Life

Our attitude as Pakistani and Indian expatriates in Australia

Pak-India flags

When I migrated to Australia permanently in 2010 I decided to make this beautiful country my home. I taught my daughters that Australia is our home and we should feel proud on being residents of such a beautiful and developed country. However later I realised that unfortunately many Australian citizens who were born in India still show their hatred towards Pakistani born Australians. Few good people fighting against this negative attitude are Ejaz Khan, Zahid Minhas(serving the community through Radio Dosti program for last 20 years), Balbir Singh, Maqsood Nagi, Shagufta Zia, Rekha Maharaj Vikas Paul and Lucky Singh. I also try to promote friendship between Pakistani and Indian born Australians wherever possible.

Recently Sydney saw a sad incident that affected these efforts badly. Indian film awards show IFFAA was being organised here in which renowned Pakistani artists were also invited by the organisers. Tickets were selling very fast and Subcontinent community was eagerly waiting for the date of event. All of a sudden the event got cancelled. Initially the organisers informed that due to tensions between India and Pakistan, the Pakistani artists would not be participating in the event, and later they cancelled the whole event. Vikas Paul was one of the main organisers. He told later that he and other organisers received threats from RSS (Indian extremist religious group) members in Australia that they would not let it happen and would attack Indian celebrities in their own country who were participating in the event. On their pressure management decided to drop Pakistani artists initially and later cancelled the whole event.

It’s not something new. India has got more extremists than Pakistan has. In Pakistan religious vote makes 2.5% of the total votes cast, whereas in India RSS supported BJP got 60% of the total cast votes in their last polls.

I would like to request my Australian friends from India and Pakistan to take each other as Australians, not Indian or Pakistani. We much promote love and respect for each other so that we could create a better environment here. Anyone who promotes hatred must be left alone.

Advance Australia Fair

Pakistan Zindabad – Jay Hind

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!

Comparison between Big Apple (New York) and Harbour City (Sydney)

NYCSydney

I visited USA in the first fortnight of November 2015. When I got my Australian citizenship in June this year I planned to celebrate it by visiting great places. First I spent two beautiful days in Australian entertainment capital Gold Coast in July. Then I visited Auckland, New Zealand in October. My parents also accompanied me during this three day tour which was a memorable one.

On 6th of November I left for New York by a Qantas airline flight. During my stay there I was asked by many of my friends to compare the New York lifestyle with that of Lahore, Karachi and Sydney. I however replied that I would like to compare NYC with Sydney as it can’t be compared with Lahore or Karachi. It doesn’t mean that Lahore and Karachi are not good cities, but the reason why I can’t compare NYC with them will elaborate itself in the following paragraphs.

  1. Roads, rails and transport

Roads in both cities are generally good. However in New York there are lot more bridges, intersections and flyovers than those in Sydney. In all over USA you will find distances measured and written in miles rather than kilometres. However one thing that bothered me during my driving was the lack of speed limit signs in NYC, whereas in Sydney we see them quite often. In Australia we drive right hand cars on the left side while in the USA they drive left hand cars on the right side. Traffic rules are almost the same.

NYC has a much bigger metro train network as compared with the Sydney’s one. Trains in NYC are extra-long and have single deck. Many lines run parallel to each other and there are too many junctions. Even in Manhattan (NYC business and financial hub) there are countless stations. Sydney has a smaller train network but Sydney has much better double decker trains. NYC subway stations are not very good and present a poor impression whereas Sydney train stations are much cleaner.

Taxis in NYC are quite cheaper than those in Sydney. Uber is legal in USA and Uber drivers display a ‘U’ sign on their front screen to identify themselves. NYC also has a large number of private companies who have Lexus and other high brand cars which they rent out with their own drivers. They charge very reasonable fixed amounts for them.

  1. Manhattan Vs Sydney City

This is the main difference between these great cities. Manhattan is perhaps the biggest central business district (CBD) in the world. It has countless number of high rise buildings and departmental stores. Many head offices, branded stores and attractions are located there. Manhattan is divided in three areas, i.e. Uptown, Midtown and Downtown. Times Square is the heart of Manhattan. You can check it on YouTube. Sydney CBD is at least quarter of the Manhattan in area.

  1. Shopping and cost of living

USA as a whole is much cheaper for shopping especially if you are a traveller from Australia. Branded clothes are available at very good prices and you will find a very good variety there. House rents are almost the same. Sydney suburbs are much cleaner than the New York City neighbourhoods. Fuel prices are good in the USA and remain constant. Train fares are also cheaper in NYC and you pay fixed US$2.75 per journey regardless of the length of journey.

  1. Dining and Grocery stores

In New York I could not find a single fast food chain that serves halal food. Whereas in Sydney Nando’s and Oporto serve halal chicken. We also have many halal branches of KFC, McDonalds and Hungry Jack’s (Burger King brand name in Australia) in Sydney. In Manhattan however you will find many carts serving halal food. There is no cart culture in Sydney and in CBD halal food is not available easily.

In USA offering tip to the waiters and taxi drivers is a culture whereas in Australia there is no such culture. In Sydney we have a very large number of grocery supermarket stores managed by Woolworths, Coles and Aldi. In New York there are few stores managed by Safeway, Vons, Ralph, Food 4 Less and Aldi. Due to this small grocery stores are found in abundance.

Soft drink became Soda water in the USA. There is free refill on every McDonalds there. Coffee at the McDonalds is priced US$ 1 regardless of the size. Coffee cups at the cafes have a bigger size in USA.

7-Eleven have different types of coffees in both countries. In Australia you get coffee from machine, whereas in USA coffees at 7-Eleven are placed in containers that include Hazelnut, Vanilla and Caramel Lattes, and you have a large variety of different creams to mix.

  1. Lifestyle and culture

I liked NYC because markets and stores remain open till late there and families hang out till late on the weekends. In trains you will see African boys showing dances and difficult acrobatic tricks on fast music. They of course demand tip at the end. However undercover Police arrest them if they are patrolling on the train. Sydney in comparison is a quieter city for the families and after 5:00 pm there is no activity for them except dining out. Shops and stores keep open till 9:00 pm only on Thursday nights. Another thing that I noticed in NYC was the large number of Jewish community members. You will especially notice them on trains, and in Manhattan. In Sydney Jewish people mostly live near Bondi beach.

A last but not the least difference is the English accent. American accent is very different from the Australian one. They don’t twist the words like us and there is no ‘mate’ there. 🙂

In respect of Honourable Abdul Sattar Edhi

Edhi the great

Edhi

Pakistanis face lot of problems in their everyday life because of the uncontrollable terrorism, electricity load shedding and inflation. In these difficult  circumstances Edhi Foundation is a ray of hope for the citizens of our beloved motherland. Abdul Sattar Edhi is a living angel who established the world’s largest private ambulance service in Karachi in 1951. The great man didn’t get any assistance from any political party or the government and started serving the community with the help of donations from fellow citizens.

The Edhi Foundation provides 24-hour emergency assistance across the nation of Pakistan and abroad. The Foundation provides, among many other services, shelter for the destitute, free hospitals and medical care, drug rehabilitation services, and national and international relief efforts. Its main focuses are Emergency Services, Orphans, Handicapped Persons, Shelters, Education, Healthcare, International Community Centres, Blood & Drug Bank, air ambulance services, Marine and Coastal Services. (Source: Wikipedia)

Last week a very sad incident took place when some unknown robbers broke into a centre of Edhi Foundation located in Khara Dar, Karachi. Edhi sahib himself was there. The intruders were holding ammunition and asked the staff to hand them the keys. Edhi sahib requested them for not robbing charity money and jewellery but they didn’t listen to him and made him silent by giving the death threat. They looted a large amount of money and the jewellery and fled from the spot without any resistance.

This incident broke the heart of our beloved angel and he went into severe depression. Being a loyal Pakistani I also felt very sad and remained upset for some days after reading this news. However I feel sorry to say that unfortunately we have black sheep in our Islamic community. There are such brutal people in us who do the pickpocketing even in Holy Ka’aba during Hajj and Umrah’s. We have people in us who kill others without any reason, or for a mobile phone or a little money. We have people in us who rob jewellery from the bodies of dead persons. This is the reason of our downfall that we have no strong law and order in Pakistan due to which our nation saw this sad day when most undisputed and respectable man faced this bad incident.

Recently Malala Yousafzai has been awarded with the Nobel Prize and many Pakistani people on Facebook and Twitter are comparing her with Abdul Sattar Edhi sahib. They are of the view that Edhi sahib deserves this award much higher than Malala. Being an independent and unbiased writer I have concluded that Nobel Prize is not given justifiably. The committee is driven by some influential personalities.

Honourable Abdul Sattar Edhi himself is an organisation whose worth is much higher than Nobel Prize. I feel that Pakistani government must launch Edhi Award which should be given to the persons who work significantly for the community with full enthusiasm and dedication.

I salute Sir Abdul Sattar Edhi for all his devotion and passion for the needy persons. Allah may bless him with lots of rewards. Ameen!

Israeli terrorism and the shameful silence of Arab world

Once again heartless and brainless Israeli army started killing innocent Palestinian men, women, kids and old age people in Gaza. They are doing this shameful act in the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims all over the world keep fasts, do extra prayers and donate generously.

Palestine

On the other side there is once again complete silence from the neighbouring Arab countries. Allah SWT is punishing Muslims just because of their sectarian differences and lack of unity which is the main reason of this barbarian attitude of Israeli terrorists. If we look today’s situation thoughtfully we will find Shias and Sunnis fighting against each other in Arab countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Today one of my Indonesian friends in Sydney told me that in his country where Sunnis are in majority, Shias are considered as infidel (کافر). He added that he got his early education at an Islamic madrassa and was taught that Shias were non-Muslims.

In Iraq Sunnis and Shias are fighting for the sake of power (اقتدار). In Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and Libya there are Muslims fighting against each other. In Pakistan and Afghanistan we see Taliban killing Shias and common people. Therefore I can say that we don’t need any other enemy for destroying us. We have atomic bombs but no passion (جذبہ) at all. Hundreds of years ago Hajjaj Bin Yousaf sent Muhammad Bin Qasim to the combined India on the complaint of one Muslim lady against the cruel ruler Raja Dahir. Today hundreds of Muslims are being slaughtered in Israel but Arab countries that fear from USA have sewed their lips against this uncontrolled barbaric and inhuman torture.

This is the time when we need real unity keeping all our internal sectarian differences on side. We need a united approach on controlling the mad Israeli leaders and army. Allah SWT will bless us with victory once we hold His rope together as per His instructions given in Quran. In Sydney Palestinian expatriates are holding a protest on Sunday afternoon. All Muslims in Sydney are requested to try their best in joining our sad Palestinian brothers in their sorrow.

Kissay Apna Kahain… a memorable Urdu TV drama serial

Kisay Apna Kahain

Pakistan has a wonderful TV drama industry. Our highly talented artists, writers and directors have produced number of drama serials that cannot be forgotten. India is far ahead in making movies and their film industry is competing with Hollywood now. However they cannot beat us in TV dramas where we are the best without any doubt. Hum TV is these days leading in telecasting the quality drama serials.

I normally cannot watch any TV serial continuously as they require lot of time and to be honest most of the time they have extra elongated stories. Last drama serial that I watched completely was ‘Thori Si Wafa Chahiye’. This June I got some time for watching TV dramas on Youtube. My mother introduced me to a current TV drama serial ‘Kissay Apna Kahain’ (کسے اپنا کہیں) which has just finished.

This amazing drama had 44 one hour episodes. The story was so catchy that I could not resist myself from watching all the episodes completely. Veteran actors Shabbir Jaan and Rubina Ashraf have given their best ever performances.

The drama revolves around a family of an old couple (played by Shabbir Jaan and Rubina Ashraf) and their four daughters. The family passes through a very tough time. However their patience, strong faith in Allah Almighty and good intentions pay them and at the end everything gets normal.

Writer Mansoor Mushtaq and Iftekhar Usmani have done a great job by writing the story of this memorable TV serial which has been directed so professionally by Zeeshan Ahmed. Greatest living Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has sung the beautifully composed and written OST for this drama serial. The best lesson that I got from this drama is that one should never feel down for having daughters. Good daughters are the blessing of Allah for their parents. I would recommend this drama especially to those who have daughters only.

We will always love you MAJID!!!

25 June 2014 marks the fifth death anniversary of our beloved younger brother Majid Javed. A charming youngster with an exceptional intellectual level, a champion’s smile and great sense of humour; left us for his heavenly abode five years ago.

Majid

Rashid and I were very lucky on having such a loving brother in our life who always stood beside us whenever we needed him, who always brought respect for the family with his successes and achievements during the studies and later in his jobs. He achieved whatever he wanted. However he could not fight with his long fatal disease that claimed his life.

Majid passed away physically on that day but he started a new journey in our hearts where he has his eternal place. No day passes by without his memories. He breathed his last on Thursday and since then every Thursday morning makes me sad….. I never need to think about Majid but he is always there in mind.

On Majid’s 5th anniversary Dr. Javed’s Family would like to thank our beloved Muhammad Ashfaq for his never ending love and care for us. Ashfaq is a true gem who always has proved his love, loyalty and dedication for us and above all for Majid. Ashfaq is my class fellow from my Civil Engineering class and has a very close association with our family. His father Muhammad Yousaf passed away on 27th December 2013. In spite of going through such difficult time he didn’t forget Majid and performed an Umra for him just after a few weeks. He is the first person out of our family who performed this noble act for our beloved Majid. We are highly obliged to him and pray Allah to bless Ashfaq with happiness, prosperity and success in his coming life. We are also highly obliged to Majid’s special friend Aamir Ali who put Majid’s name in RSVP on his wedding card even when Majid was not alive.

Dr. Javed’s Family can never ever forget two great persons who are not among us today, but they are always in our thoughts and prayers. We love our beloved uncles Humayoun Shamsi and Dr. Zaeem Jafri who managed to reach on his funeral in spite of their critical health conditions. We also remember the great role played by Major Tahir Ali on his death when he was in Abbottabad with his family and was at a medical centre for getting his son’s leg plastered that had a minor fracture. As soon as he heard about Majid’s death he left the treatment incomplete and rushed to Lahore.

We are also very much thankful to our beloved friend Ismail Ajaz (Khayaal) who wrote two beautiful poems on Majid after his death. He expressed our thoughts for Majid in a very beautiful way in his second poem.

We as Dr. Javed’s Family once again repeat our commitment with Majid that whoever ignored him on his death has no place in our life and insha Allah we will never forgive those who didn’t reach us in our pain and made lame excuses.

Majid……. We will always love you and you will remain with us forever like a glowing light and a twinkling star. Allah SWT bless you with the highest ranks in Jannat Ul Firdous. Ameen!