Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience


No worries

August 08, 2012


-Illustration by Eefa Khalid /

All nations need heroes and saviours; ours being no exception. All nations have had their heroes and saviours; we Pakistanis can boast (with justification) that we have had more than our fair share. Now heroes belong, broadly speaking, to two categories. The hero of the first category doesn’t bother with the sentiments of the public and takes matters in his own hands so to speak. People do eventually give him his due but he couldn’t care less whether they do or don’t. The only thing with which he concerns himself is his unlimited and unconstrained love for his nation, religion, etc. By way of example, a Mehmood Ghaznavi, or a Zia-ul-Haq readily comes to mind, each one great enough to write history on his own. While each was eventually celebrated (aik hi saf mein khare ho gaye Mehmood o Ayaz etc and Referendum 1984), neither depended on popular support for the fulfillment of his mission. The hero of the second category, on the other hand, has a limitation in that he first needs to be proclaimed as a deliverer or saviour before he gets down to the actual tasks of delivering or saving respectively.

From this great nation’s perspective, and in this global age where Alexander-the-Great-style conquests are becoming increasingly difficult, the only realistic (and feasible) Category 1 savior has to be a COAS – with the notable exception of Hazrat Isa and Imam Mahdi. (The troubling thing about the two though is that while it is agreed upon by all that they will carry out the task of saving; exactly who will get saved from whom is still being hotly debated.) So those who have a preference for standing on firm ground at all times can, at best, only hope for a Category 2 savior to save the country, humanity, the future, etc. Lest you lose heart though, if history is anything to go by, this limitation is by no means a serious one, for Category 2 saviours having achieved a lot for us over the years:

The senior Bhutto in the late 60s was proclaimed as our savior (a bit prematurely for my liking) and before you knew it, he had lived up to his status by banning alcohol and proclaiming Qadianis as non muslims! Nawaz Sharif was our next savior of this type, and if he had stayed a bit longer, we would today have an Ameer-ul-momineen of our very own. Imran Khan was made a hero and he promptly proved he deserved it by forming the B team of Jamaat e Islami. And who can forget Inzi bhai! We can all look back with pride at the golden period of our cricket, where being a devout muslim was the first (nonnegotiable) condition of playing for Pakistan. One still gets teary-eyed when one recalls beautiful scenes of all players offering their prayers in full public view. In short, this practice on the part of our nation, of declaring somebody the next savior – even if a tad hastily – has paid rich dividends in the past. There’s no reason why we can’t have similar success in future as well.

Coming to our latest savior, it is the people of Pakistan who look up to our CJ for the solution of all our troubles – ranging from the price of commodities in the open market all the way to treacherous memos from our scheming and villainous ambassadors. And isn’t he proving himself worthy of his status as the national hero! Whatever else may be said about our Supreme Court under the CJ’s able leadership, it is not one to rest on its laurels for any length of time. As if sending home a prime minister and declaring Husain Haqqani a traitor – probably the fastest proceedings of a case ever in a country famous for slowness of legal proceedings – wasn’t enough, the SC has accepted for hearing the petition filed by Qazi Hussain Ahmed (JI) and Justice (retd.) Wajihuddin (PTI) against obscenity aired on TV channels.

The media is spreading vulgarity and PEMRA is doing nothing about it, observed the CJ yesterday. The PEMRA chairman informed the court that the laws related to regulating programs were not well-defined. The concept about vulgarity was not clear. “Something which is vulgar to the complainants may not be vulgar to you and me,” the chairman was reported to have said. PEMRA chairman’s concern is misplaced I am afraid. He should realise that this isn’t Justice Munir’s court where one needed the ulema to come up with a single definition of a Muslim; our panel of SC judges are able enough to unmistakably decide for us, like all other matters, what is vulgar and what is not.

Exhibiting his uncanny ability to distinguish between what is and what isn’t in good taste, the CJ demanded the list of all the press conferences and programs maligning the SC while at almost the same time he gave utterance to his belief (I think these things are referred to in legal circles lovingly as ‘observations’) that the programs that run the parodies of the politicians are in good humor.

So far so good, but there can be a minor complication: the PEMRA chairman has also assured the court that the Indian channels are banned and the Pakistani channels will be screened from now on for any such content. Of course, as a rule we Pakistanis don’t want any Indian product to run on our channels but it would be unfortunate if the use of Indian songs in the spoofs made on politicians were also to be banned, because it would take all the fun away. We are keeping our fingers crossed, and are confident that the apex court will solve this minor problem to the satisfaction of all – all except the traitors in our midst that is.

Coming to more sinister things, there’s a malignant theory doing the rounds suggesting that all this hue and cry about stuff being aired has something to do with Faisal Raza Abidi. Knowing the new SC, nothing could be farther from the truth. It is sometimes said that editors are failed writers; and TV anchors are failed politicians; and judicial bureaucrats are failed saints. I object to all three statements, especially the last one. There’s absolutely no rationale for qualifying the word ‘saints’ here. The hearing of the petition and its timing can be explained much more elegantly as follows (my conjecture, which I believe conforms closely with reality):

That this petition was filed quite a while back but was accepted for hearing only now, and that the PEMRA chairman asked for a month’s time but the CJ instructed him to appear with all the data within a week, may have everything to do with Veena Malik. Veena has had the nerve to go on air hosting a program, and she, after the Indian connection, must be stopped at all costs. I am glad something is being done about it.

In addition to ideologues (whom we never have a shortage of), who want to nip veena’s evil in the bud (as far as the ideology of this nation is concerned), there are other sections of society as well who have their fingers crossed. The only hope for Shahid Masood and company, for example – like so many other quarters of this nation – is also resting solely on the SC. And justifiably so, because knowing this nation, I have no doubt that if Veena is not stopped, nobody’s got a chance against her in the war of the ratings. No need for alarm though, for the affairs of Pakistan are in safe hands.


The author is a journalist, director/producer, actor, documentary maker, blogger/columnist, managing director of a theatre company called Mishermayl and a struggling musician.


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.