I can't decide who was more evil: Bhutto, or the man who overthrew and executed him (Zia). While we can never forgive Bhutto for his indiscriminate nationalization of industries and colleges, which set the country back by 50 years, Zia dealt the death blow to education. The rampant illiteracy we see today is due not only to nationalization of colleges, Zia's so-called Islamization policies have a lot to do with it.

I was talking to a man who proudly boasts of having two degrees, but who can't write a sentence in English. He (being a member of a religious, fundamentalist party), naturally thinks that a man and a woman working alone in an office, do nothing but engage in sexual intercourse all the time. He once told me that this kind of thing happens in multi-storeyed buildings, when most men are at work, and their wives have sex with their unmarried male neighbors. When he saw the picture of men and women having lunch together at a restaurant in Saudi Arabia, he immediately said they would soon be indulging in sexual intercourse right there, now that the veil is no longer mandatory and segregation is no longer compulsory. 

What really got my goat was when he said that he has seen naked men and women fornicating in Karachi's streets at eight in the morning, because now (according to him) there is a law which prevents cops from arresting them. I asked him to go to a lawyer and get a copy of this "law" (which, according to him, was promulgated by Musharraf). I know that he was referring to Musharraf's instructions to the cops not to arrest couples for sitting on a bench in the parks or sitting next to each other in movies. In fact, the other day, the police at Karachi airport refused to allow a woman to travel alone to Saudi Arabia, as they thought it was still mandatory for women to be accompanied by close male relatives. In Zia's days, couples were asked by the police to show their marriage certificates, and were arrested if they were not married. Often the women were taken to another room and gang-raped. 

With such people around, no wonder there are no tourists coming to Pakistan. 


‘Halal’ corruption!

DECEMBER 9, 2019


After a very long time, we heard some good news. Petrol prices were decreased by 25 paisas per litre. My petrol consumption being about a hundred litres every month, I’ll be able to save the princely amount of 25 rupees in December, with which I’ll be able to buy one tomato and gift it to my wife on her birthday (assuming that tomato prices don’t shoot up from Rs 200 to Rs 300 per kg again).


It’s surprising that even after about 16 months of misgovernance, one does occasionally come across people, who still think highly of the Great Khan. I was subjected to a lot of abuse the other night when two men reacted violently when I questioned why no action was being taken by the government against Malik Riaz, the man who had to surrender the equivalent of 40 billion rupees to the UK’s National Crime Agency.
If instead of Riaz, it had been anyone opposed to Mr Clean’s government, he would have been immediately locked up in a small cell and charged with money laundering.

Remember when the Great Khan told the Chief Justice in public about there being double standards, the rich being treated leniently while the poor being punished? He insinuated this had happened when Nawaz Sharif was allowed to leave the country for medical treatment.

Well, it’s no different from what the Dear Leader is himself doing. As far as accountability is concerned, as the Chief Justice said, “It is one-sided.”

Everyone knows only those belonging to the opposition parties have been charged by NAB, while those who are in the government remain untouched.
I suggest that a new term, “halal corruption,” be used for corruption by those who are in the PTI or those who joined the PTI and its government even though Imran Khan used to call them highly corrupt (for some of them, he used the word “dacoits”). They will remain free, without any action being taken against them, as long as this “clean” government is in power. So you can bet that even though some PTI big shots have properties situated near the one seized by the UK’s National Crime Agency, it will be considered “halal corruption.” Again, the foreign funding case against the PTI as well as the corruption in the construction of the Peshawar Metro (BRT) is “halal,” which is why the PTI has approached the courts to prevent NAB and the FBI from investigating the matter. I don’t think this ever happened in the State of Madina.
Talking about the great property tycoon, Riaz, who claimed 40 billion rupees were surrendered to the UK’s National Crime Agency to repatriate back to Pakistan as a part of the penalty of Rs 460 billion, imposed on him by the apex court, the Dear Leader’s minions are strangely silent on the issue. Since the man surrendered 190 million pounds to a crime agency, you can be sure he did so because he couldn’t prove that the money was legally earned. But no, he assumes we are morons and will not ask him to explain how all that money was transferred from Pakistan to the UK.
As for the 40 billion received by the government and initially deposited with the Supreme Court, shouldn’t the government use a part of this money to compensate those who were forcibly evicted from their lands for the construction of Bahria Town? What about those who were killed while resisting the illegal occupation of their ancestral villages, so that Riaz could make his billions? Surely they, too, deserve justice? Oh, I forgot, as the Great Khan himself said, there is one kind of justice for the rich, another kind for the poor.
Finally, since the great Riaz appears to be the most powerful man in the country, why not print his picture on our currency notes?
The writer is an engineer, a former visiting lecturer at NED Engineering College