BY JAVED ZAHEER
TORONTO: After two months gap, I am back
again. I not
only fully enjoyed the break but also gained
tremendously from the important activities I was
engaged in. Many calls were received from those who
missed my articles. I thank them from the depth of my
heart for the love, respect and encouragement and the
interest shown in my articles.
Whatever the situation and circumstances may be,
there is always need to look and move ahead positively
and courageously. This will help keep the mind clear,
fresh and active. It will also make the determination
stronger and able to meet any challenges. Instead of
disappointment, depression and dejection, the need is
to focus totally and concentrate seriously on the
purposes and objectives. Only then one can emerge
victorious and successful. This is what we lack and
this is what we badly need.
The problems and issues are there and need to be
understood, presented and addressed properly. They can
never be solved by mere criticism, moaning and
Only people can best help the people through trust,
mutual understanding and practical cooperation. When
we talk of community, we must consider and include
each and every person, irrespective of the colour,
caste and creed. The successful communities must come
forward and help those facing crisis. This is how we
can form a very good society.
The need is to remove sickness and complex from the
mind of the people and give them the confidence, will
and the sense to live together happily and peacefully.
Only a positive approach and right direction is
needed to become really good and successful. In
Canada, fortunately there are not hundreds but
thousands of examples in this connection. Most of
those suffering are only because of their negative
approach and wrong direction. Just look around, there
are people ready to help everywhere. Jim Karygiannis,
MP, who is very close to the South Asian community, is
a good example. Definitely beware of strangers, but
only you need to be good to attract good people for a
good company and finally good society. So it is time
to mend our ways and correct our direction, in order
to achieve success and happiness.
IMMIGRANTS: I am writing all this because many
immigrants, particularly Muslims, whether living here
for years and years, are feeling insecure and facing
numerous problems. Despite being highly skilled,
talented and educated, they are facing adjustment and
settlement problems. Most of these people are no
ordinary ones but cream of the place of their origin.
They belong to good society and are civilized as well.
They chose Canada for some very good reasons and most
important of them all being better quality of life.
The fault definitely lies somewhere. By not utilizing
their services properly and benefiting from their
genius and talents, Canada is making a grave mistake
and losing tremendously. The policies resulting in
sufferings and losses at both ends must be reviewed
and corrected now and an environment be created so
that the victims could be adjusted and allowed to
compete, join the mainstream and help Canada and the
country of their origin as well prosper and progress.
They must be allowed to contribute in a proper,
acceptable and respectable manner. The feeling of
being turned into modern slaves and second-class
citizens must be removed. The sense of equality must
be promoted and accorded in reality. It must not only
be used as a slogan and attraction. The constitutional
right must be given.
EXPLOITATION: The billions of dollars the Government
of Canada is spending in the name of community and for
the benefit of immigrants is going in waste. The
cunning exploiters are the beneficiaries. They
propose the projects and programs for community and
immigrants settlement and welfare, get huge funds and
many facilities. The community and immigrants are
cleverly fooled as volunteers and workers and get
hardly one per cent of the share, which is totally
meant for them.
Both the government and the people are losers. A probe
and a survey would reveal how the people and the
government are being cheated. The immigrants get
nothing and their frustration and depression
increases. Most of the projects and programs do not
practically benefit the people at all.
So the people must remain alert otherwise they may
never get what is meant for them---both funds and
opportunities. They would only be restricted to mere
volunteers and workers, given peanut share and
certificates to keep them happy. The community must
keep track of the projects and see how the people are
practically benefiting. Whether they are getting the
funds, jobs and opportunities as planned or not at
all. This is their duty and responsibility. Don't let
the exploiters get away with the cream. Don't let them
play with your lives and career. Don't let them fool
and cheat you. The agents of the exploiters are mostly
community leaders, who lure and dupe their own people.
This is how it works and that is why people seldom
trust the community leaders because they know that for
such leaders the vested interests are dearest.
PAKISTANIS: As regards the sense of insecurity and
failure in adjustment, the community is also to be
blamed to a great extent. People suffering from
inferiority complex and to gain sympathy start and
keep criticizing their own people, culture and the
country of their origin. Unfortunately, Pakistanis are
found on the top of this list and, perhaps, this is
why they are on the bottom of the list of successful
communities in any part of the world. Most of them are
like that. They are mostly educated and skilled people
but when they behave like this they look worst than
illiterates and uncivilized ones. This leaves a very
bad impression on others, while they think that they
are doing a good job.
The shameless ones foolishly try to become over smart
and proudly tarnish the image of their country and
severely condemn their people. I have been hearing
this my whole life and many times get fed up. Still, I
never lose hope and always try to create proper
awareness, whether they understand or not. This is
because I love both my people and the country of
origin, Pakistan, as well. My job is to defend and
promote the good image of both. Also, I say both
`Pakistan Zindabad' and `Canada Zindabad', because
they are very dear to me.
CORRUPTION: The overseas Pakistanis must understand
that instead of severely criticizing their own people
and the country, they must stand firmly and fight
fiercely against corruption and exploitation, which
are destroying the people and the country. The corrupt
elements must be exposed, cornered and punished in
order to improve the system and the society. In this
way only Pakistan can really prosper and progress. The
people and the country need help badly.
While preparing this article, I received a call from
my friend, Javed Yusuf, a known community figure, who
said that the TCS courier service has become a
headache for him. An important parcel was mailed to
him vide TCS receipt # 500696720 on May 02, 2005, from
Karachi, Pakistan, which has not reached him till May
14, 2005. All attempts to contact Lubna, TCS Manager
in Toronto, have failed. Complaints against TCS are
increasing and people getting fed up.
Javed Yusuf is an artist and cartoonist and his
cartoons are regularly published in Weekly Pakeeza. He
has prepared a cartoon on TCS service performance
titled `Turtle-pace Careless Service', which will be
published in Weekly Pakeeza soon. For details and
interesting ideas for cartoons for media, he can be
reached on (905) 472-3126.
Because of the defective system and poor performance,
people face all sorts of problems. Their complaints
are mostly genuine. The anger of the people is
justified. They are paying full for the services and
getting headache, stress and tension in return. On the
other hand, the authorities have to face the music and
abuses, while they are helpless in most cases.
NEGATIVE COMMENTS: Javed Yusuf met a so-called leading
journalist from Pakistan, who is a newcomer to Canada,
and invited him to dinner. The journalist kept
criticizing Pakistan and he listened patiently. When
he wanted to leave for home, Javed told him not to
speak in such tone against Pakistan when he visits the
house again. He said he showed a lot of patience and
would not tolerate any further the nonsense.
Such negative comments by newcomers are very common.
This way they try to justify their selection of
Canada. When they start facing problems here then they
start criticizing Canada and praising Pakistan and
boast of the very good days spent there.
From here onwards they start and keep moaning and
groaning, with the hope that somebody will sympathize
with them and help them in settlement or getting a
job. The immigrants must discourage the newcomers from
uttering such nonsense and instead guide them
properly. Such people-to-people level contact and
cooperation would help create a very good environment
and situation for all.
A Pakistani lady working in a pharmacy was talking to
a Pakistani customer in Urdu. When the customer asked
the employer, a non-Pakistani, whether she could
understand Urdu, the owner said no. On hearing this
the Pakistani lady worker said:
"You are asking her about Urdu whereas people don't
even know about Pakistan. Most people don't know what
I was not shocked at all and asked the employer:
"Don't you really know about Pakistan." She said:
"Well, almost everybody knows about Pakistan these
days because of the important role in the fight
against terrorism. I know that Muslims and Pakistanis
are not terrorists. It is all bullshit and propaganda.
It is all dirty game of the agencies and media.
Everybody understands this today. We are literate and
civilized people and not fools. Do I look like one?"
I then told the Pakistani lady worker: "Don't you
feel ashamed in saying such negative thing about
Pakistan. What are you afraid of? This is Canada and
here nobody is going to harm you. For God sake don't
abuse yourself by abusing Pakistan. You must proudly
introduce yourself as Pakistani. We all feel proud in
calling ourselves Pakistanis. This is our identity. I
feel proud in calling myself as a Canadian of
Pakistani origin. Why should I hide the reality? I
have no grudge against Pakistan or the people. My
fight is against the corrupt elements, which are
enemies of the people. You too must join this fight
and help free the people from their clutches. This is
our duty and responsibility." She realized her
mistake, apologized and promised not to say such thing
Adnan Hashmi, editor of Sunday Times, published from
Toronto, organized the Sunday Times Forum on April 3,
2005. It was largely attended. This was a very good
attempt to give an opportunity to the people to meet
their leaders and discuss openly the issues and
problems. The leaders included Ghalib Iqbal, Consul
General of Pakistan in Toronto, Wajid Ali Khan, MP, Dr
Shafiq Qadri, MPP, Khalid Usman, Councillor from
Markham, and Sher Mohammad Jamali, Country Manager of
PIA in Canada.
I wished the event had not taken place because most of
the people, who claim to be our leading community
leaders, asked very stupid, irrelevant and childish
questions. The leaders, particularly Ghalib Iqbal,
showed great tolerance and patience. The people could
have gained a lot because the event provided them a
great opportunity to exchange views and ideas but was
not utilized properly. The fault was of the people.
The leaders did their best, were given very tough time
but faced all the brunt and hurls bravely and
Ghalib Iqbal is a very sensible person and controlled
the situation very tactfully. He is a polished
bureaucrat and understands the mentality of the people
very well. He knew what was going to happen but still
gave his precious time for the people. Our people
lacked the sensibility, maturity and understanding to
meet the expectations of such event. They need to
learn a lot to understand and present the issues
properly and to the point. Their attitude was really
The young and ambitious Adnan Hashmi must not lose
courage and should continue with such attempts. He can
use one or two pages of his newspaper for this purpose
in which the burning issues and problems and their
solutions could be published. This way he can reach
the whole community, hear their voices and get
response from the leaders. He can establish the badly
needed link between the people and the leaders. This
is one of the best ways to create awareness. This way
he would be doing a great service to the community.
The local media must focus on such ways to help the
MISMANAGEMENT: I also attended recently a programme of
Pakistan People's Party (PPP) held here in honour of
Late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, founder of the party.
Although the attendance was good but the event was
very poorly organized. Patience of the people was
really tested. The dinner session was horrible. People
pulled and pushed each other to reach the food. Some
managed to get roti while others only curry. The
person standing next to me used spoon to finish the
curry in a plate. The other ate only roti and drank
water to swallow it. It was badly managed. The lady
managing the dinner had to yell: "The way you are
behaving, you people don't look civilized at all. Show
some manners." Due to the rush on the dining table,
the plates tumbled on the floor.
When I said that this is too much, somebody from
behind replied: 'Not too much this is three much." I
told my friend who took me there: "May God have mercy
on this party and our people. What are they going to
do if elected to power? Twice they were given chances
but badly disappointed the people. The party workers
and supporters lacked discipline and manners. I don't
have to explain further to you as the exposure of the
true colour explains everything."
Most of the events are mismanaged due to lack of
trust, understanding and experience. Most of those
entrusted the task think they are the best and never
listen to others. If you point out the flaws, they
feel very bad and would curse you. This is my
observation and experience. Our community really needs
to learn a lot to gain proper acceptance and respect
in the society and a place in the mainstream. They
don't trust, understand and respect each other in most
cases. It is high time they changed their attitude and
approach. FAHASHI SHOWS & PAPI BHANDS: A lot of other
activities are bringing bad name to Pakistan. Fahashi
Shows (Vulgar Shows) are held in the name of fashion
shows. The fashion and beauty shows depicting our
culture and society are acceptable if within the
limits but presentation of Belle Dances by Pakistanis
and sexy exposures are too much. It was just like
watching nude shows in the nightclubs. What was the
purpose of such presentation? It seems a deliberate
attempt to tarnish the image of Pakistan and damage
the reputation of Muslims.
Pop Bands too have cropped up like mushrooms. They
mostly perform for the posh class. I prefer calling
most of them Papi Bhands because of their very strange
ways, looks and activities. It needs a lot of guts and
patience to tolerate them. They are gaining popularity
but at the same time turning the taste of the people
from good to very bad.
On the other hand, many good cultural and religious
events are being held with an aim and objective. Their
numbers are rapidly increasing because of keen
interest of the people. The people want quality and
sensibility. Now they remain busy in many events.
I recently attended a Milad-un-Nabi event organized in
Mississauga by Qazi Bashiruddin to celebrate the
birthday of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The banquet hall
was jam-packed. The mission of Qazi Bashiruddin, who
lives in Hamilton and is a very popular social and religious figure, is to
keep alive, promote and popularize our values and traditions and he has
achieved great success in this connection. He is creating proper awareness
and is able to attract hundreds of people. Our young generation too
respects him very much. He talks sense and impresses others.
Such awareness and education are badly needed because most of our
religious leaders and scholars are doing nothing except keeping us in
darkness. Frankly speaking the so-called Mullahs have pushed us in
the era of darkness by keeping us away from the vision of the Holy Quran.
Had they researched the holy book and guided us properly, we too would
have contributed in the tremendous advancements made in almost all fields.