Musharraf Launches All Pakistan Muslim League in Chicago . Shabana Azmi Appears in “Broken Images” . Bismillah and Birthday Ceremony of Faiza Nadeem
By Dr. Mujahid Ghazi
Chicago : General (Retd.) Pervez Musharraf launched his party, the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), in Chicago last Sunday. Speaking to a packed audience at Monty’s Banquet he said,” There is a void in leadership in Pakistan and I am launching APML to fill that gap.” He asked the audience to join his party and also ask their relatives in Pakistan to do so.
He said he had been very passive for a long time and didn’t respond to the accusations of his opponents but now he won’t be quiet and will expose their real faces to the people of Pakistan. He specifically targeted Nawaz Sharif and his associates and said he and his party were supportive of the religious extremists and had been calling them “closet Taliban”. He said if they come into power the third time, they will destroy Pakistan. He said Nawaz Sharif is demanding a trial for him but if he came to power he will put Nawaz Sharif on trial for taking out 500 million dollars of his family outside Pakistan before his government froze foreign exchange accounts. He said Nawaz should be tried for possessing millions of dollars worth of property in London. He also demanded his trial for the road he constructed for 55 crores of rupees from the GT Road to his residence. He said that Nawaz Sharif looted millions during the campaign “Kharz Utaro Mulk Sanwaro”.
Talking about the allegations against him he gave a detailed account of the operation against Akbar Bugti and Lal Masjid. He said those operations were necessary to protect the writ of the government. He said as opposed to the propaganda only 94 people were killed in Lal Masjid but no women or children were killed. He said he did not apologize for these operations and in fact he is proud to have carried them out. He said the only thing which he regret is his decision about NRO. That also he said was not his decision but was a collective decision of the people who were running the government with him. Giving the vision of his party he said it will be the Muslim League founded by Quaid e Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. He said his party will fight to alleviate poverty, promote education and strengthen the economy of Pakistan to uplift the life of the common people. He said the symbol of his party is Iqbal’s eagle which flies high in the sky, is self- confident and doesn’t pray on the dead but does its own hunting. He said his party will not be limited to Pakistan but will have chapters everywhere in the world. He said he constantly meets the leadership of the world and they are all worried about and dissatisfied with the affairs of Pakistan. He specifically mentioned the US leadership in this regard. He also defended the Pak-US relationship and stressed the importance of good interaction with theUS and other Western allies.
Earlier, regional coordinator of APML for Chicago Umair Siraj, welcomed General (Retd.) Musharraf and introduced US Coordinator Dr. Nasim Ashraf. Dr. Nasim Ashraf highlighted the achievements of the previous Musharraf regime. He also explained the necessity for the creation of a new political party in Pakistan. Later Mr. Hameedullah Khan, member of the core committee of APML Chicago, thanked the audience and General (Retd.) Pervez Musharraf for attending the event.
This scribe observed extraordinary security arrangements which were not seen during General Musharraf’s previous visits to Chicago. Even the media was not allowed to interact directly with him.
Shabana Azmi Appears in “Broken Images”
Bollywood star Shabana Azmi of international fame was in Chicago to stage a one-set one-artist play “Broken Images”. It was a 60-minute monologue in English. She played the role of a Hindi teacher/writer who has launched an English novel about her experience with her disabled wheel chair bound sister who happens to live with her and her husband in her last days before dying.
The scene was of an American television studio where she had to give a brief introduction of a short film made on her novel. As she was about to leave after her appearance, her own image appears on the television monitor. From there onwards it is her exchange of emotional outbursts with her own self in the monitor. It was like her conscience talking to her revealing the intricate details of her personal life. It culminated on the revelation that the novel was not written by her but by her sister and that she found the manuscript in her drawer after her death and sent it to the publisher, who mistakenly due to the similarity of the initials gave her the credit and put her name as the writer.
It was a psychological thriller using technology in the best possible way to address the conflict between the able and the disabled, a very complicated subject. The play was written by Girish Karnad who had written master pieces like “Tughlaq” in the past. It was directed by another theater genius Alyque Padamsee. Produced by Raell Padamsee the US tour was organized by Vachicam which is committed to bringing greater awareness and appreciation of the Indian performing arts and culture to the audiences in the United States and Canada.
Speaking at a press conference before the play Ketki Parekh of Vachikam welcomed Shabana Azmi and talked about her long time affiliation with her. Shabana Azmi told the press how unique is her experience with this play. She talked about her past experiences at various locations in India and the US. After the play she was joined by Professor Aparna Dharwadker from Department of Theater and Drama, University of Wisconsin in Madison for a Q and A session.
Bismillah and Birthday Ceremony of Faiza Nadeem
Dr. Amin Nadeem and Farah Nadeem celebrated their daughter Faiza’s bismillah and 5th birthday in Lal Qila Restaurant last Friday. Professor Marcia Hermansen, the grandmother, gave a talk on the importance of Bismillah in the life of a Muslim . Mr. Wahajuddin conducted the Bismillah ritual and prayed for the welfare of the young Muslimah. Addressing the guests Dr. Amin Nadeem thanked the guests. A large number of physicians of Pakistan origin attended the event.