Thursday, October 25, 2012




Bashir Hussain Nazim with Majeed Nizami
With the Eid-ul-Adha on the edge, I am penning down my emotions and gut-feelings shared with my great father Bashir Hussain Nazim- immersed with love, dignity, honour and pride. I will miss my dad on Eid day, because of contrasting views on slaughtering of Bakra. I distinctly remember, last year on the Eid day when I planned to hire the services of a Butcher and after some time a Butcher stood at doorstep, father asked him whether he knows about Takbeer? A shake of his head in negative not only put that Butcher in deep trouble but gathered sheer mortification to me as well (not to mention what happened once the Butcher left :-). Later, father himself slaughtered the goat while we managed to handle the legs of that Bakra.

On a very serous note, I will miss my father more than words will ever allow me to express. He was my hero, the wise one I listened to and sought advice from, he was my medicine man when I was ill. My dad was the first man I fell in love with as a little boy and no man will ever fill his shoes nor will walk closely behind. I find comfort in his quick and painless passing but the sorrow will always be deep. He was a simple man- a Shalwar-Kameez type of grace.

My father, Allama Bashir Hussain Nazim was a self-taught person. A linguist personified, a naat khawan and naat composer at par, a staunch lover of Holy Prophet (pbuh), a passionate admirer of Iqbal and a true man of letters. 
Abbu with Ashfaq Ahmed, Bano Qudsia and Mansha Yad

I am blessed to have had such a wonderful man like he was. I was also blessed to be with him as he disappeared to meet his creator. As he entered home on the night of June 16 at 1130 hours, we found him in agonizing pain. I thought this pain was business as usual as he often asked me pointing towards his legs “ay phar yar merian lattan, daba zara, kafi dard ho riya ay”. As we started rubbing and massaging his legs, he felt suffocation along severe sweating. Without wasting time, we called a nearby physician, who had a quick examination and referred us to move him to hospital. And within few minutes, we were on our way towards CMH, Rawalpindi (of which Abbu wished to go, because of his son Brig. Dr Mukarram Bashir , who is working there). We reached there within 20 minutes. As we were covering the distance, I found father reciting holy verses and Darood-e-Pak (as he always found). During this drive, I was not panicked sensing it would be a normal check up. May be father is having food poisoning, may be its because of weakness, or a drip or two will definitely help him stand back on his feet, I thought (because father never told pain in his chest). As he was put on hospital’s bed and Mukarram Bhai along with two other doctors on duty engaged in the remedial process, I took a sigh of relief, left that spot and came outside in the car parking with the prayers on my lips. After 10-15 minutes I thought to go inside to know the updates- I found one duty doctor whispering with Mukarram Bhai, “we are doing the hospital’s procedural work and after that its upto you either you take the body along right now or at morning time.” This brief sentence was the most shocking I have ever heard throughout my life. I found a spot slipping away beneath my feet, literally. I yelled… “what are you talking about. I will see my father myself. I will treat him myself.” …and as I entered the ward, throw the curtain away… I found my beloved father wrapped in a white sheet. I hurriedly slipped the piece of cloth to see his face. He was smiling, and reciting Darood-e-Pak but his lips were not moving ……….!!! I hugged him tightly to confirm whether he is gone and in response he never produced a whisper, even. I only wished I would have hugged him longer and tighter a bit earlier on that blessed night of “Meiraaj Shareef”, and with the dawn of “Fathers’ Day”, had I known it was the last time his strong arms would hold me.






A sacrificial animal, for a grown up faithful, may be just a sombre offering from a man to his Creator but for children it is a welcome guest and a thrill while it lasts. With Eidul Azha just round the corner, groups of children can be seen everywhere in the city, showing off their sacrificial animals.

Children are very excited these days and they are having a great fun in walking with their animals, patting and caressing them, feeding them and adorning them with colourful leashes, reins, strings, ribbons, henna, and other little ornaments. Unaware of the exorbitant prices of sacrificial animals and their parent’s ordeal of buying them, children are just thrilled to have them around.

This scribe learnt on Thursday after a visit to the cattle market in H-11 that the prices of animals this year are three times higher than the previous year’s. Hence Eidul Azha, like Eidul Fitre can be called an event for the children since they are the ones who have the maximum fun on these holy days. Kids’ demand for sacrificial animals started as soon as August did. These days, they can be seen boasting about prices, colours and physical features of their animals. These children are just not contented to have their sacrificial animals; they do everything to make them look ‘beautiful’ too.

“I have purchased a few ornaments to decorate my goat that my father purchased spending Rs 30,000. Now, I have adorned my animal with reins of bright colours and silver ornaments for its neck and legs,” said Hamza, a youngster. These enthusiastic children dedicatedly perform all the chores related to their animals, which include arranging for their fodder, sheltering and taking them for a walk. Talha Shakil, 10, said he had to wait all year for Eidul Azha so that he could enjoy the company of his goat. “I love to take it for a walk,” he said. He said that he along with his friends would take their animals for a walk, preferably to some nearby meadow twice a day.

Another kid, Oheed Ahmed, said he preferred to go with his parents to select the animal of his choice, suggesting it should be beautiful enough to show off. “We friends have a sort of competition among us as to whose animal is more beautiful and healthy than others’,” he said. He said it was not easy to look on when one’s animal was being slaughtered. “It’s really hard to sacrifice them but it has to be like that,” he said. Although kids usually fail to collect much Eid allowances on this Eid but they feel compensated with the company of sacrificial animals.

Eidul Azha is celebrated annually on the 10th of the last Islamic month, Zilhajj, of the lunar Islamic calendar. The celebrations begin after the Hajj on the 9th, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia by Muslims worldwide. On Eidul Azha faithful sacrifice their animals to seek Allah’s blessing. Many people have yet to buy animals because they are hoping that the prices might come down in the next couple of days.

Monday, October 15, 2012


According to a BBC Urdu service report, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Hakeemullah Mehsud has issued ‘special directions’ to his subordinates in different cities of Pakistan to target Pakistani and international media groups. This is the TTP’s response in anger at the critical coverage the media across the board has given to the assassination attempt on Malala Yousafzai. On the government’s part, the threat is being taken seriously. The Federal Interior Ministry says intelligence agencies have intercepted a telephone conversation between Hakeemullah Mehsud and a subordinate, Nadeem Abbas alias Intiqami, in which the TTP chief directed Abbas to attack media organisations that denounced the TTP after the Malala incident. The cities specified to be targeted are Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad and others. Clearly, this is as wide as media targeting can get. The Interior Ministry in response has issued orders to beef up security at the offices of media organisations by deploying additional police. If needed, the government will deploy the Frontier Constabulary as reinforcements. The ministry has also cautioned religious scholars who had publicly denounced the Taliban following the attack.

The countrywide revulsion against the targeting by the TTP of a 14-year-old girl whose only ‘crime’ was standing up defiantly against the Taliban’s campaign to bring a halt to education in general, and girls education in particular, in areas under their influence was also reflected in media coverage of the event. Our lively media rarely converges on such a consensus on anything. When it does, things cannot remain the same and the pressure of public opinion generated as a result of this media consensus tends to force the authorities’ hand to respond to the issue. To their credit, the authorities, from the government to the armed forces, have unanimously come to the conclusion that enough is enough.
Now what remains to be seen is how this convergence translates into action. The reports about finally firmly grasping the nettle that is North Waziristan, the hotbed and safe haven of the Taliban, are a hopeful sign, despite the military’s reiteration of the need for a political decision before an offensive can be launched. The apprehension all along about military action in North Waziristan has been the adverse asymmetrical effect in the form of a terrorist blowback throughout the country. By its very nature, the protagonists of such warfare retreat before overwhelming force deployed against them and strike elsewhere so as to distract and stretch out the security forces, which inevitably produces gaps in the security network. It is imperative therefore that unlike previous military campaigns, including the ones in Swat and South Waziristan, any campaign against the terrorists holed up in North Waziristan must take into account and pre-empt the militants’ ability to melt away into other areas in the face of a military offensive, to live and fight another day. Any offensive in North Waziristan therefore must treat the requirements of the theatre as a whole, cut off retreat routes, and at the same time brace for terrorist attacks elsewhere in Pakistan. Bitter as the harvest of a North Waziristan offensive has the potential to reap, there is now no escape from taking out these fanatics and cleansing the soil of Pakistan from such inimical forces that threaten the best values of our state and society.
Courtesy: Daily Times