Author: SHAHID JAVED

Environmental Engineer from Lahore, Pakistan. An Australian immigrant these days living in Sydney, Australia.

Death of two great literary ladies

Start of 2017 brought two tragedies for us within the first 50 days. On 12 January famous journalist and writer Rukhsana Noor passed away in Lahore after fighting for several years against cancer. She was wife of renowned film director Syed Noor. Her death is a big loss for the literary circle of Lahore. She was a very decent lady. I was lucky to meet her in Lahore in 2003 when she was doing a film song programme for Pakistan Television. She recorded my own composition for her program. She wrote many films for her husband Syed Noor, out which Punjabi film Choorian was the biggest success.

rukhsana-noor

Rukhsana Noor

Second loss was the death of amazing writer, novelist, widow of Ashfaq Ahmed, Mohtarma Bano Qudsia; who breathed her last in Lahore on 4 February 2017. She was regarded as the best female spiritualist who left a long list of mourners behind her. I came to know about her skills and talents through Mumtaz Mufti’s book Alakh Nagri (الکھ نگری). Mufti writes that Bano was a wonderful person in every role. She was a very dedicated housewife, a loving mother and amazingly talented thinker and philosopher. As per Mufti she was much more genius than her legendary husband Ashfaq Ahmed, however she always supported him. Bano’s novel Raja Gidh (راجہ گدھ) is regarded as one of the best novels in the history of Urdu literature. My friends Imran Mufti in his recent meeting with me in Lahore made me surprised by telling that Bano was a converted Muslim who left Christianity and embraced Islam before getting married to Ashfaq Ahmed.

bano-qudsia

Bano Qudsia

I pray to Allah SWT to bless both of the great ladies with high ranks in Jannat ul Firdous and grant patience to their family members.

Pathetic service by Etihad Airways and Pakistan International Airlines

Recently I had experience of traveling with Etihad Airways on my visit to Pakistan. When I booked my return tickets for Sydney-Lahore-Sydney including transit in Abu Dhabi, I was informed that Etihad arranged my flight from Abu Dhabi to Lahore through their partner airline PIA. I had planned two day stay in Abu Dhabi and Dubai during my transit. I left from Sydney by Etihad Airways flight for Abu Dhabi on the 7th of December 2016. It was a 14 hour long flight. I was highly disappointed to see the poor level of service from the crew. I turned crew service light on 3 times to ask for coffee, which had not been served. No one came to me at all. Then I requested a passing air hostess to serve me the coffee.

When I was about to take my flight from Abu Dhabi for Lahore I was informed at the airport that PIA cancelled the flight. I contacted Etihad Airways through telephone and requested the telephonic representative to provide me the information about the flight arrangements for Lahore. He told me that he had emailed my request to the concerned staff and they would contact me shortly. I received not even a single call or email from Etihad. Now I got worried because my wedding function was planned on the following day. In short I kept running between the PIA and Etihad offices and none of them put any consideration on my issue. PIA was not assisting the angry passengers properly and they were highly upset. Later on my request one PIA staff member advised me that I should have brought a new ticket for Lahore, through Karachi in business class as no seat was available in the economy class. I had to pay almost AED 1,500 extra for this journey.

After this bad experience I would never ever travel through Etihad and PIA. Both airlines provide pathetic services to the travellers. It’s far better to travel by Thai Airways or Emirates Airlines.

Absence of strict laws helping pornography spread in Pakistan

When I was a college student in 90s, a video scandal got viral. That time famous Pakistani actress Shahida Mini’s sex video with some unknown male was easily available on the video rental shops. To my surprise no notice was taken at all. However Shahida Mini was strongly condemned over this vulgar act.

Last year Lollywood actress Meera got involved in a similar scandal when her private bedroom video got viral in which she is doing shameful activities with her friend Naveed. Both later denied the video by claiming that someone made it using computer technology. However again no one took any action at all. Later two TV actresses Sophia and Rida Isfahani also released extremely vulgar videos of themselves. These videos are uploaded on porn websites and can be watched easily.

PEMRA and other government agencies and authorities are silent on this sensitive issue which is simply affecting our youth. These actresses are using such videos for their sex marketing so that the upper class could pay them high for their time. We demand that PEMRA should immediately take up the matter and these culprits must be given strict punishments by the courts so that no one could ever do to do such ugly activities again. Also these artists should be banned by the media.

Response to the hateful sentiments of Adnan Sami Khan and Abhijeet Bhatacharia

In the recent weeks Indian forces have crossed every limit of violence in the occupied Kashmir. They killed independence movement leader Burhan Vani which ignited the Muslim community of Kashmir and as a result clashes started between the Kashmiris and the Indian Army deployed there.

Indian government allowed soldiers to use pallet bullets against the protesters. This is the worst example of inhuman torture. Pallet bullets made many people blind, including women and children. When Kashmiris saw that no one in the Indian government was worried about this violation of human rights, they attacked Indian Army base camp in Kashmir and killed some soldiers. India once again, without any proof, blamed Pakistan on this. Indian Army later claimed false fully that they conducted surgical strike in Pakistan, which they failed to prove. Pakistani Prime Minister Mr. Nawaz Sharif addressed to the UN General Assembly where he supported Kashmiris and their cause. He condemned Indian forces on using pallet bullets in Kashmir.

In this scenario Indian film industry Bollywood had to announce that no Pakistani artist would be cast in their new projects. Pakistani actors were told to leave India immediately by the terrorist Indian political parties. In the last week we listened to the ugly and hate provoking statements from ex-Pakistani national Adnan Sami Khan, and Indian singer Abhijeet Bhatacharia. Adnan supported Indian army on attacking Pakistan. Abhijeet Bhatacharia also used foul language against the Pakistani artists and said they should have been kicked out of India immediately.

I have been a big fan of many Bollywood artists like Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Hima Malini, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Madhuri Dixit. I believe that artists have nothing to do with the politics.

adnan-sami

Adnan Sami Khan; I would like to say “Shame on you”. You were introduced to the world through Pakistan Television, where you gave piano performances. Veteran Pakistani film director Syed Noor gave you chance to act as a hero in his classic film Sargam, which got flopped because of your fat body, but he never blamed you for his loss. You moved to India few years back and later got Indian nationality which India offered to you just because they knew that it would hurt Pakistanis. You must remember that Indian armed forces are torturing inhumanly in Kashmir. Did you have courage to speak against the use of pallet bullets in Kashmir??? No! So please just shut up!!!!

abhijeet

Abhijeet Bhatacharia; you are a loser who nobody wants to listen to after listening to the melodious voices of Pakistani artists Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Atif Aslam and Shafqat Amanat Ali. You are jealous with Pakistani talented singers and actors because they are much more popular than you. Shame on you and your ugly thoughts!!!

Pakistan needs a vocal and efficient Foreign Minister

bhutto-the-fm

Pakistan is going through the most critical and challenging phase of its history these days. India is playing its cards very sharply and has been successful in aligning USA, Iran and Afghanistan with them against Pakistan. Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi recently has raised his voice for the people of Baluchistan which is a very alarming thing. On the other side India has started torturing and killing Kashmiri freedom fighters once again. They have convinced USA successfully that terrorists have their roots in Pakistan.

Our Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is not keeping good health and also he is very much worried due to the strong opposition and demand for his stepping down by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) after his family’s involvement in the Panama Leaks scandal. Mr. Sharif has not appointed any Foreign Minister since his government was formed. He looks after foreign issues himself. However it is realised by all political figures and analysts that Pakistan is suffering a lot because of not having a full time Foreign Minister.

Mr. Nawaz Sharif is a silent person by his personality and speaks very less, which is useless in current scenario. He hardly issues any statement against India. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan gave a good lesson to India during the SAARC conference in Islamabad but he can’t do more because his role is not to look after the foreign affairs. In my opinion at this stage Pakistan has to respond Indian actions with strong strategic and diplomatic actions. We therefore need someone like Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto who was a an efficient and vocal Foreign Minister. Otherwise Pakistan will lose all its allies one by one and India will get a very strong position in the region, which will be a big danger for our motherland.

Kumar Sanu Concert – A night to remember!

It was in 1990 when I first time heard the voice of Kumar Sanu after release of Bollywood super hit film Ashiqui (عاشقی). He was introduced as playback singer by the music producer duo Nadeem-Shravan. Kumar’s beautiful voice made everyone his fan. After this initial success he didn’t stop and gave wonderful songs to the Indian film industry.

On 30th of July 2016 one of my biggest wishes got fulfilled when I got a chance of listening to this great singer live in Sydney. Whitlam Leisure Centre in Liverpool was jam packed with 2500 people who had gathered to experience one of the best Bollywood performances. Sadhna Sargam was there with Kumar Sanu to make the evening a memorable one. Concert started around 7:30 pm with the performance of a young Indian female singer Rachna Chopra. She sang four beautiful Bollywood songs which included Chura Liya (چرا لیا ہے تم نے) and Raat Baaqi (رات باقی، بات باقی). She impressed with her melodious voice.

Now it was the time for which everyone had been waiting…… Host announced the name of Kumar Sanu. A short video documentary was played for displaying Kumar’s musical journey. Sanu gave his entry with his evergreen song Dou Dil Mil Rahay Hayn (دو دل مل رہے ہیں). Then he sang a large number of his super hit numbers. Some of them are:

Saansoun Ki Zaroorat Hay Jaisay

Ek Larki Ko Dekha

Tu Milay Dil Khilay

Sanbhala Hay May Nay

Dil Hay Ke Maanta Naheen

Mera Chand Mujhay Aaya Hay Nazar

Tu Meri Zindagi Hay

Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhayn

After this session he left the stage for Sadhna Sargam, who maintained tempo of the concert with her superb performance. She sang her popular songs. Some of them are:

Saat Sumandar Paar

Pehla Nasha, Pehla Khumaar

Chak De Saaray Gham

Chanda Re

Hanstay Hanstay Kut Jayain Rastay

Mujh Ko Hui Na Khabar

Meray Khwaaboun Mein Jo Aaye

Gajar Nay Kia Hay Ishara (with Rachna Chopra)

Then Kumar Sanu came back and both he and Sadhna sang some beautiful duets, which included:

Tujhay Dekha Tou Yeh

Jab Koi Baat Bigar Jaye

Chura Ke Dil Mera

Baazigar O Baazigar

Larki Barri Anjani Hay

Mayn Tujhay Chorr Ke Kahaan (last song)

It was the best ever concert that I have ever attended. Not only the performance but sound system, stage setup (done by Taj Mahal Events) and lighting all were just perfect. Audience enjoyed every moment of the concert. Sada-e-Shahid congratulate the organisers for arranging such a memorable event.

Visit to Pakistan – 2016

Islamabad Metro

I have recently returned from Pakistan after spending three weeks with my family members and friends. During my visit well renowned philanthropist Mr. Abdul Sattar Edhi passed away which made everyone grieved. He was a true legend and a wonderful example of true Muslim. He will be remembered forever.

I mostly stayed in Lahore and spent some time in Multan and Islamabad as well. As far as development is concerned, no doubt that now streets and roads in all these cities are much improved. Islamabad Metro stations are designed so beautifully that you feel like you are in Dubai. Centaurus Mall is also an amazing shopping mall which must be visited. Lahore has got Pakistan’s biggest mall Emporium which is still not opened fully, however it will be a wonderful shopping and entertainment complex once opened completely. In Multan the Metro Bus track is under construction and after its completion the city will have good transportation as well.

In spite of the above mentioned developments I feel sorry to mention that there is no change in the attitude of our people. Except in Islamabad, riders and drivers have no patience at all. No one gives way to others and many people help blocking the traffic at the junctions. Even Police is helpless in controlling the traffic. It gave me lot of stress. On the other hand life has become very difficult there due to the uncontrolled inflation. There is no guarantee of the products that they are genuine in spite of the high prices. Only few stores now give you five rupee coin in change, otherwise 10 rupees are the minimum currency denomination now, which is very alarming. Government claims that it has improved the financial situation of country which is a big lie. In Multan people realise that there was no need of Metro bus at all but it was better to spend the same money on the condition of existing roads and bringing more buses for helping people to commute to different routes in the city.

As far as political scene is concerned, most of the educated people want Nawaz Sharif to resign after the Panama Leaks. However most of the uneducated or underprivileged people still support PMLN. They voted for them in the recent Azad Kashmir elections and proved that the nation does not deserve Imran Khan at all. Many friends of mine have lost their hope in PTI as well and they expect action from Pakistan Army to get them rid of the existing PMLN governments in federal and Punjab.

I wish that our leaders could spend on the awareness of people of Pakistan. They should spend more on hospitals and schools rather than just decorating the country. We need real price control implemented by the government in Pakistan. During Ramadan and Eid, grocers and shopkeepers charged highly unreasonable amounts on everyday grocery items and no one took any notice at all. Government is least bothered about the inflation and the ministers and parliament members are just concerned of just their own positions and assets. Pakistan needs a real change now otherwise we will reach to the point of no return.

Seven Years of love and commitment – and the journey continues……

Majid hero.jpg

25 June is back again for the seventh time and we don’t have Majid with us. In 2009 on the same day when he left this cruel world, we could have never imagined how our love for him would keep multiplying. Since that day Dr. Javed’s Family got a new shape. Majid became the most important member of our loving family. Not a single day passes when he is not remembered by all of his family members. Allah has been so kind on us that all of us have visited Melbourne to see where Majid used to live and roam around.

Majid was the smiling soul, with a great sense of humour and witty nature, who always took care of the people around him. He was an extremely sensitive person who could not see anyone sad. His colleagues at Netsol are witness to this. Majid in his short life tried his best to achieve a high living standard which up to some extent he did. He by nature was a king who never compromised on quality of our events. He filled Rashid’s wedding with colours. No one can forget the dances and fun through which he entertained all the cousins and friends on this memorable wedding. I was unfortunate that Majid had left for Australia when I got married.

We as his brothers have always him in our thoughts. On the prayer mat after offering the prayer rituals before anyone else we pray for his forgiveness to Allah SWT. By God his love is growing with every passing day and will insha Allah keep growing till the day we leave this world to join him in the life hereafter.

Here we feel proud to say that we have fulfilled our commitment with the soul of our beloved brother that we would not forgive those cruel faces who ignored him on his death and did not find time for coming to the family. We love Majid and all those who love him. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Ameen!

Evening with Zia Mohyeddin – an unforgettable event!

Urdu International Australia is a Sydney based cultural organisation which tried to promote Urdu literature through its programmes and events. On 7 May 2016 they organised a beautiful evening in Husrstville, a Sydney suburban area, where we got opportunity to meet and listen one of the most dynamic literary person, the living legend, Mr. Zia Mohyeddin who was joined by the visiting Urdu poets Mr. Musaddaq Lakhani, Dr. Baqar Raza and Khushbeer Singh Shaad. In addition there was a breathtaking classical dance performance by Sydney’s local artist Jyoti Duxit, termed as ‘Poetry in Motion’.

Beautiful hall of Civic Theatre was jam packed with the audience and many of them could not get seated. President of Urdu International Mr. Ashraf Shad, a renowned Urdu poet, inaugurated the event with his opening speech in which he welcomed the distinguished guests. He presented a brief introduction of Zia Mohyeddin. Dr. Shabbir Haider was then invited onto the stage for welcoming the legend formally.

Zia Mohyeddin as usual was dressed gracefully. He thanked the organisers and audience for their love and respect. Zia sahib then read a number of poems and proses which were selected from the best Urdu and English literature collections of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Pitras Bukhari, Dr. Younis Butt, Ayub Khawar and Shaukat Thanvi. They included humorous as well as serious and thought provoking subjects. But the best thing was the presentation. Zia has got a God gifted skill and voice quality that is unmatchable. He gave life to the written words. We smiled and laughed with him, and at some sentences we got our eyes filled with tears. 83 year old gentleman made a non-stop performance for almost 90 minutes. After he finished crowed gave his standing ovation.

During the interval Zia sahib came to meet his fans in another hall where the organisers had placed his two books for sale. Zia sahib gave autograph on the first page to every purchaser. It also provided a lifetime opportunity to his fans of getting their photographs with the legend. I didn’t miss the opportunity and purchased his autography titled as “The God of my Idolatry”. I not only expressed my best wishes for him but also told her a little about my blog writing, which he appreciated.

After the interval Jyoti Duuxit was called onto the stage who gave a spectacular dancing performance on Urdu Ghazal ‘Haal-e-Dil Hum Ko’ (حال دل ہم کو یاد آنے لگے). I was getting late so left after her performance and missed the Mushaira (poetic session).

I greet Urdu International Australia for arranging such a marvellous programme and providing us the opportunity to watch and listen to a living legend.

Corrupt leadership exposed after Panama Papers leak

panamaleakspm

Panama Papers have not only exposed our Prime Minister and his family members but also put a question mark on our national accountability system. Punjab Chief Minister already has become controversial by not allowing National Accountability Bureau to conduct any investigation in Punjab to find the irregularities and corruption in mega government projects like Nandipur Power Plant and Metro bus and train projects

Recently after the Gulshan Iqbal Park bomb blast in Lahore there is a big demand from the public and lawmakers to allow Pak Army to expand their counter-terrorism operation. However Punjab government didn’t like the idea and opposed it.

This difference of treatment between Punjab and other provinces is increasing hatred between the residents of other provinces and of Punjab.

Nawaz Sharif and his party PMLN is already under fire after hanging Mumtaz Qadri and giving safe way to General Retd. Pervez Musharaf, who was facing serious judicial inquiries. It seems that there is no rule of law in Pakistan. Today I interacted with some of very high calibre Pakistanis in Sydney. We discussed on Qadri issue and agreed that it was not a good move to hang him. Instead he could have been given life imprisonment. If government believes that he was treated according to the law then why Raymond Davis was released and Musharraf was given free path.

In the coming days there will be more evidences coming against Sharif family and their political career will seize just like Chaudhries and Bhuttos.