George ka khuda hafiz

Have you people read George ka khuda hafiz — I and George ka khuda hafiz — II in expres tribune?

So sad now people are openly expressing their fears and don't want to grow up their kids in a society where terrorism & extremeism is spreading day by day.

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George ka khuda hafiz — I

For the past nine years, I have been in a dysfunctional relationship. My liaison started somewhat unexpectedly, quickly becoming an all-consuming passionate love affair. My partner reciprocated strongly, bestowing deep affection and adoration upon me. Blinded by love, I was naive to her failings. Yes, at times she was self-destructive, irrational and grossly irresponsible, but I hoped by appealing to her nature’s better angles she could change. Instead, as the years progressed, and, supported by her ‘friends’ in the media, she corroded, simultaneously displaying signs of megalomania and paranoia. Once the relationship turned abusive and I feared for my life, I decide to call it quits. Today, the divorce comes through. Her name is Pakistan. And today, I am leaving her for good.

This was not a difficult decision to make. In fact, I didn’t make the decision. It was made for me. You do not chart your own destiny in Pakistan; Pakistan charts it for you. It’s emigration by a thousand news stories. I am aware that bemoaning the state of Pakistan as a final shot appears churlish and arrogant. After all, I have the luxury to leave — many others do not. Nor do I want to discredit the tireless work of the thousands who remain to improve the lives of millions of Pakistanis. They are better men and women than I. Pakistan has also given me so much over the years. It was Pakistan who introduced me to the love of my life. And it was upon her manicured lawns that we married, and upon her reclaimed soil that we set up our first home. She brought the love of a new family and new friends into my life. And it was Pakistan that witnessed the birth of my son, Faiz — named after one of her greatest sons.

She embraced me like no other gora post-9/11. I appeared in a documentary/reality series titled “George Ka Pakistan”. It allowed me to explore the country. I ploughed fields in the Punjab, built Kalashnikovs in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (probably couldn’t do that now), and mended fishing boats in Balochistan. The culmination of the series saw the then prime minister, Shaukat Aziz, confer Pakistani citizenship upon me, after the viewing public voted overwhelmingly to make me one of them. I was their George. Fame and affection followed.

But that love was conditional. Conditional upon me playing the role cast — the naïve gora. The moment I abandoned the Uncle Tom persona and questioned the defined establishment narratives — whether through my television work or columns — excommunication began. No longer a Pakistani in the eyes of others, my citizenship evidently was not equitable to others.

So, as I depart, I could go with my reputation tarnished, but still largely intact. Or I could leave you with some final words of honesty. Well, true love values honesty far more than a feel-good legacy. So here goes.

Pakistan, you are on a precipice. A wafer-thin sliver is all that stands between you and becoming a failed state. A state that was the culmination of a search for a ‘Muslim space’ by the wealthy Muslims of Northern India has ended up, as MJ Akbar recently pointed out, becoming “one of the most violent nations on earth, not because Hindus were killing Muslims but because Muslims were killings Muslims”.

The assassination of Salmaan Taseer saw not only the death of a man but also represented for me the death of hope in Pakistan. I did not mourn Taseer’s death. I did not know the man. But I mourned what he represented — the death of liberal Pakistan. The governor’s murder reminded us how far the extremist cancer has spread in our society. A cancer in which I saw colleagues and friends on Facebook celebrate his murder. A man murdered for standing up for the most vulnerable in our society — a Christian woman accused of blasphemy. He committed no crime. Instead, he questioned the validity of a man-made law — a law created by the British — that was being used as a tool of repression.

In death, the governor was shunned, unlike his killer, who was praised, garlanded and lionised for shooting Taseer in the back. Mumtaz Qadri became a hero overnight. But Qadri is not just a man — he’s a mindset, as eloquently put by Fifi Haroon. Fascism with an Islamic face is no longer a political or an economic problem in Pakistan, it’s now become a cultural issue. Extremism permeates all strata and socio-economic groups within society. Violent extremists may still make up a minority but extremism now enjoys popular support. As for the dwindling moderates and liberals, they are scared.

Pakistan does not require a secret police, we are in the process of turning upon ourselves. But then what do you expect when your military/intelligence nexus — and their jihadi proxies — have used religious bigotry as a tool of both foreign and domestic policy. It is ironic that the one institution that was designed to protect the idea of Pakistan is the catalyst for its cannibalisation. Christians, Ahmadis, Shias and Barelvis have all been attacked in the past year. Who will be next? Groups once funded and supported by the state have carried out many of these attacks. And many jihadi groups still remain in cahoots with the agencies.

So as I leave Pakistan, I leave her with a sense of melancholy. Personally, for all my early wide-eyed excitement and love for the country and its people, Pakistan has made me cynical, disillusioned and bitter over time. I came here with high hopes, adopting the country, its people and the language. I did find redemption here — but no longer.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2011.

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George ka khuda hafiz — II

From the moment I arrived in Pakistan nine years ago, the omnipotence of the military apparatus was self-evident. Yet, as I leave, it’s apparent it will be this institution, more than any other, that will be the catalyst of this country’s eventual downfall. As Pervez Hoodbhoy recently pointed out, rather than acting as a factor for détente in the region, our acquiring the nuclear bomb in 1998 exacerbated our military arrogance. Kargil, the attack on India’s Parliament and, more recently, Mumbai have all occurred since we got the bomb — attacks that couldn’t have been carried out without some military/intelligence involvement.

And yet, ironically, the military’s regional self-importance belies our chronic servitude to the US. In addition to being the largest landowner in Pakistan, the Pakistani Army is the world’s largest mercenary army. Look at the media storm created over the Kerry-Lugar Bill for it’s supposed slight to Pakistani sovereignty. Yet it is the army’s reliance on US military aid that has made Pakistan a client state of the US. This inherent contradiction is not disseminated in the media. Instead, the established narrative for our acquiescence to the US is laid firmly at the weakness of our political class. As if it was the politicians — and not the military leadership — who somehow control Pakistan’s foreign policy.

Of course the military/religious right in Pakistan use their proxies in the media to blame the Hindus, Americans and Jews for all our sins. But those sins are mostly ours. Atiqa Odho, a friend, and someone who truly wants the best for Pakistan, sent me a text message after the detention by India customs of singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. “Rahat Ali Khan is not a criminal, he has become a victim of corrupt trade practices in India that have singled him out to target the soft image of Pakistan… Let’s not treat a music icon who has million of fans over the world as a common criminal.” The text had it all: hyper-patriotism, paranoia, absolution of responsibility, and a shot of snobbery. Why shouldn’t he be treated as a common criminal if he was avoiding tax? The attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team wasn’t a foreign hand. It was a Pakistani hand. Salman Butt, Mohammed Asif and Mohammed Amir were not brought down by some covert Anglo/India plot, but by their own avarice. They cheated.

But the right’s hyper-nationalism is perhaps more tolerable than the liberal elite’s disengagement and insouciance. Like the right, the liberal elite believe all Pakistan’s woes belong to others. But rather than the Hindu/US/Zionist paranoia of the right, the liberals put the blame on the mullahs, the masses, the uneducated and the unwashed — anyone, but themselves. We — and I include myself here, as this was my social milieu for the past nine years — are unaware of our own hypocrisy.

My friends will condemn the cricketers, but not the society that actively encourages these lower middle-class boys to cheat. But why would they? Their families have gorged and benefitted from this society. Recently, at a coffee shop, I overheard a society Begum, decked out in designer clothes and glasses, bemoan the cricketing scandal. Her ire was primarily directed at the boys for bringing Pakistan’s ‘good’ name into disrepute — not the cheating itself. She then harked back to a time when the Pakistan cricket team spoke English well, as if good English equalled with moral rectitude. But does she question how her husband makes his money? For every Rs100 collected by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in taxes, it misses another Rs79 due to tax evasion. The FBR estimates that the total revenue lost by the government as a result of tax evasion comes out to Rs1.27 trillion for this fiscal year and is equal to eight per cent of the GDP. According to the FBR, over 70 per cent of all taxes evaded are corporate income taxes. What’s the difference between Salman Butt screwing his country for money and the rest of us?

But the liberal elite is a misnomer. We aren’t really liberal. We want the liberal values of free speech and rule of law, without wanting to instil the economic and democratic mechanisms to ensure them. We espouse liberalism but don’t practice the egalitarian values — distribution of power and wealth — that underpin liberalism.

But then, the English liberal ‘elite’ has abdicated all responsibility to govern in the past 60 years. Despite enjoying unprecedented levels of wealth and education, we no longer believe it is our duty as the best educated and most privileged in society to contribute to its development. The English language has created a linguistic Berlin Wall between us and the rest of the country. We remain cosseted inside our bubble. Instead, we have ceded political space to a reactionary, conservative, military, feudal and religious nexus. Tolerating this because, in turn, they have left us alone. They have allowed us freedoms that the rest of the country doesn’t have.Freedom to get obscenely wealthy. Freedom to party at Rs10,000-a-ticket balls. Freedom to dress how we like. But these freedoms come at a price. A Faustian pact has been signed.

Even Pakistan’s intellectual elite has largely abandoned its responsibility. An ideological vacuum occurred after 1971, when the ‘idea of Pakistan’ and the two-state solution failed. What filled the vacuum over the succeeding decades have been a variety of parties with their own vested self-interests — Ziaul Haq, Islamists, the Saudis and the US — trying to enforce their own idea of Pakistan. Today, our intellectual elite are too compromised — suckling on the teat of donor money, scholarships and exchange programmes — to challenge the US narrative.

Unfortunately, no one is immune to the ills that this country subjects its citizens to. I have changed. Slowly, my values and morals have corroded. But I don’t want that for my one-year-old boy, Faiz. I want him to grow up in a society where guns are not an everyday occurrence and his parents can openly hold hands.

After Salmaan Taseer’s assassination, my mother-in-law — a hardworking, decent school principal, who was born in Bombay and had grown up in Dhaka before migrating to Pakistan — called me up. She had seen three of her children leave Pakistan during the past 20 years. My wife was the last one remaining. As she spoke, she sounded defeated: “George, just jao. Jao”. So now I am going. Khuda hafiz, Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2011.

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http://tribune.com.pk/story/125853/george-ka-khuda-hafiz--i/

http://tribune.com.pk/story/126442/george-ka-khuda-hafiz--ii/

Any summary ?

There should have been a series about this 'george ka khuda hafiz', like it was in the old days, called 'george ka pakistan' .. would be a huge commercial success.

After reading up the writeups, i must say i am heartly touched by the fact that 'Pakistan, you are on a precipice. A wafer-thin sliver is all that stands between you and becoming a failed state'

George ka Khuda Hafiz & Davis Ko Welcome

Very true indeed. He has summarised the current state of affairs in Pakistan very aptly.

He is very right in his analysis of existing situation. Unfortunately the thin line is diminishing very fast now.

After the Bhatti incident, it is now a scary country to be a part of. Hardly a day goes by without me thinking of packing and running away :(

George has his facts straight, but his eyes closed. To

condemn Pakistani state and it's power brokers is one

thing. To castigate the national character of Pakistan,

is unfair and inaccurate.

I have seen George around town, hobnobbing with the

social elites in upscale establishments. I think he fell into

the crowd of self-hating Pakistani liberal elites (notice

his references to several of them in his swan song) and

no wonder they have turned him into a "cynical, dis-

illusioned and bitter" man.

That's not the real Pakistan. It's a sliver of the population.

The real Pakistani is broke, half-literate and struggling --

yet, he is the one who's first on the scene of carnage,

helping the wounded and carrying the dead. He is the

one who is leading rescue efforts in far flung areas and

donating her jewelry, if the country is turned broke. He

can't feed his children, but when the camera pans on him,

he shrugs and says little, when he could tell so much.

George is going to raise his son in a society that has

killed millions of browns and blacks for avarice and pride.

Their leaders, who start bloody wars on phony pretexts

can make millions selling their memoirs and giving lectures

in those countries. What kind of value system and hypocrisy

is that, George ?.

No, thank you. I'll take Pakistan, over any country. Yes,

we have problems with leadership, but when they are

solved, watch-out world.

Shahid Afridi... he's just one Pakistani, holding a little

red ball. There are million others, waiting, in the wings.

.

.

.

Sheikh 'Nahi Na-Ummeed...' Chilli

--

I would be surprised if George is readin this forum and gives a response to shiekh chilli's accusations.

Well said Sheikh Chilli! :)

Mr. George did you ever wrote an Article condemning the US drone strikes which have killed hundreds of thousands of innocent human.

One reason of our arguing can also be:

"We don't have option to migrate"

He has the option and he utilized it.

His good bye has some bitter truths but I partially agree with sheikh_chilli.

Going away with a bitter good bye wasn't really a good choice. If he had to leave, he should have done it quietly and everyone would understand. Altruism and philanthropy work cannot last forever, and so is the case with unconditional patriotism.

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George is going to raise his son in a society that has

killed millions of browns and blacks for avarice and pride.

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I actually don’t agree with the above statement because what you teach your children is more imp than what country you are living in.

Some of my cousins living in the west are more cultured, down to earth than the onces living in Pakistan who are wannabes and vice versa.

No one knows about life or death but that society is a lot safer in a lot of ways that Pakistan isn’t, and since he has an option he’s leaving.

Also there is a big difference in the west between the ppl. who rule and the normal population, who are more patient, down to earth.

The ruling party doesn’t always represent the whole population of a Nation.

I personally know more than a few doctors who did medical schooling in Pakistan, went to US to specialize and then came back to Pakistan “to serve their country”. Now none of them is in Pakistan anymore because they got fed up with the law and order and lack of professionalism, they wanted what was best for their families and wanted to provide them a safer environment.

I am not saying everyone in Pakistan is like that, but most ppl. are always looking for low blows and short cuts and they don’t care who they hurt in the process.

Cons and cheaters are everywhere in every society, in Pakistan, west everywhere but somehow more in Pakistan.

I love Pakistan, it’s my country, i am being honest about what’s going on.

Moin Akhtar has put it in better words:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xI-DEN27Rg

Hey George take care and good luck, given the circumstances for average person walking down the street in Pakistan he made the best decision.

Well the content of George is not new same feelings have been shown in hundreds of posts right here in this forum by WP members personally for last 2 years +. Just search this forum one will find one post after another.

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I actually don’t agree with the above statement because what you teach your children is more imp than what country you are living in.

Some of my cousins living in the west are more cultured, down to earth than the onces living in Pakistan who are wannabes and vice versa.

No one knows about life or death but that society is a lot safer in a lot of ways that Pakistan isn’t, and since he has an option he’s leaving.

Also there is a big difference in the west between the ppl. who rule and the normal population, who are more patient, down to earth.

The ruling party doesn’t always represent the whole population of a Nation.

I personally know more than a few doctors who did medical schooling in Pakistan, went to US to specialize and then came back to Pakistan “to serve their country”. Now none of them is in Pakistan anymore because they got fed up with the law and order and lack of professionalism, they wanted what was best for their families and wanted to provide them a safer environment.

I am not saying everyone in Pakistan is like that, but most ppl. are always looking for low blows and short cuts and they don’t care who they hurt in the process.

Cons and cheaters are everywhere in every society, in Pakistan, west everywhere but somehow more in Pakistan.

I love Pakistan, it’s my country, i am being honest about what’s going on.

Moin Akhtar has put it in better words:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xI-DEN27Rg

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As I have lived in a western country I believe people are more confused in their society. They have no values, and they completely lack culture.

George’s son won’t be having any difficulties when he lives in the west because his dad is a caucasian. If a asian goes to live in the west they are always thought of inferiors over there. I am not blaming the westerners for this. This is a natural human behaviour. Consider if all the caucasians start to live in your country and take up all the jobs, wont you have hard feelings for them? We humans live in societies, we will never accept someone to evade our culture.

I reckon just live wherever you are living, people who migrate to the west may have a happy life from the outside, but living away from your people,culture and values is a tough job, you can feel yourself breaking within urself. I remember how i used to literally cry when i missed Pakistan. However if you are a wannabe without any values, then west is just your thing.

A reply to George's racist slurs:

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fulton-pakhater-1.jpg

George Fulton, a.k.a. George the foreigner, who became a Pakistani citizen thanks to a dictator’s Prime Minister, has been true to form. After nine years, he has written two columns (Pakistani newspaper Express Tribune March 2 and 3) to say Khuda-Hafiz in our words, and Good-bye in his, to Pakistan.

In these columns, he has castigated Pakistan’s military and intelligence services and the ‘mullahs’, implying a nexus between the three that, in his opinion, is harming Pakistan. This is what most westerners say, and they say so when their designs are thwarted and they come up against the bulwark that defends Pakistan, and in doing so, earns their wrath. What Pakistanis consider as their assets are made out to be liabilities and attacked relentlessly. Small wonder that our larger eastern neighbor, and the Western-backed segments on our western border, join the chorus; even adding new twists and insinuations. George ‘the ex-Pakistani’ is no exception.

To be fair to the Pakistani George (assuming that he has not turned in his citizenship) he has some good things to say about Pakistan—at least about those with whom he could relate and interact. He does not say anything about the brutal massacres of Muslims and Christians in India by crazed fanatic Hindu mobs, which thank God has no parallels in Pakistan.

Nor does he talk about the brutality of the Hindu-dominated military and para-military forces in Kashmir—the rapes, the tortures and the killings. These do shape opinions and reactions in Pakistan even if the naked aggression by India that broke Pakistan in two 1971 is forgotten—not that it is or ever will be.

He is critical of our nuclear weapons but says nothing about what drove Pakistan to get them. He writes about Pakistani society but this society is no different from societies elsewhere in the world—all have warts, injustices, corruption, vice, drugs, violence, exploitation, haves and have-nots; the good, the bad and the ugly. And like many other societies, Pakistan is going through a transitional phase.

This does not say that there are no problems in Pakistan. There are serious problems that the state is addressing against great odds. The average Pakistani, like the average person in all other countries, wants peace, security, health care, education and the opportunity to work and play without fear for the security of his loved ones. It is the resilience of this average Pakistani that has enabled the state of Pakistan to survive and make progress.

Fulton, while fulminating, did not have much to say on this. He also seems to have forgotten that the destabilization and radicalization of Pakistan is in direct proportion to the US/NATO aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan without any reason—in fact, on the basis of distorted facts and often outright lies. Small wonder then, that the US and NATO stock is so low in the Muslim countries—and falling.

Khuda-Hafiz George, and may you be safe from dangers wherever you go to find what you did not find in Pakistan.

Pakistanis will not miss you.

http://www.ahmedquraishi.com/2011/03/03/an-englishman%E2%80%99s-anti-pakistan-rant

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^^

its obvious above mentioned blog type articles will pop up, I fully agree with George Fulton the way he has described the situation, he is 100% correct.