Saturday, June 14, 2014


If one is to look at history then it would be obvious that ALL wars ever fought have been for either land or over love (emotions) either ways this obsession for gaining that either kind of wealth has made many scribes write about Romeo & Juliet and some we better know as Ghengis Khan, Alexander the Great and Julius Cesar.

When Pakistan gained its independence in 1947, Karachi was its first capital. In 1960, Islamabad was constructed as a forward capital. It is considered by some as one of the most extensively and successfully planned cities in South Asia. 
Today I am about to leave Islamabad after having been a guest for over ten days and am quite upset.  I have been its resident and worked here for many years and I guess I am lucky because when I came to “Isloo” it was known as the “city of the newly wed or the nearly dead!”   What most people do not know is that Islamabad was in fact ONE of the FOUR cities in the entire world in 2007 to have what we Techies understand as FTTH (Fiber To The Home capabilities).  In my personal opinion when Musharraf (or the ARMY was in in control) Islamabad was a city that was dearly protected! 
I saw Islamabad when it was innocent to the politics of Developers and Lawyers who now run around the F8 Kacheri’s trying to make a living by getting bail applications passed for Dafa 302 due to land disputes mostly or then trying to sell one file that has infinite copies to anyone willing to buy it! 
In my time as a resident in 2009 I met a man who was the Chairman of the CDA Mr. Kamran Lashari.  We met at a book launch inside the PNCA.  After a few moments I realized that this beauracrat who was not so loved by the developers was the last bit of honest reality in the form of any government that would guard the sanctity of Islamabad and try to in his way protect the city he had been handed.  I am not being nice as he is NOT a friend of mine but over the years Mr. Lashari and I met in Lahore at Al Hamra and many cultural functions and then in Karachi a couple of times and whenever I looked in his eyes I can feel the sorrow of a pseudo helpless parent who is sad that his child went the wrong way! 
Islamabad has had so many residents (NOT Pindi-ites) because it is basically one of the largest guest houses where people come to serve a purpose and when they are useless they are forced to move on as they cannot either pay the price required to live here or do not serve any higher purpose or person.  I was extremely sad when Islamabad had to grab its ankles and was forced to digest democracy from another angle!  I am sure those old school residents who have bought their six gaz of latha will agree with me because even the 3 x 6 plot that they have to buy here is not guaranteed to be theirs as there must be 5 million commitments made for the same allocation of land in the graveyard. 
There were to catastrophes that invited democracy to shake the stars with the GHQ.  The first was that one evening (I worked US hours) when I was staying at my uncles home in G6 my driver came running to me and started screaming that India had attacked!  Confused I walked out and saw soldiers in TANKS not APC’s in full combat gear (with grenades strapped on) drive by the main road.  When we heard machine gun fire we both hopped the back walls of two houses and ran to the road, hopped into a FX taxi and made it to G9 (TeIecom Foundation Complex) where InfoSpan my office was.  As we walked in and popped open the TV I realized that I was in a trouser and vest without any socks or shoes on or wallet and I watched a battle that ended after many days when a man was arrested in a Burqa…  (Lal Masjid).  
The second was one day after work on my way home I was lucky to have been at the junction of Blue Area and the Islamabad highway when I saw this huge digging rig throw the first spike into what is known as the main Blue area underpass!  After that the widening of the Islamabad highway took place and that allowed the politicians to industrialize one of the most safest cities of the world!

During that time I also witnessed a brothel pop up that was known as the Cat House because the politicians need entertainment and love too. This Cat House was launched as beauty parlour and boutique house, then gradually it got converted into dancing club, then night club and then a full blown brothel house. This evolutionary process wasn’t got completed in a single day, rather it took some months.

Many ministers, parliamentarians, bureaucrats, top businessmen and bigwigs of Islamabad were the regular customers and patrons of this  club of Islamabad. When police raided the brothel house it arrested many  men and women dancing dipped in liquor telling the stories of enlightened moderation. These arrested top shots included a newly elected MNA from Muzzaffargarh and a diplomat of a friendly country. 
Anyhoo today Islamabad if you look at it is worse than that drive through liyari or even orangi town.  All its roads are ripped up the wild life has run away and the funny thing is that those morons who planned this re-vamping did not take into consideration the ecological ramifications of tearing up all the trees and cementing all of Islamabads green belts.  The idiots in CDA have recently filed a petition that “ANY business in a residential area needs to stop and vacate the premises” ???  I happened to be at the Islamabad High Court and as it was not a closed doors proceedings a very dear friend who is a senior legal lawyer and public prosecutor invited me to attend the session as an observer till he took me for lunch!

This is another case of complete lunacy filed by some commission mongering people who intend to benefit if the price is right to either drop the nuisance value or let it continue as if you take into consideration any and all the sectors of Islamabad there are over 1,300 hundred business that run out of residences and have been doing so for over two decades.  These businesses are not only very well to do guest houses and restaurants and backed by reputable corporate entities but foreign establishments and MNC’s that have heavy US backing but the entire NGO circuit and Diplomatic corps as well.  All your United Nations and their vendors as well as ERRA and other offices are in homes and they too have all their commercial vested assets and interests based out of homes or residential properties!

Now what I find hysterical is the fact that this idiot who came up with the idea to run astray with such a concept of getting this ruling passed either must really want a posting in Baltistan where the hunza water and fresh air would do good to his mental frame of mind.  Someone needs to tell this petitioner and help him gain some clarity about the storm of disaster that he will have to face in the form of being the perfect scape goat if all the commercial units band together and hire the likes of Mr. Pirzada or Mr. Aitzaz Ahsan to represent them.   

Everything is a deal in Islamabad and property deals keep happening daily so this is just another deal where if the petitioner gets the right kind of nuisance value from the press and the entire community banding together he might just be lucky enough to get OSD status. (Obvoius Stupidity Don).  This is the one time that I actually miss my mentor so much as it would have been hilarious to have seen the way Arda (Late Ardeshir Cowasjee) would have torn this idiocy down with the stroke of a pen! 
Lastly, I would like to clarify something! Bahria Town!  I have lived in Bahria Town, I have worked for Mr. Malik Riaz indirectly and no matter what you say about this man or is practices or how he does things!  HE HAS WITHSTOOD THE TEST OF TIME!  What every citizen feels, needs and wants as they see it on TV from the west he has successfully delivered in the form of quality beyond a standard one can even comprehend.
When Emaar and Al Ghurair Giga with all their oil wealth muscle could not withstand and digest Pakistan, Malik Riaz and his son Ali Riaz have delivered to you who live it.
 UNINTERRUPTABLE BIJLI, PAANI, SAFETY, SECURITY and everything a family would want! There is over 8 hours of load shedding in Islamabad (yes right now) BUT in Bahria Town your gates are open your kids have fun and you DO NOT NEED a generator AS THE LIGHT NEVER GOES. 
Call him what you want BUT Mr. Malik Riaz respected the core grid of Islamabad and built a city close by parallel to it whilst still (oddly enough) living himself in the F Sector.  He never used his money or power to hurt the city in such a catastrophic way.  I hate to say this but if you would like to save Islamabad then hand it over to a professional who will actually get the job done and DELIVER QUALITY! (Yes I know someone Ex CDA will absolutely hate me for this but it is true because sometimes you need to light a bigger fire to put out the smaller ones)

Today the Catastrophic Development Authority is the worst thing to have ever happened to Islamabad as it is filled with inexperienced people who do not consider the socio or ecological impacts of what the citizens will have to bear by signing off on a parchi!  They themselves are here to serve a temporary purpose (human toilet paper) and when democracy’s colon will be empty they will be flushed down the soan river like all those before them. 
As I leave here now I feel no different because the drive down the Islamabad highway to me seems like a drive on the University road to IBA.  NO trees, ripped up roads, diminishing greenery, oh yes broken promises… and we wonder why it stopped raining here in Isloo.  All those smooth roads have potholes in them.  All the phone lines are down, all the power is fluctuating, all the people are insecure as the crime rate is ridiculous. 

Oh wait its just a dream… I never left Karachi!

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