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Chaudhary Nisar Ali tops the 2012 Hall of Shame!

Proud nominees of the Hall of Shame 2012

Proud nominees of the Hall of Shame 2012

Without qualification, being so close to elections, 2012 has been a testing year for every political party in Pakistan. With conspiracies, inter-party clashes and the rising corruption cases, the can of worms has truly been opened. Under this enhanced pressure, every party has had a slip-up or two and have uttered some laughable, some ridiculous, and some downright slanderous statements on the media front. On the forefront has once again been Rehman Malik; he simply loves the media. There’s no denying that Rehman Malik was born for this; he loves attention and attention loves him. Here’s a collection in ascending order of laugh-ability from top to bottom, of the 10 statements that have topped the charts for the 2012 Hall of Shame:

10. President Asif Ali Zardari’s on President Obama’s new term in office: He stated that he was confident that the leadership of the two countries would be able to further deepen and broaden bilateral relations on the basis of mutual respect and mutual interests.

Yes we certainly are respectful of each other. The frequent instances of US and Pakistani officials taking jibes at each other’s policies are in jest; you know, to keep the blood pumping. The U.S has been more respectful in particular, from Salala to Malala; it has had nothing but words of affection for us. Sadar sahab, is baar to aapnay had hi kardi !

9. Rehman Malik on Muharram terror activities – ‘More terror activities are expected in the upcoming days across Pakistan’.
Why Mr Senator, you may as well be reading weather forecasts on TV. Weather presenters are known for their nonchalance in presenting the most extreme of weather news. I think PTV’s found a new guy! Our dear senator oozes nonchalance, be it weather, be it terror.

8. Sirajul Haq, Jamaat-e-Islami said the US and the West were creating an atmosphere of the World War-III through making of blasphemous film. The blasphemous film is being produced to hurt the sentiments of Muslims.
No, the film was produced to show the world what headless chickens we can be in violence and anger. The producers of the film must have had a good laugh at the resultant death count. It transcends understanding of how WW III is being constructed through this film, but only Mr. Sirajul Haq can explain.

7. ‘There’s no movement in Pakistan by the name of Taliban’ – Maulana Fazlur Rehman

Really Maulana sahab? It’s one thing to question the integrity of the source of information, where someone is always taking responsibility or is mysteriously identified by ‘khufia idaaray’. However, one must be completely off their rockers to deny the existence of Taliban in the first place. Sir aisa na farmaayen liberals ka tou heart fail hojayega! Good Taliban kehlayn Bad Taliban kehlayn magar Taliban tou kehlayn!

6. Below are 2 statements by different political figures that are so similar in nature that I must club them into one:

Senator Shahi Syed from ANP, has said his party is against “all mafias, including bhatta mafia, weapons mafia and land mafia”, calling for a “transparent operation” against all extortionists

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the Sindh Unity Conference at Mehran Arts Council, Farooq Sattar said people were fed up with the “bhatta mafia” (extortionists), asserting that the MQM had a right to speak out against this evil.

I’m sure most people have read something similar to what I’m going to say here: Salman Butt speaks out against match-fixers, Amir Liaqat speaks out against religious manipulation, Meher Bukhari against compromised TV hosts and Veena Malik against vulgarity.

5. Government would provide arms licenses to political and religious parties in Karachi to secure their offices from terrorism’ – Rehman Malik

Great idea Malik saab. Karachi is in serious need of weaponisation. All this peace is killing me. I got a better idea, why don’t you train them in melee combat too?
I am more reminded of the starting dialogue delivered by Nicholas Cage in one of the most brilliant movies I’ve ever seen ‘Lord of War’ – “There are over 550 million firearms in worldwide circulation. That’s one firearm for every twelve people on the planet. The only question is: How do we arm the other 11?’ You’re getting there Mr.Senator.

4. ‘I announce today that this blasphemer who has abused the Holy Prophet, if somebody will kill him, I will give that person a prize of $100,000,” Ghulam Ahmed Bilour said Saturday, adding that he’s ready to face the consequences of his actions.

Of course it’s much easier doing that in Pakistan where you know there are no consequences. So what next for the defenders of Islam? Hired mercenaries? Maybe the minister is in dire need of publicity. Nothing increases your visibility to the voting public better than a controversy with a righteous tinge to it.

3. Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, while terming Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan a “western agent,” claimed that Khan wants to destroy our society by injecting his ‘western thoughts’ in it.

Oh the western thoughts, those dastardly beings are at it again! Imran Khan must be wondering how to make himself endearing to any political party. The leftists call him a Taliban apologist, and the rightists call him a Western agent. Perhaps both sides feel threatened. There has to be some defined ethic codes in defamation and slander for all parties to follow!

2. Pakistan’s PM Raja Pervaiz Ashraf addressed the nation in Islamabad: “People of Pakistan should not worry because of the increasing population. It has some positive affects too” He further said that Pakistan is a country of limitless resources with atomic power in its possession.

Here you go folks. Our Prime Minister has given the official license to go forth and multiply! A family of 14? No fear, atomic power is here! Perhaps he needs reminding that our nuclear power generation is not even close to global standards. Perhaps his optimism on growing population will be understandable when the government unearths those limitless resources, including the projects they’re currently holding up.

1. In a statement, Chaudhry Nisar from PML-N said that PPP should stop dreaming of unity with PML-N.

I wonder what else has kept the two parties so cosy. PPP should not dream? They are living the dream these past 5 years! This has got to be the most ridiculous statement of 2012 and worthy of the No.1 Ranking! The elder Sharif has agreed to be a PM under the presidency of Zardari and Qamar Zaman Kaira has expressed similar adoring sentiments. A fantastic example of the great lies that are spoken to the public: foes on the front, alliances at the back.

This is my list of the top 10 statements of 2012, that deserve a place in my Hall of Shame. I may have missed out on some statements, for which I hope I can be excused for not having a news research agency at my disposal. Anyone who reads is welcome to share any statement that they believe warranted a position on the TOP 10 HALLF OF SHAME STATEMENTS OF 2012.

I plan on releasing another post at the end of 2013, or at the start of 2014. Without doubt, Mr. Dr. Allama. PhD Shaayirana Falsifaana Tahir-ul-Qadri must dominate that list. Till then, best of luck for a blood-free election!

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The anarchy of peaceful protests – a classic oxymoron

Could they have done anything different? Could the protests have been any other way? I mean, we all know by now that almost none of the prominent religious scholars can be trusted to raise an unconditional voice against the madness that comes automatically programmed into an average Pakistani protestor. It also remains undisputed that the large-scale protests were nothing, if not political. All religious groups and parties have proven beyond all doubt that presently, the religious scholars of this country are not fit to lead anyone.

So who can?

It may be fair to conclude that most of them did not want what ensued a month ago. However, none of them have displayed the courage of going against the popular norm. None of them publicly denounced with conviction the chaos that was taking place. No, their tone, their stance against the angry mob was how one friend might talk to another close yet misguided friend; ‘Yes I understand what you are doing and why you’re doing it, I know , I am hurt too, but please don’t do it.’

  

It’s come to a point where you’ve got to ask, ‘Who are they kidding?”. I mean, we have a long and colorful history of mass protests in which we have repeatedly exposed our distasteful disposition to violent behavior. Are our religious leaders really that naïve? Is their shock and surprise at the destructive nature of the mob really genuine? I don’t believe it, but if they expected something different, it would only go on to confirm the level of their disillusionment with reality!

As much as it saddens me to say it, for I have been a firm believer in the mantle of leadership being borne by our religious scholars, this is a combined failure of the whole religious organizational and political structure. The notion that we can be led and guided by them in these testing times has come crashing around our feet. Their wisdom and their politics both have disappointed me. The idea of religious leadership is dead.

This is what @tazeen had tweeted about them, and to which I fully agree:

Why is the protesters’ leadership called Ulma-e-Karaam by all the TV channels, surely we all know that they are hooligans.

Mufti Naeem on TV the other day, publicly denounced these acts and yet he had the audacity to talk about them in a polite and understanding manner, asking protestors to please go home and that God will reward them for their emotions and actions.

   

Does that not confuse you about the message they are trying to convey? Are our religious scholars not aware that an unruly faction is always waiting for such mass protests to create havoc, burn and loot valuables and public property? Do they not themselves recognize these events as an opportunity to promote their own agendas and display their hypnotic power over the masses, and do the protests not waiver strictly from the original purpose to everything deemed un-islamic? Why were banks and cinemas attacked and American flags trodden on and burned if that’s not the case? Their leadership and mandate has no direction; their political statements are more or less garbled insults at everything American (they are well aware of how much an average Pakistani likes to hear that).

   

On Saturday at Jauhar Chowrangi, a religious party had laid down an American flag on the road and took pictures as cars drove over it. I am greatly saddened for currently, there is no future for this country if such religious leaders continue to hold power over the masses. A peaceful protest in Pakistan is just a myth.

If you go on a social media round, as I’m sure most of you have already done, you might go on to question who the heck is on the roads when most of us seem to be in agreement on not resorting to violent discourse and adopting peaceful and more beneficial means of countering such anti-islamic propaganda. But then we all know that the majority does not have access to the internet for a start; a large majority of those who do, have not yet embraced social media. Add to that our unfortunate language barrier. As a result, we, the bloggers and the writers, only seem to be talking and discussing and expressing horror among ourselves! We may occur as intellectuals, but practically, what are we doing other than showing how sharply we can think and how eloquently we can write?

Maybe we need to ask ourselves if our efforts, with all our best intentions, are even sufficient to make a tangible difference. We debate, we argue, we discuss and exchange views. Yet this exchange and development of thoughts is not trickling down to the masses, most of which cannot even read. It’s just a theory, but there’s got to be something wrong in what we are doing. Are there any avenues for us to reach the masses? We know Pakistan does not have a vibrant reading culture. Can we reach out to the masses in a better way? Can large communities be educated through seminars and schools?

I am stumped to be honest. The only way I see to improve the situation is to break through the barrier between the intellectuals and the mere followers. How can we do that? Let’s generate ideas and share our thoughts. I am sure that when all of us start to think in these terms; we will come up with great ideas to expand the information flow from a trickle to a river.

The majority of our people only get to listen to the perpetually inflammatory media and the sermons of the self-appointed representatives of religion that are well aware that they are their only source of knowledge.

We must challenge that source. 

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