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It’s the honour, stupid!


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In the 1992 US presidential elections, Bill Clinton’s campaign strategist coined a successful slogan; it’s the economy, stupid! This phrase summed up the economic recession during that period after the first Gulf war.

-Illustration by Sabir Nazar.
-Illustration by Sabir Nazar.

This phrase is now much used (and abused) in political debates by economists, politicians and liberal fascists. They argue that the actual problem of Pakistan is the economy, with more than 50 per cent of Pakistanis living below the poverty line. Landed classes hate the word economy as much as they hate the businessmen who think in terms of paisas and pennies. They collect profits on products in pennies that multiply into thousands and then millions. As they collect money in small amounts, they are essentially misers and don’t spend money unless they see the opportunity for more profits. They acquire art as investment, not for its love.

The pseudo aristocracy inherits the status, property and magnanimous trust funds; they don’t have to collect paisas like a lowly baniya. The Muslim rulers of India were also landed aristocracy and warriors who earned from spoils of war or from the jagirs allotted to them, leaving the dishonourable profession of trade to Hindu baniyas.

We, as a warrior nation, also hate the word economy as it reminds us of a dhoti clad, cowardly baniya. Our new politicians, religious leaders and warrior priests have diagnosed the real malady that is affecting our nation. According to them, the main problem is that a majority of Pakistanis are living below the honour line, and have given us a new slogan; it’s the honour, stupid.

-Illustration by Sabir Nazar.
-Illustration by Sabir Nazar.

Not only Pakistanis, the whole Muslim world unanimously desires to live honorably. We were living admirably ruling the sub-continent but because of the Mir Sadiqs and Mir Jafars, the dishonourable and cowardly British usurped our nobility. All that we need is honest leadership to reclaim our lost honour and once again rule the sub-continent.

Our cowardly and dishonourable leadership has soiled the honor of our country and is roaming around the world begging for loans, our country doesn’t lack resources. We have trillions of kilograms of gold, copper, oil, gas and coal , what we do lack is a few tolas of honour. Honourable scientists like Samarcongratulations Mand’s furnace from the scrap market of Bilal Gunj to utilise our coal resources and get rid of load shedding for the next 100 years.

-Illustration by Sabir Nazar.
-Illustration by Sabir Nazar.

Once we really start relying on our resources and start living with some integrity like our honourable student brothers who cut all the external aids of Buddhist Japan’s bread loaves and the Christian Red Cross medicine to their county and lived on their own resources. Afghanistan became the land of peace and women could walk around with one kilo of gold openly without any fear of robbery or theft. But she could not roam freely without her veil or mahram to venture to a hospital. We can learn from our Somali brothers of Al-Shahab, who instead of begging for loans are out in the seas in canoes and ships, collecting foreign revenues and remittances from merchant ships for their country. Now that is what I call a noble nation.

We can live without food, water, electricity, medicine, justice, democracy, shelter, roads, hospitals and schools, but not without honour. Our English medium schools are producing students with an inferiority complex that makes them cogs in the job market to serve imperialist masters. Only a uniform syllabus extracted from madrassa’s Dars-e-nizami, Zia ul Haq’s government schools syllabus would reap honourable students.

-Illustration by Sabir Nazar.
-Illustration by Sabir Nazar.

Drone Khan, Servant-in-Chief, and Maulana Petroleum disciples of honour, also believe in restoring it by rejecting American dictation. Our T-20 matches with the American, Indian and Jewish teams can be won only if we choose ghairatmand players for our team. Drone Khan is willing to be our strike bowler if he is provided with a Pepsi cap. Qazi Nowshehra is a great fielder and would be standing at backward silly point. Great military strategist like Hamid bin Flower would be standing at Freudian slips and Effendi Pasha at under cover position. Maulana Petroleum would be our wicket keeper as a result of his flawless record of collecting petroleum permits. Mehran Bank would collect all the money from ticket sales and the media would get pay per view rights of this great 20-over bonanza. Servant-in-Chief would be another strike bowler, who would hurl Ustad Daman couplets at Aghair (foreigners, outsiders) batsmen. The couple who killed their daughter in the name of honour in England would be our opening batsmen. Rose petals would be showered upon them by the restorers of our judiciary. Cheerleaders would include Ali Kiamat, Maria BBQ and Witness Afridi, dancing on the pitch with spiky shoes and chewing on a ball. American imperialists, India and Israel will eventually get crushed under a few bouncers and Pakistan will self-righteously win the World Cup of honour, ironically, without needing any.

-Illustration by Sabir Nazar.
-Illustration by Sabir Nazar.


The author left architecture for painting but ended up as a cartoonist and now writes Hijjo. He is the jack of all trades.


The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (26) Closed

Mustafa Kamal Dec 13, 2012 05:42am
Hilarious!! The term Living below Line of Honor insted of Line of Poverty is Simply Brilliant
Da'Greek Dec 12, 2012 08:43pm
As an Indian I think the solution to the ills plaguing Pakistan lies in its unresolved power/electricity issue. The current deficit makes it impossible to talk about any meaningful progress without economic upliftment. Economy needs reliable sources of energy. Once the energy self sufficiency is achieved, next focus should be on increasing cell phone penetration and internet over cell phone service (smart phones). This will help the average citizen tap or learn of opportunities and then migrate in search of such. Once the economy starts to will bulldoze the many ills the country is now facing and pave way for better opportunities to make inroads into Pakistan
Muhammad Waqas Dec 12, 2012 08:30pm
Truly written and illustrated
Keti Zilgish Dec 12, 2012 08:20pm
For 'honour' I'd prefer to resort to the word 'dignity' which I'd prefer to translate as 'Izzat'. To understand the worship of wealth and dignity amongst Muslims (Rab-ul-Izzat) requires knowledge of the past.
Morad786 Dec 12, 2012 05:08pm
I think this is a futile and pure non-sense as there should not be a trade-off between the two. You should have honour and ethics in everything you do.
Sumit Dec 13, 2012 03:05am
Too close to Nadeem Paracha's articles. Not original enough.
Malik Irshad Dec 13, 2012 02:37am
for increaseing the readership please writ such article in urdu paper
Salman Dec 13, 2012 02:34am
Whatever you say they will be better than the current thieves - Zardari, Nawaz Shari, Altaf Hussain, and Asfandyar wali who are destroying the country. I'm just glad I left the country, you can keep writing I guess you need to somehow fill your pockets too.
Daud Ismail Dec 12, 2012 07:22pm
Complete waste of time! Bilkul bakwas! Nothing new here. Same old living in the past. Claiming glorious past as your own. There is no such thing as 'warrior' anything in Pakistan. Only warrior you have is taliban - wants to take you into the dark ages.
aabdul Dec 13, 2012 02:28am
Pakistani journalists are truly gifted. Great article and very funny indeed. Maulana Petroleum, Hamid bin Flower and Drone Khan are my favorites. You could have added Hamid Gulkand and Zaid bin Laid as official match referees.
silver Dec 13, 2012 06:04am
Really great,
Islmail Dec 12, 2012 11:54am
Raoul Ciao Dec 13, 2012 07:57am
i agree about the wealth part amongst Muslims globally....but isn't that true of all people's? Re: Izzat , it has many forms. Self dignity would be more appropriate, not a formalized medieval view which exists in muslim lands today which mainly revolves around the izzat of the women they need to control etc. Isn't it a very dangerous trend that half or more of the Muslim world will remain illiterate due to such Izzat of a few over zealous folk in Muslim lands???
roquefort Dec 13, 2012 12:17am
As always great piece of work.Simply loved it.
riz Dec 12, 2012 07:31pm
very well versed with politics of a funny touch
krishnan Dec 12, 2012 11:39pm
Excellent piece .Lot of it applies to the Indian ruling classes as well.
Raoul Ciao Dec 13, 2012 07:51am
excellent comments in satire on a very sad situation in reality.
abc Dec 12, 2012 10:33pm
I hope this was not a sarcastic article. Just wait till the next general Election. Pakistan has huge pool of resources. The next leader will certainly lead Pakistan to become a model islamic welfare state, as promised and everyone will follow.
Arindam Dec 12, 2012 06:41pm
Excellent piece! Thanks
Silajit Dec 12, 2012 05:39pm
Nice! Hopefully things will change. Putting this in the Urdu section will also help spread the message.
taranveer singh Dec 12, 2012 02:17pm
Gulbaz Mushtaq Dec 12, 2012 06:46pm
You criticize everything what comes to your notice. Is there anything good in your eyes? Fully agreed with you on majority of points but what you want to convey about Drone Khan (Imran Khan)?
ghaleezguftar Dec 12, 2012 02:20pm
Yes sabir! youre right. i can visualize teenagers being inspired by you. no wonder you have a limited social life!
aks Dec 12, 2012 12:24pm
Good one......even great cartoons.
Ahsan Dec 12, 2012 03:08pm
I love your analogical expression ....
Usman Dec 12, 2012 12:51pm
Great piece.