The last 15 days saw three quite ludicrous, dangerous interviews aired on our TV channels, two of them on fake ‘Dr’ Amir Liaquat’s show, one with Imran Khan and the other with the so-called only-father-of-our-bums Dr AQ Khan. The third was on ARY in which Kashif Abbasi interviewed General Hamid Gul, self-same Imran Khan’s mentor and guide.
First the ‘Dr’ Amir Liaquat: This was an exercise in mutual admiration with the ‘Dr’ toadying up to and fawning on Imran and Imran waxing lyrical about how he not only won the World Cup but also beat India in India and England in England. It was always ‘Mein ney’ as if the team was made up of just himself and not eleven players, all of who surely had a hand in winning the matches.
His party’s General Secretary, Dr Arif Alvi, went one better and told us how Imran manages his household on Rs50,000 a month that he gets from a newspaper for writing an article every month: keeping three servants and himself and his dogs in good fettle with this money. Mayhap he can share the secret of how he manages, raising home economics to an art form. Of course, Dr Alvi did not tell us who runs the party and who pays for the jalsas; the stage; the chairs; the generators and lights and sound system and music and flags, flags, flags and all.
But back to the ‘Dr’, who is that same person after whose programme, “Aalim Online”, two innocent Pakistanis were killed in Sindh: Dr Abdul Mannan Siddiqui in Mirpurkhas on Sept 8, 2008, and on Sept 9, Seth Yousuf in Nawabshah.
Now this is the person on whose programme Imran Khan not only appeared but on which Dr Alvi issued a clarion call to the quite hateful ‘Dr’ Amir Liaquat to join the PTI. I have to add that Imran Khan immediately echoed Alvi and also invited the man to join. Oh well.
On August 14, 2012, Dr AQ Khan, who exposed Pakistan to the opprobrium of the world by admitting on television that he was responsible for peddling nuclear know-how to several countries and who just very recently also accused a former Chief of Army Staff and another general of accepting bribes from North Korea through himself, also appeared on the ‘Dr’s’ show.
Let us leave his other ramblings aside about how there were saints in his hometown, Bhopal, who could transport a person to Madina and then bring him right back to Bhopal after he had said his prayers by merely placing their hands on the person’s shoulder. Let us straightaway go to his peddling hate. Dr AQ Khan also told us that Bhopal was famous for two other attributes. That it neither produced any traitors nor any Ahmadis. I ask you. And this on August 14!
If this is not hate speech that could also be used by the crazies to do harm to Ahmadi Pakistanis, what is? The Supreme Court has taken it upon itself to determine what is, and what is not vulgarity on television. Is this hate speech of AQ Khan’s not the height of vulgarity, My Lords? Is his going public against a community that has done so much for Pakistan, who are proud Pakistanis albeit a minority, not utter vulgarity and worse? Even offensiveness and impropriety which are also other meanings of the word? Will you take suo motu action on this My Lords?
And now to ARY where Kashif Abbasi interviewed our great jihadi, my friend General Hamid Gul. For the very first time I saw the general flustered; angry; frustrated and rattled by the probing questions put to him by the interviewer. Completely flummoxed, so to say, one minute saying, “Generals love the country” (as if the rest of us don’t!) and then criticising army takeovers as being destructive; to once again saying if the army doesn’t look after the country who else will?
He put his foot in it several times, one moment saying the generals were suspicious of the Peoples Party being anti-Pakistan (or words to that effect) the next that Benazir was a patriot. And then letting slip that whilst they were suspicious of her and set up the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) to counter her, ‘she fell in line’ soon enough.
Oh, and yes, the Americans blew up Ojhri Camp! I mean, the gall! If the Americans were running around blowing up the highly sensitive and heavily-guarded Ojhri Camp which was not only a weapons dump but which received truckloads of hundreds of millions of $s that came in kit bags and sacks on C-130s and C-141 Star-lifters, what the hell was his own ISI, the Mother of All Agencies, doing?
He loudly went on saying he set up the IJI and challenged any court to summon him and proceed against him! This dovetails neatly into the Pakistan Army’s subsequent foray into politics that is at present being heard by the Supreme Court in Air Marshal Asghar Khan’s case. Would My Lords consider clubbing Hamid Gul’s remarks with that case and proceeding?
He also repeated the canard that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto issued a ‘decree’ ordering a political role for the ISI which is debunked by a study by Professor Shawn Gregory of the University of Bradford in his “The ISI and the War on Terrorism” which I quoted in this space on January 5, 2012. Gregory says it was Ayub Khan who tasked the ISI “to monitor political opposition, and (c) to sustain military rule in Pakistan”.
Indeed, the SC which has asked to see the ZAB ‘decree’ and which no government office can produce including the ISI, could well ask Hamid Gul to provide it a copy. But will it?
Let me end by quoting Omar Khayyam without taking any liberties with him:
And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop’t we live and die,
Lift not thy hands to It for help — for It
Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2012.
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