Pakistan’s human cockroaches – II

Published: August 31, 2010
The writer is a columnist, and TV and radio anchor

The writer is a columnist, and TV and radio anchor

No apologies. I signed up for the backlash. If you can’t distinguish metaphors in polemics as figurative and not literal, then you are going to be self-serving to include Edhi and Imran Khan’s philanthropy and the good people of this country so you can conveniently ignore the message.

So again, if you believe all Ahmadis should be killed, all Jews gassed efficiently, all Hindus made slaves, then you can be a Sialkot killer too! Casual prejudice is what creates violence, which is why there are Ahmadi villages in the flood no one wants to help. Or why ‘kafir’ was written on the coffin of a Hindu youth who died in the Airblue plane crash.

There are two segments whose condemnation leaves me unrepentant. First is Pakistanis living abroad. They are incredibly angry that articles like the one I wrote ruin the image of Pakistan. Let’s hide everything, and allow things to continue without addressing cruelties so these Pakistanis can be accepted in their new countries. How selfish. I don’t have a dual passport, this is my only home, and if it sinks so do I.

The second is some sections of the media. I have been called many things, some legitimately argued (like Salman Masood’s critique). But I am not entirely sure if I am a “western liberal” as Mahreen Aziz Khan says. See, “western liberal” journalists in Pakistan worked for Musharraf and Shaukat Aziz in an illegal government that overthrew the constitution, created missing people, destroyed Balochistan, and were happy with Musharraf’s collusion with the Americans and British to rape our laws with the NRO. Others just supported it. I don’t remember doing any of that.

One incident did make me question what I wrote. Dan Qayyum of Pakistan Ka Khuda Hafiz (PKKH) is someone whose politics I disagree with. He sent me a message and I was going to make a snide remark when I saw what he was doing in the floods. That made me feel like a cockroach, and want to do better.

Pointing out barbarity in other countries doesn’t decrease our problems, or even help. It’s atrocious to suggest that if you are poor it means you have no conscience. For example, Rwandans should be appalled at what happened in their country, if they aren’t, then it will happen again. What good does it do to Rwandans (supposing) who feel happy that Hitler’s Germany did worse?  Nations who move on do so when their people say enough is enough, even if it is unpopular at the time.

It’s been more than a thousand years of Islam, and there are reports that the killer mob was coming from a 10-day dars in Sialkot. Why does the message of the Holy Quran not affect people here? Where is the humility, honesty and integrity it preaches? Why are we so resistant to it? Maybe if the ideological media stopped glamourising the Taliban which results in the deaths of Pakistanis, they could prompt further soul-searching rather than saying it’s all hunky dory or will be without effort.

I was gutted when I read that a New York cabbie had his throat slit for being a Muslim, and this after their Islamophobic opposition to mosques. That’s inhumanity. When the US and the UK were planning illegal invasions for resources under false pretences, when they killed millions, when corporations and the religious right dominated to lead this evil onslaught, their media fell into an adoring silence joining in on the travesty. Those who felt against it in the west were too afraid to speak out in opposition to the consensus because they could be, ironically, labelled liberals, or unpatriotic. No wonder they have racist attacks and opinions that create the conditions that get a Muslim his throat slit.

If enough Americans had called their countrymen cockroaches five years ago for opinions they held and the government they supported, then maybe they would not be in the position they are today, where they have hurt the world, imperialistic, wasteful and heading to bankruptcy.

We need to use Baygon, and foreigners sincere to their own countries should too.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2010.

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Reader Comments (120)

  • Truthful Mole
    Aug 31, 2010 - 1:10AM

    Agreed – Nations that move on are the ones whose people say enough is enough – even it it is unpopular at that time. Let the truth be told.Recommend

  • Robert
    Aug 31, 2010 - 1:11AM

    … such honesty is admirable.Recommend

  • Saad Duraiz
    Aug 31, 2010 - 1:25AM

    there he goes again…Recommend

  • omer
    Aug 31, 2010 - 1:36AM

    nuffing can be done abt this country …. we are good in pointing fingers at others and pointing to their mistakes rather than to point at the faults we have within ourselves …. shameless ppl !!!Recommend

  • Usama
    Aug 31, 2010 - 1:44AM

    Man your articles just get better and better!!Recommend

  • faraz
    Aug 31, 2010 - 2:03AM

    I agree, here nobody talks of what we did to Bnegalis and other ethnicities. Or our support for different Afghan groups during the civil war, when Kabul was bombarded by the rockets we provided. You are absolutely correct about the image concious Pakistanis; uproar created over Sialkot murderes was mainly because it was caught on camera, otherwise similar incidents happen every other week but nobody cares. Nobody wants to talk about the poverty and disease, the educated ones are concerned with grandiose projects like revival of caliphate. Recommend

  • abid
    Aug 31, 2010 - 2:15AM

    truth is truthRecommend

  • Aug 31, 2010 - 2:20AM

    It’s been more than a thousand years of Islam, and there are reports that the killer mob was coming from a 10-day dars in Sialkot. Why does the message of the Holy Quran not affect people here? Where is the humility, honesty and integrity it preaches? Why are we so resistant to it?
    Why does the message of the Holy Quran not affect people here? Where is the humility, honesty and integrity it preaches? Why are we so resistant to it?
    and I must ask why religious people are more violent here in pakistan???
    very well wriiten article, very well done!!Recommend

  • Amna
    Aug 31, 2010 - 2:21AM

    I don’t have a dual passport, this is my only home, and if it sinks so do I.
    … And to clean our home we MUST identify were the dirt is! Appreciated the first one and even more so part II.Recommend

  • the dude
    Aug 31, 2010 - 2:31AM

    haha… is this going to turn into an online match? a back-and-forth debate (perhaps endless, as everyone tries to rebut the rebuttal and then rebut the rebuttal of the rebuttal and then…)? columns in the op-ed section of so-called “serious newspapers” are not supposed to be used as your personal parlour for drawn-out and tedious arguments among your contemporaries. Get your own blog or move on, if your ego will allow you to. Recommend

  • Khurram Bukhari (Rotterdam)
    Aug 31, 2010 - 2:57AM

    Fasi! I am an expatriate who is living in the Netherlands for the last 10 years. I would rather encourage you to keep up the good work to expose the atrocities committed by ” Mullah mentality” vigilante people of our country whose very actions defame and distort the peaceful and divine message of great mystics and saints.

    I condemn all those expatriates and dual nationality holders whose selfish, hypocritical and disgusted attitude is to “hide” unprecedented level of aggression and hate towards minorities of Pakistan. They are also the ” Cockroaches” who have sold their sole to the devil as said by Dante (12th century Italian Philosopher).

    “The hottest place in the hell lies for those who in times of moral crisis maintain their neutrality.”

    Well done Fasi Zaka for writing boldly and exposing the menace of deep rooted violence in our sick society. Like you, I am also a secularist (a term often misrepresented by the “narrow class” and fanatic religious people) within the domain of tolerant Islam.Recommend

  • F. Alam
    Aug 31, 2010 - 3:34AM

    Your first article was better. Repeating the message dilutes it power. Recommend

  • Qirat
    Aug 31, 2010 - 4:58AM

    Islam in Pakistan has been hijacked by a selective group who refuse to condemn suicide bombing, who think stoning to death is the Islamic punishment for adultery and apostasy and who are responsible for the death of 80,000 Kashmiris since 1947.
    The way forward is the separation of state and religion. Recommend

  • Salman
    Aug 31, 2010 - 5:14AM

    Spot on Fasi. Please don’t let the ones who like to live in denial stop you from calling a spade a spade. Patriotism comes from helping your country progress, and become more civil in our case, not by sugarcoating or denying our problems. Like you said, by hiding everything we’re never going to improve as a nation. By refusing to look at ourselves and the disgusting circumstances we have allowed ourselves to fall into, we will continue to live in denial and fall lower and lower as a society and as a nation. Before it’s too late let’s responsibility for the condition that our society is in today and start taking responsibility to become a more civil and honest nation. Maybe this will also allow us to stop blaming third parties for our issues (such the Americans, the Indians, the Israelis, and the countless hidden conspirators that we like to drag into every issue). Recommend

  • A Pakistani
    Aug 31, 2010 - 5:15AM

    Bravo for speaking the truth and to actually try to hammer some sense into a very ‘non-sense’ kind of breed that we have become! But on a lighter serious note aren’t cockroaches the only thing to survive nuclear explosions too… Just a thought a very scary thought to be precise…


  • Azucena Rabia Khan
    Aug 31, 2010 - 5:43AM

    Well as much as I am tempted to argue, I can somewhat tolerate you over George Fulton anyday. Recommend

  • sana
    Aug 31, 2010 - 5:55AM

    i’m not going to waste my energy on this article other than writing that i am disgusted by the writers approach.Recommend

  • Asad Rana
    Aug 31, 2010 - 6:12AM

    Dear Fasi, Very well written article but please remember there are some words of Arabic you may find them offending but they are the reality, like that Hindu was a kafir but i am not supporting any disrespect to Hindus. Another thing if we keep on asking the question of Islam being present and yet the message is not there, we are waisting time as Pakistan is a country with a background of violence caused by injustice illiteracy and poverty. In my opinion and i totally agree with yours that we need baygon but that can only come in the shape of better economy and education for all so that we can differentiate between right and wrong.Recommend

  • Aug 31, 2010 - 6:34AM

    RIGHT ON Mr Zaka. And THANKS for NOT being apologetic and rather owning it.
    It’s about time we that as a nation realized that two wrongs dont make a right. Westzzzz wrongs dont make us right. Westzzzz fall doesnt make us rise. Unless and until we dont stop blame game and fess up… we can not progress. Cause the path of progression first needs realization of mistakes.

    PS. Chew the part II, Cockroaches.!!!Recommend

  • Aug 31, 2010 - 7:17AM

    Self-criticism is good but the tone of your article went beyond that and started to dismiss the masses as somehow devoid of humanity. That is where people in Pakistan and abroad felt you overstepped constructive criticism and marched into the twilight zone traversed by provocateurs. I agree with you that there is a culture of apathy towards minorities and a disturbing tide of zealotry but the only way to stop it is to engage at a human level with the “cockroaches.” Since we cant commit genocide against cockroaches, we need to find ways of transformative action. Fuming with fury will only embolden them further and make them feel that contemptuous English-walas are out to get them. Hence, if you are really interested in social change you will need to be more nuanced and deliberate in your strategy for transformation. Recommend

  • Aug 31, 2010 - 7:21AM

    There seems to be no law in Pakistan and if the law exist it only exist in the books and not implemented.

    How many killers have been hanged till death? Sailkot mob or target killers are no different than those bus and other heavy vehicle drivers who crush innocent pedestrians under the wheels of heavy vehicles and then run off from the scene.

    I have not seen any bus or heavy vehicle driver in the country who have been sent to gallows for killing innocent pedestrian on the roads.

    There is no respect for the law in Pakistan but the law respect people and leave them alone to roam freely.

    I have repeatedly written on many occasions that the law in the country is so weak that when it stands on its feet to get implemented, the legs of the law start shivering.

    Now which courts people should approach to? The common courts where it take years after years to pursue the cases, where by submitting one fake application, the date of hearing is put off for next hearing, where money works and the screams of the victims family go unheard, where judges cannot deliver justice of one case and in the meanwhile several other cases piled up for hearing and people stand in the queue to hear the judgment, this is the reason why justice is delayed and therefore it is denied.

    Or we should have a similar system of Qazi Courts of Saudi Arabia where the verdict is delivered in just two weeks time. How does the Qazi Courts works in Saudi Arabia? Do the Saudi judges announce sentence by bypassing the several aspects of delivering justice in a hurried manner so that justice should be buried?

    Pakistan is heading towards a revolution. The signs of revolution are seen on the streets, not by looking at the faces of oppressors but after hearing the screams of the oppressed. Despite having a full fledged system of the government, the government will not be able to stop the revolution. It seems that neither government has ears, nor eyes to stop the brutal killings of the innocent people who die every day and without fail. Why that so many people do not die in Saudi Arabia every day? It is because people know that if they will commit a crime, they will be punished too.Recommend

  • Al
    Aug 31, 2010 - 7:38AM

    Jeez get over with it!!!! rebuttals after rebuttals…Recommend

  • Nael
    Aug 31, 2010 - 8:02AM

    Chicken—–Living and writing to be accepted. Can’t take the heat Fasi?
    Roach 1 was ok, a bit overboard though. Sarcastic introspection, not the kind we are used to. Made us think, lower our gaze and heads in shame. Did not agree with all that was said though the general message was clear.
    Roach 2 is an apology. Nothing less. Move on man, you said what you had to say.
    For future, spare the nation and attack the action. Lest you forget, we are a nation of 170 million and even 50,000 pests amongst us don’t make all of us roaches. Recommend

  • Aug 31, 2010 - 8:51AM

    Much better article Fasi.

    While comparisons with atrocious behaviors by States and societies in the West do not justify what happens in Pakistan, I do not believe that was the objective of the criticism of your piece by many Pakistanis. As you yourself admitted, the West failed in performing just the sort of introspection that you did, and is paying the price, and making others pay the price, ever since. Much of the same can also be said of India, where introspection and ‘spirit of compromise’ has long been swallowed by irrational nationalism justifying any atrocity against an occupied people and slogans of ‘shining India’. Fulton coined a phrase in his own ‘Part II’ – designer patriots – and nowhere is that more applicable than in today’s India. But back to my point – Pakistanis see, hear and read the Western and Indian press and how they approach (or refuse to) their own social and political issues, and how in turn they approach Pakistan’s social and political issues, and the hypocrisy and dichotomy is nauseating.

    So when Pakistani liberals choose to introspect in the manner that you did, without a larger context, to many Pakistanis it appears that you have sold out along the lines of the West and India – in being hypocritical about ills in the West and India vs ills in Pakistan.

    I get that you are Pakistani and concerned about Pakistan, and therefore one cannot and should no expect you to also introspect for the rest of the world, but given the amount of pummeling Pakistan receives at the hands of the Western and Indian media, and how globalization and Pak-West & Pak-India relationships have in fact made us all partners in everyone’s ‘business’, global context such as that provided in this article is necessary.

    As a commentator looking to influence society and people, rather than just spout rhetoric and bombast, why would you not choose to provide context to stave off misunderstandings?Recommend

  • aley
    Aug 31, 2010 - 8:59AM


  • Imtiaz
    Aug 31, 2010 - 9:21AM

    Well said Fasi, keep up the good work. I used to criticize the things I did not like in Pakistan when I used to live there because I was contributing something, but ever since I have left Pakistan – I don’t, not because I don’t care or it does not sadden me, but because now I don’t contribute to that country. But what bugs me the most are the so called Pakistanis who live in USA, Canada, UK, etc. and act more loyally than the king (which in this case should be people who live and face all the problems in Pakistan) – they refer to ‘back home’ but are not willing to go live in that country and face the problems of a common man there or try to help in alleviating them. It is now becoming a moot point for drawing room discussions. These floods should remind people of the Noah’s floods and Allah’s wrath, and may be wash the country of all sins.Recommend

  • IZ
    Aug 31, 2010 - 9:31AM

    Thanks for this article. I don’t like the term cockroach when applied to people, but the rest of this article is spot on. If the western media had not been so simpering and “loyal” to their government, the Iraq invasion would never have happened. Just as Fox News attacked anyone in the US media who tried to correct US policy as “traitors” and “liberals” so the we see our own Glen Becks and Bill O’Reileys attacking anyone who wants to change Pakistani society for the better as “traitors” and “liberals”. Please ignore them and carry on.Recommend

  • Talha
    Aug 31, 2010 - 9:52AM

    We couldn’t learn then, we cannot now.

    Jinnah has been let down by the people he fought for.Recommend

  • Omer Khan
    Aug 31, 2010 - 10:05AM

    The first thing to do if you want to solve the problem is to accept that the problem exists. Unfortunately we with our puny minds will just keep on going with “we are the best and everything is zionist conspiracy” attitude.
    This second article is even better than the first one, great piece.Recommend

  • SaifullahK
    Aug 31, 2010 - 10:14AM

    >>Why does the message of the Holy Quran not affect people here? Where is the humility, honesty and integrity it preaches? Why are we so resistant to it?

    We are glad to note that you acknowledge the holiness and supremacy of al-Islam, the Religion of Peace.Recommend

  • parvez
    Aug 31, 2010 - 10:27AM

    Really good. The bigotry started at the end of ZAB’s tenure and has gathered strength since then when the army realised that this element can be “used”.
    The thousands upon thousands of madrases teaching a very ‘narrow’ version of Islam is doing unimaginable damage to us.
    Its a two way street – the bigots are willing to do the establishments bidding as long as they are allowed to further their own agenda. Both thinking they are outsmarting the other.
    Latest example of this policy was in the eight years of Mushrraf’s rule – a complete disaster this was for the country.Recommend

  • 7eba
    Aug 31, 2010 - 10:32AM

    “We need to use Baygon..” This bit cracked me up, but we most definitely do.

    Nice read.Recommend

  • Facebookia
    Aug 31, 2010 - 10:38AM

    For those who are criticizing these articles:
    SO hard to see our faces in the mirror ?? Recommend

  • Aug 31, 2010 - 11:03AM

    Self criticism is required and a welcome thing, however as with all free speech, it comes with a responsibility to ensure not to generalize, and to appreciate the sensitivity of the timing of these comments. Pakistan is going through one of its most difficult phases and at the very least, scathing criticism must also be balanced with praising the many heartwarming stories coming out of the region. The objective must not be to demoralize or dismiss, but to better ourselves. Rather than go around telling my countrymen we’re all losers (which some of us are although no greater in ratio than any other country, mind), I find peace in projecting the good in our people, the real heroes of Pakistan who are serving their people quietly with their heads down. The thousands of volunteers who we work with, all young kids who have left the comfort of their homes to live in tents with the flood victims, cook meals for the, share their pain. There are a lot of amazing stories coming out of the region that need to be highlighted. Thats what the people need right now – to be told that we can overcome this, that we may have serious problems but we are a determined people and just as we have in the past, we’ll stand up on our feet again.Recommend

  • Miks
    Aug 31, 2010 - 11:21AM

    Excellent point on how looking at atrocities in other countries shouldnt make us feel any better, it is the collective conscience of the country which matters. Felt Mahreen Aziz really missed the point in her article. Well written again Fasi.Recommend

  • Rakesh
    Aug 31, 2010 - 11:27AM

    I wonder why did you have to respond to criticism with this piece? Do you expect the backlash to stop now? Do you think, if you cried out loud enough with what you believe is truth, people who are criticizing will stop? If so, why do you even expect them to stop?

    Why are you trading allegations with the lady who criticized you in her article at all? Why are you engaging in a conversation which yields nothing but more ‘discussion’ of issues.

    Zaki, actions are the only absolute. Do something! I loved your first piece, but this second is a disappointment. Don’t engage, move on. Find something new. Become more specific about issues.Recommend

  • ArifQ
    Aug 31, 2010 - 11:34AM

    Great admirer of your last piece, this one sounds like a compromise, still a fan. ThanksRecommend

  • Aug 31, 2010 - 12:16PM

    Such cultural criticism is very important. All the more so in our case who are extremely intolerant species.Recommend

  • Sharif Lone
    Aug 31, 2010 - 1:18PM

    I agree with what you say. The fact is that many quote quran which is supposed to preach for quick justice. that is the reason why ML(N) and and many other parties have been clamoring for quick justice. You cannot ask for quick justice and when somebody takes that in his hand, suddenly turn around and say it is brutal.
    But carry on. i also live abroad and feel ashamed of what happened in Sialkot. Also ashamed that when Ahmadis were targeted, Shahbaz Sharif did not visit their mosque. This bit about Jews and hindus is another matter. Most of the Muslims talk about Israeli conflict and only refer to Jews. same is true of hindus. When they talk of freedom struggle, they invariably mention Hindus wanted this or that and we Muslims this, forgetting there were many Muslims who supported Congress party.Recommend

  • urouj mirza
    Aug 31, 2010 - 1:22PM

    man is a beast by nature.he is binded by certain norms.they may be religion(i m not talking abt taliban style religion),society,culture and traditions,law and most important family values.ironically a country created in the name of islamic ideaology and social justice,we as a nation act as true beast.nothing binds us.our family values are dying,law and order doesnot hold any fear for us and tradtions and culture is totally antireligious.and religion well we all know where the self righteous are heading with it.Recommend

  • M Mustafa
    Aug 31, 2010 - 1:27PM

    The salvation is in eradicating our wajab-ul-qatal psyche by preaching and enforcing the tolerance and acceptance of diverse views and doctrinal differences. Our religious and political leaders must re-emphasize and re-kindle the cardinal principal; that killing an innocent person unjustly is like the killing of all mankind and saving a person’s life is like the saving of all mankind. Recommend

  • Gurriya
    Aug 31, 2010 - 1:41PM

    Mehreen Aziz Khan was probably just out of ideas or maybe she forgot all about the “comments” section of FZ’s last column to express her disgruntled opinion about the writeup. She could have any opinion and express it too, its a free country (or i hope it is) but she chose to write a whole column. Kudos.
    @ Nael and Arif Saab: With all due respect, just by ripping apart some narcissistic notions about ourselves as a collective group of people, erasing prejudices and making ourselves realise that we are deep down in a quagmire is actually, i believe the only solution for a moral shakeup. lets try going beyond the literal term of cockroaches, scrutinize ourselves and ask what good are we? The writer did not mean to make the “English walahs” sound like they are out to get the “Urdu” walahs, because every “comments” box is full with comments from “English wallahs” trying to suggest anyone with a secular, progressive approach towards society is indeed brainwashed. A writer’s job is to write and shun up his readers, i am sure FZ would have been spared undue criticism if he had taken the stance of criticizing the government, the law minister, Firdous Ashiq Awan or more conveniently the law and order of the country, (yes, blame it on them, we are the poor awaaam, afterall). Its not like these factors arent responsible for every heinous act that goes unpunished out there, ( every small thing, the poor do not get clean drinking water is the government’s failure actually) i still believe our vigilante behaviour and even our support for it is criminal and the government isn’t responsible for what we think. Lastly, i do not really care whether pakistani columnists (the enlightened ones) do not write about the western atrocities, i do not need to be told that palestinians are suffering or Iraqis have suffered, i feel for them andf so do many people. Let’s get the house clean first, the gossip can follow later. we blame writers for not “writing” against the west (as if writing is going to do the job) and we also blame them for not voicing out the public opinion against the west. Lets make ourselves worthy of being listened to. Recommend

  • HST
    Aug 31, 2010 - 2:07PM

    i am all for you Bro…thumbs up for yaRecommend

  • saadi
    Aug 31, 2010 - 2:16PM

    i really think maheen and others need to learn from what fasi writes
    they are the epitome of Pakistan society who rest on Knee Jerk reactions
    its actually degrading to intellectual discipline.Recommend

  • Husnain Lotia
    Aug 31, 2010 - 2:22PM

    Please stop insulting the humble cockroachRecommend

  • Gurriya Mir
    Aug 31, 2010 - 2:47PM

    @ the only normal person here
    well said actually, could you be more lenient about fellow commentators next time you think up a pseudonym? I beg to oppose, with respect. Recommend

  • Aug 31, 2010 - 3:18PM

    I like the first pieces by him and Fulton, they were more logical……..Recommend

  • U.E Hayyat Khan
    Aug 31, 2010 - 3:30PM

    Ok, Agreed!

    Everyone is keen on pointing out the problems we face. Even a six grader can sense that something is wrong in this country. But the real question is, where do we go from here? I mean there is nothing, literally nothing to look forward to.Recommend

  • Eeman
    Aug 31, 2010 - 3:37PM

    This one is balanced. Perhaps, in your article, public wanted to see you admonishing West for its atrocities as well. I anticipate, now you won’t expect “The liberal lynching mob II”Recommend

  • Emad
    Aug 31, 2010 - 4:06PM

    You know you’ve written something terrible when you have to write a second (terrible) column to defend it!Recommend

  • Aug 31, 2010 - 4:12PM


    may i add a t here?

    I don’t have a dual passport, this is my only home, and if it stinks so do I.Recommend

  • rocket
    Aug 31, 2010 - 4:33PM

    “Problem with the world is that fools are cocksure and wiser ones are always in doubt” any doubt…. Recommend

  • Ali
    Aug 31, 2010 - 4:57PM

    Oh come on… No need to act so innocent. Now he is justifying his mistake of calling all Pakistanis cockroaches. This is surely not the way to fix problems in a society. Very immature of him to write the first article. Very typical of all Pakistani seculars!Recommend

  • Aug 31, 2010 - 5:21PM

    So many comments from so many people…

    Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.Recommend

  • Jumma Gul Khan
    Aug 31, 2010 - 6:53PM

    @ali: Pakistanis are worse than cockroaches. At least cockroaches dont club people to death.Recommend

  • Aug 31, 2010 - 8:01PM

    wah bhai wah.. :DRecommend

  • samaha
    Aug 31, 2010 - 8:22PM

    highly commendable article fasi. we as a nation have this habit of closing our eyes over the problems and as a result expecting them to vanish or else to compare other problems which are worse with other nations and saying ‘well, we aren’t that bad’. we need more opinions like yours otherwise we are no where near to get ourselves out of the situation we are in. blaming is never ever going to help. we need to do whatever as an individual we can. only then as a nation can we change.Recommend

  • Aug 31, 2010 - 8:36PM

    The people who criticized you for your previous article are those are worried about the false image rather than the reality. The “Made in Pakistan” documentary makers mentality who look at this image with a reduced depth of field effect on their lenses. They don’t want to see what is going on in the background of coke studio, fashion shows, glamorous models cos it’s all blurry.Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Aug 31, 2010 - 9:27PM

    We need self individual honesty in our country. Our leaders can’t do anything for us. They are devotee of money. I agree with Fasi. Good luck.Recommend

  • Amir Rashid
    Aug 31, 2010 - 9:27PM


  • Hashmat Ali
    Aug 31, 2010 - 9:54PM

    as usual it rocked…and we are discussing it :) ..hope some day we all start accepting the criticism as you do and repent on it by bringing a positive change.Recommend

  • Anoop
    Aug 31, 2010 - 10:30PM

    The basic premise of this article is violence can never be justified. Let your conscience guide you not some holy book.

    And, dump the two-nation theory. Its destroying the very thing it created.Recommend

  • Aug 31, 2010 - 11:49PM

    Jumma Gul Khan:

    And who said ALL Pakistanis condone the act of ‘clubbing people to death’? Has the prominence of this act in our media and the vocal condemnation of it from all sections of society not clearly established that broad derogatory generalizations are both flawed and useless?

    The original articles by both George and Fasi could have been much better worded to avoid the (justified IMO) outrage at one sided accounts of history and derogatory generalizations and a one sided vilification of Pakistan by resort to a violent movie as justification – outrage that has distracted from what could have been a much needed and useful national discourse on our society, its values and any needed changes.

    Bombast and over the top rhetoric may be cathartic for the authors, but it does little to advance proper national discourse over important issues, and many liberals in the media (NFParacha, KShafi to name some others) are guilty of this demagoguery and vilification of those (the conservative middle class, as claimed by NFP) they perceive as the ‘opposing side’. The ‘opposing side’ would be far more open to dialog and contrasting viewpoints were they not attached with snide asides, generalizations and deprecatory language.Recommend

  • Gurriya
    Sep 1, 2010 - 12:40AM

    @ Ali
    Well it quite delights me to know you have the absolute way of “fixing problems in a society”. Please enlighten the lesser beings and elaborate. Actually i consider myself one of the naive seculars of Pakistan and would be happy to receive your guidance. and if you are trying to feed us hope and a positive attitude, well thanks a lot, i have a lot of it. the point that most readers are missing is, the writer isn’t calling the people cockroaches because the poor boys were clubbed to death, it was just a display actually. Our recent history and present is replete with examples of imhumane behaviour by people themselves. I have read so many “conservatives” in this same website advocating how rightfully jews were murdered, how rightfully the Taliban are killing people in pakistani cities, how rightfully the ahmadis were cremated alive, how rightfully we express our prejudices against peoples belonging to different tribes (Sindhis against Pukhtoons and Punjabis, Punjabis against Pukhtooons and Sindhis, Baluchis against Punjabis and Sindhis) God where is this taking us. Cockroaches are mindless, pests who would feed off anything to survive and that is the only rationale behind their living. We are not disgusting because we wear clean clothes, live in warm houses, have refrigerators in the kitchen for cold water. But we collectively have disgusting approaches towards life, towards others, towards terrorism. the conservative would jump up if a US drops a bomb but when the terrorists kill innocent people in a bazar, at a mourning procession, in a mosque, then its rightfully their right to do so. We are so hypocritical towards our own principles. Jews and Americans are terrorists because they bomb Muslims. Muslims are the jehadi heroes when they kill fellow Muslims for no reason at all. Cockroaches live, eat and die. We do worse, we hypothesize, we hold hypocritical opinions and we defy to budge from bigotry. But the writer never told you to stay that way. he actually wanted you to change. Theres a term called ‘reading between the lines’. While you focus so much on the written word, try a bit to pay attention to the intention as well. reading will be a bliss to you. Good Luck. Recommend

  • Umar
    Sep 1, 2010 - 2:27AM

    As i remember correctly “Cockroaches” is the word that was spoken in the ethnic violence in Rwanda genocide!!!!! So this article is a symbolic reference to what happened in Rwanda!!! Is our society heading towards the same path like the people of Rwanda took during ethnic violence? I still remember these words spoken aloud in the movie “Hotel Rwanda” again and again “Human Cockroaches” that lead to a mob like hysteria in the whole country. These are two highly symbolic words and the history of Rwanda genocide must be studied to better understand the structural fissures in our society!!! Recommend

  • Sam Delfigalo
    Sep 1, 2010 - 2:50AM

    I am an Ahmadi Muslim. I am a Pakistani. I live in Canada because it is not safe for me to express in what I believe in. I have no freedom of religion in my country. Over 95 of my people were murdered during Friday prayer in two mosques in Lahore. Two innocent brothers were murdered brutally in Sialkot. Pakistan is drowning day by day. Unlike most Pakistanis right now, I feel different. I dont feel hate for Pakistan. I dont feel hate for Sialkot, or sialkotis. I dont feel hate for other Muslims for calling me Kafir, killing my people, or covering the kalima on our mosques. I feel Pakistan needs my prayers. Its people need my prayers. We need to join hands as humanity, not through violence and hate because of religious issues, but because we are humans. Its sad to think twice about donating money to Pakistan because we think about the government and its corruptions. How Zardari may pocket this money instead of using it towards helping our Pakistan. For one second, if all Pakistanis put aside prejudices, we can make a better world, suitable for humans, not led by blood thirsty animals. May Allah bless this country and its people. Ameen. Recommend

  • Qudsia
    Sep 1, 2010 - 3:16AM

    It’s interesting that Fasi Zaka has faced such backlash for his last column. Perhaps he should have quoted this hadith of the Holy Prophet (saw) regarding the condition of the latter day Muslims and in particular their religious “scholars”:

    Hadrat ‘Ali narrates that the Holy Prophetsa said: ‘A
    time will come in the near future when there will be
    nothing left of Islam except its name. And there will
    be nothing left of the Holy Qur’an except its words
    [meaning the Holy Qur’an would not be understood
    and followed]. The mosques of that age will apparently
    be full of people, but will be empty of righteousness.
    Their ulema will be the worst creatures
    under the heaven. Discord will rise from them and
    will come right back to them. [That is, these ulema
    will be the source of all evils.] (al-Baihaqi as quoted
    in al-Mishkat Kitab-ul ‘Ilm, chapter 3, p. 38 and Kanzul
    ‘Ummal, chapter 6, p. 43)

    Here’s a booklet that quotes many a renowned Indo-Pak Muslim leaders unabashedly renouncing the character of Muslims, and this was in much better times:

    The only issue I have with the article is the statement that Muslims have had more than a 1000 years of Islam so they should have improved for the better by now. According to the above hadith, and some others where the Holy Prophet (saw) mentioned the chronological decline of Muslim character, that is not how it was suppose to happen. It was to end in a huge mess as it is, and then God was to send the Messiah and Mahdi to purify Islamic practice to its original form…this was believed to happen in the 14th century of Islam (It’s the 15th now). I think people should ask their religious clerics when to expect the Messiah.

    This in no way implies that every effort should not be made to improve the people’s condition in every way possible.

    May God help this country!Recommend

  • Qudsia
    Sep 1, 2010 - 3:27AM

    Just to add to my last comment, when Muslims were better at following their faith, they were responsible for the creation of that glorious empire that was the cradle of knowledge and understanding, in the world. The Jews and the Christians alike, lived unharmed in that empire (there could be exceptions of course). In fact, it was in Muslim Spain where the Jews flourished, until the Spanish inquisition by the Christians. It was also the Muslim conquerors of Jerusalem, who for the first time after hundreds of years of exile by the Romans, allowed the Jews back into Israel. And it was the Christian Crusaders who visited to wipe out both the Muslims and the Jews. Again, after Jerusalem came to under the Muslims, the Jews were allowed back in. (Yes, ironic) I know some intellectuals don’t think the glorious past of the Muslims has any bearing on today’s condition and there’s no point talking about it, but it can and should be used to tell the uneducated and unaware Muslims that when the Muslim civilization was at its pinnacle, they were behaving differently. The Muslims of today are copying what the Europeans were doing in the Dark Ages, and not what their own ancestors did in better days.Recommend

  • Sep 1, 2010 - 3:35AM

    truth is stranger than fiction. You can become a good play writer as your art in creating a melodrama is interesting and effective.Recommend

  • Nasir
    Sep 1, 2010 - 3:48AM

    * this is my only home, and if it sinks so do I.* = you deserve a Salute Recommend

  • madeeha
    Sep 1, 2010 - 4:34AM

    I think there`s no practical solution for this state now…except the one, which i now believe is not bookish at all (anymore) ..its JUST that i can change nothing but MYSELF. i cant change u, i cant change leaders, i cant change anyone…but i can change myself, be a better person, better human, better muslim. As i m answerable for myself first!!!!Recommend

  • Sep 1, 2010 - 5:35AM

    A cover-up’s only needed when you know you’ve messed up. Like it or not, your previous article did damage. All you need is a little out-of-the-box thinking. It’ll do you good. Try!Recommend

  • Yahya
    Sep 1, 2010 - 7:01AM

    Nice article man!Recommend

  • Parvez
    Sep 1, 2010 - 7:17AM

    Now that disease has been diagnosed that Pakistani people are roaches,liberals included, it is not a crime to kill roaches and in large numbers. Words have consequences, literal or metaphorical. Recommend

  • Umair Savul
    Sep 1, 2010 - 7:18AM

    I greatly appreciate your both your articles, it is high time we realise that the problem with our society is deep rooted and mostly uniform in its distribution. Unless and until our “salute the powerful” and “eat all you can” attitude ceases to exist, we will never see the bottom of this curve we are on.Recommend

  • Aishah Khan
    Sep 1, 2010 - 8:33AM

    i feel being a pakistani abroad, v dont have anyother way out… but to change ourselves completly… to be v honest its the same whn people r justifying that match fixing takes place all ova the world why pak is becumin the victim.. true… we r weak…we r corrupt..fingers wld surely b pointed out on us… we dont hav any strong support to hang ourselves to as at the top of evrything we lack integrity… n we need to start right from here..Integrity….yeaaah…no short cut…vital for our existence or we r finished..Recommend

  • Mustafa
    Sep 1, 2010 - 10:14AM

    Probably next time the writer should write between the lines. Did Iqbal write his poetry “between the lines” for the muslims to wake up?
    There is a thing called negative and positive, the sad part is our writer’s minds are shrinking down and they only see negative ways to pump people up, not positive. Dumb.Recommend

  • Sabeen
    Sep 1, 2010 - 11:15AM

    Thank you for saying it how it is – for not being afraid to say the awful truth. Nobody likes to take the blame but it is about time that we own up to it. I also want to commend you for not blasting and blaming Islam like most people tend to do these days. Islam is ALWAYS put down and portrayed as barbaric and backwards – even though it is the people who are like that and NOT the religion. So thank you so much for stressing on that point.Recommend

  • saadi
    Sep 1, 2010 - 1:00PM

    @ mustufa
    i think you are failing to understand what gurriya has very lucidly explained
    why is this the first line of defense for most conservatives? their immediate reaction is of indignation and frustration when someone else calls them a cockroach, yet they are most likely to call themselves things far more hidous in their drawing room discussion
    i urge people not to indulge in knee jerk reactions, so what if someone calls us a cockroach?
    are we any better?
    please look at our history, you will find grotesquely violent incidents
    this incident just made headlines, due to it coverage, but how come no one remembers the way women are gang raped and killed in our country?
    just two weeks ago, a three year old was gang raped and then killed
    those who mindlessly defend pakistan, or pakistani, should develop some insightRecommend

  • saadi
    Sep 1, 2010 - 1:02PM

    sorry a typoRecommend

  • Asad
    Sep 1, 2010 - 1:06PM

    OK first things first and it might be a shocker for the whole lot of you… The killing did NOT take place in SIALKOT, Sialkot is the place where we make our own roads, our own chamber of commerce, our own airport, our own dryport… we are the world’s biggest soccer exporter, the second biggest in surgical after Tuttlingen, Germany, we have the biggest tannery in Asia and according to a recent survey – the per capita income of the city is more than that of Japan.

    This accursed event took place in a village near Sialkot. The name of that stupid pind is ‘Buttar’. It would be unfair to say that the event took place in Sialkot because its the District as much as it would be unfair to say that this event took place in Gujranwala because its the Division that covers this entire area. Obviously Sialkot was involved, the two brother killed were from Sialkot city and so besides the people mourning for their loss they have to content with the unjust and misplaced wrath of the entire world. Enough… get your facts straight!

    Now I know that the intention of this article is not to malign Sialkot but what I am fearful of is that people like you who hold sway with the minds and thoughts of people might create this stereotype about my city and as you say with ‘casual prejudice’.

    I am all for harsh criticism and I condemn this incident no end but please we are city of around 5-6 lac people. 200 people of a faraway village do not represent us. In 2001 our foreign currency revenue generation 6.0 Billion Dollars, was more than Karachi… we have flaws but we are one city of Pakistan that was doing things a little better than most… Let us be! Recommend

  • Gurriya
    Sep 1, 2010 - 2:08PM

    @ Mustafa
    With all due respect to Iqbal, his job was easier back then. i believe he deserves all homage that there is for what he did but i do know very well that Iqbal, like the secular writers of today faced criticism for writing poems like Shikwa and Jawab e Shikwa, poems against the backward religious clergy who catered him Westernised. I also know fully well that Iqbal’s poetry was definitely a “between the lines ” technique which urged Muslims of that time to wake up and shun their sorry state of misery and stop thinking they are the most pathetic community in the world. he didn’t tell them to go get the gora. He wanted them to wake up from inside. its funny you know to see how worked up we become once we are compared to a pest. its our ego isnt it? the false one actually. and the id too. I also do notice your arguments end exactly at one rhetorical point – the between the lines one. i guess you missed the rest of the post. And should i say this, metaphorical and symbolic writing is not a man-created art, its a Divine one. Try reading the gospel, Bible or Quran in any language that u can COMPREHEND. When ppl say the Quran teaches everything, why not take God’s writing technique and learn from it too? Poetry, prose, symbolism, allegory, alliteration, imagery and yes, usage of harsh words too. I savored every part of the English translation of the Quran by Marmaduke Pickthall. Plz refer. Recommend

  • Gurriya
    Sep 1, 2010 - 3:19PM

    @ Asad
    i am pained to read your post and i am sure many others would be too. i can assure you the writer and the readers do realise this point that this particular BUTTAR issue just got to us through mobile videography. theres a lot happening everywhere. its a brilliant piece of info that you wrote to tell us about Buttar instead of Sialkot. No prejudice for Sialkot. Sialkot rocks! Recommend

  • Immi
    Sep 1, 2010 - 3:40PM

    I agree with you..thing is why do our people not stand up and say enough is enough? Its as if the reinstatement of the supreme court justice (altho i am not for or against him :P) and the drive that led people to stake their claim on their nation and flash their power never was…:( Why are we afraid? Wher can we start I for one am boned tired of watching my beloved homeland fall further and frther into a pit of its own devising and hearing the beautiful religion of Islam blamed for the bigotry, violence and insanity thatrules the heads of the animals passing and posing as people inthis country. We are educated whyare we so afraid to stand up to what is esentially wrong? Cuz we could get our heads blown off? Well they will do that to a hundred of us but we could cause a flood of humanity…they canot annihalate all of us…sigh i still dream you see…but for what its worth I never want to give up this dream…the slogan that resounds among the people today..JAGO PAKISTAN should be our banner…no creed or colour or race should be differentiated. WE must unite for a bigger and better Pakistan…we did it once we can do it again…I simply have to believe that…Any ideas fellow citizens?Recommend

  • Asad
    Sep 1, 2010 - 4:19PM

    Thank you and honestly I expected nothing less from this crowd :)Recommend

  • NA
    Sep 1, 2010 - 8:06PM

    Pakistanis need to learn to accept criticism, especially if it’s coming from one of their own. Stop sitting in denial and defending the state of your nation by pointing fingers at others. There are many atrocities that come to mind while I’m writing this but for the sake of time, I’ll point to one- letting Ahamdis drown! One of the greatest physicists of our time, Dr. Abdus Salam, was an Ahmadi. His noble peace prize was probably one of the few achievements of any Muslim in the last century. I think the Islamic world owes a lot more to it’s minorities. Have some shame! Recommend

  • Afshan Ahmad
    Sep 1, 2010 - 8:42PM

    Hats off to you Fasi!!!Recommend

  • sam delfigalo
    Sep 1, 2010 - 11:55PM

    @NA well said! Recommend

  • SalmanZ
    Sep 2, 2010 - 12:56AM

    @ Fasi Zaka; To a big extend I am agreed with you! We want to get ride of all extremism, brutality and injustice in the society but we are not ready to go down deep in the root causes of all that!

  • Salman Arshad
    Sep 2, 2010 - 2:32AM

    Fasi Zaka had to face so much condemnation just because he said what should have been said.

    Imagine what would this mob of Designer Patriots do to you if you set about implementing solutions to the problems !!

    For starters, every year we sacrifice all our well-being including education and health in order to get Kashmir.
    Imagine the horror of the Designer Patriots if you talk about shifting priorities let alone implementing the suggestion!!

    Is it not the Designer Patriots who do not deserve the chance to shut people up ?Recommend

  • Farnaz
    Sep 2, 2010 - 2:48AM

    Brutal…but truthful……Recommend

  • Zulfi
    Sep 2, 2010 - 10:39AM

    What utter crap. Keep pointing out issues but don’t address them or have constructive thoughts. The countrymen are suffering beyond despair. They need all help they can get right now. When people abroad tell you that this catharcism hurts the Pakistani cause, it’s not about their own perception management but for the greater good of the Pakistanis in Pakistan. No one wants to give a penny to your corrupt government that you elected and the entire world believes that this is a nation of thugs. Overseas Pakistanis are the only reason why Pakistan’s voice gets heard here. You fools can intellectualize all day long from your airconditioned, comfy homes over a cup of tea or whisky. Get out there and help.Recommend

  • Aown Kazmi
    Sep 2, 2010 - 2:49PM


    Hi my name is Amima and i am the biggest supporter of KKK. One of my main dilemma in life is that I have a GREEN PASSPORT, which means that I always get my visa refused to the ALMIGHTY United States of America! In my leisure time and in the comfort of my air-conditioned room, I enjoy dewelling and sulking on Everything and Anything that is wrong with this Godforsaken place that I have been SHUNNED IN!!! I have an extremely low self-esteem but I cope with it by bashing and thrashing everyone around me. I have recently been woken up from my deep stupor of disillusion and have finally been enlightened by the works of The Great Master Mr.FASI ZAKA and his ingenious side kicks. I have no shame of being called a COCKROACH infact I am worse than that. I am the filth of the world, the unwanted spa of humanity, the scum that is more disgusting then all things rotten that crawl on this earth and by only acknowledging and accepting that i can totally be set free of my useless, worthless, shallow and benign existance. Oh WHY CANT OTHER PEOPLE ALSO ACCEPT THIS….WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY DON’T THEY ADMIT THIS HARSH BITTER REALITY AND STAND CORRECTED by big patriots and nationalists like George Fulton. Afterall more than anyone else’s, IT IS George ka Pakistan, isn’t it???Recommend

  • Sep 2, 2010 - 6:24PM

    Smoking was banned in public places years ago in Pakistan and yet, there is barely a restaurant which says, ‘Sorry, you can’t smoke in here’, without the fear of the local saying, “Well, I’ll just go somewhere else then before lighting up, ashing in the latte cup and then laughing in your face, before so much as to not deliberately tip you because you, tried to liv e by the rules’….And this is the attitude of the elite, the educated, the teachers, the leaders, the peers of the summit, the example givers, the one’s who make the waiter feel ashamed for attempting to sustain and uphold a simple rule that in the normal world, is simply that, normal….the one’s who wouldn’t dare even consider lighting up a cigarette in a restaurant anywhere else in the world and the one’s who fear the repercussions of the waiter’s wrath if they even pulled the packet onto the table…’anywhere else in the world’….Get off your high horses you ignoramuses…it starts at home, it starts with you and it starts with a little acknowledgment that you don’t perpetuates the problem but ignoring it and thinking your one rupee doesn’t count….. Recommend

  • Sep 2, 2010 - 7:44PM

    I read you first time after reading the article of one of my favourite Talat Hussain but i should say your stance is clearly balanced (atlest this article :) ) and thats what we should go for.Recommend

  • Natasha Raza
    Sep 3, 2010 - 3:16AM

    @ aown kazmi

    I never realized how complex the life of a self-loathing bitter cockrach can be. Perhaps Fasi Zaka could use your little note as inspiration for his next masterpiece entitled “The memoirs of a iconoclast Parasite”.
    I cant wait for it, im sure its gonnaa be a cynical gem enriched with some more of Zaka’s classic revelations of “Reason why this country is a hellhole”.

    And than again, why shouldnt Zaka be a critic of the very place that has given him his Identity and sustainance. In fact, we all as “Infectious Pests of this Planet”, should JOIN FASI in crippling this country of its well being. Its something that would be more easier to do than actually working for the betterment of this nation. Afterall we have been fighting for Pakistans prosperity for decades now….. why not just give up and count our riches (like this herald author). Im just positive that thats exactly what we need and for that THANKYOU eR. FASI. You are surely the revolutionist that is needed to mend this wretched country of its disease, and it’s peopleRecommend

  • Majid
    Sep 3, 2010 - 3:36AM

    I think the incident of Sialkot opened everyones eyes to the reality in Pakistan. Living abroad myself I think everyone is entitled to their opinion on the matter but I can assure you all of us are disgusted by what happened whether in Pakistan or abroad. I don’t condemn or condone all the negativity against Pakistan as I say everyone is entitled to their opinion. But I do think to feel bad about a situation shows we do want good and change, but we need to work together to make that happen, and I think education is the key. I know there is a lot of poverty, but Pakistan should focus on a national curriculum to change the ills of the society, and teach it to every man, woman and child in every city and village across the country. You only reap what you sow, so if the government and Pakistani people want Pakistan’s ‘image’ to improve, then we need to sow the seeds across the nation and let them flourish, and not just talk about it. Remember education is the key. Knowledge is power.Recommend

  • AT
    Sep 3, 2010 - 5:56AM

    It’s atrocious to suggest that if you are poor it means you have no conscience. For example, Rwandans should be appalled at what happened in their country, if they aren’t, then it will happen again.

    excellent pointRecommend

  • Asim
    Sep 3, 2010 - 10:02AM

    time to get mullah out of both politics and religion.

    yes we pakistanis are human cockroaches.
    yes our religious leaders are human cockroaches.
    yes our political leaders are human cockroaches.
    yes most of our so called intelligentsia is made of cockroaches

  • Kamran
    Sep 3, 2010 - 12:23PM

    Truth is truth but one has to see the reason behind… from a recent historical to current prospective Muslims remained inflicted by west and nonMuslim nations and here what you find is somewhat retaliation… we need to learn tolerance but at the same time… nonMuslim nations need to learn respect for others tooRecommend

  • Malik Wahaj Ahmed
    Sep 3, 2010 - 1:19PM

    I have read dozens of unfinished, unhelpful and pro-secular articles regarding the current situation of Pakistan. But Mr.Fasi should not be this much frustrated to make things worst for the future of the nation. If you have the ‘Power of Pen’ you should be politically efficient to say truth as well as bring hope for the nation. At least,that’s something a writer should do wisely. And I know, you can write good English !Recommend

  • ally D
    Sep 3, 2010 - 11:41PM

    blah mr zaka blah..criticising is ok no one says it isnt..iqbal did it..and he did it affectively without calling his muslim brothers cockroaches (which if you go into detail and i am sure you have read enough werent any better off, but its all about positive influence)..reading between the lines this does sound somewhat like an apology..and the tone is entirely different so apology accepted :pRecommend

  • Usmann Rana
    Sep 4, 2010 - 6:46AM

    Just love the article! Just honest criticism should be welcomed by every Pakistani if we are to move forward and progressively.
    I dont know when we,as a nation,would stop making excuses and pointing out other countries… that is something I used to do in my third grade…!Recommend

  • Abdullah-Toronto, Canada
    Sep 4, 2010 - 8:47AM

    Bro if you really want to bring change, then give us solutions, telling someone how bad they are will not mend them, trust me, it will simply agitate them. ! criticizing does not bring change, well at least not until it carries a positive solution and a direction with it. If i told you that you are fat, that wouldn’t help much to fix your obesity, unless i told you that you need to counter it, and the venues for that are dieting and exercising. what you’re writings do is literally inculcate self hatred in the hearts of our youngsters and by the day i see a grow number of them wanting to leave Pakistan and fly to the west to live an american dream. That is not cool at all !
    and yes constructive criticism is good, but your writings sound more like something that insults us subconsciously. I mean the feeling most people get after reading your views is “Oh man, i guess i am a stupid douche’ Pakistani and Pakistan has no hope at all, since all the calamities of teh world go on in here”
    I believe many outsiders read these writings as well, so i strongly suggest that you keep in mind what impression you convey of our nation to them.
    And as an overseas Pakistani, WALLAHI, in the name of God, I tell you we are doing quite a lot for our country. there are obviously lots of bad apples, but I have met people who have done a lot, so much that perhaps an average Pakistani living in Pakistani could not even imagine that much.
    Just one small example, Mr.Khalid Usman, a Pakistani living in Markham, a suburb north of Toronto, raised 1.2 million Dollars, (approximately 80 million rupees) all by himself for the 2005 earth quake. and i can go on.
    YOur sincerity to the country is undoubtedly priceless, i just disagree with your method of serving it.
    Be less critical, be more solution oriented and dont give us the impression that we are worthless barbarians, rather let us know that we have major faults and we need to fix then, and we certainly can fix. dont forget the latter part, because then without it you sound more like a raw agent, than a patriotic Pakistani brother !
    I apologise for any offence thing i may have said !
    . Recommend

  • Abdullah-Toronto, Canada
    Sep 4, 2010 - 8:49AM

    Conclusion: DO not attack our self esteem as Muslims or Pakistanis. Rather appeal to our consciousness to do better !Recommend

  • The Profit
    Sep 4, 2010 - 9:57AM

    As i was reading this article i remembered that i was actually happy that these murdering thieves were getting whipped and mauled. But then i discovered that they were innocent and it was a set up by some body settling old scores. I can understand the mob mentality, justice denied to so many of us can generate alot of aggression and hate. If you go through the internet looking for vigilante justice it is always in places where states have failed to protect its citizens. You never hear of such incidents in a functioning state. Hold the cockroaches like Sialkot mob and me accountable, but the responsibility rests on all of us. We let the police do injustice, its we who bribe our way out of trouble, elect corrupt politicians because of Biradri or some other twisted tribal or ethnic allegiance, watch as the weak are trampled, hold no one accountable for their actions and yet expect the mob to be gentle and forgiving. This is our your ugly face reaping the evil crop.Recommend

  • the dude
    Sep 5, 2010 - 5:02PM

    Here is just one a many blog posts arguing against Zaka’s over-generalised tirades.
    This particular article is pithy, cultured and dead-on.

  • Niran Rehman
    Sep 6, 2010 - 7:10PM

    This one is a lot more honest, much obliged

    Niran RehmanRecommend

  • Bilal
    Sep 6, 2010 - 9:05PM

    i distinctly remember having this debate at the iftar, and opposing to what you wrote in the first paragraph of article 1. i had my reasons for being critical of the language you used….in substance as well as style.

    substance first….being critical is one thing and being ridiculous is another, while mr. fasi has the right to criticise the specific action or incident, he should realize what he’s doing when he ridicules the entire nation/people….is he implying that the overwhelming majority of pakistanis are barbarians? unjust? or greedy? or is he’s simply being critical of an incident or a no. of incidents that have embarassed us as a country (and i agree there have been quite some)? the two things are quite separate. my point is: you cannot blame people for something they don’t even know. as for upholding the standard of due process/law, there are institutions/individuals who have been given the responsibility/resources to do so. i agree they have failed and in a state representative of its people it would be correct to take this as the failure of the people to check such barbarity, but not so in a country of contradictions like ours. a place were the majority are the most supressed, where not only the ahmedis/hindus/kafirs/shias but also the sunnis live under constant threat of being incarcerated by their very own protectors/law-enforcers. with this, the other way left is to make a revolution and turn everything upside down to rectify the issues, one by one…easier said than done.

    style…while fasi is being self-critical, he forgets that he’s using a language that the overwhelming no. of pakistanis don’t even undersand much less read. so can we assume from here that your vitriol is directed at audience outside of Pakistan making it less relevent to the majority of the pakistanis, unable to read it? isn’t this advertising our misery? given what you has written, the most appropriate language would’ve been urdu and in jang/nawai-e-waqt not tribune. yes, the language does matter.

    i liked what you wrote in your earlier article sans the first paragraph.

    i think fasi may be trying to atone for the first para in first piece through this second article. i recall taking strong exception to the first para (only) in the earlier article, as it set the tone of the entire piece…and i still do. my contention is; in the heat of the moment you got carried away with emotionalism…something we, pakistanis are famous for. as for expat pakistanis, havning or not having passports isn’t the acid test for patriotism. right? at the end of the day i liek to be buried in the same soil where my ancestors are. i actually envy people living with their families back home despite the all this.

    “Pakistan, you are a failed state. Not because of Zardari. Not because of America. But because you are a failed people, all of us undeserving of sympathy. We are diseased, rotten to every brain stem, world please make an impenetrable fence around us, keep us all in so we don’t spread it to other people, other countries.”

    the mob lynched the boys in sialkot and mr. fasi started his column with the words above. two wrongs don’t make a right. the mob was/is in no way a representative microcosm of the society in Pakistan…and the day it becomes, there would be no hope.

    from the tone of your earlier article’s first paragraph, the only difference is you may has
    already lost hope but I have’t, yet and hope is all i live on.

    Advise: I generally like what you write, but you could do away with emotionalism and use cold logic given the strength of you position.Recommend

  • m h raja
    Sep 7, 2010 - 12:18AM

    well written.Recommend

  • Aizey
    Sep 7, 2010 - 3:55AM

    I am truly astounded at three cockroach stories to the right of your picture! Your literary sense really has pervaded one of the oldest and most resilient specie in existence. They don’t need Baygon.Recommend

  • My Name Is Khan
    Sep 7, 2010 - 8:07PM

    Great article… Cockroaches at our homeland need to be told. The cure for roaches instinct is a French Revolution. People says, its coming gradually. Recommend

  • Shahid Ashraf
    Sep 8, 2010 - 12:16PM

    Hi Fasi, I don’t want to see us worse than what we are today… hence I call ourselves “cockroaches” for the opionions we hold and for the kind of people and ideologies we support!!!
    This article is the best reply to those who disagree with you. I am sure it will give them some food for thought – this is high time to say “enough is enough”… we must now look within… forget about our perceived “enemy” to blame about the problems we’re facing!!! Nobody can harm us until and unless we allow them to do so! we are our own enemies!!!Recommend

  • Aown Kazmi
    Sep 8, 2010 - 4:44PM

    Fasi Zaka’s new enlightening masterpiece should be entitled “The memoirs of a Infectious Pest”.
    Such enriching pieces would certainly be more than revolutionary for this hopeless nation, don’t you think? After all, deep inside we truly are Cockroaches disguised by the attire from Maula Jutt’s wardrobe. How saddening, I guess I should start getting together my USA visa application.Recommend

  • Zahida
    Sep 8, 2010 - 7:07PM

    I read this artical today and I like to share under a new thought”
    May God bring good out of bad.”
    Cockroaches: The Antibiotics of the Future?
    Katie Drummond Contributor
    AOL News Surge Desk
    (Sept. 7) — Cockroaches, the creepy critters reviled for invading kitchens the country over, might be modern medicine’s best option for fending off dangerous, drug-resistant bacterial infections.

    British researchers at the University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science are behind the discovery, which entails harnessing molecules from the tissues of cockroaches and locusts to combat bacteria like E. coli and MRSA (drug-resistant staph infections).

    Sakchai Lalit, AP
    Chemicals found in the brain and central nervous tissues of cockroaches are able to kill 90 percent of dangerous bacteria in lab-based tests.

    The potent chemicals, found in the brain and central nervous tissues of the critters, are able to kill 90 percent of E. coli and MRSA in lab-based tests.

    “Superbugs … have shown the ability to cause untreatable infections and have become a major threat in our fight against bacterial diseases,” Dr. Naveed Khan, who supervised the work of lead researcher Simon Lee, said in a press release. “Thus, there is a continuous need to find additional sources of novel anti-microbials to confront this menace.”

    In a twist that’s an ironic upside to our own revulsion for roaches, it’s their “unsanitary and unhygienic environments,” Lee speculated, that spurred the critters to develop toxins against the bacteria.

    After this initial success, the same U.K. team is testing the cockroach-derived toxins against other harmful “superbugs” that are increasingly resistant to existing pharmaceuticals. Indeed, the finding comes as the need for new anti-microbials is increasing. Health experts continue to warn that bacterial infections will soon be entirely resistant to current modes of treatment.

    “This community, by and large, lacks the resources to move a candidate antimicrobial drug all the way from preclinical testing through advanced development,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in April. “We desperately need to develop new classes of drugs to ensure that we have viable treatment options.”Recommend

  • Hamurabi
    Sep 10, 2010 - 4:32AM

    Your readers are already enlightened.Pakistanis mostly read Urdu papers where most of the witers are not as bold or progressive as you are.Recommend

  • anum
    Sep 10, 2010 - 6:55AM

    I am seriously in awe.This article is beyond words.
    Cockroaches out here who are probably too blinded by inane love for a “fairy-tale and extremely unrealistic” version of a failed state like ours ….please think REAL, for heaven’s sake!.Recommend

  • Nava
    Sep 11, 2010 - 12:04PM

    this article presents the cold hard realities of our state !
    realities that might be too hard to swallow for some
    lets just get out of our delusional bubble into the real word
    By wearing rosy colored glasses everything doesn’t turn rosyRecommend

  • Fahad
    Sep 12, 2010 - 8:15PM

    *truthful* Recommend

  • a friend
    Sep 14, 2010 - 11:48PM

    Fasi many civilized people (upon realizing that nothing is going to change in Pakistan) have left Pakistan to live better lives in civilized nations. You really ought to do the same, or at least try. It is every human beings right to live a decent life, free of fear and negativity.

    Before anybody suggests I am unpatriotic, please refrain from saying anything as you don’t know me. Anybody with a conscience finds it hard to survive in Pakistan, and when they do voice their thoughts and opinions, they are shot down by frustrated “patriots”. Recommend

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