Monday, 24 June 2019

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 175 of 2019


A very wet day in Muzaffarabad today. It almost feels like a fantastic gift from the Almighty, in what is usually a sweltering summer day in June.

Somehow, I've developed a knack of being present in or nearby the heart of public activity. On this occasion, it wasn't at the scene of public protests on the streets but within a hectic government department, which are normally anything but hectic. It so happens that a Hindu member of Pakistan's national assembly, namely PTI's Ramesh Kumar Vankwani has arrived in Muzaffarabad and will be proceeding to Sharda tomorrow morning. As such visits engage much of the government machinery who are normally not used to efficiently putting things together in good time, a huge panic has ensued among relevant government servants.


Saturday, 22 June 2019

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 173 of 2019


Forts were built to defend warrior/kings and their conquered territories from the enemy. We have our own Red Fort in Muzaffarabad which was built centuries ago but has endured decades of neglect since 1947. 

Here's a video of it that I made almost 8 years ago:

Can it be restored? More pointedly, can its use be transformed to better suit contemporary public interest?  


I usually translate any content embedded here. However, on this occasion I will confine the privilege of understanding the following to my Urdu readers. Most certainly, they need to understand the message more than anyone else:


Friday, 21 June 2019

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 172 of 2019


The slogan "Tu Abaad Me Abaad - Muzaffarabad,,Muzaffarabad" (Dear Muzaffarabad: If you're populated/settled/prosperous then so am I) has been ringing in my ears for the past few months, gradually as if it is proceeding towards a crescendo. 

The concepts of rule of law and freedom of assembly are also constantly 'playing' in the background.

After all, my current address is Azaadi Chowk.


The following should be self-explanatory for my co-citizens but alas....

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 171 of 2019


Muzaffarabad can be really hard work at times.......our people fear change as much as they aspire for it. Claiming ownership of a territory isn't possible when your actions belie even being classified as a tenant. There is an inverse relationship between fear and opportunity in the context of fundamental rights. If you don't embolden yourself, you are emboldening your adversary.

Change is the only constant in history. One can even take inspiration whilst sitting in a room with a view, by noticing how the weather has changed in a matter of minutes:

Reasonably sunny
Torrential rain
I wanted to translate the following Facebook post from a couple of days ago for its insightful comparative analysis between how water and power generation issues are dealt with in Pakistan compared to the 'imposed sacrifices' we have to put up with in AJK and GB:

Translated thus:

Last year in June, the then Chief Justice (of Pakistan's Supreme Court) Saaqib Nisaar said that whosoever opposes the construction of Kalabagh Dam will be prosecuted under article 16. Precisely 15 minutes later, Sayed Nasir Shah, a minister in Sindh (Pakistan's Southern province) adroitly responded to the Chief Justice's statement thus, "Whosoever will support the construction of Kalabagh Dam will be prosecuted under article 16!" 

I dare any bold soul in Punjab, Kashmir (AJK) or Gilgit (GB) to respond to a serving Chief Justice in such a manner!

(Meanwhile) After this stern response (from the Sindhi minister) the Cheif Justice never again as much as mentioned Kalabagh dam (in public) but rather promptly began collecting funds for (hydropower projects in) Diamer Basha (in GB) and Mohmand (KPK).

In our Azad Kashmir, our ultra-nationalist, extremely abrupt, facetious yet honourable prime minister Raja Farooq Haider Sahab says that I don't even know who ordered the action (of dismantling the sit-in protest camp) and arresting members of the 'Save Rivers Movement'. He went on to say (when pursued to explain) that the Chief Secretary whilst obeying orders from 'above', in turn directed the Commissioner (of Muzaffarabad) to take the action (required and thus bypassing the PM). 

Anyhow, about 2 years ago in a similar situation when an IG (Inspector General of Police) in Sindh began harassing the (provincial) government in Sindh, the latter utilised the power of the provincial assembly to make an infant out of the IG (as in belittled and humiliated him). To such an extent that apart from drawing his salary from the bank every month, he had no other power whatsoever.

4 or 5 years ago when (the then) prime minister of Azad Kashmir (Choudhary Majeed) tried to expel the Chief Secretary and IG (lent officers in AJK) from AJK, Farooq Haider was seen defending and standing in solidarity with both lent officers. 

The political career of Farooq Haider Sahab began after the death of the late Ishaq Zafar whereby he flourished in the name of protecting the rights of Muzaffarabad. However, his political career now seems to be floundering, in its final stages towards an exit from the political landscape. 

End of translation...


I couldn't even get round to visiting Azaadi Chowk during the day today, thus I can't show you the latest photo of it. Tomorrow definitely.

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 175 of 2019

1611hrs: A very wet day in Muzaffarabad today. It almost feels like a fantastic gift from the Almighty, in what is usually a sweltering ...