Archive for the 'Politics' Category

Day 246 – Kashmir day

Today was holidays – the “day of solidarity with people of Kashmir (and Jammu)”. We went out to the city and (like its so often) I had some really weird sights…

Huge banners in Urdu and English have been placed around the city. Talking about heroes, enemies, not much abound friendship, peace or agreement… Its hard to understand such an approach, but let me say a few things for You about this valley…

The whole problem started with the Partition of British Raj India into India and Pakistan in 1947. The history behind this is really interesting, but at this moment all You need to know is that the muslims from India under the leadership of Jinnah have succeeded to persuade the British that its inevitable to create a separate Muslim state. Till today most Indians think it was not needed…

But anyways, the British said OK – each province of India (something like a mini-state) can choose if they want to be part of Pakistan or India. The problem was that in Kashmir the ruler was Hindu, but most of people were Muslim, so he decided to try to stay independent, i.e. not to choose… This made the muslims from new forming Pakistan pissed off (as they thought he could want to join India, who had more resources to offer) and sent army to kick the rulers out – and seeing that the rulers of course announced that Kashmir and Jammu want to join India

Btw, the British would have never accepted K+J being independent, they didnt even agree with Bengal=Bangladesh be separeted and agreed only on its separation only if it is part of Pakistan!

Now the problem was that the leadership of India had an official document stating that K+J want to join India (that document got lost and nobody knows where is it) and thats why India has sent its troops to “protect” K+J. Only a UN-backed negotiation has stopped a full-scale war and has set a cease-fire line – which defacto became the border. India at that time promised that a census – referendum will be held in K+J where the people will decide whom they want to join… That census never happened… The leaders of India at that time felt that K+J are their “homeland” and thus never intended on giving the region to Pakistan.

Since that war, one more war between Pakistan and India about Kashmir took place, the result was actually a return to original cease-fire line. Part of it were troops trained and financed by Pakistan regimes that were supposed to stir revolution in Kashmir. They failed… This war made Zulfikar Bhutto become a hero, for his fight with words (as foreign minister) against India.

As a matter of fact, the area is partly disputed also by China, but Pakistan to strenghten its position against India made a border agreement with China and thus doesnt have conflicts with it. It should be also said that the disputed region is the size of Slovak and Czech republic combined.

To finish up the thing:
- both Indians and Pakistanis feel that Kashmir and Jammu are part of their country
- in light of the proclamation of Kosovo independence its possible to consider Kashmir pronouncing itself independent (as it did in the 60s), but nobody would support that.. as one of my friend ironically noted: “we want them to be freeunder Pakistani rule”. And K+J has not enough infrastructure and will among people to become an independent state
- historically during Partition there was a district of India, that had mostly Hindu inhabitants, but leadership was Muslim, that proclaimed itself part of Pakistan (despite being fully surrounded by want-to-be-india districts), Indian troops kicked the leadership out… but it was MUCH smaller than K+J…but according to a (current) map of Pakistan I have, it is shown as part of Pakistan

picture for comparison… CR+SR=15 mio people
Pakistan = 180 mio people
disputed region (K+J) = 10 mio people

Day 245 – is todays world really that BAD?

Man has a short memory – I guess mostly because his life is short… and he is never satisfied, things should always be better and they are always better in style of “the grass at neighbours lawn is always greener”  or “when I was young that would never happen “. People always think how bad they are doing and that keeps them driven to change things… but sometimes its good to stand still, pause dreaming and be rational for a moment…

I have heard numerous times the sigh “we are living in such a bad/cruel world“… You know what? If You have a look at it – its CRAP! This is the best world there has EVER been (at least for homo sapiens sapiens)… We made the world this way and it might not be ideal for our minds and expectations but it would be a heaven for people from decades passed…

Yes, You open news and there is killings mixed with terrorists and topped with nature catastrophes. But consider a simple fact: its not very distand past when the state of WAR was a standard relationship between countries, peace was only the period of time after a successful war when there was no risk from other power to start a war (they were defeated).

Enjoy what You have, stop complaining, but do not stop trying to make world a better place…

Day 215 – I am safe! Please, do not worry. [but thank you]

Whatta a weird post to write on first day of a New Year…

But last days were not the best for Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto is dead, country is in cramps…

But, see, for me these days, when the country went through purgatory, have been about nothing,  repeating that I was bored is not true enough, I was actually numb, idle..

This is a few quotations from my wall on Facebook:
01.Jan.08@04:44pm: hello klepo. how goes things?
30.Dec.07@04:16am: heyyy!!! how are u doing??? ps:I’m not asking to check if u are still alive or not :D  [reason why the person wrote it like this is a longer story]
29.Dec.07@12:12am: Hi Klepo, how are you doing? How is the situation there? Take care of U
27.Dec.07@10:43pm: Hey Klepo………………… Take care man…… hows the situation there?
27.Dec.07@10:13pm: hey take care of yourself…. update us on the situatuion out there

I was afraid, frustrated and sometimes pissed off, but afraid about the country, not about me.  I was feeling exactly the opposite of what You have been feeling. While You have been anxious about my safety, I was frustrated about what will people of the world think now about Pakistan, while You were hoping that I am not in the middle of it and out of the country, I was hoping to be somewhere where I could do or experience something… even in Karachi, at my flat.

I am sorry, I didnt understand how much afraid have You been, every mail instead of making me feel thankfull that people care, made me even more frustrated about me doing and experiencing nothing…
I am sorry because I thought I was right, I hope You will still care. Trust me that when I say I am fine and nothing is going on, its true, but please still write me messages if I am all right…
I will
learn to appreciate them.

Days 210-214 – Days of Bhuttos death and the Coma of Pakistan

This is one of the events that You can within hours from the moment when it happened find hundreds of news on the web. In the same day as she died, Benazir had a page on Wikipedia dealing with her assasination…

What I think of her? Hard to say… I have met a person who was her advisor and he claimed that she was not corrupted and all of it were untrue accusations, I have met people who have no doubt that she, or at least her husband (thats nearly for sure) had stolen a lot of money, I have read articles about her being the Prime minister and was not too impressed… but now it doesnt matter much.

I want to share with You the moment of the event and what came after, from my point of view.

1. Assasination, 27th December 2007, 5 pm (I think)

I am sitting in the common room of the university dorms, writing some stuff for the conference. In one moment a bunch of boys run in, turn on the TV and speak to each other in excited (not at all grieving) voices. My assumption is that Pakistan won some cricket match… I am told what happened, still the tone of voice is “maaan this is so cool!”. I can imagine my face looking like somebody kicked my balls – my first thought: “We (Pakistan) are so fucked, so fucked!” The boys watch the news. Quatations:

random guy: “Yeah, one gone, good”
me: “what do You mean?”
random guy: “one of the old ones gone, only Nawaz Sharif and Musharaf left”
me: “and who comes after, please tell me?”
random guy: “[unsure] I dont know, anybody!”

random guy: “man, whats up with You? You look like it was Your country? ”
me: “well, it somehow is and I do think we are fucked, so fucked, all gone, AIESEC is fucked, but thats just the top of iceberg…”
random guy: “oh come on, its not like its the end of world, it will get fine, dont worry, dont be scared, we have survived worse”
me: “well, honestly, You are fine because You have seen worse and can wait months or years till it calms down, I want it to be get calmer NOW, I wanted to have a conference and have only 6 months left to do what I want here before I leave…”
random guy: “[quiet for a moment] well, we will live here…”
me: [this time me quiet]

2. reactions, 27th December 2007, 10 pm

random friend: “Whats up? How are You?” [in an optimistic voice]
me: “Honestly, You know whats up and I feel shitty ” [snapping back]
random friend: “Oh, well, yeah…” [shocked goes away]
meeting him after a while again
random friend: “I want to tell You something: When I asked You I didnt think You would care too much, thats first, and second just a while before I have met You, [insert name] has told me that I should not act that pesimistic and rather be myself, in order to chear up people…”
me: [feeling pretty bad] “well, sorry, I didnt mean to… Its just the thing that when You ask me `How are You?` I actually tend to answer, because I am not a Native English speaker… ”
unknown guy walking by : “Hi [friends name] ”
random friend : “Hi, how are You…. ” [turns to me] “Actually You are right, I did it again…”
me: “Well, doesnt matter, I am still sorry… I just feel like this will be pretty bad…”

3. Coma of Pakistan

In books they sometimes write that the country went into a stand still in shock… Pakistan didnt… People have been talking and looking for more people to talk with about the event (educated part) or went to the streets and starting to burn random stuff (uneducated part)…

The country went into stand-still only for those who didnt dare for the next three days to enter the streets and stayed at home scared of the random violence on the streets…

….and from there its known history: mobs started to burn down the cities – cars, banks, shops, stalls, anything that comes under their hands goes down… My opinion on this is in the article called “Day 212 (29.12.07) – Why does man kill angels? In everyone of us is a beast…

Day 213 – The political Dynasty of Bhutto

I just felt like giving a little bit food for thought to those who talk about PPP (Benazir) and democracy (in general) in Pakistan…

I am not going to tell You much, only basic assumptions of mine (no objectivity is guaranteed): what kind of promise for Democracy can bring a political party that for the last three generations is lead by the same family?

See… PPP was founded by Zulfikar Bhutto, who became hero while being the leader of Pakistan because he had people (left wing) oriented orientation. At the end of his rule, he rather became unpopular (some people say he started to behave like a dictator) and was executed after the military coup. After this, and after it was clear that General Zia (who did the coup) is even worse,  Zulfikar became a hero again.

And thus first his wife and later his daughter (Benazir) was appointed to bethe head of the party, the daugther actaully as a life-long chairman (!). She lead the party and, after General Zias mysterious death (plane explosion), became a prime minister twice, she didnt show herself very skilled when it comes to managing the country. During this time she has accepted an arranged marriage with Asif Zardari. A rich man, who got famous for very huge corruption scandals, while being an important person in Benazirs government and PPP. In both cases of her prime-ministering she was discharged due to corruption cases…

She got back from exile when it was obvious that Musharafs power is decreasing. After first unsucessful terrorist attack in Karachi (150 ppl dead) she was killed on the 27th in Rawalpindi…

Her 19-year old son Bilawal and husband were chosen to be co-chairmans of the party (also Benazirs sister was one option). One of the party officials said that the “PPP workers would not accept a non-Bhutto leadership“. The roles have been clear already at the begining = Zardari said news-guys should ask him as Bilawal is in a “tender age” and sent him to finish school…

Am I bias? Might be… Most of all I wrote this because very soon BB will become a martyr and talking about the negatives will not be appropriate (it actually already is) and secondly and more importantly – I am sad, that the “only hope for democracy and peace”, how BB was called e.g. in Slovak newspapers, was a person with such a history… end

Day 213 – Being in the centre of news…

I just was thinking about how I have, inwillingly, become “courageous man”, “thrill seeker”, “adventurer” and generally in the middle of “historical events”.

Lets look back… I have never been a real adventure seeker, from time to time I took a decision to do something crazy, but most of the time it was far away from being dangerous… You might say that I went to Pakistan – which surely was a “dangerous” choice. Honestly? It was not… At time of my application I both didnt know much about Pakistan situation and there was not much going on in the country… And than, later when unrest came, there was a second aspect of mine – once I accepted the fact that I am going to Pakistan, I have filtered all the negative info…

Lets look at present situation… I am in the middle of “turning points of history“, “horrible tragedies” and whatever… Foreign friends of mine here are writing articles to newspapers back at home about what is going on in Pakistan, but I, who always wanted to be important, am not able even to update my blog.

Why? The biggest problem is that I am in the centre of news, but am not in the centre of the events. I go to the same webpages that You do (plus a few I know and You dont know about, e.g. – english news about Pakistan) and see the same news and do assumptions You can do… So what should I write about?

Everybody is asking me if I am safe and how it is. Well my version of the events of the last two weeks is: I am at the dorm, where most of students have not been able to arrive, so the uni had holidays, trains dont run and we dont have money for plane, so we can not at present go back to Karachi, thats why we are stuck here, parts of city are supposed to be unsafe, so we dont actually go out of the campus, during the day we just roam around bored and from time to time hear sounds from distance about which we can not agree if it is: fireworks, riots or a guy celebrating a wedding…. And thats IT!

I have no new way how to answer questions about how am I or how is it, only thing I can offer special are the contents of discusions with local people about the situation, and those I am trying to offer You through this page with its random articles…

…and thats it, I know it was a boring piece of text, but felt like sharing :P

for something better read e.g. articles of Andrew or Emad or Cileia or just go to Facebook and read some of the notes.