Introspection: Hasan Nisar Has His Say

Posted on April 25, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, History, Society
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Adil Najam

Urdu columnist Hasan Nisar is known for his outspoken view. He can sometimes be a loose canon, but whether you agree with him or not (and I do not as often as I do) he makes you think. He certainly does that in this outburst on a TV talk show (this is an old recording, but I do not know from exactly when).

35 Comments on “Introspection: Hasan Nisar Has His Say”

  1. ASAD says:
    April 26th, 2009 1:28 am

    Wow. What a breath of fresh air. Honest and hard-hitting. Saying it as it is. We need to stop making excuses and searching for conspiracies and fixing that which is wrong with us ourselves!

  2. Junaid says:
    April 26th, 2009 2:43 am

    This is exactly what I have been saying.

    Having a victim mentality doesnt help. Believing in conspiracy theories and blaming others for one’s own miseries is signs of a defeated mentality, vanquished will power and beaten resolve.

  3. Harris Siddiqi says:
    April 26th, 2009 7:55 am

    Whether you like it or not, he is speaking the truth. We are a beaten nation, both physically and mentally.

    Let’s see how long does it take before someone labels him an “agent” of the U.S or Israel in the comments section of this very post.

  4. April 26th, 2009 8:53 am

    Truly fine words because words that cause us to think are better than all else.What I had learned in my quarter a century life,is that we lack only one thing-that is approach towards issues with an intriguing and knowledge seeking mind.We need to learn againg that there are three stages of learning.
    Alas, we are not even at the lowest state, that is we’re not well informed about history ( take it any subject).and this lack of information is STILL increasing in this age of hightech communication. :(
    Either it’s good or bad, I learned above philosophy from an innovation in education lecrure by noted Sikh( about whom we,ntionally, love to cut jokes always) Food Engineeerinmg expert of international repute.

  5. D_a_n says:
    April 26th, 2009 9:07 am

    ….Hasan Nisar is a man I have always read and admired….

    his frustration..mirrors my own…and is pitiably palpable….

    but what he says is at the heart of out maladies…

    that remark about not being able to come up with a windshield wiper is particularly painful and comes like a kick to the groin…….

  6. Adnan Ahmad says:
    April 26th, 2009 9:13 am

    Great post! I urge every one to watch it.

    What makes it all the more interesting is that maulvis of all prominent musliks are sittings next to him.

  7. IT Buzz says:
    April 26th, 2009 10:11 am

    its really an awesome discussion thanks for sharing buddy.

  8. Sadi says:
    April 26th, 2009 10:26 am

    Great words of wisdom. Thanks for this post Adil.

    I have been extremely disturbed by this audio and I urge you to bring this to light. I know the content is set to spoil ones breakfast, but this should be shared.

    Leaves one wondering, who will watch the watchdog?

  9. Ali Rizvi says:
    April 26th, 2009 10:43 am

    Although Mr. Nisar makes some valid points about introspection, there are unignorable pointers to the involvement of RAW and CIA towards the development of the likes of Taliban and the BLA.

    Although I agree that by addressing social injustices and lawlessness in Swat and Balochistan (and indeed the rest of the country) we need to take away the fuel from the fire, overlooking the hands that light the fire would be a very grave mistake.

  10. Hussain says:
    April 26th, 2009 10:57 am

    Very powerful stuff. He is saying what so many of us are thinking.

    Thank yo ATP for posting this. We need to pass this one around and make people start thinking rather than just pointing fingers.

  11. jock says:
    April 26th, 2009 11:11 am

    @ Harris Siddiqui

    I agree with your comments and you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty who are calling him traitor on the YouTube channel…never takes them long to notice right?…:)

  12. MQ says:
    April 26th, 2009 11:21 am

    Baat tau theek kar raha hai banda. He is hitting the nail on the nose. Yes, I mean, nose.

  13. Nostalgic says:
    April 26th, 2009 11:52 am

    What Hasan Nisar had to say has already been commented on by other posters… I would just like to point out the makeup of the guests and the audience… three of the guests wear the sort of beards only committed right wingers wear… and the audience is made up of incredibly shabbily dressed kids… even ten years ago, this would have been impossible…

    I look at recordings of television shows from the 70s and even the 80s, and the well-dressed, articulate guests are a sight to behold… somewhere along the line, these mullahs, mullah wannabees and mullah sympathizers were given a stamp of approval of which they were completely undeserving…

  14. MK says:
    April 26th, 2009 12:07 pm

    What Hasan Nisar is doing is the easiest thing to do in this world. Acting morally correct in a debate is the poorest defence.
    Not to say that he is wrong in saying what he is saying. But for point scoring in a debate it is the easiest thing to do. Unfortunately all of us do this (as i am doing right now by writing this comment). What no one is willing to answer is the right question and then the right answer. I think it is here where we lack the essential structure in our TV shows. very few of these are not response driven.
    I think our emphasis should be on finding answers nor crticising what has been happening before us. History is its own judge no one needs anyone like Nisar to judge it.

  15. ASAD says:
    April 26th, 2009 1:06 pm


    I wish you were right and speaking uncomfortable truths was as easy as you say it is. I wish it were but if it were more would be doing it. I wish more were doing it. Maybe you should start doing it too, if it is that easy. If more people did, the world would be a better place.

  16. Nathan says:
    April 26th, 2009 1:18 pm

    I like how Nisar points out that higher education is the key for success in pakistan and muslim ummah.

  17. Azlan says:
    April 26th, 2009 1:33 pm

    well as per me he always says what we actually want to say and listen but due to many reasons we normally do not get to listen how we actually want to

  18. Harris Siddiqi says:
    April 26th, 2009 2:13 pm

    The very first step towards finding a solution is identifying the problem. Once we identify our own shortcomings and leave the crutches of “conspiracy” to justify our current affairs, we can start looking at possible solutions.

    Our nation needs this “in your face” attitude to realize where Pakistan and Pakistanis stand on the global stage.

  19. Saeed says:
    April 26th, 2009 2:51 pm

    Well said Mr. Nisar.

  20. Jabbar Usmani says:
    April 26th, 2009 4:44 pm

    Great find. His sentiments are also mine but I could never say it this well. Glad that he is saying this. We need more people to speak out.

  21. Aamir Ali says:
    April 26th, 2009 6:45 pm

    Mr Nisan is one of the extremely few Urdu columnist/writers who speak the voice of reason and facts. The Urdu media in Pakistan should have more such voices.

  22. waqsa says:
    April 26th, 2009 7:35 pm

    I agree with him but again, its he is only pointing out at the problem not giving solution, I think most of us already know the problem, we need solutions now, if he is such a good columnist/writers why doesn’t he give us solutions

  23. Shiraz says:
    April 26th, 2009 11:13 pm
  24. Shiraz says:
    April 27th, 2009 12:06 am
  25. Riaz Haq says:
    April 27th, 2009 12:16 am

    In Greek mythology, Cassandra is someone who tells the bitter truth or bad news but no one believes her. Along with a few others like Pervez Hoodbhoy, Hasan Nisar fulfills the role of a Cassandra in Pakistan. If we accept everything he says, we’d all be very depressed. But we do need to pay attention to him, and others like him.

  26. Qasim says:
    April 27th, 2009 3:52 am

    Seems like an interesting person, he raises some good points. He also raises neat sounding platitudes and anecdotes, all of which aren’t true though.

    To say that the west is “civilized”, while we historically always been a bunch of idiots injecting our goats with water and killing each other isn’t true. It would be a half-truth to highlight the instances where bad stuff happened, because it would skew the overall picture being painted of earlier eras. Factually, there’s a flip side not mentioned in the video, in which there was a time when 1/3rd the population of Europe was wiped out from plague because of deplorable hygene(kitchens and bathrooms weren’t seperated in cramped European cities that era, very healthy and ‘civilized’ indeed), then they were declaring random people to be witches and burning them by the thousands, and then burning Muslims and Jews during the Spanish Inquisition. And Muslim cities were centres of civilized learning back then. These facts paint a different picture of that era, skewed the other way. When you add both sides, you get to see the whole picture.

    He says that we shouldn’t blame the west for what it’s doing because when ‘we’ were in our better days, we used to do the same stuff. But we didn’t have Abu Ghraibs and Guantanamo bay secret prisons, or continue to use stuff like napalm that burns people’s skin right down to their bones, like the US did in Falluja, or how Israel did in Gaza, with the US supplying the stuff and turning a blind eye. Neither did we support and fun dictators all over the world.

    I’d take his meaning to be that rather than blaming the west, we should try to do something to improve our stuff. And that’s true. And one of the things we need to do, is to decrease the influence the west holds on us, and think for ourselves. Our corrupt leaders that he blames us for appointing, weren’t appointed by us. They’re only there because the US appointed them, they’re widely unpopular locally, and such leaders have in our history, lasted only until the US didn’t need them anymore. Blaming others for what happens to us removes any responsibility we might feel for improving our situation. On the other hand, feeling guilty and blaming ourselves for everything all the time can make us treat all the symptoms without fixing the core problems.

    My point is that if my neighbor keeps lobbing bricks breaking the windows of my house, the solution wouldn’t be to blame myself for the broken windows, because I’m not efficient enough to constantly get them fixed. The solution would be to ask your neighbor why they did that, and tell them to stop. By supporting unpopular leaders who mess everything up, the US is breaking our stuff. It’s not that we’re the only society from which people like Zardari arise. There’s plenty of crackpots in every society. Our crackpots just get entrusted with responsibility they can’t handle, because that serves the US. And we should do something about that.

  27. Ali Hassan says:
    April 27th, 2009 9:10 am


    We need more Cassandras who dare to speak out the truth. People like him and like Adil Najam and others make us proud and are the conscience of the nation.

  28. Farrukh says:
    April 27th, 2009 3:47 pm

    Well said, Sir.

    I just sent a link to this to a bunch of friends. This is what we should all be thinking about.

  29. Harris Siddiqi says:
    April 27th, 2009 5:52 pm


    Just mere mentioning of the history of the west and how uncivilized they were wouldn’t change a damn thing. Our own history is pretty colorful when it comes to human rights or war crimes. I can give you several examples of that.

    As far as Abu-Gharaib prison incident is concerned, what is it that happened at Abu-Gharaib that does not go on in our rural “thanas” every single day? I have heard stories about the treatment of people in Pakistani police stations that will make Abu-Gharaib look like a country club. Let’s not even mention the private prisons here.

    Civilization does not eliminate crime, it only provides for a free and fair justice system that holds the culprit accountable. We are still missing that basic ingredient.

  30. Omar Malik says:
    April 28th, 2009 2:36 am

    I can’t disaree to the views of Hassan Nisar … Infact, makes me think seriously… The issue is glaringly obvious.. and the solution is rather simple – but would seem complex due to our current state of affairs individually and collectively. Nisar has given ample hints to that as well.
    Thanks to Adil for putting up this thought provoking clip and thanks to Shiraz as well for helping me with the remaining clips of the program.

  31. Qasim says:
    April 28th, 2009 3:40 am


    You are exactly right! While civilization doesn’t mean we don’t have problems anymore, it means we get to deal with the problems we face, in a dignified, collaborative, amicable manner.

    My point was, that I didn’t think the US ever was, or is, an ideal example of what we should turn into. And I guess I reacted to nice, rounded, good-sounding platitudes and rhyming punjabi poetry phrases, using which the columnist appeared to highlight how wonderful the west was, and how we were responsible for every wrong that existed. And I felt that was an exaggeration of the facts.

    The US, as a foreign occupation force, tortures indigenous Iraqis in secret prisons like Abu Ghraib, while we are chronically abusive to our own people, not just in thaanas, but at courts, govt offices and such. I don’t know what is worse, and that contest probably isn’t relevant either. Both are wrong, and need to change. We need to focus on our own problems rather than point fingers at the US and what, where, and how they messed up. Because wherever they messed up, is their problem because it’d effect them, not us. However, when they try to mess our stuff up, for example, by selecting widely unpopular leaders and by their approval targetting parts of our sovereign nation with missile strikes, we need to muster up the courage to tell them this is wrong.

    Pointing out the wrongs they do to us and asking them to stop, doesn’t equate to pointing fingers at their personal problems, atleast to me. We definitely need to start dealing with our problems in a civilized, dignified manner, and a part of that consists of standing up when we’re wronged.

  32. zia m says:
    April 28th, 2009 12:20 pm

    No doubt,the West was uncivilized but they were able to reform their religion resulting in a tolerant and open society.We on the other hand are not able to do so and are suffering the consequences.

    One thing we need to understand,Muslim scientific revolution in medieval times did not occur because of Islam instead it happened inspite of Islam.

  33. Kamran says:
    April 28th, 2009 4:30 pm

    Aaaah Qasim, your individualistic point of view saddens me.

  34. Mr.Khan says:
    February 18th, 2010 2:34 am

    hassan nisar is traitor and a turn coat must be eliminated with due effect… (Intelligence .Bureau (I.B) Annual report)

  35. Costa says:
    March 14th, 2010 11:17 am


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