games, support or work out, which for obvious reasons no one takes seriously.

Then what results can one expect from such a freakish situation? Not only that the body starts swelling but serious diseases like asthma, diabetes, blood pressure and even cancer start assailing the bodies. It is dismaying and agonizing that 13 % children in America are obese or overweight. Women folk are more obese than men, because they get more leisure time than men do. Equally by remaining for longer time at home they have more chance to eat more.

There is a section of society for whom physical labor or job is an anathema. These people spend their lives on social security. From the social security amount, they buy drugs and some food and remain confined in doped state to their residences till the next social security paycheck is due. Now how can such breed of people remain physically fit who even are averse to taking up a job, take the trouble of going out in a park or open place for jogging or short stroll? Thus they develop lethargy. With the lethargy comes overweight and finally obesity. It is a segment of society, which seems lost and isolated from the fellow citizens. The drug addicts either die of loss of weight or overweight. Many among them land in jails.

The most alarming part of this whole sordid saga is that there is very little realization at the official level. Even on the citizenry level, there is scant awareness about an impending disaster of stupendous proportions. That the precious lives are being driven to the valley of death and the living getting obese and developing serious diseases and rendering themselves unable to cope with the stress of life and hard work. It forebodes a very dismal and murky situation for the future of this nation.

No doubt one third of the population is concerned about the growing menace of obesity and overweight but that concern does not help in containing obesity. The nation is getting obese at an alarming rate; while already over 60 % among adults and 13 % of the youth, the flower of the nation, are already physically disfigured or have disproportionate bodies.

Those who have time and money can afford to go to GYMs, SPAs and slimming centers to keep them in good shape. These slimming and physical fitness centers are minting money. Their number is mushrooming. But here the problem is that if one can afford to visit such centers for the whole life and with regularity then obesity can be kept at bay.

But regularity is not possible. After a certain period of time a person has to discontinue for the reasons that his work or office schedule has changed or his domestic or financial circumstances do not allow him to attend the gyms and slimming centers regularly.

The moment they dispense with the exercise, the process of putting up weight starts once again. With the negligence towards this new situation, one reaches the same level of weight on which he had been before the physical exercise. So literally one is back to the square one.

The owners or managers of these slimming or fitness centers are experts of human psyche and aware of the predicament of the overweight people. They have their own services or products to sell. Mindful of the laziness of the people in coming out of their houses or offices and also aware of the fact that apportioning of time for a physical activity was a problem for so many, these slimming centers, of late, instead of physical exercise, have started selling the recipes in shape of drugs which one can use in the comforts and privacy of their houses to get slim or physically fit. As such, besides physical fitness centers, the slimming clinics have also proliferated.

These clinics make incredible offers bordering on miracles and short terms drugs for reducing the weight. These drugs, medicines or prescriptions whatever, one may call them, are not only expensive but on the whole injurious in the long run. They may contain toxic elements, which burn the extra fat but leave also other harmful side-effects. This is yet an unnatural and artificial way of quick fixing of bulkiness which may work for the time being but turn out to be immensely disadvantageous in the longer run.

That is why instead of lessening the obesity such clinics are making the matters worse and contributing deterioration of the national health. There are better ways of doing things and saving the nation from a total disaster that has started undermining the health of a great nation. What is then the best way out and safe way of doing things?

We know that with most of the people, the obesity is not hereditary. It results from over eating; the eating of junk and fatty foods, spending time in leisure and resting and by ignoring the indispensable physical activity. Most of us may want to reduce their excessive weight by walking or jogging but cannot do so because of time constraints or security reasons. On top of it is the monetary aspect, which may hinder the regular attendance of slim or body fitness centers. Therefore, the time has come that the government will have to intervene with all the seriousness. Laws have to be made to check the growing obesity in the nation.

How can these laws be framed and mandatorily implemented? Let the government; first of all, declare the obesity as a national calamity. Thereafter, it should act fast and with firmness on the enforcement of anti-obesity measures. The first step towards this direction would be to change and then check the food culture as being served for ages in the franchisees and private eateries. The change should be in accordance with the five food guidelines of the federal government with regard to use of various ingredients of food such as grains, meat, dairy products, fruits and vegetables.

These guidelines ordain half of an hour physical activity for every one about five days a week. How this can be implemented? If compliance of these rules were left on the sweet will of the people, the result would remain the same as is evident now. Let these rules be implemented by the authorities with full force in educational institutions, offices and work places also.

 The obese people should, in the first place, not be given jobs until they reduce themselves weight-wise. That would impel them to resort to fitness of their bodies. During the office timings, employer must allocate half an hour for an organized physical activity at the premises to be administered and executed by the experts hired for this purpose.

It should be officially incumbent upon the factory owners or the employers to ensure daily physical activity at their facilities. The health authorities should monitor and check such activities actually taking place. The defaulters or non-compliant employers should be heavily fined. In this way several purposes would be served at the same time one of which is that the working citizens would receive the required labor to maintain the normal weight and ward-off overweight. The slim centers too would get the business and thus they would be happy. While the employees would receive the physical fitness exercise the cost would be borne by the employers.

In educational institutions, the physical training must be made mandatory to be done in the morning before the start of the classes. In colleges the students who come at different times or once or twice in a week to the colleges, should also be mandated to take the physical exercise. For this purpose, a physical instructor should be part of the staff to impart such training. Thus the students, also per force, would be able to prevent overweight. It could otherwise be made obligatory for students to not exceed their weight beyond a certain level. Regular weight checks should be administered at schools and colleges.

For jobless and other kind of citizens surviving on social security, it can be made obligatory, that only those would receive the full amount who would look physically normal. For affluent and higher circles of society, the problem should not be acute or a matter of major concern. For obese people among the rich or elite some kind of additional taxation can be introduced which is the best and the most effective way of dealing with their fatness. More parks and jogging tracks are imperative to cater for most of the people to take long walks and if necessary jogging or running fast. Security and protection at such places must be ensured.

The basic problem is that while we are aware of the gravity of the obesity, we have failed to stem it. Perhaps the fundamental reason is that overweight or obesity is treated as a private or personal matter of citizens. The state governments do not want to interfere in such matters considering them as sacrosanct and as an encroachment upon the individual or personal freedom of citizens.

But it needs to be realized that this personal matter has assumed an epidemic proportion pregnant with disastrous ramifications. It is no more a private or personal problem. It is a grave matter of health for the entire nation. It has therefore, got to be tackled on national and on war-footing level. Any halfhearted and half-baked measures would fail to produce the desired results. As such a national anti-obesity campaign needs to be mounted.

Obesity should be treated an affliction, an abuse or abhorrence to be ridden off at once like cancer or infectious diseases. If obesity were not dealt with the urgent attention it needs, sooner or later a big part of the population would enter the domains of disability and inactivity. That would spell doom for the creative faculties of the nation. Who then would work and deliver on such matters in which alacrity and smartness in needed?

There is no gainsaying that the terrorists may not subdue the undaunted spirit of the American nation or cause as high security alerts for us as the obesity would do in the future which is the silent enemy and surreptitious killer. We must not take pride in the self-assurance that we are the most well-fed nation and that this is the only nation where surplus food is a problem and not the shortage of food. Some surplus food goes into trash and the other in the bellies. Let us be austere in our eating habit, which means eating less and eating nutritious food.

By curtailing obesity, the cost on national health care would drastically come down. The health care centers and hospitals would be less populated, there would less needs of medicines, less costly equipment for the hospitals to buy and less number of medical staff.

But the most redeeming features would be less fleecing and exploitation by the health insurance companies that have become more like money minting mafias. There could be more oversight and accountability for the overcharging companies, pharmacies and manufacturing of drugs and medicines and equipment.

So the health care budget that now supersedes the defense budget of the United States could be enormously reduced. The money thus saved could be diverted to medical research projects besides enhancing the social security income, expanding the benefits like food stamps and providing housing to the poor sections of society.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Donald Trump is No Match to Hillary’s Caliber

October 8, 2016

By Saeed Qureshi

The second presidential Debate between the Republican Nominee Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is coming off on October 9,2016 at 9.00 p.m. at Washington University in St. Louis.  The first debate was held on September 26,2016 at New York’s Hofstra University.

One may anticipate that this time too Hillary would excel and keep her intellectual tempo higher than that of her Republican Contender. In fact, there is a sea difference between the caliber of both of these candidates for the upcoming 2016 election to be held this year on November 18.

Hillary is highly polished, eloquent, well-educated and equipped with a vast reservoir of worthwhile experience in Senate, public service, diplomacy and interstate relations spanning over 20 years. During the first debate she displayed exemplary poise, restrain and grace in articulating her goals as the president and rebutting the outlandish logic of his rival.

Understandably both have a part of their lives that is dotted with mistakes, failures, moral lapses, and erratic behavior. But by a fair count Donlad exceeds his counterpart in a huge way. In such shady endeavors as making money through wrong and deceitful manners, excessive and unbridled sex pursuits and sleazy mannerism Hillary has no equation or parallel at all with Donlad.

Donald’s relationship with all kinds of women and off the cough indecent and lewd remarks belittling women are now voluminously being carried by the American press and beyond that. Each time when a news about the wayward incident of Donald is unfolded he has the temerity to own it and tender public apology. What is the guarantee that if elected his fondness for the fair sex would dwindle or disappear altogether and he would become sinless evangelist?

Of late, he particularly apologized for his 2005 lewd comments about the women after the video became public. 2005 video surfaced. In that video he discussed groping women with former "Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush. Earlier he denied that he had made such comments or even met that woman.

Some time ago he lashed out in retaliation, at Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly with a sleazy rebuke because of her question as to why he was so disrespectful to the women by portraying them as pigs and dogs etc. He said to CNN, “You could see there was blood coming out of her(Kelly) eyes, blood coming out of her wherever”. That comment filthy comment demonstrated to what extent Donlad can go in berating the women.

If evangelists and white supremacists and anti-immigrant’s lobbies support him then it is not a cogent support but speaks for mala-fide partisanship. The whole world and even saner sections of the American society are crying wolf if Donlad is elected president. There must be some burden of proof and truthfulness behind those protests and outburst against Donald.

Donald’s recklessness, his past wayward conduct, his evasion and manipulation in payment of taxes for decades speak for a slippery character that can repeat the same practices while presiding over the country.

His general knowledge, his command over the foreign affairs and his elucidation of opinion on national and international issues seems to be perfunctory and superficial. Since he is prone to subterfuge and making false claims and statements he cannot be relied while delving in the international arena and having interaction with the outside world. He has already annoyed many countries by his wild and unguarded outpourings.

He would pursue a politics of division and discrimination evidenced from his denunciation of minorities, Muslim Americans, Mexicans and women, etc. Ostensibly If he wants to impose stringent restrictions on immigration that how one can differentiate between a pluralistic and cosmopolitan America with Russia and China and many other countries that don’t allow the people from around the world to come through a well laid-out immigration process and lead decent lives. United States is an oasis and a haven for the uprooted and wrongly persecuted people from around the world.

Donald Trump possesses a unique and peculiar temperament. At best he is a non-conformist. Irrespective of the caution and restraint needed in canvassing, all the more for the highest office of the president of the United States, he is prone to making statements and remarks in his public rallies and media interviews that could be termed as wild and indiscreet. Either he willfully projects himself as daring in condemnation of his opponents or there is a kind of method in his recklessness.

After the first debate Mr. trump spewed out vulgar remarks about a former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, He engaged himself in a phase of recrimination, denial and finally admissions and apologies. The same happened in case of his filthy remarks about women known as which were also followed by apology.

After the discloser of his sleazy comments about women made in 2005 many stalwarts within the Republican party have called upon Donlad Trump to drop out of the election race. However, he has refused to heed their counsel and vowed to remain in the contest till last. At the same time many prominent republican politicians including Paul Ryan the speaker of the United States House of Representatives have withdrawn their support for Mr. Trump.  Mike Pence his candidate for vice president has decided to quit. It is going to be a huge setback for Donlad trump.

Despite a storm of proven serious allegations Donald Trump vowed on Saturday to remain in the race. With a divided support within the GOP and his close colleagues abandoning him it would be utterly unimaginable for Donald Trump to win the 2016 presidential elections. However, we have to watch hoe the things turn out and in case of Donlad quitting who will replace him: Mike pence or someone.

Yet it is going to be too late for new entrant to appease the voters and get majority of votes to defeat the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. While Donald Trump might soon be going to the sidelines, the chances of Hillary Clinton become much brighter and stronger to win the 2016 elections for the prestigious position of the president of the United states.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Muslims’ God is very Sensitive

October 6, 2016
By Saeed Qureshi

The God of Muslims is extremely sensitive or we Muslims have portrayed him sensitive. He is described as to be incessantly prying and watching every move, intention and act of Muslims for the last 15 centuries. The almighty God and his appointed angels are always compiling and updating a record of good and bad believers among the Muslims. Ostensibly, for the non- Muslims the maintenance of such a record is not necessary as they are out of the pale of Islam and definitively would be the fodder of the hell-fire.

 The steadfast practicing Muslims are always geared towards pleasing and placating God in every possible manner: from wearing a dress to performing wudu (ablution), to saying prayers and observing other elements of faith. They are fearful of God lest he gets offended and on the Day of Judgment dispatches them to the hell whose torment is beyond description.

For orthodox and less knowledgeable Muslims, God can be annoyed even for not covering the head while praying or putting the left step first while entering the mosque. Islam’s religious edifice is patently premised on the fear rather than love of God. If there is a mention of love or mercy of God, then it is invariably bracketed with fear and rage of God.

 The Muslims’ entire life is dedicated to praying to the creator of the universe to earn his (God is a male or has masculine traits) pleasure and mercy. From cradle to grave round the clock, a Muslim’s life is governed by countless prayers and rituals. On the birth of a Muslim, a religious obligation of uttering a prayer in his ears and on the death another prayer is observed for forgiving the sins of the deceased and to give him or her abode in the paradise.

The body decays in the grave or blown to pieces in case of a bomb blast or sunk in water. Yet the belief ordains that the soul resides in a limbo (Barzakh) till it returns to the body on the Day of Judgment. This is the inexorable power of belief based upon the fear of hell and allurement for the paradise.

 The Muslim clergy, clerics and preachers keep frightening the Muslims about wrath of God who according to them gets annoyed on a slight negligence of the Muslims towards the basic obligations and attendant surfeit of rituals alike. Now the number of prayers, beliefs and obligations differ from sect to sect within the fold of Islam. A Wahabi detests veneration of the saints, the spiritual godfathers or graves or even tombs for being frivolous and out of the pale of Islam.

On the contrary the followers of Qadria or Naqshabandi or Chishtia and Brelvis sects would harbors beliefs that run counter to the beliefs and articles of faith of other sects in Islam. They repose divine powers in the mediums, mystics and shamans that range from healing the sick to exorcising the bewitched persons and to having a child.

In our religious books and in sermons of the clerics and preachers delivered in mosques, the emphasis in invariably on hell and heaven. The burning and torturing of sinner in hell is graphically described almost in every sermon. The torrent of words and flurry of the phrases of the fiery narrators is spine-chilling and create indescribable fear in the minds of the listeners as if God was very touchy, revengeful and extremely barbaric lord of the world.

 The Muslims preachers’ day in and day out dwell on the limitless fury, revenge and displeasure of God and reminding the faithful about the hellfire and the torture to be administered in that most horrific place. A religion can preferably prosper and would be more acceptable if its foundation is not laid on enticement or punishment which means heaven and hell.

The pictorial and minute illustration of the doomsday is terrifying as well. The Muslims believe that the soul leaves the body at the time of death and lives in a purgatory and would enter the body on the Day of Judgment or the final day of human existence. The purgatory is a temporary abode of soul where it would stay to reenter the dead body of a Muslim on the last day.

Historically, the Christians of the second century borrowed and integrated into Christianity Greek philosophy and terminology like Trinitarian doctrine (three-dimensional God) and immortal soul. The Greek immortal soul implied a need for various destinations for the soul: heaven, hell-fire, purgatory, paradise and limbo.

But manipulating such teachings it became easy for the priestly class to keep their flocks submissive and in fear of the hereafter and to extract gifts and donations from them. Finally, after a long time it was accepted. Same manipulative tactics have been adopted by the Muslim preachers to tame the Muslims to this day for personal clout and benefits.

 The scrutiny and test of a Muslim starts from the grave no matter how pious and righteous one may have been throughout his life. According to the dogma both males and females will have to face a tough pre-questioning session with two horrific looking angels. The angels would beat him if he gives wrong answers.

Is this belief not superfluous and could be introduced to instill fear of grave: a dark and narrow ditch? There doesn’t seem to be any need of interrogating the deceased in the grave when there will be the main Judgment Day with almighty God sitting upon the throne of justice. It connotes that man will first be reborn in the grave and for the second time when an angle will blow the bugle to awaken the countless dead.

  On the day of the Judgment (Dooms Day) for exclusively Muslims (no other religious followers are mentioned) would come alive and run towards a limitless vast field to receive the good or the bad award from the almighty God. Now God is described to be sitting on a throne (like a mighty king) and the judgment would be administered during a long day which would be unbearably hot and indescribably suffocating. Why a day is chosen when sun is supposed to be above the heads equal to the length of a pole and quarter? The judgment as matter of grace could be handed out in a serene and pleasant climate.

 Now the science has proven that if the Sun comes down even by a fraction of a millimeter, the solar system would come to a naught. It surmises that it is the replay of the spectacle of a worldly king sitting on a throne and making the decisions. Why the monarch would be under the canopy and the subjects exposed to roasting sun? After all the Muslims faithful who had forsaken their mundane and worldly comforts and pleasures during their transitory sojourn upon the planet earth ought to be treated kindly and within an environment of order and serene conditions. The luxuries and enjoyments of the world are mostly forbidden for Muslims as these are supposed to be immoral and make one sinful in the eyes of God.

  The Islamic traditions hold that there will be an unimaginable chaos in the colossal ground and every one would be in a state of panic and utter agony to receive the final verdict: favorable or unfavorable. I personally believe that God is kind and compassionate and cannot dispense justice in roasting heat and stifling suffocation.

 Despite receiving the final orders from God to live either in paradise or hell, the faithful will have to cross a bridge that the Muslim demagogues describe as sharper like a razor and thinner than the hair.  Incidentally that strange bridge could be crossed by those riding over the back of a lamb that the intended dwellers of the paradise had sacrificed in the material world?

Underneath that bridge would be the inferno of hell and those who will not be able to cross will fall down in that despite having divine decree for the paradise. One wonders if it would be the same paradise where Adam and Eve and the chief of the angels Satan lived together before they were exiled to the earth. Does it make any sense?

Why a Muslim faithful has to wait till eternity for his deeds to be adjudicated? Why not immediately after his soul leaves his body? If human beings who are the favorite creation of God, can sort out unlimited data in computer in faction of seconds, is there no speedy system with the creator for automatically updating the data of good or bad deeds?

Is it not possible for the lord of the universe to deliver the awards to the recipients in a jiffy instead of handing over to them one by one?  Doesn't it look like a monarch of olden times rewarding or punishing his subjects? 

 It is like belittling the omniscient and Omni-present creator of universe in which the light travels and the contours of the universe expand at a terrific speed of 186,000 miles per second? It looks odd that the God who can create trillions of galaxies in the vacuum will sit on a chair and hand over the judgment to the harassed people? Instead of waiting for the final assemblage on an un-revealed day, a pious person should go to the paradise and the wicked in the hell immediately after the death.

 The description of hell and heaven seem to be serving the taste and temperament of the Arabs than the rest of the human beings. The honey, the fruit, the sweet fragrant water, milk and nice dwellings have been deficient in the Arab peninsula. Yet these delicacies and luxuries were plentiful in other parts of the world for instance in the Mediterranean coastal regions.

The attraction of beautiful women and polygamy among the Arabs is well known and this aspect would be everlastingly taken care of in the promised paradise. But while other religions don’t emphasize upon the hell-fire or a horrific “dooms day: in Islam it is the cardinal belief as part of six major beliefs for proclamation of faith.

 During his life span in this world, a Muslim is ordained to remain a subdued, harassed and meek individual.  One remains unaware that the rigorous religious obligations he or she was practicing were the right ones to please God and entitle them a place in the blissful paradise. In the meantime, the Satan is free to use his enormous powers to astray and misguide the humans from the path of God. According to the scriptures God has granted unlimited powers to Satan to mislead the human beings who are the favorite creation of almighty God.

 The powers and capabilities of humans are colossally limited and are no match to the limitless powers of Satan bestowed upon that sinister being by God himself. It is like creating a lamb and leaving it before a leopard. If this is a test to enter the paradise, then it is between two grossly unequal rivals: one without powers and the other equipped with such amazing powers as to enter the mind and body and blood of the human beings. But this kind of tussle is exclusive to the Muslims only.

  In Christianity the God (also called father) is loving and compassionate and not a revengeful or indulgent lord who keeps constant vigil or unremitting watch over the human beings for a razor-thin judgment to be given on an appointed yet most agonizing day. In Islam the main emphasis is placed on God’s powers and unquestionable submission to him.

In Christianity God or Jesus’ love is a perquisite for salvation and to live in the everlasting blissful Kingdom of God. The resurrection and salvation would take place simultaneously. The reincarnated Jesus would establish the Kingdom of God on earth which is the exact prototype of the Muslims’ paradise to be situated somewhere in Heaven.

Christians believe in collective Resurrection of mankind and Kingdom of God on earth at the end of time. They don’t believe in hellfire, purgatory or immortal soul. As narrated earlier these beliefs entered Christianity under the Greek influence after 2nd century C. E.  The belief in resurrection emanates from the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his death at the stake. The dead after resurrection will enter the Kingdom of God to be commanded by Jesus from heaven and figuratively from earth.

The entry into the Kingdom of God has one pre-requisite and that is to have belief in Jesus as the anointed son of God. For Christianity, salvation is only possible through Jesus Christ. In their beliefs there is no element of God’s surveillance on the human beings by way of placing two angels on both shoulders for perpetually writing humans’ good or bad deeds.

 In Hinduism one of the principal beliefs is Moksha: liberation or release from the grinding wheel of rebirths and different existences. The second main belief is Karma that postulates that one reaps of what one sows in a supposedly former existence. The third paramount belief is the reincarnation that stipulates that each personal soul passes through many reincarnations and possibly hell.
It must strive to merge with the supreme reality called Brahman. For the Hindus hell and heaven are intermediary waiting places before the soul gets its next reincarnation. As such it means that during the process of reincarnation the soul passes through countless stages including hell and heaven.

The Doctrine of the resurrection of dead is considered as the central doctrine of Judaism. It is ultimate resurrection of dead at the end of time. Today while the immortality of soul is accepted by all factions of Judaism, the resurrection of dead is not. Some Rabbis hold that there will be a judgment day following the resurrection of the dead. Others hold that there is no need for that because the Day of Judgment happens every year on Rosh Hashanah (Yom-Hedin). Yet others profess that this accounting and judgment happens when one dies. Other Jews factions believe that the last judgment only applies to other nations and not the Jewish people.

 According to Talmud God judges who has followed His commandments and who does not and to what extent. Those who do not "pass the test" go to a purifying place Hell (analogous to the Muslims’ Purgatory) to "learn their lesson". But this does not imply the eternal damnation. However, “after the rise of the modern Judaism in 18th and 19th centuries, and holocaust, the Jews began to view messianic message as a liability and merely reinterpreted it as a new age of prosperity and peace”.

Pervez Malik’s Solution for Kashmir Issue

October 3, 2016

By Saeed Qureshi

I deem Mr. Pervez Malik as one of the outstanding intellectual colleagues from among the Dallas Pakistanis. He runs Radio 1120 AM for several years. It’s an air media outlet that caters for the political questions and diversity of opinions on political issues of Pakistan specifically and the United States and other countries generally.

Recently in response to my article, “India and Pakistan on warpath once again” Malik Sahib responded to that with a crisp and thought-provoking observation by way of a comment that I would like to share with my countless readers here in Dallas/Fort Worth and beyond that.

I am sharing the full text of his email with my worthy readers. He writes,

“My Dear Qureshi Sahib, Interesting read. As soon as the white men departs the Indians and the newly called Pakistani's slaughtered every living thing that walked and crawled. A mayhem worse than a Jewish holocaust or the plight of the Palestinians. Kashmir is a living testimony of the barbaric and inhuman nature and instincts of the people of the Indian sub-continent, no one is better or worse than each other. An everyday Indian and Pakistani is tired of the theoretic of the politicians, the bureaucratic and the propaganda machinery.


Kashmir is a diversion for Pakistani politicians, half of the country was lost in 1971, the Muhajirs who actually crossed the killing fields of partition today are the most hated and forgotten ethnicity in Pakistan. North West frontier is openly waging war against Pakistan in multiple disguises, Taliban, Jihadi etc. Baluchistan was forcefully taken by Pakistan and illegally annexed, the insurgency continues today.

Pak army is fighting the insurgencies inside Pakistan every day. Kashmir is a diversion for both countries to cry foul, collect votes, armament, practice weaponry. For the love of humanity Kashmir must be returned to its rightful owners the people of Kashmir by both India and Pakistan. Let them decide their own future and destiny. To sit and cry foul in the United Nation by both countries, nobody cares and nobody gives a hoot, it only reflects the callousness behind a wonderful face.”

From this text I have chosen the following as most important sentence, “

“For the love of humanity Kashmir must be returned to its rightful owners the people of Kashmir by both India and Pakistan. Let them decide their own future and destiny.”

As a political analyst for over two decades now, I tend to agree with the solution or the suggestion of Mr. Malik contained in this sentence. The fact is that Kashmiris have not been given their inalienable right to decide one of the three options either to be (1) independent, join (2) India or (3) Pakistan.

Since the United Nations had postulated plebiscite, vide Resolution 47 passed on 21 April 1948, the Kashmiris have the only option of either to join Pakistan or India. It means the right of vote if ever exercised by the Kashmiris will preclude independence.

This rule had been applied and implemented in case of other states during the partition of the Subcontinent. For instance, PK, Baluchistan. Sindh and Punjab being majority Muslim areas joined Pakistan. Other states joined India. Junagarh, Manavadar, Hyderabad and Kashmir and even East Punjab remained unsettled.

We have seen that several independent or separation movements have been going on in India and one or two in Pakistan. But since the partition plan supervised by the UNO doesn’t cater for separation independence these states have to join either Pakistan or India.

Kashmir unfortunately is dived into two parts: one aligned with Pakistan and the other with India. It assumes a special status. Same can be said about Junagarh and Hyderabad which were annexed by India by use of force. As such if India and Pakistan agree to hold a plebiscite in both parts of Kashmir this option should also be exercised in the above-mentioned two states.

This is like opening a Pandora box. But since there has always been an opposition and resistance against India for hold over Kashmir, the hypothesis can be deduced that the people of Kashmir don’t want to accede to India. That is why India has always been opposing the voting to elicit the Kashmiris’’ opinion in their part or the whole of Kashmir.

The third option outlined by illustrious Pervez Malik Sahib is the most pragmatic.  It advocates to make Kashmir independent. However, it can never see the light of the day. Still the opinion of the Kashmiris has to be elicited if they want to be independent. This option or way-out can neither be endorsed either by Pakistan nor India as it contrasts with the UNO resolution and it might lead to other states with the sub-continent to follow the suite.

As I mentioned earlier it is tantamount to opening the Pandora box. The Kashmir remained for a long time under the Sikh rule, followed by the British rule and finally the Dogra Raj with British consent. Since they never absolute independence, there is such possibility even in the future.  Thus they have to opt either for Pakistan and India without being an independence state. But despite that bottleneck, I still I support Mr. Malik’s proposal that can bring lasting peace between India and Pakistan.