May 27th, 2017

Oval.5

It sums up the world we live in today – this incident at Oval. Racism, White/Western supremists, autocratic officials, high-handed and unfair treatment of a third world party, a protest and ‘rebellion’ from the oppressed, the absolute incompetence and toothlessness of a peace-keeping international body, pathetic apologists for the oppressed masquerading as their representatives, the deliberately kept ignorant masses so they hold the protestors in villianous light, and a sense-less verdict/action essentially teaching the protestors a good lesson for having voiced their protest. The casualty could be as grave as a sovereign country like Lebanon, or as apparently simple as an almost-in-the-pocket Test Match in a lost Test series.

Take these ingredients and you could as easily concoct Israel’s invasion and destruction of Lebanon, as you could brew something along the lines of Darrel-pig-headed-white-supremist-asian-hating-Hair’s latest ICC/Malcom Speed-backed-and-encouraged ‘crusade’ against the invading Asian cricketing phenomenon.

There are some positives in the Oval incident, however, which I would list as below:

    The incident might have cost us a test match and the no.2 spot in the ICC Test rankings, but at least it has not left hundreds of innocent children burried under the rubble of their houses, nor has it cost billions of dollars worth of destruction in a country.

    Sharyar Khan’s grovelling was pathetic, to say the least, and exceedingly embarassing. It made for a strong case against letting these bureaucrats take up positions at the helm of sporting matters. We might have lost most of our pride in the comity of nations, thanks to Generals, Retired Generals, and Politicians, whose pathetic and embarassing bending backwards to please the erstwhile colonial masters and all their look-alikes is often our national integrity’s undoing, but we have our pride and our esteem in the sporting world, especially in the cricketing world, and we need to guard it fiercely. Perhaps one day, we will be able to translate that salvaged pride into other areas of our international dealings.

    For once the PCB has stood behind the players, and they ought to be commended.

    For once the President of the country has also spoken along lines that do not bruise our self respect. This may well have to do with the fact though that Bush does not follow Cricket.

    Most of all, I am happy that the Pakistan team has learned to stand up and be counted. I am sick and tired of all these countries refusing to play in our country, of these sporting teams refusing to play in venues we decide when they come to our country, of our team silently taking whatever the umpires (read Darrel Hair) dish out, and of our people being pushed around.

    Once again, I salute “Bade Bhai”. He is not yet the fire-brand force to reckon with that the great Khan was, but he has proven that after the illuminous Kardar era, and the world-cup-winning Imran Khan era, Pakistan cricket is living the “bade-bhai era” – the Inzamam era.

      Here is what I had to say the last time around when Darrel Hair had unleashed his unabashed racism. He is not good for my sense of humor.

      Whatever the implications of yesterday’s fiasco be, I am proud of the fact that the Pakistan team took a stand, and refused to let the Darrel Hairs walk over them. I hope the Shaharyar Khans of the ‘diplomatic contingent’ do not undo the good work done here, and I wish all the best to our boys – our Pakistani boys who made us proud yesterday.

Patriotism… CGL X.6

14th August – Pakistan’s 59th Independence Day. I had made time and logged in to update on the day, and what it meant to me this year. But I got sucked into a discussion on another blog. To Jalali Baba’s chagrin, I am putting my comments on the discussion up here as an update, as Comment gone lengthy. Psuedo-posting you might accuse me of, but you will not find me guilty of not updating in over a month. You might want to read the original post to make head or toe of my comments below though. Here goes:

I wrote my earlier comment when I was angry and offended by the post. Anger seldom, if ever, brings out any positives. I seem to have left a lot of wrong impressions, which another_sister-Irhabiyah has built her response on. I feel I will have left an important task incomplete if I do not clarify my position here, as an Azad kashmiri, as well as a very proud Pakistani.

You ask me what I am proud of? Well, there you have me. Pakistan has done no justice to its potential, and Pakistanis as a nation are a far cry from what our leaders had envisaged us to be at the time of creation of Pakistan. Nonetheless, I fail to understand you when you ask me to shed my pride in my country, or to let somebody propogate misinformation about the ground realities of the country. Patriotism is a natural instinct instilled by Allah in all human beings. All cultures, all people and all history have always condoned patriotism, and the word for one devoid of patriotism in any language is less than flattering. It is a lot like marriage. Allah has made marriage the sacred bond between man and woman, and Islamic or not, every culture has always had its own version of marriage, and a relationship without a marriage is still looked down upon – at least in most of the ‘uncivilized’ world. I pray for all Muslims to stay uncivilized enough to uphold the sanctity of marriage as well as patriotism.

I maintain that a Muslim devoid of patriotism is incomplete. Without patriotism, a Muslim will gravitate to the nearest point where he can practice Islam freely, with patriotism he will make his country a place where he can practice Islam freely. There is a big difference between the two, if you can se it. It is understood that we as Muslims should always be helping out our Muslim brethren when in need, but the fact remains that when our own brother, our own flesh and blood, needs our help our motivation to help him out is more pronounced, more direct and the results more profound. Similarly, as Muslims we are driven to establish the word of Allah, but as Muslims from a certain area we will be more highly driven to establish the word of Allah in our own land, in our own people. This is precisely why people came from afar, embraced Islam at the hand of the Prophet Mohammad (SAW), and went back to their villages, countries and regions to spread the word of Allah. There is also the example of the Mohajireen who looked forward to conquering Makkah, mainly because it housed the house of Allah, but also because it was their homeland. Lets not forget that Ka’aba was not our qibla initially, and it was declared so because the Prophet wished in his heart for it to be the qibla. Denying patriotism is unnatural, and not having patriotism un-Islamic, and if you disagree, let us agree to disagree.

I am not sure if I can go about disecting your response just as you did mine, but if you agree to drop the presumption that I condone what Busharraf ( I liked the name coined by sister Irhabiyah) and his regime have ushered into our media, and the culture they have helped bring in, perhaps I can limit my response to the matter closer to my heart – the relationship of Kashmiris with their fellow-Pakistanis.

It is wrong of you to accuse the Kashmiris of using their ‘Kashmiri card’, because I know we use no such thing. I resent your implication also that I used my Kashmiri card at any point. The fact is that all road-blocks require you to present your identity card, and the policemen would often chat with me nicely after noticing that the address on my PAKISTAN ID CARD stated that I were a Kashmiri, ask me a question or two about what my city was like, and let me pass. Perhaps, you are misguided by your zeal to find fault here.

You have quoted a few examples to infer that Kashmiris and Pakistanis have a love-hate relationship, and I remember you had also remarked that five years is a small time to spend in Lahore and Karachi to make any objective conclusions about the relationship we Kashmiris enjoy with our fellow-Pakistanis. I am from Mirpur Azad Kashmir, an over-whelming majority of the Kashmiris that reside in UK are from my city, an over-whelming majority of my own family resides in the UK, and I have a very fair idea of how well those people are informed about how Pakistan treats Azad kashmir, and how Azad Kashmiris are treated by other Pakistanis. Please do not get me started on them. It is all very well making those inferences and as you call it, ‘mockery’ of Pakistan as well as their ‘azaadi’ for these people, ask them the very basic question about the history of Kashmir and Pakistan and watch them stammer. I know of many whose main intercation with Pakistanis in Pakistan is at Islamabad airport, and whose only exposure to Pakistan is limited to the road from Pindi airport to Dina mod. Ignorance cannot be a premise for informed decisions or opinions. I am not as presumptious as you think I am after five years in Lahore and sometime in Karachi. By the way, I have also spent a couple of years in Mirpur in my childhood, which I do not count towards much, but I visit my folks frequently enough to know just what my fellow Kashmiris are talking about.

The idea behind Pakistan, the ideology of Pakistan is the two nation theory i.e. that there were two nations in the sub-continent. Muslims and Non-Muslims. Pakistan was created for the Muslims of the sub-continent, it was to be made of Muslim Majority areas – this is the ideology that binds – the last time we forgot this binding factor, our country was halved. If we take your premise of Kashmir belongs to Kashmiris, pretty soon we would be talking of Punjab belongs to Punjabis, Sind to Sindhis, Balochistan to Balochis and Frontier to Pathans. Our enemies, within and outside, have already exploited such divisive thinking to create unrest in our country – the last thing we need is well meaning attempts like yours. Oh, and in case you had not noticed, Kashmir has little chance of survival on its own. There are much fewer resources in this land, untless you propose we cut down all the wood, or promote tourism. Cutting the wood has obvious eco-disastrous implications, and tourism for whatever dollars it might bring in carries a cultural price-tag, we Kashmiri Muslims can ill-afford to pay.

God forbid, even if there were to be a separate Kashmir, just how long do you think would it take for our enemies to stoke the fires of Sunni-Shia fueds to split it further. In unity lies strength Madam, and as Muslims we need to be uniting our people, not advocating divisions.

To your examples of apathy in our Kashmiri brethren, I would like to propose you read my uplifting experience with my mostly non Kashmiri Pakistani brethren in the relief effort http://www.knicq.com/archives/hope-for-recovery-cgl-viii/. I also remember ending up on a Kashmiri community on the net, and finding Mirpuris talking about how Pakistan Govt. despite its nuclear arsenal had failed to get aid to the affected areas in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. My question to him was simple: Did he expect Pakistan Govt. to nuke the weather? The point being that sometimes people from our part of the world are prone to unrealistic expectations, owing to their simplicity and sometimes to their ignorance. it does not mean that we take their word on what defines the strong bonds between Kashmiris and their fellow-Pakistanis. You will notice I make an effort to state that Pakistanis are my fellow countrymen. I hope next time around you wish to deduce anything about this relationship, you can factor this in too.

AS for the Quaid “dude” – where ‘dude’ is a word I took and take exception to, I know of no-one who uses the word dude to describe national heroes, let alone the father of a nation – I maintain that he deserves the respect from all Muslims for his endeavours, because he toiled for the cause of millions of Muslims, and as you rightly said, he was an Ismaili himself, which makes it all the more important that he command our respect because he was not even accepted as a Muslim by some of the Muslims he worked for the betterment of. He commands our respect – just as do Mohammad Bin Qasim, Tariq Bin Ziyad, Yousuf Bin Tashfeen, Salahuddin Ayoubi, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, and all other heroes of the Islamic World who dedicated themselves to the cause of Islam and Muslims. Even if you do not respect him, give me this courtesy, respect my hero when you talk of him to me.

Last but not the least, my comment that I know Irhabiyah as a good Muslimah was not to elicit an apology from her. You think me too base. My comment was a clarification for why I was trying to be not too harsh.

It is gracious of Irhabiyah to offer that apology though, I humbly accept it. I offer my apology too for flying off the handle like that. I am an Azad Kashmiri, who wakes up every morning and chooses to be a Pakistani – and in that I think me twice as Pakistani as any other Pakistani, because I am not born a Pakistani like them.

Sure there is a lot wrong with Pakistan of today, but mayoosi gunah hai, and I am determined that better sense will prevail one day. I pray to Allah that Pakistan realizes its potential as the fortress of Islam, and I will do my small part in making it the Islamic state it was meant to be. If finally all else fails, and all hope is lost, perhaps I will consider hijra, move my family out of there, and I pray to Allah that such a day may never ever dawn. Short of that, I am a Pakistani, and proud of it – like it or not.

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