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Moral story 1

Once upon a time, there was a king who ruled a prosperous country. One day, he went for a trip to
some distant areas of his country. When he was back to his palace, he complained that his feet were
very painful, because it was the first time that he went for such a long trip, and the road that he
went through was very rough and stony. He then ordered his people to cover every road of the
entire country with leather.
Definitely, this would need thousands of cows’ skin, and would cost a
huge amount of money.
Then one of his wise servants dared himself to tell the king, “Why do
you have to spend that unnecessary amount of money? Why don’t you
just cut a little piece of leather to cover your feet?”
The king was surprised, but he later agreed to his suggestion, to make
a “shoe” for himself.
There is actually a valuable lesson of life in this story: to make this world a happy
place to live, you better change yourself – your heart; and not the world.
DON’T CHANGE THE WORLD
Akramulla Syed
Islamic Occasions Network
http://www.islamicoccasions.com

Pakhtuns: The misunderstood nation

By: Rafiullah

The historic Pakhtun nation has long been stigmatized with fanaticism, extremism, vandalism, barbarism and violence. But there is no veracity in such a negative portrait of the Pakhtuns. They have happened to be a civilized nation of the world as is evident from their centuries-old social, cultural, political and religious history. Gandhara, the land of Pakhtuns, has been a unique example of religious pluralism and cultural diversity. Despite the constant foreign invasions, a continuous historic continuity is most discernable in Pakhtunkhwa through the process of syncretism. And all this renders the Pakhtuns to be one of the most dynamic people of the world. Tolerance, patience, pluralism and secularism are important ingredients of Pakhtunwali, the code of life of the Pakhtuns. Pakhtunwali is the synthesis of all those good norms and values which Greco-Bactrian culture, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism and Islam have introduced into the land of the Pakhtuns. If one is to understand the Pakhtuns, he must have to know in depth about the nature and spirit of Pakhtunwali. But, unfortunately, no one takes pains at finding the reality: the Pakhtuns have erroneously been taken as they have been depicted by the colonial masters in their writings. Ironically, the tradition of historiography has not been remained strong enough in the Pakhtuns. It may, probably, be due to their long association with the religion of Buddha. History has no point of interest for Buddhism. And the Pakhtuns, unfortunately, have not divested themselves of this legacy. As a corollary, the gaps in the Pakhtun history in addition to the absence of their own version of the past and the subsequent distortion and misrepresentation in this regard have reduced the Pakhtuns’ national life to a mere mockery. Gandhara has happened to be a “crossroad” and “melting-pot” of cultures. The outsiders came across the Pakhtuns time after time. These outsiders consist of the Achaemenians, the Greeks, the Mauryans, the Bactrian Greeks, the Sakas, the Kushans and lastly the British colonialists. The Britishers have the bitterest experience of this encounter. They came with the concept of the “white man burden”. This conception provided a template to the colonial masters against which the Pakhtuns and the universe of Pakhtunwali were measured. This ideological obsession reduced the native culture to a mere trash. Naturally, Pakhtunkhwa presented a sorrow picture for the colonial constructions. In addition to the cultural relativism, the vested interests of the colonial ethnographers and administrators also influenced their approach to the Pakhtuns. They have been, purposefully, documented in history books negatively, in distorted and truncated shape. The successive generations, even the academicians, cannot entice away from this biased frame of reference about the Pakhtuns. With the exception of the British, all the outsiders found Gandhara a fertile land. They got mixed up with the native people and spearheaded the development of human civilization. The Chinese pilgrims, who came here in pursuit of spiritual loftiness, were eye-witnesses to the facts of peaceful coexistence. They presented a paradise-like view of the Pakhtun land. This shows how differently the Chinese pilgrims, who had no axe to grind, and the colonial masters, who were Eurocentric to excess, approached to the world-view the Pakhtuns held. The British interpretation of the Pakhtun history, unfortunately, gained currency throughout the world. Pakhtunwali is the epitome of religious tolerance. This very characteristic has been the spirit of the Pakhtun society through ages. Being a “crossroad” and “melting-pot” of cultures, Pakhtunkhwa was made home to different religions and philosophies of life. The people got internalized the influences of different religions. In addition to it, the age-long presence of Buddhism in the Pakhtun land also added to religious tolerance. An era of religious pluralism and syncretism, thus, began to prevail culminating in the great period of Gandhara. The Pakhtuns have since then not been at a loss in the context of religious tolerance. They have been clinging to the idea of religious harmony and peaceful coexistence, an asset which is to be termed as their ancestral bequest. Sayed Jamal-ud-Din Afghani, a renowned nineteenth century thinker and the founder of Pan-Islamism, in his book Tarikh-ul-Afghan, also concedes to the facts of this account. Pakhtunkhwa has also been au fait to the concept of secularism. Pakhtunwali draws a clear line of demarcation between the spheres of holy and profane. This fact is well reflected in the two important institutions of the Pakhtun society, Hujra (the men’s guest house) and Jumat (mosque). And this very belief is responsible for the centuries-old social harmony in Pakhtunkhwa. Whenever and wherever obscurantist forces, such as the Indian Fanatics led by Sayed Ahmad Barelvi in the nineteenth century, tried to bring the mundane inside the walls of the sacred the Pakhtuns could not get well with it. They rejected obscurantism against time in totality. A desire for peace is intrinsic to human beings. This is the spirit of all religions and for this purpose they preach love. Love and peace, symbiotically, lead to the perfection of man and human civilization. Pakhtunkhwa is fortunate enough in this respect. The moral influences of various religions and philosophies of life have left a mark on the minds of the Pakhtuns to the effect that their society epitomized the grace of God in terms of love and peace for long. Again the great Gandharan period is a perfect example of peace and harmony in the Pakhtun history. Of course, Pakhtunkhwa saw destruction and bore a brunt at the hands of the Huns. It also, subsequently, witnessed other disruptive philosophies and misfortunes. But the peace-loving spirit of the inhabitants of this land could not be eclipsed into a state of permanent violence. In modern times, when Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan alias Bacha Khan, the founder of the Khudai Khidmatgar Movement, galvanized this dead hand of history, a movement took place; a movement for peace, love and tolerance. It was the negation of violence, hatred and vandalism in the historical tradition. Ironically, Pakhtunkhwa is now bereft of these values and ideals. The colonial constructions might have benefited the British Empire in Asia but, in the long run, it proved counter-productive. Due to the Britishers’ obsession with “red bear” and the subsequent Cold War and Afghan Jihad changed the Pakhtun society for negative. Thus, Pakhtunkhwa was deprived of Pakhtunwali. The resultant reality of all this may be seen in the chaotic phenomenon of the so-called terrorism and war against terrorism. It is, thus, highly imperative to take an unprejudiced and corrective measure to depict the true picture of the Pakhtuns. For this purpose, a fresh study of the Pakhtun culture, politics and religion in the context of the Pakhtun history ought to be initiated. If the Pakhtuns’ national life is contextualized against their wider historical experiences, then alone can they and their Pakhtunwali rightly be understood. This unprejudiced inquiry into the Pakhtun history and culture, I believe, will render the negative image of the Pakhtuns invalid. The world will have a new tolerant, secular and peace-loving Pakhtun. Being aware and conscious of his past, the Pakhtun will be no more won over to put his brother to sword. He will hug the world and embrace the values of civilization without let and hindrance. To quote renowned Pakistani scholar, Dr Ahmad Hassan Dani, “Gandhara has the potential of reviving the dead channels of history…. Let Gandhara of the past stand as a solid foundation for the better Gandhara of the future”. loyagandhara@yahoo.com

The Traditional Tea Catalog

12072009247You may be thinking that its a antique or a show piece but le me told you that it’s a traditional kettle of Green tea one of the favorite drink of Pukhtoons. They sever their guest with it in honor.

Expression on shopkeeper face

The current wave of terrorism has ruined Peshawar and its market. Consider the tension and depression on the face of the shopkeeper of SHAFI MARKET located in the heart of Peshawar Cantt.

The hustle and bustle in the street of Peshawar is now changed into death silence12072009241

Peshawari Chapli Kabab

Chapli kabab is one the most favorite dish of the people of peshawar, because of its taste. Peoples of peshawar  serve their guest with chapli  Kabab ,  its is very delicious in taste and ready to cook.

Ingredients:

Minced Meat 1 Kilo

Mutton Fat 1 Cup

Crushed Pomegranate 1 Cup

Solid Pomegranate Half a Cup

Eggs 6

Salt To taste

Garlic 1 whole

Coriander 1 Tablespoon

Tomatoes 3

Green Coriander To taste

Green Chilies To taste

Onions 1 Kilo

Banaspati 1 Cup

Mirch 1 Teaspoon

METHOD:

Fine chop the onions and drain them well. Add tomatoes, green onions, eggs, cornflour and mix well. Now take approximately Three  tablespoons of the minced mixture in your hand. Place it in the centre of the palm. Roll it to form a smooth ball. Flatten the ball by pressing firmly between your palms. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry well. Serve the spicy chapli kababs with lemon, onion rings and salad..

The dish is now ready to serve.

Advise:

The pesgawari chapli  Kabab is not good for health because there are too much fats in it so avoid it as for as possible especilly for heart patient and fat people.Chapli_Kabab1

Gandhara Civilization

Gandhara comprises the area to the west of river Indus and north of river Kabul. It includes the valleys of Peshawar, Swat, Dir and Bajaur and extends eastwards to the Taxila Valley in the Punjab and westwards to Hadda and Bamiyan in Afghanistan.

Hiuen Tsang, the renowned Chinese pilgrim, who visited Gandhara in the early 7 century AD, wrote that the Kingdom of Gandhara formed the tract of the country on the west bank of Indus and north of Kabul rivers which included the Peshawar Valley and the modern Swat, Buner and Bajaur. According to Zwalf (1996), the British historian on Gandhara Art, the region of Gandhara was located below the meeting point of Hindukush and the Great Himalayas, while Dr. M. F Farooq Swati (1997) maintains that except the time of Mauryans and Kushans, the region was divided into a number of small kingdoms, such as Udhiyana (Swat), Gandhara (Peshawar Valley), Kapisa, Bactria and others.

Gandhara, the cradle of Buddhist Civilization, which gave birth to the famous Gandhara Art, is first mentioned in the Rig-Veda, the religious book of Aryans. It remained one of the provinces of the Achaemenian Empire as per Darius inscription of 6th century BC. Pushkalavati (Balahisar-Charsadda) was its first capital from 6th century BC to 1st century AD, which was invaded in 327 BC by Alexander the Great. Later, Gandhara was ruled by Mauryans, indo-Greeks, Scythians and Parthians rulers. The Kushanas established their capital at Pushapura or Peshawar in the 1 century AD and King Kanishka built a Stupa and monastery at Shah-Ji-Ki-Dheri, near Ganj Gate Peshawar. The relic casket discovered from this Stupa has Kharoshthi inscription, which mentions the name of the city as Kanishkapura, is now exhibited in the main hail of the Peshawar Museum. In 7th century AD, the Shahi Dynasties of Kabul and Gandhara established capital of Gandhara at Hund, which remained their capital till the invasions of Ghaznavids in 998 AD, thus ending the rule of Gandhara after about 1600 years.

It was during the time of the Kushan rulers that the Buddhist Art developed in the form of Mahayana Buddhism at Gandhara and travelled towards China, Korea and Japan. The Chinese pilgrims of the 5th7th century AD talked about the great glory and thousands of stupas and monasteries, which they visited in Gandhara. Taxila, though not geographically included in Gandhara, was an extension of Gandhara Art and a great teaching center of Buddhism.

The main sites of Gandhara are located in:

The valleys of Peshawar

Dir

Swat

Bajaur

Mohmand

Kabul

Taxila

The most famous sites are:

Hadda and Bamiyan in Afghanistan

Shah-ji-ki-Dheri in Peshawar

Bala Hisar and Sheikhan Dheri in Charsadda

Takht-i-Bahi, Jamal Garhi and Sahri Bahiol in Mardan

Aziz Dheri in Swabi

Butkara-I & II in Swat

Sirkap, Sirsukh,Julian in Taxila

The museums of Peshawar, Mardan, Chakdara, Swat, Taxila, Lahore and Karachi house some of the most remarkable collections of Gandhara Art. However, Peshawar Museum has the credit of having one of the best collections of Gandhara Art in the world. The Gandharan collection of Peshawar Museum comes from the excavations of the Archaeological Survey of India, Frontier Circle during the first half of the 20th century. These sculptures mainly comes from the sites of Sahri Bahiol (1 906-26), Takht-i-Bahi (1 907-13), Jamal Garhi (1921-24) in District Mardan, Shah-ji-ki-Dheri (1908-10) in District Peshawar and Palatu Dheri (1902-03), Ghaz Dheri (1 902-03), Mamane Dheri, Akhun Dheri, Ibrahimzai, Utmanzai, Hamid Garhi Turangzai, Bala Hisar and Sheikhan Dheri in District Charsadda. The Taxila museum collection mainly comes from the sites of Mohra Muradu, Julian and Sirkap, while the Swat museum collection is mainly from Butkara and Saidu Sharif sites and Chakdara museum exhibits the collection from the sites of Andan Dheri and Chatpat.

Gandhara Art:

The cosmopolitan art of Gandhara was brought to light by antiquarians and art dealers of the 19th and 20t1t century, but currently, almost all the major museums of the civilized world, have exhibited pieces of Gandharan Art in their galleries. Recent research shows that the art of Gandhara in stone, stucco, terracotta and bronze, for the propagation of Buddhism, is the legacy of the great civilization of Gandhara, which has hardly any parallels in the contemporary world.

Gandhara Art, a contribution of the inhabitants of Gandhara, shows influences from the
main land Indians, Greeks, Romans and Persian artists. The art appeared in this region in the 1st century BC, strengthened in the 1st century AD, flourished till 5th century and lingered on till 8th century. The art died due to the invasions of Huns (5th century A.D.),Turk and Hindu Shahis (6th 10th century AD) and Muslims (10th & 11th AD).

The purpose of this art was the propagation of Buddhism through the images carved and made in stone, stucco, terracotta and bronze, mostly enshrined in the stupas and monasteries throughout Gandhara. Thousands of such stupas were mentioned by the Chinese pilgrim, Hiuen Tsang, who visited Gandhara in the early 7th century AD, only few of which have been excavated so-far. The main focus of the art was Buddha’s life stories and individual images; his previous birth stories (Jatakas) and future Buddhas. The most important among them are the figures of historic Buddha, his miracles and all episodes from his birth to death, beautifully and liberally executed. The local devoted artists, stimulated by the personality of Buddha, took advantage of the contacts, motifs and technology from Greeks, Romans and Persians and developed such a unique art, which gave Buddha an eternal life.

The life stories of Buddha, depicted in Gandharan Art are an authentic document of the Mahayana text composed during the time of Kushana rulers. In fact, the sculptors of Gandhara translated the Buddhist Mahayana religious text into details in stones, stucco, terracotta and bron2e, thus making it more romantic and providing a base for the expansion of Buddhism towards the Far East via Silk Route through pilgrims and traders. The current Buddhist religion in China, Korea and Japan is a wonderful example of the extension of Gandharan Buddhism. The Gandharan sculptures were fixed to the bases, drums and stairs of the stupas, around which the worshipers circumambulated and individual figures filled the niches around the stupas and monasteries. Also, the harmika i.e., the solid box in square above the dome of the stupa was carved on all sides with Buddha life stories. These stories were chiselled on stone tablets and fixed to the stupas, inside which, relics of Buddha were kept in a casket for the purpose of worship.

The major poses of the Buddha and Bodhisattva (Buddha to be) in Gandhara Art are Dhayana Mudra or Meditation Pose, Abhaya Mudra or Reassurance Pose, Dharma Chakra Mudra or Turning of the Wheel of Law pose and Bhumispersa Mudra or Earth Touching Pose. The Art, mainly a product of the land of Gandhara under the Kushana rulers, is much more charismatic than the contemporary Mathuran Art of India and therefore, a great source of attraction for tourists, pilgrims and researchers. Selected museums with Gandhara collection.texla_marble_woman.jpe

Dark side of LRH Hospital

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View of garbabe dump at Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) road showing the negligence of concerned authorities, in peshawar , Pakistan