Who am I?

By the age of 22, we’re supposed to have it all figured out because why not? I mean, if even after 2 decades you can’t figure it out and answer the quintessential

“who are you?”

“what are your goals and ambitions?”

“what do you want from life”

Type basic questions then what have you really done in life?

Well, at least this is what the World and primarily what are society thinks. I on the other hand, well, I beg to DIFFER. Yep, you heard it right! In this over overwhelmingly fast paced life of ours where everyone has entered this anonymous race of turning themselves into clones of one another, I try to take out a second to break free and unwind.

Which brings me back to the question we all are constantly badgered with, “Who are you?”  Well,It’s a constant road to self-discovery where every day brings a new revelation but since you asked, ill give it a try.

Born in Lahore, raised in Karachi and migrated back to Lahore, I’m a blend of two beautifully diverse cultures found within Pakistan. My salees Urdu and inability to converse in Punjabi  perfectly depicts this mixup.

Regardless of associating words like, “friendly” and “caring” to my personality while  growing up in school, it was only a decade and a half later that I realized how untrue my own perception was about myself. I conceived myself the way I probably wanted people to perceive me. Deep down however, I was an awfully shy kid. Making friends and showing any affection I had for them was a dilemma to say the least. One day, thanks to internet  and  my friend Google,  I diagnosed my self as a *DRUMROLL*

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If you’re wondering why I’m using medical terms to elaborate on my condition because 98% of the time, people that meet me believe that it’s some kind of disease.NOT.

A major part of discovering myself and figuring out who I am comes from being an introvert. Not aloof from the world, yet despite being in the center of everything I love to analyze everything. I believe I’m highly opinionated, (which btw isn’t a bad thing) I just have a take on every take, well mostly everything that interests me namely; Politics, Socio-Economic topics, Infotainment, Judgmental desi aunties and the messed up society we live in at large.

My transformation from a hardcore shy (read: introvert) kid to a not so shy rather confident and a more open-minded person came to happen post A’levels. Rejected from my dream university,  “LUMS” – The Harvard of Pakistan, I  landed into my backup university; LSE- Pakistan Edition. Coming out of a protective school environment, sitting with a complete group of strangers and due to lack of extracurriculars offered at university, I joined a world-renowned youth organisation and the rest is history. Whoever I am, Whatever I am or whatever i might become is due to my learnings from there. It’s one of those heart-warming achievements of my life.

Three years down the line, I can proudly say I’ve never felt more like myself. Everyday i make new mistakes and everyday I learn from them. I don’t have any regrets because i try to learn as  much as I can from it; everything is a lesson. Soon to be graduating as a marketing majors, i can finally say that even after much resentment, I did fall in love with LSE. It has given me memories to last a lifetime ♥

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FUN FACTS

  • I often come across as an arrogant person mainly because im like a turtle who’s in its shell most of the time; I don’t act as a social butterfly
  • My parents thought my name would bring me badluck so they renamed me “Aska” for a week. Tsk, Desi Parents I tell ya.
  • I wanted to be a lawyer or an interior decorator. The 9 to 5 life never appealed to me.(LOL @that)
  • I love to travel! #wanderlust  unfortunately, you can’t travel for free therefore, there’s still a vast ocean to sail.

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  • My bestfriend and I are Polar opposites
  • I’m in a romantic relation with CHAI; till death do us apart

  • ,I’m a sucker for Rom-com movies and find Starplus dramas to be awfully entertaining, no i kid you not. (Judge karne se guraiz farmaye, Allah is watching you)
  • Elif Shafak and Moni Mohsin are one of my favorite writers.
  • I love Qawali and poetry; i try to write sometimes too.
  • I love toy poodles NOT CATSSSS.
  • Basically,Eat Sleep Netflix and repeat and breathe!
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What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be Happy that’s all.

My name Is Omer Sadiq. I am a candidate of Bachelors of Business Administration from Lahore School of Economics. To have a brief background of my schooling, I have done my A-levels from Lahore Grammar School. To define my educational career, it was a bit barmy. This was mainly because of the lack of interest I had in Science and Medical field. Later, as it’s said that you get to explore your real self once you walk through different aspects and take on challenges and rotations in your career which later have me discovered that business education is the one which I could excel in and have my skills polished to become a successful entrepreneur one day or a corporate personnel. Thus, the profound passion for having to learn about business and advancing media at a faster pace has what made me land into Marketing and Media degree even when I was offered a double majors degree in Marketing Finance. You must be thinking now why would one be coming into a under rated degree rather than a double majors degree?. Well, this is just a hypothesis which never has been proved.

Another dilemma that I encountered was the religion and university life. The very first question thrown at me in my selection interview at LSE was whether I would be preaching religion because of my religious belief which were evident through the beard that I have to follow Sunnah which has emotionally affected me that why do society judge on your appearances?. Beliefs are very personal and should not be questioned upon. When we get to study in other countries which are hubs for international students to come and have an exposure, everyone follows their own religion and beliefs which in my opinion should not be criticized upon and I can proudly say that I am a true Muslim and one’s race or religion does not affect my thoughts towards them. I follow fashion and fashion magazines and this does not doubt my beliefs.

Talking about my interest: I have a keen interest in football, now one would say ” maulvi hy, football khailay ga”?. Sorry people! I have been playing in regional teams for quite sometime and have accomplished a lot in terms of achievements I have. Moreover, I am a Millennial and this brings the tech savvy side of me. I am adept user of smart phones and I have keen interest in reading about gadgets and technological advancements in today’s dynamic world. Moreover, another surprising thing that people find in me is Poetry and I am a fan of FAIZ AHMED FAIZ AND ALLAMA IQBAL. Their poetry and meaningful thoughts they beautifully say through words is enticing. I recommend everyone to discover their very self in the first hand before so they can have self actualization with themselves. As it is said by ABRAHAM MASLOW:

“IF YOU ONLY HAVE A HAMMER, YOU TEND TO SEE EVERY PROBLEM AS A NAIL”.

 

The right to Education

Everybody has the right to education. Education might be free, in any event in the early stages. Specially elementary education is a compulsion

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Education should be coordinated to the full advancement of the human identity and to the fortifying of regard for human rights and basic opportunities. It might advance comprehension, resilience and fellowship among all countries, racial or religious gatherings.

Parents have an earlier appropriate to pick the sort of training that might be given to their youngsters.

It is essential for every human being and their development. It promotes freedom and assures you excel in life. Why should education only be a right to be given just to the rich? Why should the poor be deprived of this right?

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We have forgotten the importance of education and what changes it brings in our behavior and routine, Moreover it develops us as a human being and brings productive progress in our lives.

It has also become a sexist issue, many villages in India and Pakistan have have illiteracy rate of females than man because such thinking and mentality still exists that there is no point teaching your daughters/ sisters as they have to get married.

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Related: Women Education

I think educated females is as important as men, as they play a very vital role in teaching their children and their brought up. It gives them the opportunity to make them a successful knowledgeable upcoming generation. As Education is a right that everyone should be given. Today’s generations can change the world we just have to invest in them first.

Its our job for us to invest in them so they can do something for themselves, their families and their country.   Countries like Ethiopia still have the worse education rates and system, they still fail to give them importance and do something about it.

 

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“Education as a weapon can change the world if used properly”

We dont see the benefits and importance of education in the long run, if provided to all people around it can do wonders.

Right to education places on the state a duty to draw up an action plan to make education widely and freely available. In Pakistan the right to education stands in danger of being circumscribed by the non-availability of the required number of schools in proportion to the growing population. In particular there is a lack of girls’ schools.

Another center component is the state’s commitment to make education open on a non-unfair premise. Connected to openness are the two different measurements of safe physical and monetary access.

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Education has the purpose to replace an empty mind with an open mind. Where that open mind is capable of doing extraordinary things if given the right to education and prosperity.

So make education a necessity! A right which should be given to people and they dont have to ask or beg for it. It should be a right for ever human being not a benefit or privilege to the ones who can afford.

“Educate the youth of your nation today so they can bring you a brighter tomorrow”. 

Freedom to profess religion

Although, the right of Freedom to profess religion has been secured in our Constitution but, is it actually secure? This right which is mentioned in the Article 20, states that every person has the freedom to profess, propagate and practice his or her religion. This article also gives each one of us, as citizens of Pakistan, the right to establish, maintain and manage religious institutions for the protection and promotion of our religion. But, the question is that is this right being implemented? Can we really say that this article is really able to protect our freedom of religion with churches and mosques being bombed and with people being killed just because they believe in the teachings of a different religion.

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Christians, Hindus and other minorities are excluded from the mainstream activities of the national life. Whatever the profession may be, the minorities are side lined. This is not only the story of non-Muslims but, Muslims belonging from minority sects are also discriminated. As soon as you enter the inner city of Lahore or even the less popular housing societies, you will be easily able to spot mosques which are specified for ‘Barelvi Muslims Only’. Even if someone brings up the argument that this country was found in the name of Islam, then I ask that where in the whole text of the Holy Quran, the world Barelvi Muslim, or Shia Muslim is used. Everyone can pray at home but, the purpose of Mosques is to unite the Muslims despite their caste, color, creed or sect.

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It has been reported by various newspapers and news channels that in the past eight years, 351 violent incidents were carried out against non-Muslims.

 

All around the world people cant accept their religion or openly have the rights to express it. Like female being banned to cover head in most western countries was a whole movement. But why? Dont we have the right to live our lives with freedom? And follow our teachings without anyone forcing other thing upon us?

Related:  Continue reading “Freedom to profess religion”

Right to self-determination.

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The right to self-determination is a basic fundamental right of every living person on earth without any discrimination. The right to self-determination means that every individual whoever it may be has the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status without any interference, this right is being snatched away from people in many countries and the concept of self -determination is being diminished and people are made to believe that they do not have such a right and they will have to walk the path paved out for them.

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The right to self-determination has been put light on by the united nations as it stated in there article three that every native person of  a given area has the right to self-determination and to freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. The statement in the article is completely contradictory to united nations actions as they keep shut and do not raise there voices against the atrocities happening in Syria, Yemen and other countries which are being oppressed and the population is forced to give up there right to self-determination.

Related: Self-determination integral to basic human rights.

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The stated facts about the right to self-determination are not a private property and are not limited to few, these laws they imply on everyone and are meant to be attained by every single person irrespective to who he is or to which place he belongs. These laws are given by the united nations but sadly they are unable to implement them as people are beaten up in the streets of Kashmir for being affiliated to another religion, the houses are burned down there shops are looted and those who dare to raise there voice are either killed or are imprisoned. This is happening in Kashmir only because they choose to be part of another country and abhor Indian military interference in there lives.

This is all happening, the right to self-determination is being torn apart and communities are being destroyed and there right to freely choose and live according to there religious and political preference is being taken away. The united nations has covered up there eyes and ears and are ignoring everything, the tide would have to shift because this right is essential and if people are deprived from it the consequences can be devastating.

“Transgender discrimination in Pakistan”

Mr. Ali Nawaz Chohan, the chairman of National Centre of Human Rights issued a statement that no transgender should be discriminated in any field either its Education, Employment or in any given situation. Transgender/agender/gender-queer are 3% of the total population in Pakistan. Even after the declaration of transgender rights, they are brutally discriminated and disrespected in almost every street of Pakistan.

They are rejected by their own friends, family, coworkers and become socially stigmatized. According to the law of Pakistan, it’s the State’s responsibility to provide legal protection to the transgender. Meanwhile, since 2016, 55 transgender are murdered only in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and no one bats an eye. Lack of legal and federal support declines their opportunities for employment and this leads them towards poverty. Ultimately they are left with no other choice than to earn their livelihood by begging and prostitution.

It’s Government’s responsibility to provide healthcare facilities to transgender. But, sadly they are not even admitted in government hospitals. No wards or beds are assigned to the transgender community, they are hardly given first aid services in case of emergency. It’s the government responsibility to protect them from any kind of harassment. But, everyday transgender are harassed and traumatized publically by the ills of our society. According to a research conducted in 2009, more than 85% of the transgender are verbally abused and harassed while 55% are harassed physically, still, no legal strategies or amendments are made to prevent this maltreatment.

It’s the state responsibility to provide them the quality education. But, no such institutions are made which strive to educate the transgender. The irony is that Pakistani Government has issued ID cards to the transgender and have also given them the right to vote in General Election but still unable to make public bathrooms for this creature.

Different resolutions to the Kashmir conflict

Kashmir is a region that touches on the borders of Pakistan, India and China. The main issue being that Jammu and Kashmir is part of disputed territory.  So, neither India, nor Pakistan wants to relinquish its right to the land. Therefore, since partition in 1947 and the subsequent wars between India and Pakistan, there has been nothing but political dispute, bloodshed and misfortune. In my opinion, the possible resolutions to the Kashmir conflict include making separate states autonomous,  make all of Kashmir as on state autonomous, or by giving Kashmir political independence. This issue has spread over many years, with constant deferrals to the UN and other foreign bodies. It must be addressed on an international scale with a degree of objectivity if any progress is to be made.

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Most people do not realize the cultural and ethnic diversity already present in Jammu and Kashmir. First of all, most of the population resides in the valley of Kashmir. This alone shows how their lifestyle is quite different from that of average city folk. The religious demographics of Kashmir include 98% Muslim, with a majority of the Sunni  sect. (Habibullah, 2004) On the Jammu side, there is a 60% Hindu majority, 30% Muslims and the remaining constituting of other religions such as Sikhism, Christianity etc. The languages in Kashmir also vary to a high degree. Languages range from Punjabi, Urdu to their own Kashmiri dialect.

Moving toward the first proposal;  the region would be divided into five separate autonomous states. These include: Kashmir, Jammu, Ladakh, Azad Kashmir and the Northern Areas of Pakistan. These 5 states would have free access to one another, and would be able to go to and from India and Pakistan.  The five provinces would have free access as well as their own democratic constitutions and legislative processes. This includes, foreign affairs, military, and local policy. Therefore, it would be the joint responsibility of both Pakistan and India to abide by these actions.

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As an alternate solution, a single autonomy could also be explored. There would be no boundaries between Jammu and Kashmir. Azad Kashmir and Jammu and Kashmir would no longer have borders and the line of control would cease to exist.  There would be an economic union and exchange with both India and Pakistan, along with demilitarization and administrative coordination. The only difference between this autonomous solution and that of the previous one is the lack of borders.

Finally, the last proposal is giving Kashmir political independence. This ideology is something the Kashmiris themselves are willing to explore. In fact, proposals for independence normally stem from the Kashmiris themselves. A poll showed that 44% in Azad Kashmir were for independence, and 43% for Jammu and Kashmir. These statistics do vary across the region; there was a 20% approval in Kargil and 30% in Leh. These are vastly different in every region, thereby showing a divide amongst the Kashmiris themselves. National debate and discussion would have to take place to decide which move to make. Politicians on both side would have to face extreme levels of backlash from the public, thereby discouraging any future talks on the matter. Giving political independence also keep restrictions on the region and would mean Pakistan and India would have some level of joint governance on the region, although far less than before.  This would mean Kashmir would have to develop some level of governance and legislation, but still be influenced by external forces. This would lead to many disagreements and turmoil with conflicting sides.

One of the main issues with autonomy is demilitarization. First, Pakistan and India both have to negotiate terms for pulling out troops in the region before autonomy can be reached. So, far neither side is willing to do so. The Indian side especially has high levels of military and security forces spread throughout the region. This paranoia could be traced back to the insurgency of 1989, although recently there have more attacks against the Kashmiris by armed forces rather than insurgents. The high levels of security and military forces have also been a great deterrent toward the Kashmiri people to engage in any sort of political process. This includes the stomping of any sort of protest, or outcry for autonomy or mistreatment by the officials stationed there.  Pakistan also refuses pull back its military from the line of control.

In the end, I believe that it would be best to allow autonomy for the separate states of Kashmir. This will allow the separate states to maintain their own legislation and political policy. It also prevents conflict between the various regions of Kashmir- they will be able to travel between each region without having to worry about the LOC. This would also mean each autonomous region would be able to address their issues separately. It also means that neither India or Pakistan would have a claim to the 5 states. They would become their own thriving individual states.

 

Some useful links:

https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2011/01/13/resolving-the-kashmir-conflict/

https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1035&context=irj

https://www.usip.org/events/kashmir-problem-and-its-resolution

The right to be different.

To be different is to be outstanding, it is to be special in your own way. In today’s society being different is perceived as a curse by people because they know that people who are different will have no place in this society. The mentality of people have been molded in such a way that being different makes you inferior and it is justified to mock somebody who is different than others. The trend has to change, people should have there freedom to be different than the rest of the society and feel pride in it.

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We need to promote the idea of being different, we have to tell people that it’s all right to deviate from the path paved out for you and make your own way. Everybody ponders what is different? To be different does not mean that you need to have a medical condition, to be different is to choose arts when everyone else is going for engineering and medical and people will tell you how incompetent you are, to be different is to be an introvert and people will label you with different names, to be different is to study hard and wear glasses and score grades and people will call you a nerd. In the end people don’t matter and one should be different and proud.

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Related: The world needs you to be different

The countries which have developed rapidly in the last decade have flourished because in those countries people guide each other they make way for their own and help each other to succeed. In our country everybody will criticize you but there are very less who will guide you. The culture of being different should be Promoted in Pakistan and everyone should be allowed to excel in the field they want to and students should be conditioned on the basis of there skill and specialties from a very young age by teachers and parents and preferences of people and relatives should be ignored in such matters. To be different is fascinating and is ecstasy in its own way and should be embraced and not pushed away.  Earl Nightingale said ” If you want to be successful in life, simply watch what most people will do in a given situation and then do the total opposite. nine times out of ten, you will receive greater rewards.”

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It’s better to be criticized for being different than to be compared for being the same.