Our cartoonist's viewpoint
|Ras H. Siddiqi||EXCLUSIVE|
For the connoisseurs of south-Asian literature written in English, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children has to rank near the very top. Keeping such a background in mind and the length of the novel, when this scribe heard that it was being made into a single movie, the first thought that came to mind was “not possible”. Others who have read the book may or may not agree but this is not just the story of Saleem Sinai and his many friends but an epic directly related to two countries, India and Pakistan and includes the birth of a third, Bangladesh.
We are in the State Cave complex in Miran Shah from where we will bring you the blow by blow account of the negotiations between the delegates of DarulKufr of the Trans Indus and the Islamic Emirate of the Khurasan. Our viewers will recall that we achieved the unique milestone in our history of a smooth transition of power. The reigns of the government were passed smoothly and peacefully...
So they want to talk to the Taliban. The fact doesn’t make them uncomfortable that the Taliban have killed thousands of innocent civilians and members of law enforcing agencies, have bombed hundreds of schools, and have been responsible for torturing Pakistani soldiers and for slitting their throats in a gruesome manner.
The chief minister of KPK province, MrPervez Khattak, in his first policy statement said that he had no problem with the Taliban. He vowed to negotiate with them and ‘give them respect’. The PML-N government in the Centre has also expressed similar viewson possible negotiations with the Taliban. Ironically, PML-N’s and PTI’s own existence and ability to rule the country is based on a constitution the Taliban want to abolish.
Suppose you were a young person from the Muslim community in the United States and you were just trolling around the internet - maybe on Facebook - interested in what is happening in the Muslim world, and you came across Abdel Tounisi and started chatting with him online. Next thing you know, you might have some guy introduce himself at your local Mosque and start talking about "jihad", and… Pretty soon, you're facing 15 to 25 years from some...
The hype regarding Imran Khan’s Tsunami sweeping May 11 general elections proved a hoax. As the election results started to pour in, the hopes of PTI supporters began to dash. In a period whereby the ideological politics were consigned to the backseat by the forces of finance capital, on one hand, and the betrayal by the opportunist leaders of the PPP, on the other hand, there emerged a yawning vacuum for the rise of a new political formation capable of challenging the statusqou.
May 11 was not just another day. People who turned up to vote for the first time, there were quite a few, thought our parliamentary system with all its problems, is about to get fixed once and for all. It wasn't to be. The generations before ours have had their hopes dashed. The generation before theirs too dreamed a dream. What’s left of all that is aching fears.
Thank you for being loyal to Viewpoint. Ever since its re-launching on 21st May 2010 as an e-zine, Viewpoint has become an important progressive outlet for Pakistani left and liberal voices. Viewpoint is run by a team of volunteers and the content is largely contributed by volunteers. However, we do need to occasionally engage freelancers, meet the expenses to run our website, advertise on Facebook, Google etc. The expenses are met by the members of Viewpoint’s Redaktion.
As a young commando, I got a lesson to search for excellence and reach the pinnacle of every field that I indulge into. I was taught that if one worked hard, the support from Mother Nature is always available without a call. Moreover, I learnt that all throughout the life one should be indefatigable and after achieving one height, a higher goal should be envisioned. I imbibed all these teachings. In fact, these teachings translated into my habits and as the saying goes “old habits die hard.”