Thursday, December 20, 2012

IK’s Sex Tape & Personal Life of Leaders

By: Muhammad Saqib Tanveer (@SaqibTanveer)
Writer is a News Producer with Saach.TV and an avid observer of International Relations
Media is once again abuzz with a new scandal – an impending leak of sex tape of a politician – probably Imran Khan. If leaked, this video can tear the already doomed hopes of Imran Khan taking a hot seat in the upcoming elections.
I do not know if there is any foundation to this rumor but judging from the behavior of our media, I can safely assume that someone must have seen this video or knows about the contents of this video because same happened with Arsalan Iftikhar – Malik Riaz thing. Media, social media in specific, behaved the same way and helped in uncovering the real story of that ‘storm’.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fahd Hussain! You Need to Read This

By: Muhammad Saqib Tanveer (@SaqibTanveer)
Writer is a News Producer with Saach.TV and an avid observer of International Relations

Whoa whoa whoa, I really have to admire the way my respected senior Fahd Hussain has written to the Imran Khan. And frankly, I really do agree with what Fahd has written in his article. I am no Imran Khan supporter and my limited audience knows how much I criticize Khan for his political ideas.
Though I have mentioned Fahd Hussain in the title of my article but this article is not just for him, it is for all the liberals and even rightists out there, who believe that this war is ours and we have to fight it with conviction.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

New Government and Daunting Challenges

Writer is a political commentator, blogger and tweets @SaqibTanveer 
The three main political parties of Pakistan i.e. Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) have all set their sights on the upcoming elections. Not just them, we also see the likes of Chaudhrys and Maulana Fazal ur Rehman vying for the hot seat of Prime Minister of Pakistan. 
Prime Minister of Pakistan is a very lucrative job for any of the politician in Pakistan. The one who lands the job is considered a lucky one, though recently there has been a suggestion that Pakistan Peoples’ Party is trying to make every party stalwart of theirs as a potential Prime Minister. The list includes two actual Prime Ministers, Gilani and Ashraf and then other potential candidates like Amin Fahim, Makhdoom Shahab, Ahmad Mukhtar, Qamar Zaman Kaira and God knows who else. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Enough of Imran Khan & Shahbaz Sharif

(Writer is a political commentator, blogger and tweets @SaqibTanveer)
‘Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.’
I think we all are acquainted with this quotation. My reason for bringing this quotation up is quite obvious and that is the excessive debate on individuals in Pakistani politics. I do not need to budge much on this as everything is crystal clear in front of us. Whether you go to social media or the tv gossip-shows (talk-shows), you find small minds all the way.
I have to admit that I am also a figure among those small minds. My recent writings have been constantly directed towards Imran Khan. Though, I have always criticized his policies and stance, but in between I have also gotten personal. My pretext of keeping Khan under a constant barrage of criticism was and is a sole one. further on Saach.TV

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Writer is a political commentator, blogger and tweets @SaqibTanveer

The recent issue of obscenity in the media has stirred a never ending debate in our intelligentsia circle. Efforts to define obscenity and vulgarity are being undertaken by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to satisfy the stomach of Supreme Court. One such meeting was held on 27th August, 2012 in which many journalists, politicians and academicians were brought to help PEMRA define obscenity. The definition they came up with was as follows:

“obscene content is any content which is unacceptable while viewing with the family.”

PEMRA also referred the matter to Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) and the Parliament to deliberate on the issue. Effort of the PEMRA to curb the 'not-known' obscenity can be applauded. But the issue of defining obscenity is the one that can stir a fiesty debate within the country.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Am I Caught with Imran-Phobia?

Writer is a political commentator, blogger and tweets @SaqibTanveer
Disclaimer from the writer: If you are a PTI supporter who lives in his cave then please do not bother to read this. You’d end up biting your own tongue.
Before even starting to write this piece, I am laughing when I think about the expected response of PTI supporters to it. I believe that I have become an official mouthpiece against Imran Khan on Saach.TV. Whenever my picture on the recent blogs comes up, I am sure the readers expect the piece to be anti-PTI. They are not the ones who should be blamed for stereotyping me as anti-PTI. It is me who has been writing excessively against Imran Khan.
I have explained a lot before regarding my love and obsession for Imran Khan and I should not repeat it again.

Monday, August 20, 2012


From: Muhammad Saqib Tanveer
Writer is a political commentator, blogger and tweets @SaqibTanveer

Every year I wish Eid greetings to my friends, relatives and acquaintances through a text message (with a harmonious message) but this time, I am trying to say Eid Mubarak to all the readers of Saach.TV. Along with my greetings, I have an important message to deliver. My greetings come straight from the bottom of my heart and every word of this message emanates from my emotions, so sorry if I fail in complying with the standards of writing.
Usually, it becomes difficult to celebrate festivals when one of your strategic and precious defence asset i.e. Kamra airbase is attacked. It becomes even more difficult when one witnesses sectarian killings in his country just before the Eid. It sucks, it really does when the terrorists attack a passenger bus and kill twenty of our Shiite brothers. One wants to cover his head under the pillow when he learns about the genocide of Muslims of Rohingya. Eid is meant to be a day of festivity and jubilation but the jubilee of this and many previous Eids have turned sour for the Muslims.
Testing times for Pakistan and Muslims across the globe and this has been the case for quite a while.
If there was an Oscar for the most optimist person about Pakistan, its people and its capabilities, I would have won that award hands down. Every article that I write is a signal towards the fact that I have not lost hope and I sincerely believe that this nation will rise and climb to the pinnacle. And this is what I intend to do in this blog.
There is no doubt that we have differences among ourselves. People are divided over sectarian lines. We cannot even have a single eid in our country. And the only reason for all this is the ego of our rulers. Imagine, every year we have two or three eids. Whatever reason the people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa can give regarding moon sighting, the fault is ours. Knowing that every year they do their own moon-sighting, why do not our central committee goes there and sight the moon for themself? Why do not we bring the people at Charsadda in the mainstream and end their marginalization by taking them on-board? But we will not do so because the ego of our central ruet-i-hilal committee is much more important to them rather than the unity of people.
Apart from the moon sighting, another important issue and that comes to limelight after killing of 20 Shiites recently, is the sectarian violence in Pakistan. I personally, believe that people in Pakistan are not divided on sectarian lines. It is the actions and propagation of some of the religious groups whose business is dependent on division of the Muslims. We need to counter these groups and deliver our love to all the sects. We all are brothers in Islam and our difference is our love.
Despite all our failings, we are a prosperous bunch of Muslims and let’s make a vow on this eid that we will leave no stone un-turned to bridge the gaps between Muslims of all sects, be it Brelvi, Deobandi, Ahle-Hadees or Shiites.
In the end, I am attaching a video that we all need to see. A video that explains the reality of differences between different sects of Islam. Many of you may have already seen this video and for them it is a reminder. Please spread my message across, obviously if you second me.
Eid Mubarak to all the Muslims across the globe.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ansar Abbasi, Vulgar Media and Pious Liberals

Writer is a political commentator, blogger and tweets @SaqibTanveer
I guess, the title says it all about what I am about to state here. Blacking out Ansar Abbasi on the national broadcast media by the troika of cable operators, channel owners and PEMRA is forcing me this time to tap the keys on my keyboard once again.
Ansar Abbasi is a person who does not have a lot of fans in our, as Talat Hussain puts it, supra-liberal media. He has a lot of critics and bashers who often label him as Jamati, fundamentalist and extremist etc. These bashers and critics may well be happy that a hardline voice that always calls for Islam in the country is out of the scene, though for a small period.
The person, under discussion, has been vigilantly speaking against the obscenity and vulgarity on show on our national television. Testament to Abbasi’s criticism of vulgarity in Pakistani media can be judged by watching a recent program of Talat Hussain. The clips showed in his program were just a tip of the iceberg. Pakistani media has gotten vulgar, obscene and absurd and unfortunately, there is no end to it.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Indo-Pak Friendship? You Gotta Be Kidding Me!

Writer is a political commentator, blogger and tweets @SaqibTanveer

Many of us have been getting very romantic all over again when we think about rekindling our relations with India back on track. Definitely, it is good to have a neighbour that is not hostile and can lend us a helping hand in our economic woes. Icing on the cake when that same neighbour starts playing cricket with us again. May be out of pity or some other agenda, who knows?

This cuddling with India is not something of a sudden. It all started in the latter half of 2011 after Hilary Clinton’s pilgrimage to Pakistan. Soon after her visit, some cordial events between the two arch rivals were witnessed. To quote a few, failed talks of a cricket series, Pakistani Kabbadi team went to India for the world cup, volleyball series between the two, cross-LoC trade negotiations and above all the whole episode of MFN status were the highlights to notice. further on Saach.TV

Saturday, August 4, 2012

After SKMH Theatrics, Who To Vote?

Writer is a political commentator, blogger and tweets @SaqibTanveer
I need to wear boxing gloves and helmet before writing this piece. Because after writing this, I am expecting a barrage of punches from our sweethearts PTI trolls.
There is no need to give a background of the incident as everyone is enjoying the iftar treat every day one hour before the actual iftar time for the last week, in the shape of mud-slinging press conferences.
I do not know whether Shaukat Khanum’s endowment fund is morally alright when its own chairman is drumming about investing in Pakistan? Let’s leave this discussion to tv anchors. My concern is about something else.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Hearing the Boots Marching Towards ISB, Wait!

Writer is a political commentator, blogger and tweets @SaqibTanveer
TV talk shows, newspaper editorials and social media have started to buzz all over again with the rumors that army is about to takeover or a technocrat setup is in the offing. All this is up due to forthcoming verdict of Supreme Court against letter writing to Swiss Courts issue. One Prime Minister has already been sent packing and many believe thatthe other may well be on his way. His departure could mean that army may intervene or operate from the backend by installing technocrats.
I, for the record, do not endorse this prediction. I feel that this suggestion of wrapping up the system has been floated around by those who need the status quo to keep working. They want to scare us that if we did anything aggressive against them then it could cast the end of the whole system and the ‘sacred’ democracy will be put up in jail once again. It is, basically, a tactic to ensure that their five-year reign of corruption and deception goes undisturbed. further on Saach.TV

Sunday, July 22, 2012

You Are Gonna Die!

Writer is a political commentator, blogger and tweets @SaqibTanveer
Had a very horrendous start to last couple of days. Yesterday, I woke up with a news that a very old ex-neighbour died. Daughter of the deceased was my tuition teacher but death is a part of life, so it happens. No big deal, is it? Reached the office same day and hadn’t even stepped inside the premises when I encountered another news of the same sort. An office colleague died of an heart attack, terrible.
And today my morning was the same. Started the day in hospital, witnessed so much misery and wretchedness on the faces of worried attendants of patients.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dual Nationality and Loyalty

Writer is a political commentator, blogger and tweets @SaqibTanveer

Talk about the hot issue in the media nowadays; two pieces of legislation. One is contempt of court and the second is dual nationality issue. They are even hotter than the hotness in the weather these days. Forget the dismal economic condition and governance full of corruption and mismanagement.

Being a part of the same media, I also want to budge on the issue of dual nationality as this case is personal to me as well. Before, I start my dissection of the issue, I want to state here that I am currently a national of Pakistan and I do not have any citizenship of any other country on this planet. However, I was born in France and my family moved back to Pakistan after one and a half year of my birth. I never got the citizenship of France and never desired so. I believe that if you have it in yourself then there is no place better thanPakistan to spend your life. But recently, my father has started consulting a lawyer to get me the French citizenship, which I hope I will never get. further on Saach.TV

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Credit Rating - A Reply to Dr. Asjad

Writer is a political commentator, blogger and tweets @SaqibTanveer
I, actually, feel compelled to write this article. After reading the recent blog of Dr. Asjad Bukhari regarding the recent Credit rating of Pakistan, I could not refrain myself from setting the record straight. I have immense love for Dr. Asjad Bukhari, as he was the first football pundit I ever saw on TV and I am a football fanatic. He kept me glued to his knowledge and love for the game he portrayed back in good old times on PTV. I have all the respect in the world for him and this reply is something I am just coming up with an academic response to the assertions made by him.
I have torn his blog post and outlined few key points he raised and will discuss it point by point.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Are You a Proud Pakistani?

I am a resident of Pakistan, having CNIC of Pakistan and living a very good life in Pakistan but I am not a proud resident of Pakistan. My association with Pakistan is not something I am proud of. I have explained my disappointment and want to pose the same question to you people. Are you proud of being Pakistani or any other country for that matter? The question is not a country specific. It is specific to the concept of nationalism.
I am not a nationalist. I hate the concept of nationalism. I believe that nationalism is a very weak and shallow concept that is carved out to divide people. I will try to support my articulation by the following arguments that I have experienced lately. more on Saach.TV

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

DPC, Hypocrite Media, PTI & PML-N

Writer is a political commentator, blogger and tweets @SaqibTanveer
Difah-e-Pakistan Council’s (DPC) long march against the resumption of NATO supplies was mostly neglected by the mainstream media of Pakistan. A march of that sort against the government is massive and it was unfortunate that no media channel paid any heed to the happening.
One can have all sorts of disagreements with the leaders and the parties participating in the rally but being in the business of news and event reporting, DPC deserved its fair share of coverage. I drove a lot in the streets of Islamabad that day and found the main Jinnah Avenue closed. I had an immediate work in Rawalpindi that day but could not get there because of the road blocks due to the march. It was gigantic happening in Islamabad but alas no media coverage. Another feather in the cap of our independent and responsible media. Personally, I do not subscribe to the viewpoint of DPC and also a strong critic of some of them.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Will Pakistan follow the Arab Spring?

Well, there has been a lot of jubilation both inside and outside Egypt regarding the success of Mohammad Morsi in the presidential election. It was a good fight and one has to give it to Morsi for going against the army and emerging as a winner, as per the ‘apparent’ wishes of the Egyptian people.
On the face of it, everything seems smooth and quite romantic. Mubarak has been ousted, power transferred from the army back to the elected people and happy times for the Egyptian people.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Judicial Pudding with Political Garnishing

Lately, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has been able to recuperate much of its credibility, it lost over the last couple of years. Thanks to the PM Contempt Case, BahriaGate, Ephedrine and other corruption cases against the government. Many have welcomed the stance of apex court and its recent judgements of removing the premier, making the son of Chief Justice stand before the ‘Justice’ and above all accounting the civil establishment of Pakistan i.e. Malik Riaz aka Thekedar (contractor).

These decisions from the Supreme Court of Pakistan have been taken as a sweet pudding by media as well as people of Pakistan. However, many see that the garnishing on the pudding i.e. the almonds, peanuts, cherry and the wafers etc have been brought from Raiwind, Naudero, Rawalpindi or the Judges Colony itself. Origin of the garnishing depends on case to case basis.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Journalism and Audacity to Speak Up

There has been a lot fuss over the recent Family Gate. All sorts of theories and allegations have arisen ever since this whole scandal came up. People are even arguing over whether it should be called Family Gate or Trap Gate. I do not know what ‘gate’ to call it but one thing is for sure that ‘fates’ of many are attached to it.

I understand that Malik Riaz has committed a whole host of objectionable; in fact, punishable actions and he should be brought to justice. Whenever, the word of establishment in Pakistan came to my mind, I always thought (in a Hollywood movies style) that surely establishment has much more than the armed forces. And now I have my answer. Malik Riaz was just not a pawn of establishment; he was much more than that.

Read further on by clicking here

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Talat Hussain and Stratfor

Well, what I am about to write right now is something I have never ever done in my life. I have never defended anyone in my blogs. I have always written against politicians, leaders and journalists. But this time I am going to defend someone and something for which I do not have any solid information. This blog of mine is based on the information and the news I have gathered in my 5 year long news business.

To start with, Najam Sethi, the chirya wala in his program on 6th June 2012 on Geo TV implied that Talat Hussain used to work with Stratfor (a CIA shadow). This accusation of his came after Talat Hussain in his program on the very same day meant that Najam Sethi has a very cordial relationship with Malik Riaz and actually Malik Riaz is the chirya of Najam Sethi (Link to Talat's show

Many of us are aware of the credibility of Najam Sethi and his propaganda against various sectors of Pakistan. I guess that is enough to refute his accusation but just to satisfy his mind, I will state some facts. Before I present the facts, I want to make one thing very clear that I am writing all this on my behest and there is no one pulling my strings. All the information I am going to present is my mere analysis and could be wrong. So please cut me some slack if I deviate from actuality.

Towards the accusation of Najam Sethi about alleged working of Talat Hussain with CIA (Stratfor). To understand this, we first have to understand the reality. The document, Najam Sethi is referring to states that Talat Hussain (the then Executive Director of Aaj News) and Ahmad A. Zubairi, the Managing Director of Aaj TV were the contacts for Stratfor. Apparently, to me it seems that this connection was not between Talat Hussain and Stratfor or between Ahamd Zubairi and Stratfor, it was more of a relationship between Aaj TV and Stratfor because both Talat and Ahmad were in the administration of Aaj TV. The excel sheet also states clearly that the agreement was signed with the Managing Director i.e. Ahmad Zubairi. So, the suggestion of Talat working for Stratfor becomes doubtful here as the institution was involved.

For a second, if we consider that Talat was working or having a partnership with Stratfor, then we have to understand the reputation of Stratfor at that time. CIA backs Stratfor, well that is not yet established and all that came after the wikileaks revelations last year. Before that and still it is one of the best news intelligence source for any news hungry person. I personally have been subscribed to Stratfor's newsletter for the last 4 or 5 years.

I have to admit, much of my information about international events come from Stratfor and couple of other organizations. The point being that whatever Stratfor reveals is almost close to reality and much of their analysis are spot on and for that they use many sources like journalists from all across globe. Now, if a person shares the information with a news analysis think tank then what is the problem with that and what could Talat Hussain share with them. Because almost every thing is disclosed through his journalism and TV programs, so what else remains. And what damaging to Pakistan he can disclose? Is he a government servant who can disclose government secrets?

Stratfor (Strategy Forecast) is a global intelligence organization and a think-tank which provides policy proposals and insights into various incidents all across the world. If I am a journalist or an analyst, I would love to get my hands on the information they have.

This is what I actually feel about alleged role of Talat Hussain with Stratfor. I don't know whether it is wrong or right but I personally believe that having a relationship with a foreign news service has no issues. Journalists always have connections. This is their bread and butter. You have to have relations with all sort of persons to gather news. Else working for New York Times, Washington Post, Time and many other foreign papers is wrong. In fact, the person who was working for The Sun or News of the World is also wrong then because that news agency eventually turned out to be tapping and hacking phones of others, even though he was never aware of their activities.

Mr. Najam Sethi instead of giving answers about your own actions, you did the act of attacking others and that too without any base. Majority knows about your deeds and I do not need to budge on that.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The curious case of 'Benami Transaction'

Lately, I have been getting a lot of stick for writing against Imran Khan and his policies. Allow me to justify myself because what I am going to present further is another one of my ‘Imran Khan bashing’ stuff.

There is no denying the fact that Imran Khan has seen an unprecedented surge in his approval rating and his following has increasing manifold. The tag of Imran Khan carries the slogan of change and hope for people. We all know about the performance of Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari, so there is no point in discussing that they have nothing in store left for us. So that leaves Imran Khan, never tried and tested, in the fray. That makes it imperative for us to scrutinize Imran Khan with all our eyes and dissect all his actions. He is in the spotlight and intense scrutiny is a part and parcel of being in the spotlight.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Panacea of Pakistan’s ills and Imran Khan

I have been gobsmacked by the recent political stunts of our political parties. Be it Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) or Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI). Everyone out there in the sacred game of politics is leaving no stone unturned to malign this divine duty of regulating the public affairs and representing people.
Read more on Saach.TV

Friday, May 11, 2012

PTI Supporters, Nusrat Javeed amd 21 Journos

Saqib Tanveer pic
Muhammad Saqib Tanveer
When I was in 7th or 8th Class, a teacher of mine told the class that Women and Watches never agree. He also explained the reality behind the saying. He explained that women can never reach a consensus over one issue and can never be on the same page like watches, every watch will have a different time, even difference in seconds.
Read more

The owner of Pakistan, Mr. Gilani!

Saqib Tanveer pic
Muhammad Saqib Tanveer
Prime Minister of Pakistan or shall I say the ‘convicted’ Prime Minister of Pakistan, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has been the longest serving Premier of Pakistan. He won a unanimous vote of confidence from the parliament after taking his oath. Sure, he has the mandate of public to govern and people have voted for him to govern.
Read more

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pakistan's Sacred Judiciary


Supreme Court of Pakistan has been in the news for the last 5 years or so after the Chief Justice Iftikhar Ahmed Chaudhry refused to succumb to the pressure of former President Pervez Musharraf.
That step of Chief Justice brought him.......(Read more)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Lyari Burning, Gilani Smiling

Muhammad Saqib Tanveer
The desks were beaten, roses were sprayed and congratulations were conveyed as Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani emerged out of the Supreme Court, apparently as a winner after his 37 seconds sentence.
To read further visit and do leave your comments

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Lap-Toppers of Punjab

Muhammad Saqib Tanveer

Chief Minister of the Punjab, or shall I say the Khadam-e-Aala Punjab’s recent Youth Initiative Program has been taken very well in various quarters. However, many question the long-term sustainability of the program. Distributing laptops among the youth of Punjab is an excellent feat achieved by the CM both politically and academically but was that the need of the hour?
To read further visit

Saturday, April 21, 2012

For PTI: Is Honesty Enough to Govern Effectively?

Writer is an aspiring journalist, student of International Relations and tweets at @saqibtanveer
The 30th October’s melodious jalsa of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) turned the whole spectrum of traditional politics in Pakistan. That jalsa motivated the youth to take active part in politics, use of social networking sites increased manifold, politicians joined twitter and facebook to interact with the public, hash-tagging and trending of Pakistani politics started, the sphere of street-corner politics shifted to the cyber sphere and above all the politicians started focusing on youth. In short, PTI’s jalsa was a game changer.
PTI has risen to dominance in the last twelve months or so. People and even several politicians have been joining PTI irrespective of any ideological relationship, though Imran Khan claims otherwise. Ideological gap between the members of the party can be judged from the fact that PTI is a party that contains people from the left as well as from the right. A recent incident when the President of party called Hafiz Saeed a propagator of peace, it was not taken well within the party itself. PTI right now is disjointed and does not have a common mouth, even Imran Khan admits that himself.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Moving Towards an Open Source World

The recent initiative of the World Bank of Open Knowledge Repository (OKR) is more of a revolution of its own kind. We are living in a world where even a cough of an elite is protected by copyrights. Patents and copyrights are the tools which the elite class use to make money and hence bar the road of academic & technological development.

Lately there has been an evolution of GNU General Public License software and other items have emerged on the market. Linux, Ubuntu and Joomla etc are the most significant examples where open source technology has been provided and thus a significant amount of development has occurred in these horizons helping people to innovate and get the best out of technology.

The most significant argument in favor of copyrights is giving the credit to the original innovator and giving all the due profit to that person. But that same law has been exploited by global corporations all over the world. The most significant example we have is of Microsoft. Bill Gates has increased his fortune tremendously with the help of copyrights and now all his charity and effort to become noble, that all is due to the blessings of patent and copyrights.

Education and technology should not be someone's property. It has to be universal and should contribute towards making the lifestyle of people more convenient rather than making them expensive and unreachable by copyrighting them.

Doosron Ko Naseehat, Khud Mian Fazeehat

Whenever one tries to propagate or share an idea with someone, the first question posed to him is that first you act on it before propagating. There can be no two ways about the fact that one should act first on what he propagates but mostly we use this argument to nullify the idea presented by that person.

We do not emphasize and put our focus towards the idea of that person and just brush it aside by proclaiming the proverb "doosron ko naseehat, khud mian fazeehat". We should at least ponder on the idea regardless of the actions of the person. Eleanor Roosevelt once said: "Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."

Our rigidity just does not allow us to accept others ideas as it threatens the ideals of our whole life. We believe that the life we have spent on certain ideals should not be challenged, even if they are wrong, as it will make our whole life a lie. We are afraid of that.

The day we open ourselves to truth and vow to follow the life of truth, revolution would not be far away.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Published in Education Informer's April, 2012 Edition
Published on Saach.TV on April 9, 2012
I have never been a regular student after my matriculation. I was never serious in taking classes when I got admission in my intermediate in commerce and did my bachelors as a private student from Punjab University. This four or five year’s distance from taking regular classes left a desire and temptation in my heart. A temptation to get a regular education and to enjoy the fun that comes along with a college or university for that matter.
My below average performance in bachelors forced me to look for universities that could accept a student like me. My search brought me to the door of my current educators; Preston University. Frankly speaking, when I applied for the admission and came to know that I’d have to go through a formal test, which will ascertain my admissibility, I felt a bit unsecured. I was scared whether I’ll get the admission or not. On top of that, I also got intimidated by the name of the university, Preston and Princeton almost sound alike.
All my curiosity about the university studies vanished when I became acquainted with the set up and learned how things work. Though, I enjoyed the cafeteria, company of friends and bunking the classes but my real cause of despair was the time I spent in front of the teachers, except for one. I am studying under the teachers who are mostly part-time i.e. teaching just for the sake of part-time money making job. Amount of permanent faculty members is very bleak. Teachers, who get personal with their disciples. I was once suspended from this university because I questioned the teacher and that led to my suspension without even hearing me out. Teachers, who are known to give marks to students of opposite gender.
Majority of the students come to university to attain good GPA and get ‘A’s as much as they can. The race to get ‘A’s somehow divert their real cause, which is to attain knowledge rather than marks. The quest for knowledge is overshadowed by the GPA. Only this reason is enough to brush aside the credibility of a university or a student as it leads to nepotism from the teachers, no improvisation and initiation from the students as they are content with good marks and therefore no research initiatives. In short, at the end of the day, we produce good crammers, no Arfa Karims.
I also experienced teachers who used to mark the students on the basis of their face value. A student’s reputation went before him. It doesn’t matter what he writes inside the assignment, all it needs for the teacher is to read the name of the student on the title page and ascertain his marks. No one ever gets to know what new dimension is presented by his mate in his assignment. One instance was a very recent one, when a very talented and senior classmate of mine presented very valuable information (a new economic indicator developed by Bhutan) in his assignment to the teacher but we never came to know about it. Eventually, he disclosed it in a discussion in the class; else we would never have been able to get benefit from that. Majority of students in this university are relying on a pre-cooked meal. Though, we have to cook our own in our final project but overall, we are producing followers, no leaders. We are prescribed textbooks and that eradicates any chance for a student to google and dig out literature from different books and sources. Nonetheless, the university is placed in the top ranking of Higher Education Commission.
We, the youth of Pakistan, are the assets of Pakistan. Pakistani government has, over the years, implied the policy of privatization and that also included education. I don’t want to budge over the concept of privatization but the fact is that that nurturing of young talent is the responsibility of government rather than fat-capitalists. I know we have many great private-sector institutions and they are producing good talent but they are also a source of discrimination in the society. When we talk about a uniform standard of education, then that means bringing everyone on the same level. A student of University of Punjab and LUMS should be treated the same way and they both should be on the same level.
People argue that HEC has the mandate to supervise the education sector and look into all the malpractices, but like everything else, education is also over-looked. Every night when I turn on the TV, I hear people saying that our future is very bright but judging by the current state of affairs, I am afraid that the expectations people are having from us are far-fetched and optimistic. It is time, we take education in the fold of public sector rather than letting the precious talent rot in the hands of blood sucking capitalists, who take the divine duty of education as money-making opportunity.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dust on Books or on Our Brains?

Students are the biggest asset a nation can ever have. Not handled with care, those same students can easily become a liability. Students and youth always carry the tag of fragile but somehow our elders are unable to read that tag.
There is no age-barring when it comes to book-reading but the youth, being in the period of getting nourished, has to be the one getting full fruits out of the books by reading them. No one can negate the importance of book-reading. It doesn’t matter what is the genre of the book. One has to read any book that he can find. I won’t discuss the importance of book-reading further because we all have written a lot of essays on the subject in matriculation.
Every student has his own set of library at his home. Majority of the students only keep books in their small library that are usually text books and related to their current education. Very few, who keep other books in the shelf, somehow don’t care to put a hand on those books. In fact, housemaid is the one, who touches those books more often in the name of dusting.
Same is the case in universities. We have some humungous libraries in our universities. Unlike, the home, students go there and do consult those books but unfortunately, majority only consult when there is a class assignment or quiz. And sometimes, we find students in libraries in the shape of couples and rest, well we all have an idea about.
There can be so many reasons of why we don’t indulge ourselves in the books. For starters, our schooling doesn’t motivate us to read books. Our parents do narrate story books to us and we build our lives on that phenomenon. When we enter the school, our teachers do the honor of book-reading for us and there starts all the problems.
Every student gets a Qari, who teaches him how to read and recite the Holy Quran (the book that is a guide to our whole life) and after he is done with his duty of teaching, the Holy Quran goes back to the highest placed cupboard, untouched for months or even years.
Prescribed text books in our syllabi is another reason. Covering the full curriculum is the first and unfortunately, the last objective in the schools. We do not care to consult other books and even in some universities, the practice of prescribed books is prevailing. Students are always in search of a short-cut and there they find one.
The biggest reason, one can cite about our habit of not reading books could be attributed to the society and our environment. The students in the West are very much interested in reading books and opening up their minds. The reason I find for their interest in the books is the opportunity provided to them by the society. The best place they have for reading is the public transport. Virtually, every student there travels through metros or double deckers. Their journey to university is usually long and that gives them the chance to study.
Leave studying in public transport; we don’t even have a good transportation system. Majority of students, who can afford, either come on their own cars or on bikes. And those who take buses or vans, ask them, how they reach their destination. They just cannot open a book in the van, only plugging in the earphones of ipod is the possibility in the vans. We do have an option of ebooks in our smartphones and even one in four possesses a smartphone in Pakistan but still the culture of ebooks and their availability is a distant possibility for us.
To get different ideas over the subject, I contacted my peers to have their insight. Many said that the societal luxuries i.e. lack of public libraries, television, internet and dating culture (cheap call rates and night packages) etc are all contributing to this failure of ours. Distance from religion is the main reason, one said. The reasons could be various but there is a broad consensus that we need to get back to the books. Internet and cellphones could be consuming our attention but at the same time, they can also be a source of information and book-reading for us. It is all about making the best use of our facilities.
A very interesting instance I know of is of my friend. He broke up a few months ago and the loneliness of that break up took him to his book shelf and he developed a good habit of reading. I wonder, if we all have to go through that moment to start diving into the books.
Our majority does not read books. Who is at fault? The system or we ourselves? I believe, each one of us is responsible for this illness. Government has been unable to provide us with a conducive environment and on a personal level, our priorities have been everything but book-reading. We have to gaze at the dust present on our book shelves and realize that this dust is not on the books but this dust is on our brains.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The ‘Actual’ Humsafar, We Missed

By: Muhammad Saqib Tanveer
I am not a TV serial guy. I don’t watch TV soaps or series until they are Prison Breaks, Entourages or White Collars and that too recommended by friends. I and many of my friends take the Pakistani and Indian dramas as girly habits. However, Dhuwan & ABC etc are the dramas that are in the league of their own. And since that vintage time, we have never been able to replicate those serials.
I explained earlier that I am not a serial guy but on top of that, I don’t write or review TV or cinema for a whole host of reasons. Obviously I won’t budge on them here. So, why am I writing about Humsafar?
Frankly, I never followed Humsafar. When my friends used to discuss Humsafar, I felt pity for them that they are wasting their time on these girly kind of dramas. My first real surprise about that drama came when I read the blogs and news stories discussing the drama. That incited, in fact triggered the curiosity inside me to find out about all the fuss.
Luckily, one day a friend of mine brought all the episodes of the drama, except the last one, downloaded from youtube and offered me. Being free from office, I took the episodes in my flash drive and went home. I remember that at that point in time, the last episode was about to be broadcasted in a couple of days.
That night, after doing all the necessary stuff on internet i.e. news, blogs, facebook, twitter and howzat, I turned towards my flash drive and started watching the drama. I didn’t sleep all night. The next night, I didn’t do the basic internet stuff and jumped straight towards the drama and finished the drama in just two nights. Just in time to watch the last episode with all other my fellows.
I was engulfed in the Humsafar hysteria.
I think, the majority of people have some common likings in the drama that glued them to their TV screens. I also followed the blogs about the drama and the consensus was over the way they acted, the chemistry between Ashar and Khirad, how the drama ended bla bla bla.
The reason why I loved that drama is much more different than others and unfortunately many people have missed those dimensions. For me, Humsafar has proved to be a great addition to our society. A society where there were typical dramas, Humsafar has provided a breath of fresh air. Besides being original and tempting, it disclosed and expounded on certain aspects of our society, which I will try to breakdown here.
First of all, I have to admit that Sarmad Sultan Khoosat evolved from Cheeko (The Shashlick Guy) to a full-fledged man. The way he directed the drama was fabulous, to say the least. I would give kudos to him over the way he presented romance. In an age, where romance is all about cuddling and hugging, he taught others how to keep the essence of romance intact and portraying the feelings without crossing the boundaries.
While the whole of Pakistan was enjoying the chemistry of Khisher (as Ashar and Khirad are pronounced on youtube), we missed the delicacy and gracefulness of the institution of marriage. Our contemporary dramas show the concept of first getting acquainted with your fiancée and then marriage, but the writer depicted the point that love can be harnessed without even texting and knowing your wife-to-be. One of my very close acquaintance has stopped texting his fiancée, just because he wants to enjoy the marital life more than the life before marriage, as the life after marriage matters more.
Being a 23 year old, I know how much of a nuisance I am for my father. Humsafar, literally, makes one think twice about his behavior with parents. Most of our modern dramas show that parents and their kids are not on the same page and paint a picture of disobedience by the kids. The way the character of Ashar was written, was not less than classic. Ashar always painted a picture of obedience and love towards his father. He was a portrait of obedience and even in the climax, he doesn’t leave her mother, after all she has done to him. I think the youth, including me, has a lot to learn from this, a lot.
For me, this drama can have huge positive impacts on our classic societal standards that are almost diminishing. Obedience towards parents, sanctity and gracefulness of institution of marriage and family bondage are the things that we actually missed from Humsafar. My advice to anyone, who is ready to take, is to deduce these points first and foremost.
I know I am going to get a beating for writing on Humsafar from a lot of my close friends but I really felt the need to point out those points.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Charade In and Around Iran

Published in Frontier Post on 17 March, 2012
Also appeared on Express Tribune Blogs on 20 March, 2012
Published on PakObserver on 7 April, 2012

Iran has always played the role of the odd one out in the international arena. Its stand out stance from the rest of the world has distinguished it from others and as a result pretty much isolated it.
There has been a lot of conjecture about an attack on Iran’s nuclear installations, whether from Israel or the US. Iran has always been cooperative with the IAEA over the years but somehow they have been portrayed as a rogue and uncooperative. Just a week ago, Iran agreed to allow UN inspectors to inspect their notorious nuclear facility against the odds.
However, the dust of an attack has settled very much. The recent meeting between Netanyahu and Obama was followed by a barrage of meetings between officials of the two states. The final showdown between Israeli PM and US President proved to be the real dust settler as Obama communicated his intention of not allowing any attack on Iranian soil to Israel. The US, in particular the Obama administration, has been of the view that Iran should be dealt with through diplomatic channels and sanctions should be the harshest punishment.
That raises a question.
Israel always knew about the intentions of the US, but then why are Israel and the European nations pressing for surgical strikes on Iran? Were they serious in carrying out an attack? Was war always on the cards?
The interaction between states, including war, has become a very complex web whereby the interests of the states are dependent on each other.
To judge the current episode, one must study the interests of major players in this charade. The United States, being the overseer of everything happening around the globe, is the one that has the most stakes involved.
The International media has always portrayed Iran and the United States on loggerheads. But, careful scrutiny of the relation between the two suggests otherwise. Iran has always played the role of pain for others, but it has never threatened the United States’ interest in the region, whether it is Strait of Hormuz, Afghanistan or Iraq. Moreover, Iran has always helped in preserving the interests of the US in the region.
In turn, the United States has always used Iran as a threatening tool for Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The US used Iran to make them wary of Iranian threat to establish its bases on their soil. A rogue Iranian posture has helped the US just fine in reaching this objective.
Iran has been the silent neighbor of Afghanistan and Iraq, two countries where the US spent much of the 21st Century. It paved the way for the US in making the environment conducive in both the countries, especially in the regime establishment. Both, Afghanistan and Iraq, have a government that is Shiite and Iran has been the biggest proponent of Shiite Islam. Iran always had good relations with Northern Alliance in Afghanistan and it has helped the US conjure up and provide stability to the flailing government.
The same goes for the Maliki government in Iraq. The bottom line is that Iran is indispensable for the United States at the moment and its importance has increased more than ever considering the withdrawal of US forces from both war-torn countries.
Another question mark is the role of the US in Syria. Syria has been known for its allegiance to Iran and the recent reluctance of the US to take military action against Assad’s regime speaks volumes.
The next question is that of Israel’s skepticism over Iran, which is a very dubious one. Recent events show that Israel does not give the same importance to Iran as has been given by the US. Nonetheless, Israel has somewhat exaggerated the threat of Iran to itself and has gone to the extent of calling Iran as an ‘existential’ threat to Israel. However, this claim of theirs was discredited by their ex-Mossad Chief at the start of February, 2012. Even a couple of days ago, he was on record saying that anyone thinking about an attack from Israel on Iran is nuts.
One thing we may be forgetting is the Israel – Hezbollah war and the influence of Iran on Hezbollah. Hezbollah, virtually, tore the image of invincibility of Israel apart and that is something Israel has never been able to digest or forget. The inability of Israel to take Lebanon down draws many questions. If Israel was unable to brush aside a small militia then how would they be able to tackle Iran, which is supported by a full-fledged army and state machinery including the tools of propaganda?
If all these things are a factor of not going to war, then why has there been so much fuss about an attack on Iran?
To answer this question, we have to consider a few basic things. The United States is going to have elections this year. Contesting for the second-term is the time when a regime is the most weak. Israel and the EU understand that fragility of Obama and are trying to cash in on it. Obama cannot afford to lose Jewish votes and that is why he is walking on a tight rope. European countries are themselves fighting their own war of survival in the EU and though the European Countries don’t say it, their economic problems have been triggered by the acts of the US.
To sum up and put everything in a nutshell, it can be concluded that an attack on Iran is a very distant possibility, as the costs attached with the attack are much higher than stopping it from acquiring a nuclear weapon, a weapon, that Iran claims, it is not trying to acquire. Things have started to settle and Obama administration has almost handled Israel but it remains to be seen how the next administration will cope with the desires of Israel to take Iran down.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Iftikhar Chaudhry and Our 'Independent' Judiciary

Contract extension of two years granted to Registrar of Supreme Court uncovers another hypocrisy of the so-called 'independent' judiciary of Pakistan. Before Dr. Faqir Hussain (Registrar Supreme Court), Supreme Court also granted Justice Ramday (r), the status of Ad-hoc judge by giving him extension. This, all came after the apex court gave a decision about sacking all the civil servants (especially in Police Service) who were on contract extensions after their retirement.
In this case, all the morality and rules have been thrown out of the window and nepotism has prevailed in the top justice providing institution of Pakistan, on whom there are so many hopes of the people. This incident is not just a single one where judiciary has abrogated the very same laws, that it is supposed to protect.
One wonders, from where would the respite for the public would come. Most corrupt government in the history of Pakistan, an opposition that is as insincere as government, judiciary that is enjoying all the perks under the garb of 'independent judiciary' and media that is spreading despair all across. For me, calling Iftikhar Chaudhry, Chief Justice is a disgrace.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


By: Muhammad Saqib Tanveer
Before I start jotting down my whole catharsis, it is imperative that I give a brief background to my piece. It all started with a morning show, in which the host along with some other ladies were chasing dating couples in the parks. I didn’t watch that program live but when I saw so much fuss on blogs and twitter about this program, I planned to search it on youtube. I must admit that I could only watch the video for not more than 3 minutes. It was one of the most horrendous and dire video I ever watched, though Secret Pakistan on BBC still tops my list of torturous videos ever.
We just cannot condemn this act of the host and her accomplices, however, the retortion that emerged out after all this is more abominable than the program itself. One such was found on your blog Ms. Mehreen Kasana and you literally tore the host of that show apart. And I really loved you for that. Nonetheless, what followed in your article was a manifestation of the ever present stand-off between the liberals and the ghairat-brigade. I won’t budge much on the divide between the two sets and will move straight towards the issue at hand and will try to answer some of the points raised by you on your blog.
The issue of freedoms and allowing females to live their life according to their wishes has become such a hot and much discussed issue in Pakistan over the last decade. Countless NGOs, foreign-educated students as well as expats and virtually whole of the media have been up to bring the females out in the mainstream. This is the need of the hour and above all a religious obligation. But whatever has been happening under the garb of bringing the females into mainstream is as pathetic as it could ever get.
Your article was completely on those lines i.e. invasion of privacy and ensuring personal freedoms. As the West moves away from their freedoms with certain new draconian legislations, we are the ones that are trying to emulate their society that has been so flawed. You scribbled your own experience when you were little and used to hang out in the parks with your father. Maybe your father wasn’t much concerned because you were a kid back then or even he might not have any problem even today. But I want to ask you a question. Not many in this country share the same ideas as your father. We have to accept that majority of Pakistan do not condone these acts, in fact consider them preposterous.
You mentioned about the nature of young people and I totally agree to it. People do fall in love, whether infatuation or flirt. No one can say that he doesn’t have a liking for the opposite gender, except for homosexuals. However, there is a proper way to satisfy your instincts and demands and Islam provides us with the option of marriage. I am sure you’d say that we can’t get married at a young age but I can quote you instances where people have married at a young age and are living happily. To be very honest, one of my mentor also got married at 21. Besides, having this nature cannot be an excuse for warming the benches in public parks. Every human is greedy but that doesn’t mean that he has the right to do corruption and whatever he deems appropriate.
The question of privacy? I, literally laughed when I read your statement. How can someone demand privacy in a PUBLIC park? I understand that “ethos of your faith” urge you to not to point finger at anyone else unless you are perfect in moral conduct. You are correct cent per cent. This statement of yours testifies to the fact that dating in the gardens and plaguing family parks is happening and a wrong thing.
Another thing that was pretty apparent in your blog was the mention of Zaid Hamid etc. I really want to make one thing very clear, not just to you but to all the liberals out there. Zaid Hamid or Maya Khan, they are not the voices of general masses of Pakistan. The irony is that, Pakistan’s media is occupied by the liberals and the voice of majority has been suppressed by the minority. General masses, who are cobblers, shopkeepers, hawkers and 9 to 5 clerks etc don’t have any voice in the media. Liberals having the resources and the skill of manipulating the words in their favour have occupied our voices.
Blogs and papers are full of praises for audacity of Veena Malik for giving her point of view by shedding her clothes. I expect that on this rate, the day will come when pornography will be considered an act of expression or art in Pakistan as well.
We got it all wrong when we envied the industrialization in the West. It is beyond doubt that industrialization brought West from sombreness to brightness. We tried to emulate that and there is no issue in doing that. The problem started when we planned to copy their system in the whole package i.e. their societal values and morals. Democracy comes in a complete package of freedoms but looking at the dynamics of our society, we cannot follow that. A father cannot allow his daughter to roam freely in our society and you know that. We have to admit that we live in a society where people don’t come out on streets due to inflation but when the issue of caricatures of Prophet PBUH occurred, people came out without any leadership. We are descendants of the people, who were part of the biggest movement in the history of sub-continent i.e. Khilafat Movement.
We cannot allow our society to be dictated by the media. Ten years ago, the concept of dating was not much common in Pakistan, only lawyers had a date back then but now every individual is apprised of the date only because of our media. While we move towards modernism, we are cutting down the very foundations of our society. Our youth has gone audacious than ever. Maybe a positive but negative in so many ways.

 The video that started all this