Niknam Hussain

All things Niknam Hussain

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31 May

Barcelona vs Man Utd – when watching sport is a pleasure

Lots of us watch sports almost as a masochistic exercise but just occassionally you come across a person or team at the height of their powers and on a stage where they exhibit these powers. From memory, Usain Bolt winning the Olympic Gold, Federer winning Wimbledon, Tiger Woods winning the Open, Senna winning a Grand Prix in the wet to name a few. On Saturday these incomplete list was added to when Barcelona played Manchester United in the final of the Champions League competition. The whole family collected together as we do at major sporting events not expecting much as finals are well know to be disappointments. Apart from the Man U supporters, we were torn between supporting Barca because of the way they play and supporting Man U as the ‘local’ team. Read more…

13 May

Osama Bin Laden’s – Pakistan’s role

The killing of Osama Bin Laden by US special forces in Pakistan has brought a wave of celebration in the US but elsewhere it has provoked a number of questions as well as relief.

Osama Bin Laden the “boogey man” of the US was finally tracked down and killed this weekend by US SEAL units in the Pakistan but not where we would expect, in some cave in the mountains in the wilds of the Pathan badlands but in a city packed with Pakistani military, Abbottabad.

I have been to Abbottabad many times as my family used to live there, its a smallish town compared to the other mega cities in Pakistan. Its beautiful, surrounded by a ridge of mountains and hills. Very green and cool in the hot summers, hence why it was a summer retreat for the British, indeed it is named after a British officer, General Sir James Abbott. It is now a town totally dominated by the Pakistan army with its military academy of Kakul . When I stayed there, nearly everyone is connected with or knows someone in the military.

In one respect Osama Bin Laden could not have picked a more secure town so when the news of his killing there was one of those forehead slapping moments, “ahh yes where else?” The problem is that it poses a number of unhelpful questions of the Pakistani authorities. Namely – did they know? Who knew? Are they so incompetent that they didn’t know?

In my humble opinion I can well believe that the civilian political knowing or wanting to know as the majority of them are so busy enriching themselves or involved back room conniving that it leaves very little time to actually rule. The question poses bigger problems for the military-security apparatus in that they don’t look good either way – if they knew, they are hiding known terrorists; if they didn’t know then what use all the billions they are spending if they can’t find the world’s most wanted man within half a mile of they elite military academy! Also apparently the house was under CIA observation for a number of months, even if they didn’t know Bin Laden, surely their interest would have been piqued by an active CIA unit operating so close by?

Pakistan as a country comes out of this badly which is a real shame as it has suffered more than any country in the world from terrorist activity. When I was last in Pakistan, bombing was almost a daily occurance, a couple went off within hearing distance. The security apparatus from top to bottom has suffered tremendously: no one has been safe from Brigadiers to numerous ordinairy police and soldiers have been killed.

I have had personal friends and relatives killed by bombs so I know the horrible price the people of Pakistan are paying, not to mention the disaster the terrrorist activity is for everybody’s everyday life, things like travelling is a major pain while the ordinairy activites like shopping are fraught with danger. The special occassions that we all look forward to like weddings and those we don’t, like funerals are also fraught and tense times as a number have been destroyed by suicide bombings.

It seems to defy logic that a country’s leaders who know the suffering would allow any support to the monsters perpetuating it, but the common held belief seems to be that is exactly what some elements are doing. A little aside: I was at a party where there were a number of high ranking officers of various sorts. The talk was of the obvious: I asked a question, we had attended a small wedding in our village which is relatively prosperous and not to far from the major city and yet it had still had been a major logistical exercise, as weddings normally are, but even more so where you had to worry about such things as water, food and the bullets for the celebratory firing! That being the case how come the Pakistan army/security services can’t find 10,000 men in a supposedly bare mountains: what do they eat? There aren’t many cash points nearby so how they get paid? No one note a large order for beds & bedding? etc The answer? I was told you don’t ask those sort of rational questions!!!

One can only guess at what the true position is but what ever it is it doesn’t paint the country in a good light. Which is a tragedy

24 August

Biggest Star in BollyWood detained by US Homeland Security

This made laugh then angry, because if the biggest star in the Sub continent can be the victim of profiling what hope is there for the rest us nobodies. Shah Rukh Khan has been a major star for more than a billion people for a long time, as far as it is known, he has no political affiliations and none that could be termed in the least controversial. He is a proud Indian citizen so why was he detained for more than two hours? Firstly because his name is Khan and because he is Muslim.

This will do wonders for the American tourist industry.