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Sunday, September 23, 2018

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 262 of 2018

2346hrs:

Studying a film of London made in 1956.

I know London like no other city in the world. I haven't spent as much time in any other city either.

62 years later, its almost a replica of itself. So much so that I am astounded.

Baker Street, the Evening Standard, Parliament Square, Waterloo, Park Lane, Knightsbridge, Kensington, Bayswater and the list is endless.

My enemies are playing cat and mouse.....and probably some other games too...simultaneously.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 259 of 2018

1924hrs:

My health has deteriorated in the past few days and yesterday it took a turn for the worse. What began as flu (from eating a peach that had spent much of its life in refrigeration) gradually became a fever and now involves a lot of coughing and phlegm. Apart from that peach, eating food every day in the bazaar of Rawalakot for the past 3 months has finally taken its toll. The weather has also shifted from mild to cold corresponding to my illness. I'm fighting it like I fight everything else that obstructs my path to re-activating human civilisation in AJK.

There are a lot of things to catch up on but here's a note written by a member of the Pakistani diaspora on Pakistan, which I found to be very honest and probing:

Read R Yousufzai (خان)'s answer to Will overseas Pakistanis begin moving back to Pakistan if living conditions improve with Imran Khan in power? on Quora

For those of you still not interested in reading the avove note, here was my response to it:

The most enlightened confirmation of Pakistani society that I’ve heard from a Pakistani, possibly ever. So much so that I’m going to share this text on my blog.

Meanwhile, Mahmood Ahmed Musafir managed to get an audience at the Islamabad Press Club yesterday, after all. At a cost of 30,000 PK rupees (almost £200) which was scrambled from the local citizens of Kotli. Nobody from the AJK diaspora contributed, as yet. Imagine if a poor person or people without any access to a potential pool of donors wanted to inform the media of something that related to genuine public interest in Pakistan. Where do they go? Isn't the criteria money after all? Not genuine public interest? How does 'Naya' (new) Pakistan differ from the old one?



Despite holding a press conference at the risk of foregoing one of his kidneys as collateral for the huge expense involved, there appears to be no Pakistani TV coverage of his issue whatsoever and little to no coverage in the press either. In some senses, I feel more sorry for the State of Pakistan than I do for Mahmood Ahmed Musafir.

The paucity of economic opportunity in Pakistan is astounding.

What a pitiable plight for a nation so keen on expansionism over the past 70 years.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 257 of 2018

(Yesterday - Day 256).....I lost the net facility I had temporary access to, that's why it's being added today.

1648hrs:

These are testing times. I am relishing them as much as I am suffering from them.

I am contacting an increasing number of co-citizens at home and abroad. At this stage, most are ignoring my request. Some have assured me of co-operation and even less have actually contributed.

However, my situation is nowhere near as dire as that of Mahmood Ahmed Musafir. He is into his 123rd day of a hunger strike outside Islamabad Press Club. He is nearing the end of his tether and wishes to conduct a final press conference before he makes his next move.....

(Today - Day 257)

2253hrs:



Salaam to the local citizens of Kotli for paying 30,000 Pakistani rupees (almost £200) for this public interest activity.

Those of who are part of the AJK diaspora, try and get in touch with reality back home. You wouldn't be where you are if your forebears hadn't toiled the land here. Try and bring dignity to it.

Just try.......

2331hrs:

I would just like to know where this 'Unknown Region' is....??...These are my recent blogger stats....I hope I can share them here:

Pageviews by Countries

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers

Entry Pageviews

United States 207
Unknown Region 172
Pakistan         14
Russia 14
China 12
Germany 8
Ukraine 7
India 5
France 4
Brazil 3

I also found it fascinating that the UK (United Kingdom) isn't in the top ten. So much for spending most of my life there!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 253 of 2018

1846hrs:

This latest break from blogging has been for an unusual reason. The monthly net package on my device finished on the last day that I blogged (Day 248). I still haven't been able to buy a new package, for reasons that should be obvious to all those people that are familiar with my work.

These are very challenging and interesting times.

Despite the difficulties involved, I am relishing the challenge as it is enabling me further examine the relationship between me and the public of AJK, most specifically the public of Rawalakot. It is also making me gradually more disciplined and of course more determined.

The few local people who are helping me survive here are from the relatively disadvantaged economic class...though I'm always reluctant to use the term 'class' when discussing or analysing society. It's a much over-used term in my opinion. Some of the rich people I've met pretend to be poor and one even shed a bucket of tears for me. He felt that Pakistan's roving agencies would kill me imminently. He didn't want to see another precious soul die. I understand that he's quite well off but he didn't spare as much as 10 rupees for the work I do.

Is it fear, is it selfishness, is it insecurity or is it a lack of grasping the mechanics of public interest?



Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 248 of 2018

2234hrs:

I've approached the stage where I have to change my approach towards my co-citizens. 

Public policy operates on public finance and although we have taken a few leaps in getting this message across AJK since 2012 - our strategy has been quite reactive to date - in the sense that funds were always raised from the public on an ad-hoc or as per immediate need basis. 

It can no longer afford to be so.

The attitude of our public to those who work solely for the collective benefit of society - is on the whole - quite pedestrian. That does not mean that they don't contribute or value those who work for them on their own initiative. Indeed, at least two-thirds of the local population contributes. It's just that they are not as alert as they need to be or proactive enough.

In my specific context, my overheads have sharply risen in the past 14 to 15 months. Hitherto, I lived at my family home in the village. There was no rent to pay or even any utility bill to deal with. The children's school tuition fees were also comparatively modest. There were even times when we got through the whole month on less than 3,000 Pakistani rupees (less than £20!). Now, I have to find 30,000 Pakistani rupees (about £189 at current exchange rates) every month just to keep my family afloat. This doesn't include expenses for public activity and its related costs.

Throughout my 13 year 'tenure' here, I have avoided debt as I feel that it is anathema for a public activist who relies on the goodwill of the people he's working for. However, as I write I have approached a debt burden which is coming close to 1 lakh rupees (c. £629).

Thus, I have to be pro-active now and accumulate funds so that all necessary expenditure in public interest can be met in a timely manner. These costs will only increase with time as our public interest research (and activism) intensifies.  

I hope our citizens - especially those enjoying the fruits of democracy in the diaspora - pay heed to this need.  


Saturday, September 1, 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 244 of 2018

2354hrs:

Back in Rawalakot. Back to a sweet temperature. So much so that I had to wear a sweater on my walk to dinner in the evening.

Meanwhile, I have no more time at my disposal. It all seems to be booked till death.

As I write in darkness for want of electricity, my co-citizen Mahmood Ahmed Musafir maintains his hunger strike for more than a hundred days while sitting less than a kilometre from Imran Khan, the new chief executive of the country that ignores Mahmood, not least because he can help resolve the shortfall of electricity with his alternate power generation plan.

We live in a fascinating era.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 241 of 2018

2304hrs:

Stop. Start, stop. Start...stop. Fed up! Start....eventually some work was completed...towards developing consensus on a citizen's charter.


Tuesday, August 28, 2018