Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Shameless

Just when you think Pakistani political discourse cannot sink any lower, your delusions are undermined with even more sleaze.

Our SleazeMaster of the Day is none other than Sindh Home Minister, Dr. Zulfiqar Mirza, who has never been a stranger to spouting crude diatribes in an 'I'll say what I want and I don't care what you think!' fashion. He has understandably been under some pressure recently since his party, the Pakistan People's Party's (PPP's) main parliamentary ally, the Muttaheda Qaumi Movement (MQM), had sort of made his removal from his current post or a restraining order on his mouth a precondition for continuing support to the government. He seems to have been particularly irked by a story in The News and Jang on March 14 that he was about to be shown the door as Home Minister within 10-12 days and it was partly the intervention of his wife, Fehmida Mirza, the current Speaker of the National Assembly, that prevented an immediate boot. Nothing cuts as deep for a self-professed "badmaash" than a blow to his manliness apparently.

Whether that particular story is correct or not (Mirza calls it baseless), the minister decided to vent his frustration on the floor of the Sindh Assembly by moving a 'privilege motion' calling for the publisher and editor of The News to be summoned to the provincial parliament to answer his charges of concocting stories. But of course Mirza could not leave it just at that. He then went on to personally target the CEO of the Jang Group, Mir Shakilur Rehman (MSR), in what can only be called one of the sleaziest speeches ever made on the floor of any parliament.

You have to hear Mirza in all his sleazy glory to understand what I mean:




In case you cannot follow the Urdu, basically, the gist of his defamatory diatribe against MSR was this: MSR as a schoolboy was picked up by a local thug, sexually abused and photographed in compromising positions and then blackmailed with those photographs for about a year. In an act of apparent charity, Mirza and his friends, Agha Siraj Durrani (also a provincial minister) and President Asif Zardari - who were all schoolmates of MSR - managed to get the photographs back from the thug (how, it's not quite made clear) so that the blackmailing could be put an end to. And this is why MSR continues to harbour a grudge against them and is running negative stories about them. And if he doesn't stop, Mirza promised to bring the photographs to show in the Sindh Assembly to humiliate MSR.

If you think the above story makes no sense, that would make two of us. First of all, if Mirza et al were his benefactors, why would MSR hold a grudge against them? Secondly, if the threat of further blackmail from them were the reason for MSR's upset, well, hasn't Mirza proved those fears correct with his words today? In fact, has he not openly and publicly threatened blackmail? But far more importantly, what kind of person - let alone a legislator - thinks it is perfectly all right to relate such a story for public consumption, not to mention in the vulgar street language employed? And this person is supposed to be responsible for law and order in this blighted province?

I don't really care what the agreement between the PPP and MQM is. Zulfiqar Mirza deserves to be sacked for this speech. And sacked immediately.

Of course, let's not forget that the only major channel to carry this speech verbatim was Express News and its sister English language channel Express 24/7, whose owner Sultan Lakhani has been in a long-standing, bitter rivalry with MSR. You cannot convince me that his own personal rivalry and a desire to humiliate MSR were not a factor in the decision to run such a shameful speech.


21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mirza surprised no one -- though many champions of tolerance and public decency will now be deleting their Tweets, which were in tacit praise of the sleazy minister. Good post, Pyala.

SGN said...

It's quite hypocritical of you to blame Sultan Lakhani for airing this video, and then you using the same video on your blog. The first time I heard about this was from your blog, so I guess you should be blamed for spreading this speech as well. Whom do you have a grudge against?

Anonymous said...

@ SGN like like, you have made a point.

TLW said...

This post makes a great case for defining Pakistani politics as a metphor for sexual abuse.

The players all involved are powerful and rich, regardless of what personal demons they may be battling, and they have powers of near life and death over the citizenry of Karachi, Sindh and Pakistan.

I am frankly not surprised at Zulfiqar Mirza's actions, and don't care about blackmail, as long as he didn't threaten anyone's life.

This was funny.

Ullta Seedha said...

Agreed. Weisey, why wasn't there much hue and cry by likes of you when the western press went bonkers about 'stories' regarding Zaradri's 'mental illness?'

Or, very quiet are you all modern Victorian liberals when GEo/Jang is always going bezerk about the PPP.

Mirza is an ass and yes, he should be sacked. But why this selective show of solidarity with one of the most corrupt media groups?

Ullta Seedha said...

Also, was this not news? Meaning, no matter how distasteful, it was news to be both published and aired by Express.

Do you think Geo would have held back had Mirza's tirade been against Lakhani?

I did not expect a typical knee-jerk response from you guys. Leave that to the .. err .. 'civil society.'

You could have simply commented on the disgreaceful speech, but why comment on Express TV's coverage?

It's a news channel and this was news. Geo has run far more disgreaceful shit than this.

Ullta Seedha said...

Tell me, had Mirza's tirade been against Lahkani, do you think Geo would have held back?

No.

Anonymous said...

is it kind of some camp against english newspapers? just wondering though

watch last 5 mins

http://tinyurl.com/6daka2f

Anonymous said...

http://tinyurl.com/62dqps8

Anonymous said...

@SGN: A tv channel broadcasts to potentially millions of viewers. Pyala is a miniscule, limited space to discuss and critique the content of some of such broadcasts, which would be kind of impossible to do without referencing the content *that is already out there*. How you can equate the two is blinkered beyond belief.

And to those perpetually whining about "why are you picking on so and so when so and so also did so and so, therefore you must be biased", please get a life. Seems like most people here are so un-used to the idea of condemning a wrong thing without having a personal agenda, they can't imagine anyone doing exactly that. For someone like Ulta Seedha to suggest that Pyala shows "solidarity" with and keeps quiet about Geo's shenanigans, you'd think he's never read Pyala before.

Noobtards from fuckwitistan, the whole lot.

Anonymous said...

Pics or it didn't happen!

Anonymous said...

Un-effin-believable that Mirza and Co. can stoop so low.

However, in your anger, you guys have almost blown your cover... :)

AA said...

So Mirza is basically endorsing the act of child or sexual abuse and blackmail, and threatening to continue the blackmail himself, on the Assembly floor. And his fellow MPAs are laughing and supporting his stance.

May be some of us will live to see the day democracy weeds the likes of him out.

Faiz said...

This is shameful! I regret to have listened to the clip.

SGN said...

@Anonymous, the one who posted "anonymously" on "March 16, 2011 2:42 PM":

I would have had no problem had this whole blog been about the despicable stuff that Zulfiqar Mirza said. He has repeatedly proved himself to be a despicable man. My problem was with the last paragraph where the author talked about grudges himself and, in my opinion, unnecessarily and without any proof soiled the name of Sultan Lakhani, whom again I should state I don't know personally.

You are incidentally totally correct when you state that: "Seems like most people here are so un-used to the idea of condemning a wrong thing without having a personal agenda, they can't imagine anyone doing exactly that." This is exactly what I would point out to the author of the blog regarding his last paragraph.

Parag said...

This is bloody hilarious. Politicians from our side of the border should learn from this...hahaha

Anonymous said...

Jang group has never published stories against its rival newspapers. but its the express English newspaper Express Tribune and Urdu express who have been publishing stories against their rivals.
an example is of a story recently published on ETs front page against dawn's coverage of the mcdonalds case in Islamabad. ET very openly called the reporting of the credible newspaper as 'false and baseless'. Similarly, it has been printing countless stories against its bitter rivals The News and Jang, doing its best to degrade the newspapers which have been in the industry long before its inception.

What happened to ethics and morals? Would anyone care to answer?

Yusaf Khan said...

I cannot believe this ass Mirza used such language in the provincial assembly. I actually feel bad for Fehmida Mirza for having an ass for a husband.

Anonymous said...

wow finally ptv released this video, is the ptv going to compete with "pvt channels"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=325-ds5Hs_E

Anonymous said...

I was in St Patrick's college Karachi from 1975- 1977. The unfortunate incident was not related to Shakeel Ur Rehman, the real victim was Saleem Khan who died couple of years ago.

Arshad Kazmi Los Angeles

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