A chat with a 21st century Pakistani patriot

Published: October 9, 2013

Patriot: Do you see any scars on Malala Yousufzai's head? Terrorism is a hoax created by the West.

Interviewer (I): Assalamu alaykum. My name is Sanjay.

Patriot (P): Sanjay? Are you Indian?

I: No, I’m Pakistani.

P: How come?

I: Well I was born and raised here.

P: However, people of your belief are born and raised in India. Sanjay Dutt is an example.

I: A large number of people of my belief live in Pakistan as well. Seen the white in our flag?

P: Oh. That’s Odd.

I: What do you think about Pakistan?

P: I love my country. It’s a great country to live in.

I: What do you like about Pakistan?

P: I know the funded media is trying its best to ruin Pakistan’s image, but we need to be positive and see the bright side. We need to look at people like Begum Ali Moeen Nawazish Ali and Agha Waqar who are the true representatives of the country.

I: Agha Waqar? The guy who said he could run cars with water?

P: Yes, him. Unfortunately the diesel mafia got the better of him.

I: And what about Malala Yousufzai?

P: Do you see any scars on her head?

I: But you do agree that terrorism is a problem, right?

P: Terrorism is a hoax created by the West.

I: But people are actually dying because of attacks.

P: Drones. Besides, all of us have to eventually die anyway.

I: What about the drones?

P: If you stop the drones, it will stop terrorism. Injustice leads to more injustice.

I: So if we stop the drones, people will stop getting killed altogether?

P: Not altogether. The rest are being killed by *ahem* *ahem*, foreign agents. Didn’t you see the dragon tattoo on the back of a terrorist who was once killed?

I: But that was just one terrorist. Many more have being caught.

P: And how many of them have been stripped to check for tattoos?

I: I’m not exactly sure.

P: See?

I: So how do we stop these foreign agents?

P: By having a government that is not installed by the West.

I: Why does the West have control over who rules Pakistan?

P: Because it is scared of us.

I: What exactly is it scared of?

P: Our atom bomb.

I: So because the West is scared of us, it ends up indirectly ruling us?

P: Sounds legit. It also funds our media to destruct the image of Pakistan. Instead of showing lofty mountains, it shows the people dying from snake-bites!

I: You mean the mountains where tourists were recently killed?

P: Foreign hand. Besides, the number of tourists killed is a lot less when compared to the total number of tourists visiting the mountains. You need to think more positively.

I: Well, positively speaking, how will we get out of this mess?

P: Through a revolution.

I: And how will the revolution come?

P: A leader will rise from amongst the common man. The nation will march behind him to Islamabad and will overthrow the corrupt government and then everything will be alright. Next we will march to Kashmir and make it a part of Pakistan once and for all!

I: Someone like Colonel Sanders perhaps?

P: No he stays inside a container and is a dual national; clear signs of being a foreign agent. The big hat is also fishy.

I: How will everything become alright once the government is overthrown?

P: That’s the leader’s headache. I don’t look like one, do I?

I: I wouldn’t think so. What are your views about load-shedding?

P: It can be solved if the government pays attention to it.

I: How about the public start paying their bills for a change?

P: You need to understand that it is very difficult in this age of inflation.

I: What has caused the inflation?

P: IMF funds. It is again Western conspiracy to make us beggars.

I: Do you pay your taxes?

P: I don’t pay taxes because the government is corrupt. I don’t want to pay taxes to government officials who take their salaries from the West. *PHONE RINGS*

I: Is that an iPhone I see in your hand?

P: Oh yes! My new iPhone 4S. Cool, isn’t it?

I: Very cool. As a Pakistani I am concerned about what is happening in Balochistan. Do you remember East Pakistan?

P: What’s that?

I: Bangladesh?

P: Yes, what about it?

I: 1971? Civil war?

P: Oh! Yes, that.  India. It was India all along.

I: What about India?

P: Please don’t mind me saying, but India funded the entire rebellion.

I: Why was there rebellion in the first place?

P: Bollywood. Our brothers’ minds were corrupted because of Indian movies.

I: I guess we should end this conversation here now.

P: I am sorry if I sounded a bit harsh. Hope you see the right path soon.

Dr Ali Rafiq

Dr Ali Rafiq

Doctor, debater, freelance writer and blogger. Graduate of Dow Medical College and winner of various national and international debating and writing competitions. He tweets @dralirafiq twitter.com/dralirafiq

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Sane

    As long as it is under poetic license, can be ignored. But, what was that?Recommend

  • Saad

    Lame. Trying to be NFP much ? Bad effortRecommend

  • blue bird

    slap on the face of burger bacchas and their burger king ‘imran khan’Recommend

  • -_-

    shut up dude!!! its got nothing with IK!!!Recommend

  • Fast

    It’s not a short storyRecommend

  • Pradhan

    @disqus_egm2n6fbzR:disqus
    @disqus_JZNKrnWgtz:disqus

    Do you guys disagree on anything Patriot has said on the interview ???Recommend

  • Anam Jabbar

    “Hope you see the right path soon.”? Was he patriotic or islamic extremist??Recommend

  • muzaffaralisyed

    wow….after reading the whole article all you could think about was IK, who infact has nothing to do with the article. Are you suffering from Imranophobia ?Recommend

  • Kanwal

    I agree with the other comment here. This way of writing has such a solid stamp of that brilliant Nadeem F Paracha on it, that it’s very hard for us to accept that anyone else can adapt it too. I would much rather stick to your own style Dear Author. You have contributed some brilliant work here in past. Recommend

  • amna

    both extremes are hurting us!Recommend

  • ahmed

    good oneRecommend

  • ahmed

    more or less its connected some how to IK followers :)Recommend

  • Waqar Qureshi

    I have yet to see a more lame effort to seek attention of people by attaching negative and assumed connotations with the word patriotism. I am sure you are glad at getting the reaction of people my dear author? Pretty sadist though.Recommend

  • Khan

    NO NO NO west is not a problem even remotely…we are living in the most peaceful region of the world and having a very friendly neighbours right…Kudos…
    In our equation omit the all variables except Pakistan and live in fantasy world…Recommend

  • Well..

    It is amazing how often these two traits co incide in a pakistani! ;)Recommend

  • The Reader

    This is perhaps the ugliest article I’ve ever read. Recommend

  • khan

    Moderator what was wrong with my comment? Freedom of xpression i thought a liberal ET will accommodate it…Recommend

  • Indian Doc

    Author,you never dissapoint !
    As usual,most of your readers didn’t get you / are a poor audience (they scold the other authors attempts, on poetic license too…)
    Have you seen A.Roy’s writing style in her Booker prize winning,’God of small things’ ..a work of art.
    It think you should eventually try your hand at something larger/a book…you have a distinct writing style.
    Wonderful piece..black humour ..satire…
    Looking forward to your next article ..
    Recommend

  • Eemaan Yusufzai

    LOOOL hilarious and so true!Recommend

  • Parvez

    Satire is not everyone’s cup of tea……….sorry I’d grade that an F .Recommend

  • TheAverageMoe

    This was funny but some of what you wrote isn’t true.

    US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has already said that on the record that India is funding ‘trouble’ in Baluchistan, there is a separatist movement there, but there are separatists movements in a lot of countries i.e Spain,India,China,Russia, and Canada.

    There isn’t a military operation going on in Baluchistan, we’ve had Baluchi Presidents(Leghari and Zardari) and military officers, Baluchi is taught in schools there, and spoken in their provincial assembly.

    The IMF isn’t an angel, in fact the IMF is known to turn countries into their slaves, one of the reasons why Golden Dawn and other Nationalist parties have gotten so popular in Europe is because they’re standing up to the IMF/EMF and International Banksters

    Load-shedding isn’t caused because we don’t our electricity bills, but because we have a HUGE shortfall of electricity and for that we need to build dams and other power generation plants or we could import electricity from Iran

    We already pay a lot of bills, we don’t need to pay anymore than we’re paying right now.

    @ET moderators: Post my comment, there’s nothing wrong with it.Recommend

  • Long Time Reader

    This was awful… No one, not even burgers are that ridiculous. This did have some potential, bad execution though.Recommend

  • Ahmed

    Haha I was thinking same NFP did a swell job imitating KBCRecommend

  • fawad

    Interviewer: How many bomb blasts were there before 2004?
    Patriot: Almost non
    Interviewer: Were there any Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan even at that time?
    Patriot: Yes, they were on both sides of the border
    Interviewer: Then why didn’t they attack us?
    Patriot: Because our military (for the sake of some dollars) didn’t ally with the Americans to bomb them till that time.Recommend

  • Waqar Ali

    I just read first 3-4 questions and stopped and i got to know that its another insult by ET to our own people. Well, I myself am a 21st century patriot pakistani and this scrap doesn’t represents me in any way. I just want to INFORM mr. author that a 21st century pakistani is much more aware and informative than you. “Begum Ali Moeen Nawazish Ali”……i think everyone knows the diffrence between begum nawazish ali and ali moin nawazish.Recommend

  • shajiaabidi

    I guess what the writer is trying to say here is that we say we love Pakistan but we don’t know anything about her. And he didn’t point out at somebody in particular. I think it is an amazing blog telling us that in order to have a nation to live peacefully, we should have more knowledge about our country,Recommend

  • Sarah B. Haider

    Though it was funny and spot on, but nothing like Nadeem F. Paracha’s pieces! :D

    P.S. Many more have being caught.
    Been caught*Recommend

  • Maheen Khan

    excellent.

    we are confused.

    1) who posted the tattoo image of a killed terrorist?
    2) why talban do not take responsibility of all blasts?
    3) Why we made talban our enemy?
    4) how do you think malala ruined Pakistani image, terrorist activities happening all here, can some one deny?Recommend

  • Zara

    Thanks for saying I.K patriotic indirectly. Even with these thoughts these burgers are far better than those ‘Realistic’ ones who are leaving country :)Recommend

  • From Chiniot

    Aren’t we going overboard now? How can a hindu say Assalamu alaykum?Recommend

  • Reader

    I’ve never come across so many people in denial,who like to abuse authors (& newspapers)
    [ Authors abused,if their views don’t match 100% with the patriotic,stiffnecked,readers convictions & Newspapers abused,if they truthfully report on unflattering incidents around the country ]Recommend

  • salman

    excellent depiction of a common man in Pakistan who calls himself a “patriot”. Cannot agree more.Recommend

  • Tahir

    Very trueRecommend

  • Waqar Qureshi

    @Reader
    There is a huge difference in disagreeing and mocking the sacred sentiments like Patriotism. I happily accept different points of view. I believe in agreeing to disagree. But if someone does it only to get attention? It will be really absurd. The author is simply another wanna be NFP. I disagree with NFP too on many occasions but at least he is himself. He does not copy someone else.Recommend

  • Waqar Qureshi

    Well saidRecommend

  • Waqar Qureshi

    Agreed totally. Satire is effective only if its precise and concise.
    In this piece; redundancy, rhetoric and jargon force one to quit reading it midwayRecommend

  • Waqar Qureshi

    Yeah I suggest the writer to write the next article on “Economic Hitmen” :)Recommend

  • Waqar Qureshi

    agreed 100%. On this subject, I have a firm belief in the following
    “I am an ordinary Pakistani who is 1000 times more liberal than self proclaimed liberals like Asma Jahangir / Marvi Sarmad who became liberal only to ridicule religion, country and army. I am also 1,000 times more religious than those religious extremists who kill innocent in the name of Islam.
    Can we get rid of you both please?”Recommend

  • Waqar Qureshi

    haha in fact the length of this story renders it totally impossible to read ;-)Recommend

  • raj

    too much generalization… I know average Pakistani is confused at this moment in time but that doesn’t mean every one thinks like that.. Writer should have given some other name rather than a patriotic pakistani .. its probably sarcasm but stillRecommend

  • raj

    why not.. Hindus living in Muslim countries does that oftenRecommend

  • darbullaj

    Looking at whats happening in Pakistan, I don’t think external funding is required for the daily Diwali which is happening every day.Recommend

  • Ali Rafiq (author)

    Thank you everyone for you feedback. Your appreciation motivates me to write more, your criticism makes me a better writer. So thank you.

    Going through the comments, I believ it was my duty to offer an apology to anyone who got offended, and offer an explanation to everyone else who didn’t get the point.

    First of all, for all those who compared me to NFP, I feel truly honoured. I have been following his work since a few years and to be compared to him (even though being graded an “F”) is something I feel proud of. However, I have several more articles on this very website, and I would suggest the readers to go through them before labelling me as “simply another wanna be NFP”. The nature of this piece was such that has been the hallmark of NFP over the years, hence I believe it was natural for many of you to assume that I was trying to copy him. Yes, there might have been an NFPish tinge in here since I have been his follower since a few years. However, I did not write this as an attempt to copy him.

    Having said that, the purpose behind this piece was neither to ridicule Pakistan, nor was it to seek attention by making fun of Pakstanis. The ideas mentioned in this piece are what I have gathered with my conversations with several people, and my observations on social media websites and websites such as The Express Tribune. These are my observations. I neither agree with everything the Patriot said, nor do I disagree with everything.

    The crux of the piece revolves around our failure to take responsibility for the mess we are in, our intolerance towards minorities (our children are taught that Hindus and the British are our enemies), our tendency to point fingers at others when any misfortune happens on this soil, our self-constructed reflection of righteousness, the maligned content of our history books, and the hypocrisy that we feed ourselves with everyday. These, in my opinion, are major barriers to progress and development. The idea was to point these out in a satirical way.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    “US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has already said that on the record that India is funding ‘trouble’ in Baluchistan”

    No he didnt. Please show me the statement where he said exactly that.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    The author is not mocking patriotism, he is mocking those who call themselves patriots while living in denialRecommend

  • Saad

    Blah Blah Blah !Recommend

  • jin

    lame. stop this paranoid thinking that anverage Pakistani thinks like that. Its your imagination.Recommend

  • islooboy

    another burger another rantRecommend

  • Oh dear …

    Very nicely summed up ..it’s unfortunate that the audience is the sort who rip authors like you apart.. and you need to post explanations like these.
    I think you’re a true patriot-you have a practical view.
    Cross-eyed defiant devotion,does not a patriot make..
    Practical,truthful people love their country in a manner thats not destructive..unlike the self-righteous ones who throw stones at people who write the unadulterated truth.
    Recommend

  • Oye

    You don’t need Hagel to tell you that…haven’t you people already assigned all the blame for Pakistani ills on CIA/Mossad & raw..on Jewish zionism,American conspiracies and hindu horns ?
    If you’re out there listening to (& believing Hagel),how come you haven’t heard ( & believed ) a lot of other things about pakistan sponsoring terrorism,pakistan being an international migraine,bin laden living in pak(look up,which US secretary of state said that ),pak army nurturing the taliban..? Selectively deaf,huh ?or attention deficit disorder ..Recommend

  • gp65

    Why not? My cousin who is Hindu is married to a Muslim lady (and in India no one needed to convert). Whenever I meet her parents, that is exactly how I greet them. When my bhabhi meets my parents she will say Namaste even though she is a Muslim. It is no different from a Muslim living in US saying Hello. That does not make him any less of a Muslim. If you come to Delhi, you will find many Hindus use terms like InshaAllahRecommend

  • gp65

    IT is interesting that this author also describes the patriotic Pakistani who is Muslim as ‘P’ and the Pakistani Hindu gets called ‘I’. Wonder what that I stands for – eh?Recommend

  • King of the North

    No doubt its a good effort but you should try and learn more about NFP writing style. no doubt the message is clearly sent, Good job.Recommend

  • KhanGul

    Well one day NFP will be dead and we would need others like him. So keep going :-)Recommend

  • b4guy

    e United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said pakistan is international migraine this is on recordRecommend

  • TheAverageMoe

    I never blamed all of Pakistan’s ills on CIA/Mossad or RAW, you’re acting as if you know me and all Pakistanis.

    You see Pakistanis in Black and White, not shades of grey, I don’t believe every conspiracy theory, but I don’t blindly believe everything the mainstream media and Governments(both ours and foreign) tell us.

    India’s infiltration in Baluchistan isn’t a conspiracy theory, the U.S Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has said that on the record, you don’t have to take my word, but if Hagel said something anti-Pakistan you would believe immediately, even Russia Today had a report about it.

    I know Pakistan isn’t perfect, and our military chiefs aren’t saints, we’ve made made big mistakes(what country hasn’t) by supporting the Taliban(America did too) , and I’m well aware about the OBL raid in Pakistan, it was really embarrassing, but I have some doubts about the official story, and that’s what makes me a free thinker.Recommend

  • Maaz Hamza

    I feel very sorry for this doctor blogger (x_x)Recommend

  • SenseofHumour

    Great article, well done:) this was a great laugh, please keep writing and don’t let the critics get you down.Recommend

  • Reader

    You’re right…she was the one before Kerry.Recommend

  • B

    Free thinker…. That’s what you call people who revel in conspiracy theories ?
    [ Look at you assigning blame to Americans for supporting the Taliban..when the Pak. govt (one of the 3 in the entire world) recognized the Afghan Taliban as a legitimate govt.-what kind of country, recognizes terrorists as a govt ?! Yup,that’s Pak ..( ths kind that like to think-good terrorist,bad terrorist)
    2 .You have doubts about Bin Laden…but you believe alleged statements by Russians/Hagel..hmm…very selective..I guess you only believe two bits of pro-pak news & the hundreds of stories,which are unflattering to Pakistan,are dismissed as ‘I have doubts’ …
    3. You saying that your taliban nurturing,pak military commanders are ‘no saints’ doesn’t redeem them,Sir.
    4. You can minimize bin laden in Pak,to merely an ’embarrassment’..but that understatement,doesn’t alter how the world views Pakistan’s ambiguous Govt.policies & the support the legitimate army,gives terrorists (your strategic assets) ]
    You’re not open minded: but please live in denial-that’s your prerogative.
    A link from a reputed,non-indian paper
    http://mobile.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22593285
    Keep aside your childhood stories,friday prayer time news updates from the local moulvi & read what the world really thinks about the Pak army & its strategic assets & analyze with your ‘open’ mind.Recommend

  • TheAverageMoe

    1.I don’t revel in all conspiracy theories, not all conspiracy theories are true and not all are false, if you believe everything the mainstream media tells you, that means you’re really gullible.

    I do have doubts about the OBL raid, I don’t really trust any governments, not even ours.

    2.Chuck Hagel gave his statement about Baluchistan in 2011, two years before he joined the U.S government, so it wasn’t a statement by the Obama admin, and Russia Today isn’t part of the mainstream media.

    I’m very critical about Pakistan’s military and government, you’re acting as if you know me.

    3.I’m not trying to redeem them, I don’t speak for them, all I’m saying is that NO military or intelligence agency in the world is innocent, they have all made mistakes, and they all have an agenda.

    4.I know how the world views Pakistan, I don’t somebody from across the border to school me about it.

    5.”Keep aside your childhood stories,friday prayer time news updates from the local moulvi & read what the world really thinks about the Pak army & its strategic assets & analyze with your ‘open’ mind.”

    You’re taking personal shots, you BARELY know me, I’m very critical about maulvis, last time I went to mosque was on Eid, you think anybody that disagrees with you is “misinformed” or is somebody that lives in a cave.

    Not every patriotic Pakistani is a fundamentalist, and just because I’m a liberal doesn’t mean I have to be a self-hater and agree with everything an anti-Pakistani lunatic says across the border.

    Next time, stop assuming who people are on the internet, and stop taking personal shots at people, that’s REALLY immature.Recommend

  • B

    You had me at ‘I don’t trust the Obl raid’..haha
    And anti-pakistani ‘lunatic’..Whoa..I didn’t say anything even close to that,to you..talk about taking personal shots.Lol
    Unclench & don’t swell up like a gobbler..And I noticed,you didn’t dare answer Gratgy.

    Recommend

  • Asad Aly

    Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, can restore balance to the world.Recommend

  • avid lover

    hahahah love this ………. just to prove this i went around and talked to everyone in college and even a few professors…… about 90% replied the same way!…….
    [email protected] here is my address…… if u ever write another piece like this plzzz msg it to me…… and i second the point that you should write a book………. ur ideas are what can bring a sense of realism to this dead country!Recommend

  • Hmm …

    I commend the fact that you actually did some research on the ground to check facts…even better that you asked educated people like college prof.s their opinion. Good thinking.
    If educated people talk like this,it’s a reflection on the national psyche.Nice work. A novel approach.Recommend

  • bigsaf

    Its given at the the top of the article as ‘I’ being short for Interviewer, and ‘P’ for Patriot. It could be a smart, albeit confusing, play on letters/words and identity by the author relying on the audience’s assumptions. Or maybe it was just coincidence.

    > Interviewer (I): Assalamu alaykum. My name is Sanjay.

    > Patriot (P): Sanjay? Are you Indian?

    > I: No, I’m Pakistani.Recommend