Stop killing our dogs, CBC!

“I came back home at night and found Sandy dead, my maid boy told me CBC van came and shot her, her body was just lying there covered in bullet wounds, her four puppies were left behind from which one died of poisoning, two were rescued by Mustafa Ahmed and the last one ran away and is yet to be found…” – Hira Sami

These are the heart-breaking words of a citizen of Karachi who took care of Sandy the stray dog for the last two months. Coming home from work to find your beloved stray, one you’ve been taking care of, is not only depressing, it’s downright infuriating, frustrating and what nightmares are made of. Hira’s painful experience is sadly one of several. Just recently someone’s six stray dogs were poisoned in Bath Island. I myself have lost nine strays to poisoning several years ago, and witnessed half-alive dogs with bullet wounds, gasping for breath.

This cleansing of stray dogs in Karachi, specifically in the Clifton Cantonment area, needs to be brought to an end. It is an assault to humanity, it is a heinous campaign that disregards an animal’s right to live and share this land of ours. Our friends at Home Four Paw and Claw (HFPC) are daily rescuing and evacuating strays in various locations under the Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC), who are at risk of being shot dead like they just don’t matter. Many of the injured, mothers and puppies are being relocated to shelters like the Ayesha Chundrigar Foundation or Edhi Animal Shelter, but for the most part the healthy dogs are being sent to ‘dog-friendly’ locations where they are not at risk of being gunned down barbarically nor pose a threat to any people.

How we as a society, as a nation, can let animal welfare be so far neglected is merely an example of the level of apathy we’ve reached.

So what do we do to save man’s best friend from being killed in cold blood?

The solution is simple.

With organisations like HFPC and fellow volunteers willing to donate their time and effort, we request CBC to put an end to the needless shooting and poisoning of stray dogs and instead ask for a chance to implement a more humane plan of relocation, vaccination, spaying and neutering.

We could resolve the alleged ‘dog problem’ but for that we would require the assistance of our fellow citizens and officials to help make it happen in a civilised way. We have shelters and other animal welfares on board to support us and we require nothing from Clifton Cantonment except to put a stop to shooting and poisoning dogs.

We will spay, neuter, give rabies shots and release the dogs in an area that is not an inconvenience for the residents of Karachi. It is our duty as human beings, as a nation with the potential to be so amazingly great, to protect the voiceless creatures from being treated in such a heinous way. Shooting the dogs dead, most of them left half alive with bullet wounds, dying a slow painful death, is not something we should even wish on our worst enemies.

I understand that the stray dog population may be a ‘hazard’ to those who are not animal lovers or animal friendly, but we have a sure shot way of solving the problem with the effective solution at hand.

Please read the plan below, a simple solution that works for everyone.

The plan

1. Provide numbers to CBC and other residents to call in case of a ‘dog problem’ in the area.

2. Upon calling those numbers, our team of volunteers will come to the location and evacuate the dogs, get them spayed and neutered, give them rabies shots and release them in an area that is away from residents.

3. Injured dogs and puppies will be taken to shelters and treated there.

4. Once the initial evacuation process is completed, we will focus on vaccinating the dogs. Once the vaccinations are done, we will start the spay and neuter program. Once the spay and neuter program is successfully completed, we will focus our efforts on finding viable homes for the puppies at least, perhaps even for the adult dogs if people step up.

What is achieved?

1. The ‘dog problem’ is being solved and dogs are being removed from areas where they are not welcome.

2. The dogs are being spayed and neutered so they do not reproduce and therefore we are controlling the stray population.

3. The dogs at hand are being taken to safety where they can live free of the fear of being shot dead.

4. Helping the voiceless is our God given right.

5. By giving the freedom to save these dogs and not shooting them, you are playing a huge part in an act of kindness.

I’d like to end this post with the simple request to my fellow country men and women, if you cannot adopt, then foster. If you cannot foster, then volunteer. If you cannot volunteer, then donate. If you cannot donate, then help create awareness. If you cannot help create awareness, then offer moral support. If you cannot offer moral support, then let the people who are working to save the voiceless, do what they do. Just don’t add to the problem, don’t support such treatment of animals, don’t find reasons to enforce cruelty.

from The Express Tribune Blog http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/32712/stop-killing-our-dogs-cbc/

24 completely Pakistanis reactions, explained through Disney

We Pakistanis have many trigger points; many things irk us and many leave us disgruntled. Some moments make us sing with joy while others leave us simply bewildered.

Therefore, in line with all things Pakistani, here are 24 Pakistani reactions that can very aptly be explained via Disney Gifs.

1. When it rains, anywhere in Pakistan

Photo: Tumblr

2. When Shahid Afridi hits the ball in the air…

Photo: MermaidConga

And it lands in the fielder’s hands

Photo: Disney Wiki

3. When Pakistanis come across #ThankYouRaheelSharif

Photo: Tumblr

4. When a Pakistani is recognised internationally

Photo: Pinterest

5. When it comes to Malala Yousafzai

Photo: Giphy

6. When the scheduled load-shedding does not take place

Photo: Pinterest

7. When Pakistanis manage to get tickets for a new blockbuster, without booking in advance

Photo: Giphy

8. Whenever Meera tries to speak in English

Photo: Tumblr

9. When we saw Ayesha Sana’s infamous video

Photo: Tumblr

10. When guests are about to come over

Photo: Tumblr

11. When ammi asks you to go fetch yogurt/vegetables/fizzy drinks from the nearby store

Photo: Gifmania

12. When ammi threatens to go and buy the items herself

Photo: Tumblr

13. When Pakistani students realise what they have done in their exams

Photo: Tumblr

14. When there is a wedding at home and you have to do all the work

Photo: Giphy

15. When there is a wedding at a relative’s home and there is a lot of drama to look forward to

Photo: Tumblr

16. When there is a strike

Photo: Tumblr

17. When Pakistanis are told tabdeeli aagayi hai (revolution is here)

Photo: Tumblr

18. Whenever Altaf Bhai holds a press conference

Photo: Tumblr

19. When Pakistanis were introduced to KitKat Talcum Powder

Photo: Smosh

20. Whenever Zubaida Aapa comes on TV

Photo: Tumblr

21. When a game show is being aired

Photo: Giphy

22. When we see Mamnoon Hussain on TV and realise that he still exists

Photo: Tumblr

23. When we hear the roti, kapra aur makaan (bread, clothes and shelter) drill…

Photo: Photobucket

24. When the Mere Aziz Hum Watno moment arrives

Photo: Tumblr

There are so many more instances where Pakistanis have peculiar reactions. If you have some in mind, do share them with us in the comment section below!

from The Express Tribune Blog http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/31941/24-completely-pakistanis-reactions-explained-through-disney/

Do you have what it takes to resist this chocolate caramel tart? Because I don’t!

I’ve always wanted to make a chocolate tart, but honestly, I had been scared of making the pastry required for the base. I’m not sure why, but making pastry seemed difficult. The time required, the kneading, the rolling, the making sure it’s perfect to cook (and also the dried beans/pie weights needed?! What!)

I tend to not have the time or the patience, and recipes with lots of steps scare me. But I am a determined woman. After years of wanting to make a chocolate tart, but never actually doing so – it was finally time. I had invited some friends over for the afternoon, so I decided to experiment.

I scoured the net for a pastry recipe that would suit me and found one that, albeit time consuming, seemed fairly simple. The chocolate part is easy – chocolate, cream, heat it up, yummy.

I saw some dulce de leche as I looked in the fridge and thought, why not mix it up and add some of this to the tart as well. I’ll post how to make some dulce de leche, so you can see how easy it is to make!

On the recipe, pastry tart first.

Ingredients:

Flour – 2 cups
Sugar – 3 tbsp
Salt – ¼ tsp
Unsalted butter – ¾ cup (cold and cut into small cubes)
Egg – 1 (large and separated)
Ice water – 2 tbsp (more if needed)

Instructions: 

1. Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl and add the butter.  Mix in with your hands until you get coarse crumbs.

2. Whisk the egg yolk with the ice water, and make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients – add in the egg mixture.  Work the dough well, and if it is crumbly, add in more water.

I had to add in more water. I didn’t work it enough initially, so make sure you really do work on it, so nothing is crumbling. Once it’s done, wrap it in plastic and put it in the fridge.

3. After 30 minutes, roll out the dough on a slightly floured surface. Roll up the dough on your rolling pin, and lay it on a nine inch tart pan that has a removable bottom.

4. Press the dough in the pan and shave off the excess. Then keep it in the fridge for 15 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and before putting the tart in the oven, line it with aluminium foil and add either dried beans, rice or pie weights into the foil layer.

6. Bake for 30 minutes, and then remove the foil and dry filling.

9. Coat the crush with a beaten egg white, and bake for another eight minutes or until it is golden in colour. Now finally add in the filling and bake it for the actual delicious tart.

10. Before putting in the tart with the filling, lower the temperature to 325 degrees F.

Now the filling recipe!

Heavy cream – 1 cup
Milk – ½ cup
Chocolate – 10 ounces (I used a mixture of dark chocolate and milk chocolate)
Sugar – 2 tbsp
Salt – ¼ tsp
Eggs – 2 (large at room temperature)

Instructions: 

1. Heat the heavy cream and milk in a pot, until it is simmering.  Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth.

2. Add in the sugar, salt and add in the beaten eggs until everything is completely blended.

3. Before putting the chocolate in the pastry, take the dulce de leche that should be at room temperature and layer that onto the tart pastry. Then add in the chocolate filling.

4. Put it in the oven at 325 Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes until it’s ready to be served.

 

from The Express Tribune Blog http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/32493/do-you-have-what-it-takes-to-resist-this-chocolate-caramel-tart-because-i-dont/

Why women need to STOP losing weight!

Weight Loss = Calories Out – Calories In.

Or in layman’s terms, to lose weight, burn more calories and eat less.

More exercise, less food.

Is it really that simple?

Can your perfect body be achieved with this simple equation?

Answer: No.

It’s not that simple!

Good news however, it’s not that complicated either.

Weight loss is not the same as fat loss. ‘Weight’ refers to the sum total of everything your body is made up of: bone mass, fat mass, water, organs, muscle and other tissue. Fat, on the other hand, refers to a particular kind of storage tissue in your body which is deposited around your organs and under your skin whenever you eat more than your body needs. While weight is measured on a weighing machine, fat is measured in inches using a manual device or electronic full body scanners. Weight is measured in pounds or kilograms whereas body fat is usually measured as a percentage of your total body weight.

When you say you want to lose ‘weight’, what you really mean is that you want to lose ‘fat’. You don’t want to lose bone density and have weaker bones, or lose muscle mass and have weaker joints or lose collagen fibres under your skin and cause premature aging. You want to lose excess fat so you look and feel great.

The next question you need to ask yourself is whether ‘Fat Loss = Calories Out – Calories In’?

Answer: Absolutely not. Fat loss involves multiple things, like the composition of the food you eat, the type, frequency and intensity of your exercise, your sleep cycle, stress levels, hormone imbalance and so on.

If fat loss is so complicated, how does one go about achieving it? Well, like any life-changing process, you do it one step at a time. Follow these four golden rules to start your fat loss journey:

1. Build muscle

Remember that 80-year-old lady you saw jogging in Hyde Park, yep she’s definitely got a healthy percentage of muscle mass in her body and your phupho (paternal aunt), who keeps complaining of joint pain at 40, does not! She should do more squats.

Muscles are active tissue in your body. They require energy just to exist. In comparison, fat is inactive tissue. Muscles boost your metabolism, causing you to burn fat even while you rest.

Research proves that muscle mass is 13% denser than fat, which means that the same weight of muscle mass is more compact and takes less space than fat. Consequentially, when you build muscle to replace the same ‘weight’ of fat you look leaner.

Muscle fibres also play a vital role in protecting your joints and bones from the impact of intense exercise, especially cardio workouts like running and dancing. This means you can go on exercising for longer without risk of injury.

“I am happy with my body otherwise, I just need to lose the fat on my legs.”

As a fitness instructor I hear this statement in almost every class, with a different body part being signalled each time. Sadly, we don’t have much control over how our body decides to lose fat. Factors like genetics come into play. Think of it as removing a cup of water from a full bathtub, the level of the water will go down but you won’t see a divot in any corner of the tub. Our bodies behave much in the same way. Focus on stimulating overall fat loss by building muscle and you’ll see that fat disappear even from the most stubborn areas.

2. Lift weights: they will NOT make you bulky

Do you look at a photo of Marilyn Monroe and think,

“Wow, she looks bulky”?

If Monroe, who was known to routinely lift weights, managed to retain her curves and feminine beauty, trust that you will too.

“I don’t want manly arms” is how most of my clients react when I suggest weight exercises and strength workouts. Women have 15 to 20 times less testosterone, the hormone that is responsible for bulky muscles in men.

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The world-famous actress and fitness author, Cameron Diaz, is known to bench 145lbs at 43 years. ‘Manly’ is the last word that comes to mind when one sees Diaz on the screen. No matter how much women lift, it is close to impossible to bulk up like men.

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Mix-up your workouts and hit the weights at least two to three times a week. Lifting weights and working the bigger muscle groups will help you build muscle faster and reach your goal quicker. Even lifting your own body weight counts! Step away from the boring cardio workout on the treadmill and incorporate squats, jumping jacks, plyometric lunges and other multi-joint, functional movements into your routine. Keep mixing up your workouts so you can shock your body into losing that stubborn fat.

3. Quit the ‘low-fat’ diet and balance your diet already

Research has proven that you need to eat fat to lose fat. Not all fats are bad for you. In fact it is proven that eating beneficial fats with training produces muscle gain because it supports hormone balance and recovery from intense exercise. So keep eating beneficial fats that are found in foods like olive oil, nuts, avocado, chia seeds and coconut oil, and you’ll be doing your body a favour.

Remember that girl who lost a lot of weight and claims ‘I eat a bit of everything’?

DON’T believe her!

What she doesn’t eat is a fast food burger every now and then or a double-cheese pizza followed by ‘a few bites’ of Nutella naan. Most processed and fast foods don’t even qualify as ‘real food’ anymore so they definitely don’t count as part of a ‘balanced diet’. Products that are natural and free-from genetic modification have to be labelled ‘organic’ these days. That is how rare natural and real food has become.

Always go for natural foods such as chicken, tofu, beef, fish, fruits, and vegetables, and know the source of your food. Try and buy local produce. If you are buying anything with a label, check for fat and sugar quantity.

Most low-fat food processing companies compensate by adding more sugar disguised on the label as ‘high-fructose corn syrup’ or another ingredient ending with ‘ose’. Not only does excess sugar in your body get stored as fat but it can also increase risk of diabetes, heart disease and lung disease.

Rule of thumb: If you can’t tell what’s in your food by looking at it, avoid eating it.

4. Sleep your way through weight loss

Lack of sleep and stress release the stress hormone ‘cortisol’. Cortisol actually causes you to gain weight in the form of fat, especially around your abdomen. Therefore, no matter how healthily you eat, if you’re stressed out you still might find yourself gaining weight.

Understand that it is extremely important for you to relax, sleep well and take a break every now and then. Sleep for six to eight hours every night and take some time off from work on the weekend. Indulge in activities that you enjoy and give your body time to recuperate.

Photo: Isagenixhealth.net

So there you have it. Next time you think about losing those 10 pounds, stop right there! Change your goal from weight loss to fat loss. Aim to lose two per cent of body fat instead and measure your progress in inches.

Start today.

Build muscle, lift weights, balance your diet and sleep well. Your body will thank you for it!

from The Express Tribune Blog http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/32697/why-women-need-to-stop-losing-weight/

Baby Asha’s struggle signifies the divide between the rich and poor

The CNN headline: Australian hospital refuses to discharge asylum seeker baby. The details:

“Nepalese baby, while at a detention centre in Nauru, an island in the South Pacific 2,000 miles away from the hospital in Brisbane, suffered severe burns. Now that she had recovered, though, the hospital didn’t want her to return to the abominable conditions in Nauru.”

To morph a cliché attributed to Joseph Stalin – individual tragedy moves us; millions of tragedies become statistics. This signifies either that humanity cares nothing about humanity, or that we cannot process mass atrocity.

I’ll take the latter.

The story of one life, disseminated to millions, can result in greater empathy. The Syrian boy, Aylan Kurdi, did more than any promulgation of demographics counting the dead and displaced.

The article continues:

“A 2015 Australian Senate inquiry reported that the camps had poor hygiene, provided little educational opportunities and also documented several instances of sexual assault.”

Outside the hospital protestors support Asha, volunteers offer a home, but not everyone in Australia is welcoming. It’s the same old argument. The Herald Sun observes that “Nepal has no war, famine and dictatorship” and asks why Australian tax revenue should feed economic migrants. Why can’t this Nepalese family stay in Nepal?

A country with a dead economy may as well have war, famine and dictatorship.

Every day we observe headlines, read articles and sometimes, despite distance, feel involved. As for myself, comfortable in front of my computer screen, I try (and surely fail) to avoid platitudes in lieu of fresh language to capture how Asha might be important.

Before I went overseas I thought multiculturalism was the answer; let’s open borders, mix, communicate, we’re all the same. If you had asked me,

“Should South and North Korea be one country? Should China and Taiwan be one country? Should Israel and Palestine…”

I’d have answered, “The whole world should be one country.”

But the whole world is not one country.

I’ve been to Australia and Nepal, Kathmandu and Sydney, Nagarkot and Devonport; they contrast greatly. They say money talks, but in Nepal, like other low per capita income nations, money screams. My eight years overseas, mostly in the developing world, taught me more about economy than Milton Friedman, John Keynes, Karl Marx, Adam Smith, and the Wall Street Journal.

In Brazil, my salary is less than US minimum wage, and yet I worked half the hours for twice the pay-cheque of my co-workers. The wealthier students arrived and departed with their armed bodyguards.

In the United Arab Emirates, my students drove SUVs and BMWs, boasted of lavish weekends in Dubai, while my fellow teachers from the Levant and the Maghreb drove decade old Plymouths or Toyotas. The South Asian janitors took the bus.

In Phnom Penh, Bangkok and Manila, the ubiquitous site is of young girls arm-in-arm with septuagenarians from Europe, Australia, and North America.

In the UAE, we took a long weekend, rented an SUV, and headed to the Al Hajar, a range in Oman. Far from modern civilisation, an hour from paved roads and even a convenience store, we drove up steep hard gravel roads that cut into mountainous rock, back and forth, hoping to find paradise underneath blue sky and chanced onto an oasis and mansion.

No cars. We parked, took our picnic lunch into the oasis, and discovered a wadi, a desert pool. As we swam we noticed two strangers in shalwar kameez. They told us using rudimentary English how they worked for an Omani sultan who owned the mansion. We told them how lucky they were to live in heaven. One said,

“Not heaven. This is hell.”

Their salaries helped a family in Pakistan, where they returned for one month a year. They considered themselves slaves, lonely and isolated in their prison. Money doesn’t talk, it screams.

Asha signifies this classic struggle, the dichotomy of rich and poor. The rich do not trouble me so much, as I’d prefer to live in a country that produces as many millionaires and billionaires as possible; it’s the poor that merit attention. There’s a reason people struggle to escape poverty, even if their destination is unwelcoming and capable of cruelty.

Baby Asha’s family wanted a better life.

Immigration, free trade, market economy, wealth distribution, in human terms and demographics and percentages become a mathematical and esoteric puzzle. Statistics can be simplified.

The Holy Quran, in Chapter Five, Verse 32 states whoever kills a soul, it is as if he killed all mankind and whoever saves a soul, it as if he saved all mankind.

All great religions or philosophies have some form of this aphorism; we have no excuse for not heeding.

from The Express Tribune Blog http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/32696/baby-ashas-struggle-signifies-the-divide-between-the-rich-and-poor/

Five amazing batting stints we got from the PSL

Pakistan Super League (PSL) surprised many people like me who are of the opinion that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) can never organise a successful tournament like this. It is time that we give credit to the organisers of PSL for their great effort.

There are many reasons that made it a huge success in the cricket world.

One major reason is the presence of the top players from all over the world like KP, Gayle, Watto, Afridi and Russell (to name a few). Another reason is the involvement of certain media houses that created hype amongst people for example Express News partnered with Afridi’s Peshawar Zalmi. The presence of legends like Sir Vivian Richards and Sultan of Swing Wasim Akram also made a huge impact.

The talent that was showcased in the PSL was remarkable. It gave some new players the opportunity to find themselves in the limelight like Nawaz, Asghar, Imran Khalid, Rumman Raees. The following performances of the PSL are examples of some of the game changing moments where we were able to witness pure talent.

Sharjeel Khan – the power house

Photo: PCB

It was the third qualifier on the February 21, 2016, between Peshawar Zalmi and Islamabad United when Peshawar Zalmi won the toss and decided to bowl. The tournament stats tell us that bowling first gives edge to the side but Sharjeel had other ideas. He wanted to prove a point because he was dropped from the initial squad for the Asia cup and World T20. He came to open the innings with DR Smith. Sharjeeel started to hit the ball with ease and gave an opening stand of 108 runs. Sharjeel continued his flawless batting and scored the first century of PSL –117 runs including 12 boundaries and eight maximums. This helped Islamabad United with securing a total of 176 runs and made them victorious against the challenging Peshawar Zalmi. This match also ensured Sharjeel’s spot on the team for the Asia Cup and the World T20’s.

 Umar Akmal’s amazing talent

Photo: PSL

On February 8, 2016, Lahore Qalandars and Quetta Gladiators faced off in the eight match of PSL. Umar Akmal rose to the occasion when he came in to bat with 62 runs on the board and only ten overs remaining. He smacked six boundaries and eight maximums, attaining an overall score of 93 runs alone. This lead put the Qalandars in commanding position, the match ending with 195 runs in total on the board. The Qalandars easily won the match by 63 runs.

Luke Wright’s right number

Photo: Screenshot

February 4, 2016, when the PSL began, will be a day commemorated as historic for Pakistan Cricket. It was a match between the Quetta Gladiators and Islamabad United that kicked off the PSL. Islamabad United batted first and scored 128 runs. Quetta Gladiators managed to chase the total quite easily, thanks to the lovely innings of English T20 opener Luke Wright who played a brilliant innings of 86, including 11 fours and four maximums. It was a great innings to kick off the tournament.

Brad Hodge – old is gold

Photo: PSL

On February 17, 2016, the 19th match of the PSL was fought by the Karachi Kings and Peshawar Zalmi. Shoaib Malik’s Karachi Kings batted first and scored 152 runs. Peshawar responded by losing two wickets for 25 runs in 4.4 overs. It is then that 41-year-old Hodges stepped in and came to the rescue. He steered the match in their favour by hitting six maximums and six boundaries, attaining a score of 85 runs and proving that age is just a number. Peshawar was able to win the match in just 18.3 overs.

Tamim Iqbal’s special

Photo: Screenshot

The 13th match of PSL between Peshawar Zalmi and Islamabad United took place on February 12, 2016. Islamabad United batted first and put 152 runs on the board. It seemed to be a good score but the Zalmi opener, who had been in top form throughout the tournament, came in and scored a quick fire 80 runs with the help of six boundaries and three maximums. Peshawar won the match by seven wickets with nine balls remaining.

These are only some of the amazing innings we had the liberty of witnessing at the first PSL. The people of Pakistan are hoping to see even more brilliant performances in the future of PSL.

from The Express Tribune Blog http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/32619/five-amazing-batting-stints-we-got-from-the-psl/

Why I will not celebrate Mumtaz Qadri’s execution

The rumours had been floating around since the beginning of the year, but not many outside a close-knit group really knew when it would happen, if at all. Then, before his crusaders could get a whiff of what was on the cards, his family was called in one last time, and at some ungodly hour before dawn on Monday, the patron saint of religious violence – Mumtaz Qadri  was hung at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.

As a recap for those of you who don’t know (and I suspect there will not be many): the man in question killed Salmaan Taseer – the Governor of Punjab whom he had sworn to protect as a bodyguard – over five years ago because of his stance on reviewing Pakistan’s oft-misused blasphemy laws. Mumtaz Qadri gloatingly stood around to be put behind bars, but support for him poured in from every corner of the country as he sat around with that signature smug look. His case took several controversial turns in this time — not least when the Islamabad High Court dropped charges of terrorism against him. Ultimately, though, his sentence was upheld by the apex court, much to the outrage of those venerating him as a ghazi.

Mumtaz Qadri was, by every definition, a cold-blooded killer. So why, then, will I not celebrate his execution? In the straightest words: because an execution is not something to be celebrated. Whether Baloch youths dumped off helicopters, beheaded army officers in Waziristan or guillotined terrorists in Rawalpindi — there is no heart-warming festivity to be found in death.

Bear in mind that this is not a debate about whether the moratorium on the death penalty should be restored or not (which I am personally in favour of, but let’s save that for another time). This is about the abhorrent bloodlust that has taken root in our society.

Hanging bodies – to whomever they may have once belonged – are not a medieval spectacle for frolicking. They should not be a source of pleasure; they are definitely not a sign of progress, but could be indicative of us suffering from a collective ailment. And it is not something that Pakistan, well into the 21st century, should aspire to, either. If we visualise a just, humane, progressive society, we are going to have to start believing that violence will always, and only, beget more violence. A desensitised and bloodthirsty population is not the hallmark of a civilised nation (I’m looking at you, Saudi).

Now, while I understand the need to give in to passionate emotions at a time like this – especially for those who have personally suffered from such atrocities – how about instead of wanting to rip more people limb from limb and parade them in gory victory, we observe a moment of silence. Not for respect, but for introspection.

While there was one man who put 28 bullets in Salman Taseer’s body, there were tens of thousands gushing to the streets in their zealous mania yesterday. Don’t jump for joy, Pakistan. Deliberate over why monsters like Mumtaz Qadri are allowed to germinate in your country at an alarming rate in the first place. Ask yourself why the bar association in our capital led the charge in calling for the protests, or why our information minister was assailed by angry “clerics” at an airport, or why – and this one is my favourite – the head of the largest Islamic party in Pakistan, Jamaat-e-Islami, personally led Mumtaz Qadri’s funeral prayers in absentia.

We must ask tough questions of our representatives in the government, armed forces, bureaucracy, judiciary, and perhaps most importantly, ourselves. Why do we consistently receive impressive, yet unverifiable, statistics from the battlefront in the tribal areas, while the man who openly lends allegiance to our opponents, Abdul Aziz, is allowed to thrive in Islamabad? Why have we promoted Mumtaz Qadri from “ghazi” to “shaheed” while his mentor and inspiration, Hanif Qureshi, roams scot-free? Why do we condemn the terrorists’ means but can’t bring ourselves to publicly denounce their ends?

For all those concerned (you know who you are), it has been said time and time again, and I will repeat it for good measure: Outwardly battling terrorism while inwardly nurturing extremism will only make things worse — also known as the curious case of fighting the symptoms while ignoring (at best) the disease.

Perhaps we could exert more pressure on our representatives in Parliament to retake control of the narrative of religion that has been so carelessly handed over to any cleric with a red mosque. Maybe they could cut short their nap to make some advances on the National Action Plan (NAP) by, say, actually regulating madrassahs as planned, or not allowing banned outfits to resurface under different names. Stricter and swifter action could be taken against individuals like Mumtaz Qadri who take the law in their hands under the cloak of religiosity, while somebody could once and for all earnestly tackle the dismal state of our school curriculum.

Fortunately or otherwise, being citizens of Pakistan, it falls on us to remind our representatives of their duties when they forget them and push them to completion. Otherwise, at least as individual members of civil society, promoting a culture of tolerance, human dignity and plurality might be a better use of our time than drawing sadistic pleasure out of frenzied calls for blood. That’s what the Taliban do.

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from The Express Tribune Blog http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/32688/why-i-will-not-celebrate-mumtaz-qadris-execution/