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Go figure!

Published May 10, 2012 11:04am


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There is a genuine fear among some (yes, just some) Pakistanis that their society and state is headed straight to becoming a 21st century model of fascism.

I say the fear is being noted and felt by just some Pakistanis because it seems to most of their compatriots – especially those squirming within the growing, agitated and uptight urban middle-classes – the emergence of such a state and society is actually something to do with abstract concepts like ‘national sovereignty,’ ‘honour’ (ghairat), ‘revolution’ and a ‘positive Pakistan!’

It’s like saying chronic neurosis is a pretty positive thing to have.

Recently in a sharp and pointed article, author and scientist, Pervez Hoodbhoy, clearly alluded to how the Pakistani society and state are showing signs of the kind of myopic mindset that the German society plunged into in the 1920s and 1930s, setting the scene for Hitler and his fascist outfit and mentality to become Germany’s overlords – eventually taking the nation over the brink and towards widespread destruction.

So is the Pakistani society headed in the same direction?

A number of experts and sociologists have drawn some prominent symptoms to look for in figuring out if a particular society is drifting into the clutches of fascism.

Let’s discuss a few in Pakistan’s context:

•    Symptom 1: Powerful and Continuing Nationalism

Fascist societies/cultures tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

In Pakistan patriotism has been intertwined with the belief in a divine monolithic deity. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether a person is singing praises of God or the state. It’s as if both are one and the same. Thus, if you are not all that enthusiastic about singing loud patriotic songs or displaying 50X10 Pakistani flags over your 5X2 office cubical, you are a traitor and/or/thus a kafir.

•    Symptom 2: Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats

The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe.

Pakistan has enemies. Pakistan has always had enemies. Pakistan will always have enemies. Pakistan is, because it has enemies. Everything that goes wrong in Pakistan is because of its enemies. But Pakistan is also united because of its enemies.

They are: India, US, Israel, Hindu, Jew, Christian, Liberal, Ahmadi, Democrat, Secular, Politician, Ethnic Nationalist, Papua New Guinea – all are enemies.

Pakistan will vanquish them all through its unity until it makes new enemies so the unity can be retained. More enemies, more unity, dig?

And did I tell you Pakistan has enemies?

•    Symptom 3: Supremacy of the Military  

Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorised.

Sometimes it seems the founder of Pakistan was a paternal army general who created the country to look and function like one giant military mess hall where military men are always  plotting, eating and shouting out orders to waiters and cooks who are all lowly civilians.

It is the patriotic duty of every Pakistani civilian to work hard so the military can be kept well-fed and continue to win us glorious victories against our many enemies like it’s been doing ever since 1947.

Anyone who thinks otherwise is, of course, anti-Pakistan and must have had some genetic link with the treacherous Bengalis who massacred millions of Pakistani soldiers in 1971.

But thanks to the well-deserved annual budgets sanctioned for defence, we were able to win the 1971 war as well; and it was our gallant army that decided to let go of East Pakistan because the Bengalis were useless and only interested in wrapping rice in banana leaves and killing fish for lunch.

•    Symptom 4: Controlled Mass Media  

Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by media spokespeople and executives who are sympathetic towards certain organs of the state and its interests.

The freedom of media in Pakistan is the freedom to say 2+2=5. Anything else is bad mathematics and not good for national interest. And ratings.

•    Symptom 5: Obsession with National Security

Fear is used as a motivational tool by the state and media over the masses.

First it was the Indians that were coming; then the Soviets; then the Indians again; then the Americans; and now it’s the Indians, Americans, Afghans and maybe even some ex-Soviets who are all conspiring to invade us!

They’ll invade us, make us renounce Islam, dismantle our bomb and make us their slaves! They might even take away your X-box! So think. Actually don’t. Bad for national security.

•    Symptom 6: Religion and State are Intertwined  

Fascist states and societies tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion.

In Pakistan people are always gauging if a politician or a show-biz celebrity is a ‘good Muslim’, whereas the politicians and the celebrities are always trying to prove that they are one.

The whole idea that being a good Muslim can also amount to being a good human being never enters the gauging and proving exercise because it sounds … errm … a little too ‘secular.’

The state selects choice verses from Islamic text to prove its policies are in line with true faith; the mullah does the same to prove his is the only true faith (and that he deserves a regular slot on TV); the jihadis do this to prove that they kill and maim because it is ordained by God; and the common Pakistani does this to prove that he is not a sucker for religious propaganda but a true and independent minded Muslim – even though his spiritual independence is usually based on what he hears from the state, the mullah, the jihadi and most  stimulating of all, from ‘Islamic text messages’ that keep popping up on his cell phone.

So, want to push through or sell anything in Pakistan? Just put the suffix ‘Islamic’ in front of it.

•    Symptom 7: Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts

Fascist societies tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education and academia. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

In Pakistan, many intellectuals and artistes are looked down upon by a lot of pious people.

At times the state and governments have remained quiet when intellectuals and scientists have been denounced for being heretics and western and Indian agents; while artistes are left to ward off cries of obscenity on their own.

Interestingly though, the kind of psychological abuse artistes have gone through in the last 25 years or so has made many of them develop the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’.

A number of actors, actresses, playwrights, morning show hosts, designers, pop musicians and even some former models have gone on record spouting nonsense that in essence was actually a sympathetic endorsement of exactly the kind of people that have been taunting and tormenting them!

A reactionary outfit attacks a pop concert, but the pop artiste hurls curses at ‘American imperialism’ and ‘invasion of Indian culture;’ and then comes Ramazan, actors, morning show hosts, singers and even TV chefs suddenly transformed into becoming overnight ‘Islamic scholars’ sharing religious advise along with recipes for chicken chow mein and the ins and outs of gaudy bridal wear.

Of course, none of these idiots dare take the names of those who detest them as obscene, un-Islamic freaks.

Thus, at this point in time, most artistes in Pakistan do not need protection; they need shrinks!

•    Symptom 8: Obsession with Crime and Punishment

There is always a lot of talk by Pakistani state institutions and the public about how they would like to hang people this way or that way.

Never mind the fact that some prestigious and ubiquitous state institutions have been overtly involved in all kinds of oppression, corruption and malice, because it is the politician whom the people windup wanting to see at the end of a hangman’s rope.

Pakistanis’ obsession with crime and punishment has reached to such absurd levels that largely it is the punishable culprits who’ve ended up delivering the punishments!

But Pakistanis don’t care; as long as the act of punishment is spectacular enough to trigger their awe and gives them a sense of ‘justice.’

A kills B but it is A who hangs C. Good, at least someone was hanged.

And as far as the politicians are concerned, they haven’t done their dilemma in this respect any good.

They’re also in the habit of trying to capture the punishment obsession of the people by promising to hang their opponents from electric poles – usually upside down (‘mein ussey ulta latka doon ka!’ *applause*).

In Pakistan everybody wants to hang everybody else.

•    Symptom 9: Media creates a punching bag for people to vent out their frustrations

The Stockholm Syndrome runs deep in societies on the verge of collapsing into a total state of fascism.  In Pakistan fear of extremists has actually made many people sympathise with their tormentors; or instead of blaming the extremists they begin to blame and curse a ready-made punching bag largely constructed by the media.

Here are few examples:

Bajur market massacre kills 30, injures 101: Zardari claims responsibility.’

‘Foreign investment falls dramatically in Pakistan. Businessmen blame terror attacks and kidnappings by Zardari.’

‘Bangladesh cricket team cancels tour of Pakistan. Sites security concerns due to threat posed by Zardari.’

‘Zardari beheads 2 Pakistan army soldiers.’

‘People killed in US drone strike were not Zardari. They were civilians,’ says Imran Khan.  

*Symptoms based on study done on fascist states and societies by Eric Bochene.  

Illustrations by Nadeem. F. Paracha.

Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and

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.


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Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and He is also the author of two books on the social history of Pakistan, End of the Past and The Pakistan Anti-Hero.

He tweets @NadeemfParacha

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

Comments (152) Closed

YB Bhatti May 10, 2012 07:20am
The master of satire strikes again! Kudos. :D
sidney syder May 10, 2012 07:26am
This is gold. Our society is basically a reflection of ourselves. If people want a modern, developed, peaceful society, they need to start with themselves.
Tariq May 10, 2012 08:13am
Very good assement apart from the cultural disdain and religious fanatiscim. I thought the Nazis were huge fans of their own brand of culture and also abhorred religion?
qaswar May 10, 2012 07:42am
mr paracha you are a genious,truthful.and a fair man and a real patriotic .as the truth is bitter as ,always is ,majority of pakistanis are in no mood to to swallow it. they are brainwashed,witch is very very dangerous for this country may god save us from these crooks
saleem May 11, 2012 02:46pm
Food for thought for our neighbour too. Only difference is that they donn`t have N P(or perhaps no one has a guts to write) otherwise all the symtopms apply on them too.
Pradeep May 10, 2012 07:37am
One of the most hilarious article from NFP. All that’s said is true and I particularly like - ‘Pakistan has enemies. Pakistan has always had enemies. Pakistan will always have enemies. Pakistan is, because it has enemies. Everything that goes wrong in Pakistan is because of its enemies. But Pakistan is also united because of its enemies.’
nad May 10, 2012 07:35am
A very good article, reflective of true Pakistan. But Pakistan Army Chief Confirmed use of only 9% of budget, is it correct? if yes then who is right and who is wrong.
Ghassan Khan May 10, 2012 08:09am
A true picture of the Pakistani society. I hope someday the masses would understand your wise words.
amit May 10, 2012 08:08am
Great again
@hasanalirana May 10, 2012 07:33am
Hassan May 10, 2012 07:32am
Paracha you are kind of Manto now. People will either love you or Hate you.
Madhusudhan May 10, 2012 10:47am
Sound advice to all concerned through satire is what NFP has been doing regularly. Let the sound penetrate and effect change where required. Pls keep up the good work.
Rafi May 10, 2012 08:07am
NFP, u spoiled a good writeup with a Zardari gaffe right at the end.
Hassan Ali May 11, 2012 12:32pm
yes, what im saying is his perception in the public, not the comparison of their writings.
Agnostic May 10, 2012 07:45am
LOL !!!..........Simply Awesome
Syed Tariq Askari May 11, 2012 07:35pm
One may disagree with some of its contents, but on the whole a well-written piece.
Salman Lone May 10, 2012 01:41pm
Simply great well written and message conveyed
Ahmed May 10, 2012 01:44pm
Our biggest portion of budget goes into debt servicing. The increase in debt and its mismangement is the major reason for it.
Syed Jafri May 10, 2012 03:52pm
your comment's a waste of space.
bmash May 10, 2012 04:31pm
Incredible analysis. Hit the nail on the head.
nandkishor May 10, 2012 10:46am
A funny critic article by an intelactual, thanx dawn.
AHA May 10, 2012 11:45am
Laughed and cried. You are great.
Eddies May 10, 2012 11:40am
Excellent writing....great on...
Ashar May 10, 2012 11:42am
Useless to say the least. NFP takes special pride in denouncing two things (1) Nationalism and (2) Religion
paktvportal May 10, 2012 04:29pm
Don't be that much straight forward
rumasa May 10, 2012 05:01pm
If you think that nationalism only comes from one language, race or religion then explain why people in America love America, even though they belong to different races, cultures and religions? why do they keep on insisting that they are American even if their parents are from a different country? that's a ridiculous statement to make that pakistanis don't have nationalism because they don't have a common culture. Neither does America. What Pakistanis lack is the appreciation of being a multicultural nation. Pakistanis overall are a confused nation.
@RizKQalandar May 10, 2012 07:59am
Love least there is one voice in millions that shows us what we are not what we want to see!!
usama sheikh May 10, 2012 07:17am
It's awesome but the thing here is that is all thus stuff have any change as all this is concern with the politics and our economic affairs.......?
S.Hussain May 10, 2012 01:56pm
Yet another worthless article. A waste of space.
Agha Ata May 10, 2012 01:49pm
Many things in this article made me cry, and many things in this article made me laugh. The biggest laughter I had was from the inclusion of Papua New Guinea among our enemies. I am glad NFP wasn't born in Greece 8th century b.c. He would have outwitted Homer. :))
Nizar May 10, 2012 03:46pm
@Ashar, NFP is talking about people like you who have closed mind. Infact, he has posted a picture of you above. Check it out...2nd from left under symptom #2.
Irfan May 10, 2012 12:32pm
Agreed Hasan - and most of outragous radicals will hate you! take careNFP
koi nahin May 10, 2012 03:44pm
:) couldnt stop myself to say ' take care ' weldone !!
Nizar May 10, 2012 03:49pm
@ S. Hussain... I see your picture posted above, check it out under Symptom #6.
G.Nabi May 11, 2012 12:23pm
As usual NFP spared sacred cows belonging to MQM &PPP. Rest are fair game. Double standards patronized by blogger.
qaswar May 10, 2012 04:18pm
no,he is not wasted in pakistan.infact we need him the most when we read him,we have high hopes that come morning again.
Gamerwamer May 10, 2012 11:31am
NFP, you are being wasted in Pakistan.
Anon May 10, 2012 02:08pm
NFP you are so tactful.
SA'AD May 10, 2012 02:19pm
Heyy...Mr.nadeem PARACHA... SYMTOM not only demeaning n defaming to 7 hundred thousand ppl who call demselves as citizens of dys country as much as you do....buh also i have to tell you dat plzz correct yourself in terms of facts n figures....sarcasm wont lead anywhr good....cuz u may not even imagine wht goes around to a military man sitting in Operational area tryin giving safeguard to ya when he is actually reading to wht ya r sayin infact "praising" him for..i noe its freedom of speech n its ya right to say whtever ya want..buh plzz be mindful of da fact dat now ya r a public figure....ya got to strike da balance in between....say whtever ya feel like buh plzz try n make ppl see from both ends ..if dats possible for ya..
Romi May 10, 2012 10:45am
The first step to a solution is recognizing the problem. That's what going on here. Solutions will come.
citoyen May 10, 2012 08:41am
As subversive as ever. Please come to India, we need you here. BTW I stole your pics.
Sunny May 10, 2012 08:29am
lovable as always!
(Dr.) B.N. Anand May 10, 2012 08:42am
Hello Mr. Paracha, no one can beat you in conveying a meaningful message through simple fun and a satire. I always enjoy reading your posts. BNA
G.a May 10, 2012 03:03pm
@Ashar - NFP has never bashed religion or nationalism. He is targetting fascist tendencies in nationalism and in overt display of religiosity which has more to do with ritualism than actual spiritual guidance. Do you not have the depth to understand his satire?
Cyrus Howell May 10, 2012 08:28am
"The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic State itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group or by any controlling private power." -- FDR
Roshan May 10, 2012 12:16pm
Wonderful article. When I read Dawn article and even those who write comment, I feel that Pakistan has lots of people with good thinking/mindset and country could recover. When I read "The Nation" article and those who made the comments, it appears that people have twisted mindset and could eventually axe its own foot.
Faysal May 10, 2012 08:44am
Nationalism? what nationalism? We don't have a comon language, race or religion (divided into sects). People are in search an identity. The easiest way is to find that in religion. People like the author have nothing to offer other than scoffing at the present situation and dreaming for outlandish transformations.
Saad Gadit May 10, 2012 09:09am
marvelous piece of writing this Mr. Parcha.. Hats off..
Abdullah K May 10, 2012 04:06pm
NFP : If country is drifting to what you called 'Fascism', is understandable. You have an accidental, invisible president who along with his side kick Mr. Gilani is driving masses to despair. Instead of becoming a symbol of the unity of the federation, he has alienated masses by irresponsible governance. While people are facing grinding poverty,PM Gilani with an entourage of 70 is touring UK. 70? A glaring example of deliberate waste of public money. If trend is toward 'fascism', it is inevitable.
A.Bajwa May 10, 2012 11:55am
A very incisive article.
Naeem May 10, 2012 11:57am
Symptons 1-5 and 9 apply to USA, India and many other powerful states too!
Hemant May 10, 2012 11:52am
This is not only analysis of what is going on in Pakistan, but it is applicable to all democracies. The degree varies. Right from the oldest democracy to the biggest democracy on earth also suffer from it. But when it goes out of proportion, the nation turns into fascist. One important symptom is that the masses are fooled from knowing who their real enemies are. The real enemies camouflage themselves nicely. And that become the sure recipe for disaster.
Musafir May 10, 2012 09:27am
NFP at his best. I truly admire your writings. Great work. Keep writing sir.....
tehfoor islam May 10, 2012 09:28am
fantastic picture of pakiland ! well done
Muhammad Ahmed May 11, 2012 09:44am
Well Paracha makes sense in his own way but like most of his writings his bias makes him myopic in his vision as well. It is sad but if we even become fanatically national or even religious we might at least have some sense of identity which is required to have the type of cohesive unity. The conflict between nationalism and religiosity exists every where in Pakistan so that claim seems flawed. In most cases our non existent nationalism and religiosity becomes obvious when matters of province, cast and creed take precedence over everything else when someone has to get married. In simple words we are hypocrite in claiming many things and doing completely opposite of what we may continuously preach to others. It is also sad that when people claiming to be liberal can only show disdain for people shown in Picture number 2. I can agree with his claims regarding unnecessary military spending and religious extremism but these should be placed in same scale as the corruption by politicians. You cannot focus on selected issues of your liking and reach conclusions based on flawed analysis.
Qaiser M. Siddiqui May 10, 2012 09:33am
nicely written- displays the hatred dwelling inside you as well. Against what? seems like you are unaware of that, but then it is the same case for every Paksitani, isn't it?
Aamir Younis May 10, 2012 09:38am
Right on the spot. We do not blame those responsible but those we hate
Expat May 10, 2012 09:39am
Maybe you should've shed some light on who was the trigger of gung-ho nationalism in Pakistan... the leader who announced that we'll fight for a 1000 years with India. Just read Stanley Wolpert's book, "Zulfi Bhutto of Pakistan" to see how aggressive pseudo-nationalism was used to win votes.
aaaa May 10, 2012 09:51am
There is just one problem everyone has alot to criticize from the most uneducated to most educated. But noone ever has a solution. What is the solution force people into doing something and if yes how?
observer May 10, 2012 10:07am
Awesome article!! A good reflection of how society thinks and what is wrong with it. I wish you start writing in urdu as well, NFP as those who read English can make sense of it, but really the masses that need to understand if their ways are taking them some place
Ahsan Rizvi May 10, 2012 10:57am
Beautifully depict the picture of Pakistan. I do not know how long will it take for us to act as a mature country and nation.
@hasanalirana May 10, 2012 03:54pm
yes, i wish we have the Patience and Courage to Agree and disagree
indiajones May 10, 2012 05:16pm
That Papua New Guinea bit was the limit. And that pic of yesteryear actress Nutan, aghast at the turn of events, jawaab nahin ! One compared you to Manto. Alas, Manto was a victim of the post-partition syndrome that made him a martyr...that his literary genius could not reconcile itself to the fact, which led to his alcoholism.
Hitesh May 11, 2012 12:05pm
I don't agree with your comparison of Pakistan with Germany. German nation was built by the fascist efforts only, and you can see their achievements in field of Science. If you want to compare then it is like, the German Nazism brought out the best in the people whereas in case of Pakistan it is bringing out the worst in the people.
Hennan May 10, 2012 05:53pm
This morning only I was thinking about the how sad the state of Pakistan's future would be if the 'PTI' revolutionaries (read; middle class aunties & students with facebook...) actually come to power...and then I read this...very nice the irony, of course, is that most of these people commenting on how great the article is...are those you are referring to in the
Noni May 10, 2012 05:56pm
"The freedom of media in Pakistan is the freedom to say 2+2=5. Anything else is bad mathematics and not good for national interest. And ratings." Satire or not This piece falls in the same category as above...
Shams Forough May 10, 2012 06:13pm
As always, a piece well-written gone through deaf ears. Let them keep on with their "stragegic deapth dream" and Zia's slogan of "Kabul Must Burn".We, the people of Afghanistan, will survive this and outlive the undeclared war on us. NFP, I solute to you for your analysis and courage.
NASAH (USA) May 10, 2012 06:33pm
It is actually good to say that NFP takes special pride in denouncing Nationalism and an army hogging up 70% of an impoverished country's resources.
Sirius May 11, 2012 02:15pm
I get similar impressions by reading the articles and public comments published in The Hindu and Times of India. In general, I find articles/comments in the Hindu unbiased and insightful compared with those in the Times of India.
Jahanzeb Punjwani May 11, 2012 11:47am
he is right, it happens quite often, NFP refers to media as biased and uses the same medium, quite ironic
Jahanzeb Punjwani May 11, 2012 11:50am
we have been recognising problems since we were kicked out of the congress in India, do you still expect the solution to come?
@m_ushahid May 13, 2012 12:37pm
I have made the cartoon on the thinking of NFP. Kindly have a look at it at or at
Mujahid May 10, 2012 06:39pm
Long but hilarious sattire to highlight very serious problems in our society. Well done! stay safe :)
sami May 10, 2012 06:52pm
Nice article
faraz May 10, 2012 08:10pm
is Sethi sahib suffering from Stockholm-syndrome? :P
@anayatullah82 May 10, 2012 08:13pm
I will print this article, frame it and hang it in my room for this is a piece of art.... :)
Asad Shah May 10, 2012 07:12pm
So to sum it up, 1) Religion is bad when inter-linked with the state. 2) Nationalism is bad 3) Military is eating up all our budget, are responsible for all the corruption, evils in the society and load shedding. 4) Zardari is actually a good guy; he has been framed by the evil media.
Irfan Baloch May 10, 2012 08:08pm
Besides 2+2=5, something else does not add up in this article. Comrade has a soft corner for politicians. I think I'm gonna open up a bottle of conspiracy theory tonight so I could get a glimpse of this blurry world of status quo. I am so confused watching news, reading articles all the opinion makers making omelets of issues. The country is in a mess and ppl like me do not even know what the damn problem is. Day in and day out we hear on the tv screens the CJP took suo motto on this and heard arguments on that. That's it for me I am not going to the race tracks to watch these Arabian Horses anymore. Time to take a break from all the bad news. Comrade mayb u can help us out man come out one day with ur sword and tell us what really is going on. All I would say in a lousy beaten and a tired voice POWER TO THE GOD DAMNED PEOPLE
Asad Shah May 10, 2012 07:15pm
The admin/moderator does not let negative comments through. Biased article, biased moderator
ahmad butt May 11, 2012 11:59am
Good food for thought NFP, i read MR.Pervaiz Houdbouy's article and i daresay was thinking who would critique his arguments of what has become the national symbolism of this country - "ghairat". everyone has their own interpretation but the religious amalgamation of ghairat's meaning combined with our brainwashed narray-baazi holds the most weight in our islamic republic of Pakistan.. But C'mon NFP, Hitler still came to power via ballot, so either this propaganda got them their power or maybe manipulation back then got him in power. Though please dont compare the Germans to us, Pakistani people are still not at that level of political maturity and other than Mr.Z Bhutto hever had a chance to vote for a leader(though now some still say a former cricketer turned politician has hints and shades of the formers leadership style) i think you couldve summed up all the symptoms in symptom number 9, our failure to accept our own flaws and blame it on a punching bag, practical day to day examples, breaking traffic rules, skipping queues, ready to be at each other throat, cheat and lie in work and businesses, start the whole rich poor debate, corruption but guess what, the common man gives credit to our leaders for our own shenanigans. this is why i dont blame our leadership for all what is going on in Pakistan, if we have to fix things here, we have to reach an acceptable consensus of what the parameters of ghairat are, who is responsible for fixing the real issues of this country and what needs to be actually done....
Hasan May 10, 2012 07:35pm
Manto? Have you really read him!
khalid ahmed aamir May 11, 2012 06:52pm
You rock man!!!!
Arslan Rahat Ullah May 10, 2012 07:59pm
Mr Paracha, evertthing aside you have a very soft corner for the president. I have been observing this for almost a year now. Something is fishy. Plus the picture posed by you is a very pessimistic one, much worse that the one that actually haunts us. The pessimism is affecting the way you think and write. The trends that you have mentioned hold true for only a ssmall minority and not the whole Pakistan. The article is replete with the word 'Pakistani'. Well this is all a reactionary minset trying to find solace in crying out and exaggerating the follies of a people who are facing challenging times. The ruling lot has not been able to look after its citizens. The masses are devoid of electricity, the right to basic health, education and Justice. And the follies that you have been beating your drums about are the result rather than the reason. And the funny part is that your wrath has spared only one man, the only one... Mr Zardari. I thus see smoke behind all the fancy pictures and the outrageous piece of writing. But of course, to you I am another fundamentalist trying to suppress and criticise free speech, secularism and a booming democracy headed by our supreme leader... The great zardari.
Ghani K. Niazi May 10, 2012 08:51pm
NFP : Nationalism ! What is wrong with it ? Your favourite hero, ZAB was proponent of it. "will eat grass but will make nuclear bomb'.Doesn't it sound a call to nationalism? May be you are not aware of it.
Arjun May 10, 2012 08:51pm
This is the second time NFP has mentioned Papua New Guniea in a negative light. Why? what have they ever done to you?
Farid May 11, 2012 06:52pm
Mr.NFP, Brother salam to you. You have painted the picture of --PAKISTAN --- a satire --but I think -- true one. As an Ex.Pakistani [ BANGLADESHI // BENGALI ]-- I FEEL SORRY ,for the country -- whose citizen I was. I hope you people will come out victorious-- from the present tumoil. I pray for your personal safety also. farid, tx,usa.
Saeed Khan May 11, 2012 02:56pm
A good use of "lexicon" by Mr Paracha, but he looks confused in all over the article. I find the writer all negative, he didn't look a single thing with positive and creative mind. All of you can only write these kind of big articles based on "internet research" in AC rooms. if you are not happy with all, then why don't you do something practical? why don't solve the problems rather just suggesting solutions??
Saeed Khan May 11, 2012 02:58pm
well said Mr Arslan Much appreciated
Pirzado Azhar France May 10, 2012 09:25pm
NFP is the gift of God to you/me/us .You breathe fresh air because you've got NFP.
Pirzado Azhar May 10, 2012 09:27pm
Great article once again NFP. I must confess that I have no words to commend you/ur article. It's one of the finest articles I have ever read.
G.a May 11, 2012 12:40pm
You are mixing patriotism with nationalism. They are distinct.
Sohail May 11, 2012 08:12am
NFP used to be a very active leftist at college in the 1980s and I am witness to how bravely he faced persecution of the Zia dictatorship and the Islami Jamiat Taleba one of whose goons once also stabbed him. Then I saw the rise of him as a Marxist journalist in the 1990s. Believe me, in the last decade he has really mellowed down and become a fantastic columnist. If some accuse Him of now becoming too secular and pro-West, well, I don't blame him. Like Christepher Hitchens, he too has seen how many so-called liberals and leftists that he had fought for became apologists of religious fanatics. He is simply telling us through both his serious articles and satirical tirades that we are alienating ourselves from the rest of the world and becoming a sore not only for the world community but for ourselves as well!
Jahanzeb Punjwani May 11, 2012 11:55am
Mr Nizar instead of bridging the gap you did the same thing ashar did, dehumanisation. Do you still believe it is only ashar who has a 'closed mind,'
f4ithman May 10, 2012 10:56pm
On the money. Every word.
Mohammaddar May 11, 2012 12:01am
fine example of ignorance, written not by spirit , truth absolute but with soul, desire of a secular, self centered. cause of mayhem is not as author speaks of his soul as spirit, truth absolute, not just of religion's, corruption of truth by secular to create human god's , but ignorance in totality to truth absolute 360*, source of existence for every thing in existence, proven by quantum Physics, but denied by ignorant pretending to be educated, knowledge able in subject.
AMIR SIDDIQUI May 11, 2012 12:03am
' Cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war" but the dog is supose to bite your enemy? why does it always turn around and bite the hand that feeds him? An answer to that would solve the greatest riddle of all times in the history of this nation of halfwits!! well at least we get to laugh on ourselves cz of you NFP..BRAVO
Adarsh May 11, 2012 12:30am
Actually both are despicable. Nationalism and religion creates more problem than they solve.
Singh May 11, 2012 12:35am
Love the sarcasm, i wish i could get an autograph..! you can write mate
Rahul Khare May 11, 2012 08:26am
The views expressed by this blogger necessarily reflect my views and policies.
Ferva May 11, 2012 01:17am
Sooo who's going to be our Hitler?
bilal May 11, 2012 01:27am
Absolutely brilliant !!..Sad and honest reflection . Deflection has become a national pastime .
Bandyopadhyay May 11, 2012 08:38am
Thanks to people like you Dawn will continue to shine as a lone beacon in this otherwise dark hour for Pakistan. Not that India has managed to evolve into a true civilised society since Independence. But the sheer magnitude of violence that the Pakistani society (by and large) nourishes is incomparable with that of India and perhaps with any other Society including many other Islamic societies. My quick judgement is Pakistan is a nation with a lost identity - it has lost its connection with its own Proud History and Culture and rabidly tried to become 'Arabs' to find a new identity for itself. Which probably explains the current problem to a certain degree.
kazmageddon May 11, 2012 08:44am
a bit deluded by his own opinions and bias, i think NFP could be a good chef
aaaa May 11, 2012 10:00am
I totally agree and cant understand that noone ever observes lack of empathy in certain articles. If there isnt empathy nomatter which country your are talking about nothing you say matters.
Ghazi May 11, 2012 04:23pm
Oh, bhai, this is a satirical piece and not a 'research artile'. Good grief! Does one has to spell it out now?
Ashiq Hussain May 11, 2012 07:38am
Maran Khan
kUldeep rana May 11, 2012 03:46am
love it ..I am always opening for your blogs
Muhammad Uzair May 11, 2012 07:43am
But the question is who teaches us to hate others ? when i travel to south the wall are chalked against india and the north border has the hatred for America and West.
Aasim May 11, 2012 03:54am
is every one agreeing on 4th symptom. if yes then how come the article got published.think u ollllllll...........
Usman Khan May 11, 2012 07:47pm
A mirror reflecting us Pakistanis! Good writing Paracha Sahib.
Syed May 11, 2012 04:01am
I have known nfp for 12 years now and nfp has been a fugitive in society of lotas. When he speaks his mind he knows what he is talking about.
Syed May 11, 2012 04:03am
You still wonder?
Syed May 11, 2012 04:07am
Arslan sb. I think you must write a blog on dawn. Seriously.
Ferva May 11, 2012 01:23pm
Imran Khan? Please Nooooo :/
Ajaya K Dutt May 11, 2012 04:24am
Beautifull. May God bless you and, most important, you take care of yourself. You are pushing all the wrong buttons.
Lastprayer May 11, 2012 04:38am
Great work. But most of pakistan will not digest it bcoz there over reactive nature and extremism.
Aabeer May 11, 2012 04:49am
NFP, you are simply the best. Its been a long time, i have been following your writings. In fact, it is through your writings that i have come to understand a bit of what it means to be a Pakistani. Just keep doing the good work. You can say that you do have followers in India, who eagerly wait for your next write up. .
dolmani May 11, 2012 04:58am
prolly he's alluding to IK.
Rubina Manzar May 11, 2012 04:58am
Whether writing articles getting to the root of the political culture of Pakistan, or picking up a hidden part of our history and laying it bare or breaking down taboos with sharp satirical pieces, NFP is one of the most diversified and refreshing writers that has come out of Pakistan in the last decade or so. His stuff is an asset for a lot of young Pakistanis out there when he comments on the warped state of religion, sectarianism and the bullying ways of state institutions like the military in Pakistan. And I may not agree with him on numerous occasions, but I admire him to be open about his preference for secularism and parties like the PPP, MQM, ANP and Sindhi and Baloch nationalists. As he was to my generation in the 1990s, he remains to be an enigma to this generation as well, but kudos to him for being open and bold about issues many of us just try to push underneath the carpet.
zia bugvi May 11, 2012 05:23am
loved it....i really appreciate NFP`s effort of making people think--kudos to him; he always does it handily.
@hasanalirana May 11, 2012 08:56am
i did'nt said his writings are like that of Manto, i meant he is going to have Love and Hate relationship with readers as Manto had !!!
sri2 May 11, 2012 10:18am
Brilliantly put, sri1. :) The unmentionables want to have the cake and eat it too.
Qasim May 11, 2012 05:34am
I can bet you are branded as a psychopathic neurotic anti-Pakistan by now :) Nevertheless, you rock!
Qasim May 11, 2012 05:35am
really? how'd u go through? Off with your head now!
sri1 May 11, 2012 05:38am
To sum it up, 1) True 2) Ultra-Nationalism and blind patriotism (on the basis of easily verifiable untruths) is bad 3) The unmentionables Are eating up most of the budget 4) Zardari is a career politician adept at the art of survival. But holding the civilians responsible for every issue, has been the modus operandi of the unmentionables since fifties.
adnan raza May 11, 2012 05:52am
i totally agree with NFP.
Sikander May 11, 2012 06:22pm
Blame everyone for blaming everyone else, and then ends up blaming someone else. Not very logical, but leftism was never meant to be rational - it is reactionary. But kudos to dawn for being the only media outlet in south asia to publish satire. I don't see it anywhere else, particularly the frightening fascism next door.
Ajeet Kumar May 11, 2012 12:54pm
Kudos just spoke my whole mind in it, this is usually in dicussions with my freinds and family folks... love you mate..
Ahsan May 11, 2012 08:48pm
Loved it...I always feel good on reading NFP, he knows real issue in our society. We need writers like him in Urdu also!
Ali May 11, 2012 11:18pm
kya bola re??
gp65 May 11, 2012 11:34pm
India has multiple languages and religions and yet we ARE one nation. Us has multiple religions and races and yet it is one nation.
Muneer May 12, 2012 12:40am
Excellent analysis...
Mark May 12, 2012 03:42am
Imran khan
Anil Lakhani May 12, 2012 05:01am
You are a genious, mate.Is Pakistan sleep walking to self destruction?
waqar May 12, 2012 05:52am
Great article,love you NFP, we should have people like him to come on electronic media so that message of wisdom could reach mass audience.
Javaria Hina May 13, 2012 07:00pm
An excellent piece of writing,portraying a common Pakistani's thinking and logic about state's issues!
Mobashir Ahmad May 12, 2012 08:18am
A good eye opener for the ones who have eyes and can see. There can't be a state within a state and we have many; better armed, trained and motivated than our law enforcement agencies. We have handed over our religion to the pseudo Religious Scholars who have nothing else to do but to issue edicts as to who all are worthy of being killed in the name of Islam. The question is, " Are we Muslims or Pakistanis by our deeds or only by words of our mouth".
RAK May 12, 2012 09:42am
Dear Paracha, Who is to be blamed for the mishaps happening in Pakistan? Please add the para in your column.
Aziz May 12, 2012 11:32am
If 'strategic depth dream' does not have any relevance then why is India spending such disproportionate amount of money in Afghanistan and building military bases in Central Asia?
Goga Nalaik May 12, 2012 12:54pm
A great read as usual! Keep it coming .. Keep forcing us to Think! Your fan
Sab33n May 14, 2012 09:07am
kudos Sir ..
IKN (usa) May 13, 2012 03:34am
NFP- Today is 12th May. About 5 years ago, 50 political workers mostly from PPP were gunned down in Karachi. It was not the work of any Islamic fascist outfit but by so called a secular party. Where is the logic ?
Nasir May 13, 2012 01:50am
What are you talking about?
Abdul May 14, 2012 04:44am
I agree
Naveed A. Jami May 15, 2012 07:57am
I am starting to like your writing, though I come here to understand what ts going on in my country, as I am away from home I sometime can not distinguish sarcasm from truth.
roquefort May 15, 2012 08:07am
Hilarious! I was in stitches.
Gotham3 May 15, 2012 12:41pm
Hassan are bang on...sahi bat hai NFP is the new Manto
Baba Sidni May 13, 2012 12:50am
Mr NFP, sure, you can write a good satire, but where is the solution, we know the problem, but how to fix it? Surely, the arm chair pundits, cannot deliver one.
Bruce May 18, 2012 03:17pm
America has a lot of similarities.
firdous May 17, 2012 07:46am
good to read your reply.article is full of exaggeration and negativity for a very obvious purpose.
Eddy May 27, 2012 08:09am
NFP wants you all to think, not praise him.
umer Jul 28, 2012 09:30am
non sense