Naya vs Purana Pakistan?

Beep-beep. Early morning. Text message from a friend in Karachi. So, bleary-eyed, I read that “My party has won. It is 5 am here and I am going to sleep!" Big smile. But before that there was a swipe about the fate of Musharraf — he knows I do not dislike the former president, which is of course putting it subtly.

Since Pakistan broke my sleep, I jotted down a few quick thoughts on the election results:

1. For all talk of democracy, it boiled down to the Punjabi, Sindhi, Mohajir, Pathan votes, and Balochi, Ahmadi non-votes.

2. There is always talk about a sympathy wave. If that were the case then the ANP that lost quite a few members to murderous devils would not have been routed.

3. Imran Khan is now a leader, so it's time he behaved like one. And not a tribal chief, even though Khyber Pakhtunkwa gave his party the votes.

4. I can already see the gleam in a certain Indian anchor's eyes as his voice quivers while screaming, "The nation wants to know if Nawaz Sharif will take action against Pervez Musharraf for crossing over to Kargil during the war"!

5. Nawaz Sharif has inherited a huge problem - his brother, Shahbaz.

6. Asif Ali Zardari has too many opponents within the PPP, including his son Bilawal. One of them will grow up.

7. Pakistan will continue to be important to the United States, China, Afghanistan and India for the same reasons as it has been for many years.

8. Imran Khan's slogan of 'Naya Pakistan' was the most potent one. Good varnish job, as happens in almost every country.

Let me end with an appropriate couplet by Faiz Ahmed Faiz:

"har chaaraagar ko chaaraagari se gurez tha
varna humein jo dukh the bahut laa-davaa na the"

(The healer avoided healing, but my troubles were incurable anyway)

© Farzana Versey


  1. Asking one's opinion about Pak poll results right now is not too dissimilar to asking whether one would like to be blown up by a bomb or get one's throat slit on camera.

    Hopefully things will change soon..

  2. Although PTI supporters are heartbroken today, most of us knew PTI won't get the majority votes to form a government. But change has come in Pakistan because a lot of us came out to vote despite threats and other odds. That is a small step towards bringing a positive change in the country.

  3. F&F:

    You are terrible with predictions. Get that parrot now :-)


    Well, PTI has made a huge presence from what it was. Except that they were expecting a bit too much. Not too sure if voters get to decide about 'change'. But hope it happens...

  4. #'s 5,6 and 8 are my favorites :)

    I find something a bit off in the translation of the couplet at the end...

    shouldn't it be either "but the troubles i face ARE incurable anyway" or "but the troubles i facED WERE incurable anyway"?

  5. Meriam:

    How nice...I should have made this into some sort of quiz or multiple choice questionnaire.

    Re. the translation, I thought the past continuous would work, but an adjective comes in...so, I know what you are saying.

    I changed it to something crisper from "but the troubles I face were incurable anyway" to "my troubles are incurable anyway". Then the Were and Are won't trouble!

  6. "laa-davaa na the" has a double negative which might be translated as my troubles were NOT incurable, implying that had the so-called healers not chosen the path of avoidance, my troubles weren't all that incurable to begin with.

    Excellent and quite apropos.

  7. Oh...I get the double negative, but I thought the 'varna' was a tease, like damn the healers...I could live with my ailments.

    But I've maintained that my Urdu is rusty and I tend to 'interpret', as some of you do.

    Khair, thank you. And indeed, I did find the couplet very apt.

  8. I am very surprised that Imran Khan lost. I thought it was finally his turn, kind of disappointing. How on earth did Nawaz Sharif win? The rest is like you say same old, same old.

  9. Sai:

    I was absolutely certain Imran Khan would not be PM, but he has made some strides. Nawaz Sharif probably won due to the good old anti-incumbency.

  10. "How nice...I should have made this into some sort of quiz or multiple choice questionnaire."


    "Nawaz Sharif probably won due to the good old anti-incumbency."

    Sharif won because he's Punjabi. Khan lost because of his vacuous supporters. Opportunity wasted. The designer revolution was DOA.

  11. No sar...casm here. It's just the picking of favourites reminded me of the occasional surveys I used to put up, and this one had the potential.

    Yes, Nawaz's Punjabi factor came into the picture too as did PTI's OTT campaign. Wonder what's in store...


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.