Why Do People Hate You?

Posted on October 19, 2009
Filed Under >Mast Qalandar, Humor, Politics
Total Views: 43546


Aziz Akhmad

This was the question a 9-year-old fourth-grader asked President Obama at a town hall meeting, last week, in New Orleans.

Obviously the boy must have been exposed to the right wing propaganda and mounting criticism of Obama these days, on TV, by Republicans and other quarters, not happy with his proposed health care plan, the unemployment and recession that doesn’t seem to be going away, and his handling of the Afghanistan war.

The question the boy asked temporarily silenced the crowd, an awkward silence, but Obama, the wordsmith that he is, flashed a broad smile at the audience, gave a little hug to the boy and skillfully turned the question into a teaching moment, not only for the young student but also for the audience, both inside and outside the town hall.

Addressing the boy as if he were talking to an equal, Obama said:

“Well, first of all, I did get elected President, and not everybody hates me; I got a whole lot of votes. If you’re watching TV lately, everyone seems mad all the time. Some of it’s just what’s called politics. One party wins, the other party feels it needs to poke you to keep you on your toes. You shouldn’t take it too seriously. People are worried about their own lives, losing jobs, health care, homes, and feeling frustrated. When you’re President of the United States you’ve got to deal with all of that.”

The audience largely cheered the president, and the boy later told the reporters that the president’s answer made him feel good.

Handling difficult and embarrassing questions and turning them to one’s advantage, is a skill that can be learnt, that is, if one wants to and tries to learn. Clearly, Obama has that skill. Of course, the right kind of education — not just a degree — and conviction of one’s political beliefs and integrity also helps.

Watching Obama’s performance, I wondered how some of our top leaders, if confronted with the same question in a crowd, would answer the situation. As an exercise, for fun, I asked a few of my Pakistani American friends — a doctor, a banker, a professor and a marketer — who keep a close watch on the Pakistani political. We brainstormed for a while and a came up with the following hypothetical answers. While doing this exercise, we tried, as much as possible, to remain objective and be descriptive rather than judgmental. Here is how our leaders would have answered the question:

Pervez Musharraf, twitching his lips and glowering at the boy:

“Who says people hate me? This is not true. I am 120 percent certain people love me. In fact, they want me to come back and be their president once again. And, I will! I am not a coward. I always kept national interest uppermost. (Raising both his fists in the air) Sab say pehlay Pakistan!”

Asif Zardari, taking out a portrait of Benazir from his breast pocket, holding it to the boy and speaking, breathlessly, without a pause:

“My party has made huge sacrifices for democracy. Shaheed Bibi gave her life. Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto gave his life. I spent 11 years in jail. But I always said, ‘Pakistan khappay’. I did this for Pakistan. I did this for democracy. Democracy is the biggest revenge!

My army, today, is fighting the terrorists in Waziristan. I shall fight them in the mountains; I shall fight them in the caves; I shall fight them in the fields. I shall never surrender to these hate mongers.

You must have seen large ads in newspapers, with my portraits and that of my whole family, put out by my ministers and advisors, congratulating me for what I am doing for Pakistan. That shows, not all people hate me.

I come from the land of saints. I have nothing but love for everyone, and malice towards none. I extended this message even to Sarah Palin when I met her in New York, even though I knew she won’t get elected. I am told, of all the world leaders she met, she still remembers me kindly. That is the power of love.”

Nawaz Sharif, bending down to the boy with a pained smile on his face:

“Beta, who told you this? This must be a rumor spread by the enemies of Pakistan. How can they hate me? I stood up to the US pressure when no one could. Bill Clinton called me five times, yes, five times! I was counting. But I went ahead and did the dhamaka, anyway. Do you think that coward Musharraf could do that?

And do you remember, I also sacked a serving army chief when he opened his mouth publicly against me? Who else could do that? In fact, if you study history, which you would when you go to higher classes, the only other person who sacked a senior army general was President Truman of America. He fired General MacArthur for bragging publicly. Truman was a tough and stubborn man, like myself. He made difficult decisions. He also did a dhamaka over Japan. Actually, I didn’t know these things about Truman. I don’t get much time to read. It was my information minister who told me this. He said I was tough like Truman. He also once compared me with Sher Shah Suri. But he turned out to be a Lota — not Sher Shah Suri, but my information minister.

I believe in the supremacy of democratic civilian government. That’s why I signed the Charter of Democracy. I hate self-serving politicians and lotas hobnobbing secretly with the army generals and trying to stab democracy in the back. I have also told Shahbaz Saab not to meet the generals secretly anymore. If he has to, he should meet them in open kutcherries — or, preferably, in a good tikka joint, in which case I might also join them. I believe Khakis love good food, particularly barbecued quail and male sparrows, just like I do.

Don’t worry about Musharraf. I will bring him back to Pakistan, handcuffed to the aircraft seat, and try him under Article 6. I don’t talk much about him anymore because the Big Brother advised me not to. It’s always good to listen to the Big Brother. No one knows, when we might need him again. That is what I advise Shabaz Saab, too.”

Imran Khan, with an expression that varies between a smirk and a grimace:

“You see, you have got to understand the root cause of hate. It is all because of the American presence in Afghanistan. Before the Americans came to Afghanistan, there was no problem. The wolf dwelt with the lamb and the Taliban would distribute bottles of milk and honey on street corners to men, women and children.

I have traveled extensively throughout FATA. I know these people better than anyone else. Even if I don’t understand their language, I can read their mind. They are my people.

Dont be confused by their rhyming names – Baitullah, Hakimullah, Fazlullah. They are basically good people, harmless as cows. All they want is to have a jirga system and nizam-i-adl established throughout Pakistan, with them running the system. They want quick and cheap justice. Murderers to end up hanging on lampposts or trees, thieves on chopping blocks, rapists on chopping blocks, too. No parliament, no judiciary, no nonsense. You see, lampposts and chopping blocks are far cheaper than building courts and hiring judges and lawyers. Once we have enough lampposts and chopping blocks, there will be peace and love all around.”

Maulana Fazlur Rehman:

“Barkhurdar, when you grow up and start studying science, you will know that mixing oil with water is not easy. Oil always floats on the surface, be it kerosene, gasoline or diesel. Similarly, religion does not mix with tourism. I have this tightrope to walk. That’s why some people are not happy with me.”

Chaudhry Shujaat, in dark glasses. One can’t make out whether he is looking at the boy or the wall:

Ugah, mugah, wugah, Jerry Luger, Looter, wugah, ugha, mitti paao, ugah, mugah, raat gayee, baat gayee, phoomph!

30 Comments on “Why Do People Hate You?”

  1. Saadat says:
    October 19th, 2009 11:37 pm

    “Ugah, mugah, wugah, Jerry Luger, Looter, wugah, ugha, mitti paao, ugah, mugah, raat gayee, baat gayee, phoomph!”

    Hahahaha! This is priceless! (And so is Zardari taking out a portrait of Benazir.)

  2. Umar says:
    October 19th, 2009 11:51 pm

    where is bhai altaf hussain!!!
    —barks and barks and……

  3. ASAD says:
    October 20th, 2009 12:12 am

    May be interesting to also write about how our dear TV anchors would react to this…. Hamid Mir anyone!

  4. October 20th, 2009 12:47 am

    Chatkharaydaar article and very true ,but Mr Akhmad you forgot the main sikka of our politics , Shaikh Rasheed Ahmad ”Oh ji baat darasal yeh hai ke……..

  5. Efzal says:
    October 20th, 2009 1:13 am

    Looto tai Pooto ! Who cares???

  6. Umbreen says:
    October 20th, 2009 1:29 am

    Haha great post. Really shows that lack of leadership in this country. What an extraordinary country america is to prove a skilled politician like Obama.

  7. Rashid J says:
    October 20th, 2009 1:58 am

    Aziz Akhmad, I didn’t know you and your friends are so funny. How about starting a Desi comedy club in Manhattan?

  8. October 20th, 2009 2:15 am

    Some comments from the ATP Facebook Page:

    - “People shun duplicity. Say one thing and do the completely opposite. That is politics I suppose and most of the Pakistani politicians are best at invoking hatred by virtue of their actions”
    - “cartoons”
    - “priceless!”
    - “lol very funny”
    - “lolz”
    - “lol funnyyyyy… but I don’t like the Imran Khan part”
    - “They are all darams, hahahahahha,”
    - “imran khan shouldnt b da part of dam”
    - “well nice but Nawaz and Imran should b remove form here …”
    - “Oh, really fantasticaly portrated the personality picture of our politician”
    - “Replace Imran with Altaf and the picture would be complete! haha”

  9. DARWEESH says:
    October 20th, 2009 2:46 am

    @ Aiziz bro .
    excellent article bring up some more Uloos in picture


  10. shakeel says:
    October 20th, 2009 5:52 am


  11. Tina says:
    October 20th, 2009 6:38 am

    Obama’s answer was appropriate, but like the duplicitous imaginary answers of Pakistan’s politicians, it wasn’t the truth. Obama is hated by the inhabitants of Wingnuttia because Wingnuttia is that part of America which is still very, very racist. But of course, Obama couldn’t very well say, “Some people hate me because I’m black”.

  12. AHsn says:
    October 20th, 2009 9:55 am

    Dear A’zyz,

    I am glad to see you very active thses days. I read your comments on simple and allegorical verses of the Book.

    Your remarks concerning the Pakistni politiciens are very funny indeed. But, at the same time they are to the pont, sharp and cutting.

    There is a word “khappay; what does it mean? Is is related to khaanaa-peenaa?


  13. Usman says:
    October 20th, 2009 10:36 am

    Your article is funny but you should be ashamed of making fun of Shujaat. As a journalist you should write responsibly and respect elderly.
    On a serious note, God forbid, what if someone in your family suffers speech loss…

  14. Raheem says:
    October 20th, 2009 12:17 pm

    Funny stuff…..

    Specially Ch Shujaat

  15. Neena says:
    October 20th, 2009 12:46 pm

    Doesn’t like any part since it lack truthfullness which author pretending to convey.

    “I come from the land of saints. I have nothing but love for everyone, and malice towards none. I extended this message even to Sarah Palin when I met her in New York, even though I knew she won’t get elected. I am told, of all the world leaders she met, she still remembers me kindly. That is the power of love.”

    That part is a cheap attack and we all knew how enlightened educated class hate most popular secular party leader/s (read poor men party) to rule the nation which is looted and raped again and again by our Army and religious stupids. Thanks to US people who not only have enough sense to choose black men as their leader but also have sense to recognize Pakistani majority wishes.

    But something tell me our poor and destitute have more sense than so called educated class and educated one worried that they won’t be that rich if they have to share the resources with whole Pakistan.

  16. Azeema says:
    October 20th, 2009 2:15 pm

    I was down this morning, reading about the latest blast in Islamabad (Islamic University) and did not feel anything but lamenting and crying.. But your article made me smile..

    Sadly, to me, your depiction of Pakistani politicians seems close to reality….

  17. zakintosh says:
    October 20th, 2009 2:35 pm

    Bloody hilarious and on the dot!

  18. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:
    October 20th, 2009 3:52 pm

    “I wondered how some of our top leaders, if confronted with the same question in a crowd, would answer the situation.”

    Sir Ji, I beg your pardon. Your list is incomplete. You have included not even one member from the most important house of Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan; none of the Nawabs and Khans and Sardars of Balochistan are there. Totally ignored are the leaders of Karachi and Kashmir. No representation of the real Muslims. You stand accused of discrimination against politicians of smaller parties and provinces!

  19. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    October 20th, 2009 4:29 pm

    hahah. Classic!

    What about Altaf Hussain?

    and imagine GEO breaks the news that a boy hates a leader!

  20. Rashid J says:
    October 20th, 2009 8:08 pm

    “May be interesting to also write about how our dear TV anchors ”

    Do you know why health care is so poor in Pakistan?

    All the MBBS doctors instead of healing sick host political shows.

    I am amazed why these “political experts” use prefix “doctor” with their names, especially when they don’t hold doctorate in journalism, political science or even history.
    Does the word “doctor” sounds and looks more sexy or it gets more bucks?

  21. Aziz Akhmad says:
    October 20th, 2009 8:59 pm

    Some explanations are in order:

    PMA: I just picked the leaders who are or are potential candidates for the top jobs in Pakistan. That’s why I left out the regional leaders.

    Usman: I never knew Ch. Shujaat has a speech handicap — a medical handicap, that is. No newspaper or any other source ever reported this. But if he really does, then I am sorry and apologize for making fun of him.

  22. Crest Hill says:
    October 21st, 2009 11:35 am

    Very funny, but even funnier is Neena’s comment. I am still laughing at this part ‘most popular secular party leader/s (read poor men party)’.

  23. faran says:
    October 21st, 2009 12:17 pm

    so at the end we are all about “ME” no body portrays us this article can be molded in a billion forms this is one of them

  24. AHR says:
    October 22nd, 2009 12:16 am

    Many in Pakistan fail to understand the value of their vote. Agreed we go to the polling stations whenever we are lucky enough to have elections, but having an ink mark on our thumb does not mark the end of our civic duty. When we come out in numbers, those politicians that take Pakistanis for granted are shaken to the core. Those law enforcement agencies carry out their duty with justice. Not only the government, but the army also realizes that it becomes powerless when it is dealing with the nation as one. If we, the people, are able to wield such influence over these powerful institutions by coming together as one unit, lord save the militants if we truly unite as Pakistan.


  25. Farrukh says:
    October 22nd, 2009 4:01 am

    Chaudary Shujaat is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for which he is treated in Germany every month. That was the reason he didnt accept the premier job after sacking of Jamali

  26. Usman says:
    October 22nd, 2009 7:43 am

    Aziz Akhmad; bravo.

    I think the media has been too busy writting against some of the people who are not that evil infact who dispite their health are active in politics.

    There are worse people messing around with the country.
    i.e. We blame Musharaf for dictatorship, but PPP and PMLN are bigger dictators, the party leadership is passed on to children, both the parties riged election in their times while Musharaf gets the credit of fairest election in our history, both the parties controled media while Musharaf allowed freedom of speech, both were dismissed twice on corruption elegations while there is no corruption case on Musharaf, both the parties kicked out presidents and CJs while Musharaf filed a reference against the CJ and temporarily removed him (which is a legal action practiced even in our colleges but ofcourse that lead to refusal from the bench etc)….

    I am not saying Ch.Shujaat is a saint but we should atleast regard him as a senior politician who is active in our politics despite his medical condition.

  27. NAM says:
    October 26th, 2009 11:12 am

    Very funny — and profound.

  28. Omer says:
    October 30th, 2009 2:09 am

    i really like the response of Chaudry sahib..

  29. amina says:
    November 2nd, 2009 3:39 am

    Man I got smile on my face after long time. Creative and funny

  30. November 6th, 2009 11:14 pm

    You should spell your last name as Ahmad, not Akhmad.

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