Tag Archives: Corruption

Who will pay the ‘Qisaas’ of those who died yesterday?

While the country was busy in the Ehtesaab Rally and the Qisaas March, an innocent kid and a lady lost their lives in Lahore and Rawalpindi yesterday as both of the deceased could not reach the hospital on time for their lives to be saved. A few months back, another little angel was sent back to the heavens in her father’s arms in Karachi when Baby Bhutto’s protocol denied Bisma’s parents’ entry to Civil Hospital where Bilawal was inaugurating a Trauma Center; an inauguration indeed that came with a trauma for Faisal Mohammad Hussain (Bisma’s father) and his family. These are just 3 of the many deaths on roads, in ambulances and rickshaws this country has seen over the past so many years where politics, politicians and the elite of this country have cost the common man their lives. The very common man that makes them what they are through filling ballot boxes with votes for them for which they come begging to their doors before elections. The very common man that speaks in their favor in countless debates at roadside hotels, barber shops, meat markets and the social media without having met them even once in their lives. I wonder who will be held accountable (whose ehtesaab will be carried out) for yesterday’s deaths and who will pay the Qisaas?

I am all for fighting against corruption and bringing back the country’s looted money to where it belongs, but while we are at it, we also need to learn a few more things from the very nations that we aspire to become one day. That goes for both the ruling parties and those in opposition. This also implies to the bureaucracy in the country. Most importantly, this also holds true for the common man themselves.

Saying no to VIP culture is the ‘in’ thing these days. We see people taking out their cell phones and recording videos of such incidents and posting them online. Some of them have gone viral as well. But are we as a nation mentally sold to the idea of eliminating a VIP culture that also includes us? Are we aware and conscious of the fact that at some level and in some cases we may also be the VIPs ourselves and that while shouting out a ‘Say no to VIP culture’ slogan, we may actually be acting a little hypocritical . You see whenever we talk about a ‘No VIP’ culture, we’re generally talking about those who we consider VIPs and the influential strata of the society. What we tend to forget very easily is the level to which this disease has already spread. This includes, going to banks for payments and asking a friend who works over there to relieve us from the hassle of standing in a queue. This also involves people driving cars considering those on motorbikes inferior and therefore not important enough to be given way on the road. These are examples where we, the common people and citizens of this country take pride in breaking the rules and feeling special.

Generally, the fight against VIP Culture is more out of us being jealous than anything else. We have trouble seeing others being given VIP treatment while deep down inside we hanker ourselves to be treated the same way and whenever we get the slightest of chance of to do that, we make sure we do not let go of it.

So the next time you say ‘No to VIP culture’, make sure you believe in it and are ready to implement it in your own lives as well.

VIP-Movement

Make way! Important people are passing. Photo Courtesy: Insider.pk

As far as the elite of our society go, I completely understand the security situation of the country and also realize how valuable your lives are in comparison to a normal person walking on the streets. After all, you are the people who work day and night to protect, serve and lead us towards a brighter, better future. Despite all my understanding and the trust that I have in you no matter how contrasting the on-ground reality is, I’m still not comfortable watching people losing their lives just because you were busy working towards their well-being. You can do your Dharnas and Jalsas and Rallies and the common man will continue to keep filling stadia and flooding the roads but just give a little consideration towards not hampering the routine life of the same common man; the cobbler on the roadside who all of a sudden finds himself in the way of the rally, the ambulance on the way to the hospital with a patient in critical condition that is stuck either due to your VIP movement or road blockages, or the fruit vendor who earns only enough in a day to survive the next day and has to shut down his business as he is seen to be a potential security threat for the Jalsa. These are the people who only get negatively impacted from the positivity that you wish to spread through your actions.

Societies that we look up to and desire to be like uphold, promote, and practice equality, diversity and inclusion at all levels. This is something that demands equal amount of effort and seriousness from all stakeholders including government, opposition, bureaucracy, civil society and general public. Those who lead and those who follow need to accept the same set of rules and decide once and for all not to compromise on principles.

After all, those who block the traffic for VIP movements or place obstacles on the roads are also part of the same society from which both the ones for whom the traffic is blocked and those who suffer due to it belong.

Let’s start from ourselves and mend our ways. Take small steps but all in the right direction.

-Hammad A. Mateen

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‘Moor’: More than a just a movie

It is about time that cinema in Pakistan is looking to evolve and technology and young talent are being given their due importance. Like evolution in any other field in Pakistan, cinema too is experiencing difficulty in ridding itself from influence of other countries and cultures. A story no matter how well written would somewhere start ringing bells in the audience’s minds and they immediately identify the imprints of either Bollywood or Hollywood on the storyline. The same applies to cinematography where several shots seem completely reproduced with just the local cast as a difference. Pointless item songs, unnecessary slanging and useless characters are some of the few things that Pakistani cinema would have to learn to liberate itself from very quickly if it is to have any standing in the league of countries that produce cinema which is both impactful and original.

Photo Credit: P.C. Photographers

Photo Credit: P.C. Photographers

In an era such as this where there is bombardment of so much ‘inspired’ work, Jamshed Mahmood (AKA Jami) is keeping his head down and silently producing work that is in a league of its own. The nation was gifted this Independence Day with Jami’s second directorial venture, ‘Moor’. A movie which in fact is much more than just a movie. ‘Moor’ for many like myself is a long awaited project that has taken more than 5 years to have finally become a reality on the big screen. No matter what the box office collections say, for me, ‘Moor’ is arguably the best work of cinema Pakistan has produced till date.

This is why:

Original Story

‘Moor’ is based on the story of the decline of the railway system in Baluchistan. It is both original and eye-opening for the audiences and could even bring a tear or two to the eyes of some who’ve been to the places shown in the movie.

The dialogues are simple yet impactful.

  • ‘Yeh watan ka muhabbat, pyaar wyaar, bolnay mein tou buhut acha lagta hai, laiken milta kuch nahi hai.’
  • ‘Sauda karna hai tou jao apnay Allah se karo.’
  • ‘Hum jaisa kartay hain, hamari aulaad bhi waisa hi karti hai.’

Written by Jami, Nazir Ali and Riaz ur Rehman Saghar (Late), the story touches your heart and makes you wonder how little you know about your country and how is it being robbed each and every day in so many different ways and how families fall apart as a result of the circumstances created by the corruption around them and the greed for money.

Flawless Acting

With acting talents of newcomers such as Shaz Khan, Ayaz Samoo and Sonia Hussain etc. the casting department has done exceptionally well to include veterans like Hameed Sheikh, Abdul Qadir, Shabbir Rana, Sultan Hussain, Nayyar Ejaz and even a very special appearance by Akbar Subhani. Hameed Sheikh holds everything that there is in the movie together like durable cement and packs a punch with a memorable performance. He is extremely well supported by Abdul Qadir who has made an impactful comeback on the mainstream acting circuit after ages. Samiya Mumtaz doesn’t have a lot of screen time but whatever time she gets, she does justice with her role.

‘Strings’ attached

No, ‘Moor’ doesn’t have an item song in it. Instead, it gives you Strings and Anwar Maqsood joining forces together this time to give one of the best music albums of the year.

From ‘Gul Bashri’ in Pashto by Rahim Shah till ‘Talabgaar hoon’ by Javed Bashir, everything about the music of ‘Moor’ is close to perfect.

Shot Completely in Pakistan

‘Moor’ is visually stunning with jaw dropping locations shot in extraordinary fashion. Every single shot is original and an absolute piece of art. The whole movie is filmed in different areas of Sindh and Baluchistan and shot in a manner nobody has ever done before. There are moments when you completely give in to the idea that these are locations either in Russia or Switzerland etc. Well, they are not.

Kudos to the Director of Photography, Farhan Hafeez. You’ve done a fabulous job!

Jami

Writer-Producer-Director, this guy is a genius. From selecting a topic such as that of ‘Moor’ and doing so much of an in-depth homework and to finally having the guts to actually travel, live and shoot the movie in areas where there were serious law and order issues in those days is a commendable effort in itself. The weather wasn’t too accommodating either for the cast and crew during their stay in areas like Muslim Bagh, Shela Bagh and Khanai etc. In short, as captain of the ship, Jami has handled each area of movie making brilliantly well when it comes to making ‘Moor’.

The only thing better that could’ve happened was that they could’ve premiered the movie in a foreign film festival first, gathered a few awards internationally and then released it in Pakistan. It is only then, when the so-called ‘intellectuals’ of our country come to the forefront and appreciate somebody’s work, even if they don’t understand it one bit.

From a business point of view, I’m assuming that the makers knew already that they wouldn’t get money pouring in. Especially after the same team’s first effort, ‘O21’ was a bit too much for the audiences to understand.

No offence to any film makers of this country but as far as I am concerned, it is a shame that movies like ‘Wrong Number’ earn more than ‘Moor’ and are given more screens and shows in cinema houses. Unless this situation gets reversed, Pakistani cinema needs serious work done.

Hammad A. Mateen

Our Earth Hours

The world is celebrating Earth hour today from 8:30 pm till 9:30 pm. All non-essential lights would be turned off and our attentions would be directed towards the need to do something positive and control the climatic changes that our earth is undergoing. We in Pakistan, are also experiencing climate changes; we have awfully prolonged seasons, untimely monsoons and all sorts of unexpected things happening in our climate. Of course all this is part of the global climate change and we’re just experiencing our chunk of it. It is a dire need therefore to celebrate earth hour and highlight the importance of making efforts to bring things under control before it gets too late.

The above paragraph reflects a genuine thought which I had before coming to terms with reality and realizing the fact that I am a Pakistani. I am a citizen of a country where even unconsciously or unintentionally we are serving our planet far better than the rest of the world.

The western world celebrates earth hour on the last Saturday of March every year. We however, celebrate it every day; thrice a day. From the moment we wake up in the morning till the moment we go back to sleep at night, we celebrate earth hours at regular intervals. We celebrate it more and we celebrate it better. We don’t even have our essential lights turned on, leave alone the non-essential ones.

People leave work while celebrating earth hour in their offices and when they reach their homes, earth hour begins there as well. Earth hour in one area is usually succeeded by an earth hour in another area. Sometimes the care increases too much for our planet and we celebrate earth ‘one and a half‘ hour or maybe even 2 earth hours together. This happens mainly because we truly endorse the logo of earth hour and we believe in 60+.

Reduction in power consumption helps save the earth. For us, we aren’t yet sure about the availability of the power which is to be consumed. Earth hour is celebrated to combine individual efforts and see the collective results. In our case, the collective failure of our system results in individuals celebrating earth hour.

Hammad A. Mateen

Recipe: Pakistani Awami Biryani

To make a delicious Pakistani Awami Biryani, you need to :

  1. Take some yogurt of insecurity and beat it well.
  2. Marinate the awami chicken with the yogurt of insecurity, garlic paste of high fuel prices, ginger paste of electricity load shedding, unemployment turmeric powder, bus fares coriander powder, chilli powder of illiteracy, shortage of gas cumin powder and of course social difference salt. Let it marinate for some time.
  3. Take some target killing onions and chop them very thin. Deep fry them in law and order oil mixed with ¼ cup of clarified sectarian violence butter until crispy.
  4. Now its time to take some tension rice. Clean and wash them and then drain carefully and set aside.
  5. Clean and chop the mint and coriander leaves of Pakistan steel mills. In the same oil, fry the chopped Railway cashew nuts and PIA raisins until golden brown, drain and set aside. Slit green chillies of cell phone addiction, and mix into the marinated awami chicken.
  6. Put the awami chicken and marinade into a political pot in which the target killing onions were fried earlier.
  7. Time to add a little water from any unreliable source, cover and cook until the awami chicken is half done.
  8. Remove the Awami chicken pieces with a spoon of Police & Rangers and measure the stock. Add more water until diseases are inflicted.
  9. Put the tension rice into a rice cooker, add the whole spices of drones, arrange the awami chicken pieces on top, sprinkle three-quarters of the fried target killing onions and all the chopped PIA, Railways and other leaves.
  10. Pour in the measured stock into which the garam masala of intolerance has been added.
  11. Pour the remaining quarter cup of clarified sectarian violence butter over the whole mixture. Cover and cook until well done.
  12. Take some eggs of facebook and chatting and hard-boil them.
  13. Soak the saffron of distance from religion in the milk of fleeing the country.
  14. When the biryani is done, open the rice cooker, and sprinkle the saffron-soaked milk on top. Mix carefully and cover and leave on very low heat for a few minutes.
  15. Just before serving, mix in the juice of half a lemon of protests and strikes.
  16. Arrange on a serving dish and garnish with corruption.

The perfect Pakistani Awami Biryani is ready!

Note: Don’t forget to take proper medication after eating in order to digest.

From the cookbook of Chef Hammad Abdul Mateen

Pappu yaar tang naa ker

Pappu sanu tang na ker tu,
Baray zaroori kam lage aan,
Sochi payi aan hun ki kariye.
 
Roti shoti khaa bethay aan,
Lassi shassi pee bethay aan,
Hukkay da kash laa bethay aan,
Poonjh paanjh k andron bahron,
Paanday bhi kharka bethay aan,
Sochi payi aan hun ki kariye.
 
Vekh laiyyan ne sub akhbaaran,
Sadday varkay dhul bethay aan,
Saaray akhhar saaray harf suna bethay aan,
Sochi payi aan hun ki kariye.
 
Kaisay kaisay aslay ban gaey,
Vadday vadday maslay ban gaey,
Vadday sheher vasa bethay aan,
Saara chayn ganwa bethay aan,
Sochi payi aan hun ki kariye.
 
Rizq, siyasat, ishq, kavitta,
Kujh vi khaalis rehn na ditta,
Saari khed manjha bethay aan,
Dudh vich sirka paa bethay aan,
Sochi payi aan hun ki kariye.
 
Jee karda si votaan paeyyay,
Marshal Law taun jaan chudaeyyay,
Votan shotan paa bethay aan,
Ae jamhoori raula rappa kinnay saal handa vethay aan,
Sochi payi aan hun ki kariye.
 
Sauda koi puchda naa een,
Rasta koi sujhda naa een,
Rastay de vich aa bethay aan,
Sochi payi aan hun ki kariye.
 
-Professor Anwar Masood
 

‘An apt reflection of the thoughtful nature of a nation which is extremely busy doing nothing.’

10 reasons why Ijaz Butt should resign

He’s hard to move, very spontaneous and covers a lot of volume. Yes! Ladies and gentlemen, he’s none other than Mr. Ijaz Butt. For the last 3 years, the phenomenon of Ijaz Butt has surpassed all ifs and buts to stick tight to his seat of PCB’s chairmanship.

Many have come and gone trying to present reasons for him to be sacked, but to no use. Today, I would also like to enter and ebb in the endless list of those who gave reasons why Ijaz Butt should resign/ be sacked.

10 reasons why Ijaz Butt should resign/ be sacked according to me are:

  1.  At 73, it’s time he should head PVCB (Pakistan Veterans’ Cricket Board) rather than the PCB. The manager of the Pakistan Veterans’ Cricket Team would still be his long time friend from Hoshiarpur, Intikhab Alam (70).
  2. The next world cup isn’t scheduled to take place in Pakistan so we don’t actually need someone to give it away for at least 4 more years.
  3. Afridi has announced his retirement so there are no more superstars left in the Pakistan team to humiliate.
  4. Make way, Mr. Ahmed Mukhtar has other relatives to please too.
  5. Even the U-turns on roads have been re-named. They are now called ‘Ijaz Butts.’
  6. It’ll take a little time till a next Akmal grows old enough to join the Pakistan team.
  7. No cricketer in the present bunch is interested in becoming an ‘episodic’ captain.
  8. A proposed amendment to the ICC’s constitution (if approved) would allow the governing body to suspend a member in case of government interference in the running of a national cricket board (I think they’re talking about you Mr. Butt.)
  9. The selection committee has become real rusty. It’s time we let them select teams for a change.
  10. The PCB head’s chair has finally said, ‘You resign, or else I will!’

Hammad A. Mateen

The Dooh Nibors of Pakistan

The term ‘Dooh Nibor’ is neither Latin nor Greek, it’s an English term spelled the other way around. Start reading from the right and you’ll find the word ‘Robin Hood.’  But as far as I remember, Robin Hood used to be the character that used to loot the rich and distribute the booty among the poor. Looking at how the country is being run these days, we won’t be able to find many Robin Hoods around; what we will be able to find however are ‘Dooh Nibors.’

A ‘Dooh Nibor’ is assumed by the writer to do the exact opposite of a Robin Hood. They loot the poor and distribute the valuables among the rich. We’re in luck; this place has more than one ‘Dooh Nibor.’

The adventures of Dooh Nibors of Pakistan are almost countless. Ranging from Rental power projects to Hajj Scandals, National Insurance Corporation to EOBI, they’ve done it all and they’re still going strong. The tax payers of the country are continually being robbed with such professionalism and perfection that they can’t even imagine. The RGST being the most recent example has brought up a new debate in all circles.

The Dooh Nibor of Water and Power very confidently stated that the rental power project does not mean that the price of the electricity will go up. Even an ordinary citizen like me is aware of the fact that for any project such as the rental power project, there must be cost and rent that has to be paid. In order to bear that cost, the government must either increase the electricity rates and collect it from the end user or provide subsidy on the project and later increase the percentage on tax and collect it from you know who; You’re right! ‘The End User’ and that is you and me again.

When it comes to religious affairs, the Dooh Nibors consider it their religious duty to loot the nation even there. People spend their whole lives saving their hard earned money to fulfill one of the most dearest religious duties they have to offer, ‘The Hajj’. But when they finally reach the Holy soil, they are forced to earn more ‘Sawab’ by controlling their anger and rage for the fraud these Dooh Nibors do with them.

The foreign aid that the Dooh Nibors beg for always reaches the needy on time. That’s because the Dooh Nibors themselves need it more than anyone else. Lavish lifestyles, designer clothing, foreign accounts, you name it and they have it.

There’s no sheriff stopping these high flyers.  But the Sheriff of all sheriffs is watching from above and the nation can only pray that He helps us very soon. InshaALLAH!

Hammad A. Mateen