A man for all seasons

Published: December 31, 2011
The writer is an Islamabad-based development consultant and blogs at http://tazeen-tazeen.blogspot.com/

The writer is an Islamabad-based development consultant and blogs at http://tazeen-tazeen.blogspot.com/

The twitterverse is outraged at Dr Babar Awan, not because he had one of his usual bouts of tweeting with caps lock on, but because he was awarded the post of vice-president of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). Not only is he an educated man, he is also an astute lawyer, a good orator, a TV presenter par excellence, a writer and a man who speaks the language of our masters (no silly, everyone speaks English, he is fluent in Arabic). Seriously — what’s not to like?

One can be a little perturbed at this development because how can a political party have a vice- president when it does not have a president? Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and his father share the chairmanship of the party — but this much anger is a little misplaced.

The appointment of the good doctor is quite befitting; after all, who else could have matched his towering personality and his innumerable accomplishments. The cynics think that the party has other stalwarts who are better suited for the job, but no one comes even close. Named after the Mughal king, Zaheeruddin Babar, the new vice-president is a man amongst men. Aitzaz Ahsan and Sherry Rehman may have written an odd book or two about the Indus River and Kashmiri shawls, but the esteemed barrister has authored several books. It is besides the point that no one seems to know the titles of these books and what they are on. Unfortunately, a hurried Google search about his penmanship yielded no conclusive results.

Rehman Malik may have been awarded an honourary doctorate degree from Karachi University, but Dr Babar Awan is heads and shoulders above his fellow party man. He does not wait for local universities to confer doctorates upon him, he gets them from a university as delicately named as Monticello — which perhaps reminds one of a high-end spaghetti sauce or Thomas Jefferson.

Dr Babar Awan is also not a serial party-hopper like some other dudes whose final destination seems to be the PTI these days. He only jumped ship once and has since been with the PPP. Wikipedia reports that his brother is a member of the Muttahidda Qaumi Movement in Punjab, but that is only to spread brotherhood and good cheer.

Not just politicians, Dr Babar Awan can give TV personalities like Aamir Liaquat and Sahir Lodhi a run for their money. Unlike Aamir Liaquat, who carries the show on the basis of sheer verbosity, and Sahir Lodhi, who only moonlights as a religious presenter in Ramazan and is known more for his dance moves and questionable wardrobe, Dr Awan is a genuine bona fide religious scholar who used to present a show on religious laws on a local TV channel. The ratings of his show, however, were not available to be compared with those of the other two gentlemen.

What the naysayers do not get is that vice-presidentship of a party is a very significant post. The reason this important post was given to Dr Babar Awan, is that if there ever was a declamation or an oration contest between the vice-chairmen and presidents of various Pakistani political parties, the PPP would not want to lose it to its erstwhile member and the new and very senior vice-chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 31st, 2011.


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Reader Comments (14)

  • Ali Tanoli
    Dec 31, 2011 - 2:17AM

    Dr Baber Awan reminds me he is for zerdaris like maulana kauser niazi was for ZAB.


  • Talha
    Dec 31, 2011 - 2:58AM

    When Zulfi Bhutto was hanged, Dr Awan distributed sweets in his local area.

    Now he is with PPP, go figure.


  • Max
    Dec 31, 2011 - 5:11AM

    Please don’t call him a “doctor.” It is an insult to doctorate.


  • Sarim
    Dec 31, 2011 - 5:27AM

    Dumbfounded- I am still wondering if this piece is written in satire or should I take it literally. The author has chosen someone who makes Dr Rahman Malik look like an angel. I can live with real electoral politicians winning on general seats to act as they please but this guy has never won an election. He stands out above others in his clique because he preaches religion and yet he is one of the greatest hypocrits of our times. He is personally responsible for the myth that Zardari spent 12 years in jail because as his lawyer he took adjournments after adjournments to let the case unresolved. Lot more that I can add but I am still not sure if the author was serious….


  • pti
    Dec 31, 2011 - 6:35AM

    and has he ever won an election? Ejaz ul haq said dr sb was his first stage secretary when he launched his political career after death of zia ul haq.


  • Rohail
    Dec 31, 2011 - 12:22PM

    How can anyone doubt that it is NOT a satire? The writer talks about a declamation contest between Dr Babar Awan and SMQ.


  • peal
    Dec 31, 2011 - 12:43PM

    good attempt. Could hav been better. Glad to see humor is still alive in such a dry field as journalism. I loved the way babar awan mocked pml-n for javed hashmi episodeand ended up losing sardar asif the next day :DRecommend

  • forgive and forget
    Dec 31, 2011 - 12:50PM

    @Ms Javed

    and a man who speaks the language of our masters (no silly, everyone speaks English, he is fluent in Arabic).

    Be Careful. You are treading dangerous territory here. Some Ashiq-e-Arabic may take this be blasphemous.


  • To The Point
    Dec 31, 2011 - 12:53PM

    Dr Awan Rocks! lol….. a true example of success, no matter how it comes!!! he is indeed a very funny man!


  • Bilal Shah
    Dec 31, 2011 - 1:42PM

    A lot has been wriiten and said against Babar Awan in recent days but this article shows that he is a well qualified man and has been rightly awarded the post of vice president.Well written article!


  • Ishrat Salim
    Dec 31, 2011 - 6:18PM

    Bilal Shah does not hv sense of humor…lol.Dr Babar Awan is a man of dubious character who claims to receive his doctorate from an unknown university which has been verified as non-existent by the govt of USA – dept of education….so what you say…PPP jiyalas…??Recommend

  • mohtasham
    Dec 31, 2011 - 6:56PM

    dr babar awan is a versatile personality


  • U Khan
    Dec 31, 2011 - 8:53PM

    loved it , really funnny :)


  • Mastishhk
    Dec 31, 2011 - 9:40PM

    In virtues, atleast someone is there to give competition to Rehman Malik !!!


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