With friends like these

Published: August 18, 2012
The writer is a lawyer and partner at Ijaz and Ijaz Co in Lahore

The writer is a lawyer and partner at Ijaz and Ijaz Co in Lahore saroop.ijaz@tribune.com.pk

The temptation to ignore Sheikh Rasheed is a strong one for the reason that he is a clown who thrives on cheap publicity and takes pride in his crudeness. Yet, the temptation should be fought off since he has now completed the transition from being a third-rate comedian to more like a roving, blood-seeking individual. Equally significantly, Sheikh Rasheed now deserves our contempt and attention not only for himself but also for those he seeks to associate with. He called for the Chief Justice to act like a common murderer and kill the president of the country, asked the Chief of Army Staff to intervene and take over and implored Mullah Omar (who he also termed Ameer-ul-Momineen) to be benevolent enough to allow Imran Khan to make his expedition into Waziristan in one speech. This is quite unbelievable even by the low and vulgar standards of the Sheikh. He should be locked up (for good, if possible) for incitement to murder and subversion of the Constitution and treason and not be allowed to pollute our airwaves unnecessarily while the process is being conducted. No elaborate case needs to be made against him and the video clip of his speech at Rawalpindi should be sufficient to send him away.

The really distressing part is not the conduct of the Sheikh since he was always on the fringe of descending into complete madness; it is the conduct of Imran Khan. Mr Khan was present on the stage when this nonsense was being carried out. He did not deem it fit to say anything to condemn or more mildly disassociate with the murderous chant. Even afterwards, there is no clear condemnation from the PTI and only apologetic, throat-clearing mumbo jumbo. If we start at the beginning, Imran Khan walking to Sheikh Rasheed’s Lal Haveli and making an “alliance” is either plainly dumb or is under GHQ directives and that’s that. The supporters of the Mighty Khan are offended when proper deference is not accorded to the “dear leader”; well if he decides to sit mute when calls for murder of the president to be conducted by the Chief Justice are being raised by one of his allies, then I am afraid that he will have to be treated as big boy. The suggestion that Mr Khan is either not very sharp in political decision-making or a military stooge are gentle and more significantly based on reason as compared with the language that was used in his presence for the co-chairperson of the ruling party by one of his allies. Any claim for a special privilege for Mr Khan or the heightened sensitivities of his supporters should be brushed aside as the nonsense that it is.

It is quite befitting that Sheikh ‘Tulli’ did what he did with Imran Khan on stage. The supporters (particularly the younger cadre) of Mr Khan have heralded a new phase of  ‘fascism’ in Pakistan where anyone not agreeing with Mr Khan is a paid agent of another party/country or a liberal fascist/fake liberal (the terms are meant to be abusive and hence nobody has put much thought in defining them). Mr Khan has confused and dangerous views on the Taliban and that is not to ascribe any malice to him and just that his strategy is a dangerous one (which incidentally puts higher onus on him to clarify if he also considers Mullah Omar as Ameer-ul-Momineen and requires his approval for his march into Waziristan). However, to say that means that you are an agent of imperialism drawing a weekly cheque from the US embassy and also be the recipient of other assorted abuse. Many young soldiers of Mr Khan give the distinct impression and, perhaps, would fall under the definition of a ‘cult’ (think less Jim Morrison and more KKK).

They could benefit from reading Leon Trotsky’s essay The Struggle for Cultured Speech and the role of speech and language in revolutions. However, it seems that many of his supporters having access to Wikipedia already have a favourite quotation from Arthur Schopenhaur of first they will laugh at you, etc and then you win. How appropriate that they resort frequently to Hitler’s favourite philosopher.

Mr Khan’s supporters want us take him more seriously than he apparently takes himself. His representatives find themselves delivering his messages on stage with the Difa-e-Pakistan Council fanatics, whereas he decides to bestow that honour upon Sheikh Rasheed. His explanation on the “benami” issue is as good as the next politician. There is nothing inherently unusual about this conduct in politics except for Mr Khan who insists upon using lofty, arrogant and morally stern rhetoric for all politics and politicians, and then it is not unreasonable to judge him by the standards he insists others be judged by.

Finally, I await a Suo Motu by My Lord, the Chief Justice. Surely, My Lord will not stand to be treated as a hired gun and a murderer by Sheikh Rasheed. Faisal Raza Abidi’s hysteria cannot be condoned, yet he is making allegations that he claims that he has documentary proof of and should be investigated even if he is to be sentenced for contempt for his tone and manner. In contrast, the Sheikh, who in the past has said quite disobliging things about My Lord, has addressed him and asked him to commit murder. This is an attempt to dent the perception of neutrality of the Supreme Court and one hopes that the Court will not allow a huckster like Sheikh Rasheed to manipulate and compromise its objectivity. I say it with utmost of reverence that the public perception is that had such a speech involving the Chief Justice and the Chief of Army Staff been made by the Prime Minister or a cabinet member it would only have been a matter of hours before suo-motu notice was taken and a ‘Special’ bench constituted and the offending person summoned. Mr Khan and My Lords should remember that friends and sympathisers such as Sheikh Rasheed are ones that nobody needs.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (60)

  • Ejaaz
    Aug 18, 2012 - 11:33PM

    The headline of the paper is that an eleven year Christian girl was beaten up and is behind bars for burning a Noorani Qaida. Is it surprising that in a country where an 11 year old is beaten up for being ‘the other’, that we have leader like Imran Khan? Khan will be the face of Taliban rule in Pakistan. Imran’s followers are young enough and naive enough that they are incapable of seeing the manipulation. He is the perfect empty suit to front the Taliban’s ambitions in Pakistan. Pakistan will be ruled by Taliban one day and Khan Sahib will make the perfect executive for them.


  • s shah
    Aug 18, 2012 - 11:36PM

    Brave and Brilliant as usual. Well said and clearly analysed. Bravo.


  • nasir
    Aug 18, 2012 - 11:50PM

    Another typical liberal column against IK.


  • elementary
    Aug 18, 2012 - 11:59PM

    I have stopped reading your columns,one can almost predict what you are going to say. Very Politically biased.


  • Truth Bites
    Aug 19, 2012 - 12:04AM

    Dear Imran Khan and Dear Chief Justice……if you had listened to this man earlier or his likes you will not be what you are today……long live CJ and IK


  • ali
    Aug 19, 2012 - 12:54AM

    People generally cannot hear truth………because truth is bitter………….IK has lost his way……the autor is spot on………….


  • Arifq
    Aug 19, 2012 - 1:31AM

    Great Job Saroop! Imran Khan like any other ordinary politician is opportunistic and wishes to maximize his seat potential. Khan is not a visionary, nor does he stand on high moral ground. His politics is of populist opportunism with a little help from his friends in Khaki.


  • pmbm
    Aug 19, 2012 - 1:32AM

    Seems there are no angels in Pak politics


  • lalai
    Aug 19, 2012 - 1:33AM

    The best response to ignorants is silence. No need to get worried about him as he is already dying a slow painful political death.


  • Saleem
    Aug 19, 2012 - 1:38AM

    Don’t abuse and accuse. Argue. “Liberal” is an abuse nowadays in this country. Don’t abuse the sayer; think and evaluate what he is saying. So, that we can judge whether you are right or he.


  • Ali Nokhaiz
    Aug 19, 2012 - 2:07AM

    Same here. I have stopped reading your articles because they are always against CJ or IK.


  • sabi
    Aug 19, 2012 - 2:07AM

    IK to his supporters in future”-you asked for it”. Don’t blame me.
    Excellent piece kudos


  • sabi
    Aug 19, 2012 - 2:21AM

    Future scenario; we don’t accept election’s results PTI.


  • asif ali
    Aug 19, 2012 - 2:32AM

    there is no alliance ….
    digest it


  • Ayesha
    Aug 19, 2012 - 2:38AM

    Author is biased against Imran Khan…


  • AZ khan
    Aug 19, 2012 - 2:49AM

    i think instead of saying writer is biased or liberal we should give counter argument , for God sake don’t conclude without giving reasons…………we have already made many traitors , dushmanan-e-islam and communist ( All those who could not be countered by us with arguments)


  • Babbarsher Khan
    Aug 19, 2012 - 2:57AM

    “……They could benefit from reading Leon Trotsky’s essay The Struggle for Cultured Speech and the role of speech and language in revolutions……”
    You are expecting little too much from Kaptaan’s brigade. You are asking them to read, common, do not torture the poor fellas!


  • Babar
    Aug 19, 2012 - 3:29AM

    @ elementary, How I wish you had stopped commenting on his columns as well. So you don;t read but comment?


  • Babar
    Aug 19, 2012 - 3:31AM

    Bull’s eye. Hard hitting as always. Saroop Ijaz is by far the best writer currently in Pakistan’s op-ed scene.


  • Imran Con
    Aug 19, 2012 - 3:36AM

    Yeah. All articles criticizing him negatively magically become trash and ones praising him suddenly become the shining light to which all should stare until they go blind just like his supporters.
    Another typical and predictable PTI supporter comment, No need for a witty retort. I really do already know what replies I’ll get. You guys haven’t said something new in forever and seem to believe it somehow benefits PTI, just like Imran Khan himself. Though the reality is closer to the concept that a foolish comment doesn’t make someone a fool, repeating it does.


  • vijay natarajan
    Aug 19, 2012 - 3:41AM

    With No bIAS, i FEEL HONOURED TO READ YOUR COLUMNS. Saroop, I absolutely agree with u. I have been telling my pakistani friends this for a long time, that Imran is an idiot who thinks he can sort out the Taliban with simple dialogue. He is oversimplifying things, and God – forbid if he ever comes to power in Pakistan, Taliban will be laughing all the way…

    Well Written Saroop , keep it up.


  • Mj
    Aug 19, 2012 - 3:58AM

    Refute the author’s points then, if you can, instead of bellowing hollow protestations. Why has not IK distanced himself from the hateful and murderous crowd he associates with? Why is he, and his representatives, seen regularly at jalsas where hate speech is being conducted? Why does he not condemn terrorism unequivocally instead of acting as an apologist to the forces of murder and mayhem?


  • WB
    Aug 19, 2012 - 4:11AM

    @Ejaaz: Note to Ejaaz; PTI & IK are NOT in government so stop blaming them with whats going on! Blame the ones who are in power, the so-called liberal ANP, the corrupt PPP and the incompetent PMLN. They are the ones responsible for the current mess not IK!


  • WB
    Aug 19, 2012 - 4:14AM

    “Imran Khan walking to Sheikh Rasheed’s Lal Haveli and making an “alliance” is either plainly dumb or is under GHQ directives and that’s that”

    At least it is not under the directive of Zardari! Long live IK!


  • Khalid Aziz
    Aug 19, 2012 - 4:44AM

    IK is proving again and again that he is a “new darling” of the establishment. As a result, politicians like Sheikh Rasheed are making alliance with PTI. IK is painted as a principled, clean and revolutionary leader by his supporters on twitter n FB. Whereas, all his actions are enough to prove that he is yet another “pro establishment” and “pro status quo” poltician, who is making alliance with people like Sheikh Rasheed. Please watch this video clip to see Kaptan’s principles.



  • Aug 19, 2012 - 5:57AM



  • C. Nandkishore
    Aug 19, 2012 - 6:15AM

    A court jester is often used to bring in tomorrow’s plan as today’s jokes..


  • anon
    Aug 19, 2012 - 7:39AM

    I agree with your analysis about IK for the most part, but you do your own credibility a disservice since almost every single one of your columns are anti-PTI, or anti-judiciary. Not saying that PTI or the courts are infallible, just that be generous with your criticisms. Spread it around (PPP, MQM, etc.)


  • SM
    Aug 19, 2012 - 7:47AM

    Saroop do you think ppp and pmln are the answer to our agony. This democracy is worse than facism.


  • Javed Sahibzada
    Aug 19, 2012 - 8:03AM

    Imran has started his downfall, He has defined himself where he belongs


  • Mohsin Alam
    Aug 19, 2012 - 11:19AM

    Mr Emotional what sheikh said was not supposed to be taken in its literal meanings …. and you kow that already ….. i wonder why are you creating fuss


  • Parvez
    Aug 19, 2012 - 12:29PM

    Nicely reasoned but any perceptive person would never give the importance you are giving to people like Sk. Rasheed or Mr.Abedi.


  • observer
    Aug 19, 2012 - 1:27PM


    This is more about what Sheikh Rashid the ally of IK said, in his presence and his tacit approval, and not about what Saroop thinks.

    But then, you would not know that, as you stopped ‘reading’ a long time ago. You may save your time better if you give up commenting too.


  • Falcon
    Aug 19, 2012 - 1:35PM

    the gist of the problem is that author is being too dramatic about SR’s speech. Secondly, for all the criticism the likes of author have to deliver, please show me for once that you have done anything worthwhile for this nation and may be then someone will start taking your views seriously. Peace.Recommend

  • SAK
    Aug 19, 2012 - 1:37PM

    It is certainly about what he thinks, benami, confusion on Taliban and Sui moto if chief justice and last but not least IK followers and this is not bias or opinion @observer:


  • suraj
    Aug 19, 2012 - 1:53PM

    It is an awakening to IK to be cautious in future as the millions kept hopes on him..


  • suraj
    Aug 19, 2012 - 1:55PM

    Bro, these guys rather look for conspiracy in everything..


  • Halka Saroor
    Aug 19, 2012 - 3:00PM

    Dare i say, Dare i say, Dare i Say!


  • Jeffmahagaonvi
    Aug 19, 2012 - 3:16PM

    I absolutely agree with Mr. Saroop.Recommend

  • Aug 19, 2012 - 3:27PM

    Excellent article! IK you surely have disappointed us. Sadly what choices we have to elect our future leader IK, NS & AAZ.


  • Akmal
    Aug 19, 2012 - 4:53PM

    i am partially agreed to whatever u elaborated about IK and Sheikh nevertheless strongly disagree about the Independent judiciary and unbiased CJ. As a columnist in the hearts of ur heart u r very well aware of the biased and politically influenced decisions of honorable ( i must say honorable lest he may takes a suo motu ) CJ on certain cases briefly explained by Sayed Faisal Raza Abdi on Tv talk shows many times.


  • raja
    Aug 19, 2012 - 5:21PM

    can u pleases focus on real issue in last 4 and half years of this govt how many innocents dies in different cities,loadshedding cripples our economy and you are focus on Imran khan who have nothing to do with all of this u will have u time to do that when he is in power who is founding u to do that ? criticize him as much u an when he is in power or opposition when he take the future if this nation in his hands


  • Waiting
    Aug 19, 2012 - 5:45PM

    KKK? Really?


  • Usman Khan
    Aug 19, 2012 - 5:46PM

    Anyone now a days write against Imran Khan automatically labelled as PMLN paid worker…

    It looks everyone is sold to PMLN…what a logic by PTI supporters…!

    Why PPP & MQM not spending money to buy journalist…..?


  • abdul waheed
    Aug 19, 2012 - 6:20PM

    He is totally biased in his column. can I ask why he talking on Imran Khan.. ?? IK is never in power not having any official designation so why he is talking on him. Is he responsible for all Mess? can saroop have answer of this?? why he asked or blame this to current mafia PMLN or PPP. Is he? NO and Never.. because People like saroop has their on agendas? so he will keep it on and on!!!


  • salam
    Aug 19, 2012 - 6:43PM

    yes i am another liberated soul and am proud of being liberal .. thanks heavens i m not a supporter of Taliban , i m not a clean shaved Talib ,, not an advocate of suicide bombing… thank heavens i m a liberal not a follower of imran khanRecommend

  • nasir
    Aug 19, 2012 - 6:59PM


    who cares about you ? nobdy bothers what you are .


  • Aslam
    Aug 19, 2012 - 7:52PM

    With all due respect writer’s language in the article is not much different than Sheikh Rasheed. We can say that Sheikh is not an educated man and use rough language. But being an educated person the writer should mind his language in articles and should be respective to others. While the Sheikh Rasheed is third class comedian according to Mr. writer, on the other side he (sheikh Rasheed) is a hero and an honest leader for other, as his winning ratio in the elections shows the reality. So while slamming others we should use the language that will not feel bad to the readers as well. I hope Mr. writer will not mind it.


  • Lala Gee
    Aug 20, 2012 - 12:12AM

    I am quoting two thought provoking principles from the First Protocol taken from ‘The Protocols of Zion”. Ideally I would have liked to know the authors views, but perhaps that would not be possible. I, therefore, invite all you guys commenting here to share your views about the wisdom behind these two principles and their application in the current political situation in Pakistan.

    “6- Freedom (read principles) is only an ideal: nobody really has it. But if you want to win an election it’s good to preach the ideals of freedom, even if you plan to deprive your voters of it. If your opponent believes in the concept of freedom, like as a ‘Libertarian’, use that against him. Because if he foolishly believes in freedom he won’t be willing to use the underhanded tactics that you do. He will play fair while you fight dirty.”

    “16- Out of the temporary evil we are now compelled to commit will emerge the good of an unshakable rule, which will restore the regular course of the machinery of the national life, brought to naught by liberalism. The result justifies the means. Let us, however, in our plans, direct our attention not so much to what is good and moral as to what is necessary and useful.”


  • Cynical
    Aug 20, 2012 - 2:22AM

    @Lala Gee

    I would feel sorry for your opponents, if you ever join politics and they are not exposed to the ‘Protocols of Zion’.
    Thanks for an interesting post.


  • Ali R
    Aug 20, 2012 - 3:30AM

    ik is the most criticised leader in Pakistan.
    He has many weaknesses but he is best available.
    Mr Saroop do u want to say that zardari and NS are the options we have.
    Tell me if there is no political solution with Taliban what other do we have?
    Do u want us to fight for another ten years?
    If this is so, I an sorry I am not for it. It makes more sense to me what Ik says.
    He is not corrupt ,he is brave and it’s first time in our history that a man from middle class founded a political party and transformed it to the biggest one by his sheer determination. People like Ns and zardari look like dwarfs.


  • Wasiq
    Aug 20, 2012 - 4:42AM

    Great column, Saroop Ijaz. As for the crazies who claim to be young followers of Imran Khan, they are just paid agents. Ha Ha ha! Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Aug 21, 2012 - 3:08AM

    @Lala Gee:
    WOW, quoting from the “Protocals of Zion”! PLEASE go to Wikipedia and look up “Protocals of Zion” where you will see that it has been debunked a an anti-Semitic fraud long ago!


  • gp65
    Aug 21, 2012 - 12:12PM

    @elementary: “I have stopped reading your columns,one can almost predict what you are going to say. Very Politically biased.”
    I get that you are an IK supporter. But having read many of your earlier comments, I also see you as a fairly rational person capable of introspection. This is why I am a little surprised by your response. Did you actually hear Sheikh Rasheed’s speech? I heard excerpts in Najam Sethi’s show. They were shocking. In a country where a {rime Minister can be sacked for contempt of court (no ridicule by the way simply not obeying an order that he believes is unconstitutional), there is no consequence for incitement to murder of the President? HE also openly called upon the army to take over.

    There is a difference between being an IK supporter and treating him as some sort of infallible person who is incapable of any mistake. After all Inran uis human not God. It is not as though Imran is not familiar with Sheikh Rashid’s approach in fact in days gone by he had also indicated that he would not hire someone like Sheikh Rasheed even as his peon. So his current alignment with Sheikh Rasheed does appear somewhat opportunistic.


  • gp65
    Aug 21, 2012 - 12:26PM

    @lala Gee: You are generally quite well read though I disagree with you on some fundamental points. So I am very surprised that you would quote the Protocols of Elder Zion.

    Per Wikipedia ” he Protocols of the Elders of Zion or The Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion is an antisemitic hoax purporting to describe a Jewish plan for global domination. It was first published in Russia in 1903, translated into multiple languages, and disseminated internationally in the early part of the 20th century. Henry Ford funded printing of 500,000 copies that were distributed throughout the United States in the 1920s.
    Adolf Hitler and the Nazis publicized the text as if it were a valid document, although it was exposed as fraudulent. After the Nazi Party came to power in 1933, it ordered the text to be studied in German classrooms. The historian Norman Cohn suggested that Hitler used the Protocols as his primary justification for initiating the Holocaust—his “warrant for genocide”


  • gp65
    Aug 21, 2012 - 12:29PM

    @Falcon: Incitement to murder is acceptable speech and condemning it is dramatic? Inviting the army to break constitution is normal speech but criticizing it is drama?Don’t treat Imran with reverence as though he is the next prophet, He is just human, even if he is financially honest and patriotic – and capable of making errors and being opportunistic.


  • elementary
    Aug 21, 2012 - 6:25PM

    Do you really think SR was actually asking CJ to pick up the Gun and kill the Man.Or was it more metaphorically speaking.
    I hate SR, BTW.


  • gp65
    Aug 21, 2012 - 10:45PM

    @elementary: “@gp65:
    Do you really think SR was actually asking CJ to pick up the Gun and kill the Man.Or was it more metaphorically speaking.
    I hate SR, BTW.”

    If you hate Sheikh Rasheed, why do you disagree with the author who suggests that Imran should reconsider his partnership with this vile man?
    Also, while I do not expect the CJ topick up a gun and kill Zardari, I do take suchrabble rousing statements as incitement for murder – not by the CJ himself ofcourse but some other more easily brainwashed person. Have you forgotten Meher Bokhari’s tirade agains Salman Taseer and the gory result? Also, when so many PPP and ANP politicians have been murdered including 2 family members of Zadari (wife and f-i-l), I do not see such speech as simply metaphorical. I do not even think such speech comes within the bound of protected free speech. Show me another country where a politican can get away with using such language against an elected President – no matter how unpopular he may be.


  • USMAN786
    Aug 22, 2012 - 11:58AM

    I donot appreciate the way he ridicules any person. INfact it was SR who used to stand up against Mush in Cabinet meetings when no one dares to speak.SR may not be educated and thus sophisticated like other “educated leaders and people” but still there is no corruption charge against him and he has exposed many in SC. Given the present situation in Pak, many people are wondering why army is not putting a check on these corrupt people. Justification by army that it is not there business is not acceptable to innocent Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Lala Gee
    Aug 22, 2012 - 5:44PM


    “@lala Gee: You are generally quite well read though I disagree with you on some fundamental points. So I am very surprised that you would quote the Protocols of Elder Zion.”

    My idea is that the people commenting here are generally knowledgeable and of above average IQ, but you both guys missed the real point and instead indulged in the useless debate of the authenticity of the Protocols. My real purpose to quote the two commandments was to highlight the authors consistent hypocrisy as he criticize the flaws in the IK’s actions while completely ignoring, and hence indirectly condoning, his opponents who are truly following these two guidelines mentioned in “The Protocols of Zion”.

    “1- If your opponent believes in the concept of freedom (read principles), like as a ‘Libertarian’, use that against him. Because if he foolishly believes in freedom he won’t be willing to use the underhanded tactics that you do. He will play fair while you fight dirty.”

    “2- The result justifies the means. Let us, however, in our plans, direct our attention not so much to what is good and moral as to what is necessary and useful.”

    My mere mentioning from the Protocols was an act of sarcasm as well as criticism of the author’s unprincipled rhetoric rather than affirming the authenticity of the Protocols. Luckily, I read the wikipedia entry, you mentioned, even before I read these Protocols. Though I am not absolutely sure about its authenticity, yet I cannot discard it blindly. Yesterday I heard Jimmy Carter in Christian Amanpur program on CNN saying “it is very difficult to say anything against Israel”, the brainchild of Zions. To support my view is the fact that Henry Ford and Hitler were very intelligent and informed people and the other millions who believed cannot be categorized just as morons. To judge by yourself, carefully research if the present day political, financial, and media position is consistent or not with the objectives of the Protocols written about 125 years ago.


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