Friday, September 19, 2014

The Killer Lake

There falls a lake on Sargodha-Khushab road better known as "Khooni Jheel" or Killer Lake. The story goes that in the year 1955 during flood days a truck carrying children fell in the lake killing everyone on board. Since then several accidents have occurred on the site mostly fatal. Anything that falls in the lake vanishes forever as the lake is deep beyond imagination. After a series of accidents involving people's death people started calling it Khooni Jheel or killer lake. A few yeras earlier when Sargodha-Khushab road was rebuilt, highway department put a board near the lake with the name Khooni Jheel. However, soon the name was changed to Khushab Lake, perhaps they thought the old name was ominous.
Coming to the newly built Sargodha-Khushab road, it has made the journey comfortable, faster and dangerous thanks to the insane speedsters who take it for a Formula One race track. I believe that most (if not all) of the fatal accidents at the Killer Lake site were a result of fast and reckless driving or on account of carelessness. The point is, can the change of name control the insanely fast traffic of the Sargodha-Khushab Road? If not, then what's in a name?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Photography and Editing

They both go side by side. Even if you know nothing about editing you can still be a good photographer, however an expert hand on editing will make a good photo superb. Like photography, editing is a skill that needs experience and practise. I am into learning too, improving with time, I can feel it. Over saturated, dramatic looking and HDR images catch my attention, while closer to originality is what's reckoned of quality by experts.
Here is an image I edited for a friend today, three different looks starting from the original photograph that he actually shot. Even the original isn't too bad, I'd say :)

Sit Ins..

WHILE I expected it to be so much full of fun, August has been full of despair primarily because I had to call off my first long bike ride (Lahore to Kashmir) thanks to the prolonged sit in by Imran and Qadri that still continues even after a lapse of more than a month now. I had been planning for this tour for almost a whole year, duh!

So it's a whole long year that I'll have to wait before I can plan my first long ride on my bike. Tough call, waiting..

Monday, July 28, 2014

Tour de Kashmir, Bike Ride

Coming soon, in August Insha Allah. Pretty excited about the upcoming tour, hoping that the weather is not rainy to hamper movement since it's going to be a bike ride.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Big Bikes in Pakistan

Suzuki atunned the bike lovers last year with their launch of GW250 Inazuma, M800 Intruder and GSXR1300 Hayabusa in Pakistan. Honda followed suit and introduced CBR150 and CBR500 both twin cylinder bikes. The 2014 marks the arrival of Aprilia in Pakistan as they introduce RS4 125 and Shiver 750, which are trult Italian bikes. What has been sheer disappoitment to the bike lovers are the sky high pricesof all these bikes, consider Honda's CBR150 for Rs.660,000-, Inazuma for Rs.700,000- and more surprisingly Aprilia's RS4 125 for a massive Rs.985,000-. No doubt, these imported machines are costly and thanks to higher import duties couppled with weak currency value the total cost goes high but still the price tag put on all these bikes makes no sense and it appears that the these bikes have not been intruduced with the aim of selling them rather it is a projection stunt to show the company's presence in the country, I mean who would buy a 125cc bike for roughly 1 million rupees when he can easily find a used R1 in similar price, which is a more famous and obviously more powerful race bike; 125cc versus 1000cc no comparison at all. Only time will tell how many units of these smaller displacement bikes are sold in Pakistan. In my view, it is a failed experiment.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Right to Information in Pakistan

Constitutions of all the great democracies of the world share some common traits when it comes to the rights of the common man. This is so not just because they know the importance of the public opinion of the government but also because all such common traits are in fact the very spirit of a government that is truly democratic. Whereas a dictatorial monarch will curb every reasoning voice and turn down every pointing finger, a democratic government will lend a keen ear to criticism for it and tend to resolve the issues. Freedom of speech and the right to know are the two fundamental rights that distinguish a democratic state from a dictatorial realm. Freedom of information laws give access to the general public to the data held by national government. There is always a legal process to establish the right to know and have access to government-held information.
The right to information is the touchstone of other freedoms and even in the present age the governments ignore it even when it formally exists. Information is a public good and right of information is a weapon that a common citizen should be armed with for it empowers the civil society to keep a check and control corruption in departments and even make an assessment of how far the country has made progress from a certain point in time. It is like a scanning of the working of governmental body and can be beneficial in treating the epidemics like neglect of duty, misuse of power, corruption, favoritism, social injustice and the like. In a democratic republic right to information should be as basic as the right to breathe, not just on the national level but also on the local level. A common man should have easy access to all the information he requires on anything that bothers him in the city including any policy devised by the local administration.
We are living in the age of wisdom and knowledge where even a common man is well aware of his legal rights, it is for this reason that today many countries of the world are introducing such laws so as to give access to all the required information to the common man. Sweden’s Freedom of the Press Act of 1776 is the oldest one known while in Pakistan it was the historic 18th Amendment in April 2010 that ensured right to information by inserting a new Article 19-A in the Constitution acknowledging the right of citizens to the required information. Pakistan has thus joined the list of more than 50 countries where right to information is guaranteed to its citizens. The Article 19A allows access to information in the following words, “Every citizen shall have the right to access to information in all matters of public importance subject to regulation and reasonable restrictions imposed by law.” The Constitution of Pakistan embodies all the fundamental rights of citizens and insertion of Article 19A further expands the scope of fundamental rights given in the Constitution. This will ensure a step forward toward good governance, effective policymaking, transparency, and active participation of people in the public affairs.
The basic principle in devising laws allowing access to information is that the burden of proof falls on the body from whom the information is required, if the information is not disclosed then a genuine reason has to be given for withholding the same else the concerned body can be held liable for violation of a constitutional right.  Inducting Article 19A in the Constitution of Pakistan can be helpful not only to the public but to the government also in so many ways. Whereas it will ensure protection of public rights it will also create awareness among them as to their own rights, which means that they will become vigilant about their rights and knock the doors to justice for any violation thereof. At the same time it will have indirect effect on the working of the government as well as governmental departments would be well aware that anything they do will be open to public access and they can be easily held responsible for violation of laws, neglect of duty and corruption. It is also helpful in bringing home to the common man what a government is capable of. When everything that goes in black and white is open to common man’s access, government will take effective measures in devising effective policies, make right use of the taxes collected by the public and address the grievances of the public timely. However, having the right to information is one thing and actually grabbing it is quite another story. Since, in Pakistan the law about right to information is still new, not many people are aware of it and it is only with the passage of time that the fruit of this legislation will ripe and only time will tell that to what extent it has been helpful in eradication of social evils and injustice and to what extent the law is being followed in its true perspective. It is only when the understanding of the law will be preached to the common man that a new dawn will break in the country. Laws about freedom to information have effectively played their role in ensuring protection of fundamental rights of citizens where anyone can question deviation from the normal course and any malpractice. The right to information is a hallmark of true democracies all over the world and the nations making the right use of it can make better electoral choices. Well informed taxpayers can know that their money did not go wasted and that it has been rightly used for the purpose it was collected for, informed citizens can hold accountable the concerned for illegal budget and public spending. The law about having access to information is there now, it is for the citizens to understand what power has been transferred in their hand and it is only when the citizens realize the right use of this power that they can get rid of all the social evils and see the country rising to a whole new horizons.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Another Feather in the Cap


EFFORTS do not always give the desired results in the spur of a moment especially when you are sailing against the flow, abracadabra does not work here; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. At Pakistan Bikers Club we have always been striving hard to promote the safe, rather sane riding habits. We have hundreds of thousands of hooligans out on the roads to whom safety means nothing, it is this attitude that needs to be changed and there always is a great hope unless it has become a person’s instinct to violate the traffic laws and believe you me some mothers do have them.
How would you define a biker? One who rides a bike, of course; but just sitting on the bike, putting it into gear and going off is not all that it is about. Neglecting the safety measure, the helmet at least, means you are not serious about riding the bike at all. It will take one moment of bad luck to have you involved in an accident that may see you on the bed with serious injuries and broken bones; it may cripple you for life or make you see the eternal life in the worst case. In Pakistan, we have lots of bikers club enjoying their passion through travelling to far off places, weekend get-together or monthly short trips yet so many of these riders are alien to what a real biker means so at Pakistan Bikers Club we have been spending lot of time to make a biker realize his true identity and we do not let go any opportunity to spread our word to the common riders and our stall at the ACTEPR Expo at the Lahore Expo Center on 24th and 25th of August, 2013 was another of such activities. The stall with a display of variety of big and small bikes remained center of attraction for all ages where many forwarded words of appreciation for promoting the motorcycle safety gear.
Hard work never goes unnoticed and PBC is no exception. Some officials of the PTV World were so impressed by our efforts that they invited us to participate in their program Weekend World and thus gave us the opportunity to spread our word. Unfortunate, that time was short and only I and Malik Muhammad Zahid, president of the club were available to go for the recording. The program was broadcast on PTV World at 8:00 pm on September 01, 2013. Soon afterward we started receiving messages congratulating us, appreciating the valuable information we had shared back there. Not that all minds think alike; our efforts of promoting safe riding habits also get criticism from some blocks which mostly comes out as a show of jealousy and which we always neglect with a roar of laughter. Every single human life counts, if our life long efforts can save just one life by adopting the safe riding habits and use of safety gear, our efforts are fully rewarded.