Monday, September 29, 2014

Pakistani Prime Minister needs to have faith in Pakistan

It is really very simple; leadership with a vision and guts to do it. 

Farooq Khan wrote a note a few days ago, and concluded it with the following statement, "What about our PM? No one will invest in Pakistan unless he brings his own investments back." A perfect solution to bring about prosperity, peace and security.

This was in reference to what PM Modi is doing in the United States; he will bag a whole lot more here in the United States in addition to the $300 Billion from China and Japan. Pakistan can do the same and it does not take much, and I offer the following suggestions.
If Nawaz Shariff can pull investments out of UK and New Zealand, at least half of them and invest in Pakistan, it will give a tremendous boost to the investor confidence. If the Prime Minister believes in Pakistan and puts his money, why wouldn’t others do it? By the way the attendance at his UN speech was Pathetic - this needs to change.

It does not take much to bring prosperity and progress to Pakistan. Here are three things that need to be done in a sequence with time lines;

# 1 – Law and Order

No country will progress without law and order in place. Much of the prosperity in the US is because of Law and Order. Nearly 95% of Americans get justice, as a result, there is the public trust in the society and the system, there is internal peace, people feel safe and secure.

What can Shariff do?   Consult with the police and Army and boldly go on TV and announce that from this day forward, every crime will be punished. No one will get away from murdering people. The moment a bus is pulled over and Shias are shot, or an Ahmadi Doctor is brutally murdered, or a Hindu woman is abducted or an ordinary citizen is harassed or blackmailed,  FIR needs to be registered within 24 hours and the suspects need to be rounded up and go through the system. This needs to be stopped.

Can Pakistani Americans volunteer to monitor the job for 30 days?

# 2 – Infrastructure

 Set up a comprehensive infra-structure for identifying and processing investment opportunities. Let that be an investment from the business community. Give them tax breaks for several years. Announce that Investors should make good profits, which will create x number of jobs and how it multiplies for Pakistan.

Infrastructure includes the following – corruption free processing of permits in a timely manner, utilities supplies and security for the facility.

3 – Investors

Match or Pull Pakistani investments overseas, it starts with the leader, if he has faith in his country, others will follow.

Just a few thoughts.

Madonna's 'dream school' opens in Karachi

This is good news!
Courtesy of Tribune
Published: September 29, 2014
File photo of singer-songwriter Madonna. PHOTO: AFP
KARACHI: Pop icon and social activist Madonna took to Instagram on Monday to announce the opening of  her ‘dream school’ in Karachi that she pledged to help build last year.

“The Revolution of Love continues in Pakistan! The Dream School is finally finished. 1,200 kids attending. Knowledge is Power! #rayoflight #livingforlove,” read her caption.

Last year, Madonna announced that she is raising money to expand a school in an impoverished area on the outskirts of Karachi, according to a press release on her official website.

The starlet went on stage at a live concert in London and publicised that she is supporting girls’ education in Pakistan through her Ray of Light Foundation, and urged people to support her cause.  She was joined on stage by Humaira Bachal, an education activist from Karachi.

Madonna has long spoken about her admiration for Humaira Bachal, a Pakistani woman who has campaigned for better education for young girls.

Speaking at the Chime For Change event in London last year, Madonna said, “Let’s help Humaira build a bigger school in Pakistan! How ‘bout this? You build the first floor, I’ll build the rest of the school. Let’s do this together!”

The Dream Model Street School is located in Mawach Goth, Karachi and was founded by the Dream Foundation Trust (DFT), a Pakistani non-governmental organisation.

The school, established in 2005, and claims to have taught over 2,000 students who otherwise would not have had access to education.

“I want to trade something valuable for something invaluable – educating girls,” she said in a statement. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

My azaad huwa be hooN ya NahiN.

This poem reminded is published by Zaid Hamid on facebook, but not sure who wrote it.

The poem reflect the work we have embarked on at America Together Foundation, our mission is to build a cohesive America where no Americans has to live with anxiety, discomfort or fear of another American. I am committed to building cohesive societies.

As a pluralist, I see this every where. Recently, a friend shared a story where a a lady asked him a question, aren't you afraid of Hindus? The truth is there are Hindus who are afraid of Muslims as well.  A lot of myths and falsities are built around others and as responsible citizens, we have to allay those fears, we have to be Amins of the society.
This is the foundational value of Islam, the very first step in creating cohesive societies where no one has to live in apprehension or fear of the other, trust is the glue that binds and ensures smooth running of the societies. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was divinely guided to set up the model of Amin based on this principle. Amins is the one who is trustworthy, tells the truth, has immense patience, who is just, and whose presence makes others feel secure. Thus he was called Amin by the Jews, Christians, Pagans and others during his life time. 

What does this mean for Muslim Americans? It simply means we have to become Amins of the society, and have to be there for our neighbors in their crises, deaths, marriages, birthdays and other celebrations and commemorations. Islam does not shut us down, it frees us up. There are over 18 verses in Quran where God consistently talks about taking care of fellow humans. Indeed the Prophet (pbuh) had said it in so many different ways that an irreligious guy who takes care of his neighbor earns God's grace over the guy who is relentlessly praying. For example, "None of you is a believer if he eats his full meal while his neighbor hasn't anything." (Musnad) and, "None of you have faith until you love for your neighbor what you love for yourself" (Sahih Muslim).

Here is the bottom line. We need to have comfortable working relationships with everyone from Atheists to Baha'i, Buddhist, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Jewish, Native Americans, Pagans, Sikh, Wiccan, Zoroastrians and every one in between including fellow Muslims of different denominations. We should not be dumbfounded when it comes to the right knowledge about others, preferably as they express it and not what is dished out about them. We ought to take pride in knowing all of God's creation expressed in different faiths and traditions. 

Quran 49:13 says that God has created us into different tribes, communities and nations, and expects us to have conflicts, and then says, the best among you are the ones who know each other, indeed, knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance and appreciation of God given uniqueness of each one of us, and when that happens conflicts fade and solutions emerge. 

The very first guidance from God was to learn! Prophet Muhammad beefed it up by saying, learning is a primary duty, and if you have to go to a far-off land (China) to learn, go for it.

Can we be the Amins? Yes, we can, indeed we cannot be a Muslim without being the Amin.
What does it take? We don't have to go to far-off lands, we can learn it in our Friday Sermons, we should pound on this message, and the board members of the Mosques be required to serve in public non-Muslim and non-profit organizations to understand this model of the Prophet. 

These organizations ought to focus on building the value of Amin and hold "Amin competitions" in their annual conferences rather than Qirat (Quran recitation) competitions. This should be our #1 priority to be fully participating members of the society to create a cohesive America for us and our future generations.
We should go with a 10-year plan, at the end of which, when a Muslim in a public square says "Allahu Akbar" it should not cause panic, instead people should gather around him, because he is expressing humility and not a shout to kill someone. When a bearded man boards the plane, people ought to greet him because they know he is Amin trust worthy, kind and gentle. When we become Amins first, our prayers, our beards or ethnic clothing in public will not frighten anyone.

This was part of my article at Huffington Post, to read the full article, go to: 

This is an opportunity for Muslims to contribute towards a cohesive America.
Mike Ghouse 

The poem is also in Roman English below

My azaad huwa be hooN  ya NahiN.

Ab my azaad hooN
Ab agar my Shia hooN to Mujhe Sunni say dur hai,
aur agar Sunni hooN to Shia say dur hai

Agar Pathan hooN to Mahajir say dur hai
Police ka jawan hoon to Taliban say dur hai

Siyasatdaan hooN to Army Chief say dur hai
Dukandaar hooN to Bhattakhor say dur hai

Namazi hoon to khudkush bombaar say dur hai
Jeans pehenta hoon to maulavi say dur  hai

Pehle my Musalmaan tha, Mujhe Hindu say dur tha
Ab my azaad hoon, aur Mujhe Musalmaan say dur hai

My azaad huwa be hooN  ya NahiN.