Is ‘dheet’ the word I want?

Published: March 28, 2013
The writer is a columnist, a former major of the Pakistan Army and served as press secretary to Benazir Bhutto

The writer is a columnist, a former major of the Pakistan Army and served as press secretary to Benazir Bhutto

But before we go there, a hand for democracy winning out at the end, despite the serious assaults upon it by the Ghairat Brigades and its masters who live and operate in the underworld, in the dank and dark shadows in which our Deep State thrives.

How good it is to see a caretaker prime minister and chief ministers take over from elected politicians thrown up by the national and provincial assemblies without the “aid” of the Pakistan Army, abetted by people like Ghulam Ishaq Khan (aka Mr GIK) and Farooq Leghari and their ilk.

How heartening, despite the slings and arrows so to speak, of the Ghairat Brigades and their cohorts when they quite rudely point to the ages of the chief election commissioner and the caretaker PM, or when they question someone’s credibility on spurious allegations of being an agent of this or that foreign country; to see Pakistan start the transition from one civilian elected government to another.

How wonderful to see the political temperature, which was raised to beyond boiling point by hawks in all parties, come down to civilised levels, telling the world that we are not a bunch of monkeys but a good and sagacious people who need a chance to shape our own destiny without help from the security establishment that so prides itself on being the “most efficient” organisation in Pakistan.

And now to being dheet and who first in line but the great Commando himself who made a homecoming to the rapturous cheers of upwards of 1,000 supporters who turned out to greet him at Karachi airport.

The versatile and vigorous Urdu word dheet has many meanings in English, but my preferences are: “petulant”, “pretentious”, “insolent” and “wanton”. For now, let us leave aside the fact that among his other achievements, such as gifting us the Mullah Military Alliance (MMA), the Commando also dismissed and arrested the superior judiciary, let me take you back to 2006 when he was master of all he surveyed; when, according to himself, manna from heaven used to fall in Pakistan. My family and I had just returned from Sri Lanka and Thailand.

On August 3, 2006, I wrote in the Daily Times: “As fated, we have made the great leap backward after our month-long holiday, landing with a rude thud back in the Fatherland, bang smack in the middle of the utter chaos that is Musharraf’s Pakistan. Right from Karachi airport’s immigration hall which gave the impression of a badly-run fish market despite the brave efforts of the helpful and considerate immigration officers, to the meeting area in the airport’s veranda which was as usual teeming with taxi drivers soliciting passengers, to the city which was, as usual, in the throes of loadshedding, all of it was exactly as one had left it.”

And: “Whilst our hostess in Karachi had a generator and we slept off our jetlag in peace, that very evening, visiting my son’s home we were hit by loadshedding. ‘Signs of evermore progress, Abba,’ exclaimed Tubby, echoing Musharraf. Incidentally, last week I had also referred in this space to the General’s brilliant statement that there was a power shortage in Pakistan because there was progress in Pakistan. I had pointed out that this obviously meant that Sri Lanka and Thailand and Malaysia were not progressing because we experienced no loadshedding there.”

So there you have it, reader, a short glimpse into the Commando’s Pakistan, fully five and a half years into his reign, for there is no other word for his absolute rule, in which he wielded unlimited and supreme power and was answerable to no one on earth; a time when the US had opened its generous coffers and billions were pouring into the country no questions asked. And when not one watt generated by a new power station was added to the country’s grid. The man left the country in such a terrible mess and still wants to take us back to those days? If this is not dheetpuna what is?

However, this dheetpuna extends elsewhere too: you guessed it, to the bowels of the Deep State too, which goes on tripping over its two left feet when it comes to combating terrorism, which is threatening the very existence of this country. Whether it is the advance of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its foreign commanders and men in Tirah and Bara, getting ever closer to Peshawar, or to the extreme threats being issued by Shia killers, the Deep State, which is a law unto itself, acts as if it sees no evil, hears no evil. Simply because it does not let go of its stupid jihadi policies, and goes on boxing above its weight.

What could be a more serious indictment of the “premier” agencies the MI and the ISI than the fact that it took the Supreme Court, no less, to get them to admit this last Tuesday to a huge terrorist threat to the country. What more proof is needed that the “agencies” know a whole lot more than they divulge, even to the properly constituted government of the country?

Whilst this in itself proves that they might be up to no good in their arrogant quest for “strategic depth”, it is no secret to be told by them that sectarian killers are hooking up with the TTP. We, the common people of this hapless country, knew this many years ago. We can read you know, sirs.

So, there we have it: good news and very bad news indeed. And while there is a (tiny) sliver of hope in the distant future in that a whole lot of young people have evinced an interest in politics and elections thanks to the exertions of Imran Khan’s PTI, I foresee an extremely difficult time for the country in the immediate future.

And that hinges on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan when the guns of the Afghan Taliban and the TTP and its foreign jihadis will turn on our country. THAT is when the thing will hit the fan. Wait for it.

Dheetpuna, what else?

Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (33)

  • huh
    Mar 28, 2013 - 11:16PM

    “Is ‘dheet’ the word I want?” Yes if you’re looking to describe yourself that is the perfect word.


  • gp65
    Mar 28, 2013 - 11:17PM

    “The versatile and vigorous Urdu word dheet has many meanings in English, but my preferences are: “petulant”, “pretentious”, “insolent” and “wanton”.”

    My preference would be shameless and recalcitrant. Also answer to your question in a word is ‘Yes”.


  • Khadim Karrar
    Mar 28, 2013 - 11:22PM

    You fail to mention NRO which brought in Zardari eventually. You also fail to compare the performances of the democratic governments prior to Musharraf’s rule. Nor do you mention the worse economic performance of the Government that followed his. A more focused write-up is expected of the writer of your reputation.


  • Aahjiz BayNawa
    Mar 28, 2013 - 11:36PM

    He is a “dheet” only when someone powerful is behind him when not he runs away. He is clever as a fox but only for his own good.


  • Comical
    Mar 28, 2013 - 11:39PM

    Comical but a good read, I doubt the youth’s involvement in politics will bode well for the country though as they resemble the uneducated Roman mobs moreso then any other group in history


  • FN
    Mar 28, 2013 - 11:58PM

    Forget the word.
    We should, can never forget NRO.
    Pakistan is still reeling from its effects and who we ended up with. This alone is enough for Musharraf to go back and not meddle anymore in Pakistani politics.


  • ss
    Mar 29, 2013 - 12:29AM



  • sabi
    Mar 29, 2013 - 12:48AM

    Nobody has decieved Pakistani volk so blatantly as this commando,who still thinks his agenda is not yet complete.This commando was bowled by mullah on first delivery and in second innings clean bowled by Powel again on first ball.The rest is a history of great misiries.Loser were those who preferd dictatorship over democracy i.e.general public.


  • Mar 29, 2013 - 2:04AM

    Very well written as always but when will our sacred cows learn something.


  • Sajida
    Mar 29, 2013 - 7:30AM

    As UN HDI reveals Pakistan fared better under him. And this is the disgrace! Keep in mind politicians were presiding over a period main economy-ag income based was booming because of rising food prices world wide and this sector of course is- exempt from taxation! When ” expenditure on social sectors is lower than some of the poorest African countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo” it is something to be greatly ashamed of.


  • lalai
    Mar 29, 2013 - 8:17AM

    One of the best hope coming at the end of this democratic period is the fact that Baluchistan Nationalists including Sardar Akhter Mengal is participating in elections and confirmed that he will take oath under Pakistan constitution if comes to power.


  • soem one
    Mar 29, 2013 - 8:58AM

    @Aahjiz BayNawa:
    then why dont you vote for Zardari & nawaz im sure you & your country were very happy the last 5 years

    no sense at all
    you are Dheet


  • Nawfil
    Mar 29, 2013 - 9:47AM

    @huh:That was something I was about to comment!


  • Asad
    Mar 29, 2013 - 9:48AM

    Victory of democracy? Are you living in the same country which I call Pakistan? If I had the option, I would have hit recommend multiple times on the comment by ‘HUh’…


  • Ammar
    Mar 29, 2013 - 10:37AM

    Brilliant as ever!


  • Akhtar Baloch
    Mar 29, 2013 - 12:54PM

    Please grow up.


  • Mar 29, 2013 - 1:01PM

    My two cents on this unprofessional column: ex Major Sb. trying to settle some personal score with General Musharraf. Period.Recommend

  • Faisal
    Mar 29, 2013 - 4:52PM

    62 people liking the comments calling the author dheet for berating Musharraf explains why “Musharraf” keep on happening to this nation.


  • Syed
    Mar 29, 2013 - 5:11PM

    Musharraf might be a bad person and a bad leader. But when you compare him to the other politicians, he might look like an angel. Things were bad in Pakistan but the last 5 years were the worst. I have no hope from the Sharif brothers as they look like the favorites at the moment.


  • Ayesha
    Mar 29, 2013 - 5:11PM

    isnt everyone doing the same thing-what makes Mush any different…..


  • Morons
    Mar 29, 2013 - 6:37PM

    You should be more concerned of why Bhuttos and Shareefs keep happening in this country….


  • Fasi
    Mar 29, 2013 - 8:20PM

    Very well written, those who do not agree is a typical example of Pakistani blind voters. We forget too soon and a few patriot slogans can make us fall for anyone. That is why, we see the same faces again n again. Common question: If he were so great, why were we suffering after 10 years of his rule? When he actually had all the power and there were not too many obstacles in his way.


  • Maula Jat
    Mar 29, 2013 - 8:34PM

    The article is missing an important point. Musharraf is the first dictator who is presenting himself for public scrutiny. It is now for the public to make or break him. How many years has it taken Imran Khan to be accepted as a political player? Musharraf has just taken his first steps. Let us wait a few weeks before being so judgmental either way.


  • Abid P. Khan
    Mar 29, 2013 - 10:17PM

    @Maula Jat:
    @Akhtar Baloch:
    @soem one:
    “Is ‘dheet’ the word I want?” Yes if you’re looking to describe yourself that is the perfect word.
    Life was tough for this non-fighting soldier in the army but bitterness persists. Should be happy he could make it to a major. Even now a —-minor.


  • Parvez
    Mar 29, 2013 - 10:18PM

    Delusional …………….is also very apt.


  • Aahjiz BayNawa
    Mar 29, 2013 - 10:34PM

    @soem one:
    Read my previous comment on which you have commented. My comment read: “He is a “dheet” only when someone powerful is behind him when not he runs away. He is clever as a fox but only for his own good.”
    Now, nothing in my comment recommends Nawaz Sharif or Zardari. Therefore, your comment is irrelevant.


  • Aahjiz BayNawa
    Mar 29, 2013 - 11:33PM

    @soem one:

    To get further clarification, read my comment on
    ‘Clean’ reputation: PM Khoso refuses to induct president’s men in cabinet
    “Aahjiz BayNawa
    21 hours ago
    Let no one with any political affiliation or sympathy be appointed in any capacity in the caretaker setup. Only honest persons with expertise, conscientious and truthful technocrats, if you will, be appointed fearlessly or Khoso should resign if he cannot withstand the political pressures. Let no one make a mess of Pakistan anymore.”
    Soem one: So next time, please be careful of what you say.


  • Enlightened
    Mar 29, 2013 - 11:50PM

    Full marks to KS for penning this delicious write up. Dheet is mostly used in Indian Panjab for a stubborn child or person who despite being scolded several times keeps on committing the same mistake over and over again showing complete defiance. I feel sorry for KS and even Pakistan who despite giving best possible advice and even scolding for many years could not change the dheetpunna of the deep state.


  • Saad Hasan
    Mar 30, 2013 - 12:29AM

    After couple of childish articles, you have produced considerably readable one. I fully agree with your perception that Sir Commando should have abstained himself to come back in the country. He should be spending a peaceful life abroad like another dheet that is Shaukat Aziz. I donot understand why people donot have contentment. One must understand that he is not the saviour of this country. Let the young generation take the revenge by voting for their dear ones. Afterall young generation comprises 2/3rd of country’s population. Hope the change will come.


  • Abid P. Khan
    Mar 30, 2013 - 12:14PM

    “Dheet is mostly used in Indian Panjab for a stubborn child or person….”

    Oh, thank you very much for enlightening us.


  • Mohammad
    Mar 30, 2013 - 2:51PM

    usually writers tries to achieve something by their articles, blogs etc. I wonder what you are trying to achieve… each of your article is based on hater or vendetta….Recommend

  • Enlightened
    Mar 30, 2013 - 6:36PM

    @Abid P. Khan:
    Thanks for reminding me that people across the border also speak Punjabi. Abid, mere walon tuhanu Sat Sri Akal te salaams.


  • Assad
    Mar 31, 2013 - 10:10PM

    Because the author’s constant harangues against Musharraf are not only getting old, but they are quite useless as you can see that Musharraf is back in the country and will contest elections amidst the hundreds and thousands of other political leeches that have been sucking the country dry, yet our amazing Major sahib has nothing to say about their raping and pillaging of Pakistan.

    Coming from a background similar to the Major sahib and being a watcher of Pakistani politics, I can say one thing with clarity of thought that while Musharraf has his flaws, yet his flaws are at least a known quantity. The damage that is inflicted by the other two faced, hypocritical politicians is an unknown but deadly quantity.


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