KARACHI: “Our society is getting insensitive and our journalism too offers no reaction against the things that are not [good] for our country,” said journalist Sohail Warraich while speaking at the launch of his Urdu book with English title The Party is Over at the Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi’s auditorium on Friday.
Addressing an almost packed audience, he said he was writing in symbolism, which was the style of writing when conditions were not compatible for saying things as one wanted to convey.
He said Pakistani society would have to work hard to prove that it was living; it would have to learn and unlearn again with the struggle to get the rights it deserved.
“We’ll have to change many things and habits. We kept our energy and vigour till the 1990s for changing our lives, but, since then we are breathing with our dreams withdrawn.”
He said generally “every one of us wants to find that things are changed when one wakes up in the morning, which is nothing but a cosmetic desire in our inner souls where we want to see the change by offering no contribution on our part”.
Fall of Sharifs, rise of Imran discussed at Sohail Warraich’s book launch
Mr Warraich, famous for his iconic show Aik din Geo kay sath, said the real test for future prime minister Imran Khan had begun.
“Whatever, from now on, he will say and do he will be accountable in future since we are a country where only politicians are [made] accountable,” he said.
Political commentator Imtiaz Alam said Mr Warraich had got the eye that helped him to predict future political scenario with surprising accuracy.
“Most predictions that he shared with us through his columns and writings have been proved true in future, and the most amazing of them all was in his column ‘The party is over’ which he wrote about the PML-N’s rule,” said Mr Alam.
He gave several other examples which were proved true with the passage of time. One of them he wrote in his column headlined “Imran aa raha hai” (Imran is coming).
Mehmood Sham, a senior journalist who edited several newspapers and journals, said continuous democratic process in the country was the only way out for a tolerant and modern Pakistan, which, with the passage of time, would empower people in real terms to elect best people to sit in assemblies.
Regarding the recent victory of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Pakistan, he said: “The party has just begun.”
He echoed Mr Alam that the author had predicted the fall of the House of Sharif much before the real proceedings came to the fore.
He candidly said the book’s title suggested “everything and everyone that matters is in Punjab”.
Political analyst Mazhar Abbas said the political parties like the PML-N, the PPP and the MQM were not the same as they had been decades ago.
He said Imran Khan’s rise became possible due to the democratic process, which should continue to evolve and push the country towards a tolerant society.
He said elections should not be managed as had been charged by many from time to time.
Intellectual Shakeel Adilzada spoke briefly in which he said Mr Warraich had got amazing fluency in his writing and thought process, which was a hallmark of a good fiction writer.
ACP Karachi president Ahmed Shah thanked the guests and audience. Ayub Shaikh and Fazil Jamili also spoke.
Uzma Al-Karim moderated the proceedings.
Published in Dawn, July 28th, 2018