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Siasat Ka Masala

June 25, 2011 Leave a comment

The ‘Siasat’ has begun. The die is cast. PML (N) and PPP are at each other’s throats again. The coming weeks and months promise to be lots of fun for spectators like me. With sufficient supply of assorted dried fruits and very aged drinks, I intend not to miss a moment. The preview of the up-coming show, starring none others than the leading gentlemen Messrs Sharif (NS) and Zardari (AZ), featured Oscar-worthy performances. Displaying the civility that is the famed hallmark of Pakistani politics, noble titles were bestowed upon each other.

I had feared that my pleasure cruise might be derailed by some downer ‘issue-based’ campaign. It is a testament to the political genius of NS and AZ who realized, in time, my vociferous need for ‘siasat-desi style’. Likewise, my fellow countrymen do not wish to be bored by debates about inflation, unemployment, terrorism etc. We expect and must get curry with full masala. No masala-less light sea-food for us.

I am also happy to recall that the bar for ‘siasat’ with masala has been set quite high by our poetic friends from MQM. It is an opportune time to drop ‘aap’ and commence with ‘tum’, or better yet, ‘tu’. NS in particular has to step up his game. He must rid himself of the pretentious ‘shaguftana’ Urdu and get real. This is a tough man’s sport and ‘Zardari Sahab (sahab-really??)main ye tawaqu nahi karta tha’ is just not going to cut it. He needs to be shown, repeatedly, the clips of the infamous ‘ganja’ episode by Mr. Wasim Akhtar. It is disappointing on NS’s part that while the normally sublime Urdu is used to its fullest by Mr. Akhtar and Co, Punjabi, NS’s provincial tongue, is increasingly being devoid of its very colorful use. Let the (attack) dogs out man!

The role played by our new media is exhilarating. The hosts of our current-affairs programs fail to disappoint. They know the exact amounts and correct combos of masalas a good curry requires. In this, they are helped by the leaders and semi-leaders of smaller parties. These parties have the added incentive to benefit from a process of ‘offers and bids’ called trading.

Another joyful aspect of this current campaign is the involvement of non-political entities (Army, America and Allah). We should expect a couple of NS scandals/cases dug up and produced/directed by the almighty ISI, which should add to our entertainment options. The Army should also be expected to entertain us with other mystery happenings. God bless Pak fauj!

As the all important factor in three A’s, America will be keen to ensure that the Pakistani people be kept fully entertained while the boring stuff takes place behind the scenes. For the better, I say. Better for the boring stuff of the economy, terrorism and governance be kept off prime time. No one wants to know beforehand about belt-tightening or call mujahid a terrorist. Like a good eastern daughter; we prefer our decisions be made FOR us. I certainly hope to see Ms. Clinton in Pakistan with her ‘the-world-is-ending’ (pushto-tanday racholay de) look that scares the hell out of the most macho of our civil and military leaders. And what fun would it be to lay the red carpet for the VIPs and to talk shit about them when they are gone.

As for the Taliban and other assorted hot blooded individuals, this will be a time when their stocks of munitions and suicide bombers could be put to good use. After all, with the party approaching climax in Afghanistan (10 years is about the max time for wars in Afghanistan), why not celebrate with some fireworks?

So my friends, sit back and relax. Let’s judge our leaders rightly by counting the number of ‘molvi’ or ‘ganja’ punches they can land. We are not here to watch a serious, independent film; we want some X-Men/Iron-man/Spiderman/Transformers action flick. Our votes are for those who bloody not for the bloodied. We ought to be thrilled that this show will reach its climax with General Elections, when I certainly hope to see a few cellular cameras capture the ultimate art of poll rigging.

Ultimate mazaa!!!

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Categories: Pak Politics

Of the people, By the People, For the people??

May 19, 2011 1 comment

Although I am a great proponent of good relations with relevant countries, it is weired that an elected government of a country almost always play the role of a defender of all things unpopular. Naturally, responsible governments have to take unpopular stands on occasions but all the time???
Issues that affect people directly, such as taxes etc, attract real street protests. Foreign policy issues, such as relationship with India or U.S, either has not attracted popular protests or have been largely ignored. Why???
The deception in our politics run so deep that the public distrusts even a genuinely pro-people stand. How can we expect those consistently disowned trust something that they don’t think they have a stake in?

Categories: Pak Politics

No Victims!

May 16, 2011 Leave a comment

No Victims.

by Ali Khan on Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 2:24pm

We are a country full of victims. Everyone is innocent. This or that happened because someone, something, anything happened that was really not my fault. And when there is no someone or something, its divine will so no further debate there. So I learnt recently that there would be a munument built for Ms. Bhutto on one of the most expensive and desired properties of Islamabad, costing the country several hundred million dollars (Arbo rupay).  What?????

She died tragically. I admit. I’ll read two nafals  and pray for her.

But is it not the same Bhutto who was accused of massive corruption and complete mismanagement of government during her tenures?Didnt she appoint cronies to key governemnt positions who milked the state dry. Didnt she accumulate massive wealth through her position and transferred almost all of it abroad. Was she not responsible as the Prime Minister for all that?

No, comes the answer. She was completely innocent. All the allegations and cases were ‘politically motivated’. She was not allowed to govern. It was her corrupt husband, not her. blah blah   Ok. Some of those allegations and cases may have been politically motivated. She may not have been allowed to govern as much or the way she liked. It may even had been her husband charging people a certian percentage on state contracts, all the while she was kept completely in dark by him and her other aides.

I dont think so.

The point is that we have made a victim out of her and she played it very well, even in her death. These days I rarely see anyone, not even her opponents, recalling her corruption or mismanagement or incompetency. They call her ‘Muhtarma shaheed’ because they know that we, as a nation, throw all objectivity out the window when faced with even the slightest of tough (but right) choices. Do we vote for her party because we feel bad for her? Reminds me of an Indian movie (Hazaro Khwaheshain Aisee…great movie..highly recommend). In one scene the villagers are up in arms against their ‘vadaira’ or landlord and are about to beat the hell out of him (or kill him…I dont remember precisely).. Suddenly the vadaira gets a heart attack. The reaction and mood of the people who were seething with anger just moments ago, changes dramatically. They forget all and start praying or crying for him!

We are crying for the wrong people. Heck, PPP was given its eternal life because Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was hanged. Even today, people vote for PPP in his name. I am one of Bhutto’s admirers but that does not make him a saint. He too did some terrible things.The government is not and should not be in the business of giving people ‘roti, kapra and makan’. The govt’s responsibilty is to provide security (from external and internal threats) and a stable environment(through tough and smart laws) where economic growth can take place and people earn their own roti, kapra and makan. Charity has never solved poverty. But again, our objectivity is lost.

We remember people like Bhutto (and his daughter) as victims of injustice, of barbarism and in time glorify them. The same has happened with some of our religious figures. Due to some current events it is perhaps best I dont go into it out of respect but let me just say that some unjust acts may have been committed on all sides.

Our beloved prophet died a normal death. He grew old and died. Yet, he is followed (well..not exactly followed but you know what I mean) by more than 1 billion souls. He traded, married, fought wars, and did most other things that we can comprehend despite the superstitious stories. He was no victim and luckily he did not create any.

In the United States too, people tend to loose objectivity about their leaders after a while (and esp after their deaths). Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan and even Richard Nixon are slowly being transformed into ‘great American Presidents’.

Unless and until we rid ourselves of these unpractical and useless emotional sentiments, we will continue to go in circles. And the irony that today , Zardari is ordering an inquiry into the cricketer’s alleged kickbacks, will continue. If we let people like Zardari be ousted through extra-legal means ( i know they will play the victim card no matter what happens), rest assured that they will be back in a few years, having convinced us of their victimization, throwing the same old ‘Bhutto’ name at us, this time with ‘Bilawal Bhutto’  pretending to carry the torch and declaring (once again) to take revenge for the many ‘injustices’ from vague nouns.

Replacing Jinnah with Bhuttos?
Categories: Pak Politics