Friday, December 30, 2011




SNGPL authorities unmoved by daily protests by residents of twin cities

At a time when the country’s ruling elite and the media are preoccupied with the Memogate saga, national politics, NATO’s attack on Pakistani forces and war against terrorism, the common man, dejected and disgruntled, is finding it hard to cope with the challenges of every day life.

The masses’ problems such as inflation, low natural gas supplies and inflated utility bills, only to name a few, may seem petty issues to those who are at the helms of the affairs, yet their daily ordeals are getting the best of their life.

While the stakeholders in the government are making all possible efforts to salvage a decaying political system just to buy the time until its tenure’s official end, the masses are struggling to fight price-hike and energy shortage that are taking a toll on the country’s already fragile economy.

As elsewhere, the shortage and low gas supply is badly affecting the life of the residents of twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, particular in the evening and morning hours, when, in a freezing cold weather, they run out of the very commodity they need to keep their homes warms and cook their meal. The low Sui gas pressure is hitting hard the domestic as well as CNG consumers. Some angry residents while talking to Pakistan Today on Friday demanded Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Federal Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain should immediacy take notice of the situation.

The residents of the twin cities come to roads daily in order to record their protest against the shortage and outages of the gas supply but the authorities concerned are paying no heed to their plight. On Friday as well, over 200 residents of Sector G-7 blocked several roads in their neighborhood as they staged a demonstration against the government’s apathy.

As the weather is turning cold every day, residents of areas such as Sector G-7, G-9, I-10, Khayaban-e-Sir Syed, Chuhar Chowk, Meharabad, Muslim Town, Lalkurti, Tench Bhatta, Sabzazar and Lalazar are continuously facing a low gas pressure and they have been complaining that the gas pressure drastically decreases between the midnight till dawn. They say that during the rest of the day the gas supply remains suspended.

Similarly long queues of vehicles can been at the CNG stations in various localities of Rawalpindi and motorists there are unable to get the CNG for their vehicles even during days, which are officially exempted from the outages.

Though the resumption of gas supply to the CNG stations has enabled the citizen’s mobility, it has compelled many people to leave for their workplaces without any breakfast when there is no gas to cook. It has been learnt that after the Supreme Court’s directive to restore gas supply to the CNG stations, the domestic consumers of the twin cities are facing worse gas outages since the onset of the present winter season.

The residents are forced to use firewood for cooking, heating water and other purposes. “I have to collect a bundle of dried firewood daily to meet the energy demand of my household. What else can I do, when my gas stove, geyser, heater and other appliances become useless,” said Muhammad Irshad, a resident of Bhara Kao. He said the locals face trouble daily, especially early in the morning when the gas pressure becomes too low to cook food. A large number of restaurants and bakery owners in the twin cities have also complained about how their business is facing huge losses.

The authorities concerned, on the other hand, are claiming that the resumption of supply to CNG stations under a court’s order have caused the gas shortage for the domestic consumers. Sharing their grievances with the Pakistan Today, several restaurant owners said they had been facing a plethora of problems due to gas shortage. “We have reduced the dishes from our menu since it is no longer possible for us to cook a variety of food items in such conditions,” said Muhammad Aslam, a restaurant owner. He said their income was low he was finding it hard to run his business.

Sajid, a cook working at a local restaurant, told this scribe that he was already living from hand to mouth, but presently he was thinking about trying some other line of work. He said it was getting difficult for him to support his family.

Lalarukh Farooq, a resident of Lalazar locality in Rawalpindi, said that it was a matter of concern for every citizen that the government was unmoved by all the problems the Pakistanis had been facing.

“Numerous applications about low gas pressure have been sent to the Sui Northern Gas Limited offices in Islamabad and Rawalpindi but to no avail,” she complained.

Osama Pervaiz, a resident of Sector I-10, said the problem of low gas pressure would start early in the morning and continued till nightm leaving people to worry about their meal and heating system. The motorists said the CNG outlets in the area could not provide gas to consumers citing the same problem.

People of other areas especially from G-9 and I-9 of Islamabad, Muslim Town and Cantt Area of Rawalpindi also complained about the unavailability of gas

This scribe also came to know that the same problem was troubling residents in other areas including Dhari Hassanabad, Dhoke Khabba, Qasimabad, Khurram Colony, Chungi Number 22, Tench Bhatta, Peoples’ Colony and Dhoke Saydian. In order to avoid gas outages and to low pressure, some Sui Gas consumers have illegally installed special compressors on their lines to boost the gas pressure. Such installations are, however, causing trouble for other law-abiding citizens.

When contacted, a Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) official said the gas supply to some areas of Rawalpindi and Islamabad had been shut down owing to some damaged main pipeline. He said the SNGPL officials were working day and night to repair the damaged lines and restore uninterrupted gas supply to all areas.

Thursday, December 29, 2011



The First Gush Of Chilly Winds!
The Familiar Anticipation Of Long Walks!
Cold Nose, Numb Feet, Warm Breaths!
The Fog!
The Vermillion Tree Leaves!
Oranges, Coffee, Friends!
“The Best Is Yet To Come”
That’s The Message Winters Bear.
So Make Lasting Memories..!
Happy Winter!

I have left work for half-an hour to grab something to eat. One step outside the office building and a gush of wind almost blew me away. I put my hands on my freezing ears. This is just the beginning of the not long winter that is to follow but I am falling in love with the season.

The trees still have some yellow leaves left on them. When I look at the horizon, I see colours that I can't always describe in words. I think I see beige, golden, brown, yellow and perhaps, a light shade of green too. On some days, I feel like buying a long-distance bus ticket and leaving home for a day-long road trip to hilly station (far from the madding crowd). The reason? I can devour the beauty of the season in the streets, houses, trees and fields while on the move.

I usually leave home about ten-fifteen minutes before time so that I can stand at the bus stop and look at the balding trees, the grey-blue skies and the distant yellow fields, where children frolicked even a month ago. I always take a window seat on the bus so that I can look outside and see how everything is changing. Frosty cars, people clad in layers, lawns covered in dead leaves, everything murmurs the beginning of a cold, cold season.

It has not rained at the time of writing this piece. But that does not mean it is not cold enough. Every morning before leaving home, I check temperature online so that the sunshine does not deceive me. The sun deceived me on a regular basis. I would look outside the window and be awed by the bright sun. I would only know that the sun tricked me when the cold outside would send shivers to my bones. I am rarely fooled these days because I have learned that checking weather report (Met Office) before stepping outside is the smartest thing to do in winter.

I know I will start complaining about the rain, the wind and the cold once the New Year comes. I will get bored and tired of the leafless trees, snow-covered hills and gloomy skies. But it is nature in the beginning of winter which seems so surreally beautiful that I can't help but scribble a few lines.

My Feet Are Freezing
Walking On My Own
Cant Stop Sneezing
Sitting All Alone.

Monday, December 5, 2011



The 10th of Moharram-ul-Haraam is a day of mourning for Muslims- indeed for all who believe in the righteousness of a cause, all over the world. The sacrifices through which Imam Hussain (RA) and his followers saw their lives come to an end on the battlefields of Karbala hundreds of years ago were fundamentally proof once again that martyrdom in defence of faith is a supreme act of nobility.
The grandson of the Holy Prophet of Islam (Peace Be Upon Him) has, through his valour and through his refusal to submit before the brute forces led by Yazid, imparted the important lesson that it is the moral responsibility of anyone confronted with gross and manifest injustice to engage in a battle that has as its goal the triumph of good. In Karbala, it was patently an epic struggle between good and evil.

Imam Hussein (RA) and his followers, rather than give in to the sinister forces typified by Yazid and his gang of usurpers, happily went down the path of supreme sacrifice.

As I remember this day as a symbol of "sacrifice and mourning" I recall the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain Ibn Ali (RA), a grandson of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH), in the battle of Karbala on the 10th of Muharram 1330 years ago, I pay tribute to Imam Hussain (RA) using poetry of Iftikhar Arif- one on the finest poet of Urdu literature in Pakistan.

Kabhi Kabhi Dil Ye Sochta Hay
Na Janay Hum beyaqeen Logon’ Ko
Naam Haidar Sy Rabt Kion Hay
Hakeem Janay Wo Kaisi Hikmat Sy Aashna Tha
Shujeeh Janay Ky Badr-o-Khyber Ki Fatahmandi Ka Raaz Kia Tha
Ilm Janay Wo Ilm Ky Konsy Safeeno Ka Nakhuda Tha
Mujhay To Bus Sirf Ye Khabar Hy
Wo Meray Maola Ki Khushbuon May Racha Basa Tha
Wo Unky Damaan-e-Atifat May Pala Barha Tha
Aor Usky Din Raat Meray Aaqa Ky Chasm-o-Abro-o-Jumbash-e-Lab Ky Muntazir Thay
Wo Raat Ko Dushmano Ky Narghay May So Raha Tha To Uski Khatir
Jadaal May Sir Sy Paon Sy Surkh Ho Raha Tha To Uski Khatir
So Usko Mehboob Janta Hoon
So Usko Mehboob Manta Hoon
Saadatein Usky Naam Sy Hein
Mohabbatein Usky Naam Sy Hein
Mohabbaton’ Ky Sabhi Gharano Ki Nisbatein Uskay Naam Sy Hein.

Thursday, December 1, 2011



Muhammad Mahtab Bashir


Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee … ? -John Donne

I am always saddened when death invades a family circle, and quite naturally so. I am devastated because of my loneliness, my fears, and my uncertainties. However, as I remember my beloved ones’ – nature snatched away in hurry, let me turn my fear into faith, my sorrow into joy, and my loneliness into Divine Companionship, that reach out to God- my ‘Divine Comforter’.

I have special reverence for Moharram but my personal losses during this holy month has made this month more special, sacred, emotional and so precious as I lost my elder brother Moazzam Bashir (45), who breathed his last on 4th of Moharram, (14 January) 2008, my close associate (streetmate friend)Tahir Mehmood (30) expired on 10th Moharram, (17 December) 2010, while I handed over my father-in-law Muhammad Farooq Siddiqui(63) to the Almighty on 1st Moharram-ul-Haraam, (27 November) 2011, who sung his swansong on November 26, few days after performing Hajj- a religious obligation of great prospect for Muslims.

Sardion ky udaas mosam mein
Khud ko dekhoon' to yad aay koi
Kaash aik bar yoon bhi ho jay
Mein pukaroon to laot aay koi

With an advent of Moharram every year brings tears to my eyes and pain in my heart whether this is due to my emotional attachment with those sacred souls who presented their sacrifices at the Karbala or my heartfelt love to my family members who I lost during Moharram. This holy month saddens me every year and makes me emotional on trivial matters. Thus every beat by a mourner during Moharram processions or any Noha it relates my heart to my personal loss which always attaches me my feelings, and my emotions with Imam Hussain (AS) and his followers and I feel myself sacrificing my loved ones’ who departed as sacrificing those in the midst of Karbala.

This month also brings blessings to all Muslims and they are also equally blessed with those sacred souls who presented sacrifices at Karbala and it makes me feel that my loved ones are also kept at the same elevated space in paradise.

Death is the ultimate- but a sudden premature death of a beloved is devastated that shattered the world for survivors- who instantly remain busy to ask three unanswerable ‘Whys’ to Almighty- ‘why’, ‘why this happens to us’, and ‘why bad things happen to good people’?

A sudden, accidental, unexpected or traumatic death shatters the world as we know it. It is often a loss that does not make sense. We realize that life is not always fair and that sometimes bad things happen to good people. The sudden death leaves us feeling shaken, unsure and vulnerable, no matter who we are.

I heard someone saying ‘Allah the Almighty doesn’t make an individual suffer to an extent that he doesn’t survive’. Another one while trying to pacify aggrieved rubbing his shoulder comments, ‘time is a healer, my dear’ and ‘sooner or later everyone has to meet his maker’.

For them, time may be a great healer but to me - every passing moment gets me spiritually and emotionally more closer to my beloved ones. And trust me, the nostalgia; the happy chirping moments spend with the dear departed can never been subjugated by time- because my memories are timeless that can be hit back my mind and heart anytime, anywhere.

The search for meaning of the loss can challenge a survivors religious and spiritual beliefs to a greater deal. Sudden losses in particular can precipitate an existential crisis as the survivor searches for meaning. They start questioning their internal belief system and values. Goals, plans and purchases which were important the week prior to the event, abruptly seem trivial in comparison. Survivors are forced to look at and re-evaluate life priorities after this lurching time.

The principles of Chaos and Complexity have become a very real part of who I am and how I form my world view. It therefore becomes crucial for me to understand and interpret the death of my dear one’s and survivors’ grief in terms of the understandings of chaos and complexity.

When a family member dies, there is not only the sense of loss of an individual and the relationships with that person, but there is a fundamental change in the sense of identity and meaning for remnants.

The discontinuity caused by the death is reflected through all fractal levels. The effects are felt in the family, the community and, depending on the individual or even planetary level. Even at levels lower than the individual, the death of a family member can affect bodily processes and the functioning of bodily organs, right down to the cellular level of all involved.

The grief and confusion which is evident after a death creates an increased level of fuzziness. The usual sense of control we have over our lives is stripped away to reveal our inner insecurities. If we have the courage to embrace the fuzziness we can reveal greater depths to our being.

Spiritual perspectives can form a framework of meaning around the experiences of death. It can also enable the emergence of a new level of understanding of the true nature of our being. Death often leads us to re-examine some of our basic beliefs. This is particularly so if the there is something about the death that challenges our existing beliefs.

Unfortunately spiritual perspectives can also be used to further deny the reality of death. I believe that seeing death as merely moving into another room or going to a better place can become ways of trivialising the loss and disrupting the healing process.

We form an image or a map of who we think we are within ourselves so we can compare it to what we are experiencing from the outside world. This is used to ensure that our actions are consistent with the identity that has been already formed. We must similarly form images of the other people in our lives through which we judge their behaviour. We therefore have a map of each person in our lives WITHIN our own identity. When a person we know dies, a part of us literally dies as well. The image inside us no longer matches the outer world and we must realign our inner world.

Death enables evolution. A creature that lived forever has little adaptability. If there was no death, we would not have been able to evolve beyond the level of bacteria. The process of death with a built in ability to self organise from generation to generation to become what we are and evolve towards possibilities beyond our wildest dreams. Thank God for death.

I know well this is where no one can help you but one can feel sorry- that's what only they can do & that's what perhaps, only we all need.

May the Holy Spirit comfort us and give us strength, may God illuminate your eternal souls, and may you all “dwell in the superlative spot in the heavens.”

I love you all – RIP!

Saturday, September 24, 2011



I hope Pakistan cricket will be understood and respected. I hope people will feel the other side of me and understand why I am the way I am


LAHORE: Pakistan's former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has stirred yet another controversy, this time questioning the class and temperament of India’s batting stalwarts Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid and also termed Shoaib Malik as ‘inappropriate captaincy material.’

In his just-published biography “Controversially Yours”, the temperamental speedster accused Tendulkar of being scared of facing his scorching pace on a slow Faisalabad track. He also claimed that Tendulkar and Dravid were not match-winners nor did they know the art of finishing games.

"....Vivian Richards, Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara and the likes of them are great batsmen who dominated with the bat and were truly match-winners. Initially, when I bowled against Sachin, I found these qualities missing. He might have had more runs and records, he lacked the ability to finish the game," he said in the book, yet to be formally launched.

Akhtar, who announced his retirement during the World Cup this year, also cited an example where he felt that Sachin was mighty scared to face him. "We would have faced a humbling defeat in the series but for the fact that we reined in Sachin Tendulkar.” "What went in our favour was that Sachin was suffering from tennis elbow! This severely handicapped the great batsman. We managed to psychologically browbeat him.

"We bounced the ball at him and were able to unnerve him. I returned to the dressing room that first day with the knowledge that Sachin was not comfortable facing fast and rising ball. He was distinctly uncomfortable against me. That was enough to build on," he said. "I bowled (Sachin) a particularly fast ball which he, to my amazement didn't even touch. He walked away! That was the first time, I saw him walk away from me-- that, too, on the slow track at Faisalabad. It got my hunting instincts up and in the next match I hit him on the head and he couldn't score after that", Akhtar wrote.

The 36-year-old Akhtar, who had scalped 178 wickets in 46 Test and 247 I wickets in 163 ODIs, said that Tendulkar and Dravid who have together conjured over 56,000 international runs (over 33,000 by Tendulkar and over 23,000 by Dravid) are not "match winners". "I think players like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid weren't exactly match winners to start with, nor did they know the art of finishing the game," Shoaib said.

Akhtar who played for Shah Rukh Khan co-owned Kolkata Knight Riders during IPL has accused the Bollywood superstar and former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi of "cheating."

"Shahrukh and I talked about my not being happy with the money settled on me. Shahrukh and Modi got me to agree. I should have never listened to Modi and Shahrukh," he said in the book. One of the most shocking controversial revelations was that he tampered with the ball on many occasions during his playing days.

Often in the news for the wrong reasons, Akhtar said that the Pakistan team was often approached by match-fixers when they were in India. In an interview to the Times of India, he said: “What I’ve written is my experience, put as honestly for others to know. This is the truth – for the world, it may be a big controversy.” He took a dig at Shoaib Malik saying:

“Shoaib Malik doesn’t deserve to be captain and was made captain because he was a stooge of the PCB Chief Naseem Ashraf.” Another shocking revelation is one where he claims Wasim Akram attempted to end his career. “Wasim Akram threatened to walk out with half the team if I was included in the team. General Tauqir Zia backed me against Wasim,” Akhtar says of fissures previously unheard of. Javed Miandad, Pervez Musharraf, Shah Rukh Khan and Lalit Modi have also come into the crosshairs in the autobiography.

Monday, September 19, 2011



Rahat Fateh Ali Khan fans could be seen in full force Sunday night at Serena Hotel where the legend vocalist and musician got off to a decent start with hymn ‘Milta Hay Har Ta
raf Khuda’ sans any glaring glitches or behind the scenes blunders and concluded the 3 hours live concert with the blockbuster ‘Tere Mast Mast Do Nain’ from the Indian movie ‘Dabangg’.

Zong organized the glitzy night with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, one of the biggest entity at home and across the border while Pakistan Today partnered the event titled ‘Sada-e-Dil’. Two vibrant young men Abdul Rehman Tipu, and Adeel Ahmed from Miradore Productions, Energic and Brad Logic were also behind the show. The two youngsters made this concert- the 3rd from Rahat in federal capital, possible for the viewers of twin cities with the unflinching efforts.

Dressed in an off white kurta suit, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan walked on stage and greeted the audience with clasped hands before he sat and played the harmonium and mesmerised the packed crowd with his voice. His delivery was a clear example that those gifted with true talent do not need theatrics and stage effects to pull off a great show.

Acclaimed for his rhythms, beat and melody, and enriched with poetic values courtesy a group of musicians, Khan brought the house down with his fiery energy on stage. His Punjabi flick ‘Ajj Din Charhiya Tere Rang Warga’ followed by the ghazal original sung by his uncle late Ustad Fateh Ali Khan ‘Tumhein Dil Lagi Bhool Jani Pary Gi’, and recent hit movie ‘Virsa’ ‘Mein tenu samjhanwan Ki’, and ‘Sajda’ one of the best song in recent time from Indian movie ‘My name is Khan’, electrified the ambiance with the crowds singing along and dancing to the upbeat numbers.

Trained by his late uncle, world music superstar Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan known to his huge international fan-base as Rahat is the sixth generation in his family to pursue the ancient art of qawwali, the mystical Sufi vocal tradition which seeks to induce a state of rapture in performers and listeners alike.

Rahat's wider fame is derived mainly from his multi-award-winning success as a Bollywood soundtrack artist, a non-devotional arena where qawwali has attained major popularity among Indian as well as Pakistani audiences that was also the feature of the night among his 20 numbers Rahat sung on the night.

This sold-out show was thus largely thronged with majority of elite class community from twin cities, where the women gorgeously clad in black shalwar kameez as the doctor orders while few foreigners were seen dancing and swaying in a state of high excitement at the presence of such a hero and master (‘Ustad’ is an honorific akin to ‘maestro’). The sound system too was good enough to pump energy into the audience.

Presiding over a 10-piece band, including young singer Mariam Arif accompanying Rahat in half way through and tabla drums, plus electric guitar and bass, keyboards and drumkit, Rahat delivered a magnificent, spellbinding display of Indian, Pakistani film hits, qawwalis, and ghazals, providing audience a sumptuous treasures.

His incandescently soulful, sorrowful, exultant voice soaring and swooping through themes and variations, call and response, amid settings that ranged from lush, catchy pop – also taking in a handful of dreamy romantic ballads – to sparse acoustic adornment when Ustad rahat fateh Ali Khan started ‘Ye Jo Halka Halka Suroor Hay’ followed by ‘Sab Rishtay Naatay hans Kay Tor Doon’, ‘Oray Piya’ and another blockbuster ‘Teri Ore’ from Bollywood movie ‘Singh is King’.

Rahat also introduced his upcoming song titled ‘Kaisa Hay Ye Ishq’ from the movie ‘Meray Brother Ki Dulhan’.

Soon Rahat turned towards back to back blockbusters included ‘Sureli Akhion Waly’ from Indian movie ‘Veer’, ‘Teri Meri Meri Teri Prem Kahani hay Mushkil’, from the lastest inidan release ‘Bodyguard’, followed by couple of ghazals ‘Meri Zaat Say Benishan’ and ‘Diyar-e-Ishq Mein Apna Maqam Paida Kar’- (Kalam-e-Iqbal).

Later, Khan on demand of large gathering, created very subtle vibrations in his voice, which he uses very beautifully, to convey a whole range of emotions through it. He could make it a sound hopelessly romantic or melancholic while singing ‘Teri Yaad Sath Hay’ sung for ‘Namastay London’.

Khan concluded the nights with back to back three Sufi songs in remembrance of his late uncle Ustad Nusrat fateh Ali Khan ‘Afreen Afreen’, ‘Mastt Nazron Say Allah Bachaay’ and stood up concluding ‘Tery Mastt Mastt Do Nain’ from the hit movie ‘Dabangg’ making audience over-ecstatic.

Fateh Ali Khan, 37 was born in Faisalabad, Punjab into a family of traditional musicians. He is the son of Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan and was trained by his uncle Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in the art of classical music and Qawwali singing.

Rahat performed in the United Kingdom with his uncle at a concert in Birmingham, England on July 27, 1985. His popularity rose when he started singing Bollywood film songs in 2001 with the movie ‘Paap’, featuring the hit song ‘Mann Ki Lagan’. His releases are featured in some of the biggest and highest grossing Bollywood films of today.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Amy Winehouse dies at 27

Singer, whose 2006 album Back to Black won five Grammy awards, found dead at her flat in north London

Singer Amy Winehouse has been found dead at her house in north London.
She was 27. The award-winning artist, famous for hits including Rehab from the critically acclaimed album Back to Black, was discovered by police in the late afternoon. Her death was being treated on Saturday night as "unexplained" but sources said she had died of a drugs ov

The Metropolitan police said: "We were called by London Ambulance Service to an address in Camden Square shortly before 16.05hrs following reports of a woman found deceased. On arrival officers found the body of a 27-year-old female who was pronounced dead at the scene."

Winehouse was last seen with her goddaughter, Dionne Bromfield, earlier last week when the teenager performed at the iTunes festival.

Tributes began to pour in to one of the most celebrated and troubled British artists of recent times. Mark Ronson, who produced Back to Black, said: "She was my musical soulmate and like a sister to me. This is one of the saddest days of my life."

Singer and actress Kelly Osbourne wrote: "i cant even breath right now, im crying so hard i just lost 1 of my best friends. i love you forever Amy & will never forget the real you!"

Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood dedicated his show on Absolute Radio and the reunion performance by his former group the Faces in Hurtwood, Surrey, to Winehouse. "It's a very sad loss of a very good friend I spent many great times with," he said.

Two regulars at Winehouse's local pub, The Hawley Arms in Camden, paid tribute. "Some people might think it shows disrespect to come out drinking tonight but she was such a part of Camden she made it her home and she always got involved," said Mary Gallagher. "Amy even worked behind the bar here. She was such a lovely person and, to be honest, I don't think fame agreed with her. She was an ordinary girl at heart."

Gloria Woods, 26, who works for a record label, said: "There will never be another voice like that in our generation."

A spokesman for the late singer said: "Everyone involved with Amy is shocked and devastated. Our thought s are with her family and friends."

Winehouse's father, Mitch, returned from New York, where he had been due to perform at the Blue Note jazz club. He said: 'I'm coming home. I have to be with Amy. I can't crack up for her sake. My family need me."

Flowers, teddy bears and candles were left outside her home in Camden Square. One card read: "You will not be forgotten by Camden. We all love you and will continue to love you. Your legend lives on."

Winehouse had suffered a well-publicised battle with drink and drug abuse that saw her withdraw from all of her scheduled performances last month after a series of erratic performances. She started her 12-leg European tour in Belgrade but was booed off the stage after appearing to forget her lyrics. She then pulled out of performances in Istanbul and Athens before she cancelled the tour as fears for her health grew.

A statement released by her spokesman at the time said that she would be given "as long as it takes" to recover. "Everyone involved wishes to do everything they can to help her return to her best," it read.

Winehouse rose to fame with her debut album Frank in 2003, which was feted by music critics in the UK and nominated for the Mercury music prize, but it was her 2006 follow-up album, Back to Black, that catapulted her to stardom and led to fiv
e Grammy awards. The album became the third-highest selling album of the 2000s.

Amy Winehouse death: parents Mitch and Janis visit house where the singer died.

The distraught father of singer Amy Winehouse fought back tears as he visited the house where his daughter died at the weekend.

Mitch Winehouse, said he was ''devastated and speechless'' over her death.

He was joined by the 27-year-old's mother, Janis, to look at tributes left
at the edge of police cordons surrounding the singer's Camden home, including alcoholic drinks and cigarettes, alongside soft toys, flowers and candles.

He thanked reporters and fans for coming and shook hands with many of them.

The star's grief-stricken mother was in tears when she looked at the tributes and took pictures of them on her mobile phone.

Relatives of Amy Winehouse said her untimely death has left a ''gaping hole'' in their lives.

Her family released a statement expressing their grief at the loss of the 27-year-old, who was found dead in her north London home on Saturday afternoon.

It said: ''Our family has been left bereft by the loss of Amy, a wonderful daughter, sister, niece.

''She leaves a gaping hole in our lives. We are coming together to remember her and we would appreciate some privacy and space at this terrible time.''

A spokesman for the family said the funeral would be held as soon as possible, but that the post-mortem examination and police investigation made it impossible to set a date and no details had yet been agreed.

He added that one of Winehouse's security team had found her and called an ambulance, but she could not be saved.

Winehouse battled drink and drug problems throughout her career and news of her death was quickly followed by suggestions that it could be related to one or the other.

Superintendent Raj Kohli warned on Saturday that it was ''inappropriate'' to speculate at this stage on the cause of death, which is being treated as ''unexplained''. Scotland Yard said that a post-mortem examination would be scheduled today.

The singer's grief-stricken mother Janis told the Sunday Mirror she had seen her daughter the day before she was found dead.

She said: ''She seemed out of it. But her passing so suddenly still hasn't hit me.''

The performer had said ''I love you'' at the end of a day out together, and her mother said she would always treasure those words.

Father Mitch, who flew back from New York when he heard the news, said: ''This isn't real. I'm completely devastated.''

Celebrities including former drug addict Russell Brand, Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood and producer Mark Ronson have all paid tribute to the multi-award winning performer.

Brand called her ''a genius'' and said addiction should be treated like a potentially fatal illness.

Wood performed with The Faces on Saturday night and dedicated I Would Rather Go Blind to her. He said: ''Such a beautiful singer, Such a waste.''

Tributes have been left at the edge of police cordons surrounding the singer's Camden home, including alcoholic drinks and cigarettes, alongside soft toys, flowers and candles.

Pieces of artwork had also been laid down, including a striking photo of Winehouse posing in a bar, and a picture by artist Mysterious Al, showing Winehouse's face with monochrome cartoon eyes and a white streak in her trademark beehive hair.

Many notes were also left, one reading: ''Too fragile, too beautiful, too big a talent for this world'', and another which said: ''To an exquisite singer with a beautiful voice''.

Metropolis Music, Winehouse's management company, released a statement saying: ''We are trying to come to terms with the death of a dear friend and colleague, the most amazing artist and talent.

''We will always remember Amy as a vibrant, funny, caring young woman who made everyone around her feel welcome. We have lost a very special person, part of our family.''

The troubled Back To Black artist had cancelled all tour dates and engagements last month after a series of erratic public appearances. She was booed at a shambolic performance in Serbia.

As well as flocking to her home, fans also paid tribute at the Hawley Arms pub in Camden, once a favourite haunt of the pop star.

The pub said in a statement: ''We are shocked and deeply saddened by the news of Amy's death. Apart from her extraordinary musical talent, she was a special person with a good soul and this should not have happened.

''We feel privileged to have known herand we will sorely miss her.''

Ronson said in his statement: ''She was my musical soulmate and like a sister to me. This is one of the saddest days of my life.''

Winehouse joins the notorious ''27

Club'' of musicians who have died at that age after struggling to cope with fame.

They include Rolling Stone Brian Jones, who drowned in a swimming pool in 1969; guitarist Jimi Hendrix, who choked to death in 1970 after mixing wine with sleeping pills; and singer Janis Joplin, who suffered a suspected heroin overdose the same year.

Doors star Jim Morrison, who died of heart failure in 1971, and Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, who shot himself in 1994, also died at the young age.

Friday, July 8, 2011




As I remember my beloved brother Moazzam Bashir on his birth anniversary today ((July 08, 1959 – January 14, 2008), I’m trying to capture the glorious memories spend with him but words fall short and my vocabulary and memory fails to put down those in lines.

He not only loved bringing happiness and joy to everyone; but he was a kind, caring, and compassionate person, who was always there to comfort us in our times of sorrow and grief.

Let us always remember, it is not the number of years we live in this world that is important; it is how we live those years that is important; how many people we reach out to and touch; how many people we can bring to God and to the service of our nation. The quality of life is much more important than the quantity of life; and when it comes to the quality of life, we can all say: “Moazzam Bhai lived a full life and, literally, touched thousands of people to rejoice with wonderful moments.”

Moazzam Bhai vanished away 3 years ago, and I haven't come to reality with until now. It's still like a dream. It didn't seem real. Now I know that when someone passes away, there isn't any one word long enough or big enough to describe it. I could talk about it, and I could go on for pages, but even an entire book can't replace an entire life. I love you, Moazzam Bhai, and will always think of you. You are a great thing that happened to me and there are still lots of memories to talk about.

I'll miss him, but for now, some memories are still so fresh that I can still relate to him and know exactly what he would say if I was talking to him. As more time passes, I wonder if this will change. For now, I'll acknowledge and appreciate this.

May the Holy Spirit comfort us and give us strength, may God illuminate your eternal soul, and may you “dwell in the superlative spot in the heavens.”


For more readings ........

Saturday, June 25, 2011


One upon a time, there was a country who claims to be the Nuclear Power butdid not have the Electric Power.

This is the most precise black and bleak story!!! Thanx for your time and efforts dear readers!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Following is text of the resignation letter written to the National Assembly speaker by Marvi Memon

It has been my honour to serve as a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan since March 2008. As a first-time parliamentarian, I have honoured the oath I took to perform my functions “always in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity, solidarity, well being and prosperity of Pakistan.”

However, ever since my party leadership’s decision to join the federal government, it has become difficult for me to be true to my oath. I believe that PML-Q leaders by leaving their role as an opposition party have not lived up to the expectations of millions of voters who reposed their trust in them in the Feb 2008 elections. I tried to prevail upon the party leadership to change their decision, but in vain. Now the only honourable course open to me is to resign from PML membership and also as member of the National Assembly on the occasion of vote for the budget.

Abstaining from voting on the budget, would practically mean approving it, and with it, tacitly endorsing all government policies and future plans.

Since I believe this coalition government is working against the interests of the people of Pakistan, my support for the budget would compromise all my struggle for the people. I cannot vote against my conscience. I have thus voted against the budget. Just like Marui in Latif Sain’s Shah Jo Risalo, this Marui too cannot compromise the struggle for her marooara (people.)

As I had predicted, PML-Q has not been able to correct the disastrous course of this government. And they will not be able to do so in the future as well.

Simply because this government has a built-in flaw: its sole objective is to protect its vested interests rather than people’s interests. It is my firm belief that the only thing that would continue in the coming months is crass, corrupt politicking to steal the next election. The real concerns of the people would continue to be neglected.

Therefore, I believe that:

To be associated with a government, which has not followed parliament’s joint resolution mandating action against NATO forces in case of drones, has bartered Pakistan’s sovereignty, has not protected Pakistan’s sensitive locations, has not kept our territory protected from foreign forces, would be a travesty.

To be associated with a government which has allowed human rights of thousands to be grossly violated by not giving them justice, salaries, minimum wages, regularisations, jobs (Haleema, NPIW, Lady Health Workers, APP, NCHD, NEF, Lower Education Staff etc), would be subversive.

To be associated with a government, which has taken away food and shelter from the poor, fuel from the vehicles, electricity and gas from industry and homes, which has forced people to commit suicides due to its corruption, faulty economic policies, which has forgiven the loan defaulters, which has not been austere, which has not taxed the rich appropriately including inequitable taxation for agriculture and industry, would be criminal.

To be associated with a government, which has been completely negligent in its primary responsibilities during natural and national disasters like Attabad lake, the recent floods, the Abottabad crisis, the complete breakdown of law and order in all of Pakistan, would be perfidious.

To be associated with a government, which has abysmally failed to protect its own constitutional office holders, security forces, religious sects, minorities, media and most importantly therefore innocent people from kidna
ppings, targeted killings and terrorist attacks, which is fighting a directionless war and is compromising with criminals, would be atrocity.

To be associated with a government which has allowed Pakistan’s image to be trashed internationally, has practically abandoned the valiant people of occupied Kashmir, has let national sovereignty to be chipped away, has not managed its relations with friendly countries like China at its optimal, has not handled the Indian threat with firmness and dignity, has done nothing to counter growing campaign against Pakistan’s nuclear assets, would be treacherous.

To be associated with a government which has used provincialism as a political tool, which has not resolved border commission dispute on Diamir dam, has not fulfilled its promises in Aghaze Huqooqe Balochistan or KPK financial revival package or FATA Reforms, has not fulfilled its rehabilitation commitments for earthquake 2005 victims, has not fulfilled provincial quota obligations, has discriminated between rural-urban and head-tail for water, has not held anyone accountable in mishaps like the Air Blue crash, has not resolved inter-provincial water disputes in line with 1991 Water Accord, has not passed the National Language Bill accepting the rights of provinces, would be disloyal.

To be associated with a government whose corruption, lack of meritocracy, incompetence has brought national economy down on its knees, which has mortgaged the coming generations’ future by mindless borrowing, shattered public sector corporations, retarded industrial production, hammered the small farmer and has pushed half the population in the depths of wretched poverty, would be a perversion.

To be associated with a government, which has willfully clashed with the judiciary, has dragged its feet on the Accountability Bill and the bill to prosecute terrorists, and has rendered parliament irrelevant, forcing thousands like myself to get justice from judiciary versus parliament would be treasonous.

To be associated with a government that is run by thugs and commission-mafia, who have lined up their pockets with development funds, deprived people of
their fundamental rights such as clean water, schools, health centers, roads, electricity, gas, would be shameful.

It is time that the people of Pakistan are freed from this government. It is time that sincere, tax-paying Pakistanis unite for Pakistan’s sake. It is time they reject old politics and espouse new politics, where the definition of politics is serving ones people rather than ruling over them. For the above reasons, I hereby tender my resignation for the sake of the people of AJK, Balochistan, GB, KPK, Punjab, Sindh – my Pakistan.

I intend to honour my oath by educating my people on the dangers of supporting a corrupt, inefficient and self-serving government that is happily allowing our homeland to descend into chaos. I want to impress upon my people through my Karavan-e-Haq, that they don’t have to accept a government that robs them daily. That they have a right to clean governance, and that their destiny is in their own hands.

I intend at all times to honour my flag, continuing my humble struggle for Haq and providing Pakistan with the leadership that can make it a just, moderate, and developed country.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


By Muhammad Mahtab Bashir

Who held you dearly when you first arrived in this world? Who held your precious hands, teaching you to take your first steps? Who did you want to emulate growing up? Who do you still look up to after all these years? – it’s your father.

Father's Day gives us an opportunity to recognise the contribution of the men who have nurtured us since birth - instilling in us values and inspiring us to be better human beings.

Our fathers are our guides, teachers and providers. They are the ones who work day in and day out to make sure that we get the best of everything life can possibly provide. Now is the time to show our appreciation for all the sacrifices that he chose to make for us. Every third Sunday of June, which this year happens to be the June 19 is celebrated as Father's Day.

On the occasion of this Father’s Day Sunday, I suggest sons and daughters to pack that perfect customised gift on this father’s Day- A perfect present truly customised to the taste of their fathers.

First, analyse the type of person he is. Think back and recall all the years spent closely with him. Is he a sporty person? Does he like to hit balls? Or is he a quiet person who likes to relax and listen to slow music? Is he a couch potato or does he prefer to read novels?

The next step is to brainstorm and prepare the surprise for him. If you grew up cheering your father when he played squash or tennis but now, due to age, lacks the vigour for strenuous sports, a golf club and a membership to his desired golfing club is ideal. He can enjoy sports that his age permits and also make friends with people his own age.

Did your father always cherish having a pet at home while your mom abhorred the very idea? You can get a bird, fish, puppy, cat, rabbit, tortoise or any other pet that he always wanted in the house. If you think a big aquarium or fish tank will take up too much space or cleaning it will be cumbersome, you can get a fish bowl with a single fish in it.

Is he a plant lover but could never manage the time for gardening? Buy him saplings of flowers, vegetables, fruits or herbs or and a combination of all. If your parents’ house lacks the space for a garden, arrange for a nook garden on your terrace. Arranging and paying for a gardener would relieve him of its high maintenance as well.

Does he like to listen to old music and watch old movies? If you can afford it, a DVD player will be just perfect. Nowadays the price of electric devices have become affordable and good quality DVD players are within most people's reach. Along with the player buy him a collection of his favourite movies from his early days. Try to recall his favourite movie stars or ask your mother who he cherished on the golden screen and voila, you've hit the jackpot.

Is he a bookworm? Get him a magazine subscription to any Pakistani, Indian or Western magazine. Depending on his preference you can subscribe to Readers Digest, Health, National Geographic, etc. Membership to a library like British Council or likewise libraries will take him into the kingdom of books too.

A hand made gift with a lot of thought and effort will be well appreciated. Make for him a card or paint “I LOVE YOU DAD” on a T-shirt. You can also make a collage of family pictures. Anything you prepare with your own hands will be adored.

If you have a big budget planned, you can buy a computer, cellphone or a ticket to his dream holiday destination or to see someone he has been longing to see such as other siblings, aunts and uncles.

Father's Day can provide the opportunity to get him what he needs. Buy a machine to measure his blood pressure or blood sugar. If his doctors have been recommending him to go on walks, get a pair of walking shoes and a treadmill.

You can also prepare his favourite meal or take him to dinner to a restaurant or spend the whole day together. You can also spend the day at home. Listen to him talk of his old days. A day well spent will fill in the gaps of the years of absence.

The gifts don't have to be awfully expensive or ostentatious. All that matters is you show him that his children, who are his greatest gifts themselves, love and care for him unconditionally and immensely. It can even be that he will never use the gift but will cherish it as a memento and hold it dearly to his heart.

Make Father's Day special for your father. Show him the gratitude that he truly deserves. Our fathers stood by us when we needed them. Prove to them today that we are here when they need us.

History of Father’s Day: It would be interesting to know how Father's Day came into practice and celebrated worldwide with an equal sincerity and respect as any other significant holidays. Here's a short history on the holiday, and meaning of the different colors of roses to be worn that Day.

About 4,000 years ago a young boy named Elmusu wished his Babylonian father good health and a long life by carving a Father's Day message on a card made out of clay. No one knows what happened to Elmesu or his father, but the tradition of having a special day honoring fathers has continued through the years in countries across the world.

The Countries, where the Catholic Church were of significant influence on the culture of the society, Father's Day is celebrated on St. Joseph's Day (March 19). However, a more secular celebration which is not associated with any religion is followed in recent times to highlight the increased diversity among people from all over the globe coexisting together in one place.

Father's Day is celebrated popularly on 3rd Sunday in June in many parts of the world. The idea for creating a day for children to honor their fathers began in Spokane, Washington. A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd thought of the idea for Father's Day while listening to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909. Having been raised by her father, Henry Jackson Smart, after her mother died, Sonora wanted her father to know how special he was to her. It was her father that made all the parental sacrifices and was, in the eyes of his daughter, a courageous, selfless, and loving man. Sonora's father was born in June, so she chose to hold the first Father's Day celebration in Spokane, Washington on the 19th of June, 1910.

In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. President Nixon, in 1972, established a permanent national observance of Father's Day to be held on the third Sunday of June. So Father's Day was born as a token of love and gratitude that a daughter cherishes for her beloved father. Roses are the Father's Day flowers: red to be worn for a living father and white if the father has died.

Monday, June 13, 2011


By Mahtab Bashir

With the theme "Children in hazardous work" for the World Day against Child Labour on June 12 (Sunday), Pakistan like other countries of the world is observing this day to mark the adoption of the landmark International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 182, which addresses the need for action to tackle the worst forms of child labour.

While celebrating progress made since t
he Convention's adoption in 1999, the World Day highlights continuing challenges, such as the millions of children involved in hazardous work.

This problem affects a wide variety of jobs and industries and is widespread in both developed and developing nations. The internation
al community has identified hazardous work as among the worst forms of child labour it has targeted for eradication by 2016. The World Day Against Child Labour is intended to focus global attention on this practice and call for urgent action to combat it.

While the world is observing International Day Against Child Labour, Noreen Bibi is all set to donate her only minor son Ali on the same day.

Someone rightly classified Pakistani society saying, “Society comprises two classes: those who have more food than appetite, and those who have more appetite than food.” Mothers have wishful thinking to pass on her kids hunger free life, quality education, and shelter for their protection to name few. Hunger is one inheritance no mother wants to give her child, yet millions of poor mothers have this for generations in Pakistan.

This downtrodden woman named Noreen Bibi who is living her life with four children, an unemployed husband at Taramri Chowk, Rawalpindi is struggling to feed her 6 members family on a meager income working as a servant in domestic houses works.

Noreen with the utter mortification announced that she wants to donate her son Ali aged 2 years to childless families or to those who have sympathy for children. Criticizing the prevalent Islamic values in the ‘land of Pure’, she said if poverty is my destination, I will request Christians, Ahmadi’s and other non-Muslims to nurture my beloved kid for the sake of his better future, forever as to her “Poverty is the mother of crime” but she has no other options available.

Noreen has three daughters and a son named Ali who is 2 years old. Her husband Khalid Malik was an employee in Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) in Rawalpindi was forced to quit his job few years back and since than he is earning nothing.

Talking to this scribe Noreen said, “I am living in Rawalpindi in a rented one room on Rs 3000/ month rent. I am suffering with various diseases asthma, high blood pressure, heart ailment to name few. My husband some day gets earning through daily labour work and another day he gets nothing. Many a times I went to government s
chools to seek admission for my kids but they refused to admit them on the grounds that children are not familiar to ABC of education,” Noreen said mournfully.

Noreen while talking to Daily Times, handed over a letter she wrote to Khadim-e-Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif and federal government to help her as she is in dire straights. “Those who are living in palaces and luxury houses could not be aware what I am going through at the moment. They do not know what is poverty, who is poor, and what is hopelessness. I am forced to beg alms, ‘Kairat’, ‘Zakaat’, and ‘Chanda’ to nurture my innocent children. On the other hand, government officials of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and of those working for educational policies are giving opportunities to their own kids but unfortunately, my kids have not seen the premises of any school. Food, cloth, shelter are not visible in my dreams even and nurturing of my children are impossible in such circumstances,” she wrote in her letter.

In the backdrop of “Poverty is like punishment for a crime you didn't commit”, Noreen quoted a recent incident of her son saying that in Islamic country and society, when my son was died because of poverty, and at the time of his burial, I was forced to give money for 4 feet grave of my kid when I do not have a penny,” she said wiping her tears.

Noreen said family disaster occurred as soon as my husband was fired illegally from a government department and now there is no hope for tomorrow. She requested philanthropists at large to contact her on her cell No. 03365011070.

ISLAMABAD: Arshad Mehmood, Executive Director (ED), Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) said that economic disparity is on alarming stage and we read such news on a daily basis when woman commits suicide, sell her children, or engaged them in bonded labour due to poverty. “Government should focus on these issues and streamline its organizations BISP, or Bait-ul-Maal in particular to look after these sort of cases and do something concrete for the welfare of these poor,” Mehmood said. He said it is the fundamental responsibility of government to give basic rights to all individuals. He said these children are also used on political grounds as well.

ISLAMABAD: Capt (r) Javed Ahmed, incharge Edhi Foundation (EF) in Islamabad said that selling or donating beloved children due to sheer poverty is now a common phenomenon in Pakistan. “Government should work seriously to deal such issues like unemployment, poverty, education and health but unfortunately none of these issues are being tackled seriously. Edhi Foundation is committed to give shelter to homeless people who are considered people of lesser God. Ahmed said Noreen should contact us in this regard.

ISLAMABAD: Talking to Daily Times Najmud Din, Vice Chairman (VC), Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said that this is gruesome situation and Noreen is not the only case, there are millions of such cases exist not only in Pakistan but all over the world due to poverty. “I must say government should move forward to resolve these issues of poverty, education and health as they are the fundamental rights of every individual and responsibility of state. There are few government run organizations working to resolve these issues and they must play their part. There were millions of IDP’s living in various places due to natural calamities who are facing the same plight and people of Pakistan themselves helped them out whereas government organizations remained in slumber mode,” Najam said adding government should give every individual the right of food, education, health and shelter.