Archive for the ‘Pakistan’ Category

Stories and pictures of human suffering, killing and displacement of millions of people on newspapers; scenes of mass misery, towns and people submerged in water on TV screens are constantly reminding us that the worst disaster of the century is not over yet. Media is also informing that this massive flooding in Pakistan is even worse than Indian Ocean Tsunami (2004), Kashmir earthquake (2005) and Haiti earthquake (2010).

And I also conformed to this belief of media until the same media informed that how all the preparations of 14th August have been called off because of this worst disaster.

So it’s that time of the year again which is associated with celebrations all across the country, flag hoisting at every building and house, firecrackers in all the alleys, national songs being played on TV & radio and of course those same old debates that ‘what have we achieved in the last this many years!’

It is 14th August, our 63rd independence day. A grand day for every Pakistani, a day to cherish with full fervor but with half of the country submerged in water, it is hard and somewhat cruel to even imagine celebrating.

Hundreds of people dead, millions displaced, waterborne diseases, affected economy, bad governance, mismanagement, disappointing leaders; there is so much to mourn over that it’s actually hard to choose anyone.
One common thing among all these issues is the factor of distress, disappointment, distrust.
Politics has been termed a dirty business, our economy faces the threat of huge collapse, our society is in the depths of miseries, in short political, economic, social all corners of the country appear bleak.
We are moving ahead in this darkness aimlessly wishing that our hands may get hold of that switch which would turn on the light and eventually eat away the darkness.

And amidst this darkness, this Independence Day, 14th August 2010 appears like a symbol to me signalling the way to light.
(more…)

Advertisements

This video caught my attention on our local media channels who translated this for Pakistan’s 63rd independence day to bring back the element of Faith in our nation.

Here is the Pakistani version of the message of Hope:

While I looked over the internet and found this about the original video:

Jonathan Reed won second place in AARP’s U@50 video contest launched in 2007. Contestants were asked to create 2-minute video describing their vision of the future; what life would be like by the time they turned 50.
Reed was inspired by the Argentinian political advertisement “The Truth” (which is worth watching as well).

Here is the video:


(more…)

Here is a collection of some rare pictures of the time of partition 1947.
Posted by Shiraz Hassan.

(more…)

Few heart-breaking pictures of Pakistan’s worst flood disaster.


A Pakistani volunteer uses a small boat to evacuate locals in a flood-hit area of Nowshera.


Pakistan army soldiers pass a baby across a channel in the flood water as they help people flee from their flooded village following heavy monsoon rains in Taunsa, Pakistan.


A family takes refuge on top of a mosque while awaiting rescue from flood waters in Sanawa, a town located in the Muzaffar Gar district of Pakistan’s Punjab province.

(more…)

During the last few days, the country has been through almost all kinds of man-made and natural disasters.

As if target killing on the streets of Karachi in the name of ethnic, political or personal rivalries and the military operation in the northern areas to wipe off the militants form the land of pure was not enough for the nation, nature unleashed at its worst upon the nation.

On Wednesday 28th July, a Pakistani Airbus passenger plane of Airblue crashed in densely wooded Margalla hills of the capital Islamabad, killing up to 152 people on board, making it one of the country’s worst air crashes ever.

On Thursday 29th July, Pakistani government declared a day of mourning and on that very day when the nation was offering silent prayers to the 152 ill-fated passengers of the Airblue flight ABQ-202, nature played havoc upon us, heavy rain and floods.

The death toll from flash floods and landslides triggered by torrential monsoon rains in Pakistan rose to nearly 1600 on as officials reported thousands more displaced.
Hundreds of homes and thousands of hectares (acres) of cultivated land have been destroyed in the northwest region. Entire villages have been wiped out and infrastructure severely damaged in different parts of the country. Rising water flow in rivers has broken the more than 100-year old record as the flood wave moves towards Sindh.
Malakand Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been worst affected, closely followed by the districts of southern Punjab. In just five days, more than 1,300 people have lost their lives and the number is rapidly rising.

Amidst all this crisis scene, Mr. President went ahead with his scheduled visit to France and UK in spite of widespread anger among country’s leadership about remarks by David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, accusing Pakistan of “looking both ways” on exporting terror.

And while the rest of the citizens of the country are struggling to cope with the country’s worst flooding in 80 years, the Karachi city is literally burning. The murder of MQM leader and member of Sindh Assembly, Raza Haider, on Monday triggered violent tensions across Karachi claiming 73 lives till date and leaving around 150 people wounded. The Karachi city was already going through a dilemma named as ‘target killing’ and it seems that the death of Mr. Raza only proved to be the push of a finger on a weaken wall.

With plane crash, floods, runaway leadership, ethnic clashes & killing, the thought of what awaits us next is something that disturbs my mind.

“A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is statistic.”

Here are the statistics:

Cost to Agriculture:
US$1,000,000,000
(US$ 1 Billion in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa only)

Pakistanis Affected:
2,500,000
(including incidents of disease and displacement and with rising threats of epidemics)

Households needing help:
100,000
(Mostly in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa)

People still waiting to be evacuated:
27,000
(Including 1500 tourists)

International Relief Pledged so far:
US$30,000,000+
(Including US$10 million from the United States, another US$10 million from the United Nations and US$8 million from United Kingdom)

Death Toll:
1650+
(Estimate of 1500+ in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa only)

A Pakistani villager with his daughter moves wades to safety.

(more…)

A Pakistani Airbus passenger jet operated by Airblue crashed in densely wooded hills outside the capital Islamabad on Wednesday, killing up to 152 people on board.

Following is a chronology of major air crashes in Pakistan or involving Pakistani planes:

May 20, 1965: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Boeing 707 crashes on its inaugural flight while attempting to land at Cairo airport, killing 124 people.

August 6, 1970: A PIA Fokker F27 turboprop aircraft crashes while attempting to take off from Islamabad in a thunderstorm, killing all 30 people on board.

December 8, 1972: A PIA Fokker F27 crashes in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad. All 26 people on board are killed.

November 26, 1979: A PIA Boeing 707 bringing home Pakistani Hajj pilgrims from Saudi Arabia crashes shortly after take-off from Jeddah airport, killing 156 people.

October 23, 1986: A PIA Fokker F27 crashes while coming in to land in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing 13 of the 54 people on board.

August 17, 1988: A US-made Hercules C-130 military aircraft crashes near Pakistan’s eastern city of Bahawalpur, killing military ruler General Mohammad Zia ul Haq and 30 others including Pakistani generals and the US ambassador.

August 25, 1989: A PIA Fokker carrying 54 people disappears after leaving Gilgit in northern Pakistan. The wreckage is never found.

September 28, 1992: A PIA Airbus A300 crashes into a cloud-covered hillside on approach to the Nepalese capital Kathmandu after the plane descended too early, killing 167 people.

February 19, 2003: An air force Fokker F27 crashes in fog-shrouded mountains near the northwestern city of Kohat, killing air force chief Air Chief Marshal Mushaf Ali, his wife and 15 others.

February 24, 2003: A chartered Cessna 402-B carrying Afghan Mines and Industries Minister Juma Mohammad Mohammadi, four Afghan officials, a Chinese mining executive and two Pakistani crew crashes into the Arabian Sea near the southern city of Karachi.

July 10, 2006: A PIA Fokker F27 bound for Lahore crashes into a field and bursts into flames shortly after takeoff from the central city of Multan, killing 41 passengers and four crew.

July 28, 2010: An Airblue Airbus 321 flying from Karachi crashes into hills outside Islamabad while preparing to land, killing everyone on board. Civil aviation authorities say 152 people were on board while police put the number at 149.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani announced on Thursday that General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani will be military chief till 2013.

PM made the announcement in a three-minute televised address to the nation in which he showered praise on Kayani and termed him a respected person both nationally and internationally.

Gilani said that Kayani’s extension was necessary for continuity in Pakistan’s fight against terrorism and said,
“He was a key designer of the strategy for the war on terror and it is progressing well under him. The war is going through a critical stage… continuity is needed at the moment and we are sure that the war on terror, under Kayani, will reach its logical conclusion successfully.”

2013 is also the year both the incumbent government as well as Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry’s tenures end.
In March, the government had also given a one-year extension to Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha for similar reasons.

Kayani, arguably Pakistan’s most powerful man, had been due to retire in November. He had replaced former president General Pervez Musharraf on November 29, 2007. Before that, Kayani has also held the key position of ISI chief.
He also officiated as the director general of military operations and held that slot when the Pakistan Army first moved into the country’s tribal areas to flush out al Qaeda affiliates.
Kayani was also the man who reportedly brokered a power-sharing deal between Musharraf and slain former premier Benazir Bhutto – an accord that led to the issuance of the controversial National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) in October 2007.
(more…)

Paimona

Posted: July 21, 2010 in Pakistan, Persian, Songs and Lyrics
Tags: ,

Poetry (in Pashto/Dari language) by Persian poet Omar Khayyam (1048-1123).



(more…)

Frustrated with Facebook’s lack of  privacy and biased policies, few techies have launched Pakistan’s first social network, MillatFacebook.

A group of six young IT professionals from Lahore, the cultural and entertainment capital of Pakistan, Launched www.millatfacebook.com on Tuesday for Muslims to interact online and protest against blasphemy.

The private venture came after a Pakistani court ordered a block on Facebook until May 31, following deep offence over an “Everyone Draw Mohammed Day” page considered “blasphemous” and “sacrilegious”.

“Millatfacebook is Pakistan’s very own, first social networking site. A site for Muslims by Muslims where sweet people of other religions are also welcome,” the website tells people interested in signing up.

The Urdu word “Millat” is used by Muslims to refer to their nation. The website claims to have attracted 4,300 members in the last three days — mostly English-speaking Pakistanis in their 20s.

Source – Dawn News