Wednesday, December 31, 2008
This month passed relatively low key in comparison, but the attack moves further south to the city of Lahore. Lahore was previously known as the safe city. Of the 4 major cities in the country, Lahore was the only one safe from such attacks. Quetta and Peshawar for their geographical regions, their tribal system, proximity to the Talibans and Al-Quaida; Karachi for MQM, it's feudal system and political animosity. Lahore had been too south for the talibans, and too up north for the MQM violence to touch it. But over the years, especially since 2006-2007, Lahore has come in it's claws too, and has been victim to severeal such heinous crimes.
1. 5th, Peshawar, N.W.F.P. A car bomb detonated outside a Shia mosque in a central bazaar; 29 dead; 100 injured.
2. 24th, Lahore, Punjab. A bomb explosion on a main road; 1 dead; 14 injured.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
The more severe ones include:
1. 1st, Swat Valley, N.W.F.P. 13+ dead; 7 injured.
2. 6th, Bajaur, FATA. Suicide attack at an anti-Taliban jirga; 16 dead; 31 injured.
3. 21st, Dera Ismail Khan, N.W.F.P. Another Sunni/Shiite hatred result where a bomb exploded in a funeral procession of a Shiite who was shot a day earlier; 5+ dead; 15+ injured.
4. 28th, Bannu, N.W.F.P. Suicide car bomb killed 4 soldiers; 7 dead; 4 injured.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
No matter how small a city, the lives of the people living there is as important as those living in bigger cities, or those with higher ranks. This month has been disgraceful in that regard. The more serious events:
1. 6th, Bhakkar, Punjab. Suicide attack at the member of the Shiite community, Rashid Akbar Khan Nawani, who survived the attack; 25 dead; 60 injured.
2. 9th, Dir District, N.W.F.P. Bomb explosion near a police van carrying prisoners; 4 school children dead of the 11 total deaths.
3. 10th, Bajaur, FATA.Taliban militants behead 4 tribal leaders for attending a pro-government meeting; 81 injured.
4. 10th, Orakzai, FATA. Suicide bomber drove his car into a gathering of 600 people on open ground, and blew himself; 113 dead; 100+ injured.
So BBC put a piece up on air regarding this emerging artist, Sarah Maple. The girl belongs to a mixed background (British/Kenyan), and has created a handful of controversial art-pieces that have led her to receiving death threats. The art gallery she was showcasing at, SaLon, was attacked with a stone thrown at it's window. While talking to an Iraqi female artist, Suad Al-Attar, BBC anchor asked if any artist is subject to death threats. Instead of answering the posed question, Al-Attar went onto voicing her criticism of Sarah, of how bad her artwork in fact is, and how she is after nothing but fame.
Ejaz Aslam of the Muslim Cultural Center, Gravesend, also criticised Sarah for putting up work that is of a highly offensive nature. He specifically mention the piece where a woman in hijab is nursing a piglet, and the two objects are in an obvious contextual contrast.
When I first saw Sarah's work, honestly, I was a little taken aback. I was super excited for her brutality, and her strong images. But at second instance I find myself thinking, she's trying too hard. Then I find myself jumping up and down and applauding her for her big-mouth work. But then I think rationally, and I really feel, her images are not really a representation of the message she is trying to put across. They aren't helping with bridging any differences. There is no peace hidden in them, not even sarcastically. The subject matter is entirely different to what she thinks it is. It really just seems like an identity crisis. She doesn't know what to do, which side to be at, what is acceptable, and what isn't - and this is something many children may go through. I'm not Kenyan, I don't know how difficult is her life in comparison to a British Pakistani. I am also not mixed, but I know a few kids. Mostly they turn out to be respectful and intelligent people. So yeah. Sarah does need some thinking to do as to whether what is it that is really bothering her, and what is she really trying to say.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
It sounds crazy how something so pathetic can be reasonable to anyone. Before I get off the grief of past month's news, here I am infuriating over another.
This time in Sindh, Pakistan, a 17 year old girl, 8-months pregnant, was left at the mercy of killer dogs by her father-in-law, and then shot dead, in front of her father. The girl was accused of bearing a child out of wedlock, the father claimed that the greedy in-laws were after his family's 2.4-hectare farm.
As news reaches the government:
Throughout, the government – which at the time was lobbying Baloch members to support Mr Zardari in the presidential election – conspicuously refrained from taking a tough position. Yusaf Raza Gilani, the prime minister, described the incident only as “extremely disappointing”.
That remained the case even after Mr Zehri wrote a newspaper column on Sept 12 in Jinnah, an Urdu daily newspaper, defending honour killings.
“The involvement of female family members in extramarital sex is intolerable for any honourable man. If a close male relative cannot contain his outrage and kills the perpetrators of such a crime [extramarital sex], he is protected by Baloch laws. As long as he can prove to a tribal council that the crime took place, the jirga [council] must forgive him,” he wrote.
The absolute misfortune of Pakistan is it's feudal system, and it makes up for the foundation of the country's government. Every politician may not be a landlord, but every landlord is by default a politician or connected with politics somehow. And when the situation is so, how can the country's problems ever finish? When the ill of society is born from within this ruling, feudal sickness, I dare to say, how can there then be hope? Anyone who is not from amongst them, anyone who comes with revolutionary thoughts, and goes against corruption, is kicked out.
So if the politicians themselves are pro-honor-killings, then what else is left to say?
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The highlight being a massive attack outside the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad. A dump truck filled with explosives detonated outside the hotel, leaving a 20m X 6m deep crater. Majority of the causalities were Pakistani, but at least 5 foreign nationals also became victim, of which were 2 American military personnel, a Danish intelligence agent, the Czech Ambassador to Pakistan and his Vietnamese companion, and a US State Dept. employee. Among the injured were 6 Germans, 4 Britons and a Filipino receptionist from the hotel.
1. 6th, Peshawar, N.W.F.P. Two suicide attacks; 50+ dead; 80+ injured.
2. 20th, Islamabad, Punjab. Massive suicide car bomb outside the Marriott Hotel; 60+ dead; 250+ injured.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
December 25, 1876 - September 11, 1948
Founder of Pakistan
His Mausoleum in Karachi, Pakistan
Looking at the condition of Pakistan now, sometimes I truly wonder if it would've been better had Pakistan not been created. Is it better to be living in a common land with Hindus, be ruled by them, be a minority to them, and to be maltreated by them. Or is it better to be maltreated and pushed around by your own people? Have we wasted all the efforts of such a great leader, whose entire existence revolved around secularism? Or is there still hope?
And as they say ... "God Bless America and the rest can go to hell"
This topic has wrecked so many brains, I don't even know what else I can say that it would get through to some Obese Ones on the West Side.
I can only pray to God to bestow some sanity and humanity on those desperately lacking.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
Being at the receiving end of the gun is never easy. We've often seen in movies where a barbaric villain crosses all limits to attack and hurt the innocent or the hero. But when the hero turns the situation around, and the villain finds himself frozen at the hero's gunpoint sharply positioned at his forehead, there must be this heart-sinking feeling of how bad he's been, and how much pain he's inflicted. There has to be! If not, then that's not a human we're dealing with.
Anyways. There are a few forms of death that nobody would like to imagine themselves in. Being buried alive is one of them. It's a slow, painful, very scary death. 3 girls, between the ages of 16 and 18, were buried alive in a remote part of Baluchistan, Pakistan, after being shot. The girls were dragged into their pits while still bleeding, and covered with earth and stones. The reason? They wanted to marry a man of their choice.
2 older relatives of the girls were given the same death after they tried to defend the girls.
The worst part of the story being, the Baluchistan government is part of this crime. The province is known for it's tribal lifestyle, and honor killings are very common in the region. It is said that the a Provincial Minister's brother is the tribal chief of the region, and he overlooked into having the girls kidnapped in government vehicles.
In Pakistan's national parliament, an MP from Balochistan Israrullah Zehri said on Friday that "this action was carried out according to tribal traditions", a view backed up by some other male lawmakers, who attacked a woman senator who had raised the case.
"These are centuries-old traditions and I will continue to defend them," Mr Zehri added over the weekend.
This part shocks me each time I read it. Where are the maulanas and the mullahs and the fatwa-passers of the world at this point? Why don't they go beyond merely a condemnation? Why don't they take strict action towards such barabrianism that is defaming Islam? The perpetrators of such crimes are obviously agreeing to the fact that these are ancient traditions of their forefathers that they aren't willing to give up, then where is their sense of reasoning in accordance with Islam? They are making up part of a government that is without a doubt of an Islamic nation. The laws are made keeping Islam in mind. They themselves are Muslims at an individual level. Then why isn't anyone there to punish them? Is the Muslim world sleeping?
The next time I read anything about the Ulimahs of the world talking about enforcement of the Shariah in a non-Muslim country, I've had enough!
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Anyhow. Pakistan's August has witnessed it's own charade of terror; no month goes empty handed.
1. 4th, Sibi, Baluchistan. Remote controlled bomb attached to a parked motor-bike in a main bazaar.
2. 19th, Dera Ismail Khan, N.W.F.P. Suicide bomb outside a hospital.
3. 21st, Wah, Attock District, Punjab. Twin suicide bombing aimed at the Pakistan Ordnance Factories; 63 dead; 81 injured.
4. 23rd, Swat, N.W.F.P. Suicide bomber; 8 policemen dead; several people injured.
Monday, August 25, 2008
I think strawberry is one of the most beautiful fruits, and a beautiful plant as well (as I can tell from the pictures).
Though, come to think of it ... grapes and pomegranates are rather photogenic competitors *hmmm* ... with pomegranate, it's still what's inside that's good-looking, on the outside, it isn't much. But I think the form, texture, and general visual structure is similar ... and that is what's appealing to the eye :D
Saturday, August 16, 2008
And I almost forgot this guy. When I first saw his work, and especially this piece ... I had a *beeeeeeeeeeep* ... lol
Anyhow. This was a time when I had a head-over-heals kinda crush on the color red. So this was just pure *beep*. Yeap :D
I actually ended up making a personal calendar for myself out of his paintings. Got some sizeable digital prints done, and photochopping helped me add the dates :D
I wonder where it is though *thinking hard*
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
I'm not really a big fan; this style of art does not really tickle my fascination. But there is still something about these self-portrait's of hers that I can relate with. Brown skin to start with. This entire idea of an outward prettiness along with thorns seems quite familiar to my own culture. A woman's story! Why don't they just get a life! Constant embarrassment.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
This is such a beautiful and majestic tree. We used to have this outside our house in Lahore, Pakistan. It was a rather old one, and it's trunk was quite wide. The houses in that neighborhood were formed around a semi-circle, and the tree stood tall in the middle of it all. It was big enough to cast a shadow in the entire area. Such a calming shade in summer time, almost paternal. And I guess all of us have gone through the smelly process of cleaning out skeletons of it's leaves ... beautiful :)