“Pardon?”

December 28, 2010

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Photo Courtesy: Creative Commons

Dawn.com looks back at the top 10 politically incorrect statements of the year.

1. Zulqurnain Haider: “Leaving Pakistan cricket because got bad message from one man to lose the last game.”

In October 2010, Pakistani cricket team’s wicketkeeper Zulqurnain Haider upped and left the squad playing in the UAE, hours before the team was to play a match. According to his Facebook status update, he had received a “bad message”. If there was ever a way to announce that you were being threatened by a match fixer, this was certainly not it.

2. Athar Abbas: “Swat is open to journalists and you can conduct investigative reporting there. Have you seen any sort of report in Pakistani newspapers?”

After Human Rights Watch published a report about extra-judicial killings in Swat Valley during the operation in the area, General Athar Abbas of the ISPR blithely told Reuters that no such report had been published in a Pakistani newspaper. It appears that Mr. Abbas had forgotten about the strict control of Pakistan Army-related news that appears in the local print and electronic media.

Source: Reuters

3. Maulana Yusuf Qureshi: “We expect her (Aasia Bibi) to be hanged and if she is not hanged then we will ask the mujahideen and the Taliban to kill her.”

A cleric at the Mohabat Khan mosque in Peshawar announced head money for Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death on blasphemy charges. No explanation needed here.

4. General (retd.) Pervez Musharraf: “Jo darta hai, woh khota hai” [Whoever gets scared, loses/Whoever gets scared, is a donkey]

At the UK launch of his political party, the All-Pakistan Muslim League and former President broke new ground by making a donkey joke. Speaking at the launch, General Musharraf not only quoted a popular Indian film dialogue, but elaborated and alluded to the second meaning of khota i.e., a donkey.

5. Salmaan Taseer: “The best thing we can do for our soft image this Xmas is to dress up Maulana Fazalur Rahman as Santa Claus. He will be a big hit.”

Salmaan Taseer, the Governor of Punjab, joining Twitter has been a welcome addition. Not only does he poke fun and make sarcastic remarks about his political opponents such as Marvi Memon and Shahbaz Sharif, he also shows off his sense of humour in less than 140 characters. However, with a fragile coalition government in place, perhaps this is not the time to suggest alternative careers for JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. Or make thousands of children dislike Santa Claus for the rest of their lives.

Source: Twitter

6. Jamshed Dasti: “I swear, the persons imprisoned in jail are innocent and the court has no justification giving the death sentence to the accused persons in a gang-rape case.”

In an interview with a local daily, Jamshed Dasti, the MNA who had previously been disqualified for faking his degree, had this to say about the accused in Mukhtaran Mai’s case. With parliamentarians like these, who needs the Taliban?

Source: Express Tribune

7. A Watery Message

With the devastating floods this summer, no one was quite looking forward to celebrating 14th August, Pakistan’s Independence Day. How do you rejoice when one-fifth of the country’s landmass is under water? The floods also brought with them empty promises from politicians and feeble excuses from government officials. However, the message that was sent out from the Presidency set a new standard in politically incorrect statements. Some quotes: “The enthusiasm of the Independence Day this year however has been dampened because of the unprecedented floods...” and “Today is a watershed mark in the history of the country...."

Dear Presidential message writer, wordplay has never failed so badly before.

Source: Cafe Pyala

8. CM Balochistan Aslam Raisani: “Degree is degree, authentic or fake.”

For months, Pakistan has been hearing about countless members of the provincial and national assembly who faked their degrees in order to qualify for elections, a provision that was later struck down by the Supreme Court. However, MPs continued to be disqualified or forced to resign after the scandal erupted. In the middle of this, Balochistan Chief Minister Aslam Raisani announced that a degree is a degree, whether it is authentic or fake. Of all the political and legal defences that have come up in the fake degrees cases, this was perhaps the most unique of them all.

Source: Dawn

9. Qaim Ali Shah: “The water is king. Wherever it wishes to go, it is its own decision.”

As floods wreaked havoc across the country, Sindh’s Chief Minister, perhaps in a quest to not be outdone by his Balochistan counterpart in politically incorrect statements, offered this gem on why the River Indus had decided to seek its revenge on Pakistan.

Source: ANI

10. Online: “If anyone goes on Google and writes ‘WikiLeaks Leak About India, Israel And Afghanistan’, one would be able to get the same news we got.”

In December, two Pakistani newspapers published a story circulated by the Online wire agency, that cited fake cables about India that had allegedly been leaked by Wikileaks. The cables were proven to be fake; yet the wire agency, that originally published the story, had this gem to offer when asked about the authenticity of the cables.

Note: The editor of Online was fired soon after.

Source: The News

Huma Imtiaz works as a journalist in Pakistan and can be reached at huma.imtiaz@gmail.com

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.