January 24th, 2018 / 07:12 AM / Karachi
Dad always says when you get a news, make sure it is true. The question arises how would one ever find out the truth from the heap of information. That is the reason why I avoid the television and even the newspapers which look like a staged drama and an orchestra perhaps. The whole country has seen the outcome of the murder of an innocent girl Zainab. The authorities have claimed to arresting of a man who is the alleged rapist and the murderer of the innocent child. But the question arises how would you tell the authenticity of him being the real murderer especially when the news comes from a society which follows a crippled system? A lot of people don’t question the information that reaches their minds which is why people unworthy of power have already found themselves in the corridors of power and ruling the country for many decades. Asking question is a human right but in a crippled democracy like Pakistan asking questions can get you killed. I am sure a lot of people would not even bother to question whether our Agencies and departments have worked efficiently and had made sure that the person they have arrested is the real culprit. Everyone seems too eager to hang that person. But there is one question nobody has even bothered to touch and that question is “Why did he do such a heinous act in the first place?” I am sure that a few questions can save people from a lot of troubles in the future but this also requires a mind trained to ask questions even if the questions are being asked to the person running the country. We have failed at so many stages, at so many places, at so many levels that we can also add to the list that we have also failed as a country and as a nation our minds are already bound to think like we are trained to think and never question more than we are habitual to ask. As I type this it is the early hours of the day and I have a job to attend. I will be keeping an eye on how things roll out and I hope and pray that our departments and agencies don’t kill a man beyond the bounds of law while he is still behind the bars and the whole Nation still awaits justice.
January 13th, 2018
Crime scene is like a treasure and by treasure I mean it’s comparable to it. Every crime scene has clues which can easily vanish or be contaminated because of many reasons including more than reasonable number of people infiltrating the scene, lack of care of handling the tiniest evidence and a human carelessness at any level. The TV and electronic media are constantly pouring their hearts out about the recent tragedy that occurred in Kasur. But even being someone not in a forensic department somethings are beyond logic. Like leaking for crucial information that can scare the perpetrators or worse, make them more smart. And for a moment let us assume the criminals become more vigilante. They will operate again. That soul they might hurt can be related to you or me just like the one they destroyed was attached to more than one someone. Information is power and sometimes people confuse information with common sense. There are many shortcomings of institutions operating in Pakistan including the Law Enforcement ones. Saving their own jobs or justifying their very existence is more important to them than providing justice to the common folks. Hence they spoil the information including the crime scene. I have always seen footage on the News Channels showing people contaminating the crime scene and destroying information. Just search YouTube and you can find the video of a water tanker sprinkling water to wash away the crime scene blood stains after a deadly attack on Benazir Bhutto. I am sure this can fuel many good stories, conspiracy theories and movies. In my school days there was a boy who could never get the first position in exams but he tried a lot. One of the things he practiced was to never tell the names of books he studied at home. I asked him the reason for it and he replied that information is power and making others powerless will make me come first in class. Sadly his power wasn’t so potent or he overlooked the Prophet Muhammad’s philosophy of spreading knowledge. The number of people with this hide-what-you-know-from-your-classmates type of people increased from school to college and then to university. In university almost everyone reminded me of my school-fellow. But none from the university realized a simple logic – not everyone can stand at the first position.
January 12th, 2018
What can parents do to keep their kids safe? This thought is knocking more and more after the Zainab incident. When I was a kid modern technology and it’s pros and cons didn’t exist. They do now so if I had a little one to look after, I would take the following necessary steps.
1. Keep the number low. Two kids are a healthy rule. But I have seen poorer families who fail to pay attention to their kids is because of the over-population. Parents get saturated with the nags of their children and the only way to vent their energies is sex which they justify as Allah ki marzi. I feel it is very hard to keep an eye on one child, let alone two and impossible to keep an eye on fourteen successful pregnancies just like the woman who lives on the eleventh floor.
2. Education. Be open to kids about taboo topics like menstruation, sex, family planning, respecting the opposite gender. Telling boys to tame their inclination to abuse power in this polar and biased society can help a lot. There is no denying that sex is a need, like hunger and humans are born with this instinct. Owning a gun doesn’t mean you keep shooting everywhere. Cross this wall of shame and educate your kids. If you are too shy, give them books. They will learn.
3. Don’t be too strict. I have seen many kids go the wrong way only because their parents scolded or punished them even when the kids were right. The unwanted impositions on the kids made them so curious about the sin and the wrong that when they gained powers of adulthood, they sped up to their own disaster and caused hurt to some other being too. A lot of strictness will breed cowards.
4. Technology is like fire. It can cook. It can burn. Tell your children how to use the internet and how to stay safe from it’s dangers. Porn hurts the younger minds. Carelessness hurts the adults. The internet is full of people who are not who they say they are. Writing details about the family’s internal matters online can have dangerous consequences. So this whole point is another level of education.
5. Cameras. That is the second best thing humans have developed after wheel. And modern era is seeing cheap, inexpensive camera can be mounted almost anywhere. If you have to keep an eye on your kids, get a few cameras installed in and around home. I have a camera installed in my balcony just to see the sky and another camera which I use to see who is at the door.
6. GPS Trackers are not as cheap as cameras but they can be of a huge help especially when you know your little one shall always keep moving. Add one in his or her bag, one in the shoe etc. A little more investment can bless a lot of peace of mind. Some phone operators in Pakistan provide a wrist watch which can provide real time tracking location of the child wearing it against a monthly subscription.
7. Keep an eye on the habits of your children. An early eye can detect inclination towards drug addiction, smoking, violence and sexual abnormality. Educated minds can become corrupt too. A vigilante eye with perfect planning is an investment towards a good child and a good citizen.
In the end I feel that the person who raped and killed the young girl in Kasur might have faced good eyes taking care of him but at some point in life we all break but sometimes the snap transforms humans into monsters. Our polar society is a failed model where people are caring for their own daughters and sisters but consider their legal right to scan the body contours of every woman they come across on street. After any tragedy, just see the shit-storm that blows in fierce current and the blame game starts. We are a dying nation and the only thing stopping us from vanishing is our momentum and volume. I feel we are already at a point of no return and the only thing that can save us is education. And by education I don’t mean schools and colleges. The education that can cleanse the dirt from soul. And for that your would need a Perfect teacher, a perfect mentor. Just don’t go to a darbar, aastana or a dargah for that after reading these lines. That is another venue to meet the devil in case you seek him. Remember that he already seeks you!
January 9th, 2018
I woke up to a tweet by a Pakistani celebrity about a 7-year old girl from Kasur, Pakistan who was sexually abused, tortured, killed and then dumped in a trash. Such events go unnoticed in Pakistan. This tragedy however got seen by a number of people with a reach. What about those girls who face an abuse and no one can hear their cry for help because either the walls of society forged by many self-fabricated religious clauses are high or maybe the celebrities are not united to give it a voice. The poor girl’s parents were gone for a pilgrimage leaving the unlucky soul behind. Her picture is posted all over (divided) social media. But because I was blessed by God to think of a moment as a story which can be written or made into a visual medium and being a boy who is aware of how polar, biased, drag-religion-in-every-matter type our society actually is, it makes me so depressed and tear filled just to imagine the pain and helplessness that girl would have felt in the last moments of her life. So many why’s are born with this incident. And no one has an answer. Just try to use any social media after any tragedy in Pakistan and see what shitty humans we are. I saw people bringing feminism, politics, male-dominance, religious fatwas, parenthood code, child protection bills and all sorts of shit into the discussion. It looked a like a scene from hell. One of the eleven reasons why I stopped using Twitter is the trends Pakistanis generate. And after this Kasur tragedy the Pakistani crowd fell even more low. A lady even wrote that the girl was raped because of her name with the hashtag of one denomination/sect of Islam. I am not yet a parent so the troubles a father or a mother face while raising a child cannot be dissected by me but the Kasur tragedy exposes the flaws of Pakistani system on so many levels. We are a blind and dead crowd who keep forgetting things because of our momentum of stubbornness. We are so stubborn that we are not ready to learn or open gates to our minds and souls. The evil however escapes from our cracks and quenches its thirst and comes back to hide in us without the need to open any door or window.