Zardari uncle please don’t snatch our smiles!


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I am truly appalled by a recent official decision to punish people who send anti-government SMS or e-mails. This is a disappointing decision coming from a democratically elected government. This clearly shows the level of intolerance among Pakistan’s so-called democrats. We know who fears these text messages? Guess who? Lol. You are all smart guys and girls.

If absurdity is the only yardstick to assess one’s political maturity then the current rulers of Pakistan truly qualify to run this country. In fact everyone in Pakistan has a bit of authoritarian tendencies. We endlessly criticize the political and autocratic (mis) rule of the Pakistani military officers. Yet, an egoist dictator lives inside all of us.

I remember I once was working as a young journalist with a Quetta-based English daily. The owner of the newspaper was a popular political figure of Balochistan who had hired an outstanding journalist as the working editor to run the paper.

One fine morning I received an e-mail from this working editor which had been CCed to almost “everyone and anyone in the newspaper establishment”. The letter, at the very beginning, stated that it should be treated as an official “warning”.

“HIS NAME [OF THE NEWSPAPER OWNER] IS [LET’S SAY] AJAZ BAL”U”CHISTANI AND ANYONE OF YOU WHO MISSPELL HIS NAME AS “ BALOCHISTANI” WOULD BE INSTANTLY FIRED FROM YOUR JOBS. THIS SHOULD BE TAKEN AS A FORMAL NOTICE.”

For a moment, I was taken aback. So did it mean that “Mr. Baluchistani”, who claimed to run a newspaper that preached tolerance, democracy, freedom and all abstract nouns to the people of Pakistan, was such an egoist that he was prepared to fire anyone in the newspaper who misspelled his name with an “O” rather than “U”?

There are many of us who behave like Mr. “Balochistani”. [Oh shit. I think if I were working with him today, I would have been kicked in the ass and fired from my job by now]. We all act like dictators provided that we get a chance to do so.

I telephoned this boss of mine on his cell phone when I was working at mobile company in Islamabad. These were the days the gadget had newly arrived at the ‘land of pure’.

“How dare you call me on my cell phone? Don’t you know I use this phone only to communicate with my counterparts from other companies not with my subordinates?” he protested. “I have strictly instructed you all to approach my PA [personal assistant] for appointments before you meet me.”
True, a remarkable period of Pakistan’s political history has been raped by the military but the democrats also did not behave democratically either. Nawaz Sharif thrashed Najam Sethi, the editor of the Friday Times. Musharraf put Geo and many other news channels off the air. Now Zardari is restricting our right to smile. He does not want the people of Pakistan to share jokes that have not been officially approved.

We are all egoists. We are all dictators. We all want to forcefully rule over people weaker than us. We take pleasure in enforcing our views on the others. We die if we see others happy while we are sad. We are growingly becoming intolerant. Sadly, we are gradually becoming animals. Worst still, such behaviors are being encouraged by a democratic government in Pakistan.

Comments
3 Responses to “Zardari uncle please don’t snatch our smiles!”
  1. arslan says:

    Meaning of Civilized Nation 1. Having a highly developed society and culture.2. Showing evidence of moral and intellectual advancement; humane, ethical, and reasonable: terrorist acts that shocked the civilized world.3. Marked by refinement in taste and manners; cultured; polished. A civilized nation doesn’t attack others with lies. A civilized nation cares for their old and young. Author says “Now Zardari is restricting our right to smile”.How could Zardari snatch our smile?? I am unable to understand you Malik Siraj Akbar Sahib. Tongue is a beast, if it is let loose, it devours. As far as I know government will act against those SMS’s when somebody lodges any complain about them.You said that Zardari does not want the people of Pakistan to share jokes that have not been officially approved. It would be wrong commentary if we say that Zardari does not want people to share jokes. Siraj you think that only SMS’s regarding Zardari would help people to smile and that’s all. We should be generous but not extravagant, be frugal but not miserly. Like your body your mind also gets tired so refresh it by wise sayings.I think government would have not done that if it was done for sake of smile as I see people use to send humiliated stuff to each others which is just for exploitation of the environment. This is not job of civilized nation to attack someone’s personality in such a way that is totally against democratic norms. Another factor which must be mentioned here is that we are Muslims and Islam no where allows attacks that could harms someone feelings. Remember one of the sayings of Hazrat Ali that “one who says unpleasant things about others, will himself quickly become a target of their scandal”.

    • gmcmissing says:

      Thanks Arslan for your very nice comment. I agree with you in parts. Do you think Zardari is above criticism? Democracy thrives amid freedom of expression. We one has the right to say whatever they would like to. This decision is not meant to promote the teachings of Hazrat Ali but simply intended to misuse one’s power.

  2. MakavALi says:

    LOL In Zardari Chacha’s defence some of the messages are really really appalling.I’ll give you an example
    Zardari: Agar mein tibbi mout maroun tau Nawab Shah mein dafnana agar Shaheed ho Jaoun tau Garhi Khuda Bux mein
    Mumtaz Bhutto: Yeh Bhutto Ka kabristan hai Kuttoun ka naheen.

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