Tag Archives: Ayaz Amir

Pakistan…confused and rudderless

By Ayaz Amir

Islamabad diary

The contrast could not be more glaring. Since we must compare ourselves with India, that being our eternal yardstick, we must take this in: the Indian prime minister addresses the US Congress and draws repeated applause. Pakistan, meanwhile, presents a fractured picture, democracy in place but the army in charge and calling the shots.

The army chief snaps his fingers and PML-N ministers dutifully line up at General Headquarters, in the same hallowed room next to the chief’s office where corps commanders’ meetings are held.

Read more » The News
See more » http://www.thenews.com.pk/print/126710-Pakistanconfused-and-rudderless

Islamabad diary – Alone with one’s prejudices

By Ayaz Amir

Ayaz Amir

The beliefs I grew up with lie exhausted if not dead. The world has moved on. We grew up in a different world and this world, the one around us, has altogether different landmarks.

Guys like me, fed on a diet of half-baked and little-understood Bolshevism, pined for some kind of a socialist utopia. ‘The East was Red’ was one of our favourite slogans and we stirred to such symbols as Che Guevara’s cigar-chomping photographs. Imperialism was a term much in vogue in our discussions and images of the Vietnam War moved us greatly – which should give you an idea of how antiquated and long-gone-by that world was.

With those beliefs gone all that people of my type are left with are their prejudices…quirky humours, old-fashioned likes and dislikes. I hate the mayhem on our roads caused by the proliferation of motor cars. And Centaurus shopping – to which my daughter dragged me the other evening because she wanted to get something from the Mango store there – comes close to my vision of hell.

My vision of hell is not of hell-fire. It is of a place choked by motorcars, rickshaws and motorbikes, the air thick with exhaust fumes and of pavements run over by cheap merchandise. Some weeks ago I walked down Shah Alam Market in Lahore. Wrestled through would be the more apt description. Before that I had driven through Brandreth Road where the merchants park their cars three abreast in front of their shops. Imagine what is left of the road. That road and Shah Alam Market in rush hour would be anyone’s idea of hell. All our inner cities are now like that.

Bhabra Bazar in Rawalpindi is where I occasionally go to pick up the odd candlestick, silver serving dishes, brass lamps…things like that. From there I walked to City Saddar Road and back. It was a nightmare, a walk through the suburbia of hell.

Our inner cities, the old quarters of all our cities from Peshawar to Multan, and from there to inner Sindh, could have been so vibrant, so full of colour and life. We have destroyed them, utterly. And given them over to the unchallenged rule of the Qingchi rickshaw and the Chinese-made motorbike, on which three passengers or four or even five is the norm.

Our cities large and small are spreading horizontally, devouring agricultural land. Look at advertising…the biggest ads are of housing colonies and apartment blocks. Looking at them you could be forgiven for thinking that the only happening enterprise in Pakistan is real estate…or the next best thing, shaadi or wedding halls.

Look at Islamabad. The only place in that growing expanse of a capital, its sides now bursting and spreading in all directions, is one tiny market, Kohsaar Market. There you have two or three places where you can have a cup of coffee…and sit outside a la Paris or something similar. No place to sit outside in Super Market, none whatsoever in Jinnah Super Market.

Read more » The News
See more » http://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/85649-Alone-with-ones-prejudices

111 Brigade: only the formality remains

Islamabad diary

By Ayaz Amir

Calling on the army to protect Islamabad, from dangers yet to be adequately defined, is no one-off affair. It is the latest addition to a pattern we have seen growing rather dramatically over the last three months: the army’s influence on the rise, its profile getting bigger, even as civilian authority recedes and comes close to a point of total collapse. This is a takeover in all but name.

As far as anyone can tell, no one has planned this outcome. It is the playing out of no strategic configuration. No one has ever accused General Headquarters (GHQ) of such subtlety before, and this is a subtle drama we are witnessing: almost a creeping coup, a coup by stealth, Pakistan’s first ‘soft’ coup. No “meray aziz humwutnon” – my dear countrymen, the familiar invocation heralding Pakistani coups – no seven-point national agenda a la Musharraf.


Email: winlust@yahoo.com

Read more: The News

History’s baggage: Pakistan’s Punjab problem

Ayaz AmirBy Ayaz Amir

[History’s baggage: Pakistan’s Punjab problem] Arising from the same soil, breathing the same air, moving to the same folk songs and music, defined by the same five rivers, Punjab over the centuries has yet produced two distinct types of personality: the Muslim Punjabi and the Sikh Punjabi. There is also the Hindu Punjabi but for ease of discussion let the first two categories suffice.

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ECP rejects nomination papers of PML-N’s Ayaz Amir

LAHORE: The Election Commission of Pakistan rejected the nomination papers of Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Ayaz Amir, Express News reported on Thursday.

Amir had filed his papers from Chakwal.

An objection criticising Amir for writing articles “against the ideology of Pakistan” was filed against his nomination papers by complainant Babar Salim.

The decision against Amir’s nomination papers was taken by an ECP returning officer yesterday.

According to Pakistan’s Constitution, one cannot be a member of Parliament if he or she has “worked against the integrity of the country or opposed the ideology of Pakistan.”

Amir confirmed with local media that his nomination papers had been rejected. He said he would file an appeal against the decision tomorrow.

Amir is a renowned journalist and columnist who has contributed to Dawn and The News International.

He occupied the Chakwal district NA-60 seat.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune

Mindlessness on the march – By: Ayaz Amir

Islamabad diary:

If there was an international shoot-in-the-foot prize Pakistan would win it hands down, our genius for self-inflicted injuries surpassing that of all competitors. We don’t need RAW, Mossad or the CIA to conspire against us. We are self-sufficient in this department, no conspiracy from those quarters coming close to what we can do to ourselves.

As if the blasphemy discourse had not been worked to death already, we have another blasphemy case on our hands, the news of which has spread at the speed of light across the globe, contributing immeasurably once more to the fair name of the Islamic Republic.

Continue reading Mindlessness on the march – By: Ayaz Amir

Et tu Brute?

Islamabad diary

We know the kind of influence Malik Riaz Hussain of Bahria Town has been famous for peddling: chummy with presidents and prime ministers, close links to all major political parties, ex-generals and air-marshals in his employ, leading champions of the fourth estate in his pocket, or at least beneficiaries of his largesse. We can even go a step further and for the sake of argument say that he is the biggest wheeler-dealer this side of Suez.

Continue reading Et tu Brute?