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Saj
10th August 2007, 00:35
What are you general views on the overall political situation in Pakistan and what do you think is the best way for forward?

Kablooee, politics in general, probably rightly, has a terrible reputation.

At times, it sucks everywhere in the world but it is clearly rotten in Pakistan in recent decades. Genuine and honest people are usually sidelined or have to rely upon corrupt and self-indulging people hell-bent on protecting clique-cised system because it serves them, they are not bothered, what’s in it for me or waste of time analogies or perhaps they see no other viable alternative, at least in their lifetime.

Contrary to what media might have you believed, majority of average Pakistanis are hard working, genuinely bright people. However, as I alluded earlier, they are being slowly brainwashed and customised by this system, together with wave of Western/Indian cultures, to their advantage. That does not mean to say every thing in Pak culture is great and every thing from West or India is despicable. Far from it - at times West on some issues has adopted more human and Islamic ways but completely lax on others and vice versa.

I see some positives from various political entities occasionally but usually too little, too late and usually opportunistic - so no personal favourites to write home about. Whoever does well and have some common sense and vision deserve my praise.

It might be a cliché but in my opinion intellectually, strategically, historically, socio-economically, geo-politically and indeed religiously, our country is at the crossroads. This country was created, after biggest migration in history and unprecedented bloodshed and sacrifices, on the premise that Muslims in subcontinent/United India would be safe to live and practice Islam (two nation theory). It would be an Islamic State (not merely a Muslim state). I am aware of great debate, in national press over a long time, surrounding as to what Quaid meant when he put forward his vision in his first speech to the nation and constitutional assembly etc. It is usually between people, on one hand, who believe liberal, democratic Pakistan where Muslims and any other faith are free to practice their faith freely, proudly, generally they have comparatively pro western/secular out look compared to the group of people who religiously believe that Pakistan ka matlab kiya La Ilaha Il-lal-Lah meant a very carefully chosen Muslim state.

As most of us might know, there is obviously a long chequered history and reasoning to this debate and the events that followed since our birth as nation some 60 years ago. One needs to understand the background and the role of various actors before commenting or putting forward suggestions.

Our problem (challenges is more appropriate term perhaps) is multifaceted but in broad term, the following are the key areas, in my humble opinion:

EDUCATION, PHYSICAL AND IDEOLOGICAL INFRASTRUCTURE: - Both true Islamic and general contemporary education be provided universally with serious provision for compulsory elementary schooling of some kind in order to compete successfully at global level eventually. This is of paramount importance to develop a balanced point of view and debate. Need to evaluate, study and make it compulsory to study the golden age of Islam (from early years to – Ottoman Empire and beyond in modern world. Spain/Qurtuba to East Asia and former USSR states and mostly every thing in between – the Ottoman Empire/Saltanat-e-Usmania – did we know that it was the most ancient surviving empire and longest political ruling dynasty in Europe!), renaissance, period of Muslim governance, intellect, science and eventual lack of vision/laziness, ayyashi, short sidedness and resting on laurels attitude which cost them in the end. We need to invest strategically, honestly in all types of infrastructure with clear priority order time line and sustainability in mind. Malaysian, Scandinavian model should be explored, together with reviewing/understanding our own Pakistani and Islamic strengths - and then be implemented. We should also need to invest in our water/irrigation, technological/scientific resources as matter of urgency. Leadership, vision and dealing with criticism/praise positively and objectively are required.

INVEST IN STRENGTHNING INDEPENDENT INSTITUTIONS.


REVIEW/REINFORCE/DEVELOP/MODERNISE COMMUNY/FAMILY VALUES

RELIGION, COUNTRY AND FUTURE:

Direction and Outlook: We need to decide/reconfirm/understand our origin, direction and future as a nation (what do we want to be as a nation: Pro-ummah in general but picking our fights/areas? Pro ummah at the expense of national prosperity? Nationalistic at the expense of Ummah? Balanced/combination of all of the above, difficult but possible? and how we are going to achieve that and then carry it forward, against all the odds. No one man can do this alone but certainly can provide leadership and vision and the personality and conviction to deliver and make people believe in it)

Separating Islam and religion from Culture(s): Building on from the above, a lot of things carried out in subcontinent, especially in Pak are either: customs, rituals, borrowed traditions/ideas, complex of inferiority/superiority and cultural hangover – Need to separate the two first, pick the best bits, educate the masses and move on collectively.

POLITICAL MODEL: I am not a great believer of universal template of democracy without making allowances for regional variance according to education, GDP, infrastructural and quality of life/human index etc so we need to develop an understanding in that area as well and once we have agreed or have a consensus, invest heavily in that model, educate politicians, people, military, Ulemas and bureaucracy strongly with very tough - yet civil - reward and punishment model based on fairness, rule of law and transparency. We should also seriously explore/study other models despite what people tell us and decide what is best for us.

POISONOUS WEB OF ELITE: There is no two ways about the fact that unless somehow we get rid of the feudal system which ensures that merely 3-5% corrupt elite from all four provinces - civil/military bureaucracy, religious leaders, selected military generals and foreign elements who prefer this system – can control the fate of about 150+ million people. If this continues I believe there eventually will either be a bloody revolution, anarchy at some point or the Pakistan would cease to exist as a nation ideologically as we know it: one way or another.

RELIEF FOR COMMON MAN AND SOCIETY: There has to be some visible, tangible and short to medium term relief to common people, enshrined in Law/constitution before each election for a specific term. Voluntary/Community/Corporate roles should also be explored.

FROWN UPON AND DISCOURAGE CULTURE OF CHINESE WHISPERS, SLANDER, BACKBITING, superiority (race, caste etc), showing off and misguided expectations and attitude.

If you had the task of devising a 5 year plan to make Pakistan the best Test playing nation what steps would you implement?


JBhai, most, if not all, of what I think probably have been said before so no point reinventing the wheel completely but here is my two pence:

Before proposing any steps, I’d suggest that we carry out a careful unbiased study on Indian, Australian and English models first, study the recommendations and see what is possible according to our culture and parameters. Learn from previous experimentations they have done and what did they get out of it, e.g. separate Captains etc. I think most of these PCB has done or planning to do). Some random thoughts:

· Introduce professional, sustainable, rewarding school/college/under 14/16/18 set up professionally with qualified support, significant prize money/coverage, together with various technical and educational qualifications for frontline players and backroom staff in sports science, e.g. coaching, biomechanics, bat/ball making, umpiring etc so people who are not good at one level will consider attractive career options at other levels. This will provide long term impetus, revenue, and interest. Strong professional education and coaching at early level whilst allowing for natural Pak flair which is then honed in right environment.

· Introduce transparent publicly available point system for the selection of first 30/20 probables at all levels with official separate fielding and fitness points in selection criteria on top of other areas. (I am at times a purist but that is where the game is going and we have already missed the boat). I would also like to see more emphasis is given to character shown in adversary, tight situation, pressure and when chips are down.
· Instil, reinforce, pride in playing for Pakistan. Period. There will not be any superstar in the Team (Aussies do this bit really well) and no such culture will be tolerated. Lobby media, stakeholders, and regional bodies to ensure that you have enough support if you need to kick some backsides either in public or private. Strict performance monitoring, specific penalties and rewards for fielding/catches/fitness and media related activities and demeanour. Team will ALWAYS come first. Captains will first have to be the best Leaders not necessarily best players. For smart Alex: a certain level of skill is always required but that is stating the obvious.

· Schedule more tests and insist on them, identify key proven test players and build a team around them with potential future players. Have a high profile, professional talented Pak A and regional sides and have a high profile mandatory Test Championship every year with media coverage, organised on a celebrated occasion. Similarly, have yearly test occasion with India/England or Australia to begin with, like Boxing day Test Aussies have - with discounted prices and TV coverage, with free tickets for all under 14 to under 19 and A team players and families.
· Develop, work and enhance psychological and mental endurance sides of the game – both in theory practice and implementation level but do allow flexibility for natural flair and skills ain exceptional circumstances (history suggests we are at our best when natural, in full flow, confident and aggressive – but we have lost in other areas and when we do not have exceptional talent at hand, coupled with inadequacies in other areas we falter and we falter badly).
· Reward, punish and select players fairly, honestly and nip any problems in the bud CONSISTENTLY for first 2/3 years (and carry it on) on the basis that justice is not only done but seems to be done by all players. Go to cities, schools, remote areas, and villages: find out where are the next generations of Mohammed brothers, Wasims, Waqars, Imrans, Miandads and so on. Every member in most cases should come through under 19, A Team and then graduate to the senior team. There will be consistency, transparent process and will discourage nepotisms and corruption. I believe the above system will bear fruit from year 3 onwards inshallah.
· Invest in technological improvements and diplomatic efforts to lobby, pursue your strengths both locally and internationally.

Which player from the past would you have liked to have seen in the flesh and which current player would you pay to watch?

JB, It is a toss-up between Imran (seen some of his best days but missed at his true peak earlier on as a bowler and leader in the middle), Richards (again seen some of him), Javed (purely for his sheer bloody mindedness, graft, skill and getting on opposition’s nerves, remember his once-in-life-time jumping parody at Indian keeper) Sobers, Hanif Mohammed and Bradman?????????? Can’t decide really but will have to be Bradman or Imran. (One from purely cricketing reason and other from patriotic and leadership point of view as well as cricket)

I guess it will have to be more of Imran or Hanif Mohammed.

For the second part of your question, I am one for either pure cricket or pure vulgarity so at one level certain charismatic pathan/pushtun from Karachi and actor from Pindi pops up to mind (any guesses?), at other, perhaps Murali, Yousuf, Inzi, Ponting, Kallis, possibly Tendulakar (not recently though).

Afridi, mu-maan, is the answer!

I gather you are from Karachi. How would you resolve its ills and what would it take for you to return one day?

JB, Complicated but an important question JB:

Perhaps fellow PPers might also be able to shed some lights especially when it comes down to what will it take for expatriates diaspora to return one day.

Karachi is the only mega city in Pakistan with truly cosmopolitan nature, diverse work force/market place and compelling mix of people, together with long and proud history since and before the creation of Pakistan. With it of course come all sorts of problem, usually associated with such a melting pot. For more details, if you have time, please read my thread on Karachi earlier:

Most of what I said about Pakistan’s political situation above holds about Karachi but the following can be added {It is an emotive subject for me so I will try and keep it short & sweet - don’t hold your breath though about being short**.

Invest in education and infrastructure, especially in integrated sustainable traffic schemes professionally with long-term vision and planning (implementation, sustainability, monitoring and project management has been lacking in the past. South Korea - I think - borrowed our 15 year or 10 year plan on their visit to Karachi City Council in probably 60/70s and look at Seoul now). I understand that there are 200+ new cars every day/week (on top of my head, might not be exact figure but it was very high indeed) are coming on the Khi streets due to new leasing schemes and increase in disposable income with no investment in infrastructure, except in last few years when both Mayors tried tried to do something about it.

Security, Rule of Law & Stability. (dedicated, stable city police service which reflects the community it serves, amongst other integrated measures like Neighbourhood policing, with decent wage and educated officers, academy and facilities. Police HQ in Garden need updating and refurbishment desperately. I actually met one decent police guy on my last visit and we had a good discussion about various matters but he was an exception - we need to make it a rule). Approachable reliable points of help, visibility and joint-up working of various bodies.

Ideally NONE but at least considerable reduction in corruption & nepotism (I say that because as long as there is a reasonable progress/alternative way for general, law abiding citizens without going down dodgy routes, spending money excessively/forcefully or taking the law in their own hand, it will be a progress. Also you can not completely wipe out corruption even in most civilised societies. Discourage such practices at local, national and regional level. Name and shame campaigns along with positive measures.

Get rid of gangster, mafia culture in the name of political, religious and neo-liberal/fundamentalist names. No party, Groups, mullahs should be allowed to take matters in their hands, Do facilitate genuine good quality humanitarian movements of all kind. Make example of the people who deviate consistently a few times and the rest will follow BUT it is only possible when there is clear, just, honest environment based on merit and understanding of local need, situation and sensitivities.

Rebuild/Improve Karachi’s image as the mini Pakistan/Roshniyon ka shahar, back to its golden days of no too distant past – Encourage cross provincial, regional and international students, political, techno/logical/crats exchange visits, open discussions and courage to admit mistakes. It hurts me when people talk about Karachi without first hand knowledge, experience, simply based on what they read (sometimes true but sometime not so) or a very limited experience based on a certain phase in city’s life, without understanding of history and bigger picture. I do not agree with them but I do see, to a degree, why it is so perhaps. Two wrongs do not make it right.

Simultaneously increase local skills, capacity and DFI - Encourage, finance local enterprise - on technological share and transfer level to stimulate local economy and improve local skills and capacity.

Appreciate and improve the part immigrants to Karachi from all over Pakistan and subcontinent play (you do have Somalis, Bengalis, Burmese, Lankians etc in Karachi in addition to people from all Pakistan). Get a mutually agreed and beneficial system and infrastructure so that they become part of the solution by contributing towards a cohesive, cosmopolitan and developing Karachi.

Develop, refurbish Karachi Port Trust and port with new technology and good governance on professional basis on more competitive lines. Carefully evaluate security and economic measures along the whole coastline for rainy days. With Gawadar nearly fully operational, it will provide good alternative and competition.

Electricity & Drinking water: Two huge problems for any one who knows Karachi in last 10+ years (never used to be, at least at this scale) but demand has gone up drastically with 1.75 Karor people unofficially with increased income, young-ish population, using ACs, PCs, gas, laptops, mobiles, every modern accessory 24/7 – no wonder, city’s infrastructure lags behind without any investment in decades. Karachi gets the most sunshine, real energy sapping at times, winter is now limited to 1 and may be 2 months at the most – thanks to the coastal breeze and refuge. Promptly invest in Solar and wind turbine technology with china’s help or even with local manufacturers or both in SITE area (huge investment potential for some one with vision, capital and drive – need of course, political will. It might be expensive to start of with but can’t be worse than what we have now which is old, expensive and completely ineffective and insufficient). Also, I think it is underway, or so I heard, sort out drinking water and build safe, secure storage and distribution facilities, both portable and permanent (an issue which also has huge national and international significance, e.g. China has invested billions in the biggest dam of the world recently and it is coming about gradually because as a nation it has recognised the long term challenges as future wars might be fought over this commodity - yes there were some displacement issues but you do have to make smaller sacrifices for bigger goals as a nation). Processing water from Arabic Ocean into drinking soft water or look at new ways is very crucial for the port city and the country. Explore Wi-tricity and other options.

Provision for affordable Housing and for people on low income – some one needs to sort this out, last I checked properties have rocketed by 200% percent in certain parts and it is becoming extremely difficult for average Karachitie to buy/to get on the property ladder and recently introduced private financing/mortgage is on rise (remind you of somewhere!).

Increase positive recruitment from Karachi (as well as Interior Sindh and Balochistan) for a limited time, Pak Armed Forces to raise awareness and boost recruitment and representation – most of it already there - but increase PAF’s role in local charitable and humanitarian projects. ISPR can play a crucial role with positive dramas, localised campaign and good role models.

Audit the local institutions in terms of HR, customer focus, co-ordinated approach and improve them. On good note, NADRA in Karachi works really well for my experience.

All of the above is futile with good and effective governance and robust law enforcement/judicial system.

How is the cricket going?

JB, Great now, Mashallah! 3 wickets and 26 not out in last game yesterday.

First season in bottom division MPC League and we have already learnt quite a lot - as a Team and personally. Will be pushing for promotion next season. New young team so will be a challenge but I think we can do it. It has certainly made me appreciate and understand Cricket at a different level.

I know you are busy JB with family and every thing but you should try some friendlies, great fun and I know you can bat and bowl, good eye in the nets! – I wish I can when I get to your stage after so many years out of the game.

How is married life going?

Mashallah, Great. JB -You know the rest of the developments so just grateful, anxious and happy.

Fancy Shahi Nan Kebab sometime?

Ahoo ji JB. Would love to but I am wary of our last minute cancellation recently, hope you are no too upset and can convey our apologies to missus as well. Inshallah soon or you can pop in to say hello any time. You have my contact number although I have lost yours somehow!.

Why are there no express pacemen being produced these days? Lack of beef?

Volcyz dear, call me old fashioned or a moaner but I think that the role of serious fast bowling was systematically brought down by a series of measures taken by then dominating boards: ECB, ACB and others by their lack of pacers in 70s, WI attack and then commercial pressures to make the game more entertaining. As a result we now need to have more sixes, boundaries and excitement which bring more revenues, more sixes, and hoardings are hit, more captive audiences, and more money for ICC and boards and so on. Another thing is that it is bloody hard work mate and you need to have a certain kind of body and aggressiveness about you unless you are happy with capable of the use of corridor of uncertainty and seam position and ability to move both ways – which is brilliant in itself and does not necessarily require real pace, especially in England etc. New coaching manuals and all that corrective approaches encourages bowlers to slow down, cut down run up to be more accurate, spend less time etc (some are good things some are not, depends).

One thing is sure, there is no better sight for me than a pacer charging in and thundering a yorker or bouncer or good length bowl to get the batsman due to his speed - first two are way better because you have more chance of blowing either a helmet/caught or the stumps!.

Why the choice of username?

Oxy bhai I never thought it was sooo different that I will get questions asked about it! But mainly because it was unusual and sophisticated to me, also, being a romanticist at heart, quite liked the film and meaning to the word. I also think it conveys so much for a word to others. For clarification I did not fancy the neighbour character, What’s in the name hey?

What is your fondest childhood memory?

Interesting trio from you Kablooee, two memories really come to fore: won personal and other national: me winning 5/6 prizes at final annual school ceremony and other being the 1992 world cup win and Nusrat Sahib’s Qawwali – well back in those days being 14/15 was counted as childhood in our neck of the woods.

Apart from the fact that you are Pakistani, why cricket? Why follow it so much?

KB, I think you answered your question in the beginning of your sentence. However, if I were to add something to it then perhaps this ….I believe that it is the only game with a truly unique proposition: imagine a game with a cocktail of strategic, psychological thinking together with skills, subtleties, graft, physical/mental endurance and good exercise. Gotta be Cricket!

Wasim or Waqar?

KB, Good Lord!

Wasim had a gift and more variety. Waqar was a genuine fast bowler. Yorkers were the best in the world.

Wasim is my answer but I think it is because Waqar was denied his full potential at crucial juncture by a legend bowler Wasim, not quite so sure about him as a human being, honest leader or fellow team member.

Tell a bit about yourself?

PP, This is probably a very good but highly open-ended question.

If you care to ask any thing specific or more compartmentalised, I will gladly answer. Hope you don’t mind.

Have you played cricket at a competitive level?

PP, initially School level where I was pretty ordinary, the amount of talent even at lower level in Pakistan is really amazing. I know this guy who did not even wear shoes and I think he was bowling at least as fast as Sami with deadly accuracy from what I can make it and he was only 14.

I have been playing in Saturday and Sunday Clubs, mainly average quality friendlies but now, after telling myself I am good enough/turning a leaf mentally whilst putting some work, this season playing in bottom division League in MPCL in Middlesex and I am glad I came out of my comfort zone.

Do you believe in 'quality' over 'quantity' and why?

Easa firstly I do appreciate your knowledge and the fact that you are probably youngest living legend on PP! Quality, unless you have any thing to do with Russian army - sorry no real relevance to the question or analogy, just my Age of Empire 3 speech coming out (for those of you know what I mean, it might just even be funny).

Quality simply because you rather have one of the best than lots of crap.

I ‘d rather have just One Kardar, One F Mahmood, One Imran, One Miandad, One Wasim, One Waqar or Qadir then hundreds of Farhats, Nazirs, Samis, Hafeezs etc – no disrespect to them all.

Where did your love for cricket come from?

Easa, I think it is the only thing you have/had as child in Pakistan unless you are Roshan Khan’s family/ relatives, live in Liyari in Karachi or born with silver spoon. Role models, excitement, coverage, basic & second hand knowledge, charm and familiarity all played part. Most of all win of 1992 provided an extra boost and awareness.

If you could choose one player from India to play for Pakistan (past and present), who would it be and why?


Easa, Vingsarkar, Kapil, Shastri….Manjrekar, Tendulkar, Jadeja??????

I think Gavaskar – boring, skilful, old school and gritty – we could do with some of those in our Test Team. I am not too certain and a little rushed on this one so Gavaskar will do.

What is your academic prowess?

Jayed just starting part time MBA in Management, part of my PDP.

Was Malik the right choice as skipper in your opinion ?

Saj bhai, I was initially for Younus purely on motivational/leadership grounds but he lost the plot a little and lost interest and had reservation about safety/security. After 2 or 3 closest people in his life passed away recently so I understand. On balance, probably Shoaib is the right choice but he needs either unconditional blessing of top seniors or have a senior vice captain with a clear message to guide him through and provide support and advice in tricky situation without personal agenda. (too much to ask but Yousuf would have been a good choice and Asif in my opinion was an aggressive and confident choice for vice captain but tiny bit volatile – was removed too quickly though, I would have liked to see him continue for longer before dishing out a judgment).

The real test will be Shoaib deals with pressure of performance and expectations, defeats, adversary and negative media coverage.

When is the last time you went to Pakistan (where are you based when you go there)?


Oxy bhai, Two years ago. I am divided between Karachi (main base) but with family visits and friends scattered around Lahore, Islamabad, Okara and Mangla/Mirpur/AJK recently where I regularly spend time on my visits.

Who is your favourite poet?

JB got you going in the thread Wazeeri!

Too many to mention: difficult and delicate to pick.

I grew up with Faiz, Inshaji, Nasir Kaazmi, Bashir Badar, Mohsin Bhopali, Jalib, Iqbal, Faraz, Sahir Ludhyanivi, Ghalib, Mir, atish and now contemporary ones like Amjad, Parvin Shakir, Wasi Shah (not sure about some of his poems though) and others – with a bit of Wardsworth, Shakespeare and others thrown in for little measure to name a few in no particular order.

Now if you know the quality of the above poets you will find it hard to justify one or another.

For inspiration: Iqbal & Ghalib.
For revolution and society: Faiz, Mohsin Bhopali and Jalib
Love: Faiz, Faraz & Parvin Shakir.

Faiz and Faraz had both romantic and social justice/revolutionary side to them.

I will probably have to pick Faraz.

Wazeeri, Who wrote the poem I posted on your thread "yeh kaun bol raha tha khuda ke lehje mein", I really want to know. I heard it on meray mutabiq from Dr Shahid Masood.

I think it might be Faraz or Amajad even but I might be wrong. I have read this poem long time ago but recall exactly at this point in time. If I get a chance/time will confirm to you in due course.

Where do you see Pakistan going?


Wazeeri, Nowhere fast at the moment. I don’t believe that we have a really drastic situation, neither I agree that we are making real genuine proportionate progress. On balance it is probably two steps forward and one back - at times three in both directions. We just need to take stock, prioritise and have a clear direction.

Who do you blame for the mess?

Wazeeri, All of us.

Pakistan has given us so much: most of all an identity, a sense of belonging, a cricket winning team, a place to call our home country and the freedom. Don’t agree, ask Palestinians what it means to have freedom and what will they do to achieve it.

That is why Iqbal said:

Jisme azadi na ho who zindagi bay-faiz hay
Raah ka pathar hay YA shaj-re-bay-bargo-bar
(Mafhoom/lose translation: If you don’t have freedom you might as well be stone on the street or a tree)

We all have responsibilities and duties as citizens, nationals, dual nationals, politicians, bureaucracy, military, religious leaders, elite classes who thrive on being brown sahibs at the expensive of underprivileged and most vulnerable in our society. Most people have accepted many corrupt practices, rituals. We are so afraid, so not bothered or lazy to provide our contribution sometimes. It needs to change and change quickly. On a positive note, there are quite a few well-known people and unsung heroes who are doing their bit (e.g. Edhi etc)

What is the solution?

Wazeeri, please read my detailed response about political situation, Pakistan and Karachi above. Somewhere in there we can agree and have a plan/solution.

I think what I said about the political situation earlier is very crucial. It is a very delicate phase in our history and we need to tread carefully, intelligently and wisely as a nation.

Ideally I would wish for our country to hold wide debate amongst Muslims at all levels, locally, nationally and internationally (organisations, Governments, religious leaders, potential difficult characters) and then draw up a plan or review the existing ones, usually the problem is action and monitoring rather than pieces of papers/talk and stick to it religiously for at least 5 years then assess it.

A modern socio-political welfare state model based on broadly agreed principle of Islam with flexibility of authoritative and agreed ijtihad if possible in complicated cases will be my objective.

Do we & our leaders have the will, vision and ability?

What do you fear the most?


Wazeeri, Two things: that my actions might hurt someone and on the day of judgement my sins might be greater than my good deeds.

Are you married?

Wazeeri, Yes, mashallah.

What's your favourite colour?

Kheriya to hay na bhai? Always been blue but also like white and certain shades of silver grey.

What's your favourite bird?

Too many boring answers…hmmm… long time ago may be perhaps I would have asked to either clarify your question or have some specific names!

Dove & Chicks.

Are You from I block? NN? National College? Bombay Town?

Immu (I wrote this and it reminded me of Umar Sharif’s joke about Imran’s name, i.e. Immu) Unfortunately nahin yaar but I am very familiar with Nazimabad, 2 number/Habib bank chowrangi areas and the college, board office area. Famous burger place near masjid-e-batha, Javed/Zahid Nihari, Burns Road dishes and baloch ice cream.

Who is better: Habib Jalib or Faiz Ahmed Faiz?


Qasim, That is a toughie artistically I will probably choose Jalib.

Are you a fan of Pakistani films, Dramas and Music. If yes to any of these - what are your favourites (and why)?


Oxy bhai, dramas yes but don’t like the recent bollywood-isation of our dramas.

Our dramas were better when they were real, close to the people with our own touch, that’s I why I liked them.

My favourite on top of my head would be: Tanhaiyan, Khuaja & sons, Andhera Ujala, Khuda Ki basti, Dhuaan, Dhoop Kinaray, Sunahray Din and Alpha Bravo Charlie. I have heard a lot about ‘lunda bazaar’ but have not watched it.

Old Pakistani Films – yes, Nadim, Wahid Muraad any day but not recently until Khuda ke liye was announced and reviewed. Incidentally any news about its availability on net or in UK? I would like to watch it. There has been an uproar about the film in Pak, Alimonline is doing a special programme about it!

Music – I have always believed that Pakistan had a far superior music quality than India. The reasons are simple and they have names: Nayarra Noor (my personal favourite), Alamgir, Nazia Zohaib, Ustaad Ghulam Ali, Slamat Ali, Mehdi Hasan, Mai Bhaagi, Allan Faqir, Alam Lohar, NFA, Munni begum, Vital Signs, Salman Ahmed, Atif Aslam, Ali Haider; Sajjad Ali, Rahim Shah any one remember his “purani jeans”? – just to name a few.

Jammy, If you could invite any five PPers to your birthday party, who would they be and why?

It will have to be a mixture of veterans, characters and noobs to keep it interesting;

I wish I could invite all of you but going back to the question: First batch of probablesxy, Amoeba, Sam1eh, Saj, Monsee, TGK, Amir, Easa, Hafridi, MTara, Kablooee, MIG, Jospeh K, Amir, Aurangzeb, OZgod, SB, Qasim, Asim2good, Big Dady.

Last 5: Amoeba, MIG, Oxy, Wazeeri, Sam1eh and toss up between Easa/Has been and Hafridi.

What’s your perfect meal?

SB, Mashallah, interesting question:

I suppose once upon a time simple daal chawal, chane poori (heavy though)

Then Fish and Chips, Pasta and Shawarmas, Edgware Road Lebanese food, chicken sweet corn soups and Mexican dishes.

Now: Karahi Chicket/gosht with, salad and Biryani.

See the progress or the lack of it!

Why do you visit PP?


Saj bhai, for information, sharing ideas, seek knowledge, make friends and learn/understand others.
Did I forget to mention something….. to discuss/talk about Cricket with mostly intelligent people who understand the game and varying point of views.

If you had the power to change three things in the world those things would be?

Umerz,

1 - Bring back the Golden age of Islam when it was most forward looking, most educated, tolerant and celebrated religion – and make it sustainable with creative modern ideas/technology and invest in long term strategies and betterment. Does that mean no Bush, Israel and U.S.! It has its side perks. While I am at it, Pakistan will become its Capital with a different name (please do not mention current politicians, religious Leaders or military, an exception would have to be Iqbal, Jinnah, Sir Syed and Maudodi). There will be no one poor or hungry left in the world due to welfare system and distribution of wealth.

2 – Be an excellent Human being and Muslim.

2 – Be as good as Wasim Akram in terms of bowling, Imran in captainship, Ponting in batting gritty as Miandad and if I can just keep like Baari and field like Johnty. I would be happy.

My real answer though:

HAZARON KHUHISHEIN AISEIN KE HAR KHUAHISH PAY DAM NIKLAY
BOHAT NIKLAY MERAY ARMAAN MAGAR PHIR BHI KAM NIKLAY

Based on current events, do you think humanity is on road to (self/natural)-destruction? why?

J Essence, I am an optimist. I like to see glass half full then half empty.

For every tyrant, there is Edhi/Teresa/Norman Kember, for every Fira’un there is Mosa, I think we could do a lot more as human beings and we fail to realise our true potential. It is a well-known secret that we only use certain tiny percentage of our brain generally.

I think if there was no humanity left we will have the day of judgment/qayamat because real Islam incorporates true humanity and also strongly advocates that.

So I think that humanitarian values have suffered perhaps over recent centuries on one hand and rose on other. On balance it is not good enough and can/should be improved but it is not catastrophic.

Philosophically speaking perhaps the answer is yes because that is the natural cycle, is it not?

Thank you very much all of you who took time to put forward your questions. I really enjoyed responding and apologies if it took longer than expected.

Shukria and Allah Hafiz.