Thursday, September 21, 2017

Pakistan, Let’s Talk About Sex

Mohammed Hanif
I learned my first lesson about how babies are born from a magazine called Happy Home. It was published by a department of the Pakistani government called the Ministry of Population. The ministry was supposed to encourage people to have fewer babies, and it went about that in a rather coy fashion.
The magazine exhorted people to pace themselves; I remember it used the poetic Urdu phrase, waqfa bahut zaroori hai, “a break is important.” I was about 10, and I remember even more clearly the illustration of a small family, a man and a woman and two chubby children, sitting around a stove and eating. I concluded that babies are conceived by sitting around a stove and eating.
When the provisional results of Pakistan’s most recent census came out last month, after massive delays, they seemed to indicate that the message of Happy Home was lost on most Pakistanis, too. Pakistan’s population now exceeds 207 million, an increase of 57 percent since the last census in 1998. Pakistan has become the fifth-most populous country in the world.
At this rate, the physicist Pervez Hoodbhoy has warned, in 150 years Pakistan will be a standing-room-only kind of place. Overpopulation will be a terrible strain on natural resources and state services. Already today, every eighth child in the world who is not in school lives in Pakistan.
I must have read that Happy Home magazine about 40 years ago, but things haven’t changed much here when it comes to conversations about how babies are made. Despite warnings about a population explosion, we still don’t talk about population control. Talking about population control might require talking about sex, and you can’t really talk about sex on prime time TV or the radio, in Parliament or at village gatherings. Ads for condoms are often banned. There’s the occasional valiant attempt — like Clinic Online, a call-in TV show about sexual health — but “sex” remains a dirty word. As if just saying it was the same as doing it. We don’t even talk about sex with the person we’re doing it with.
The Pakistani government could have involved the clergy to dispel the common myth that contraception is somehow un-Islamic, but it hasn’t. There also used to be a myth about the campaign to vaccinate children against polio: That it was a cover for an American conspiracy to sterilize Pakistanis. Then the government got imams to explain on TV that it really wasn’t Allah’s will to cripple the next generation. Yet clerics aren’t preaching that even though God wants you to have good, wholesome sex with your legitimate partner, that shouldn’t stop you from using a condom or taking a birth-control pill.
Pakistan could also have learned from its former sibling Bangladesh, which has had remarkable success at controlling its population by putting women at the center of door-to-door family planning efforts. Bangladesh, which was more populous than Pakistan when it broke away from it in 1971, now has a head count of 163 million — 44 million less than Pakistan. But following Bangladesh’s lead would require acknowledging that women need to be educated about what they can do to not make more babies, and in Pakistan we find it difficult to talk about women’s reproductive health, let alone their sex life.
So most Pakistanis are left to figure things out for themselves. Some believe that children come from God and invoke God’s name to resist contraception. Every baby is born with one mouth and two hands, it’s often said. For the poor, children are a potential source of income; in some families, they are put to work at the age of 5 or 6. Since the state seems to feel little responsibility for the poor, the poor are banking on having more children to improve their lot — hoping those children will rise above poverty and take care of them in old age.
For members of the middle class, on the other hand, kids are an expense. With one eye on their bank balance and the other on their children’s future, they find it difficult to comprehend why people who are far poorer than they are have more children than they do. They don’t understand that the process of making babies, then feeding them and putting them to work is the only choice that many poor people have: Even if the poor had only two children, they would still be poor. And sex may be their only fun.
The middle-class pundits who tell the poor that their lives would be better if they had two kids instead of five are also making a self-serving statement. Their own family is happier not because it only has two children, but because their parents had enough money (inherited, stolen or earned) for them to be born in a private hospital, be sent to private school and hold their birthday parties in private clubs. When they advise the poor to breed less it’s because they worry that those people’s children will consume the water and breathe and pollute the air of their own precious kids.
Two kids or 20, for parents they are all precious. For some, even divine. There are men who believe that by bringing more children into the world they are helping build up the Muslim ummah. Every few years, a silly news story is published about a man with 30 or more children who claims to be having fun doing God’s work. But nobody ever asks the three or four mothers involved in producing all those children if sitting around a stove making food for more than 30 people makes them happy.

Rani, Shahid - "Jo Bacha Tha Woh Lutane Ke Liye" - (Film: Umrao Jan Ada)

10 evergreen Noor Jehan songs you should listen to today

Google honours Noor Jehan on 92nd birthday

Today marks what would have been 92nd birthday of the late melody queen who ruled the hearts of millions of people in Indo-Pak subcontinent Noor Jehan and the search engine giant is remembering her with a beautiful doodle on its homepage.
Google pays the tribute to Madam Noor Jehan in the following beautiful words:
The sad longing in the plaintive strains of "Awaaz De, Kahaan Hai." The dreamy romance of the sweetly sung "Chandni Ratein." The playful affection in the lilting melody of "Ve Mundiyan Sialkotiyan." These are just a few of the thousands of songs sung by the legendary Noor Jehan, known as Malika-E-Taranum (Queen of Melody) in the world of Punjabi, Urdu, and Hindustani music.
Born Allah Rakhi Wasai to a family of local musicians in Kasur, Punjab, she began her singing career when she was just five years old. Success at rural taka theater performances encouraged the family to move to Calcutta and the bigger stage of maidantheater. Theatrical recognition soon led Jehan to the silver screen. After Partition, Noor Jehan moved to newly independent Pakistan, but her voice continued to endear her to millions across the entire subcontinent. Her renditions of patriotic songs gave courage to many a Pakistani soldier, and her visit to India in 1982 was met with overwhelming love and enthusiasm.
Madam, as she was popularly addressed, was best known for her voice. But she was also an accomplished actress, and she became Pakistan’s first female director when she codirected Chan Wey in 1951. For her contributions to the arts, the Government of Pakistan awarded her the Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence) and the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz(Medal of Excellence).
Today’s Doodle captures Jehan's unique singing stance — her chin tilted up, her hand flung out, a choker at her throat, and a flower in her hair. Happy Birthday, Madam!

Video Report - British PM Theresa May reveals who killed Benazir Bhutto ?

Pakistan - Musharraf hiding from courts: Sherry Rehman

Pakistan People's Party (PPP) vice president Sherry Rehman on Thursday appealed for swift justice for the murder of former prime minister and PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto, according to a press statement issued by the party.
Speaking to the media outside Lahore High Court's Rawalpindi bench, Rehman told newsmen that today was the first hearing on the pleas submitted by former president Asif Ali Zardari in the Benazir Bhutto murder case.
"It has been 10 years since Benazir Bhutto’s assassination and we are still fighting for justice. We were not allowed to become party to the case this whole decade," she said.
She added that the PPP will go on every forum to appeal and fight for justice. 
"We will knock every door if that’s what it takes."

'Musharraf fully involved in Benazir's murder'

Responding to Musharraf's allegations, Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah said they previously doubted, but now they believe that Musharraf got Benazir Bhutto assassinated, adding, "This is why he is sitting abroad after fleeing the country."
"If Asif Zardari and Baitullah Mehsud had been connected to the assassination, then why was it not revealed earlier," he questioned, demanding the former military ruler to provide evidence to substantiate his allegations.
"Hiding such a major thing shows that Musharraf is fully involved [in the murder]," the opposition leader.
Shah also urged the court to take notice of Musharraf's allegations and summon him.

Convicted cops challenge verdict

On September 11, the LHC's Rawalpindi bench approved for hearing appeals submitted by the two policemen convicted in the case.
Aziz and Khurram Shahzad were sentenced to 17 years each and ordered to pay a fine of Rs0.5 million each for their negligence in investigating the case properly. Shahzad was SP Rawal Town at the time of the incident.
The case was heard by LHC’s Justice Tariq Abbasi and Justice Habibullah Amir, who issued notices to the respondents and adjourned the hearing.
5 accused acquitted, 2 sentenced, Musharraf declared absconder in Benazir murder case
According to the verdict, the former policemen had been awarded 10 years in prison under Section 119 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and seven years under Section 201 of the PPC.

BB murder case

Bhutto, the PPP chief and two-time former prime minister, was assassinated in a suicide attack at an election campaign rally in Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh on December 27, 2007.
A FIR over the incident was registered on behalf of the state following which the murder trial of five suspects began in February of 2008. However, once PPP won the 2008 elections, the investigation was handed over to the FIA.
More than 300 hearings of the case were held, while over the course of time six judges were changed and seven challans submitted in the trial that began on February 29, 2008.

Disgusted by media giving attention to an absconder murderer: Aseefa Bhutto

 Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, the daughter of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has said she felt disgusted and appalled by media which gave attention to ridiculous statement by a murderer who was absconder.
”Disgusted & appalled by media houses that are giving attention to this murderer, who ran away.” Aseefa tweeted. The tweet came after electronic and print media gave undue coverage to the statement of Musharraf alleging former president of killing Benazir Bhutto and Murtaza Bhutto.

General Musharraf should be arrested and tried in Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto’s murder

Pakistan Peoples Party’s Senator Ajiz Dhamra strongly reacting to General Musharraf’s video statement has said that former Dictator cannot mislead the nation by telling lies. This video statement is admission by the Dictator that he was involved not in the assassination of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto but also was one of the planners of murder of Mir Murtaza Bhutto.
Senator Ajiz Dhamra said that General Musharraf had threatened Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto not to return to Pakistan before the general elections. General Musharraf did not provide security to Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto as she had challenged illegal and unconstitutional rule of General Musharraf.
Time has come that General Musharraf be arrested in Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto’s murder case and tried accordingly.

PYO Sindh celebrates 29th birthday of PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto

Peoples Youth Organization Sindh celebrated birthday of chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at Bilawal Chorangi. A cake cutting ceremony was also held. President PYO Sindh along with other leaders cut the cake.

نواز جھوٹے،عمران دھوکے باز،انگلی پر نا چتے ہیں، لاہور الیکشن میں کالعدم تنظیموں نے حصہ لیا،بلاول بھٹو

پیپلزپارٹی کے چیئرمین بلاول بھٹوزرداری نے سابق وزیراعظم نواز شریف کو جھوٹا اورتحریک انصاف کے چیئرمین عمران خان کو دھوکے بازقراردیتے ہوئے کہاہے کہ ان کے پاس عوام کے مسائل کا حل نہیں‘ان دونوں کے چہرے الگ مگر سیاست ایک ہے ‘نام نہادتبدیلی کے دعویدار عمران خان عوام سے دھوکہ کررہے ہیں ‘اپنی سیاست چمکانے کیلئے دوسروں کو بدنام کرتے ہیں ‘یہ انگلی کے اشارے پر ناچنے والے سیاستدان ہیں‘اگلاالیکشن میرا پہلا عمران خان کا آخری ہوگا‘سیاست کوسرمایہ داروں کے گھرکی کنیزبنادیاگیا‘آمروں کی سیاسی اولاد جمہوریت کالبادہ اوڑھ کرعوام کاخون چوس رہی ہے ،قدم قدم پرعوام کودھوکہ دینے والے حکمرانوں کی سیاست کاروبارکے گردگھومتی ہے ‘لاہورالیکشن میں کالعدم تنظیموں  نے حصہ لیا‘ساہیوال کول پاورپراجیکٹ حکمرانوں کے کالے کرتوتوںکاکارنامہ ہے‘عوام کومہنگائی ،بے روز گاری ، دہشتگردی اورلوڈشیڈنگ سے نجات دلائیں گے اورملک کی قسمت بدلیں گے‘میراجینامرناعوام کے ساتھ ہے ۔بدھ کو ساہیوال میں جلسہ عوام سے خطاب کرتے ہوئے بلاول بھٹونے کہاکہ نااہل حکمرانوں نے قدم قدم پرعوام کودھوکہ دیاان کی سیاست کاروبارکی سیاست ہے ،انہیں عوام کی نہیں اپنے کاروبارکی فکرہوتی ہے ،وفاقی اورپنجاب حکومت کے ظلم کی تلوارآج بھی مزدوروں ،کسانوں اورغریب افراد پرچل رہی ہے ۔مہنگائی نے غریب کی کمرتوڑدی ہے ،جوپیازاورٹماٹرتک نہیں خرید سکتا ‘متاثرین کالاباغ ڈیم پرظلم کیاجارہاہے ان پردہشتگردی کے مقدمات بنائے جارہے ہیں ‘پنجاب کے حکمرانوں نے قیمتی زرعی زمین کواونے پونے خرید کر مہنگی بجلی کامنصوبہ بنایا،ساہیوال پاورپراجیکٹ سے شدیدماحولیاتی خطرات پیداہوں گے ۔یہ منصوبہ موجودہ حکومت کے کالے کرتوتوں کاکارنامہ ہے جسے کالامنصوبہ کہاجارہاہے ۔میرا منشور کسان مزدوراورعوام دوست ہوگا،زراعت کے شعبے کواہمیت دی جائے گی ،تیس ایکڑسے کم زمین کے مالک کوکسان کارڈدیں گے ‘ہم پہلے کی طرح اب بھی روزگار دیں گے ،اورعوام کوان کاحق دیاجائیگا‘ہم عوام کی سیاست کرتے ہیں ،دوسری طرف رجعت پسندپارٹیاں ہیں‘پیپلزپارٹی کے خلاف آئی جے آئی بنائی گئی ،آمریت کے سہولت کاروں کو یکجا کیا گیا۔انہوں نے کہاکہ نوازشریف اورعمران خان کے چہرے الگ مگرسیاست ایک ہے ،نام نہادتبدیلی کی بات کرنے والے عوام کودھوکہ دیتے ہیں یہ اپنی سیاست چمکانے کیلئے دوسروں کوبدنام کرتے ہیں اورانگلی کے اشاروں کی سیاست کرتے ہیں ،ہم کل بھی تھے آج بھی ہیں اورکل بھی ہوں گے ،مگران کایہ آخری انتخاب ہوگا ۔ انہوںنے کہاکہ میں الزامات کی سیاست نہیں کرتا،میڈیاہمیں کوریج نہ دے ،میں عوام تک اپنا منشور لیکر جاؤں گا،اورشہرشہرجلسے کروں گا۔