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Analysing how PSL squads could be better

This article was originally published on Cricingif here:

The second season of the PSL is in full swing, and once again the Sharjah leg has added more life to the competition. The teams have been constantly experimenting with their playing XIs and whereas teams like Islamabad have settled into their ideal combination early, others haven’t been so lucky. Let’s have a look at each side and what they could do differently.

Islamabad United

Islamabad’s plan has been simple. Stack the top with batsmen from the foreign players’ category and use quality local bowlers. This has resulted in Islamabad playing with Dwayne Smith, Brad Haddin, Shane Watson and Sam Billings in the top 5. What really works for Islamabad is that out of this top 5, they also get a genuine all-rounder, a part time medium pacer and their wicket keeper. This depth defines their team.

While their choice of replacing Sharjeel with Riffatullah might be questionable, his selection as opener increases the team’s batting depth with Watson or Misbah slotting in at 6. Alternatively, with Billings now gone, Duckett can easily slot in as an opener. For Islamabad to get the most out of Misbah, he should bat no lower than 4. With Watson at 5 and Asif Ali / Hussain Talat playing at 6, Islamabad are well settled.

Their bowling is strong enough that depending on the match details and Irfan and Sami having permanent spots, they can try a variety of combinations without weakening their playing XI e.g. choosing Ammad Butt or Imran Khalid for the lower order all-rounder; playing both Ajmal and Shadab for a spin heavy attack; or dropping a spinner and playing Rumman Raees to focus on pace.

Peshawar Zalmi

Peshawar can make a lot of changes to their side. Let’s begin by mentioning the elephant in the room – Mohammad Hafeez – who must be dropped from the top order. In 5 innings, he has scored just 29 runs! Instead of playing him, Tamim Iqbal and Kamran Akmal form a perfectly fine opening combination.

Zalmis have persisted with Sohaib Maqsood whose game is a bit lost right now. His tally is 35 runs from 4 matches, out of which 30* was made in a single innings. Stats aside, he just hasn’t looked like he belongs at this level. On the other hand, Iftikhar Ahmed’s playing too high at 3; it’s a position where they must look at Haris Sohail to beef up their batting. With Morgan gone, I would pick Andre Fletcher ahead of Marlon Samuels in a pure slogger role at 4.

With Shakib-ul-Hasan at 5, either Iftikhar or Hafeez can come in at 6, where they may or may not be required to bat dependent on whether Afridi or Sammy need to be given more overs. To maximize their batting potential, Zalmis who often get stuck in the middle overs, must give Afridi more overs to bat regardless of match situation. If Fletcher, Afridi and Sammy are given more time in the middle, they can turn things around. With Wahab Riaz and Hasan Ali as easy selections, Asghar Ali can complete their bowling attack and must be played. If an extra pacer is required, they can replace Fletcher with Chris Jordan or one of Iftikhar or Hafeez with Junaid Khan; neither decision is likely to weaken their batting.

Lahore Qalandars

Jason Roy’s departure leaves a big hole in the Qalandars’ side. Brendon McCullum will mostly likely return as opener alongside Fakhar Zaman. Following them should be Umar Akmal, Grant Elliot, Cameron Delport and Mohammad Rizwan to complete the batting. Umar is a natural choice at 3 regardless of the match situation. Elliot is a better batsman than given credit for and should bat at 4 for Qalandars.

Sunil Narine, Sohail Tanvir, Yasir Shah and Muhammad Irfan (jnr.) are expected to play each game unless Baz wants to see what the spinners Usman Qadir or Zafar Gohar have to offer. It’s a bit of a downer for Zafar who’s a talented spinner and looked good in the previous season but cannot find a place in the team with Baz preferring a leggie. Narine’s hitting form gives Baz a special edge & he might be content in playing Narine at 7 to include an additional spinner, or a seamer like Bilawal Bhatti. However, this has backfired at times for Qalandars this season, a problem which can be fixed by playing Aamer Yamin – a promising all-rounder who can bowl with the new ball and provide an additional batting option at 7.

Karachi Kings

It’s time to for the Kings to drop Chris Gayle and try other options. Kumar Sangakkara and Babar Azam seem to have clicked as openers. Ravi Bopara must come at 3 as he can bat aggressively against quality bowling, followed by Shoaib Malik.

Kieron Pollard’s being wasted down the order and can play a big role in Karachi overcoming the middle overs rut. He must play in a floating role, coming in at no lower than at 5 to make maximum impact. If Pollard feels like an unaffordable luxury as he isn’t bowling much, playing Mahela Jayawardena as opener would be an ideal boost to Karachi’s batting. Sangakkara can then move at 3, pushing Bopara and Malik one position lower.

Karachi should look to play Imad Wasim and Ryan McLaren – two high impact all-rounders – in the team. Karachi’s core bowling attack is now evident: Sohail Khan, Mohammad Amir, Usama Mir and Usman Shenwari. For slow pitches however, they can experiment with playing a spinner in place of Usman.

Quetta Gladiators

Quetta has done well again despite their selection which has been strangely muddled this season. They stuck with Asad Shafiq as opener for 4 games who’s done nothing in the past that inspires confidence in his T20 batting. In the 5th game, Saad Nasim, a promising middle order batsman and leg spin all-rounder played as opener and didn’t bowl a single over. This decision came despite the fact that Rilee Rossouw, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Luke Wright have all opened at the international level. In their last game against Lahore, they played 3 left arm finger spinners (Mohammad Nawaz, Hassan Khan and Zulfiqar Babar) and a right-arm finger spinner (Mahmudullah), and two seaming all-rounders.

Quetta must cement its choice of openers. Rossouw is well equipped to open with Ahmed Shahzad. Following KP and Sarfaraz, Saad Nasim can slot in at 5, a position that suits him more. If Sarfaraz is more comfortable with Rossouw in the middle order, they have an opener ready in Luke Wright, who also bowls medium fast. Umar Amin can play if either Saad or Nawaz fail to perform, however, Quetta must retain the afore-mentioned batting order for the top 4.

With Nawaz, Thisara Perera or Mahmudullah and Anwar Ali to follow, there’s enough firepower to play bowlers Hassan Khan, Tymal Mills and Mir Hamza / Zulfiqar. It is strange that a bowler of Mir Hamza’s caliber is yet to play this season. For the right balance, Quetta can play only one of Perera, Mahmudullah and Wright, as Rossouw, KP and Mills are undroppable. This gives Quetta enough bowling options to hide bowlers that aren’t having a good day. Though their bowling is weak, clever manoeuvring will ensure success.

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Umpiring Blindspot – Why Ben Stokes was rightly aggrieved

There was much furore around the dismissal of Ben Stokes in the 2nd ODI of the post-Ashes bilateral series between England and Australia, where he was given out obstructing the field, a decision which proved to be pivotal in the game as England were never able to recover from that point.

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The 3rd umpire Wilson probably judged the decision using Law 37, which states that a batsman is out obstructing the field if he willfully strikes the ball with his hand, unless it is to avoid injury. The key part of the law if a decision is to be made in favour of field obstruction is that the contact with a throw must be deliberate and the ball must be judged as heading towards the stumps. I of course, feel that Ben Stokes was not out.

There’s a worrying absence of street-smart thinking in the umpiring world these days. The whole affair occurred at very high speed, from the delivery to the straight drive to the throw to the sway out of line by the batsman. Everything that happened after the shot was essentially about instinct and reflex action. I can’t imagine the umpire not being swayed into the decision by the slow motion replays.

Using evidence from the slow motion action replays to assess the batsman’s intention (which is only indicative evidence anyways) is fundamentally flawed, considering Stokes had to evade the throw within a fraction of a second. In that fraction of a second, he used his hand to save himself. If you have a look at the replays in the video above, the ball was hurled at Stokes’ right shoulder. Hence he first moves his hands towards the ball to block it from hitting the shoulder, and instinctively also moves his shoulder out of the way by turning his body sideways. Starc’s throw was such that the ball swung from its initial line hence Stokes’ outstretched hands instinctively followed it. Stokes was already moving his head backwards when the ball hit the gloves. He was not in direct sight of the throw which to me is the most convincing evidence that Stokes’ reaction was evasion and self-protection and not obstructing the field.

I am guessing here that ultimately it was the still shot at the point of contact of the ball with hand that swayed the umpire’s decision towards giving it out. However, I believe still shots are never the solution for these cases. Viewed in isolation, it doesn’t show that the ball was hurled at the body initially and that the natural swing of the throw and movement of Stokes’ right shoulder made it look as if the ball was actually very far from Stokes’ body. As a reaction triggered by your stimulus, you generally follow the ball when you’re faced with a split second decision. It’s similar to when you are playing a ball that swings out late; you don’t deliberately follow the ball, the hand adjustment is pure instinct. Hence not out for me. The way I see it, there’s no deliberate attempt from Stokes to obstruct the throw. As a fellow cricket enthusiast put it, it is absurd to think he could obstruct a ball thrown at such pace and from that distance, with the objective to save his wicket in that split second. Adding on to his comments, there seems to be a serious mistrust of cricketers.

I think the umpire was too quick to reach a decision. If we only have to look at replays in black and white, for example where the ball is at point of contact, why do we even need an ICC umpire for this job? Surely in this case, the real umpiring skill should be to assess the body and ball movements that transpired before the contact to judge Stokes’ deliberation? In accounting principles, we are repeatedly reminded to use substance over form in making decisions related to the standards governing financial reporting. Surely the umpires who are highly trained should be exercising their judgement on the substance of such incidents? Surely they have a bigger responsibility than interpreting standards in black and white, especially when judging deliberate intent?

Remember this?

Remember this?

In my opinion, this decision has simply added to the increasing number of woeful decisions made by the 3rd umpires in recent times. The recent run out dismissal of James Anderson in the 2015 World Cup comes to mind. And who can forget that legendary 2005 run out decision given after Inzamam had involuntarily stepped out of the crease while taking evasive action against Harmison’s throw?

The Neural Connection with Wahab Riaz

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Ever had an experience where you are not really there, but you are there? A moment stuck in time where in the thrill of witnessing what someone is doing, the ‘why’ of that performance is lost in between? Let me rephrase the question, have you ever had the experience of watching a Pakistani fast bowler attempt to defend a small total?

At the biggest stage, in front of a large hostile crowd cheering on the home side, and in a country which truly values devastating fast bowling, Wahab Riaz came up with a performance so animalistic in nature, the players watching it in the stadium, the 30,000 plus crowd present in the stadium, and the millions watching it on the television will remember it for years to come.

Wahab’s bowling was filled with such undisguised anger, it was a near miracle he didn’t lose control of his bowling or his temper, either through the 6 overs of his first spell nor in 2 of the 3 overs he bowled in his second spell. It was difficult to ascertain what Wahab was angrier about. His bowling seemed a direct response to both, his team’s run-of-the-mill insipid batting and the sledging from the Aussies who had hounded him every minute he was on the crease. Perhaps the Australians sensed that in the absence of Irfan, disarming Wahab was the key, and continued their tradition of going for the head of the snake. In that, they ended up complimenting him, perhaps inadvertently reaffirming Wahab of his status and value to the opposition. And oh how the head of the snake responded.

The first 8 overs were captivating yes, but one felt a slight uneasiness, inevitability even, as if the real showdown which was to come was expected. When would Misbah introduce Wahab? What could he do? The tension Wahab brought with himself was visible in Warner’s first shot, a mistimed punch off the back foot off a short and wide delivery that went for three runs. Another wild bouncer followed and was called a wide. And then Wahab struck, a short rising ball which Warner could not control, caught ironically in hindsight, by Rahat at third-man. Enters Michael Clarke. Wahab is touching 90 mph in his first over. A short-leg fielder comes up to say hello. The fourth ball of the second over is venomous, it is a cruise missile aimed at the narrow length between Clarke’s neck and the top of his head. Wahab cruelly choses to exploit Clarke’s weak back. Clarke could only fend off the ball to forward short-leg. And Wahab had burst the door open. Angry. Fast. And hungry for more.

Wahab that day was in complete sync with the most quintessential of human instincts; that of the hunter. Wahab’s rhythmic run up and delivery was hypnotizing. Your pulse raced with the rise and fall of his own. As a spectator on TV, you felt your emotions spilling over, blood boiling and body temperature rising a few degrees as the force of Wahab’s aura overwhelmed everything else. In that moment, you felt a part of your soul had formed a neural connection of sorts with Wahab and the full impact of his anger, frustration, aggression and desperation hit you like a freight train.

Wahab - 50 fucking shades of crazy

Wahab – 50 fucking shades of crazy

As Wahab sent in bouncer after bouncer and Watson hung on for dear life, as he hushed the vocal crowd who must have sensed a slight element of fear, as he was delightfully reminding Watson about the bat he had come out with and bullying him in his strong zone, he transcended the match result itself, the runs needed, and the other players on the field. You were moved by one man’s barely believable confidence in his own skill to challenge and dominate an opponent. The bouncers were of such high quality pace and accuracy, for a moment you’d have thought this was Bodyline in Adelaide 1932-33, Harold Larwood at the bowling crease and Douglas Jardine his captain. With two close-in catchers on the leg side, Misbah certainly did what was allowed. Judging by Wahab’s accuracy, in hindsight, he could probably have had all others come around the bat at catching positions and Watson still wouldn’t have been able to get him away. Among the many that were there to watch the spectacle, it seemed there were only two. Then and there, the world must have been a lonely place for Watson.
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Australia v Pakistan: Quarter Final - 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup


That Wahab couldn’t inflict more damage through the wickets column was due to fielding of such poor standards it should be termed criminal. Also, the resilience of Watson and Smith cannot be ignored. One can only imagine what would have become of the Pakistani batting unit had they faced such a ferocious spell of bowling. As Wahab returned for a second spell with the game almost lost, he gave Pakistan one more chance to make amends. Maxwell made an ugly attempt at a pull / swat that went high towards third man. Predictably, this attempt to catch the ball was even worse. Wahab, so visibly in anguish, let out another pained scream and the World Cup was over. The rest was just semantics, the last rites of one of those many ‘what-if’ games Pakistan has been a part of. Coach Waqar may consider putting an arm around Wahab, and let him know why he and Wasim only concentrated on LWBs and Bowleds.

With the chaotic management and injustice both prior to, and during the first 2 games of the World Cup, I had tried to disassociate myself from the team’s cricket, dispassionately declaring for a need to lose 0-6 in the group stages so that the disease which plagues Pakistan cricket does not remain covered. A friend asked me the day after the match that why was I so emotional about the result now, and I could only respond with a phrase fast becoming legend, courtesy of some very Pakistani cricket journalists and fans, “Kya karun yaar, Pace is Pace Yaar (What to do man, Pace is Pace man).”

Almost feels like a Wahab slow-clap -

Almost feels like a Wahab slow-clap –

An exploratory MHB fan …

So I’ve been listening to Mekaal Hasan Band for some years now. It started with a wierd private website that doesn’t even exist now, where I found a very very raw audio feed of a Mekaal Hasan Band jam, labelled ‘Late Moon’. And that song was enough to make me fall in love with its music.

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THe song that I’ve shared is ‘Sampooran‘- here’s to hoping you love the baansri (flute) on this one as much as I did. This song is beautiful, and eternal …

So, what do you think?

Enough of Karachi’s trial-and-error!

I sincerely hope that all those who dream of military revolutions and military rule put an end to their delusional image of military forces. I mean, if not now, what is it going to take for people to realize, that this takeover of cities by military power is not the answer ? I mean, heck, an unarmed cab driver was shot to death like a dog right in the middle of Gulistan-e-Jauhar Karachi. How close do you want them to come ? How close ?

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We have the Police, that are trained to handle issues in the city. However inept they may be, however corrupt they may be, no matter how much we pillory them, please do not forget that they are the only forces that are trained to deal with civilians. Their whole hierarchy, training programs and the way command flows is modelled to make them capable of handling problems of the city, caused by citizens. This is THE reason why you generally employ Police in the cities and your armed forces / Rangers / FC Corps on the borders or on strategic missions. What muddled policymakers allow uncivlized, armed and schizophrenic madmen to take over the security matters of a city ? Does no one truly understand how dangerous military presence is in the cities ? Their minds and bodies, their stimulus is not trained to react or process civilian problems. This is not the first case that has happened in a city. Military forces, and specially Pakistan Rangers are notorious for their brutal treatment of citizens. This is the 3rd major incident of civilian kills from the Rangers. A little while back, a young man was similarly killed in Shah Faisal Colony. And don’t forget the murder 2 years back of a suspected robber that was already caught and bound, in Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Park Clifton! karachi-incident-rangers-atc-1324298967
Mentally-ill armed security officers are dangerous for the city. They place citizens under further terror and I do not know how I would feel the next time a Ranger’s team stops me for checking. You, my friends should be terrified of the thought.

This should not end with the prosecution of responsible personnel that finished off the cab driver. This is not a problem of a specific individual. Surely after all these deaths, we should realise the malaise has penetrated far deeper? It is an event that was waiting to happen. Sooner or later, civilians were going to die at the hands of the Rangers. Unruly wild animals are tamed. You do not send stampeding elephants to crush them, killing anything and anyone in their path. And a city of Pakistan, for all practical purposes, is a fucking jungle. It is high time our politicians take a brave stand and withdraw the stationing of armed forces from the cities. Let’s not be confused into thinking the Rangers or other military forces are free from corruption. What difference in the end does it make if its Police or the Rangers? People are still getting killed aren’t they? Places are still getting bombed right? Rangers are stationed in my locality 24/7 and yet people are robbed, looted, abducted everyday. Land mafias keep gaining strength, and from time to time conduct high profile shootouts. Did anyone stop the violence? Not really!

Does the general public still not get it that they’re stationing serves no purpose in the cities? One way or the other, our police forces will have to be the ones to patrol the city. They are the ones that will need a proper cleansing and a comprehensive upheaval of their working systems, otherwise there is no hope for any of us. Someday it could be you, or your child, or someone you know. A lot of people roam around in Karachi. Too many.

Hollywood made a wonderful movie ‘The Siege’ starring Bruce Willis and Denzel Washington which highlighted most beautifully, the exact problem of imposing military rule in the cities. People in denial about the armed forces should watch the movie and the videos of civilian kills made by our Rangers. They should. This video should be engraved in their minds so they know what such ruthless killers are capable of and why they should never be allowed to roam in uniforms in the cities or get involved in political games. This recent killing is as damning an evidence of their ugly face as any.

You cannot solve a chronic disease by giving it a quick fix. I am not supporting our lackluster police here, but it is them that needs to be bettered. The general public is not less endangered with the presence of Rangers. Now with this event, it has been proved that perhaps, they are more endangered than before.

Pakistan and specially Karachi, can endure no more trial-and-errors. Since no parties have done good, lay faith in the military? I dont think so. There will be no answer or an end to this madness, unless we stop doing that. This country will either rise through these very political parties or it will keep meandering on, with our blood sucked out of every vein, till we can give no more.

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Anguish of a repressed child

There are many children who face the anguish of repression in childhood. Repression that damages them to some extent permanently. The problem seems to exist in Pakistan deeper than most countries. Perhaps this is how such a child thinks?



I sit here hurt, anguished and spent. Sometimes I just wish I had different parents. What’s
the point of being so knowledgable if you cannot keep ur child happy? My parents, drowned in fake pools of masochism. Unrelenting, spiteful and desperate to be in contol.

Remorseless?
Hard to say. I am trapped in this circle of forced love, forced respect and forced obedience. Sick of trying to get them to understand who I am. I am rebellious. I am outspoken about my beleifs and ideas. What’s wrong with that?

All I wanted was a fair system. Isnt justice my right? Is it so big a crime that everytime I stand up, I’m struck on the head, and reminded that I feed off HIS balls?
What about values? Integrity? Do I have to kiss upto them for even that basic right? Does exercising your authority makes a man out of someone?

The saddest truth is – I dont respect them. And it will be a cold day in hell when I accept that I never wanted to. I did. So badly. They just never stopped the mental assault. Always the pure Islamic mind. Child MUST obey. Child MUST give in. They are indestructible, impregnable. Never wrong. Always the light of wisdom. We, are vermin. Born to have sand kicked in our face. As unimportant as bits of meat stuck in the teeth. As pale an existence as that of a phantom.

A Gilgiti Evening – Picture of Serenity

This is a picture I took from outside my room in Serena Hotel when I was in Gilgit in the November of 2011. It had just started to snow in the mountains.
I use the pictures I took during my stay in Gilgit to soothe myself when I am undergoing a spell of depression or general sadness. These pictures always help me feel relieved. The beauty of this place serves to cleanse my soul of the rotting that excessive stress can cause, and reinvigorates it once again. It makes me once again yearn for better things, for hope …

The battle for Karachi – a fight for our rights!

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Contrary to popular belief, General Elections were held in Karachi too. Well, atleast one party says so. The others claim that elections were never held in Karachi. And by God, we the citizens of Karachi, bear witness to it.

The people of Karachi were misguided to think their vote actually meant something. They were misguided to think if they step out of their homes to do what they can for change, somebody is actually going to care. The state, the judiciary, the media, all seem impervious to the state of Karachi and the strong resentment that Karachiites are filled with, against the rigging.

Jamaat-e-Islami and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the two large parties after MQM in Karachi, have taken the mantle for demanding re-elections in Karachi. And public sentiments are with them. Infact, perhaps that is the reason why no one is interested. Perhaps if a militia-backed party had violated Karachi streets in protests, the way they did on Election Day, Pakistan and its stakeholders would have been interested.

The bottom line is this : Karachi revolted. The vote bank of MQM is shifting. These elections were a chance for Karachi to let parties know they cannot terorrise and rule over them much longer. Their electoral revolt however, was cruelly stifled and killed. The powers in government / establishment it seems, don’t really care about Karachi. We have been handed back to the rule of tyranny. It seems Karachi has not shed enough tears, has not lost enough blood.

Even though Karachi contributes massively to Pakistan’s economy, and continues to display unflinching resilience in their daily lives, it seems the people of Karachi have been assigned to the dustbins of Pakistan’s national matters. Are just and fair elections really too much to ask? Is it too much to ask of the media to give fair coverage to the undeniable expression of truth on the streets of Karachi that the elections were massively and shamefully rigged, and that the current results DO NOT represent the mandate of the people?

A lot of pseudo-intellectuals have done nothing but expressed dissent over the protests, mocking it as unruly behaviour and a means to disturb the stability of Karachi. How stable exactly, is Karachi in its current state may I ask? How safe is it for a citizen to roam on the streets? How safe is it for someone to question illegal protection money, and the use of force to effect acquiescence?

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Why does the protests of JI and PTI irk you so much? Which of their demands does not seem reasonable? Why has fighting for your rights become such a degradable concept? Did the people who mock us really think change would come without any agitation? Did you have in mind that people were going to smile and accept the absolute thuggery displayed on the polling stations? The whole city witnessed first hand the hi-jacking of polling stations, the by-force ballot paper stamping, the stamps without ID cards, the screening of pro-MQM voters and the theft of polling rights of the people who weren’t. What, did the people mocking the protests think no one is going to revolt?

Loopholes in ECP preparations were already made before elections. JI most of all, had repeatedly highlighted the pre-polls manipulation being orchestrated in Karachi. JI’s decision to boycott elections, questioned by many, has now proved right. MQM is pushing to grant re-elections only in NA 250, the seat where PTI made its stand by not boycotting. However, PTI stance has to be respected. These political games are new to them and Karachi is a deadly game. Keeping that in mind, PTI has responded admirably and courageously, led by Arif Alvi. He has emerged as a fine leader in the wake of Imran Khan’s injury. He has connected with the people and given Karachi a new voice. People may degrade this as a burger movement, but it is far from it. It seems people have wanted to stand against Muttehda’s domination for years and now they have got a voice they feel proudly affiliated with.

It is very disturbing to see that in crunch time, the very torchbearers of democracy and freedom are questioning Karachi’s right to exercise their freedom of choice. All those expressing dissent at Karachi protests, know that if we succeed, you will go down in the footnotes of history as people who indirectly backed oppression and the bullying of Karachi citizens.

Re-elections in Karachi are not important only for the number of seats to be gained. They are important because it is Karachi’s right to choose fairly. Even if MQM wins and they probably will, re-elections are called for in the belief that the results will show the true representation of the political parties involved.

Victories of nearly 200,000 votes affected through rigging are an effective method to stifle hope in Karachiites. Victory by small margins on the other hand, will give Karachi hope. And by God, if fair elections are held, Karachi will prove just how close they have come to ousting corrupt parties from power in Karachi.

PTI Shahra-e-Faisal Dharna - joined by Dr. Merajul Huda JI

PTI Shahra-e-Faisal Dharna – joined by Dr. Merajul Huda JI

The people of Karachi, quite frankly, are frustrated. They are tired. I was there at Shahra-e-Faisal, people are ready to stand for something. That is an acheivement. They are tired of being mugged, tired of being killed, tired of being held hostage to the whims of non-representative political clashes. Most importantly, people find it impossible to wait for another five years for justice. For if they back down now, who can guarantee the next General Elections will not be rigged?

Muttehda, through media statements in the last three days have shown Karachi how they have alienated the people of Karachi from rest of Pakistan. Terming the protests burger, and a clash of classes, is the rhetoric they have used to maintain the safety of its voters. These are bold statements, when you consider Sardar Nabeel Gabol’s transformation into Nabeel Gabol Bhai. Today, we are nothing. Just heartbroken citizens of Karachi. Our city remains hi-jacked.

This is a call from a wronged Karachiite. Keep the protests going! Day 4 – PTI and JI keep the anti-rigging protests ALIVE.

The problem with PTI supporters

In all certainty, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf seems to be heading towards majorly shifting the voting dynamics of Pakistan. Their senior management has displayed ingenuity and used their great charisma to gather and rally support for their party. On the front, they have devised a decent political manifesto and brought into limelight leaders from different factions of the society a.k.a Asad Umer, former-CEO of Engro Corporation. They have managed to bring an average Pakistani citizen to yearn for change, to proclaim their allegiance and yes, turned a majority of the apolitical population in Pakistan into political enthusiasts. We must concede this acheivement to PTI.

However, the same cannot be said about the average PTI supporter. The campaign has injected, or should I say intoxicated mass PTI supporters with self-righteousness of sickening proportions. Their campaign owes alot to PTI’s solid social media team. Coupled with that, their supporters have aided the party in launching massive smear campaigns against almost every party contesting elections.

Suddenly, it seems that the only logical, the only sane, the only PATRIOTIC choice left for a Pakistani voter is to vote for PTI. Their supporters would have you believe that PTI is the only sincere party, the only voice of truth, the sole Messiah. No other party deserves attention, no voter of any other party can vote with a clear conscience, no other voter can lay claim to patriotism, and that no other voter wants welfare for Pakistan. It would seem that Imran Khan has waved his magic wand, and all other members of his party (including a significant number of members being most interestingly plucked from other parties) have been miraculously cleansed.

PTI supporters would have you believe Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf is Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and Imran Khan is Albus Dumbledore. All other parties are various versions of Lord Voldemort and his Death Eater cronies. Unfortunately, the world is yet not quite so simple.

Talat Hussain gives food for thought

Talat Hussain gives food for thought

As the election has come closer, their supporters have become increasingly rash and illogical. Even granted that the youth will show signs of immaturity, the level of immaturity on display has been shocking. In addition to this, often PTI supporters have resorted to serious cyber harassment and abuse on social media. In their haste and anger to question your beliefs, your patriotism, your morals and faith, they won’t hesitate to crucify their own members. Shireen Mazari and Imaan Mazari would attest to that. I would love to quote Edmund Burke here,

“The most important of all revolutions, a revolution in sentiments, manners and moral opinions”.

The most important point I want to raise here is, can you really lead a revolution or change based on hateful rhetorics? Will this serve to unite the country, or only serve to unite only those that have not yet decided to vote for anyone, under the umbrella of PTI? Is this behaviour not creating further polarity among the people of Pakistan? The majority of PTI supporters are high on ‘change’ and ‘revolution’. What I can see in the future however, is PTI boasting student / youth federations with weaponised wings. For hand them weapons, and there may be no difference between them, and any other party in the future. PTI has a trigger-happy voter base waiting for self-destruction.

I can’t help but quote a beautiful message from Martin Luther King,

“Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies, ‘or else’? The chain reaction of evil, hate begetting hate and wars producing more wars must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation”

He couldn’t have said it better.

Why are Muslims so weak ?

I got an email on my office mail today. It was actually a very interesting read, on why Muslims haven’t been able to exercise the degree of influence proportional to their size. I think it makes perfect sense. It sure makes interesting reading… particularly coming from a Pakistani
official (Dr.Farrukh Saleem). The writer is the Pakistani Executive Director of the Center for Research
and Security Studies, a think tank established in 2007, and an Islamabad-based freelance columnist. The article specifically focuses on the reasons behind power held by Jews, which are relatively small in number.

So why are Jews so powerful?

There are only 14 million Jews in the world; seven million in the Americas, five million in Asia, two million in Europe and 100,000 in Africa. For every single Jew in the world there are 100 Muslims. Yet, Jews are more than a hundred times more powerful than all the Muslims put together. Ever wondered why?

Albert Einstein, the most influential scientist of all time and TIME magazine’s ‘Person of the Century’, was born to Jewish parents.

Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis was a Jew. So were Karl Marx, Paul Samuelson and Milton Friedman.

Here are a few other Jews whose intellectual output has enriched the whole humanity:

Benjamin Rubin gave humanity the vaccinating needle.
Jonas Salk developed the first polio vaccine.
Albert Sabin developed the improved live polio vaccine.
Gertrude Elion gave us a leukemia fighting drug.
Baruch Blumberg developed the vaccination for Hepatitis B.
Paul Ehrlich discovered a treatment for syphilis.
Elie Metchnikoff won a Nobel Prize in infectious diseases.
Bernard Katz won a Nobel Prize in neuromuscular transmission.
Andrew Schally won a Nobel in endocrinology.
Aaron Beck founded Cognitive Therapy.
Gregory Pincus developed the first oral contraceptive pill.

Richard Levin, President of Yale University, is a Jew. So are Henry Kissinger (American secretary of state), Alan Greenspan (Fed chairman under Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush), Joseph Lieberman (US Senator), Casper Weinberger (American Secretary of Defense), Maxim Litvinov ( USSR foreign Minister), Issac Isaacs (governor-general of Australia ), Benjamin Disraeli (British statesman and author), Yevgeny Primakov (Russian PM), Barry Goldwater (US Senator), Jorge Sampaio (president of Portugal ), John Deutsch (CIA director), Herb Gray (Canadian deputy PM), Pierre Mendes (French PM), Michael Howard (British home secretary), Bruno Kreisky (chancellor of Austria ) and Robert Rubin (American secretary of treasury).

George Wald won a Nobel for our understanding of the human eye.
Stanley Cohen won a Nobel in embryology.
Willem Kolff came up with the kidney dialysis machine.

Over the past 105 years, Jews have won about a 15-dozen Nobel Prizes while only three Nobel Prizes have been won by 1.4 billion Muslims (other than Peace Prizes!!)

Why are Jews so powerful?

Stanley Mezor invented the first micro-processing chip.
Leo Szilard developed the first nuclear chain reactor.
Peter Schultz, optical fibre cable.
Charles Adler, traffic lights.
Benno Strauss, Stainless steel.
Isador Kisee, sound movies.
Emile Berliner, telephone microphone.
Charles Ginsburg, videotape recorder.

Famous financiers in the business world who belong to Jewish faith include
Ralph Lauren (Polo),
Levis Strauss (Levi’s Jeans),
Howard Schultz (Starbuck’s) ,
Sergey Brin (Google),
Michael Dell (Dell Computers),
Larry Ellison (Oracle),
Donna Karan (DKNY),
Irv Robbins (Baskins & Robbins) and
Bill Rosenberg (Dunkin Donuts).

In the media, famous Jews include Wolf Blitzer (CNN), Barbara Walters (ABC News), Eugene Meyer (Washington Post), Henry Grunwald (editor-in-chief Time), Katherine Graham (publisher of The Washington Post), Joseph Lelyveld (Executive editor, The New York Times), and Max Frankel (New York Times).

One of the most beneficent philanthropist in the history of the world is George Soros, a Jew, who has so far donated a colossal $4 billion most of which has gone as aid to scientists and universities around the world. Second to George Soros is Walter Annenberg, another Jew, who has built a hundred libraries by donating an estimated $2 billion.

Did you know that Harrison Ford, George Burns, Tony Curtis, Charles Bronson, Sandra Bullock, Billy Crystal, Woody Allen, Paul Newman, Peter Sellers, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Douglas, Ben Kingsley, Kirk Douglas, Goldie Hawn, Cary Grant, William Shatner, Jerry Lewis and Peter Falk are all Jewish.
As a matter of fact, Hollywood itself was founded by a Jew. Among directors and producers,
Steven Spielberg, Mel Brooks, Oliver Stone, Aaron Spelling ( Beverly Hills 90210), Neil Simon (The Odd Couple), Andrew Vaina (Rambo 1/2/3), Michael Man (Starsky andHutch), Milos Forman (One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest), Douglas Fairbanks (The Thief of Baghdad ) and Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters) are all Jewish.

So, why are Jews so powerful?
Answer : EDUCATION

There are an estimated 1,476,233,470 Muslims on the face of the planet: one billion in Asia, 400 million in Africa, 44 million in Europe and six million in the Americas . Every fifth human being is a Muslim; for every single Hindu there are two Muslims, for every Buddhist there are two Muslims and for every Jew there are one hundred Muslims.

Ever wondered why Muslims are so powerless?

Here is why: There are 57 member-countries of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), and all of them put together have around 500 universities; one university for every three million Muslims. The United States has 5,758 universities and India has 8,407.

In 2004, Shanghai Jiao Tong University compiled an ‘Academic Ranking of World Universities’ , and intriguingly, not one university from Muslim-majority states was in the top-500.

As per data collected by the UNDP, literacy in the Christian world stands at nearly 90 per cent and 15 Christian-majority states have a literacy rate of 100 per cent. A Muslim-majority state, as a sharp contrast, has an average literacy rate of around 40 per cent and there is no Muslim-majority state with a literacy rate of 100 per cent. Some 98 per cent of the ‘literates’ in the Christian world had completed primary school, while less than 50 per cent of the ‘literates’ in the Muslim world did the same. Around 40 per cent of the ‘literates’ in the Christian world attended university while no more than two per cent of the ‘literates’ in the Muslim world did the same.

Muslim-majority countries have 230 scientists per one million Muslims The US has 4,000 scientists per million and Japan has 5,000 per million. In the entire Arab world, the total number of full-time researchers is 35,000 and there are only 50 technicians per one million Arabs. (in the Christian world there are up to 1,000 technicians per one million).

Furthermore, the Muslim world spends 0.2 per cent of its GDP on research and development, while the Christian world spends around five per cent of its GDP.

Conclusion: The Muslim world lacks the capacity to produce knowledge!

Daily newspapers per 1,000 people and number of book titles per million are two indicators of whether knowledge is being diffused in a society. In Pakistan, there are 23 daily newspapers per 1,000 Pakistanis while the same ratio in Singapore is 360. In the UK , the number of book
titles per million stands at 2,000 while the same in Egypt is 20.

Conclusion: The Muslim world is failing to diffuse knowledge.

Exports of high technology products as a percentage of total exports are an important indicator of knowledge application. Pakistan ‘s export of high technology products as a percentage of total exports stands at one per cent. The same for Saudi Arabia is 0.3 per cent; Kuwait, Morocco, and Algeria are all at 0.3 per cent, while Singapore is at 58 per cent.

Conclusion: The Muslim world is failing to apply knowledge.

Why are Muslims powerless?
Because we aren’t producing knowledge,..

And, the future belongs to knowledge-based societies.

Interestingly, the combined annual GDP of 57 OIC-countries is under $2 trillion. America, just by herself, produces goods and services worth $12 trillion; China $8 trillion, Japan $3.8 trillion and
Germany $2.4 trillion (purchasing power parity basis).

Oil rich Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar collectively produce goods and services (mostly oil) worth $500 billion; Spain alone produces goods and services worth over $1 trillion, Catholic Poland $489 billion and Buddhist Thailand $545 billion.

So, why are Muslims so powerless? Answer: Lack of education.

All we do is blame everyone else for our multiple failures and kill each other in the name of ISLAM!!!!!

I concede that I have not been able to personally verify every figure presented by Dr.Farrukh Saleem. But I think the overall idea of the article is to highlight why Muslims have not been able to wield power which they should have. I think the above mentioned stats present it beautifully.

Farafinna

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