. . . . . .  
ON EID 2023



Extended Eid holidays bring everything to a halt, except one’s digestion. It is a time to eat, pray and watch long films one would not otherwise find the time to see.

Two recent films caught one’s attention during this period of forced indolence. Both had anti-war themes. One – All Quiet on the Western Front - was set during the First World War and the second – War Machine - in the U.S.A.’s misadventure in Afghanistan. Both reinforce with compelling evidence George Clemenceau’s famous dictum that war was too serious a business to be left to generals.

Most of us know of All Quiet on the Western Front as a novel by Enrich Maria Remarque. Published in 1928, it was made into a film two years later. It won an Oscar in 1930. It was soon banned by Hitler’s Nazi Party and in other countries. Curiously, the ban remained in France until 1963.

Portly German and French generals are depicted gorging on delicacies while their troops are scavenging for sustenance in the trenches. The crescendo occurs during the hour preceding the 11.00 a.m. Armistice on 11 November 1918. A German general taking advantage of the pause in hostilities releases a contingent of raw recruits in a suicide mission against the unsuspecting French. It was an act of wanton cruelty bordering on barbarism.

History being the version of the victors, Edward Berger’s film is an important corrective to their nationalist lies. That it should have been nominated for an Oscar in 2023 shows how far the pendulum has swung back since 1930 from militarism towards the other extreme – pacifism.  

The second film – War Machine (2017) – shows how even Hollywood is not shy to debunk its own heroes. Once it idolised heroes like the clean-cut much decorated Audie Murphy and the ramrod General George Patton (whom Hitler called "that crazy cowboy general"). Today, the anti-hero is in vogue.

In this film, an unforgiving satire, David Michôd uses as his military archetype U.S. General Stanley McChrystal, once Head of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. McChrystal was relieved of his command for airing criticism against the Obama administration.

Michôd’s film is a fictionalised account of a four-star General Glen McMahon (played with comic flair by Brad Pitt), who is transferred from success in Iraq to failure in Afghanistan, where he is determined to give Afghanis freedom and democracy. The film contains a brilliant cameo by Ben Kingsley as a cowardly whining president Hamid Karzai.  

Subtitles to Michôd’s film could have been General Dwight Eisenhower’s dictum: ‘We are going to have peace even if we have to fight for it.’ Or alternatively, General George Patton’s assertion that ‘the object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his’.

It is perhaps too early for our filmmakers to expose our establishments to such candid scrutiny.

India is still recovering from the recent revelations by Satya Pal Malik’s (former Governor of Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir) during an interview with Karan Thapar. He admitted that PM Modi and NSA A. Doval had told him to keep quiet on the deaths of forty Indian jawans at Pulwama ‘due to sheer incompetence’ by the Indian top brass, so that blame could be shifted to Pakistan, to help the BJP in elections.

In Pakistan, the PTI chief and his mentor the former COAS General Qamar Bajwa are going through a messy divorce. The pre-nup agreement had been quite specific. An extension for General Bajwa for three years and then another three until 2023 (and if necessary beyond), while in return, continued support for Imran Khan as prime minister until 2023, and beyond. They spar now through the media.  

The date of the Armistice between Imran Khan’s PTI and the PDM’s combined forces should have been sometime in May, when elections were to be held in Punjab and KPK. The date and month remains elusive and unresolved. Meanwhile, the parties continue to snipe at each other from their entrenched positions.

Some stalwarts within the PTI have questioned their leader’s decision not to award Provincial Assembly tickets to loyalists Fawad Chaudhry and Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Both aspire to become Chief Minister Punjab. Imran has countered by saying that he wishes to have them in Islamabad. As Sun Tzu said, ‘Keep your friends close; keep your enemies closer.’

In truth, the Pakistani public is tired of being promised elections that are palpably stale even before they have left the oven. Is there any merit, they ask, in holding elections only to see the same parties continue their combat in the assemblies?    

If, according to Herodotus, in peace sons bury their fathers, and in war, fathers bury their sons, Pakistani politicians today strive to bury each other – alive.



[DAWN, 27 April 2023]



Abbas Ali Mirza <abbas.ali@idcpakistan.com>,
Abdul Waheed Khalid <awkhalid@hotmail.com>,
Adela Riasat Syed <adela-riasat@hotmail.com>,
Adnan Idrees <adnan.garrison@gmail.com>,
Affya Mahmood <affyas@gmail.com>,
Ahmed Vine <ahmedvine@gmail.com>,
Ahsan Anjum <pakeeza.ahsan@yahoo.com>,
"Air Marshal (retd) Khurshid Anwar Mirza" <marshalmm@gmail.com>,
Aisha Khurram <info@fabrina.com.pk>,
Aiza Aslam <aizaaslam@gmail.com>,
Ajaz Anwar <ajazart@brain.net.pk>,
Ali Asif <ali2asif@hotmail.com>,
Alia Asad Alam <aliaalam93@gmail.com>,
Ambreen Fatima <ambreenfatima1@gmail.com>,
Ambreen Irfan <ambirfan@gmail.com>,
Ambrin Hayat <ambrinhayat@hotmail.com>,
amer azam <amerazam@hotmail.com>,
Amina Khan <amina.k.93@gmail.com>,
Amnah Gul Muqri <sg@idcpakistan.com>,
Anjum Ahmad <anjum.s.ahmed@gmail.com>,
Anjum Qurashi <anjum1966@gmail.com>,
Annie Khakwani <anniekhakwani@gmail.com>,
Areesha Zaman <areeshazaman@hotmail.com>,
Arshad Mahmood <arshad-mahmood@msn.com>,
Asad Kamran <asadkamran71@gmail.com>,
Asad Khan <asadismailkhan@gmail.com>,
Asad Niaz <niazasad@hotmail.com>,
Asif Murad <asif4854@hotmail.com>,
Asiya Shaheen <asiyashaheen@hotmail.com>,
Asma Chima <asmachima66@gmail.com>,
Asmat Aftab <asmaat@yahoo.com>,
Asrar Amin Agha <asraragha@gmail.com>,
Attifa Tariq <attifatariq@hotmail.com>,
Ayesha Kaisar <ayeshakaisar@hotmail.com>,
Ayesha Naweed <naweed.ayesha@gmail.com>,
Ayesha Noorani <nooraniayesha@gmail.com>,
Azka Mazhar <azkamazhar53@gmail.com>,
"Binny (Saigol) Azar" <binni.azar@yahoo.com>,
"Brig. Reaz Bashir (Retd)" <reaz.bashir@hotmail.com>,
Burair Nazir <burair.nazir@gmail.com>,
Chris Cork <manticore73@gmail.com>,
Cyma Sikandar <cyma466@gmail.com>,
"Dr. Ainul Momina" <amomina@post.harvard.edu>,
"Dr. Memoona Khan" <memoonarkhan@live.com>,
"Dr. Naveed Henderson" <naveedhasan@yahoo.com>,
"Dr. Neelofar Hameed" <drneelofarhameed@gmail.com>,
"Dr. Rukhsana Hameed" <rukhsanahameed11@gmail.com>,
"Dr. Shahid A Khan" <shahidak@aol.com>,
"Dr. Shehla Javed Akram" <shehlajavedakram@yahoo.com>,
"Dr. Suhail Arif" <msuhailarif@gmail.com>,
"Dr.Sarshar Ahmad Chaudhry" <sarsharhmd@gmail.com>,
Durre <durresahmed@gmail.com>,
Durre Shahwar <durreshahwar23@yahoo.com>,
Eram Zehra <eramzehra@gmail.com>,
Faika Khan <faika11@aol.com>,
Faiza Khattak <faizakhattak@hotmail.com>,
Faizah Saeed Wahlah <rijawahlah@hotmail.com>,
Fareeha Pixi Zafar <fareehazaf@gmail.com>,
Farheen Khalyd <farheenkhalyd@gmail.com>,
Farida Hasan <mehferi@hotmail.com>,
Farida Saeed Chaudhry <faridasaeed22@gmail.com>,
Fauzia Azim <fauze-azim@yahoo.com>,
Fauzia H Qureshi <fauziahqureshi@gmail.com>,
Fayzah Sarosh Wasti <fayzah.s.wasti@gmail.com>,
Feryal Ali-Gauhar <feryalkimail@yahoo.com>,
Fiza Farhan <fiza.farhan@bukshfoundation.org>,
Fouzia Shafique <aroma145@gmail.com>,
Freeha Baqir <freehabaqir@yahoo.com>,
Fyzaa Amir <fyzaaamir@gmail.com>,
Ghalib Salam <ghalib_salam@yahoo.com>,
Hanif Shakir <hanifshakir1965@gmail.com>,
Haroon Shah <n_shah47@hotmail.com>,
Hassaan Bin Saadat Malik Tipu <tipu64@hotmail.com>,
Hassan Mehmood Zaidi <hmzmed@gmail.com>,
Hina Nawaz <hinawaseem64@gmail.com>,
Huma Izhar <humaizhar@hotmail.com>,
Huma Malik <huma.m.uk@gmail.com>,
Humaira Irfan <shahhomi@gmail.com>,
Hur Gardezi <hurgardezi@gmail.com>,
Husain Abdul Rehman <husqazi@gmail.com>,
Ibraheem Ramay <ibraheemramay@gmail.com>,
Iffat Bux <sumbalb@hotmail.com>,
Ijaz ul Ahsan <ijazulahsan@hotmail.com>,
Ilyas Ahmad <ilyasahmad1949@yahoo.com>,
Imran Ahmad <aimran69@hotmail.com>,
Imrana Tiwana <itiwana@yahoo.com>,
Irum Ghani <iram_g@hotmail.com>,
Irum Qazi <iramqazi1@gmail.com>,
Isbah Hassan <isbahh@yahoo.com>,
Ishrat Tariq <ishrat_jamalshah@yahoo.com>,
Ismat Riaz <ismatriaz70@gmail.com>,
Javaid Akhtar <javaidab@gmail.com>,
Javaid Siddiqi <javaidss@hotmail.com>,
Kalim Saddiqi <kalim@kalimsiddiquiassociates.com>,
Kamal Abbasi <kamal.a.abbasi@gmail.com>,
Kamran Lashari <lashari_27@hotmail.com>,
Kanval Lashari <k-lash@hotmail.com>,
Kanwal Khoosat <kanwal@olomopolo.com>,
Kashif Afzal <kaashifafzal@gmail.com>,
"Khaled Cheema (Air Cdre (R)" <khaledcheema@gmail.com>,
Khwaja Junaid <junaid.yazdani@mcb.com.pk>,
Laila Amin <lahmed2000@yahoo.com>,
Laila Waheed <Lailakwaheed@gmail.com>,
Lubna Mandviwalla <lubz61@yahoo.com>,
Lubna Quraishi <quraishi.lubna@gmail.com>,
Lubna Wamiq <lubna_rq@yahoo.com>,
Mahboob Aslam <mahboobaslam48@gmail.com>,
Mahrukh Shabbir <shabbirmahrukh@gmail.com>,
Maisoon Aziz <maisoonkaziz@hotmail.com>,
"Maj. Shahid Nadeem" <snadeem9@hotmail.com>,
Makhdum Hashim <makhdumhashim@yahoo.com>,
Maleeha Haque <maleeha.haque@icloud.com>,
Maliha Naheed <malihanaheed@gmail.com>,
Maliha Noorani <malihanoorani@gmail.com>,
Mansoor Malik <manmalik@hotmail.com>,
Mariam Ijaz <mariamijaz2012@gmail.com>,
Mariam Raza Zaidi <mariamrzaidi@gmail.com>,
Marria Khan <marria.k@gmail.com>,
Maryam Saeed <maryamsaeed2@hotmail.com>,
Masooma Habib <nabihome@gmail.com>,
Mehreen Noon <men547@mail.harvard.edu>,
Mehreen Rana <m.rana@jands.com.pk>,
Memoona Saqlain Rizvi <monasaqriz@yahoo.com>,
Mian Imran Masood <mianimran.masood@yahoo.com>,
Michelle Ahmad <michelle.ahmed@gymboree.pk>,
Momin Ali Agha <m.agha68@gmail.com>,
Moniza Akber <meezo50@hotmail.com>,
"Mrs. Yasmin Ashraf" <sashraf@ssi.com.pk>,
Mubina Zaka <mubinaz@hotmail.com>,
Muhammad Ali Khwaja <ali@oaktree.com.pk>,
Muhammad Naseem Niaz <ceo@mohidindustries.com>,
Muhammad Sarfraz Khan <muhammadsarfrazkhan786@yahoo.com>,
Muhammad Shah <muhammadshah02@gmail.com>,
Munazza Rashid <munazzarashid@gmail.com>,
Naaima Atyab <naaima546@hotmail.com>,
Nabeela Sami <beeli100@hotmail.com>,
Nadeemul Haque <nhaque_imf@yahoo.com>,
Nadia Raja <nadiarajakc@gmail.com>,
Naeem Ahmad <naeemahmad_27@hotmail.com>,
Naeem Ahmad Bajwa <naeemahmedbajwa@hotmail.com>,
Naeema Aftab Shamsi <naeemaaftab1946@hotmail.com>,
Naila Hassan <nailah02@gmail.com>,
Najma Nabi <najmanabi@yahoo.com>,
Naseer Ahmad <naseermustafa@gmail.com>,
Nasir Aziz Khan <nazizkhan@gmail.com>,
Nasir Khan <ezeelet@hotmail.com>,
Nasira Iqbal <arisan61@gmail.com>,
Nausheen Jaffery <nausheen.jaffery@gmail.com>,
Naushin Noon <naushin_noon@hotmail.com>,
Naveda Kitchlew <ad.int@umt.edu.pk>,
Naveed Riaz <noonray@brain.net.pk>,
Naz Aftab <nazaftab@hotmail.com>,
Nazia Ejaz <nazia_ejaz@yahoo.co.uk>,
Neelam Sheikh <neelam.a.sheikh@gmail.com>,
Nighat Saeed <nsaeed52@gmail.com>,
Nina Akber <nina.akbar@gmail.com>,
Nina Hassan <ninacara2@hotmail.com>,
Noreen Mujhis Sheikh <sirredilbraan@gmail.com>,
Nosheen K Rahman <nosheenkrahman@gmail.com>,
Nusrat Jahan <enjay20@hotmail.com>,
Osman Waheed <okwaheed@gmail.com>,
Pervaiz Vandal <pvandal59@gmail.com>,
Popti Bukhari <poptibukhari@hotmail.com>,
Qaisera Khaliq <qaisera.khaliq@yahoo.com>,
Qaisra Sheikh <president@cnpwcci.org>,
Qudsia Mumtaz <qudsia.mumtaz@gmail.com>,
Rabbania Shirjeel <bania_25@hotmail.co.uk>,
Rabia Sultan <rabiasultan73@gmail.com>,
Rafiq Jaffer <rjiss@yahoo.com>,
Rahina Ehtisham <rahina5080@yahoo.com>,
Rameeza Nizami <rnizami@nawaiwaqt.com.pk>,
Razia Jaffer <razia.jaffer@gmail.com>,
Reema Ali <reemaali24@gmail.com>,
Riaz Lali <786riz786@gmail.com>,
Rima Farid <rima.farid@gmail.com>,
Rizvana Ikram <rizikram@hotmail.com>,
Romano Karim Yousaf <romanokarim@gmail.com>,
Roshaan Khattak <roshaankhattak@gmail.com>,
Rubeena Imran <rubeenaimran@gmail.com>,
Rubina Raja <rubinaraja@hotmail.com>,
Rubina Shahid <ninishah@gmail.com>,
"Rukhsana (Rocky) Ahmad" <rocky.ahmad12@gmail.com>,
Rukhsana David Kinnaird <rukhsana.david@kinnaird.edu.pk>,
Rukhsana Tabani <tabanire@gmail.com>,
Rukhsana Zeb <rzebpk@icloud.com>,
Rummana Bokhari <rummana_bokhari@hotmail.com>,
Saba Faisal <sabafaisal66@yahoo.com>,
Sabahat Hamid <sabahat.hamid@me.com>,
Sabahat Zakariya <sabahat2413@gmail.com>,
Sadia Haq <haq.sadia@gmail.com>,
Sadia Noon <sadianoon@hotmail.com>,
Saeeda Nazar <saeedanazar11@gmail.com>,
Saira Ahsan <saira.ahsan@yahoo.com>,
Sajida Vandal <sajidavandal@gmail.com>,
Saleem Jilani <jiltec@gmail.com>,
Salman Rashid <odysseuslahori@gmail.com>,
Sameera Amin <samamin88@yahoo.com>,
Samia Sikander <samiafirdous@hotmail.com>,
Samina Ahmad <saminatv@gmail.com>,
Samina Malik <sameena.malik@googlemail.com>,
Samina Peerzada <saminapeerzada@hotmail.com>,
Samina Salman <saminasalman1@hotmail.com>,
Sanam Lodhi <samanlodhi70@hotmail.com>,
Sandy Li <mimilala14@hotmail.com>,
Sarah Nizami <sarahnizami@hotmail.com>,
Sarwat Mohiuddin <sarwatmpk@yahoo.com>,
Schcherazade Rehan <srehan29@gmail.com>,
Seemi Sufi Mom <seemisufi@yahoo.com>,
Seemi Waheed <seemi.waheed1979@gmail.com>,
shaan ali <alishaanzaidi@gmail.com>,
Shafaq Habib <shafaqsjewels@gmail.com>,
Shahab Ashraf <sashraf@ssidecisions.com>,
shahbaz thathaal <shahbazthuthaal@gmail.com>,
Shaheen Saifullah <sstoru@gmail.com>,
Shahid Nazir <shahidnz@gmail.com>,
Shahida Husain <mianshahidhusain@hotmail.com>,
Shahla Ali Khan <17bathview@gmail.com>,
Shahnaz Aijazuddin <shahnazaijazuddin@gmail.com>,
Shaila Farook Iftikhar <shehlafarooq59@gmail.com>,
Shama Khaliq <ss.khaliq@ymail.com>,
Shama Tariq Haq <shamahaq.elahi@gmail.com>,
Shanno Gilani <kshanc7@hotmail.com>,
Shazia Hasan <shazia.hasan8@gmail.com>,
Sheherezade Alam <sheherezade.alam@gmail.com>,
Shireen Zafarullah <shireen_zafarullah@yahoo.com>,
Shirin Safdar <shirin191945@yahoo.com>,
Sibte Khalid <jaeyda@gmail.com>,
Sohno Zaka <sohnozaka@gmail.com>,
Suleman Ghani <sulemanghani@gmail.com>,
Sumaira Khan <sumaira.khan.29@gmail.com>,
Sumbul Awan Arif <sumbul530@gmail.com>,
Surraiya Tarik <surraiya1946@outlook.com>,
Syed Aarij Iqbal <aarij.iqbal@idcpakistan.com>,
Syed Faisal Sajjad <faisalsajjad73@gmail.com>,
Syed Hasnain Iqtidar <sdara52@hotmail.com>,
Syed M Ejaz Mustafa <syedmejazmustafa@gmail.com>,
Tahira Husain <tahiraayyaz@hotmail.com>,
Tahmina Mushtaq <tahmina58@hotmail.com>,
Tameez Alam <tameezalam@gmail.com>,
Tania Qureshi <taniaq29@gmail.com>,
Tanwir Ahmed <tanwir1938@gmail.com>,
Tanya Sani <tanyasani65@hotmail.com>,
Tariq Hassan <tariqnh@gmail.com>,
Tasneem Mir <tesssmir09@hotmail.com>,
Tauseef Hayat <thyat1@hotmail.com>,
Tehmina Dasti <tehminask@yahoo.com>,
umair mansurry <umairmansurry@gmail.com>,
Uzma Niaz <niazuzma@hotmail.com>,
Uzma Saeed <uzmasaeed@hotmail.co.uk>,
Vicky Ahmad <vickyvickie@hotmail.com>,
Yasmeen Javed <manojaved@gmail.com>,
Yasmin Chima <ycheema@ciitlahore.edu.pk>,
Zahida Ahsanuddin <zedkay12@hotmail.com>,
Zakira Yousaf <zakira.yousaf@hotmail.com>,
Zareen Niazi <zareen.niazi@alauddinacademy.edu.pk>,
Zeeshan Mirza <xeshumirza@gmail.com>,
Zoia Tariq <zoiatariq@gmail.com>,
Zoya Akbar <zoya_akbar@hotmail.com>,


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27 April 2023
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