Archive for June, 2009

Of the Zoo and care.

I’m sure all of you must have had the chance to drive by the Marghazar Zoo on your way to either having sheesha at “Jungle Spot” or going for a nice meal up on Peer Sohawa. The other day, I along with my camera decided to pay visit to the once coveted Japanese Park and the Zoo. Now If you’ve grown up in Islamabad, you must have fond memories of school trips to the Japanese parks, the new portal of “weird” and “interesting” jhoolas, the canteens, the frost juices and what not. Everything changes, and it has too. In a good way or a bad way, that I’m not sure of.

japanese

Landscaped, more flowers, more shades, but that feeling just wasn’t there. I guess it comes with age. But as it stood, it was a very safe haven, for people expressing their wishful thinking and unprecedented love for one another. Hallelujah. Merry making has taken a whole new twist, but then again so has the whole city so it wasn’t a surprise. But a public children park? really? *shakes head*

On to the real intention of this post, I went to the zoo hoping to see animals having “fun” or maybe that’s what I thought happens in a zoo but the animals are trapped and caged but they can be taken care of. Which is one tenet that the administration does NOT follow. The animals looked half dead, there was no one around them, people were throwing stuff inside their cages, throwing water. This one trip from some out-station university even had the guts to throw ALL their garbage inside one of the cages because they thought it was funny. I mean how is that even remotely funny? Maybe the 30 odd girls with amazing “poise” and utmost “beauty” thought it was, but it was rather sad to see them doing it. I bet they wouldn’t be this happy if they were in the cage.

bird

Look at this elegant work of nature. An elegant bird. It should be free, but then again so should the rest of the animals be but the point is, they’re not being taken care of. It’s sad that they can work on the “outlook” of the place but not feed these poor animals properly? Or perhaps stop stupid people coming and harassing the animals. You thought outstation universities were through with harassing local people, specially women. Well guess what their new mission in life is.

Very sad state of affairs and to top it, when I went to the man apparently in charge inquiring as to why there was “no” water in the pelican place he said “Pani jaisay he aiga dalaingay”. I was baffled, and well, speechless.

*shakes head again*..

Security situation in Islamabad

So how are things in Islamabad nowadays? Well, apart from the excruciating heat, the sweaty underarms and the dehydration, there are the really annoying security measures which have been taken up by the authorities in Islamabad, which require every walking/driving/flying citizen to prove his identity anywhere and everywhere. They are annoying, but they are probably the only way the police, and other forces can take control of the situation in the capital. Oftentimes, I am reminded of the enormity of the situation by the policemen themselves, telling me that if I don’t cooperate and go through the hassle of proving my identify and getting my backpack checked every morning three times by three different security officials, I might get blown up like an overstuffed chicken in a microwave by some happy-go-lucky virgin loving bearded buffoon, ready to get his one way ticket to paradise.

The high security areas are particularly the most problematic for the daily commuter. There are places like the Marriott hotel area where you can’t walk down the footpath without a dozen eyes watching you. There are those 360 degree Marriott security cameras, the guards spread out in front of the hotel, illegally occupying the road, there are the Frontier Constabulary guys mounted on their machine guns and blowing whistles every time someone gets too close to their enclosure, and there are the measly police men with their taped AK47’s, their dangling bullet proof vests and their sweat ridden brows. No matter how bothersome they can get at times, I do feel sorry for these people whenever I watch them guarding at their positions. What do they tell their families when they go out every morning to work? How do their children feel about their father who is out there on the road, risking his life to protect others? How do these security people perform their duties knowing very well that there is no guarantee that they might live to see another day? So, I don’t like to argue with them like other people usually do to get past a seemingly annoying security check. I let them do what they want to do.

In a situation like this, how should an ordinary citizen react? Here are a few important points that one should consider while outside:

  • Always carry your ID with you, be it your workplace ID or your Government ID. Keep photocopies of your ID in your purse/wallet for submission where ever required by security officials.
  • Keep your driving license and vehicle documents with you while driving. Always keep an attested photocopy of your vehicles documents to show to security officials on demand. Give the photocopied document first, only show them the real thing if they insist or the situation permits.
  • Do not carry large bags around which might make you look suspicious.
  • Try not to walk around high security areas for too long. Remember that there are quite a number of places in the capital where 360 degree cameras have been installed, and your image repeatedly sent on the security screens doesn’t sound like a very good thing.
  • Do not argue with security officials. Try not to waste time arguing with them particularly at dangerous places like security check posts and road blocks. It is always safe to show them your ID before they even ask for it. Oftentimes they would even let you pass without asking too much details if you show your ID earlier.
  • Stay away from crowds. Even walking in large groups with friends can prompt the security officials to stop you all and question you about your purpose on coming to the area.
  • Although it’s a noble thing to report any suspicious behavior to the authorities whenever you see one, it is wise not to get involved with the authorities at all! However, you should not hesitate to report a suspicious inanimate object to the authorities so that quick investigation can take place.
  • Try not to carry metallic objects or other items that would slow your progress down a security check. Keep minimal items and a handy bag which can be quickly opened and closed when a security official needs to check.
  • Always make sure that your cellphone has credit and that it is fully charged whenever you go out.

These few points and others can increase your safety index, decrease your chances of getting stuck in a security problem, and even more important, protect you from potential dangers like explosions and other acts of terrorism.

Islamabad – the beautiful…

I am in Kuala Lumpur for a while with my family on vacations. I went over to Putrajaya for a visit and there performed the maghrib prayers in a spectacular mosque that is the next building to the Prime minister’s secretriate (Yeah, they shifted capital some days ago).

No one stopped us. Some months back in time, we used to have the same level of comfort in my lovely Islamabad. Then and there I prayed both for my spectacular Islamabad and Putrajaya!

Afridi teri batting.

But the crowd is super-excited? or ain’t they?

Pakistanis can be like that.

Do listen to comments of people regarding terrorists defeat too.

Pakistan wins T20.

T20 : Pakistan Made It

Pakistani Fans : Sheer Joy

Moments of joy .. and why shan’t there be any? Afterall, its after WC 92 that we got a multi-national cup getting in Pakistan :)

Congrats to All Pakistanis :D And Pakistani Team Rocks.

Image Courtesy: CricInfo

Pot of Zenia

These bowl-like pots, adorned with growing Zenia flowers, are the latest addition to the already existing array of pots on the Jinnah Avenue bridge passing over 7th Avenue.

Pot of Zenia

Pot of Zenia

These might be placed at other places as well but this is where i spotted them. The Zenia clad pots are looking really lovely. Wish to get a bit closer to them to get mug shots of the flowers. :-)

Sqeaky Clean

Can anybody tell me why has the Chaghi Hill monument been looking so squeaky clean lately?

Chaghi Hill Monument

Chaghi Hill Monument

Nope it’s not anyone’s bad eyesight. Nope it’s not the rain either. It is because it was scrubbed clean on May 28, 2009 on Yaum e Takbeer. I forgot to report it but i saw a full water tanker showering water on the monument and few people rubbing & scrubbing it to make it look all pretty. I am glad that they did so. Who knows when will the monument get a chance to take a bath next. :-D

2009 Budget Presentation by a Woman

Many kinds of histories would have been made this Saturday on June 13, 2009. But the most significant one of them all, that I can think of, was that the budget of Pakistan was delivered for the first time by a woman in the history of Pakistan. The lady who delivered the budget speech was Hina Rabbani Khar, who is the Minister of State for Finance and Economic Affairs of Pakistan. She did it for the first time and did a fine job with the presentation. It was an honor for the women of Pakistan. It was indeed another major milestone, representative of the women empowerment (in a good sense).

May the women of Pakistan play their role to the fullest in the progress and prosperity of the motherland. Ameen.

For more details on the budget presentation and the budget text itself, please see the following links:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/12-hina-khar-first-woman-to-present-pakistan-budget–bi-11

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Business/14-Jun-2009/Text-of-budget-speech

PS: What actually “was” in the budget is a story for several new posts. ;-)

(Pleasant) Journey to Islamabad

Some quotes from my heart uttered various of my journeys to Islamabad from Rawalpindi (especially today’s):

  • Setting foot into the territory of the capital city, Islamabad, is getting more and more tiresome, difficult, annoying, hectic, frustrating, exasperating and much more, with each bomb blast (including attempts) that is caused in the country or the city itself.
  • Reaching Islamabad with ease is inversely proportional to the number of blasts taking place in the city.
  • To come to the city of serenity, Islamabad, painlessly is now not more than a sweet & serene dream.
  • Ways to reach Islamabad easily and quickly and are only fragments of imagination.
  • Anyone who boasts of getting inside Islamabad from somewhere out of the city can only be deemed a “Sheikhi Khora”.

Note: I know time of travel is a significant variable but I had to take out my frustration somehow and somewhere. ;-)

Another suicide attack…

There was another suicide attack in Islamabad.

On a rescue 15 office.

It’s actually pretty insane, because personally I love 15 guys. They do an amazig job!

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