'Auntie Talk' With Hamid Mir

Oct 30th, 2010 | By | Category: Uncategorized

Gossip AlertMr Hamid Mr writes in The News (Jang Group) today that President Zardari’s recent attendance at a diplomatic function honoring Turkey raised “disturbing questions”. Upon reading the column, however, it was only learned that Hamid Mir engages in more parlour gossips than a dozen busy-bodies.

Here are the so-called “disturbing” question according to Hamid Mir:

Despite all this political gossip, many Western diplomats were seriously trying to understand the unusual presence of President Zardari on the national day of Turkey. Some Foreign Office officials were telling them that it was not unusual because presidents had attended diplomatic functions in the Chinese and US embassies in the past.

A top government official informed The News that President Zardari had given a goodwill gesture to Turkey for its unprecedented help given to the victims of the recent floods. He also said Pakistan, Turkey and Iran had become partners in 6,566 km long railway line project worth $20 billion.

Many people were discussing whether Turkey was going to invest a lot in the power sector and was this the reason President Zardari graced the national day of Turkey but they were also asking what was the role of a president in a parliamentary democracy.

The presence of President Zardari in a very important diplomatic gathering raised many valid questions in the minds of foreign guests. They were asking their Pakistani friends that if prime minister had become powerful after the 18th Amendment, then why US President Obama is still calling and inviting President Zardari to visit Washington?

They were also asking whether President Zardari was giving signals to the diplomatic community of Islamabad that he was still the most powerful man in the government. They were asking where was PM Gilani? Poor Pakistanis had no answer to all these disturbing questions raised by their foreign friends.

These questions are not disturbing, and probably they were never even asked by anyone. Let’s think about this for one moment, shall we? Why was the President attending a diplomatic function for a close ally that is making some investments in our country? Do we really even have to ask such a question?

Why is US President Obama calling for Zardari to come visit if 18th Amendment made the PM more powerful? President Zardari may have returned some powers to their proper office as part of democratic reforms, but he is still ‘head of state’ and the head of the PPP. The office of President was not abolished. Why shouldn’t Obama invite Zardari for a chat?

These questions are not disturbing, they are banal.

But there is one disturbing thing reveal by Hamir Mir. The so-called ‘disturbing questions’ account for only the final paragraphs in a long column of many paragraphs. What is reported in the rest of the article? It is only the most stereotypical gossips you can imagine. Did someone move to the other side of the room and not shake Zardari’s hand? Was someone whispering in the corner? What did some PML-N say about some Minister?

Is Hamid Mir is auditioning for a new celebrity gossip show? Perhaps he can call his new show “Auntie Talk” because he reminds me of listening to my auntie sit around and gossip about the people in our neighborhood over tea with her friends.

Whatever his intentions, Hamid Mir has only embarrassed himself by writing such a gossip column. Whatever one’s political preference, it must be admitted that a real journalist could easily write a column about any world leader titled ‘Disturbing Questions’ that includes real questions of governing, diplomacy, and politics. For Hamid Mir, though, there is apparently only some parlour gossip. Disappointing, indeed.

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