Wednesday, March 25, 2009

An Ode to Bhuttoness: by Wajid Shamsul Hasan

Readers on our blog have occasionally commented that our 'western-educated, secular-liberal-elite, honda-driving, bubblegum-Pakistani' background bars us from opinining on actual social issues, or on Pakistani values. The flip side of that argument is that by merit of our skewed orientation, we should be utter experts at discerning what constitutes effective diplomacy in the West. Given that its apparently my forte', I guess it would be fair to discuss Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK.
Recently, he wrote a 1596 word article, about I don’t know what. I do know that its a pompous, right-click-thesaurus bulk of shit. Shout out to Ali Khan for recommending it.

The article has 2 main themes:

1) March is Shamsul Hasans favourite month for a variety of inane reasons
2) The Bhuttos and now the Zardaris are God’s ordained vice-regents on this earth

Given that everyone is smarter than me and thefore unlikley to read the entire thing, here are 10 highlighted excerpts, which I will blog as I read through the article. I'll award points to each highlight for originality, veracity, sentiment and insight (or lack thereof) and tally at the end.

Highlight 1: (his opening sentence)

"London: March is a landmark month for Pakistan. Notwithstanding the Shakespearean ides of March, it became a historical land mark for us as a nation when under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah Muslim representatives of from all over the sub-continent decided to seek, strive and achieve a separate homeland."

Score:

- 10 Points for the dumb reference to the Ides of March to sound cool
- 5 Points for saying 'land mark' twice within the space of two sentences.
+10 points for the shout out to Jinnah (I know, I’m a sucker.)

Highlight 2:

"The road to democratic goal post was strewn with the noblest blood of martyred Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. She had ended her self-exile and was forewarned that blood hounds were waiting to be unleashed upon her by those who had opposed her populist politics of empowerment of the people and who wanted her out of their way to devour and scavenge whatever was left of Pakistan."

Incidentally, the road to the goal post of crap is strewn with the complete tripe written in this article. If after the last couple of weeks you had to pick a single incumbent politician who has attempted to oppose populist politics of empowerment and who has a record of devouring and scavenging what was left of Pakistan, it would be Zardari.

Score :
-30 points for disingenuousness
-5 points for the inane meandering about blood hounds.

Highlight 3

“we can only look forward to a national turn-around if our leadership adopts singularity of purpose and devotes whole-heartedly to solving the excruciating problems faced by the common people and mobilises the nation to fight terrorism and extremism to save the country from being taken over by barbarians who are on the rampage to destroy Mr Jinnah's Pakistan and convert it into a theocratic state."

Score:
+5 points for the populist lip service.
–15 points for the phrases “singularity of purpose” “excruciating problems” and “barbarians who are on the rampage”
+1 point for the Jinnah reference (I know its less than last time, but marginal utility bro)

Highlight 4:

“The nation needs to be warned that these warring pagans are after our territory and want to destroy whatever progress we have achieved. They are in fact-hirelings of our enemies-out there to destabilize Pakistan so that there is excuse good enough for them for take over of our vital national assets.”

Score:
Your mum was a hireling of our enemies. -300 points for being really annoying.

Highlight 5

"The masses also need to distinguish between those leaders who are committed to the preservation of the federation for which Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and martyred Benazir Bhutto laid down their lives and those who do not get tired of pledging their lives for the country but only seek their survival through parochial slogans as were heard in 1988 when Benazir Bhutto was denied landslide victory in Punjab by General Hameed Gul who had created IJI and clobbered a gang of anti-PPP leaders."

I'd venture that this is the most ridiculous paragraph ever written by a High Commissioner in the history of Pakistan (I say paragraph, but its actually an 85 word sentence that begins with the words “the Masses”.)

Score:
+300 points for distinguishing yourself. High five high commissioner!

Highlight 6:

"Much similar slogans invoking Punjabi chauvinism were raised recently during the judicial crisis. In this context what the nation needs to be cautious about is that the President who is the symbol of federal unity-ever since he ushered in an era of reconciliation and politics of consensus as part of Benazir Bhutto legacy-has been singled out as a target for character-assassination through a most volatile media blitzkrieg. Those hidden hands pulling the media strings to malign democracy and persistently coaxing men on horseback to intervene-are not well-wishers of Pakistan. They are quislings."

Ok I understand now. This fellow lives in the mystical world of Wajid Shamsul Hasan.

According to Bhutto-Ditta Wajid Shamsul Hasan, he often spends the month of March riding a spotted Namibian mare on a giant aircraft carrier made of kheer and dead quislings. He floats hundreds of kilometres above the heavens, on the outer edges of the holy abode reserved exclusively for assassinated PPP leaders. Liaquat Ali Khan, Hayat Sherpao and Murtaza Bhutto are dumb and are not worthy of being remembered in the holy month of March.

Score:
-10 points for not elaborating how Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto threw the one Shamsul Hasan into the fires of Mount Doom.

Highlight 7:

"Pained by what is happening in and around Pakistan and being fed up sitting on the fence as a silent witness to the national failure to rise to the occasion, I decided to write about another March event that played a historic role in the shaping of Pakistani politics. It was a coincidence that on March 23,1929 to Isphanis of Karachi was born a daughter-Nusrat Khanum. She was chosen by destiny to be the great woman behind two great leaders of our time-Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto martyred Benazir Bhutto. "

Score:
-5 Points for your awful decision to not stay a silent witness.
- 5 Points for compounding our national failures with your atrocious articles.
-10 Points for the bald attempt to link your article with the birth of Benazir's mother.
-1 Point for thinking that Nusrat Khanum was destined to bear a leader of Pakistan, just because she was born on the date of the Lahore resolution.

[On this highlight, I had originally awarded Mr Shamsul Hasan -100 points for something dumb that he actually hadn't written. Apologies]

Highlight 8: (By this point, Shamsul Hasan is waxing lyrical about Nusrat Bhutto)

"Now 80 when I saw her last her eyes were overly blank but there was an aura of
melancholy blanketing her beautiful mien that continues to retain its noble
grace in its fragility.”

What. A. Line.

Score:
+300 points. No questions asked. Just take it and go.

Highlight 9:

“Her [i.e. Her Majesty Nusrat Bhutto] ancestry leading to the legendary Salahuddin Ayubi” – I will spare you this paragraph because it just rambles on profusely and ends predictably with – “brave daughter Benazir Bhutto by her side”.

Score:
0.

Highlight 10:

"In 1947-48 as a young member of the Women's National Guard she carried out personally huge amount of relief operations to provide shelter and succour to the millions of the uprooted refugees at a time when Pakistan had no resources. At that hour of crisis, she stood tall among the tallest of ladies that had plunged themselves in one of the biggest relief operations ever undertaken. "

Score:

+5 points for the part about ‘standing tall amongst the tallest of ladies’, which made me laugh.

Highlight 11: (Forgive me. I know I promised 10, but they just keep coming)

“[Nusrats] marriage to ZAB was also a great turning point in his life. Though himself a highly qualified and richly endowed scion of an illustrious parentage and heritage, stability at home provided to him by Begum Sahiba, enabled him to harness his energies in the service of the nation to the best of his abilities. As the youngest minister he was seen as a great man in the making and the woman behind him was Nusrat Bhutto.”

Dude, I know you don’t want to bite the dick that feeds you. But seriously. This shit goes way beyond sycophantic fiction (Sycofantasia?). Please STOP.

Score:
-200 points for the unabashed fellatio

Highlight 12:

"When he became minister her responsibilities multiplied--as a wife who had to accompany her husband on foreign tours, play perfect hostess to her husband's dignitary guests, look after four growing children whose high quality education was her responsibility and then she had tremendous social responsibilities besides her commitment for the empowerment of women and less privileged."

Score:
- 800 points for not stopping.

Highlight 13:
“The true strength and greatness of her character--manifested itself-“ blah blah blah blah I write things blah blah blah blah P is the best letter of the Alphabet blah blah blah blah blah I Like Being High Commissioner blah blah blah – “Benazir Bhutto”.
Minus 1 point for every additional word written after "true strength" because frankly marking your gas has gotten boring. According to my new per-word marking scheme, that means a further –506 points.

Highlight 14:

“Politics is a game of uncertainty especially when egomaniacs are on the loose."

Yes. Not only a game, but a game of uncertainty. All the other games in the world, are of course based on certainty.
And if there are political problems in Pakistan borne of large egos, please stop writing about them. Unless of course it is to make some heartfelt admission about your embarrasing public affection for your boss, his wife, his wifes mother, his wifes mothers father's father (to the power of ten - i.e. Saladin Ayyubi), their children, and anyone else within political sucking up distance.

Score:
I’ll leave this one for the comments section.

Final Score:
Mr Shamsul Hasan's final score (Subject to the commenter’s Marks for Highlight 14) is negative Seven Hundred and Seventy Five Points. Nice.

24 comments:

naqiya said...

NBs back, back again,
NBs back, tell a friend

well done. where do you find this crap honestly?? damn funny.

adeel said...

atrocious english to bat. why do all these guys in our foreign service a) show little proof of a half decent education and b) think they're God's gift to women with the allure of Samson himself?

The HC is special guest at a charity thingie in a few weeks, you should come along....would love to see him wax lyrical like this in person!

NB said...

@Naqiya

Thank you. And to answer your question, I get my stuff from Ali.

@Adeel

His written English is actually technically fine. The grammatical errors are mostly typos I feel. Its just massively overstated and affected, the equivalent of being perfectly proficient in spoken English, but putting on a really shit American or English accent to impress your audience.

humairahumaira said...

this is hilarious!

Anonymous said...

NB's first funny post!!

AKS said...

AZ/BB TC!

Just to make it clear, this man represents the country and not the PPP, right?

NB said...

@AKS

Yup. He represents Pakistan. Even though he ends up disowning a lot of it with his outspoken partisanship.

This chap replaced Maleeha Lodhi. People can say what they like about her, at the very least, she was good/competent at her job.

fangurl said...

nadir burney, youz a hottie

Jadev,India said...

-500 points
for using Pagans as slur
as in warring pagans.
Anyways..nice blow to a poor blow job..

Faiza said...

Of all the things to take away from this but I am stuck on 'riding a spotted Namibian mare'. Lol! Are there spotted mares in Namibia? Are they exported to Pakistan? Did Ikenis tell you that? Or is this an expression I have been yet unaware of?
Good to see you back!

duttu gamini said...

Is he for sale?

I can think of a national TV channel situated not very far from your country that needs headline writers. He'd pass with flying colours.

Only trouble might be with his diet habits. Pols in our country tend to be dickless; we're politically evolved, they are specially bred for the job.

supe said...

hahaha priceless stuff! bhutto-ditta indeed.

Rabia said...

he's a real nutcase
he was really vocal about denying any Pakistani involvement in Mumbai and called the dossier a fabrication or something like that. What a great diplomat!

NB said...

@Jagdev India

Now that you mention it, I think I deserve some minus points for not even noticing the 'pagan' bit.

@Faiza

There probably arent spotten Namibian Mares in reality, hence their existance in the mind of Shamsul Hasans. But yes, to be honest I think Ikeni may be the reason I chose Namibia in my made up phrase. Previously, i was quite partial to Botswana. Everyone has a favourite random African country. I remember for one particular econ tutor in Karachi it was Burkina Faso.

@ Dutto Gamini

Haha well put dude. Besides, I dont think hes worth much to anyone other than his current patron.

Also, are you reffering to NDTV? If so, I agree. I really hate that channell. Its like they get off on overacting and hyperdramatizing.

@Rabia

That sounds like something hed do.
I saw him in person once. His defenders describe him as 'endearingly emotional', but he came across more as a classic 'kneejerk Uncle' reactionay whos only qualifying grace was was his ability to speak fluent english.

The goras must think hes a complete prat.

duttu gamini said...

@Rabia

I'm sorry you're so unappreciative. You should know what a gem you've got. You make him sound like a dumb hick. He isn't.

The first 25% of the time, he denied the dossier had been delivered. The next 25%, he said that it was a collection of lies and needed no answer. Then he announced to an astounded world that the plot had been planned in 'another country' (GB? Afghanistan, in one of 15 mysterious consulates where the Indians set up 4? No; it's not a bird, it's not a plane, it's Bangladesh!). Finally, he said that the response was ready and would completely stump the wicked Indians.

This was brilliant diplomacy; it really hurts to see you not getting it. The Indian foreign ministry was in uproar; for each statement, they set out to write a terse, 207 page rejoinder, landing up with four different replies of 207 pages each, pointing in four different directions.

Instead of being sarcastic about him, you should give him a medal. Could I suggest off-line where you could place the pin?

@MB (Hah! Subtle insult!)

My name is Duttu, not Dutto. One more mistake and it's pistols for two, coffee for one.

shandana m said...

vot the funny skewering!

Huma Imtiaz said...

hai mein marr gayee. what was mr. hasan smoking when he wrote this?!

Ali said...

Woah!! i got a shout out! :)

(and the article (1 of 273) i sent u formed the entire basis of a post....but fuck that, the shout out is where it's at)

"And to answer your question, I get my stuff from Ali." hahahaahha

Anonymous said...

This is the most hilarious post I have ever read. Period.

karachi khatmal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
karachi khatmal said...

recently, the wise wajid came as a guest on our show. i was instantly reminded of this post, and thought i should share the experience.

he showed up chomping a cigar and complaining of a lack of protocol. he proceeded to bitch and moan a lot about how he'd never seen our channel in lun-dun, and how the location of the office was better suited for a nihari ki dukan. considering that our office is in west wharf, and there is not a single nihari shop for miles, i was suitably flattened by the gale force of intellect that is this man.

anyways, one of the producers reported that what i was mistakenly believe to be his innate grumpiness was actually a manifestation of him being really drunk.

that insight made a lot of sense once he got on air. he told our brit-pak anchor that the pakistani students who got arrested were behind bars only cuz they sported beards and prayed regularly. she went aghast at such slander of her motherland, and asked him if he thought that was how things 'really' happened in england. he spent the next ten minutes of the show explaining how pakistan and britain had impeccable relations, that we shared all intelligence, and despite all this he didn't know what was up with the arrested students.

price-fucking-less.

Ali said...

hey karachi khatmal,
what is your channel? where is west wharf?

karachi khatmal said...

@ Ali

West Wharf is the area around the Karachi Port.

The channel is DawnNews.

Ali said...

hey karachi khatmal,

thanks for the info. i'm sure Dawn News used to be broadcast in the UK. i think the last time i saw it here was about a year ago. but only a few programmes would be broadcast under a different channel (Prime TV or something). And i think Wajid Shamsul started his tenure as HC to the UK a year ago.

one of my grad schoolmates hosted a show on Dawn news...can't remember the name of the show, something like '30 seconds'? two guests would be brought in to debate an issue and each would have short periods of time to present their arguments.