Earth Hour in Pakistan?????

World Wide Fund for Nature made a commitment to organize Earth Hour on the 23rd March, from 2030 PST to 2130 PST. People across Pakistan were supposed to switch off their lights for a complete one hour and celebrate the cut in carbon emission. Since the climatic change is over-whelming and the world is emitting fumes that are harming the ozone layer, such a step not only proves to be useful, it also creates a sense of responsibility among the youth and a desire to be part of a movement.

But does it really have the desired impact in a country like Pakistan- in particular Karachi?

Karachi is a complex and beautiful city. Its beauty arises from the myriad of ethnicities it houses. Being a metropolitan city it also has a lot of foreign people residing and at least a few of them claiming to love it. The city has its rush hours, its pollution, its crowds, its noise, but then which metro doesn’t. It has a myriad of issues, with broken roads, some broken telephone wires and biggest of all the tickling and  playing electricity. The city that is awake at night and that refuses to sleep, although it is not safe at night these days, has one issue that has an effect of a plague. Electricity!

Last year alone the outages at a minimum were 3 hours per day. If we see that on a 10 month scale, excluding the winter months which are better, that would amount to 822 hours. In some areas of Karachi the outages were 14 hours at a stretch. Furthermore, some areas even had 18 hours without any electric supply. If the numbers are to be calculated the scale would tip to around 4500 hours. If in the last year alone Earth enjoyed around 4500 hours of no-carbon hours from Karachi alone, just imagine what was the contribution of Pakistan to ‘Earth HourS’ in 2012 alone!!!

The argument that comes here is that people had generators of some sort to switch on lights. I ask- how many people can afford that type of luxury? No doubt the sales rose, but so did the prices. Even with the power generation units, people prefer to power up single or two units only. They prefer not to power the whole house since it requires a lot of energy and resources.

Why celebrate Earth Hour!

With such a huge contribution in millions of precious hours already made by the whole Pakistan- does it really matter if we ‘celebrate’ Earth Hour with the rest of the world. I don’t think so. I believe the rest of the world should recognize the contribution Pakistan has already made to the world at large. Power outages whether created or genuine have markedly reduced the carbon footprint and by celebrating the Earth Day we not just undermine our contribution, we also don’t admit it.

On 23rd March the mausoleum of the Quaid was darkened because of the Earth Hour. I ask the whole nation, “Does the man who gave you a country deserve a dark mausoleum, on Pakistan Day? Doesn’t that make you feel ashamed or make you feel a tiny bit disturbed? The man gave the people a place to live and fresher air to breathe, and what we give him at the 66th anniversary of Pakistan Day is a dark forgotten hour to celebrate with the earth!!!! Not with Pakistan or with our land to say the least.”


A People Stronger Than The State……

I read in a book that at the time of partition “India as a state was stronger than its people and Pakistani people were stronger than the state.” Not willing to debate on the aspect of partition here, but the historian had a point. Today after years of hardships on both sides the situation is not much different. As a people Pakistanis have their own line of thought and are not willing to submit it for the greater good of the country. But it is also commendable that when calamities strike the oneness of Pakistanis, irrespective of names, religions, stature, class and creed is worth watching. Again the bewitched-line-of-thought has to strike someone, which made me realize that poverty is a malaise that makes people want more than is given to them.

Many NGO got together, special information system was put in place to locate affectees, the extent of damage was monitored by the many mobile systems in place, food, clean drinking water, shelter, make-do tents and medicines were made available to whatever areas were reported. Civilians and army worked hand in hand to provide relief in the major calamity that came in the form of earthquake first and flood the second time. What was astonishing was the spirit of people who wanted to help with money and material. People took leaves from their work and traveled to affected areas to deliver the goods themselves lest the bewitched-line-of-thought of some peasant make the hard-earned and dedicated work go to waste. It was no wonder that many such affectees got jobs in cities and were hired as permanent  employees. Many new businesses cropped up over night, especially in the textile sector as the people coming from the affected cities were skilled artisans.

While all this was going on, the devil was lurking and found his way to those bewitched people who thought it was ok to lie and cheat to bask in the glory and take some advantage of the over-flowing emotions of the people. While people were really disturbed, some could go back to normal lives, but they CHOSE not to. Instead easy money was their way of life, shorter but easier way of life. They pulled people’s emotions towards themselves by narrating stories that were heart-wrenching, disturbing and drastic but all were blatantly false and outright lies. Yes, they got the monetary benefit from organizations and people, but not for long since man is a leaner and learns to detect lies and deceit. For some wannabes who were not affected at all, the deceit was a fun game, a way to beg and earn extra cash!!

Earning extra cash by narrating stories is a new career that pops up specially when calamities strike. At least in the current 5 years of democracy I have witnessed it. While the lower tier begs the middle and upper class, the upper tier begs the international community. Excluding those dedicated international community country leaders who have a heart and no motive to invest in Pakistan, the rest listen to petty stories and give out cash to a so-called democratic, agriculture-based country which is an insult to their own thinking abilities. If you cannot do a background search on the leaders you are giving away to, kindly ask someone in your regimes to do it. You will stop the giving away in times of calamity.

While the State as a whole can not do much to change its people, the people in their own individuality can even change perceptions about the State. People residing outside Pakistan have done more harm than give a positive outlook to religion and Constitution, both which they do not understand. The leaders in individuality have minted more money than they can ever spend leaving the State more than ever dependent on foreign aid, which is never there to stay with the State. I wish more than ever that Mr. Jinnah, who gave us a country to run with an illiterate people(metaphorically),  would have been with the country a little more so that he would have laid down some concrete principles. But the again, who knows the same people who have been ripping off his country today, would have shredded those same principles and built their own in the name of modernization of the State and religion, an act which would have been even more saddening and drastic!! RIP Mr.Jinnah!

The revolution thy name is ……… long march!

While thousands of people stride towards the capital of Pakistan I sit in Karachi wondering more than ever if this is really the revolution we all were waiting for- the new world order- the end of the world- the Mayan calender ending and causing a demonic or angelic change in the demography and geography of Pakistan.

There are numerous views on the long march. The political view, the non-political view, view of the masses which undoubtedly holds strong and the view of the spectators. While all views take but one angle and side of the event and stick to it the spectators are pretty choosy and try to question all angles and even the most dumb and pathetic angles.

Trying hard to discredit Dr.Tahir ul Qadri, the spectators, believe they can spring up anecdotes of their own accord and stash it up, again having firm faith they have threatened the Doc’s mission. Knowing full well that the doc has not given his full agenda, and he happens to be a lawyer, the spectators should be careful in appropriating anecdotes and mission-failing prophecies to a learned man.

Changing startegy might come in handy to channels who wish to increase their viewership, instead of name-calling or verbally harassing or challenging people who are following the Doc who is out for a change. Many people didnot ‘understand’ English during the revolution of Pakistan, nontheless they fervently listened to Mr.Jinnah, BELIEVING that whatever he was saying was the truth and the right thing.