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Smokers’ Corner: When in Canada …

Published Jan 20, 2013 12:25am


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John J. Pinto, the Caucasian Canadian and Catholic scholar who for some reason became a citizen of Pakistan has reached the Canadian capital, Ottawa, with some 40 billion followers of his.

Speaking near the Canadian Parliament Hall, Pinto told the mega-ultra-epic-mammoth crowd that he had returned to Canada to get rid of its corrupt politicians, parties and political system and impose true democracy with the help of the country’s armed forces, judiciary and ice hockey team.

‘I won’t move from here until I achieve my goal,’ he promised. ‘I will turn Ottawa into Nazareth and send Ceasar and his evil men home even if they feed me to the lions!’

Most Canadian politicians in the government and opposition have been critical of Pinto. They have accused him of staying in Pakistan as a Pakistani only to return to Canada on the instructions of those who want to derail Canada’s democracy, topple an elected parliament and replace it with a technocratic set-up backed by the military, judiciary and the country’s ice hockey squad.

‘Pinto is a former failed politician and a spiritual fraud,’ a government spokesman claimed. ‘We know who he is working for, and believe me, it’s not John the Baptist.’

Pinto refuted the claim: ‘I don’t want power,’ he shouted from behind his bullet-proof, water-proof, sound-proof, smoke-free, digital, 60-inch flat-screen altar. ‘I am ready to give my life for my country!’

This created some confusion as many were not quite sure whether he meant giving his life for Pakistan or Canada.

‘For Canada!’ He clarified.

‘Does that mean you are ready to renounce your Pakistani citizenship?’ A nosy journalist asked him.

‘I’m a citizen of the world. Of Christendom. Of true democracy. What’s in a passport? Repent, fool!’ Pinto replied.

As he was saying this, he began to weep: ‘I had a dream last night. It was a most glorious dream. I saw a light descending from the blue skies of Ottawa. The light hit the ground and on the ground emerged tanks and soldiers marching towards victory and then snow began to fall. I looked closely and realised the big snow flakes were actually white curly wigs — the sort judges wear. Hallelujah!’

‘Hallelujah!’ The crowd chanted back. ‘Change! Change! Change!’ They began to shout, even though most of them were women who were basically demanding that they be allowed to change their babies’ diapers in peace.

‘I’ve been here for hours,’ one such woman who was with a shell-shocked baby told journalists. ‘The government is not allowing us to change our babies’ diapers. This is an outrage! We want change.’

And then it happened. While Pinto was speaking, an aide of his whispered something into his ears. Pinto stopped for a while, threw up his arms and began to shout out loud: ‘Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice! The Supreme Court of Canada has just ordered the arrest of the Prime Minister! Rejoice! Throw your children in the air and then catch them after they perform two somersaults and you perform four cartwheels. I hear the tanks coming. I hear the judiciary puffing its chest. I see an elected government collapsing. A glorious day for democracy!’

The Canadian media went into overdrive. Why did the SC decide to choose this very moment to deliver its verdict in an old case filed against the PM? Was it in on Pinto’s agenda and game? Would the military or a technocratic set-up follow?

A spokesperson of Canada’s Chief Justice (who also doubles as a TV anchor) denied the allegation: ‘The CJ doesn’t even know who Pinto is,’ he said.

The Canadian Supreme Court is situated only a few kilometres away from where Pinto was holding his rally.

‘Oh, that,’ the spokesperson replied. ‘The CJ thought there was a huge baby diaper sale taking place there.’

But as SC supporters continued to insist on the diaper sale theory, detractors warned that the SC’s decision was part of the Canadian establishment’s plan to derail democracy.

Canada’s leading political parties agreed, but were still cautious. However, everyone now looked towards what the party headed by the former captain of the Canadian ice hockey team, Jim Kant, would do.

Jim’s party has no representation in the parliament but does have street power.

During a press conference he put forward seven demands to the government: ‘We have taken a wait and see approach,’ Jim told reporters. ‘But we are putting out a list of seven demands to the government. 1: Hold elections ASAP, that is As Soon As Possible and not America Speaks Armenian Punk, okay? 2: Change some fishy personnel in the Election Commission of Canada; 3: The President of the country should resign. Just for the heck of it. 4: A truly neutral caretaker government should be formed, preferably in Zurich, Switzerland. 5: Five. 6: Seven. 7: One, Two, Three, Four and Five. Dig?’

At the time this report was filed by this correspondent, Pinto was still holding fort and sharing his latest dreams that now included visions of fairies and angels descending from the skies and rewriting the Canadian Constitution according to the dictates of the Bible (King James edition); Jim’s musclemen were trying to convince him to let them storm the Bastille in Paris; the SC was running out of prime ministers to fire; and the media was loudly gazing at its navel and calling it ‘Breaking News!’


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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 (86) Closed

Sudeep Kanjilal Jan 20, 2013 02:03pm
Nadeem sahab, please write such humorous pieces for India as well. Its a pity we don't have someone like you here - believe me, we desperately need it!
NFP Fan Jan 20, 2013 11:08am
BlackJack Jan 20, 2013 09:17am
Looks like you don't understand the parallel.
Haris Chaudhry Jan 20, 2013 10:09am
ummm... A lot of shall we say.. "look at me" in the commentary than drawing any parallels betweeb Canada and Pakistan which is akin to drawing parallels between Lincoln and Bush ! Get the drift ..?
Fida Sayani Jan 20, 2013 04:32am
NFP correction. Canada does not have a president. fact. its head is a governor general who is appointed by English monarch on the recommendation of Canadian parliament.
m yousuf Jan 20, 2013 05:41am
hahaha, thats funny.
Hassan Jan 20, 2013 05:35am
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is Pakistan encapsulated in a satirical piece.
A Paki Canadian Jan 20, 2013 05:24am
Awesome !! .. u r gifted pracha ... Go Pinto Go what a wit :)
Cynical Jan 21, 2013 06:59pm
You mean to say that both Americans and Pakistanis are ungovernable trigger happy cowboys at heart. May be you are right.
Sukhi Jan 20, 2013 05:14pm
we have Faking News :D
Deb; India Jan 21, 2013 07:11pm
Thank you for letting me know that Pakistan has accepted the Rohingyas from Myanmar and 300,000 Biharis from Bangladesh.
Ip Jan 21, 2013 07:52pm
"India has peace, Pakistan has freedom, and the price of freedom is peace. Are you willing to pay the price? I doubt it." What does that even mean??
Ash Khan Jan 20, 2013 05:06am
Just fantastic!
Rafi Jan 20, 2013 05:07am
NFP u didn't mention the episode where Pinto hides behind female bodyguards when Roger Moore's (RM) goons try to kidnap him with his air conditioned ,smoke free bunker.
pathanoo Jan 20, 2013 07:18pm
Arif, This "BULBULA" called Imran Khan is about to burst any moment. Don't tie your hopes with him.
A Citizen Jan 20, 2013 04:51am
kamaljit Singh Jan 20, 2013 04:52am
And Qadri Baba learnt his trick to take a revenge from Pakistan who nurtured Pinto.
abbastoronto Jan 20, 2013 04:53am
NFP has hit too close for comfort. Canada beat Pakistan in having a Qadri/Pinto by 6 years. Ignatieff ? a blue blood of Russian nobility past, born in Canada, spent 30 years outside, in the US, in UK. Having taught at Harvard, this intellectual?s claim to fame was to support the US invasion in Iraq (opposed by most Canadians) and to peddle the theory of torture-lite, so un-Canadian and not Liberal that he claimed to be. For some 20-25 years Canadian politics has been in worse disarray than Pakistan. With the Liberals in doldrums they saw in Ignatieff a saviour. After Party Leader Paul Martin squeaked a minority (after 3 Liberal majorities under Chretien) Ignatieff was acclaimed to be the Party Leader. In Ignatieff's first Campaign that I worked in I noticed that his supporters were bad-mouthing the Party Leader Paul Martin in response to the door to door criticism of the PM. His team was open in saying the man has been brought in to correct the ills of Martin, the current Party Leader, something of a no-no in politics. I reported it to his Campaign Manager to no avail. (Incidentally, most of his core group was uni-lingual Indians, our neighbors, which brought him unending troubles with the French speaking Liberals later). Later, in his Campaign he and I exchanged a friendly chat. He asked me why I was in politics. I quoted Socrates that if good men would not engage in public matters they will be ruled by lesser men. He stared at me in askance. A few months later after his election as a Leader at a summer barbeque in his riding I confided to him that I was heading back to the US for a job, and will probably end up working on Obama 2008 Campaign (which I did, as I had worked on WA State Governor's Campaign when I worked at Boeing). "so you are a political junkie" he deadpanned. With such cynicism how could a person ever win. Needless to say the Party that ruled 71 years of the past 100 was wiped out under him, even losing the opposition role to the third Leftist Party. The Lord favours the Compassionate, and compassion has gone missing among the Canadian Liberals too. Unfortunately, the Tories are worse on this score, but for the time the heartless Harperites are having a field day. Lament for a nation. The circus continues here just as in Pakistan. The grass is greener on the other side of the fence.
Abdul Malik Jan 20, 2013 04:10pm
Good one ! loved it. This Qadri is nothing but a real joker.
Imran Khan Niazi Jan 20, 2013 04:15am
haha fraud qadri well and truly exposed
Ahmed Sameer Jan 20, 2013 04:19am
Paracha is a 'farigh' demagogue.
observer Jan 20, 2013 03:34am
I like 'doubles as a TV anchor' reference.
SAAD Jan 20, 2013 03:58am
cpp; [aracha sahib
SAAD Jan 20, 2013 03:59am
i mean cool article paracha sahib
Ken in Carmichael Jan 20, 2013 04:00am
Brilliant satire! But will Muslims catch the bit about a Roman Catholic using the King James Authorized translation of the Bible? Wicked, and I did laugh. Forty or so years ago, I still thought that Pakistan would be the sure winner in all the old Raj. Little did we know of the Wahabis etc. May God's blessings be yours.
Daniyal Akhtar (@Daniyal_Akhtar) Jan 20, 2013 03:41pm
this is one hilarious of a writing....thumbs up NFP!
raw is war Jan 20, 2013 03:52am
good anlogy. Not going to Happen in Canada.
Faiz Al-Najdi Jan 20, 2013 12:28pm
Simply Beautiful!! You are very Funny NFP!!!!! More Power to You!!!!
Saeed Jan 20, 2013 12:26pm
Pakistani people have different set of rules for western countries and for the Pakistan . For instance , they love to live and raise there families in antiislamic society. But it will kill them if goverment remove censor from YouTube in Pakistan. Don't blame politician . People are pathetic, standing out side in cold and rain .
viti99 Jan 20, 2013 10:50am
Diaper changing crowd. Ha Ha.
Amjad Wyne Jan 20, 2013 03:39pm
Hypocracy exists everywhere - Pakistan is not an exception. It is, however, difficult for people to change and seek high moral ground in a country that is run by leaders and role models that are absolutely the scum of the earth - no exception.
Tabinda Jan 20, 2013 07:35am
NFP: you've done it again! Standing ovation to you.
MONAYEM CHOWDHURY Jan 20, 2013 02:43pm
The Classic line I enjoyed most is the juicy observation that the Supreme Court is running out of Prime Ministers to fire. Keep up with your piercing remarks.
Arif Jan 20, 2013 04:15pm
Why does NFP need to drag IK into this. He acted wisely and stayed away from this mess. I guess he is just jealous of Imran's street power. NFP keep supporitng corrupt PPP and MQM until this country is no more.
zia bugvi Jan 20, 2013 04:44pm
lol...most insightful commentary of whole long march episode---kudos!
aman Jan 20, 2013 04:28pm
NFP, Sir, I am from India; really outstanding.
AHA Jan 20, 2013 11:07pm
This ?popularity? of IK is just a by-product of the frustration of the people of Pakistan who are looking for a 3rd option. What my shallow-thinking fellow Pakistanis fail to realize is that IK is not the 3rd option, but he is part of the well ?established? 1st option.
Naseer Jan 20, 2013 05:28pm
Dear Nadeem Saheb I enjoy most of your articles. They are full of fun and have an underlying love for our country and its glorious past. I do not always agree with what you say, but that doesn't lessen my respect for you. As for the current episode in Islamabad, I guess majority of Pakistanis are not happy with the governance in general. They also do not expect any improvements after elections whether PPP wins or PML N wins. People are very worried because of the law and order situation and the terrorism. Unfortunately media also appears to be a part of the same system. We do not see any fresh voice, any hope. Lets pray we will get s leader that will be able to unite Pakistan and get rid of corruption and terrorism.
ahmad_butt Jan 20, 2013 09:27am
And Mr.Imran Khan, that is the best left delivery of your political career :) have no idea how much you would have divided your vote bank, the people who wanted you to join the march and leaving you are way less than people who knew Mr.Qadri is a quack and the aftermath of what this dharna couldve have (not) achieved.
Cyrus Howell Jan 20, 2013 08:46am
Members of Special Air Service are immune from criminal prosecution in Canada.
Hafsa Jan 20, 2013 09:58am
hahaha nice read! you forgot to mention that he was the most handsome man in the history of ice-hockey! :P
abbastoronto Jan 20, 2013 07:46pm
Saeed Sahib: AOA ?.. they love to live and raise there families in antiislamic society ..? Maybe, but Muslims here are not raising families in an anti-Islamic way. Muslims come here to Canada, US, Finland, Brazil for the land, not the existing society or social system. Few get involved in anything beyond survival, growth, and evolution. Brazilians may think that Brazil belongs to them, and America to Americans, but we Muslims believe that the whole universe belongs to us. We do not owe any favour to our host societies. ?ye in kay baap ki zameen naheen hay?, and we are not living on their handouts, but sweat of our brow. We see opportunity here. Soon, all this land will be here because the locals are not having children, and are disappearing from earth. Jesus said that the meek shall inherit the earth ? they do, and not these arrogant boasters who have wreaked havoc around the earth for the last 500 years. Wassalam
Frankly Speaking Jan 20, 2013 07:39pm
It is an interesting piece, but there is no parallel between Canada and Pakistan. Pakistanis should be proud of a man who has selflessly delivered in the best interest of Pakistan.
pathanoo Jan 20, 2013 07:16pm
TRUTH AS SATIRE as only NFP can deliver. PAR EXCELLENCE!!!!!
pathanoo Jan 20, 2013 07:15pm
Mr Singh Jan 20, 2013 07:13pm
Krish Chennai Jan 20, 2013 06:31pm
Har har, Made my Sunday...even if close to midnight. Hope we all find the peace and prosperity etc, we all deserve in South Asia, sooner rather than later.
abbastoronto Jan 20, 2013 08:12pm
Naseer Sahib: AOA The Pakistanis (like the Americans) will NEVER be happy with ANY government. Not today, not tomorrow. Not ever. Pakistanis (like the Americans) are individualists, freedom-loving, government-hating. You can either have peace (like India) or freedom (like Pakistan). You can NOT have both. Wassalam.
hiba Jan 20, 2013 06:29am
Nice read!
Zafar Ali Jan 20, 2013 07:03pm
And PPP cannot find a person among its Parliamentarians, who is not involved in corruption, so that he may be made a PM.
linga0123 Jan 20, 2013 06:56pm
And Manas Chakravarty as 'Loose Cannon' on HT On Sundays.
R. Bhawani Prasad Jan 20, 2013 06:26pm
Mr. Paracha: you forgot to mention that after performing his miracle in Ottawa, Mr. Pinto has returned to Pakistan to make sure he gets all the social security benefits the country has to offer. He is now dreaming up future plans to change the societies in other infidelistans - America. China, India, Britain, European countries .... As always, your article in wonderful.
Parvez Jan 20, 2013 10:53am
.....captain of the ice hockey team, Jim Kant. That just cracked me up, you force one to remain clued up to figure out what you're saying. Brilliant stuff this.
Shahryar Shirazi Jan 20, 2013 09:10am
My friend, I am sure you know, but just for the record, this is a sarcastic piece ...
abc Jan 20, 2013 10:07pm
Such great thoughts, mr torronto. kudos to you. I strongly believe in all your wise opinions.
afrem Jan 20, 2013 09:10pm
Using your logic, Americans too believes that the whole world belongs to them that is why they are all over the map. This should not be a problem to you or any other muslim countries. Ye in kay baap ke zameen naheen!!!! Cheers
Tariq K Sami Jan 21, 2013 01:52am
Saeed Saheb, you must pause before you make such sweeping generalisation. Tomorrow President Barak Obama is going to take his oath of office for the 2nd term. Amazing that within 150 years of ending Slavery,and just 50 years since the end of Segregation,USA has elected and reelected a black man to be the President of the United States of America. This man holds the most powerful office in the world and yet he cannot use his middle name Hussain. Do people have "different set of rules" ? Tailpiece: Only Rush Limbaugh regularly calls him by his middle name!
mr.lasi Jan 20, 2013 01:19pm
thumbs up sir ...really good (Y)
Sumit Jan 20, 2013 08:43pm
Mr Abbas: You should join forces with Jawed Naqvi. Then you can write even more incomprehnsible junk while pretending to be an intellectual.
abbastoronto Jan 20, 2013 08:47pm
Sudeep Kanjilal: Namaste A Pakistani writing such stuff on India will have 34 thumbs down, 1 up, rather than 34 up, 1 down. The same for an Indian making fun of Pakistan. That is reality. It will have to take an Indian to laugh at himself. But likelihood of that happening is infinitesimal. As I said again and again, in our souls India is a Democracy (rule of the moneyed male Demos), Pakistan is a Republic (rule of the public). Never mind the republic in India's official name. Therefore, India has peace, Pakistan has freedom, and the price of freedom is peace. Are you willing to pay the price? I doubt it. To each his own. Best wishes
ami khan Jan 20, 2013 10:02pm
Imran has a past of successes unlike others and we considering him a hope, all others has been tried
abbastoronto Jan 21, 2013 03:14am
At least Pakistan is "America" of the Muslim world.
qambar ali Jan 20, 2013 08:47am
a good sumup
shafiqa88 Jan 20, 2013 10:48am
Nadeem F paracha always write in such a way that is mindblowing! thumbs up
abc Jan 20, 2013 09:58pm
Pakistan is "America" of Asia.
Tariq Jan 20, 2013 03:18pm
Ahhhhh......................and that sums up a week in politics in Pakistan!
abc Jan 20, 2013 09:54pm
totally agree with you. Pakistan and islam needs a truly selfless and strong and righteous person like, Mr Qadri.
Zulfiqar Jan 20, 2013 02:51pm
Fantastic and very humorous...
Musthaq Ahmed Jan 20, 2013 02:58pm
You are a notch above Art Buchwald . Wish you good health and a long life.
ady Jan 20, 2013 11:00pm
I would love to see a piece of writing each for those who ruled and looted this country time and again and put it on the brink of collapse and still waiting and hoping for yet another round of plundering! It is moral duty of every writer to expose corrupt elements and educate people properly! I can?t see any improvement in situation of country without new leadership whether people like it or lump it!
Subuk Rathod Jan 21, 2013 02:39am
perfect satire! NFP, made my day, i think you should have done something like this for Bilawal Bhutto when he made his historical debut speech.
Cyrus Howell Jan 20, 2013 08:43am
Obama was elected because American women like his wife. America may learned when you're good, you're good and nobody cares what color you are.
amir Jan 21, 2013 02:03am
a selfless person? you mean the guy who ran abroad and acquired canadian citizen, cheered for the dictator musharraf when he overthrew a democratic goverment; oh and the guy who was sweating sitting inside his warm and cozy palace on his majestic throne and braying for the blood of one and all ? yeah we definitely need this cartoon !
saleem Jan 22, 2013 12:16am
yes sure the dubai walas are thrilled with red carpet and garlands on seeing the green passport of their pak brother
Rozenberg Jan 21, 2013 02:03am
what the heck
abbastoronto Jan 21, 2013 03:17am
[23:1] Believers shall eventually win through.
abbastoronto Jan 21, 2013 03:20am
You have a point. But Ignatieff was no Qadri either.
abbastoronto Jan 21, 2013 08:58am
Indeed that is true. And that is not necessarily bad unless it turns to Imperialism, which it does under the Republicans. Under the Democrats, we have Kennedy's Peace Corps. America, like Pakistan has welcomed refugees from other Muslim countries.
abbastoronto Jan 20, 2013 11:27am
The parallel is apt. 1. The leadership deficit is global, not only in Pakistan. 2. This tendency to seek a ?foreign-palat? to lead is common, not germane to Pakistan only. 3. ?doobtay ko tinkay ka sahara?. The desperate will go after anything that moves irrespective of suitability of the person. They ultimately lead them to oblivion. 4. People after spending time abroad may become disconnected with the scene back home. 5. Rabble rousing does not go far. The traits of leadership are universal ? compassion, realism, justice, being comfortable with people of every class, repartee, a sense of humour. Specialized professions like poets, philosophers, clerics, military brass are poor candidates. The greater parallel of a cleric Mr. Allama Qadri is the poet philosopher Allama Iqbal, both Sufis, both ?Drs?, one who accepted the Crown oath in Canada and the other a Crown Order of Sir, both ?ghazi of words?. But to rescue them both needed a ?ghazi of kirdar? Jinnah who refused the ?Sir Jinnah? saying that a plain Mr. Jinnah was preferable. The first were Muslims the other a Momin. Dress or appearance does not define depth of knowledge of Islam. Learn to know the difference. The Quran on every page guarantees success, victory, and salvation to the Momineen, but NOWHERE promises victory to Muslims (even mocks at them): [49:14] The desert Arabs say, "We are momineen?." Say, "Ye are not; but ye are only Muslims, for not yet has iman entered your hearts??
abc Jan 20, 2013 10:02pm
IK is not a "bulbula", but a "zalzala" instead. He will lead pakistan to its glorious destiny of being a truly Islamic welfare state, which every other contry in the world will follow and try to emulate.
Naseer Jan 20, 2013 11:09pm
Thanks Abbas Sahib and W A A Living outside Pakistan, it is easy for us the underestimate the problems people are facing on a daily basis. Long queues outside gas stations, power failures, armed robberies, mobile snatching, traffic jams. water shortages, terrorism are a few problems people face almost daily. The US dollar after remaining steady for almost eight years, suddenly climbed from Rs. 60 to Rs. 98. Things have become so expensive. Lets pray for all Pakistani's, all Muslims and in general all the mankind Allah SWT created. May Allah give peace and prosperity to all, Aamin.
Wisdom Jan 21, 2013 02:38am
we also do not have a news paper like Dawn! the ToI is toilet paper... and IE is sold out to the UPA (I & II)...
abc Jan 20, 2013 10:13pm
But, Pakistan is not like Canada. It is like America!!!!. so any comparison is futile.
imran Jan 21, 2013 10:58am
Perhaps this is the reason we are suffering today, because we dont like good people. We have been ruled by people who have deceived us time again and again, but we still love them and if there is a good person, we call him a bulbula, Taliban Khan, Yahoodi etc etc... Who are we to pass judgements like that.Before we say anything we should look inside us what have we done for Pakistan, I can guarantee all of us on this Forum collectively havent done anything close to what imran Khan has done for his country. I am not saying he is the best, but he is better than millions, atleast he says he feels for you and wants to do something for you, let him do what he say and give him a chance and then see if he stand upto what he says, if he fails then you have all the right to criticize him, and call him what you like because he has broken your trust, but not before that. I am not blind fan of Imran Khan, but i feel he is probably the honest of all our politicians. May be he will deliver what he says. Also one request, nothing to do with Imran Khan, please DO Not make judgements about someone when you havent seen that with eyes, because if thats wrong that is Buhtaan and you all know how big of a sin is that. After Allah and His Rasool PBUH, On this earth the most dearest to me is my Pakistan, I wish and hope before i die i see a happy and prosperous pakistan. I request all brothers and sisters to do something for Pakistan, whatever you think is good but do, and make sure you do it for the sake of Pakistan not your personal interest. May Allah help us, guide us and show us the right path and Save our Pakistan from bad people. Ameen
Haider Ali Jan 20, 2013 06:56am
democracy..! everyone has the right to protest.! i think it would be better if he had demanded on the gunbarrel instead of talks.!
abbastoronto Jan 21, 2013 11:18am
Tariq Sahib: AOA What is Islam today? Hanafi Islam? Barelvi Islam? Deobandi Islam? Shafai Islam? Hanbali Islam? Wahabbi Islam? Jafri Islam? Ahmedi Islam? I no longer call myself a "Muslim". I prefer to be called a Mohammedan.