The Cruel Plan



The more you study the condition of nature with cold, hard scientific facts, the more you come to the conclusion of how much of a disaster life actually is.

It is simply shocking how vulnerable and condemned to doom every living organism is. The physical nature of this condition is not as much shocking as the psychological and emotional struggle requried to sustain it.

It is important to consciously acknowledge that at least any human being, if not all sentient animals, need a functional psychological and emotional balance to get through the ordeal of living.

Given these disturbing and disabling facts, it is only amazing how an intelligent species capable of making up completely meaningless concepts to feel better about their meaningless existence. Especially when the meaningless concepts cruelly promise to liberate from God’s cruel plan, which only makes the misery of it even worse.

Sorry, if the word God offended you, but most of us like to personalize someone at the back of this cruel plan. Otherwise, it is hard to make any sense of it.

So, what to do about it? Because for the incurably depressed and perpetually curmudgeonly, the eventual logical step is suicide. I believe it is an intellectual conclusion, despite everything.

But life is strong, self-protective and self-preserving. Pretty strange for a meaningless creature, but not so much for a cruel one.


Therefore, the most important function of conscious, sentient life is to overcome the realization of the condition of life and to indulge in the meaningless meaningful, fulfilling, yet distracting concepts of self-fulfillment.


Another Moment of Our Insignificance



It was that moment again. The moment that you would anxiously dread for your entire life. Just like dreading war in peace time. Just like anticipating an intruder without a gun.

It feels like staring at death. In sheer terror, you scramble to save your life, leaving behind all this dear to you, except your life. Something which you are condemned to carry with you.

Looking at everything you built, waiting for it to crumble down.

Thankfully, many of us escaped the ruthless blow of Nature, but many among us did not.

On October 26, that fateful day, the earth shook again, and almost swept everything away. And only those who live through the disaster, those who survive it, could tell you what it felt like.

And for those who could not make it, let’s keep them in our thoughts forever. For it so easily could have been us and our loved ones, as they are.

The Afghanistan quake was 7.5 strong on the scale. Some were calling it the worst earthquake in the history of Pakistan, but I knew they were wrong. It was nowhere near as devastating as the 2005 Kashmir quake, that I ironically wrote about just weeks ago. But it was pretty devastating nevertheless, especially for the people of KP, Northern Areas and Afghanistan.

And believe me, we can never understand the pain of those who lost their loved ones and homes.

But that’s not all what this week brought. It also .

In Rawalpindi and Islamabad, it had already been overcast and rainy for the past two days. And on the eastern dawnsky, Mars, Jupiter and Venus were converging in a magical astronomical display, only to be repeated after decades.

I missed it. Two days after the quake, I managed to find clear skies on the morning of the 28th. With what I had, I managed to take these.


Maybe, some of you could spot Mars if you look hard enough. If you have the time for it, that is.


Looking up at the sky at that moment was a different feeling altogether.

A feeling of significant insignificance.

About Injustice



Injustice is a human invention.


A matter of social sophistication and intellectual aesthetics.

It is non-existent in the natural world. It is arguably incompatible with the principles of evolution over billions of years.


There is no such thing as injustice. It is not the absence of something.

Just another false promise. A utopian dream, for one thing.


It is just an abstraction. It is just an expectation.

A fragment of your imagination.


But perhaps not.


Injustice is just another word for the condition of life.


What the World Can Learn from Japan

Fukushima Nuclear Plant Disaster (Source:

I have immense admiration and respect for the people of Japan. Not only because they have endured some of the most atrocious acts of war and constant threats of natural disasters with great bravery and resilience but also because they have decided to change their lives for the better by at least minimizing the man-made threats around them. I don’t know, maybe it takes massive misfortune to realize how precious life is and how responsible it is to make the world a safer place for others. You may not always agree with the Japanese, such as some of their eccentric dietary habits leading to whale hunting, which has been criticized widely by the Western media, but their approach towards Nuclear energy is something that the entire world, not just the West, should learn something from.

Probably the best piece of news that I read in my recent memory was that Japan had shut down it’s last nuclear reactor. This is a delightful development for anyone who realizes the risks of nuclear reactors present anywhere on the planet. The greatest thing to see was the Japanese people marching on to the roads and actually celebrating the shutting down of the last nuclear reactor. There were warnings that Japan could face a power shortage crisis if nuclear energy is abandoned for power production but the people insisted on going ahead with the closure of the power plants to make their country a much safer place. Call it just a reaction to the Fukushima nuclear plant leak after the recent devastating earthquake if you will, but it is an important step indeed.

While the idea of abandoning power generation through nuclear energy seems very right and noble and uncontroversial and whatnot, it is not really greeted so cheerfully around the world, whether you like it or not. As a matter of fact, people defend power generation through nuclear energy very enthusiastically, saying it is the safest way in the world to produce power. The primary rationale in Europe is that this method of power generation has very low carbon footprint. While that is right, but when you consider the potential risk to the surrounding populations, it does not seem like a very good idea, because Europe is not a very large continent in terms of area and population though it is also not one which is so sparsely populated. As a matter of fact, it is not just about Europe, a part of the world with a history of long wars. Even sparsely populated countries such as Russia would still be at great risk of the occurrence of such accidents.

I think humans tend to get a bit too selfish, as in most of other issues, when they discuss why nuclear energy is dangerous. All we think about is the risk of a potential disaster for the surrounding populations of the area but the responsibility is much greater than that. Because this encourages the proponents of nuclear energy for the construction of plants away from population. While that is the right thing to do in the first place, does it prevent the potential contamination of the environment and the spread of the nuclear waste to other areas, as we witnessed in the nuclear accidents in the past? Of course, you should be pissed about nuclear tests anyway, absolutely unacceptable. The point here is that we are putting the entire environment of the planet in danger because of exposure to nuclear contamination and that jeopardizes all the flora and fauna of the world and not just human life. Furthermore, it endangers the very possibility of life on the planet in the long run.

The fact that we often ignore is that there is no place “safe enough” for building a nuclear plant, let alone for testing a nuclear weapon. There is no place immune to a natural disaster and probably there is no nuclear plant which is absolutely infallible and invincible.

Call it cowardice and losing a great energy source but energy at the cost of safety in such a proportion is certainly not a good trade.

The Japanese have learned this lesson the hard way but I appreciate the way they have reacted to adversity every time it knocks their door.

It is time the world learns this lesson from them.

While there is still time.

The Most Insane Battlefield


Pakistan and India have to be the most insane countries in the world. At least I have no doubt in my mind at all. I cannot think of any other country fighting over a freezing hell. I am talking about the Siachen Glacier. It is really idiotic when you look at it. Hilarious yet outrageous. In terms of patriotism and defense, it is a magnificent feat, but one which both the countries could easily do without. Nothing to take away the great sacrifice that the soldiers are offering and the kind of selfless service they are performing, which is appreciable and inspiring, but for what?

I simply cannot understand why would anyone like to fight over an uninhabitable piece of land, which hardly qualifies as land really. Not only that Pakistan and India have lost thousands of soldiers on this barren and frozen hell, they spend millions of Rupees every single day to maintain their posts on the glacier. It’s like establishing scattered outposts on the moon and fighting over it with no consequence whatsoever to the populated parts of these countries.

To quote journalist Muneeb Faruq:

Approximately, over 2,200 Pakistani soldiers lost their lives on the Siachen Glacier since 1984 as against over 4,000 Indians.

Don’t get me wrong. I really respect those soldiers who are dying for their nations. But hey, I am not saying this to criticize those troops but to actually criticize those politicians and generals who are resting with their asses on the coziest of furniture in their lavish offices and homes. I don’t think the Siachen glacier is worth more than a single human being and for me personally, all the arguments end there. However, there is no doubt that both these countries have a horrible history of warfare and they trust third parties far more than they trust each other.

This is why I think it is the responsibility of the civilian and military leadership of both the countries to sort this issue out immediately and to instantly reach an agreement of the withdrawal of troops from these unnecessary posts. Of course, the matter is always forgotten from the public debate frequently after a skirmish or two and that has been the case since the conflict sparked in 1984, but Mother Nature reminds us  of doing the needful when our brains stop functioning properly. On April 7, 2012, a tragic and disastrous incident occurred when a Pakistan Army base was engulfed by an avalanche in the Siachen glacier. Rescue work, interrupted by bad weather, is underway but there is little hope of any survival. Yes, weather has killed more soldiers than the bullet there.

If I ask myself if I would want to live on a post in the Siachen glacier, I would not want to, and it would be plain hypocrisy if I would force anyone else to go there. I appreciate the troops with all my heart for their courage but I do feel that precious men are wasted for a lost cause there. According to Reuters, somewhere between 10,000 to 20,000 soldiers from both sides are stationed in the Siachen glacier and it is a shame that both these countries cannot reach a settlement to demilitarize that area like civilized nations.

Today, President Asif Zardari is meeting with the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. While like always I know that nothing substantial would come out of the meeting, it is a good time for the leaders to reflect on the pointlessness of the conflict when billions of people are living in poverty from Peshawar to Gauhati. They should live up to their high claims of working for peace in the region. It is time that they agree on something sensible at least and call the troops back from a battlefield where by now we should have learned that you can never beat Mother Nature.

I really hope I live to see that day.