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Promotional poster of Pakistani candidate Chaudhry Riazuddin Ahmed.
Promotional poster of Pakistani candidate Chaudhry Riazuddin Ahmed.

Last week was municipal elections-week in the Ontario province of Canada, where the majority of Pakistani candidates running for various offices continued their losing streak.

Only two Pakistani candidates emerged victorious in the polls, whereas hundreds of others did literally nothing but blabber and distribute their pamphlets all over the place.

Most of these candidates suffered from a glaring deficiency in English language skills and in their knowledge of the Canadian system. Many seemed utterly indifferent towards the problems in their constituencies, and had no recourse but to play up already familiar topics to scrape up a handful of votes.

Not only did they plan their election campaigns poorly, but several of them were also involved in personal conflicts with other Pakistani candidates.

In many areas, several Pakistanis filed their nomination papers from a single constituency, effectively dividing the Pakistani vote several times.

It is fair to say, then, they had it coming.

Also read: Canada arrests Pakistani gun owner, alleges security threat

Pakistani candidates running for offices in Canada are no more an unprecedented feat. Every four years, a large number of Pakistanis – never seen before in any community meet-up – show up from nowhere, and portray themselves as ‘peoples’ representative’.

Many a candidate get their pamphlets printed from Pakistan as early as a year before the elections, and transport them to Canada with their luggage. When these flyers are distributed among people, the poor chaps are clueless about the candidate, because these candidates neither engage, nor serve the community, and hence remain unknown to a large number of people.

Indian Canadians also compete in the elections, but in contrast to Pakistanis, their success ratio is higher as they make efforts to engage with their community. On the other hand, Pakistani candidates are confined only to photo sessions for local Urdu newspapers, association with Pakistani political parties, and seeking vote on the basis of caste and clan.

Pre-poll surveys this year showed that the victory of Pakistani candidates was highly unlikely, as the results later proved. The causes for this are not too hard to comprehend.

Also read: Pakistani-Canadians: Falling below the poverty line

I asked one Pakistani candidate, ‘what is your manifesto?’, only to be hear this shameless reply:

‘Umm… I am jobless nowadays… I’ve heard that the councilors have handsome remuneration, so I am trying my luck there...’

These candidates include a Pakistani grocery store owner of my area as well. The lies on his website were traced and duly rebuked by his Canadian rivals – what a defamation of our country.

There was another candidate, a self-proclaimed business tycoon from Sialkot, Pakistan. Having no experience of business, literature, and politics, this man has made a mockery of Pakistan overseas.

This business tycoon, named Riazuddin, is also known as Malik Riaz of Mississauga.

The election flyer of this candidate was printed in Pakistan. The flyer reads that Mr. Riazuddin has been member of chambers of commerce in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Britain, Australia, Sweden, France, Netherlands, and has served as vice president at Chamber of Commerce in Sialkot, Pakistan.

Promotional poster of Pakistani candidate Chaudhry Riazuddin Ahmed. Promotional poster of Pakistani candidate Chaudhry Riazuddin Ahmed.

It does not end here.

The pamphlet further reads that he has represented Pakistan Export Promotion Bureau in several countries of the world, and that he did MA in Political Science from Punjab University, and availed commission in Pakistan Army.

When results were announced, he secured far more votes than expected – a little less than one per cent of total vote.

In a developed country as Canada, and in times so tense that even the name of Pakistan is enough to scare an otherwise happy and courageous human being, such lies and remorselessness brings only more defamation.

Mississauga has the largest population of Pakistanis in Ontario. One of the Pakistani voters told me that he doesn’t vote for Pakistani candidates because they are more often than not busy in pulling each others’ legs.

Running for an office without serving is a common feat in Pakistan, and it has no bearing on the candidate's odds for winning. But when in Canada, expect no such perks.

Here, voting is done solely on the basis of service. But several candidates who gather donations in name of welfare organizations, run for office again and again with no credit on their portfolio.

There’s a candidate in Mississauga, who is taking part in elections for the past several decades. What motivates him to run for an office every 4 years is a huge collection of photographs, in which he is seen next to some influential Pakistani politicos.

Perhaps he will make it to Guinness Book of World Record for losing the most elections.

About another Pakistani candidate, the story goes that he used his decades-old picture for the election campaign. His wife ended up mistakenly voting for someone else. Can you blame her?

As soon as they launch their election campaigns, the many personal conflicts among these candidates make it to prominent newspapers and TV channels.

We are supposed to be ambassadors of our nation in foreign countries, aren’t we?

Also read: Manitoba Liberals' first ever Canadian-Pakistani leader

Strikingly different from them, a young Pakistani named Zeeshan Hamid has been elected as councilor for the second time in Milton, a town home to Pakistanis in Canada.

Zeeshan’s services for the community are evident, so he secured the vote, even then his Pakistani rivals tried hard to make him lose.

As per law, the candidates are allowed to have their banners up till up to three days after polling. Zeeshan Hamid’s banners were removed by his rivals way before polling.

Feels like Pakistan doesn’t it?

Graceful and humble, Zeeshan Hamid thanked his rivals for assisting him in the removal task which otherwise would have cost him time and energy.

Only two Pakistani candidates won throughout the province of Ontario. The support of Pakistanis and non-Pakistanis alike paved the way for their victory. Do I have to mention again that support in Canada is only possible in exchange of service?

Left: Max Khan. Right: Zeeshan Hamid. Left: Max Khan. Right: Zeeshan Hamid.

The other candidate is Max Khan, who succeeded from the Oakville city. He too was elected for the second time.

In Toronto, a large number of Pakistanis and Indians live in Thorncliffe Park area. This area is also dubbed as the Islamic Republic of Thorncliffe. About 30,000 Pakistanis and Indians reside here, of which 10,000 vote. But due to blame game and conflicts within, not a single Muslim won from this little Islamic Republic.

Also read: Malala offered Canadian citizenship

Whenever elections are around the corner, local Urdu papers see their businesses see their revenues spike up. But many Pakistani candidates have also mastered the evasion of advertisement bills just like they do back in the homeland.

An editor of a local Urdu weekly said that most of the candidates were frivolous; many ran for the office only to be highlighted in the media, or for the publicity of their business.

My pal Zalim Jalalpuri grieves the fact that there are over 400,000 Pakistanis in Ontario, but their representation is negligible.

There are hundreds of associations and organisations working in Canada in the name of Pakistan, and are effectively reserved only to paperwork.

Pakistanis in Ontario don't require a fake Malik Riaz but a real Malik Riaz who can serve the country well instead of being a load of embarrassment for the country.


Translated by Bilal Karim Mughal from the original in Urdu here.


Author Image

Mohsin Abbas is an award-winning Pakistani-Canadian journalist, filmmaker and press freedom activist. He is the editor of Diversity Reporter, a multilingual weekly newspaper for newcomers and immigrants in Canada.

He can be reached at editor@diversityreporter.com.


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


Comments (168) Closed



Sandip Bhattacharya Nov 05, 2014 09:11pm

Why bring India in every blog?

Gaurav Arya Nov 05, 2014 09:13pm

Both Pakistani winners are bald. I think thats the secret sauce. Shave and win.

Bns Nov 05, 2014 09:40pm

Simply hilarious.

Danish Bhutto Nov 05, 2014 09:40pm

Not their fault. Poor lads mistook Canada for their Natal Sod. Because this is how you contest elections here or at least what the past trends have been. Campaigns full of exaggeration and rhetoric.

John Nov 05, 2014 09:44pm

LoL - colorful and assertive posters. How can you blame these people they have grown up in this manner.

Concerned Nov 05, 2014 09:53pm

Some things and people never change.

imran ali Nov 05, 2014 10:14pm

old habits never change

Nitin Nov 05, 2014 10:21pm

This is good entertainment. Could you also throw some light on how Indians in Canada advertise their candidacy? Should be equally funny. But also some reflection on the difference between political system of two countries.

nasiroski Nov 05, 2014 10:30pm

I have been living in GTA for over 15 yrs now and have never voted once for any other reason other than what is better for Canada in my view (There is ideological politics in Canada) or in case of local govt. which candidate offers better solution for the local problems. I can't understand for the life of me how these guys get those 200/300 votes that they get. Seems like there still are lot of Pakistanis living in Canada who can't get rid of the old mind set and vote for the person of "community", so it's not just the candidates, but voters too from Pakistani descent. Hopefully the next generation will be smarter.

British Pakistani Nov 05, 2014 10:31pm

Hahaha.. Those posters made me chuckle.

No such issues here in the UK, well not ones I've seen or heard. We have a few pretty decent MPs of Pakistani origin here such as Sajid Javid, keep an eye out for this man, his story is incredible. He's bald as well, may be a trend developing!

Usman Nov 05, 2014 10:50pm

This is an absurd rant. There are a number of reason on why the Pakistani candidates didn't win. Among them, a backlash due to the Ottawa shootings is also a factor. I personally know many many Pakistani candidates who have worked in the community for years and genuinely want to make a difference. Holding the poster of one person as a display of being out of touch from the community is rather banal.

Riaz Nov 05, 2014 11:08pm

And why should I know this?

JK Nov 05, 2014 11:21pm

Excellent article :-) You spoke the heart out..and I hope these candidates would read this article too and have some realization.

NASR Nov 05, 2014 11:24pm

My Goodness, what a mess! Of course Greed and Overvaluing your potential is evil and can take you nowhere .

NASR Nov 05, 2014 11:30pm

I don't no why we as Pakistani are so penchant to be in the limelight and get into a do or die situation just to be in a photo to get published in media.

Imi Nov 05, 2014 11:43pm

We are Canadian First. If a Canadian with any background is better candidate, I will vote for him. I have voted most of the times. :)

Imi Nov 05, 2014 11:48pm

@Sandip Bhattacharya ... Its true why bringing Indians in this article is beyond me. Anyways anybody who has lived in Canada or USA will understand that we here are all one.

Jalal Nov 05, 2014 11:57pm

I'm sorry but isn't the author being a little too judgmental? Isn't democracy about giving everyone a fair chance. If they aren't good enough, they get booted out. Plain and simple. Who are we to say that a store worker can not run for Councillor?

Prashant Kumar Nov 05, 2014 11:59pm

Me and family have voted for Zeeshan.

Hamza Nov 05, 2014 11:59pm

its sad that these are people who would have held goverment offices if they were in pak.

Alia Ali Nov 06, 2014 12:12am

and?

Muhammmed Nov 06, 2014 12:18am

We have the same problem in the UK, semi literate Pakistanis try to get into the council and they conduct themselves in a dirty manner trying to get things done the same way as dirty corrupt politicians do in Pakistan....same mentality just a different country.

Ravi Dallas TX Nov 06, 2014 12:45am

LOL. I did not understand the Urdu words in the first picture but looking at the picture itself made me laugh out loud. However Pakistanis I meet in US are pretty decent and reasonable in their thinking and approach towards life. No difference between Indians and Pakistanis and get along pretty well.

rudraiah rajasekhar Nov 06, 2014 12:47am

Lot of these candidates would have made great senators in Pakistan parliament. Some of them even cabinet ministers. It is hilarious and I commend the author for his keen observation.

ladies and gentlemen Nov 06, 2014 12:50am

If only the candidates like AlHaaj Gondal could read English and read these comments. No Sharm or Haya.

G. Din Nov 06, 2014 01:13am

Note the word "Sabiqa" in the Urdu poster, meaning "Former", appearing at the beginning of each line. But the same man's poster in English has omitted this word giving the impression that he currently fills all those august offices. Isn't this deceitful, if it were not absurd because no one can hold all those position at the same time

A. Mirza Nov 06, 2014 01:16am

Great article...got to love the honesty of the candidate saying he is un-employed and doing it for the money!

Syed Nov 06, 2014 01:19am

That is democracy, let the voters speak.

timurid Nov 06, 2014 01:20am

What do you expect when dual citizenship is so widespread? These guys are neither Canadian nor Pakistani. They don't understand Canada neither do they understand Pakistan.

Jamila khatoon Nov 06, 2014 01:40am

Best part of the whole article "About another Pakistani candidate, the story goes that he used his decades-old picture for the election campaign. His wife ended up mistakenly voting for someone else. Can you blame her?" I could not stop laughing. Did the candidate divorce her or not? We are simply amazing people!! We provide good entertainment to the civilized people of the world!

Abdul nasir Nov 06, 2014 01:44am

Mostly Pakistanis migrated to Canada 15 to 20 years back were with fake documents, that time Canadian were not strict. People with fake documents , who are actually nothing in Pakistan - no skill, no education. What can you expect from them. For this reason all the choudries, maliks, sheikh are running for election. Surely a shame for a educated Pakistani.

Jamila khatoon Nov 06, 2014 01:46am

Those candidates look like Gullu Bhatt. Funny looking, unemployed--may be they want to export ignorance and Sharia in Canada too.. Beware, Canadians.....save yrselves from the assault of idiots!

Faisal Nov 06, 2014 01:48am

@Sandip Bhattacharya Because Pakistan and India are analogous in many ways.

Naveed Nov 06, 2014 02:09am

I voted for Zeeshan, he will be a good candidate for next year Federal MP seat from Milton area. Zeeshan secured 1,184 votes against 1,021 votes for Ryan Mclaughlin. The margin of vistory would have much greater if two other pakistanis (nobody knows them) not stood up against him. They collectively secured 337 votes.

JEHANGIR Nov 06, 2014 02:18am

Funny thing is he is not a 'current' member of any chamber of commerce and never been a member of a canadian chamber of commerce.

Sunil USA Nov 06, 2014 02:20am

The guy with so many international portfolio should be leading the world not Canada. Buddy you are in wrong country !!

Jamal Nov 06, 2014 02:22am

@Jalal yes you are right, but we have the freedom of expression

Jamila khatoon Nov 06, 2014 02:26am

Following statements sum up what we are::

"Umm… I am jobless nowadays… I’ve heard that the councilors have handsome remuneration, so I am trying my luck there.."

"Zeeshan Hamid’s banners were removed by his rivals way before polling."

" many Pakistani candidates have also mastered the evasion of advertisement bills just like they do back in the homeland."

"As soon as they launch their election campaigns, the many personal conflicts among these candidates make it to prominent newspapers and TV channels."

"self-proclaimed business tycoon from Sialkot, Pakistan. Having no experience of business, literature, and politics, this man has made a mockery of Pakistan overseas."

After all these, is there not anyone who can say that this is also a jewish conspiracy or Hindu conspiracy?

farah Nov 06, 2014 02:30am

To find out what is happening in Canada

kashif Nov 06, 2014 02:45am

Those who were Paindo in Pakistan, are actually bigger Paindos outside Pakistan. It is so true that Pain is temporary but Paindo is permanent!

Ghulam Abbas Nov 06, 2014 02:54am

Why mention these candidates, good or bad, winners or losers, as Pakistanis? They are Canadian citizens contesting elections under Canadian system to serve Canada and Canadians.

Dawar Nov 06, 2014 03:09am

Well Written Article!

its true indeed

We have few in US too

khan Nov 06, 2014 03:28am

That is our problem. For every good one we have thousands of stunt masters.

Imran Nov 06, 2014 03:54am

Where is Tahir Ul Qadri?? Why dont he run for this Job???

Imran Nov 06, 2014 03:56am

@John Looks like a Pakistani Comedy Soap

Ahmed Khan Nov 06, 2014 04:05am

I have met Mr. Riazuddin Chaudhry. He is a very nice guy and was a diehard PPP jiyala once. His issue is that he is retired and needs something to keep him occupied. Plus he thinks he has solutions to all the problems in the world. The beauty of Canadian democracy is that ppl like Mr. Chaudhry can run as candidates for Mayor's post.

Sher Nov 06, 2014 04:15am

You can't change the NATURE, if I am fraudi in Lahore, I will be the same in Madina and Macca too and same is the case in Canada, US or UK.

Navaid Nov 06, 2014 04:39am

These guys are the pure examples of exploitation of Canada's multicultural policies and the main cause of through scrutiny of Pakistanis applying for immigration.

Navaid Nov 06, 2014 04:40am

@Sandip Bhattacharya Chill!!!! you can't even handle a complement.............

Chaigram Nov 06, 2014 05:06am

I am a PAKISTANI Canadian, even I am embarrassed when dress of the boat Pakistanis and even some Indians come knocking at the door asking for us to vote. They have no clue how the country operates, they just think this is one way to make money!!

Khan Rahem Singh Nov 06, 2014 06:11am

Areh Khudah gave us Punjabis everything, but He did not give us "Akel" or common sense.

Jai Nov 06, 2014 06:19am

Please don't compare India with Pakistan. Since partition the two nations have evolved differently and don't brook much comparison these days.

Hallelujah Nov 06, 2014 06:41am

How in the world did Gondal lose with a résumé like that!

ladies and gentlemen Nov 06, 2014 07:11am

@Ahmed Khan He may be nice person to you, but what are his credentials other than being member of all these commerce chambers. Any one can apply by mail and get membership. By the way whats with the skewed eyes and that 40's moustache (Iftikhar Chaudry too) amongst these Pakistani men.

Samreen Nov 06, 2014 07:14am

A very myopic commentary indeed. Many candidates of Pakistani origin did quite well. As Canadians we are responsible citizens. Enough with this "representative of Pakistan" rant. Whoever ran in the election and had no idea of what and how to run the Campaign made a mockery of himself not Pakistan. Give due credit to people who are sincere and genuine. There were many Sikhs and Hindus who didn't win as well. But I think Pakistanis as a nation have a knack of being cynical without reason. The author just wants to convey that Pakistanis as whole are useless idiots. Not true.....indeed.

indian Nov 06, 2014 07:16am

@Gaurav Arya and get killed by taliban for not keeping beard.

FerozQ Nov 06, 2014 07:34am

What else would anyone expect when there is a point system based immigration from countries that lead the world in corruption and document forgery? These decoration pieces running for public office are actually creme de la creme of the Pakistani Canadians. Give them a chance!

Jawad Nov 06, 2014 07:37am

@Ahmed Khan Sorry to say but both the reasons 1- being a PPP jyala 2- wanting to be occupied

Are not the reason to run for elections. Of course in Pakistan these are reason enough along with some money and some gee hazoory ( Zardaris ) you can become MNA. Not in any true democracy.

Haroon Nov 06, 2014 07:39am

@Sandip Bhattacharya Believe it or not.. you guys are our role model in lots of things so we can't resist to compare :)

Intesar Nov 06, 2014 07:42am

Pakistanis don't need any Malik Riaz, real or fake...

Tariq Nawaz Nov 06, 2014 07:54am

I don't know when our people will change !!! It is disgusting.Most of them are living here since long but seem to have learned nothing. I can only pray for them.

Life Nov 06, 2014 08:00am

This might be a good article in some manner but in my perception the aim was to ridicule the candidates of Pakistani origin. The article lacks reasoning, numbers and the writer has found few weak candidates to build upon his story. I personally know few candidates and I was listening to the radio regularly where the candidates were projecting themselves and few of them spoke at length about issues being faced by Canadians and there plans to address those issues like transit, racism and local govt. budget. In nearly all mosques where I prayed Jumma in the last couple of months, the masjid committee members never forget to announce that we have a huge sub continent's population in Greater Toronto Area(GTA) yet our voters hardly vote in elections therefore we don't have any significant visibility or voice in any local, provincial or federal level.

We should thank our candidates that at least they took part and few of them won the elections. This is not an issue that there were more than one Pakistani candidate in the same constituency. Everyone has the right to take part in elections if he think he can serve better than his opponent. Moreover, one can run the election campaign in any manner within the bounds of law because you need votes to get elected and to serve Moving forward what we need is to multiply our winning each year which is possible if and only if we take interest in Canadian politics and culture, project ourselves to gain support of ethnic Canadians and new immigrants and be visible in our volunteer work. Last but not the least we should not be ashamed of every other thing instead we need to learn lessons and not to repeat mistakes.

Riaz Nov 06, 2014 08:03am

In Canada we vote on issues only.Max Khan is a great example living in Oakville which is city of white people .Education also play important role in election.

Arif Nov 06, 2014 08:05am

Why do you think these candidates are embarrassing Pakistan? All of you who opted to leave your homeland have embarrassed Pakistan. Now you are Canadians. Whatever you are doing is effecting Canada, not Pakistan.

Arif Nov 06, 2014 08:09am

@Imi do the white people also think the same way that u r Canadian first!!!!????? The fact is that they move their houses from the place where people like you start living.. Canadian first....my foot!!!!!!

M. Nouman Nov 06, 2014 08:14am

@Gaurav Arya That was funny :D

bilal Nov 06, 2014 08:29am

they are Canadians , and as Canadians, running for the offices. They are not pakistan's representatives in Canada. The author has to let go of fellow "desi " bashing . poor thing thinks, by doing so he'll come across as a superior being .....buddy, sorry to burst your bubble but ....you are as " desi " as they come yourself and there is really nothing wrong with it

Humza Nov 06, 2014 08:35am

@Jamila khatoon There have been many problems with elected Muslim candidates like Rahim Jaffer from East African Ismaili community. He was first elected MP from Alberta but Rahim Jaffer was kicked out of the party in Federal government due to drug possession and abuse of position.

k. Khalid Nov 06, 2014 08:36am

Pakistanis voted for PPP (Zardari), PLN (Nawaz) and they have no electricity, no safety, not enough food for over 50% of the population, and hundreds more problems. Do you really have time to talk about Canadian candidates and their personal lives? Is your own life so perfect? Nawaz Sharif (Pakistani Prime Minister) comes and begs in North America and everywhere else in the name of Pakistani's people and their problems. Why are you so perfect when your prime minister is a beggar, Thief, murderer and liar? You are just giving free publicity to all these candidates who Only God knows better what is in their hearts (Good, Bad or different)?

Shujaat Khan Nov 06, 2014 08:38am

These are self appointed community leaders like Citizen Khan the comedy sitcom.

Syed Nov 06, 2014 08:46am

@Sandip Bhattacharya because we have inferiority complex. Simple.

Syed Nov 06, 2014 08:48am

@kashif I live in Canada and could not agree more with your paindoo comment. Very true.

Riaz Nov 06, 2014 08:52am

@Abdul nasir 100% true like sikh community

Zak Nov 06, 2014 08:53am

This is the greatness of our media, they lay it bare regardless. In contrast to our neighbours, who hide their failings and falsely manipulate facts to pretend they are what they are not. They should learn from us.

ss Nov 06, 2014 08:58am

Qadri should run for an office in Canada and if unsucceful then try to overthrow the Govt. by marching with the slogan Naya Canada, why waste his time making a revolution in Pakistan.

Farooq Ali Nov 06, 2014 09:12am

The typical issues of immigrants culture in developed world are a common and universal phenomena , Pakistan is not isolated or alone, that is why the popular media has made serials like Mind your language and films like English Winglish and Namastay India and many more, so please be happy and enjoy your stay .

Adam Bezar Nov 06, 2014 09:19am

Mr. Chaudhry should send 'payam' to Hazel McCallion after failing to win Mayor-ship of Mississauga so that he can learn ticks of the trade.

Sakina Qamar Nov 06, 2014 09:57am

These unsuccessful candidates should not feel disheartened. They should come to Pakistan and run for PM. They'll succeed in no time. Here, we won't waste time splitting hairs over petty questions such as what service they've done to the community and whether they're honest or not, etc.

Anon Nov 06, 2014 10:04am

All Pakistani's in Canada are PTI supporters. Hence PTI politics of Mr. Gondal is reflected there. Just FYI his cousin is the PTI MPA from DI Khan who had a fake degree issue as well.

FS Nov 06, 2014 10:19am

Let me clarify something here... They are Canadians of Pakistani origin. They have begged alegance to another country how can they be ambassadors of Pakistan to another country.

Canada is a multi-cultural place and there are more people of Chinese origin than subcontinent combined, How many Chinese origin won in this election? The fact will be no surprise, most of the people left there homelands and went to Canada because they did not like the system that exists in these countries. Why would they have the same system there?

Ghostrider Nov 06, 2014 10:21am

Guy with the sunglasses, he thinks he is running for Councillor in Sialkot. Intimidating the public with his "Babu" demeanor...lol these things doesnot even work in urban Pakistan...what was this guy thinking

Harsh Nov 06, 2014 10:25am

You run away from your pathetic governed country to Canada and then you try to get into politics and governance?

Pragmatic Nov 06, 2014 10:30am

Aliens are aliens everywhere!

M.Malik Nov 06, 2014 10:39am

It is a sad commentary on both Pakistan and Canada.

Pakistanis who have no education or marketable skills, embarrass rest of overseas Pakistani community with their ignorance and stupidity.. And for Canada, it is a poor reflection on their lax immigration policies, which lets in semi-literate and opportunists from all over the world, but more so from Pakistan. Who could be described as 'rejects' - those belonging to the group of Pakistan, who could not otherwise get visa to move to the U.S, due to their lack of education and any useful skills to be productive members of society. Hence Canada becomes the natural 'second-choice promised land' for them, and thus the dumping ground for under-achievers.

Mukesh Nov 06, 2014 10:48am

@Haroon oh man and we thought your role models were your western neighours, ARABS, the most superior race on this rock.

M.Malik Nov 06, 2014 10:51am

Frankly, some Pakistanis should never be allowed to leave the country! They belong only in Pakistan.

Ali Nov 06, 2014 10:58am

@Bns What is hilarious in this?

Payal Nov 06, 2014 11:00am

Hilarious. Really enjoyed reading it. Being a businesswoman running a stem cell research company in US (no I'm not American, just Indian), what I have seen is Pakistanis get along very well with Indians. Our geographical boundaries are invisible in US. And most of us put significant efforts to contribute to the US whenever we are there. We do bring back a lot of learnings from the US to India and benefit our nation in the process. There are great contributors from both India and Pakistan across both US and Canada. The exceptions mentioned in this article by Dawn always provide comic relief :-) Good that we have the appetite for humour to laugh at ourselves instead of being critical to viewpoints and defensive.

far Nov 06, 2014 11:01am

The author is trying to hit multiple points here: 1. Despite being abroad and a minority, we still segregate on basis of caste and creed. This divides our power amongst us and disables a strong representation.

  1. While some are true community activists and represent their policies and people, many are simply cheap publicity seekers and tarnish the image of people with similar backgrounds as them, with their reckless profiles and political stunt.

  2. Most importantly, successfully getting elected is about serving people by your efforts and not to impress public by your might or importance

Babbarsher Khan Nov 06, 2014 11:45am

I am sure these local elections were rigged ;-) . Let's request our Kaptaan to lead a dharna in Canada too; Canadian sarkaar bhi bahoot zalim hai ;-)

Sunil Nov 06, 2014 12:15pm

Very comical and hilarious.

Unfortunately it paints picture of national character in most negative terms.

Every foreign national after all is in a way ambassador of the country of his origin.

NASR Nov 06, 2014 12:25pm

The Heavy Mustache and the Black Sunglasses and Behind it is the telltale scenario of fake and false claims

Hasnain Nov 06, 2014 12:40pm

His wife ended up mistakenly voting for someone else... hilarious :D

NASR Nov 06, 2014 12:42pm

@kashif Oh My God ! You just translated my thoughts. Thanks.

NASR Nov 06, 2014 01:05pm

@Harsh You seem to be quite jealous of this situation here. Do you think your country is governed correctly? If so, then you are wrong because if your country would have had good governance then your people would have not left the country either. Have you seen the number of Indians in Canada. A recent report said Indians are using Mexico for entering North America illegally.

Nasir Nov 06, 2014 01:47pm

So true!

Prad Nov 06, 2014 01:58pm

A mule remains one whether its in Pakistan or Canada. I'm sure there are a lot such creatures around. What a pitiful state for a country full of blind mules thinking so local in a developed country like Canada!

rameez Nov 06, 2014 02:04pm

I wonder how such people even reach Canada

Vikash Nov 06, 2014 02:09pm

Friend, I agree, an excellent article. But, the writer is making a much deeper point than just focusing on the candidates. It's important to understand that we all are ambassador of our countries and exhibit responsible behavior.

Problem is most readers, instead of introspecting, ridicule the authors.

Thanks again for great writing.

Ali Nov 06, 2014 02:23pm

They wanted to be a angrez but they are Katey angrez both Pakistani and Indians. Rest a sure they cannot be Britisher or Americans,

A shah Nov 06, 2014 03:06pm

Sick of being compared to India at everything and then being told how they so so much better

Ramesh Ishu Nov 06, 2014 03:17pm

@Ali just can't compare with indian they are far far ahead in every field u just can't even imagine

pakistani Nov 06, 2014 03:30pm

Looks like a cartoon.

salman355@hotmail.com Nov 06, 2014 03:43pm

useless article. giving examples of some losers in a political process. such losers could be from any country. The kind of mayor toronoto had recently - i feel canadian politics doesnt have much to show for itself.

Hassan Nov 06, 2014 03:45pm

It seems Mr Chaudhry Riazuddin Ahmed became a member of the chamber of commerce of every country he was refused political asylum from, before landing in Canada.

sara Nov 06, 2014 04:13pm

@Jalal good one. Thank you! Freedom of right.

Omar Nov 06, 2014 04:39pm

This is why our country has become a joke because our people are absolutely shameless .... As for not being willing to work together, sound familiar? Have you ever seen one Pakistani promote another? Instead, everyone wants to showcase and promote themselves. When everyone fancies being a leader, then no one actually is a leader (e.g. our politicians).

I think Canada should put a cap on people who run for elections three times in a row and can't even secure a base minimum of votes. That will save us all continued embarrassment.

Irfan Syed Ali Nov 06, 2014 06:04pm

Assalam o Alaikum, please publish this article in Toronto Star or Globe and Mail. It is easy to make fun of Desi people but they are doing a good job. It is very important to get involved in the main stream to stop extremism. Today you may see some funny things goin on but tomorrow insha'allah it will change. Not entering the main stream is not an option. Regards, Irfan

Hassan Nov 06, 2014 06:28pm

@A shah, would you mind suggesting which other country, if not India, one should safely compare Pakistan to?

Harmony Nov 06, 2014 06:51pm

@Payal - Good to see a sensible comment from you. Usually its condescending nonsense from many as you may have noticed.

DLl Nov 06, 2014 06:52pm

@JK These people will read it and as usual ignore it. They have no shame and it's sad at the end of the day regardless of your background we all get lumped together by mainstream Canadians and are seen as a divided community. Usman brings up the shooting in Ottawa, if you associate the indian/Pakistani existence and struggle to a single incident I believe you may want to review a little history of our struggles from slavery. Which unfortunately we still have not gained yet, because we have demonstrated comfort in being subservient. Just a thought have a great day.

Harmony Nov 06, 2014 07:31pm

@Jalal - Its not about who can and who can't "run for Councillor" its about being silly and an embarrassment to others.

Roshaan Nov 06, 2014 08:23pm

You wrote that they, the deceiving candidates, have made a mockery of Pakistan, as if Pakistan has some sort of 'unique' reputation to protect. It doesn't. The fact that you people even get immigration is quite shocking because Canada is a country that deserves noble humans who are free from devious mindsets, unlike Pakistanis. Just look at the fact that in Canada, people in office are supposed to work for the community and be subservient to it. On the other dark and cold hand, of course Pakistanis would have conflicts with each other because they can never stand anyone trying to damage their ego. No wonder politics is going nowhere in Pakistan, the country's name of which means 'land of the pure' which is orders of magnitude from what it should really mean!

Tanweer Rehman Nov 07, 2014 05:21am

Judging by the name, there were 26 Muslim Candidates for Councillor/Mayor position in Toronto for City Hall elections. All of them lost the elections. Only two candidates were able to get low four figure votes. The rest were in three figures. Pathetic.

Life Nov 07, 2014 07:58am

@M.Malik I believe either you are not living in Canada or there is a severe problem with your observation and analysis

khan Nov 07, 2014 08:26am

why are PAKISTANIS running for offices in Canada?shouldn't it be left to Canadians of whatever origin?

canadian pakistani Nov 07, 2014 08:44am

This gives real pain when people like them do these things and not understanding the devastating consequences, they bring up for Pakistani community. Sad indeed. When we will mature as a nation. WHEN!!!

Noname Nov 07, 2014 09:00am

@Khan Rahem Singh And what is that everything he gave all Punjabis?

Azad Kashmir Nov 07, 2014 09:22am

@Ramesh Ishu I live in US and many Indians report to me. I find your kind to be of average caliber nothing out of ordinary. Now Chinese are far superior I will admit.

Sandeep Singh Nov 07, 2014 10:24am

@Faisal Totally wrong Indians can never be analogous with Pakistanis. No Indian ever attacked canadian parliament.

Sakhi Ismael Nov 07, 2014 01:41pm

Maybe you should run yourself. What's the point of being a silent spectator with all these imbeciles running? If you actually care deeply about this issue, do it yourself next time. Lamenting on paper spreads 5-min awareness which dissipates the moment someone clicks on the next article. This isn't your 'choice' - pioneers seldom have choices - it's your duty, your responsibility. I want to see you run next time these elections come around, and I want to see you win. Write another column then, talking about your experience; maybe that can inspire a few more of your ilk to run. The imbecile party must be stopped.

Sreenath Nov 07, 2014 03:27pm

Simply awesome ! but needn't worry the moment the leaders know how to project themselves Canada will see lots of councilors from Pakistan, best of luck.

Laeeq,NY Nov 07, 2014 04:36pm

What a cheap publicity stant.

Ahmed Khan Nov 07, 2014 04:45pm

Even these 2 wins would not have been possible, without the support of Indians.

Mahmood Khan Nov 07, 2014 06:05pm

When I read such things it does not surprise me. This is everyday news in Pakistan. I live in the UK and there have cases of fraud by Pakistani councillors in Bolton and Tower Hamlets. It seems when we migrate we never learn and bring out bad practices with us.

S K Sinha Nov 07, 2014 06:33pm

Very bad. Perhaps they do not respect democratic values and processes. In fact in Pakistan, a history of free and fair election is missing. This could be one reason for this type of conduct in Canada. But please all Pakistanis are not like that.

illawarrior Nov 07, 2014 06:47pm

I commend them for making an effort!

Patricia Greninger Nov 07, 2014 07:22pm

Sometimes, it's cathartic to release the most embarrassing things about ones ethnic group. But that usually means like, telling a therapist. Then everyone will know! Oh God. Why? I swear this was satire but these candidates are real. Any way, thank you so much for this....oh my God, I'll be laughing all day long!

Sattar Gopang- Canada Nov 07, 2014 07:22pm

lovely article ..!!

wajid Nov 07, 2014 07:28pm

@Sandeep Singh : The person who attacked canadian parliament was a white canadian convert, he was not a pakistani !

blamegame@yahoo.com Nov 07, 2014 07:51pm

The only reason these people move to Canada is because they were a failure in Pakistan.

Hassan Nov 07, 2014 08:00pm

Nice to see Pakistani flavour in Canadian politics !

Danish Nov 07, 2014 08:00pm

@wajid He was half-Libyan and half white.

Shahid Nov 07, 2014 08:16pm

i am glad youngsters are coming forward and not letting these crusty old people make use of the vacuum created by the absence of leadership to represent muslims or Pakistanis

Agha Ata Nov 07, 2014 08:35pm

I thought lying to win an election in Pakistan was allowed. It is almost unofficially constitutional.

Grace Nov 07, 2014 09:49pm

@Humza Yes I remember the embarassment that we felt in the Ismaili community when the first elected member of our community was exposed for cocaine possession and abusing his position to get government contracts for friends. Even after he was kicked out, he used his white Canadian wife's position and misrepresented himself as being in power so then his wife was also kicked out as MP. She was as corrupt as him because she abused common citizens too. But I think this man Raheem Jaffer was an Indian from Uganda who came to Canada as refugee.

atif siddiqui Nov 07, 2014 09:50pm

It is an evolution process, there were many who were bright, and young candidates. These advertisements were in urdu news papers, not billboards across the city nor lawn signs. They are targeting Pakistanis via urdu newspapers,or flyers and most of them want to be known so they can run their property business, or other via publicity.

I don't think it caused as much embarrassment as the writer is claiming though

atif siddiqui Nov 07, 2014 09:53pm

"About another Pakistani candidate, the story goes that he used his decades-old picture for the election campaign. His wife ended up mistakenly voting for someone else. Can you blame her?"

Don't know how, because when you vote there is no pic, or symbols just name of the candidate; She can forget his old pic but not name

logic Nov 07, 2014 11:02pm

@Naveed I hope he is not Liberal, because liberal leader is taking a beating with comments

Riaz Murtaza Nov 08, 2014 04:41am

Very true, Mr. Mohsin Abbas. It is a real picture of this elections.

Munz Nov 08, 2014 05:20am

All Pakistanis should simply be banned from immigrating to any civilized country!!! All they do or have ever done is created a bad name!!!

Rao Nov 08, 2014 05:58am

@Muhammmed : Vy you complain? Kanada is a democracy so everybody has a chance to run.

Rao Nov 08, 2014 06:02am

@rudraiah rajasekhar Reman Malik was a typical senator , remember , one who held PIA flight for an hour waiting for him and then got himself kicked out by the passengers! He would run in Kanada too!

Syed Nov 08, 2014 07:10am

I am not sure what we are trying to get out of this article and why names of individuals are published like this. This article is poking fun for someone's lack of political aptitude. It's okay. They are not representing Pakistanis or Pakistan. This is defamation. Pakistan's leaders are the one embarrassing Pakistan and we should be writing about them.

Sonny Afridi Nov 08, 2014 07:59am

Caste and clan? Muslims don't have "caste" system so please spare us

sf Nov 08, 2014 09:59am

@Azad Kashmir You sound as if you are the boss and thus better than Chinese but you forget that you are Indian born in Pakistan and having been converted from hinduism thus your point that chinese are smarter than Indian does not make sense because they report to you.

mohammadali Nov 08, 2014 10:02am

Look at the bright side. At least these loser are helping the Pakistani printers.

S.S.A. Nov 08, 2014 11:32am

Ch. Riazuddin Ahmed Gondal or Ch. Riazuddin Ahmed Gullubutt? Do these people have any shame? The credentials he claims seems to be most idiotic approach to election campaigning. Is there a system of "Zamanat" amount in these elections...and if so, I'd love to fi nd out how many of these have lost their "ZamanT". Pathetic.

Zafar G. Baloch Nov 08, 2014 12:24pm

Bilal Karim Mughal needs to improve his translation and writing skills. Very poorly written! Aggghhhh! Even the original, written in Urdu by Mohsin Abbas, is awful! Leave aside the grammatical and syntax errors in the article above, when you read this, "Most of these candidates suffered from a glaring deficiency in English language skills and in their knowledge of the Canadian system" you expect the writer to expound on this. Give examples of deficiencies in candidates' language skills, and how did the writer deduce the candidates' 'knowledge of the Canadian system' was inadequate.

Ali Nov 08, 2014 01:00pm

@Sakhi Ismael

I think the writer of the article is very biased in writing his article. I guess he is friend of Zeshan Hamid. Past four years Zeshan did not do any thing for Pakisani community. He was so disassociated with Pakistani community in past four years and did not own our community. During election he was begging for the vote from Pakistani community if you do not give me the vote than Rayan mclaghin is in lead. What dirty and negative campaign he did during his campaign time. I wish the author of the article could have done some more research on that before praising Zeshan victory. I love to forward email of Zeshan, he sent to Pakistani community the day before advance polling and the flyer he distributed the day before election.

Shakil Sahib: You are right I want to see author dare to run election next time rather criticise the community. I-E Grocery store guy. etc

Irfan UK Nov 08, 2014 03:32pm

I agree with you that we should not always bring India and Pakistan into all arguments but in this case it was giving a good example that Indian candidates were doing a better job so if you are an Indian you should be proud of this and we should learn from you guys. In England they say Indian or Pakistani you are considered a browny so together we are stronger.

A shah Nov 08, 2014 03:40pm

Pakistanis embarrass us everywhere not only in Canada

Ali Nov 08, 2014 05:31pm

@Sandip Bhattacharya - and why r u so obsessed?

Parvez Nov 08, 2014 06:16pm

@Sandip Bhattacharya brother we are like step brothers love and hate each other lol

Parvez Nov 08, 2014 06:18pm

I am still laughing.. great article

Ajnabi Khan Nov 08, 2014 06:56pm

This article comes across as too judgmental and negative; and, it completely ignores the fact that at least the "losing" candidates tried to the best of their ability even if they have not fully honed their skills in terms of presenting themselves in politics. It takes courage to come out and throw yourself in the race. I commend the losing candidates for taking an initiative; hopefully, they will learn from their errors and do better next time. The ward where Max Khan was elected, there were many others of different national backgrounds who ran a flawed campaign; no one took them to task, their efforts were appreciated. Max Khan won because of his performance and a good connection with the local citizens. It might have been more productive if this article had written about why Max Khan was successful; especially, for publication in the DAWN. Perhaps, Pakistan’s budding politicians might have learnt a thing or two about how political participation is managed in countries where politics is fairly developed.

gerry d'cunha Nov 08, 2014 07:39pm

beggars cannot be choosers

Akhtar Nov 09, 2014 01:07am

It is very embarrassing. Unfortunately Pakistanis have not moved passed the bickering and infighting that is commonplace within this community.

Progress has been slow and hardly any change in mentality. Some Pakistanis still think they are living in a backward village in Pakistan and play the same game in western countries.

Raza Nov 09, 2014 05:26am

@bila

Mohsin Abbass did not write about himself what he is doing here in Canada , may be security job or working in warehouse. If some one is running grocery shop in Canada does not mean he can not run election. 40% pakisani doctor graduates are driving taxi in Canada, because they can not find job. Does it means they are unqualified because they are driving taxi here. We have councillor Sikh here in Edmonton used to drive truck, he won the election and became councillor. Mr. Mohsin why did not you write article when sikh truck driver become councillor. You wrote so many bad things about one mississauga mayor pakistani and but you did not write good things about the other pakistani mayoral candidate and you know him very well and his services for community. you did not mention Markham councillor candidate he lost too, every one knows his services for the community. You just looking the negative part of the community and forget to write positive one . Why you are so upset with Pakistanis. Please be positive in your writing and create a positive image of our country. Next time we request all Pakistani candidates to get permission from you before contest in elections. What do you think. I want to see you come forward and run the election otherwise if you do not do it some one else will do it and you do not have right to write..

Alakanuk Nov 09, 2014 07:33am

@Khan Rahem Singh, he also forgot to give honesty, loyalty, an identity(atleast a decent one), decency et al in the process.

Alarmed Khan Nov 09, 2014 08:28am

@NASR: Name a country that is "run" CORRECTLY"! Unfortunately, the British left TWO dangerous words in South Asia: "Correct" and "lesson". Indians and Pakistanis are heard too often trying to "teach[someone] a "LESSON", with a "befitting response"! Read : "REVENGE"! Or telling others what is "CORRECT" or NOT! There are only TWO states of being for too many SOUTH ASIANS:
CORRECT or WRONG! One is a "friend" or "enemy" -- no just another human! There are no grey areas. 'Grey areas', if acknowledged, would suggest lack of absolute certainty, question "Black and White" thinking and raise doubts! That is why you suffer so much!

altaf khan Nov 09, 2014 12:20pm

@John very well said. But the Canadians deserve these kind of people as why are allowing them to settle in canada. Why not take on board talentedprofessionals on board.

Doc Nov 09, 2014 12:43pm

@Azad Kashmir Your name and your statement, both are fantasies

Essam Nov 09, 2014 02:51pm

Lieing in Politics should be considered a crime, but then Politics is a game of lies.. Although there is room for honesty, People who have exploited that have succeeded in the past, but today's Politics.. Background checks on the candidates is a must.. The guy who was chairman of business for countries that are almost a quarter of the world.. what a joke!

colin Nov 09, 2014 07:33pm

The bloke in the dark shades and funny mustache had me laughing out loud. Any of these chaps looking for employment should apply immediately to Bollywood.

They would make GREAT local mohalla dadas/mustandas/goondas/mafia enforcers/assassins.....take your pick.

Wonder what the host Canadians must think of them ! Have to say that most Pakistan origin politicians in the UK seem to present a far more articulate,urbane image !

Durgesh Nov 10, 2014 06:01am

@Ajnabi Khan - You have articulated your stand beautifully. But, aspiring politicians of Indian origin in Canada are no better.

Taimur khan Nov 10, 2014 06:03am

@Sandip Bhattacharya why read a Pakistani paper?

Rita Nov 11, 2014 07:24pm

Donon ka hairstyle accha hai...