A song from the movie “Khuda k liye”, relating to the current crisis.
In these days of crisis and tension in Pakistan people of Chitral are living their customs. They celebrated the annual festival of Chilum Jusht with same traditions as it happens every year. This festival also attracted foreigners to tell the world a lighter side of us.
Kailash Valley is an ancient valley in Chitral Pakistan, where people speak ancient Greek Language and are considered to be remanants of the Greek army of Alexander the Great. One of the major attractions of Chitral are the Kalash valley the home of the Kafir-Kalash or “Wearers of the Black Robe”, a primitive pagan tribe. Their ancestry is enveloped in mystery and is the subject of controversy. A legend says that five soldiers of the legions of Alexander of Macedon settled in Chitral and are the progenitors of the Kafir-Kalash. The 3,000 strong Kafir-Kalash live in the valley of Birir, Bumburet and Rambur in the South. Bamburet, the largest and the most picturesque valley of the Kafir-Kalash, is 40km from Chitral and is connected by a jeepable road. Birir, 34km away is accessible by a jeepable road. Rambur is 32km from Chitral, the road is jeepable.
The Kalash women wear black gowns of coarse cloth in summer and hand-spun wool dyed in black in winter. Their picturesque headgear is made of woolen black material decked out with cowrie’s shells, buttons and crowned with a large colored feather. In parts of Greece even today some women sport a similar head covering. The Kalash people love music and dancing particularly on occasions of their religious festivals like Joshi Chilimjusht (14th & 15th May – spring), Phool (20th – 25th September) and Chowas (18th to 21st December).
“Joshi /Chilimjusht” the spring festival, in the middle of May lasts for four days. The spring festival honors the fairies and also safeguards the goats and shepherds before they go to the pastures. Before the festival the women and girls gather from all over the valley and decorate their houses. Inside the houses local wine and milk products are shared.
Every religious ceremony is accompanied by dancing and rhythmical chant to a beat of the drum. The women wearing their traditional black robes, ornate cowries shelled head dresses and adorned with colored necklaces, dance in a circle. Then the men join in : it may be a man and a women or a man in the middle with a women on each side, lovers being free to intermingle. One hand is held round the waist of the partner and the other round the shoulders. Tribal chiefs in colorful dresses narrate stories of bygone days and events.
In Pakistan most of the people have a sweet tooth. Eating a sweet or sweet dish after every meal is a custom. Gulab jaman is amongst the most famous sweets of all. Originally it is a Bengali sweet but famous across South Asia and probably in the whole world for its only one of its kind texture and flavor.
Gulab jaman is a dessert which is made of a dough consisting mainly of milk solids (often including double cream and flour) in a sugar syrup flavored with cardamom seeds and rosewater or saffron. Soft, juicy and normally served hot. The value added varieties of it are also striking the market like center filled with dry fruits.
The term gulab jamun comes from Persian, gulab, “rosewater” referring to the rosewater-scented syrup, and Panjabi jamman, m., “Syzygium jambolanum“, a South Asian fruit with a similar size and shape.
A similar Arabic dessert is luqmat al-qadi (Arabic for judge’s bread). Like the South Asian gulab jamun, rosewater syrup is often used; however saffron syrup and honey are also common. The Greek Loukoumades is also similar, differing primarily in the spices.
Gulab Jamun gets its brownish red color because of the sugar content in the milk powder or khoya. In other types of gulab jamun, sugar is added in the dough, and after frying, the sugar caramelization gives it its dark, almost black colour, which is then called kala jamun, “black jamun”.
It is most often eaten as a dessert, and usually eaten at festivals or major celebrations, such as marriages, celebrations of Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha. There are various types of Gulabjamun and every flavour has its own taste.
This is an extract from an article written by Rowan Scarborough, the author of “Rumsfeld’s War: The Untold Story of America’s Anti-Terrorist Commander;” and “Sabotage: America’s Enemies Within the CIA.”
It indicates clearly how interested is America in our nuclear program and How desperately it is waiting for Taliban rule on Pakistan. This American dream has been shattered by Army operation called RAH-E-RAAST.
American intelligence sources say the military’s chief terrorist-hunting squad has units operating in Afghanistan on Pakistan’s western border and is working on a secondary mission to secure foreign nuclear arsenals if the Taliban or Al Qaeda overwhelm Pakistan.
The United States has a detailed plan for infiltrating Pakistan and securing its mobile arsenal of nuclear warheads. American intelligence sources say the operation would be conducted by Joint Special Operations Command, the super-secret commando unit headquartered at Fort Bragg, N.C.
JSOC is the military’s chief terrorists hunting squad and has units now operating in Afghanistan on Pakistan’s western border. But a secondary mission is to secure foreign nuclear arsenals — a role for which JSOC operatives have trained in Nevada.
“We have plans to secure them ourselves if things get out of hand,” said a U.S. intelligence source who has deployed to Afghanistan. “That is a big secondary mission for JSOC in Afghanistan.” The source said JSOC has been updating its mission plan for the day President Obama gives the order to infiltrate Pakistan.”Small units could seize them, disable them and then centralize them in a secure location,” the source said.
A Pakistani official said the U.S. and his country have had an understanding that if either Usama bin Laden, or his deputy, Ayman Zawahiri, is located, American troops and air strikes may be used inside borders to capture or kill them.
What makes the Pakistan mission especially difficult is that the military has its missiles on Soviet-style mobile launchers and rail lines. U.S. intelligence agencies, using satellite photos and communication intercepts, is constantly monitoring their whereabouts. Other warheads are kept in storage. U.S. technical experts have visited Pakistan to advise the government on how to maintain and protect its arsenal.
Also, there are rogue elements inside Pakistan’s military and intelligence service who could quickly side with the extremists and make JSOC’s mission all the more difficult.
“It’s relatively easy to track rail-mounted ones with satellites,” said the intelligence source. “Truck- mounted are more difficult. However, they are all relatively close to the capital in areas that the government firmly controls so we don’t have to look too far.”
JSOC is made up of three main elements: Army Delta Force, Navy SEALs and a high-tech special intelligence unit known as Task Force Orange. JSOC was instrumental in Iraq in finding and killing Abu Musab Zarqawi, the deadly and most prominent Al Qaeda leader in the Middle East.
There is speculation in the intelligence community that a secondary reason for Army Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal being named the next commander in Afghanistan is that he headed JSOC in 2006-08 and is read-in on its contingency missions in Pakistan.
Adm. Michael Mullen, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, this month said that based on the information he has seen Pakistan’s nuclear warheads are safe.
“I remain comfortable that the nuclear weapons in Pakistan are secure, that the Pakistani leadership and in particular the military is very focused on this,” he said. “We the United States have invested fairly significantly over the last three years, to work with them, to improve that security. And we’re satisfied, very satisfied with that progress. We will continue to do that. And we all recognize obviously the worst downside of — with respect to Pakistan is that those nuclear weapons come under the control of terrorists. ”
Is it the beginning of a new world war?