Okay folks, have been trying to remember all the bits and pieces I wanted to blog about over the last couple of weeks but which I never got round to... I really should write them down immediately. In any case, here are the few I do remember...
First off, it was Dawn's fairly good exclusive interview with President Barrack Obama. (For some strange reason it is inaccessible at this time on Dawn but here's the full text of the interview.)
Yes, the interview was pretty good, dealing as it did with wide-ranging topics such as drones, the war on terror, Pakistan's economy, military and his ability to make a mean qeema and daal. But was it just me, or did anyone else find the front-page banner heading to that interview a bit strange? This was the heading:
"Beat extremists you can, says Obama"
Is he, like, our Yoda to Zardari's Luke Skywalker? I mean, he didn't actually use that phrasing in the interview so one would have to assume this is Dawn's interpretation of our intergalactic struggle.
The second thing is something that really sent my blood pressure rocketing. Who else, but Amir Liaquat in Aalim Online on June 24, celebrating (yes, you read that right: celebrating!) Ali Haider's renunciation of music and acting. I mean, is there no end to the schizophrenia of the Pakistani nation?! Or at least of Geo, which provides this madman the platform to hold forth at direct odds with Geo's supposed own policy of promoting an enlightened (i.e. non-Taliban) version of religion?
You can see the programme in three parts, here (part 1), here (part 2), and here (part 3). (Thanks to vidpk.com.)
The first part begins with ALH holding forth against the Pakistan government, people and media for not using the appellation "shaheed" for those killed in drone attacks, who have been killed by the forces of "yahood o nassara" (Jews and Christians)... watch it if you have the stomach for conspiracy theories (I found it offensive apologia in the extreme, couched in the usual verbal gymnastics of the manipulative mullah) or you can forward to around 09:00 when he turns his attention to Ali Haider. Don't miss, however, his bubbling over excitement at Ali Haider's renunciation of showbiz and the effusive call-ins and texts congratulating the singer/actor. Truly, perhaps Pakistan does deserve the Taliban.
In the beginning, Ali Haider claims it's the despondency at the current state of affairs that made him want not to sing any more. Of course, that did not satisfy the madman. He keeps prodding him to admit that he's done this because of the "nur" (enlightenment for you angrezes) filling his heart. When Ali Haider tells a caller (at 16:00 in the first part, continuing on in part 2) that he is not immediately going to start performing hamds and naats, the madman interjects that "yeh kehna chahiye ke abhi tau aap wazoo karein gay, uss ke baad mussallay pe kharray hon gay" (one should say, you will first do the ritual washing up, then stand on the prayer mat)... Eventually, he even expresses the hope (around 9:00 in part 3) that Ali's Haider's divorce (from showbiz) is permanent, not temporary.
Ali Haider may be one more confused soul following in the confused steps of Junaid Jamshed. But what do we make of Geo and it's schizophrenia? Jiyo tau aisay bhi? As for the fake-doctor-turned-madman, can no one rid us of this insufferable fellow?
The T20 final as NOT seen on Geo Super
The third thing I wanted to blog about was what a little (absolutely credible) birdie told me and relates once again to Geo's hypocrisy. While all of us were forced to watch the T20 World Cup only on Geo Super and subjected to the abominable Mr. Jeem's intrusions into the play (irritating choruses of "Jiyo tau aisay" breaking out at every bloody boundary, break-aways for commercials often before the last ball had been bowled in an over), guess where the top management of Geo watched the final? Not on Geo Super you can bet your ass!
Apparently the entire top management of the Jang Group (including owner Mir Ibrahimur Rehman (MIR, son of CEO MSR), Geo president Imran Aslam, Managing Director of Jang Group Shahrukh Hasan, Marketing Director Sarmed Ali et al, collected together at the Defence Karachi entertainment space Area 51 along with the other Geo staffers to enjoy the final between Pakistan and Sri Lanka on... South Africa's SuperSport channel, considered illegal in Pakistan and pointedly banned through Geo's efforts on cable across Pakistan during the World Cup.