Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Culture of Dirty Politics in Pakistan

August 16, 2017

By Saeed Qureshi
These days there are cattle bazaars set up all over Pakistan. In these bazaars people sell and buy the animals for sacrifice to commemorate the religious festival of Eid-ul-Azha on September 6 this year. The compounds, bazars, roads and the open fields are the venues for animal trading and are replete with filth and stench all over. This stench would further pervade all over Pakistan on September 6 and it would take a long time to clear the streets etc. from the offal, bones, and other unusable parts of the bodies of the sacrificed animals. The skins are sold in the markets.
This tradition began from Saudi Arabia and now it is a part of the religious obligations all over the Islamic world. It is a rerun or the tradition of prophet Abraham (1900 B.C.) who agreed to sacrifice his son Hazrat Ismail (for Jews it is Ishaq) on the command of God as a test of his level of obedience to God. The tradition says that he tried to sacrifice his son but God sent two rams instead.  This tradition was adopted by Jews first and followed by the Muslims after the advent of Islam.
Another Biblical version narrates that he took away his other wife Hajira and his son Ismael at the behest of his first wife Sara to a far-off place. Sara ‘s own son Ishaq was 14 years younger than Ismael. Sara turned hostile to both Hajira and Ismail after the birth of her own son Ishaq. Here is the contradiction that primarily it was not the command of God to sacrifice Ismail but to obey the order of his wife Sara to take Ismael and his mother Hajira away from her eyes as Ismael was mocking Sara and his step brother Ishaq.  
Besides this temporary phase of sacrifice of the animals causing a great deal of stench, health hazards and atmospheric stench, we can witness the political dirt and pollution caused by the political lot in Pakistan. The culture and penchant of foul mouthing, name calling, abuse and accusations between the rival parties and politicians is prevalent like an epidemic.
There are politicians who are active in derailing the democratic order by using the state institutions. The latest example is the removal of Nawaz Sharif as the prime minister of Pakistan by the supreme court. This is a handy and the easiest way to remove a president or the elected prime minister from his office.
Instead of conveying their parties’ manifestos and programs in a civilized manner, the combatant politicians treat each other as the enemies and use abusive and degrading jargon against each other. The PMNL president and prime minister Mian Nawaz Sharif has been the target of ridicule, cheap remarks and even abusive language by his worst political adversaries namely PTI chairman Imran Khan and Sheikh Rashid the president of the political party “Awami Muslim League”. 
Traditionally, every government in Pakistan has been painted by the opposition as incompetent and the enemy of the people and the country. The opposition leaders invariably claim that when they will come in power they will turn the country into a paradise and all the problems and the issues bedeviling the lives of the people would evaporate.
This pattern of political culture has been going on in Pakistan ever since it came into being in 1947. In the meantime, Pakistan was dismembered in 1971. The eastern wing of the former Pakistan separated due to the grave follies of politicians including ZA Bhutto, some army generals and the then president General Yahya Khan. To understand how foolishly and callously Pakistan was dismembered and the defeat of the armed forces of Pakistan was facilitated, one should read the insightful book, “Memories and Reflections” written by the then Pakistan’s foreign secretary and ambassador Sultan Muhammad Khan who had been an eyewitness of what happened during those tumultuous times.
Pakistan in the present situation, has passed through many ups and downs including the martial Law phases of General Ziaul Haq and General Musharraf. Those martial laws were the natural or forcible outcome of the bizarre political atmosphere created by the ruling parties and the politicians in the government and outside. But perhaps no lessons have been learnt or imbibed by our army of politicians. There has always been a bizarre and degrading tussle going on between the parties in power and those in the opposition with character assassinations and name calling.  
There had been a relatively peaceful and stable tenure during the presidency of Asif Ali Zardari (November 2008 to November 2013). Despite his many drawbacks and penchant for making money and allegation of financial corruption, he kept the democratic order intact. The credit goes to him for allocating more powers to the provinces.
But what is happening now seems to be a political war between Mian Nawaz Sharif and his family on one side and their main opponents namely Imran Khan and Sheikh Rashid on the other.  Extremely sleazy epithets, dirty slogans and derogatory remarks are used against Sharif family by both Imran Khan, Sheikh Rashid and their party cohorts in their speeches and day to day comments.
Sheikh Rashid is adept in hurling highly caustic and offensive invective against the Sharif family. While it would be acceptable for the nice and civilized political campaigning to win the popular support for paving way for the next general elections yet such a nasty behavior is to impel the army to step in and remove the government in power. That can happen if the political temperature is heightened by an equally filthy rebuttal and tit-for-tat response by the people in power.
The politicians like Sheikh Rashid and Imran Khan otherwise pygmy politicians, are busy in settling their personal scores with the PMNL in general and Sharif family in particular through non-political avenues. The apex court has not been fair or impartial in handing out verdict against prime minister Nawaz Sharif and order his removal on flimsy grounds while such accusations were not fully established or conclusively proven
Even after his removal the vicious tongue-lashing and vitriolic outbursts against him and his family have not been abandoned by the PTI shenanigans joined by Sheikh Rashid and doctor Tahirul Qadri the head of “Pakistan Awami Tehrik”. Dr. Qadri is a Canadian citizen and has no political role to play in Pakistan. How can he bring about a grand revolution based upon the religious basis when he spends his 11 months in the salubrious and comfortable society of Toronto?
Sheikh Rashid nurses personal grudge against Nawaz Sharif because of his close association with former president General Pervez Musharraf in whose government he remained as the minister for five years (November 2002 to November 2007). His opposition to Nawaz Sharif is not based on principals but on the grounds that Nawaz Sharif and General Musharraf have been rigid opponents of each other.
In October 1998, the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif elevated Musharraf to a four-star general status and made him the chief of the Armed Forces. The discord developed between Sharif and Musharraf was due to the Kargil war initiated by Musharraf in October 1998 without the knowledge of prime minister Nawaz Sharif.  That war led to an extremely serious situation between India and Pakistan. Sharif was unsuccessful in removing Musharraf and in retaliation through a coup, Musharraf took over the power and put Sharif in jail.
Nawaz Sharif has been a great admirer of Imran Khan as a top cricketer who as a captain and cricketer led Pakistan to victory in the 1992 Cricket World Cup. It is yet to be figured out how Imran Khan turned a diehard opponent of Nawaz Sharif. But it is being guessed that he wants to halt the CPEC( China Pakistan Economic Corridor) project at the behest of some foreign powers that don’t want Pakistan to prosper and attain the status of a developed country with the help of China.
As far corruption of Nawaz Sharif, the main question is “who is not corrupt in Pakistan”. If Imran Khan is bent upon weeding out corruption then the crusade or campaign against corruption should be waged on the country level and not solely against the Sharif family.
The popular support and approval for both Sheikh Rashid and Imran Khan is insignificant. In the recent by-elections in Azad Kashmir and for filling vacant seats in Pakistan, Imran Khan’s PTI and Sheikh Rashid’s “Awami Muslim League” miserably failed to capture any seats.
 As far Allama Tahirul Qadri, he comes once in a while to fish in the troubled waters and cannot attain power or nationwide popularity or acceptance for all time to come. He seems to be a spoiler and that is why is bracketed with Imran Khan and Sheikh Rashid  who both lacks vision and peoples’ support. A part time religious zealot is unfit to be a political leader or get the peoples’ goodwill.
I would urge the guys like Imran Khan and Sheikh Rashid, jamaat-e- Islami and also Allam Qadri not to resort to street agitations and instead hold on to democratic tradition by contesting the next general elections to be held in June 2008 and try their luck through political means. If they cannot attain power through the political mandate then at least they should allow others who rule through popular mandate to stay till the maturity of their assigned period.
Otherwise it is going go to be a rerun of the past when the weak and unpopular politicians and political rabble rousers attempted to remove the incumbent governments through street agitations.  Those uncalled for and apolitical attempts  invariably culminated in military dictatorships.
It is also necessary for the politicians not to be abusive and hurl personal attacks and throw filthy allegations on their opponents as both Imran Khan and Sheikh Rashid are doing. It is not only indecent ethically, politically and religiously but make them look uncultured, vulgar and foul mouthing hooligans.
Good or bad, let incumbent PMLN dispensation complete its mandate of five years. As already stated, instead of using the shortcut of moving courts against political opponents, the political opposition should wait for the next general elections due in June 2018. It would set a healthy tradition of continuation of the democratic order which is in place even after the departure of PPP government under president Asif Ali Zardari in September 2013. The general elections are not far and are scheduled to be held in Pakistan any time within 90 days after 5 June 2018.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Imran Khan Needs to Come Clean out of This Mess

August 5,2017

By Saeed Qureshi

Imran Khan the Chairman of the political party “Pakistan Tehrik Insaf” (PTI) needs to urgently refurbish his image that seems to have been tarnished as a result of the allegations of sexual misconduct or exploitation by one of his erstwhile party member Aisha Gulalai from South Waziristan.
Irrespective of the aspect as to who is right and who is not, it is important that the competent authorities should find the fact and probe these allegations leveled by Aisha Gulalai an MNA and formerly a prominent member of PTI. Gulalai became disgruntled for not allowed to speak in a public gathering as well being denied the party ticket to contest for NA 1 seat of the National Assembly.
She alleged that Imran Khan, the founder and president of the Pakistan Tehrik-e- Insaf had been making indecent advances towards her by way of sending lewd and unethical text messages. Besides he was urging here to meet him privately and alone, not even in the company of his family members.
When asked as to why she failed to report the alleged sexual harassment by Imran Khan earlier as per her claim, she started receiving "inappropriate messages" since 2013; Ayesha Gulalai conceded that “she only managed to summon the courage to spill the beans now”.
Gulalai showed some of the text messages to Hamid Meer, a famous journalist and the Geo News Anchor who tacitly confirmed that the nature and tenor of the message seem to be unethical and therefore merits an inquiry.
Gulalai claimed that these foul messages were sent to him over a period of four years and she kept these under the curtain for their being highly sleazy and for not picking up courage to make these public. She is now ready to show these messages to the appropriate authorities which can be a court of law.
Imran and his party colleagues claim that Gulalai has launched this defamation onslaught at the behest of his arch political rival Nawaz Sharif and his other party members. Notwithstanding Imran’s claim of his defamation by his political rivals, the case itself is of such a nature that this must be taken into consideration by the relevant courts as Suo moto or else if could be filed by Aisha Gulalai herself. Gulalai seems to be determined to go to any forum to prove herself right and also show the text messages whose number runs into several scores and were sent over a period of four years.  
Meanwhile, the Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah said that the nature of the allegations of MNA Ayesha Gulalai were very serious and need thorough investigation. Jamaat-i-Islami has also demanded a judicial inquiry and praised the courage of Madam Gulalai. JI leaders even invited her to join their party.
Senior politicians of mainstream political parties of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa demanded a high-level investigation into the allegations leveled by MNA Ayesha Gulalai against her party Chief Imran Khan. PTI, in the meantime, has approached the relevant authority to abolish her membership of the National Assembly.
We have been reading in the past about Imran Khan and his free life style like a Casanova in England as well in Pakistan. There are quite a few stories about the kind of his life spent in England. But that was not objectionable as it was commensurate with the culture of that country.  Also, we have been hearing about his life pattern in Pakistan which seems to be full of sound and fury that a single or a divorced young man would prefer. He has divorced her two wives: one from England and the other from Pakistan. 
There are stories about his association with Salahuddin the founder and host of Havely, a venue for literary, poetic, musical and occasional fun filled parties. This is the age of Facebook and U-tube. As such everyone is sitting in a glasshouse and therefore the private and social life cannot remain hidden. 
As long as having a normal friendship and a possible offer of marriage with Aisha Gulalai who was also a bachelor was in order. But the aspect of sending or trading filthy, sexy or sex-tinged messages all the more to a female party member is certainly below the dignity of even a common person; all the more by a politician of high caliber.  
Inviting Gulalai to meet him alone and not with her family members is a dimension that makes one to raise eyebrows and impel pondering as to what could be its purpose. However, if the case is referred to a court of law, to an arbitrator, or any other competent authority then the people might be able to know about the nature of the messages and the real intentions behind those.
It is hoped that in the meantime, Imran Khan may not delete the sent messages from his blackberry cell phone. Even if he does then his challenger Madam Gulalai claims to have the messages in her iPhone(blackberry) to prove her claim of moral indecency by her former party chief Imran Khan.
In the meantime, the female members of the PTI have rallied around their leader. They have condemned Aisha Gulalai for hurling very serious and highly indecent charges and heaping a plethora of immoral offences on a popular political figure of Pakistan.
Concurrently, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has served a legal notice on Ayesha Gulalai. The notice sent by PTI central media coordinator Javed Badar demanded Ayesha Gulalai to provide evidence to support her allegations against the PTI chief within 10 days or seek apology.
In the meantime, Imran Khan has directed his party leaders and supporters not to target Gulalai’s sister.  Gulalai however, has claimed that she is being threatened by PTI supporters. She added that if any harm comes to her or to her family, she will hold Imran Khan responsible for it. In an interview Imran Khan alleged that Ayesha Gulalai was used by the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz to trap and defame him.
Gulalai also denied allegations of corruption leveled against her by her former assistants Noor Zaman and Mujahid Khattak who accused her of corruption in road construction and other projects. Gulalai said that these individuals were never her political assistants. Gulalai’s father has characterized Noor Khan as a person of criminal intent and nature.
Ayesha Gulalai is highly educated and belonged to a famous and respected Wazir Tribe.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

July 28, 2017
By Saeed Qureshi

A five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan today (July 28) unanimously disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and chief of the political party “PMLN” from holding public office for a period of 10 years. Nawaz Sharif submitted his resignation after the ruling in Panama Papers case related to the allegations against the Sharif family for their alleged money laundering and establishing overseas properties. Under orders from the bench the Pakistan’s Election Commission also disqualified Nawaz Sharif as the member of the parliament.
Meanwhile other mainstream political parties, inter-alia, Jamaat-e-Islami. Pakistan People’s Party and MQM have applauded the Apex court’s verdict against Mian Nawaz Sharif and his family members.
The bench also issued orders to file reference against Nawaz Sharif’s two sons (Hasan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz), Mariam Nawaz(daughter) and Captain Safdar (son in law) and Ishaq Dar (FiancĂ© Minister). In this regard, the apex court has directed the JIT to gather similar information of overseas assets and accounts and properties of these family members. The aim of the court is to broaden scope of inquiry and if proven guilty could take a similar roller coaster course as done in case of prime minister Mian Nawaz Sharif.
This verdict was based upon the investigation carried out by a six-member JIT (Joint Investigation Team) formed by the Apex court to further collect evidence or information given in the Panama Papers with regard to the assets and the wealth of Mian Nawaz Sharif and his family members in Pakistan and abroad.
In their report of July 10, the JIT “found Nawaz Sharif and his family members of living beyond means, concealment of facts and being beneficial owners of multiple offshore companies and recommended initiation of reference against the PM and members of the ruling family in the NAB”.
“The report also highlighted the failure of the Sharif family to provide a money trail for its London apartments and claimed the prime minister and his children possess assets beyond their known sources of income.”
Prior to Mian Nawaz Sharif’s current disqualification, other prime ministers were also disqualified by the judiciary for financial malpractices and misuse of powers. Yousaf Raza Gilani the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Prime minister (25 March 2008 –19 June 2012) was disqualified in 2012 for refusing to reopen corruption case against the then president Asif Ali Zardari. Raja Pervez Ashraf another PPP prime minister (22 June 2012 – 25 March 2013) was also indicted and had to abandon his premiership.
The Supreme Court judgement against Prime Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his consequent hanging (4 April 1979) is a part of the politico-judicial history of Pakistan. 
Let us watch what transpires in due course of time and whether as a result of further inquiries as ordered by the Apex Court, Nawaz Sharif may also be sent to jail. In the meantime, the PMNL ministers and leaders are expressing their bitter reaction and intense retaliation to a verdict that is certainly extremely stringent. The post indictment reaction of certain PMLN leaders was poured out in a hastily called press conference in which the speakers vowed to remain within the boundaries of law and put a legal and constitutional fight as permissible under the law.
The difference between this indictment and the previous ones is that this case was spearheaded by a political opponent and chief of the PTI former renowned cricketer turned politician Imran Khan and his close cohort Sheikh Rashid( founder of Awami Muslim League( AML)  party)and a bitter opponent of Mian Nawaz Sharif.
If it is a question of rooting out corruption from the government departments and officialdom and punish the bureaucracy and the political office holders then such action should have been taken across the board against all corrupt elements and individuals. Yet for the last several years the paramount agenda of Imran Khan has been riveted solely on Mian Nawaz Sharif and his financial corruption.
As far the mandate and approval rating in the recent and general elections, it is the PMLN that has been winning most of the seats, be these in Pakistan or Kashmir. As such, the fringe parties including PTI (Pakistan Tehrik Insaf) have resorted to street agitations to weaken the incumbent dispensation of PMLN.  
It is alleged that some of the judges in the apex court as well in JIT are related to or sympathetic towards Imran Khan. It is also alleged that behind the removal of Mian Nawaz Sharif is the gigantic project known as CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) initiated and being completed by the PMNL and with the personal interest and involvement of Mian Nawaz Sharif. India and some other unfriendly countries to Pakistan don’t want this milestone project to be completed and that can be done only if Nawaz Sharif was removed which presently has happened.
Nawaz Sharif’s popularity soared when under his orders Pakistan conducted six nuclear tests in May 1998 which were in response to the Indian tests. It fulfilled Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s mission of making Pakistan a nuclear state.
The street agitation and anti-PMLN drive has been mainly carried on by Imran Khan and Sheikh Rashid (president Pakistan Muslim league) for a few years via street agitations and sits-in which now have assumed the judicial format.
It would have been more preferable and looked objective and desirable if a nationwide drive against corruption and concealment of ill-gotten or unjustified assets and wealth and offshore accounts was launched on the national level to cleanse Pakistan from the curse of corruption once and for all. This campaign by Imran Khan and his colleagues only against Nawaz Sharif and his family seems to be one sided and smacks of a kind of personal rancor and grudge.
While the PMLN is going to nominate another prime minister in place of Mian Nawaz Sharif, they party may file an appeal against the verdict. 
It is certainly a stunning irony that Mian Sahib also couldn’t complete even his first two terms as the prime minister of Pakistan. This would be the third time that he would be leaving the highest portfolio unceremoniously and without completing his term a few months before completion of the tenure in 2018. The incomplete three terms of Mian Nawaz Sharif as the prime minister are as follows:
5 June 2013 – 28 July 2017
17 February 1997 –12 October 1999
6 November 1990 –18 July 1993

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Let There Be a Cultural Revolution in Pakistan

July 16, 2017
By Saeed Qureshi

Pakistan is beset with the following diverse problems that hinder its shaping up as a modern state with robust economy, social freedom and a truly democratic culture.

  1. The unrelenting clash between the religion and the state, the intrusion and over- lordship of clerics in state affairs
  2. The dogged and deep-rooted feudal system.
  3. Divisions and schisms on the basis of caste, creed, faith, financial status, tribalism, race and gender, ethnicity, language, region and provinces, subversive powers of intolerance, violence and hatred.
  4. The internecine feuding between center and provinces.
  5. Suppression of cultural manifestations and diversity by curbing peoples’ freedom of choice for pursuit of happiness in the name of fake and narrow concepts and dogmas pedaled by the ignorant zealots and fanatical ideologues.
  6. The holy cow image of the army, bureaucracy and clergy and their being above public censure and accountability.
  7. The narrow social vision, low literacy.
  8. The clash between personal and class interests on one hand and the national interest on the other. The preference for the former over the latter.
  9. Lack of long term thoughtful planning for development. Non-implementation of the previous plans.
  10. Political anarchy.
  11. Poor civic conditions. Lack or obsolete nature of infrastructure.
  12. Alienation of people in decision making process and rule of oligarchy.
Pakistan is therefore, in need of a cultural revolution. However, it should not be a bloody revolution as happened in China from 1966 until 1976 initiated by great Chines leader Mao Zedong.   During that period millions of people were persecuted in the violent phase of Chinese history. Pakistan should embrace peaceful and constructive cultural, economic and political revolution which like a strong torrent should wash away all the soci-economic and political filth and dirt, accumulated ever since its birth.
We as a nation are still engaged in a futile and interminable discussion and debate about the form of government, and the role of the army and religion in politics. Besides, there is no let up in the deliberately engineered slogan of “Islam is in danger” by the religious right to keep the population behind them. The fact is that Pakistan is the only country where Islam is safe by all means and in all respects. Pakistan is a veritable citadel of Islam and would remain so.
in their hay days of power, the mainstream parties like Pakistan Muslim League and Pakistan People’s Party drastically strayed from their chartered course and thus are also responsible for the down-slide and deterioration in Pakistan. These parties have to their credit some good work but in the final analysis they too woefully dismayed the people of Pakistan and therefore had to suffer irretrievable reverses.
There has been a persistent political and constitutional chaos all along in Pakistan. The political anarchy and the oligarchic rule have kept the country destabilized and weak in the task of institutions building, in economic progress and with regard to the flowering of a civil society. In a chaotic political situation, the army has to assume a savior’s role. The country instead of blossoming into a civil, egalitarian, democratic polity is, on the contrary, economically poor, politically directionless and socially backward. The politicians who should have set the country’s course on the right tracks have miserably disappointed this nascent nation by their unholy and unpatriotic craving for power thus trampling the supreme national interests.
We have to, therefore, clear the cobwebs of abyss and setbacks by an all-embracing cultural revolution to influence every individual and every aspect of our body politic and society. We must have a new political culture enshrining free and fair elections by an independent election commission, unvarnished democracy and the parliament without pressures and blackmailing of the administration.
Similarly, we must have an economic culture, which instead of serving a few individuals and classes, should cater for the whole nation and aim at making it economically stronger. On the social front People who find themselves in bondage in face of elitist classes and powerful individuals should be free to seek legal and social justice. They must not be subjected to whims and dictates of the segments of the society with self-serving agendas.
The expatriate Pakistanis can substantially contribute towards unfurling such plans for Pakistan that have been adopted by the developed countries for stability, prosperity, peace and order. The expatriates are the beneficiaries of and witness to the amazing societal structure in Europe and United States that is premised upon and geared towards the happiness and welfare of the people.
The expatriates deserve a share and right in decision making process as well as representation in both the houses of the Parliament in Pakistan. Thus far, despite a stupendous contribution by way of foreign exchange every year towards the national economy, the expatriates merely have a right only to cast their vote.
There is a massive presence of the Pakistanis abroad that should have the right to contest for national assembly and senate from the votes of their expatriate community. Or else a specific number of seats should be allocated or reserved for Pakistanis living abroad. For the present until an elaborate modus operandi is worked out for reservation of seats or holding of elections, a fixed number of Pakistanis should be given observer status to witness the proceedings in the national assembly and the senate.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Armageddon: Religious Dogma about the End of the World

  July 8, 2017
By Saeed Qureshi
 Armageddon is a town situated in the coastal area of the land of Palestine. according to Biblical legends it is here that the final battle between the forces of evil and good or Satan or God would take place and the forces of good would prevail by completely annihilating the forces of evil and Satan. The forces of good would be led by the Jesus Christ while the other side would comprise the unfaithful.
The battle seems to be a physical combat in the pattern of battles that were fought with swords, spears and arrows and other obsolete weapons in the olden times. A horrendous and mother of all bloody battles would ensue, ending the influence and sway of the satanic forces on this earth. Jesus Christ would lead a new generation of faithful believers in god with an unprecedented era of prosperity and bliss spawning a thousand years.
While both Christianity and Islam have convergent faith on the occurrence of the Armageddon towards the end of the human existence on this planet, Jews don’t entertain such ideas because they have stopped believing in the reincarnation or second coming of the Messiah. They crucified the promised Messiah two thousand years ago because instead of delivering them and giving them the promised land of Israel, he turned against them. That is why the Jews don’t believe in the life hereafter or in the resurrection of human beings as the Christians or the Muslims believe. They believe in the continuation of the present life on the earth eventually turning into an ideal and paradise like life.
For Christian, the Armageddon would be the fight against the people who are supposed to be anti-Christ by which they mean both Muslims and Jews, heathens, pagans and all the non-believers in the Jesus Christ as the redeemers and the son of God. But for Muslims there would be another promised precursor of the Jesus Christ who would pave way for the Jesus Christ to make his appearance. Incidentally they would both meet at the mosque of Samarra in Iraq. The precursor called Mehdi would receive the Jesus Christ after he would descend from the heaven.
Both would jointly say prayers and finally the reins of the crusade or the beginning of Armageddon would be handed over to the Jesus Christ who from then onward would wage the war against the forces of evil and unfaithful. In this long drawn conflict that would last for a very long time Jesus Christ would ultimately triumph after going through untold hardships at the hands of the leader of satanic forces called Dajjal. Dajjal according to Muslim faith would be one eyed giant with exceptional power and maneuverability. Initially, he would prevail, but would finally be routed. Thereafter the golden period would start, at the end of which would be the resurrection day.
It is difficult to understand the logic behind such prophesies and predictions made thousand of years ago. Technologically, especially in the manufacturing of weapons of mass destruction the world had advanced incredibly. A sword in the olden times could kill one person at time but a nuclear weapon of modest size can kill millions. Just imagine the destructive capability that the humans have achieved. And this is not the end of it. There may be more weapons whose destructive power could be much higher than the existing weapons. But the Armageddon speaks of localized battle swords and spears in which there would be decisive victory for the forces fighting on the side of God.
 Rather it would be God himself who will directly brace against the forces of the vicious world war lords supported and backed up by Satan. But finally God would prevail and it would be the Jesus Christ who would appear with blowing of trumpets and lot of fan fare. This scenario looks like a kind of festivity that could fit into the situations of the ancient times. The celebrations too have assumed modern and much wider and sophisticated proportions. Blowing of trumpet is reminiscent of the old practices to welcome a king or a victorious army.
The Islamic concept of Armageddon and that of Christianity bears close resemblance except that in Christians’ case it would be the Christian faith that would prevail ultimately, while according to Muslims, Jesus Christ would fight on their side along with another Messiah (Mehdi) who would precede him.
Taking into account the way the first and the second world wars were fought, it could well be imagined that any Armageddon that takes place would not be confined to a small city situated on the banks of the Mediterranean Sea or in Jerusalem. It will happen on the world wide basis and its disastrous fallout should be for the entire world and not for that specific area where this war would be fought. Perhaps those who predicted this war forgot that the world population wouldn’t be confined to Palestine alone of Southern Arab. They would not have the slightest inkling that by the year 2017 alone the world population would soar to more than 7 billion.
 But perhaps the prophets like Zechariah couldn’t think beyond the land of Palestine and Mesopotamia that were the centers and hub of activities and birth places of the ancient prophets and divine figures. They thought that God and his forces comprising pious people would, prevail and establish the writ of the creator on the land which had remained abode of Abraham and all other renowned ancient prophets mentioned in the scriptures.
It would therefore, be pertinent to question the happening of a war, all the more a local war at a time when the whole world has become one village and it would be utterly impossible to contain any conflagration of armed conflict to a small town or place with force pitted against each other with most deadly and lethal weapons. The war will not be fought on a ground with obsolete and outdated weapons such as arrows, spears and swords. Armageddon as a matter of fact fuels hatred in the minds of the adherents of mainly two religions, Islam and Christianity which believe in this mother of all wars with their own perspective and beliefs.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Pakistan’s Resounding Victory and India’s Stunning Defeat

June 25, 2017
 By Saeed Qureshi
In order to determine the winner of the eighth edition of the ICC Champions Trophy the final of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy was played on 18 June 2017 between Pakistan and India at the Oval ground in London. Pakistan scored 338 runs and won that prestigious match by 180 runs. Indian team could score merely 158 in 30.3 overs. Pakistani team batted first which proved to be a boon for the winning team.
The ICC” s Champion Trophy is considered as very prestigious. It assumed a nerve-wrecking importance as it was being played between the two staunch regional rivals namely India and Pakistan. There was a pall of gloom in Pakistan due to a series of matches won by India for quite some time against Pakistan. It was with this background that India was being considered as a strong team and probable winner of the ICC series.
India’s performance in both batting and balling in the previous matches with other teams has been quite impressive. Lot of expectations were riveted on Virat Kohli Rohil and Sharma Shikhar Dhawan whose scores in the international cricket have been remarkable.
Yet the game of cricket, occasionally, turns out to be unpredictable and that is what happened. India was defeated by Pakistani team and dispatched it with a meagre score of 158 runs. The Indian batsmen fell like the house of cards one after another. The dispatch of Virat Kohli, the captain and a tenacious run maker with five runs was, the most devastating blow to the Indian team. Pakistani team’s stature enhanced enormously as they scored a victory with high margin and only with 6 players of the team.
The defeat in such international matches is also graceful when the teams are competing for the final match or the crown. A victory is certainly like hitting at a jackpot although a jackpot is by luck while the triumph through skill, hard work and tenacity assumes a lasting honor and historic laurel. 
Between 1950 and 2017 there have been 59 test matches played between India and Pakistan. Out of these, Pakistan won 12 matches while India won 9. The rest were drawn. Each match had been crucial and treated as symbol of the national honor. Out of 129 ODIS (one day international) matches, Pakistan won 73 while India won52. In T20Is matches (Twenty20 International) India won 7 while Pakistan could bag only one match. These figures show that overall Pakistan has been a leading winner in most of cricket competitions between the two regional rivals. 
It should be noted that behind the matches particularly that of cricket between India and Pakistan, there has always been a predominant national sentiment. Each match whether it is the test match, one day match or under twenty match turns into a stake for national prestige for both the countries. The overriding political conflict between India and Pakistan spills over in other fields including the games particularly the cricket matches.
Prior to the 2017 ICC Trophy match there prevailed a gloom and depression that Pakistan cannot win the final in the light of the past persistent victories by India. India was also tipped as a favorite by international reckoning. But cricket game sometime turns unpredictable and the tide goes against the most powerful and most favorite team or the side.
It would in order to individually mention the Pakistani cricket team members who were instrumental in achieving this most prestigious victory for Pakistan. First of all, the credit goes to the team captain Sarfraz Ahmed for his prudent captaincy and for paving way for the historical victory. Then the credit goes to the opener Fakhar Zaman who scored mammoth 114 runs thus consolidating Pakistan’s position at the initial stages. He must be very lucky as on the first ball he was out but that turned out to be no ball and that proved to be a turning point for him to move forward with a great deal of confidence.
Fast paced bowler Muhammad Aamir remained barred from playing cricket for five years for his involvement in match fixing. But he duly compensated for his misdemeanor by taking three important wickets of Virat Kholi, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. Virat was ousted twice by Aamir Khan but the first was declared as no ball and in the second ball he took Virat’s wicket.
In this final crucial match, Pakistan inducted such players who had not played previously in any international cricket match. Their names are Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan, Rooman Rais and Fahim Ashraf. That strategy worked perfectly well.

This match would serve as a big morale-boosting victory for Pakistan as well as for the players for quite a long time to come. Even if the Indian team squares this brilliant achievement with a future Pakistani team, the historic setback of the present Indian team and its poor performance would always remain as distinctive part of the history of the International cricket.

Monday, June 19, 2017

God Should be Scientifically Explored

June 19, 2017

By Saeed Qureshi

Since universe is all scientific, its origin and founder should be explored through the scientific means and knowledge. The religious explanations about the creation of the universe and existence of the Creator or God are not plausible. Moreover, such views and beliefs drastically differ among the respective religions, faiths and sects. As such these seem to be only a guess work and merely conjecture and irrational.

All natural phenomena from the tiny and invisible sub-atomic particles to the vast galaxies follow certain basic rigid laws which testify that there is a perfect logic and order in the universe. By studying the natural laws in the universe, the inescapable conclusion is that there was an intelligent designer, creator and a great scientist behind creation of all things that exist.

One of the evidence that God is a scientist and the universe is entirely and absolutely a scientific phenomenon can be perceived from the existence of fundamental constants in the unit of electric charge on the proton, on the masses of certain fundamental particles, and from the universal constant of gravitation denoted by letter “G”.

The perfection of the universe can be judged from the fact that If the force between nucleons (protons and neutrons) was a few per cent stronger then the hydrogen, Sun and water would not exist. Much smaller changes in Gravitational Force or pull would turn all the stars into blue giants or red dwarfs. The vastness and constant expansion of the universe at a terrific speed of 70 Kilometers per second also an irrefutable evidence that there is scientific force or God behind all this mindboggling and amazing phenomenon. And that is infinity which means no beginning and no end.

While the scientists have found out the perfect laws of nature and forces, they cannot fathom when the universe came into being as the more we go back, the more the question pops up “what existed before that”.  Man cannot perceive the beginning and end of the universe. However, it can be said that existence and its creation rules are constant while creation like stars, earth and other forms may change from time to time.

The Religious story of creation is given in the first chapter “Genesis” of the Bible. It narrates how God created the world or the universe in six days and on the 7th day he rests. First of all, God created heaven and earth. Then God created light, day and nights, grass, herbs, fruit, evening and morning, then light and seasons, the sea creatures, then evening and morning on the fifth day, then living creatures on earth. After all these creations, God made the man in his image and “breathed in his nostrils the breath of life” and man became a living soul. Thus, the heavens and the earth and all other creations were finished in six days.  God rested on the seventh day. Thereafter God creates man in his own image. Then God created Eve from the rib of Adam. Both were lodged in the garden of Eden. God tells the couple to eat everything from the garden but not from the tree present in the middle of garden. Both remained naked for some time.

The Islamic perception is different about the creation of the universe and human beings in the form of Adam and Eve.  God created the universe by saying “let it be and it became”. Before creating Adam, God told the angles and the chief angel (later Satan) that he was going to create Adam which he did from the clay. After creating Adam, God taught Adam the names of all the creatures, and then commanded all the angels to bow down before Adam. All of them bowed but Iblis( Satan) refused to obey. He argued with God that Adam was from dust while he was from fire which goes up while clay goes down.  God said that what he knows they(angels) didn’t know.  He cursed Satan and banished him from the paradise. He was set free to mislead the human beings till eternity. Thus, God created his own rival.

Eve and Adam started living in the garden. God told them that they could eat everything in the Garden but not the fruit of the tree in the middle. That was tree of the “Tree of knowledge”. However, at the behest of serpent (Islam says Satan) first Eve and then Adam ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge. Both became knowledgeable to the extent that they saw that they were naked. As a punishment God sends them to earth to a lead life of toil and hardship which is the present world.

This Biblical and Islamic view about the creation of man depict God as not well-informed and also revengeful like humans. The narrative upholds Satan’s prediction that Adam would be sinful.  It also shows that paradise, Garden, angels and Satan (then arch angel) were already in existence before the creation of Adam.

The Biblical and the Islamic accounts state that there was a snake also in the paradise who misled Adam and pursued the couple to eat the forbidden fruit. The snake seems to be more persuasive than God in prevailing on both Adam and Eve. But why a snake was there about whom God was unaware that he would mislead both Eve and Adam.

According to the scriptures God came to know about the violation of his command by Adam and Eve after he saw Adam and Eve Knowledgeable. This happened when God came walking into the Garden, to see the couple who hid themselves. They came out and through a dialogue God came to know that they had violated his command and were knowledgeable for being aware of their nakedness. God punishes both snake and the couple by banishing them from the paradise and sending them to earth.  It should be noted that God who is almighty walks into the Eden garden like the human beings and talks to the couple like a human being.

According to the religious scriptures he let loose his arch enemy Satan, with all the powers to prey upon the human beings till the doomsday. Adam practically doesn’t fulfill the claims and expectations of God that he would spread his message on the earth. While God eulogizes Adam as faithful and sinless and his messenger on earth, his wife was the first to disobey the commandment of God by eating the forbidden fruit.

All these beliefs and stories mentioned in the respective holy books cannot be attributed to God who cannot make a mistake and can be unaware as to when the snake enters stealthily into the paradise and is able to mislead the spouse of Adam. Were both Adam and God almighty not aware that the snake was misleading Hava the wife of Adam? Why in the first-place, snake was present there or why God created the snake in the paradise?

It looks that the scriptures are the creation of early writers among various societies. Most of the stuff is about wars and fighting and stories of the mighty kings. Snake is poisonous on earth and that is why it has been portrayed as an enemy of Adam in the Heavens also. God could have sent Adam on earth without informing the angels and Satan. If Adam is a metaphor for the start of the human progeny then it could have been done in a normal way that being humiliated and thrown on earth.

Understandably no one has created God and therefore he is self-created. But there should be a question as to what existed before God’ self-creation. However, the creator of the magnificent universe is beyond time and space. Religions’ portrayal of God is merely confined to be being omnipotent and omnipresent. If God wanted this earth to be filled with peaceful, pious and obedient people then he could have done that without the assistance of Adam or anyone else. As such the creation of Adam and Satan are the metaphors to justify the tussle between goodness and wickedness.

If it is a test for the human beings to resist and deny satanic teachings then God should have empowered the humans as he empowered the Satan. There cannot be any comparison between the power and everlasting existence given to Satan with the limited life and powers given to the humans.

Therefore, we can discard or overlook the stories given in the holy books about the creation and existence of God. Instead there should be the scientific exploration that would be truthful because the universe is based and founded on absolute scientific principles. Indeed, there is creator who created this amazing phenomenon being run on perfect principles immutable laws such as being fearful and merciful.

God or the creator has never pleaded himself to be the creator. It is through the apostles or prophets who convey to the fellow human beings that there is an absolute authority which should be worshiped, adored and feared for paradise. Even otherwise the creation of universe drives one to a creator.

In the scriptures God has been defined as a powerful king or the ruler. Depending upon their good or bad acts he would award hell or heaven at the end of the system in the hereafter.  The anecdotes and events given in the scriptures are narrated by the human beings on behalf of God. God per say, has never addressed or met the worshippers and the believers himself. It should be understood that God except Hindu, Shinto or Buddhism mythologies has been mostly a male who is defined or addressed as he and never she. 

In Hinduism, Shintoism and some other religions, God has been portrayed in the form of deities each having some kind of trait or features and being male or female. They are portrayed in the form of idol or statues or physical images representing various powers. It is only in the Biblical religions of Judaism and Christianity and also in Islam that God is not presented in the physical form. Islam is against idolatry and physical featuring of God. In Islam, it is absolutely forbidden and is heretic to craft an image of God, because the image restrains the nobility and grandeur and vastness of the ruler of the universe

In Biblical religions, the belief in God is unassailable and beyond inquiry or questioning. The concept of hereafter and new birth after the death is prevalent in all the religions. Judaism, Christianity and Islam believe that there will be hell or paradise to be assigned to the human beings on the day of judgment depending upon the nature of their deeds in this world. In Christianity belied in Jesus Christ as the Son of God is enough for the believers to go to the paradise. Judaism and Islam base man’s salvation upon the good deeds and pious conduct in this world.

These elucidations, teachings and beliefs have been passed on to the human beings by prophets or founders of religions during the past few thousand years. God has been there always and is not bound by time or space. It means that before the emergence of religions, God was still there and therefore the universe as well as God has no beginning and no end. He is eternal.

Notwithstanding the portrayal of God by apostles and in religious books with human traits such as being fearful and merciful, the fact is that the universe is being run on absolute scientific principles and not emotions or sentiments or likes and dislikes. The religious beliefs perceive God as hidden and with attributes of being pleased and annoyed and always focusing on the deeds of the human beings. The moral codes and precepts offered by various religions are not the sound and irrefutable criteria about the creation, existence and continuation of this magnificent order which is not confined to earth only.

Every moment, new stars, galaxies and constellations continuously come into being and older ceasing to exist. As such universe is an emerging embodiment of perfect and absolute scientific laws. The good or bad deeds or hell and heaven and reward and punishment have nothing to do with creation and the creator.

In the known history of mankind, powerful and merciless kings and individuals have been destroying their opponents and enemies. Even in the present modern and enlightened times powerful countries subdue the weaker ones. In the name of religions horrendous pogroms and devastating wars have taken place in which the victors uprooted and wiped of their rivals for land and power. But God seldom invoked his mercy for the victims and wrath for the tormenters.

It shows that human sentiments of kindness, compassion and mutual goodwill which are essential and inviolable beliefs in every religion have seldom been disregarded to attain power and pelf. As such religions portrayal of God in the scriptures, getting pleased and annoyed and maintaining an order based upon moral principles to be judged on the dooms day to be the recipients of paradise don’t seem to be valid. If it is a trial and test of humans then it is an entirely unequal tussle between a powerful Stan and weak and vulnerable humans. God shouldn’t be portrayed as a powerful lord with human habits and customs.

The fact is that God almighty is beyond human comprehension although his existence is proven by the existence of the mindboggling and amazing universe that we see and in which we live. He is beyond sentiments, emotions and feelings as the human are. He is the embodiment of unbounded wisdom and knowledge which is essentially scientific and not religious. But to claim that the moral or immoral codes and beliefs will take them to hell or heaven is subject to logical and scientific scrutiny.

More than the religious laws and do and don’t, the constitutions and regulations crafted by the civil societies create orderliness, cohabitation, peace, advancement of knowledge, civic facilities and converting the inhabitants of the earth into a global community. People follow their respective religions freely though grey spots of religious bias and faith-based conflicts are still there. Thanks to scientific innovations and spread of knowledge the present societies are more prosperous, safer and stable than in the past.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Donald Trump is an Unusual President of USA!

May 29, 2017

By Saeed Qureshi

It is difficult to fathom and define the mindset of president Trump. He is in the habit of blowing hot and cold at the same time. He excels in dishing out contradictory statements: first issuing those and later contradicting the previous ones. One example is Obama Healthcare Plan. After the first debacle in getting the Trumpcare passed by the house, he came out with a stunning denial that as to when did he say that Obamacare should be replaced. It appears as if president Trump wants to undo and demolish of whatever his predecessor president Obama did.

His recent visit to Saudi Arabia is in direct contrast to what he has been saying about Islam. There cannot be more derogatory and repugnant degradation of Islam that what president Trump portrayed before the elections and afterwards. Then he proceeded to Saudi Arabia, the bastion of Radical Sunni Islam to build the bonds of friendship and cohesion between his host country and the USA.  It is utterly unbelievable that while Trump has shown himself to be the strongest and virulent opponent of Islam and Muslims, yet he chose the orthodox Islamic kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the first foreign visit among other seven countries.

The president seems to be in a diplomatic confrontation with Europe and wants to get out of the pacts that have been in place for decades. His plans for reorientation and refurbishing of the economy have yet to be initiated and show results. There is a scare among the immigrant communities mostly refugees who feel that they can be picked up any time by the relevant agencies and deported.

Even his party members are disgruntled about his mercurial behavior blowing hot and cold simultaneously. Nancy Pelosi described the replacement of Obamacare as a “tattoo on the forehead of the Republicans”. His achievements thus far and particularly in the first benchmark 100 days as president seems to be insignificant. His happiness and annoyance over good or not good developments are knee-jerk reactions and convey the childish attitude. At home turf, he is at war with the media and judiciary from day one after assuming office of the president in the White House.

On top of that the president and his colleague are plagued with a plethora of scandals, out of which the latest is about his son in law Jared Kushner which is quite serious and if proven may cause colossal harm to his presidency as well as to his cohorts and even the family. It is for the special committee and the judiciary to find out the nature of the charges. 

President Trump’s 8-day tour abroad seems to be an exercise in futility except inking a massive deal of 250 billion dollars for sale of military hardware to Saudi Arabia. For instance, he is non-committal about global emissions deal. Also, he has criticized NATO allies for failing to meet the defensive alliance's military spending commitment of two percent of GDP.

He neglected to publicly endorse the pact's Article Five, which guarantees that member countries will aid the others they are attacked. It means America may opt out or curtail its commitment to NATO. It might otherwise be financially beneficial to United States but it would embitter America’s relation with NATO partners. Describing German trade practices as "bad, very bad," in Brussels talks last week, he remarked that Europe's largest economy(Germany) sells too many cars to the US. This remark is favorable to the domestic American auto industry. Yet the question is that global trade is mutual. In retaliation, Germany may discontinue or curtail the import of the American goods or products.

In response to Donald Trump’s, criticism of major NATO allies and his refusal to endorse a global climate change accord, German chancellor Merkel said that “the days when Europe could completely count on others were over”.

Trump’s National Security Advisor Retired Army Lieutenant General, Michael T. Flynn resigned for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his telecommunication contacts with the Russian diplomats. It is a serious issue and an inquiry has been instituted against him. Flynn served briefly as Trump's national security adviser before being fired in February this year.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is under intense scrutiny for his alleged contacts with Russian government officials during the 2016 Presidential election. He has stepped aside from “any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for president of the United States” and until the completion enquiry.

But on top of all these crises a recent bombshell has rocked the entire country. It is about Jared Kushner; the son in law of the incumbent president of the United States. On May 26, 2017, The Washington Post reported that U.S. intelligence officials had, in the course of monitoring Ambassador Kislyak in December 2016, overheard him relaying to Moscow a request from Kushner to establish a "secret and secure communications channel" with the Kremlin using Russian diplomatic facilities. It is perceived that “Kushner was under investigation by the FBI as part of the larger investigation into Russian interference in the election”. in his several tweets. President Trump, has dubbed the leaks about Kushner as "fabricated lies,"

The Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, has requested information and documents from Trump's campaign dating back to July 2015; the AP and other news outlets confirmed.

In the meantime, the Democrats in Congress have demanded to hear directly from top White House adviser Jared Kushner over allegations of proposed secret back-channel communications with Russia. They also demanded revocation of the security clearance of President Donald Trump's son-in-law.

All these developments indicate that both domestically and globally president Trump is faced with a host of scandals and serious issues. While the issues concerning NATO and climate change may be detrimental to the relations between Europe and America, the local multiple inquiries may turn out to be extremely damaging to president Trump, his presidency, his cohorts and some of the family members. The issues of his sexual pursuits and Tax Returns may be revived

It is commonly believed that by firing the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey president wanted to stop the FBI’s investigation about the allegations of Trump’s elections team with Russia. Some legal experts have termed it as obstruction of Justice.

It is also believed that president Trump doesn’t fit into the mold of a sagacious leader as to exercise restraint and diplomacy in his remarks and decisions. It ought to be an utmost and crucial urgency for president Donald Trump and his administration as well as the retinue of advisors and cabinet members to reset their sails of governance. Instead of embarking upon the path of belligerency and confrontation and vitriolic rebuttals, they should be moderate, sober and accommodating and rather discrete. They should lower and soften their headstrong outbursts and uncalled-for rebukes and retaliations.

But all said and done, president Trump can still win the reelection as the 70 percent white population is with him and their vote bank can bring him back in the White House.



Book Launching Ceremony at the Crystal Banquet Hall Plano

May 28, 2017
Reported by Saeed Qureshi
The much-awaited launching ceremony of the Book “The Evolution of Mankind” English version finally came off on the evening of May 25, 2017, at Crystal Banquet Hall situated in Plano, Texas. It was quite a colorful and dignified evening with an impressive galaxy of guests including families and children. Snacks and Tea were served to the guests. The proceedings were conducted by Mr. Azad Khan of Radio Azad, a showbiz celebrity and gifted Radio and TV anchor.
“The Evolution of Mankind” Urdu version is authored by Muhammad Akhtar Chishti who arrived here from Pakistan to participate and grace the unique occasion. This voluminous edition (674 pages) has been translated into English by Saeed Qureshi a member of the community and a senior journalist. The English version consists of 547 pages.
The credit of getting this book edited, published and publicized goes to another journalist and columnist Mr. Shah Alam Siddiqui and his daughter Urooj Alam Grundmann. Without their assistance and collaboration, this book would have remained confined to merely in Urdu form.
But I want to pay my heartfelt, sincere and warmest tribute to the esteemed Khaliq Qureshi Sahib who was solely instrumental in financing this praiseworthy project. Originally this book was written in Urdu, the national and official language of Pakistan. He is the one who motivated Saeed Qureshi to translate it in the English Language. It took Mr. Chishti over 6 years to write and publish this book in Urdu. The book became the most sought-after its publication. Its popularity can be gauged from the fact its Urdu edition was sold and that it is kept by most of the libraries in Pakistan.
In one of his visits to Pakistan Mr. Khaliq Qureshi saw this book and went all the way to the residence of Mr. Chishti in district Sialkot to meet him and compliment him on writing such an amazing book that narrates as to how the human beings and progeny of Adam spread over the earth particularly after the deluge of Prophet Noah that covered the earth as mentioned in Quran and Bible. Notwithstanding the scientific theories about the evolution of mankind, this book reflects the theological perspective and religious belief of the Jews, the Christians, and the Muslims.
At his expense, Mr. Khaliq Qureshi invited the author Mr. Chishti twice to Dallas. This is the second visit of the author to grace the inauguration ceremony of this wonderful book.
Mr.. Khaliq Qureshi wanted this book to be translated into English in order to broaden its scope and sphere of readership. He entrusted this onerous yet crucial job to Saeed Qureshi, a journalist and columnists for over two decades both in Pakistan and the United States. This scribe (Saeed Qureshi) took almost 18 months to render the Urdu script into the English version. A such the English version of the book Evolution of Mankind was launched and introduced on the evening of May 25.
Among the worthy guests who graced this unique occasion by their presence, inter-alia, were Dr. Harbans Lal, Dr. Amir Suleman the founder of the famous literacy Association: “Urdu Ghar”, Syed Iqbal Haider a poet and formerly a TV celebrity in Pakistan, Syed Ijaz Yunus a poet laureate of Dallas, Farooq Khan, a humanist and an excellent English poet, Javed Samuel a wonderful socialite and friend and his gracious wife.
Besides those who attended the launching ceremony were Mr. Andrew; the son-in-law of Mr. Khaliq Qureshi. Mr. Suleman a worthy and senior community member and his noble wife also graced this unique assemblage. They were recently married.
The promoter and financer of this splendid project Mr. Khaliq Qureshi, its author Muhammad Akhtar Chishti and the translator Saeed Qureshi were given the honor to be seated on the stage. They expressed their feeling and views about the book and how they surmounted the bottlenecks to bring this unique book to its present form.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Fabulous Urdu Mushaira hosted at the residence of Dr. Amir Suleman

May 14,2014

Reported by Saeed Qureshi

A heartwarming and intellectually stimulating Urdu Mushaira (poetry recital session) was held on the evening of May 13 at the residence of Dr. Amir Suleman. Most of the local poets were in attendance on this auspicious occasion. Dr. Amir lives in a palatial mansion with his gracious wife and wo young kids. He is the founder of the famous literary society known as “Urdu Ghar” in existence now for several years.

This enjoyable and thought -provoking sitting continued until midnight. The occasion was convened in honor of Dr. Taqi Abidi, a reputed and internationally known scholar and researcher on Urdu literature and poetry. Dr. Taqi enjoys the distinction of being the author of several books on various themes including the Urdu poetry and literature and its historical perspective.

Iqbal Haider a well-known poet with a marvelous background of having worked in Pakistan Television presided over the function. Eminent poets mostly members of the Urdu Ghar were the participants in the Mushaira. The poetry on the whole was soul stirring and the audience enjoyed it immensely. The Mushaira sitting was preceded by a sumptuous dinner. The food was plentiful and was excellent by way of variety of dishes and taste.

Dr. Amir and his wife have hosted many similar literary sittings at their house and each sitting leaves its pleasing mark on the guests who certainly aspire to be re-invited for the pleasant and homely atmosphere, cordiality and good will that Dr. Suleman and his honorable wife demonstrate to the invitees each time. One would expect that such literary gatherings would keep happening from time to time to keep the glow of literary culture of Urdu language alive.

The local poets who participated in the Mushaira are: Dr. Amir Suleman, Naheed Shad, Zohra Chishti, Farhan Syed, Masood Quazi, Mnazoor Quazi, Yunus Ijaz, Iqbal Haider and myself (the reporter)


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Negative Politics of the Opposition Parties in Pakistan

May 1, 2017
By Saeed Qureshi
The next general elections in Pakistan are due to be held within three months after June 4, 2018. It means that hardly a year is left for the incumbent government of the PMNL to remain in governance. Right or wrong the PMNL came into power through an established democratic process. Let is complete its constitutional tenure in office for the remaining period. It is certain that the incumbent prime minister of Pakistan Mian Nawaz Sharif would not contest elections in 2018.
If the opposition is so committed to root out corruption from Pakistan and arraign Mian Nawaz Sharif and his two sons as a result of Panama leaks then the best time would be to win elections against the PMNL and initiate legal inquiry against the family’s offshore accounts. Similar action can then be taken against Mian Shahbaz Sharif the younger brother of the prime minister and incumbent chief minister of Punjab province.
Imran Khan has been targeting solely Mian Nawaz Sharif and his family for the past several years for misdeeds and monetary corruption, as witnessed by his fiery speeches and prolonged Dharnas (sit ins) in Islamabad. Imran Khan has made several attempts to dislodge Nawaz Sharif or to force him to resign. Yet somehow Mr. Khan’s campaigning didn’t click in his favor. In the local elections and those in Azad Kashmir PTI lost badly. It demonstrated that notwithstanding his tall claims and impracticable revolutionary slogans, the people didn’t vote for Imran Khan.
The latest divided verdict of the supreme court allowing Mian Nawaz Sharif to remain in his seat is another setback for Imran Khan to force the prime minister to resign. Overall it looks as if Imran Khan has personal grudge or vendetta or some hidden agenda against Mian Nawaz, his brother and even the entire family.
But while Imran Khan has come to be known as a stubborn and unbending foe of Mian Nawaz Sharif, the other political parties of late have also joined the fray and started harping on the anti-PMNL and anti- Mian Nawaz tunes and his resignation on the basis of corruption.
The PPP whose whole lot is composed of corrupt individuals both morally and financially is also demanding prime minister’s ouster for bad governance and for financial malpractices. This demand has come particularly from Asif Ali Zardari the co-chairman of the PPP who himself is known as the embodiment of corruption and hoarding wealth through every conceivable means. Someone has so aptly remarked recently that if Mr. Zardari is raising voice against corruption the it is the sure sign of the imminent coming of the “Doom’s Day”. 
The religio-political party Jamaat-Islami has always remained a sidelined political outfit. It has been variously indulging in street politics and pursuing a political culture of denial.  It opposed the creation of Pakistan and has never accepted its existence. Its present leadership has fallen back on the old tunes. 
Its leaders are making aggressive speeches against the federal government and highlighting peoples’ day to day problems such as water and power shortage and bribery etc. Someone may ask them is this corruption solely created by PMNL or the socio-economic problems have never been there in Pakistan?
If the JI holds the PMNL responsible for people’s sufferings because of poor governance and shortage of basic amenities then it is merely a blame game and fishing in the troubled waters. Otherwise the fact is that the PMNL despite its shortcomings has been going extra mile to improve the living conditions of the people.
The religious and sectarian parties and groups are also accusing the PMNL government for all unethical and unislamic demeanors and thus demanding its way-out. On top of it the “Dawn Leaks” issue has surfaced. Even if Dawn issue has some truth then it doesn’t mean that the federal government was responsible. It seems as if the entire political lot of opposition wants the army rule or martial law to be imposed. They don’t seem to care if as a result of that happening a political culture and the democratic process that started after the exit of Pervez Musharraf would be nullified. That would be a bad bargain.
Let the judicial system take its course as far as Panama Leaks and Dawn Leaks issues are concerned. Pervez Rashid the PMNL information minister and Tariq Fatimi the advisor on foreign affairs have been removed. The necessary action against other officials and journalists responsible for this fiasco has been taken.
The point that I want to emphasize is that because of these peripheral issues, the ongoing process of democratization should not be derailed. It would be a colossal loss and a grievous set back to the democratic and political process that is somehow in place for several years and should be allowed to remain on the track.
In the meantime, let the inquiry committee ordered by the supreme court should further probe about the wealth and belonging and properties of not only Sharif family but others publicly known corrupt people. Thereafter depending upon the outcome, the prime minister may step down. But while such an inquiry is essential in case of Sharif family then it should also probe the corruption and offshore assets of all the politicians to clear the country of such a curse.
The next general elections must be held on schedule. If in the meantime army steps in, the efforts starting from PPP government to the present to keep uninterrupted march of democratic culture would be nullified. The country would again come under the military boots and no one knows how long that army rule would continue.
As such the best and legitimate option for the politicians in the opposition of PMNL is to prepare for the nationwide elections due to be held in 2018 and try to come into power from the democratic door and not from the backdoor.
In the meantime, let CPEC be completed. No party or any government is more earnest and desirous about the completion of this milestone project than the PMNL. I would reproduce from the Wikipedia the summary of the benefits that would accrue to Pakistan once this gigantic project is completed:
“China–Pakistan Economic Corridor also known by the acronym CPEC) is a collection of infrastructure projects currently under construction throughout Pakistan. Originally valued at $46 billion, the value of CPEC projects is now worth $62 billion. CPEC is intended to rapidly modernize Pakistani infrastructure and strengthen its economy by the construction of: modern transportation networks, numerous energy projects, and special economic zones. On 13 November 2016, CPEC became partly operational when Chinese cargo was transported overland to Gwadar Port for onward maritime shipment to Africa and West Asia.
A vast network of highways and railways are to be built under the aegis of CPEC that will span the length and breadth of Pakistan. Inefficiencies stemming from Pakistan's mostly dilapidated transportation network are estimated by the government to cause a loss of 3.5% of the country's annual gross domestic product.[7] Modern transportation networks built under CPEC will link seaports in Gwadar and Karachi with northern Pakistan, as well as points further north in western China and Central Asia. A 1,100 kilometer long motorway will be built between the cities of Karachi and Lahore as part of CPEC, while the Karakoram Highway between Rawalpindi and the Chinese border will be completely reconstructed and overhauled. The Karachi–Peshawar main railway line will also be upgraded to allow for train travel at up to 160 km per hour by December 2019. Pakistan's railway network will also be extended to eventually connect to China's Southern Xinjiang Railway in Kashgar. The estimated $11 billion required to modernize transportation networks will be financed by subsidized concessionary loans