My Life Random thoughts

Disheartening times.

Met Zaheer Salam of Ferozsons Publishers Ltd. after a long time.

Honestly, seeing the current political scenario in Pakistan, one does feel disheartened. Its sad, but that is how it feels. When all that you have believed in, and all that you’ve lived by is turned upside down. When suddenly black is white and white is black, you wonder where you stand in all this. If you read my last post here Election scenario Pakistan 2024, you must be wondering what happened next? Yes, I ended my last post with ‘news of massive rigging.’ Yes, the massive rigging continued all night and next morning. All the results were actually changed.

We saw leaked videos of blatant fraud taking place in different polling stations. Candidates being under house arrest or beaten up, and made to give up their phones. My friends’ two brothers and one nephew were standing for these elections. The two brothers standing up as independents were made to sit in one room and wait. While the other one who had stood up as a representative of PMLN lost his election too. Last one was a surprise, as PMLN candidates were being given extra votes to ‘win’. So, there was another reason here.

Outrageous scale of riggings

In all my life, in every election one heard of such things but never at this scale. Never. This time it was complete chaos. Actually, Imran Khan had received a sweeping victory. Everyone (except a very few) had voted for Imran Khan’s candidates, mostly standing up as ‘Independents’. How can you have an election by putting a prime candidate in jail? They took his symbol of bat away too. No one was allowed to show Imran Khan’s photograph or share on social media. Their flag couldn’t be shown either. That is a big thing in a country where 40% of people are illiterate. Still, they managed to win.

 Whereas Imran Khan was concerned, he won this election and it was on television clearly.

Then there was confusion. Naturally, when a candidate has won with clear majority on 8th February, and suddenly you rig the results and by 9th you say the result is different, people are and were furious and they protested. They were treated harshly, and I saw that one man had even been killed in the street. I’m sure there were more.

Illegal results of election

So, in short the election was illegally ‘won’ by PMLN and PPP and others. I’d say, the ‘self-made’ representatives were seen on television planning on who will be president and who will be prime minister. Utter rubbish.

All of them have not respected the sanctity of the vote.

They have cheated their way into the presidency and post of prime minister. The daughter of Nawaz Sharif has become the Chief Minister of Punjab.

Literally, one feels cheated, violated and abused.

Why the surprise?

Come to think of it, this shouldn’t have come as a surprise. After all, what do you expect from a people who have jailed the primary candidate in elections, put up false cases against him, banned his flag, photograph, name from being taken. Their candidates are given demeaning symbols like shoe, green chillies, and (water) tap. Each candidate having a different symbol.

Still, Imran Khan’s followers were so well organized that they managed to use social media positively and communicate everything to their supporters. Everyone turned up for the elections to vote which was a 48% voters participation.  

Gave the crooks a tough time that night in having to spend an entire night sabotaging the votes.

Painful times all over the world

Meanwhile killings in Palestine continued in Gaza and rest of Palestine. Daily we have seen the blood curdling accounts of bombings, killings, starvation of millions of Palestinian men, women and children. We are watching a genocide happening in real time, and are helpless to stop it. How does that feel?

A couple of days ago an American airman Aaron Bushnell set himself on fire in front of the Israeli Embassy in protest of what is happening in Palestine, (this genocide is being aided by American government.) He died, while protesting ‘free Palestine.’ He left a will wanting his savings to be given to a fund to help Palestinian children. This is a painful time to be living in. Whether you are in Pakistan or anywhere else.

It maybe noted, that while government officials make decisions, the majority of people are humane and very sympathetic. They came out in millions to express their feelings and asking for an immediate ceasefire.

This proves the majority of Americans, Canadians, British, even Jews of Israel, and those living in other countries, were all asking for the ceasefire. This is very heartening.

The good guys all over the world are very much there today, only they are helpless. Its the same in Pakistan.

Coming to new terms with life:

Its okay.

Everything is okay.

Only one’s heart is screaming out, ‘is this okay?’

Flashback of 1971 elections: 

Bad times have come before also. In Pakistan, in 1971 there were elections and Mujeeb-ur-Rehman had won, but Bhutto said, that he had won in West Pakistan and so he is the winner. Had he not contested the results, and accepted the results of the elections; mandate of the majority been accepted, who knows, we would still have been a united Pakistan, with East Pakistan and West Pakistan. Most probably we would still have been united.

There are dire consequences of negating the mandate of the majority of the people. So, just after twenty-five years after independence of Pakistan, we broke into two and Bangladesh was the outcome.

It happened because the sanctity of the vote wasn’t respected.

That is what I’m fearing now.  When the clear mandate of a country’s population is blatantly rejected, there is bound to be an outcome. I wish people would just respect the outcome of the election and go according to the wishes of the majority. Otherwise, why hold elections, if you aren’t going to respect the outcome of it?

All we can do is try to make the best of things in the middle of all this. Realize what we can do and what we can’t.

My trip to Lahore.

I was presented with the Tedx plaque and certificate along with many gifts by sponsors.

Life is good. I was invited by Kinnaird College to speak for their Tedxkinnaird. So I went to Lahore on 22nd and made a vlog of the whole trip, after I returned on 25th March.

I just love traveling.

My Lahore trip was a real success. Loved it. My friends are such amazing darlings, they gave me a whale of a time. As usual, I stayed with Riffat and Naim Bhai.  

Here I am with Riffat, she is a gem of a friend of mine. I always stay with her. We are part of a group of five, who were the Related Arts Department in 1977 -1979. We are still together.

I met all of my friends. Fairy and Fitrat came to the Tedx Talks, and it was great. (I had probably gone there in 1976, almost forty-seven years ago!) Imagine! I had gone from my College of Home Economics then.  It was great seeing the college building now, it was beautiful with re-done up brick façade.

 The Principal Dr. Ruksana David, was also one of the speakers. A team had been designated to facilitate me. It was wonderful being connected to them, they gave me all the support and very intelligent feedback, which I respected a lot.

I was happy to see the response to my talk was wonderful. It is a beautiful hall, with semi-circle seating. My #49th vlog has all the trip in it. Hopefully when the Talk has been edited, it will be uploaded.

Meeting with my publisher:

Met Zaheer Salam and showed him my own publications. He is going to have these in his shops now. You can check them out at Ferozsons shops in Lahore.

On 23rd March at 3.00 pm, after the rehearsals at Kinnaird College, Riffat and I met Zaheer Salam and Daniyal at Ferozsons. It was a good meeting. They will be putting up my own publications in their Lahore shops also.

Zaheer Salam was happy to see the work that I’m doing, and appreciated the quality of publication of Tulip of Sinai and Message from the East. If you are a light reader then Tulip of Sinai is for you, and if you are very interested in works of Allama Iqbal, then you can take the latter.

My latest illustrated publication of Allama Iqbal’s Message from the East. Complete book’s translation in English by M. Hadi Hussain, 2023. (One hundred years after original publication in 1923.)

Tulip of Sinai was illustrated and
published in 2017

What next?

Now, I’m all set to go to Abbottabad tomorrow to go to a Writer’s Retreat. I’ve always wanted to do it, and was thrilled to hear of it. Nyla Daud a senior author, arranged extra rooms for me, when I expressed my desire to join them, even though the number had got completed. So, I’m looking forward to that tomorrow. It would be from 1st till 4th of March. The weather forecast is of extreme cold in those days, what if it snows? I love snow. But I hope I’ll be cosy and warm.

Yes, spring is coming.

Stay blessed, my dear Reader, stay blessed.

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