Tag Archives: Bilawal

“Dollar nahin deinge, woh hum rakhain ge”

By Ali Eteraz

Last Saturday in various Pakistani papers at once, Fiza Batool, the daughter of the current Prime Minister of Pakistan, Syed Reza Gilani, wrote one of the most flattering — I don’t think that quite captures it — pieces of political fluff about Bilawal Bhutto, the son of the late Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari, the current President of Pakistan. Bilawal, who is 20 and still at Oxford, is being touted as the next leader of the Pakistan’s People’s Party, which was founded by his grandfather, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He recently gave a speech to party faithful. Continue reading

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A Leader With A Vision

By Syeda Fizza Batool Gilani

The stage was set and the moment had arrived. It was time to introduce the next generation of Bhutto and Zardari to the world– Bilawal, Bakhtawar and Assefa. Who would have imagined that these children, who had always preferred to stay away from the glitz and paranoia of the dangerous world of politics would one day be entering it albeit, owing to circumstances neither to their liking nor of their own doing. Continue reading

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7 Precepts for Life in Pakistan

(Saad Sultan from Lahore has contributed this post for the Pak Tea House. His initiative is welcome; and we are happy to add him to our list of contributors – Raza Rumi)

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The author of this article takes no responsibility for the views expressed in it.

Dear readers, I regret to have to inform you that one day you will all be dead. For this reason you must never try killing yourselves. Yes, the 1st precept for Life in Pakistan is:

Don’t Commit Suicide
In fact, you should never try doing anything that something else will, eventually, do for you. And dying lies among the many other menial processes, such as digestion and cleaning the toilet, that, as far as we’re concerned, get done by themselves. And it is up to respectable people such as ourselves to ensure that things remain that way.
Now, recent events have shown us that people who think it’s all right to commit suicide fall into two categories: those who think its all right to kill yourself as long as you take enough ordinary men down with you, and those who think it’s all right to kill yourself as long as you take enough uniformed men down with you. Needless to say, both of them are equally wrong. What’s worse is that they are infinitely more dangerous to the welfare of the living than traditional suicides, who at least have the decency to end their lives in the quiet of their homes, lying in hot baths, using fresh razor blades, and leaving behind beautifully written suicide notes, outlining the reasons for their decision, and, in some cases, even apologizing for it.
Yet it is undoubtedly the life lovers who have chosen the most courageous path. People like you, the readers of this paper, who have resolved to live out these lives of yours, even if only in relative luxury. Others have resolved to live out theirs in abject poverty: toilet cleaners and road sweepers; people without the means to even afford this paper. I laud their courage. If they weren’t so poor, they wouldn’t be as brave, and if they weren’t so brave, we wouldn’t be as rich. Relatively speaking, of course.

Thus we come to the 2nd precept of Life in Pakistan:

If you must Commit Suicide, do it without Harming those who Love Life

Dying of suicide not only causes serious damage to one’s health, but, on a more serious note, seriously damages one’s reputation as well. Of course, it can be argued that one needn’t worry about reputation once one is dead, but we shall not be considering that argument, as in our opinion, one should never consider arguments that one can’t counter. Dying of suicide committed by somebody else, on the other hand, has a completely different impact on reputation altogether. Society compensates for the fall in the perpetrator’s standing by converting his victims, even if they had been base, foul and corrupt while alive, into valorous, heroic martyrs. The wisdom of such thinking is secondary to the fact that it is the way things happen. It is thus proposed that anyone found trying to commit suicide without minimizing its effects on decent, life-loving society should be subject to the capital punishment (provided that he is alive at the time) for the attempted interference. This gives birth to the 3rd precept of Life in Pakistan:

Mind your Own Business

While it is a precept that should be taken seriously by everybody, people who watch the news should be particularly wary of it. Continue reading

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Open letter to Fatima Bhutto

This eloquent piece by Nighat Said Khan*, published by the Friday Times, is a reminder for the bright and ambitious Fatima Bhutto that she should get her politics sorted out before she ventures to settle intra-family scores in the public domain. I have also noted that the upper middle classes of Pakistan have given huge attention to Fatima’s recent invective against her late “Adi”. Fatima is surely a budding literary talent but her politics alas falls short of historical consciousness and betrays a lack of understanding of the nuances of Pakistan’s homegrown struggle for democracy.

In her earnest attempts to say the right thing, Fatima not only negates herself but also reinforces the Pakistani establishment’s long held biases against the murdered Bhuttos. The two Bhuttos – father and daughter – were no saints nor the best of administrators. However, they represented a threat to the status quo as Nighat mentions and thereby personified the struggle for democracy.

If Fatima does not believe in heirs or dynasties then why is her immediate family doing political business in the name of late Murtaza Bhutto. And why above all she plays the Bhutto card with such ease and aplomb.

Perhaps good advice from Fatima, like charity, should begin at home.

Two quotes from this excellent piece deserve attention:

But the detractors, the middle class, urban progressives, intellectuals, academicians, “left” activists and “left” pretenders who add to this, “they didn’t do anything” refrain, are to my mind either unable to understand liberal bourgeois democracy or are unable to see reform for what it is – a slow, laborious, tedious and frustrating process. I don’t expect mainstream politicians to bring revolutions.

And you, Fatima, is not the media and political and social circles focusing on you only because you are a Bhutto? Surely every young Pakistani professional woman is not being interviewed by the London Times and the Guardian? Do you also not play the Bhutto card every time you accept or court celebrity status? Do you not already have an edge that you have not earned?

We are publishing the full text of this letter for those who may not have seen the print version. Continue reading

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