An open letter to Nawaz Sharif

Published: March 31, 2012

Please tell me Mian sahib, are you a Punjabi or a Kashmiri? Mince no words and answer that! PHOTO: AFP

My dear Mian sahib,

Once, when George Bush was sitting in his plush chair with lights illuminating every nook and cranny of the White House, he asked Musharraf – yes the one who dethroned you when your delusional state of mind made you believe that you were the next Khalifa of the Ummah (Muslim nation)a question very similar to the one I have for you today.

“Whose side are you on?”

“Your side, Mr President,” replied Musharraf, loud and clear without giving it a second thought.

I am no George Bush and unlike him, my house is in doom and gloom because we have been sitting in the dark for the last three hours. I do not have the luxury to pick up the phone and call the people who matter in this country. My only hope is that my ramblings are worth printing. The common denominator between George W Bush and I is the question that was put up to Musharraf.

Mian sahib, whose side are you on?

Like most gullible Punjabis, I would have accepted these war-like black-out conditions as fait accompli had I not taken a trip to Karachi last week.

I arrived there in the middle of the night, not by the night coach, but by a late night flight in order to watch the final of the Asia Cup, and saw that the entire city was lit up like a jungle fire. I won’t trouble you with the trivial details of being stabbed in the heel by a PIA plane and that by the time I reached home my Peshawari chappal (slipper) was drenched in blood, because a common man’s blood is of no consequence to you or any other cold-blooded politician for that matter.

The place I was staying in was at Shahrah-e-Faisal, right in front of a multi-story bank. I will not waste your time with the details of getting first aid administered to my wound, but I would like to inform you that when I went upstairs to the designated bedroom, I was appalled to see that at 2:30 in the morning, the entire building without any occupant was glittering with lights, forcing me to draw the curtains to get some sleep.

The next two days were no different; the uninterrupted electric supply with minor hiccups every now and then got me thinking, what is it that Karachi has and Lahore doesn’t? And I realised it was Altaf Hussain.

The realisation however made me question, why not? Why don’t we have a nationalist like Altaf Hussain and I had a rude awakening with an answer that slapped me in the face.

Altaf Hussain has no intentions to be the king, or prime minister, if you please. However you sir, on the other hand, have been only trying to regain your lost throne – which by the way was whisked away from you because of your own follies.

I am a Punjabi, not by chance or forced migration which applies in your case, but a proud descendant of long chain of Punjabis who resisted marauders from Alexander to Abdali.

I realise that I am drifting and the subject at hand is yet to be solidified, but as I sit here in the dark, and write in the glow of my laptop screen light, I have vowed that I will not let you off the hook so easy.

Please tell me Mian sahib, are you a Punjabi or a Kashmiri? Mince no words and answer that!

Next question sir: please quote one public gathering where you addressed the people in Punjabi, when I know a lot of national leaders, including the self-proclaimed heir of a lost dynasty, who address people in their mother tongue dressed in traditional Sindhi garbs.

Now comes the question that Punjab being the springboard of your political supremacy, why are you not coming clean about its division? Would you follow the footsteps of your Kashmiri compatriot, Nehru, who in order to wane Punjab’s dominance found it expedient to divide it into three states?

And lastly sir, coming to the core of this invective, other than issuing statements about illuminating the streets of Punjab, what course of action, have you or your self-styled philosopher of a brother devised to steer Punjab out of this quagmire?

The Rapid Bus Transport system, flawed fly-over, an underpass here and an underpass there will not help my children overcome this psychological trauma that loadshedding is just another part of life, like skinning a knee or being robbed at gunpoint. Yes, people are robbed in Karachi, there is kidnapping for ransom and target killing but that has been there for a very long time. One thing missing from this laundry list is excessive loadshedding.

For the last four years you and your brothers have given nothing to this province other than lip service. The same lips that hardly moved against the prime minister who was parading around this province talking about its division. On the other hand the entire interior Sindh came to a halt after the graffiti about the division of Sindh was seen in the streets of Karachi.

Mian sahib, it is time to put your money where your mouth is.

Read more by Nadeem here.


Nadeem Akram

Former director Human Resources, Administration and Supply Chain Management and author of PCB Human Resources & Administrative Policy Manual

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

  • Pakistan politics

    One word from him: “Hypocrite”Recommend

  • Ali

    This is not fair. You are equating pure terror with pure corruption and trying to solve for Peace and economic growth. Altaf is good for Karachi but not anywhere else and Nawaz is good for Lahore and nowhere else. They are all good for individual cities. They are all useless for the country. Recommend

  • 110

    Uncle,we are facing 6-8 hours load-shedding here and we have KESC here! KESC!!Recommend

  • Shahzad

    This article gave me the feeling the you were comparing the two greats of Pakistan, i.e. Karachi and Lahore. Altaf Hussain, here in Karachi, is not doing a better job either. Its been a week and I have not been able to step outside, without fearing my own death. True, we have less load shedding than Lahore, but with our own lives at stake, I don’t think we have a better life…Recommend

  • Kashif

    Brilliant article. Wonderfully articulated.Recommend

  • M.Aswad Mehatb

    This is What I was looking for from Many Months on ET !! A solid Article with seance and logical talking ! These are the questions every Punjabi has from last 3 years !! And these are the Biggest Reasons of Rise of KHAN !

    I would love to see how PTI Haters and Mian sahab Lovers Respond Now !!

    Here we Go …Recommend

  • zac

    your disillusion starts when you compare karachi to punjab (city vs province 66%). Recommend

  • Sohaib Saeed

    Dear Nadeem sb, electricity is a common problem being faced by all of the nation. Not that i will defend Mian sb out of line, but please consider the facts that this shortage is the cause of Gen. Musharraf who resisted increase in fuel prices when globally the prices sky rocketed to 140 hence making a big dent to the national treasury and creating a circular debt for OMC’s and power producers and the effects are felt nationwide. Secondly, WAPDA is a federal subject so punjab alone cannot fix anything. Thirdly, PML-N is the largest critques of RPP and today they have been declared ineffective illegal and a scam of PPP. Now if Mian sb is Kashmiri or Punjabi and speaks Punjabi or Urdu is an invalid reference because being punjabi and speaking punjabi is not a criteria for a fit leader. One can speak spanish and belong to quebec as long he helps Pakistan develop he is a fit leader. Its a personal point of view but i suggest not to look at the effect but the cause to understand the issue. Recommend

  • Chief Marketing Officer @ Sociality360

    Nice knowing you Nadeem. Oh wait, SS can’t read English. You’re good :)Recommend

  • Ali Tipu

    I being a Punjabi declare here that Nawaz Sharif and his brother are the most hypocrite people in Pakistan. Yes, Zardari is being cursed upon for what he is and not for what he hides, or he lies. He says and do things openly. He said he wont want to be judges restored and he didn’t. He said that his government would never write a letter to Swiss courts and it didn’t.Compare him with Mian sb, the champion of democracy and judiciary and suddenly you will realize that he is the champion of hypocrisy. He is the product of Gen. Jillani and Zia-ul-Haq, the worst dictator in the history of Pakistan. His brother meets Gen. Kayani in the darkness of night and lashes others for having support of establishment and he along with his cronies attack Supreme court in broad-day light, when they dont rule a decision in his favor.People in his province are dying of hunger,poverty,, lawlessness. They are jobless and hopeless, have no means to earn bread and butter and all he cares about is giving bribe to students when he feels a threat in the form of Imran Khan so that he could come again in power and destroy this country?. Can there be a bigger hypocrite than him? And btw, his mafia mills are the top most defaulters of electricity on LESCO’s website. Recommend

  • A.R

    Nehru did not partition punjab into THREE parts, haryana, the Indian state was carved out of the Indian punjab in 1966, 2 years after Nehru’s death. and sir radcliffe divided punjab and bengal into two parts, apparently under the influence of nehru.
    Secondly nationalism is NOT good in any way , the placing of one ethnic groups needs above another’s is against what the Quaid wanted to envisioned for pakistan :
    We are now all Pakistanis–not Baluchis, Pathans, Sindhis, Bengalis, Punjabis and so on–and as Pakistanis we must feet behave and act, and we should be proud to be known as Pakistanis and nothing else.
    which brings me to your comment on weather (sharif) is a kashmiri or punjabi …. does it matter what his ethnicity is ?
    AND i think it is actually better if south punjab is divided, not along ethnic\linguistic lines but for a fairer distribution of resources, unarguably northern punjab is developed much more than the southern end. But most of all how can you compare killings and robberies to load shedding !!!!! karachi has MUCH bigger problems than lahore does.
    And lastly mr. Nadeem it is people like you, who believe in ‘province over pakistan’ that have caused the present balochistan issue, All because we punjabis and sindhis have been concentrating all the development in our own respective provinces and turning a blind eye towards the downtrodden balochi people !
    I believe that Unless we work towards a better Pakistan as a whole, rather than demanding help only for our own provinces , we can not survive as a nation !
    by the way i am NOT a nawaz sharif supporter, IK all the way :D !Recommend

  • A Karachite

    So you live in a hotel and say there was no loadshedding. Talk about the households. Obviously you can’t expect loadshedding in a hotel, they have alternate means of electricity available.

    I woke up today around 9 AM to find out about 13 people assassinated. Altaf hussian is no good and trust me you don’t want to be in Karachi.Recommend

  • Izhar

    Biased article, I mean what is the point in asking whether he is a punjabi or a kashmiri. Lahore and Punjab in general is much better than Karachi, it’s just that Nawaz Sharif is always open for bashing, whereas no one dares to speak against Altaf BHAI, be it Mr. Nadeem Akram or even Imran Khan.Recommend

  • mani

    ” what is it that Karachi has and Lahore doesn’t? And I realised it was Altaf Hussain”
    Seriously What a crap!!
    We do not want that coward in Punjab or in Lahore at least!!!Recommend

  • Asjad Khan

    The author misses the point…Its not Altaf Hussain…its MQM…accepting all the problems like bhata n problems…when it comes to problems of Karachi…MQM stands…the only time I have seen development in Karachi was MQM’s mayor was in power…Electricity being on the same lines!Recommend

  • Faisal W

    Nadeem, my friend, what brand of heroin are you smoking nowadays. Last time i checked being a punjabi gave no one additional rights, nor did one’s ancestoral background guarantee him to leadership – except to all of Pakistan, except Karachi. And that is where your problem lies. Go to the homes of your elected officials, join them during the alloted load shedding hours and you too will witness the abundent luxury – electricity. Tell these leaders that leadership is not their right and enjoy the beatings that you will receive (except in case of an election year).

    Karachi has its own problems, violence, traffic, pollution … the list is endless. But what it does have is a leadership which has gradually learnt that the masses rights have to be respected, that we are entitled to basic necessities. Where while there is segregation on the basis of ethnicity, religion and caste, it is still possible to work hard and change your social status.

    But alas, you are representive of the future – a person who finds more glory in his ancestors than his own achievements. I fear you would not do much different than mian sahab in his position.

    Oh btw, that building in front of the hotel you taked about uses gas power to generate electricity, therefore is not reliant on the national grid. You can walk in the building and ask. Thirdly, we tend to pay our bills. Recommend

  • liberalpak

    You are 100 percent right, Miab sb can not become like Atlaf Hussain.Because he does NOT need it. He is leader of whole Pakistan, even fiery nationalist leaders of Baluchistan and Sindh trust him. You can equate him with any gang leader. Stop!Recommend

  • Pakistani

    You can be a PTI-supporter or a PTI-hater, but you should NEVER be a PMLN-supporter.

    My opinion, as always.Recommend

  • Hassan S Hakeem

    Shift to Karachi and enjoy yourself.

    For the record my paternal grandfather’s(Hakeem Chiragh Ali Qurashi, President of AIML in 1940s) great grandfather came of Gujrat from the Valley of Kashmir. He was Qurashi of Semite decent. M
    My mom’s paternal grandfather came from Afghanistan who was of Chughti/Durrani decent.

    Were the Ghakkhar of Chakwal local when they killed Shahab-ud-Din Mohd Ghouri on his return after capturing Delli and killing Pirthevi Raj Chohan the last Hindu ruler. Last time I checked they are form Iran.

    Trust me unless you are a Mussuli/Dravidian, your ancestors came from outside of Punjab.Recommend

  • Nayab

    Cr**. Karachi vs punjab? Because I dont think the karachi situation you mentioned prevails in all of Sindh. And im confused please, is th whose side are u on question supposed to be answered in terms of kashmir and punjab? Because I thought we should be more concerned about national issues than provincial comparisons. And if you must make it an issue of which province has more of what, dont ignore our Balochi and KPK brothers eh? Conpare yrself wth them and be grateful. For God’s sake, the Karachiites are begging for peaceful situation, theyre being killed in numbers of hundreds! Ure completely off point.and gwt yr facts straight, the energy crisis hasnt started now. All past govts have ripped us off before leaving.the crisis ia more of a national issue than provincial, hence I suggest u direct this letter to th good for nothing PPP govt. Wapda is hardly under th jurisdiction of a provincial leader. and lastly, lets ask ourselves what ww do to conserve the energy during th hour when loadshedding is not prevalent. Sorry, this would be my lastly: LOL @ u never spoke to us in punjabi :D Recommend

  • BlackJack

    Himachal Pradesh was a union territory after 1950 and Haryana emerged from Indian Punjab in 1966 based on division on linguistic lines. The fact is that allowing people of a particular (majority) language group to have control over the local govt and language used for affairs of state does not result in the country breaking up – it just reduces differences among people within the same state. (Especially in a landlocked Seraiki state – where would they possibly go?) In the case of Punjab (India), it was also important to provide the Sikhs with the power to rule over themselves, although the situation still become tense in the 80s. However, in general, smaller states have been able to provide better governance – and have allowed for the rapid development of infrastructure within the hived off parts.Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    Mr Akram
    you must have gone loco. you want that Mian Sahib should look into yor complaint? you have not provided one reason why the lighting is so important for you in Ounjab, when you drew the curtain in Karachi to have a sleep. Do’nt you sleep in punjab!

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Neutral Gear

    Hey Balochistan here! hello please – We are a part of Pakistan as well.

    Just for the information of all my Punjabi brothers, Nawaz Sharif’s regime was far worst than the current PPP government. Both Sharif brothers are well known to snatch project money from lesser provinces like Balochistan and KP.

    Please choose wisely in the next election.Recommend

  • Shayan

    Nadeem Akram Sahab. Your karachi is not looking so good these days is it ?!? Lets also ask Altaf. Is he British or Pakistani?Recommend

  • The Patriot

    This defies national patriotism, i personally believe we should talk of pakistan as a whole……very DISAPPOINTING from such an educated person like you sir………..sindhi,punjabi,pathan if we all start talking about our discrete problems, that would only promote sectarianism.The solution only lies in rectifying our mistakesRecommend

  • Maryam

    Uncle! What you’ve to do whether he’s PUNJABI or KASHMIRI? situation in Punjab here, is not worst when you compare it with Karachi.It’s thousand times better than Karachi,At least we don’t get scared when we step out of our homes.Recommend

  • Liberal

    people are robbed in Karachi, there is
    kidnapping for ransom and target
    killing but that has been there for a
    very long time. One thing missing from
    this laundry list is excessive loadshedding.”
    I would take loadshedding over robbery, kidnapping and killing ANY DAY. This article was a complete waste of time.Recommend

  • Usman

    I read ur article and i was amazed on ur thinking. M a karachitte and i dont have the same views which u expressed . You stayed in khi for a short time and that also in Shahrah e Faisal area (which is among the good areas of khi). I would like you to stay for a year here and then have an experience of how the karachiites are living. We live under the fear of street crime , i only have been a victim 5 times. What about the others .Would you afford to give ur valuables just like this on road. Target killing is a normal thing here. Would you like to be killed just for no reason ??? Would you like your children to become orphans and your widow to live under hardships. Do establish your business here and i would like to know very happily how much bhatta you give monthly to the parties. I dont get why people are so thankless , they prefer flyovers,underpasses,electricity over their LIFE !
    You had a very lame reason to criticise Nawaz! Punjab is facing Electricity Loadshedding .. that seriously has some politics hidden in it.
    Next time you visit khi , be a guest in Orangi town ..Yes thats an Altaf Hussain area. then post a new article on the conditions there.
    You know nothing about Karachi. After 11, the streets are like haunted. You dont know when and where bikers will start following you and stop you to rob your car, mobile etc. Next time do roam some streets at night in areas of jauhar, gulshan ,nazimabad ,orangi, al-asif.
    This is very few of those miserable stories. And yeah under the rule of Altaf Hussain.Recommend

  • mustafa pakkal

    completely unrealistic letter..

    it was wastage of time to ready letter like this..stupidityRecommend

  • Bilal

    sir the problem is that in raiwind palace doesnt have this problem … if you have a problem why dont u get a job there and get the benefits .. as for the rapid transport i think it was pure genius from younger mian saab … who else would rip apart the main lahore road … the answer is the same guy who rebuild the canal road 3 times when he was in power last time .. pure genius Recommend

  • Farhan Khan

    Nadeem Sb, Nawaz Sharif does not deserve any attention from any of us. He has gone nuts. In my humble opinion, Nawaz Sharif is an opportunist, nothing else. I would Elect Mr. Zardari again if i have to choose from the two.
    @Tipu.. 100% Agreed With you. :)Recommend

  • ChachiChatters

    I am old. I live in Lahore. I was and I am and I shall die a Lahore wali.

    My work has taken me to Karachi dozens of times. I always come back home, here in Lahore and I sigh with relief.

    Karachi has Altaf Hussain. I thank God, Lahore doesn’t have him.

    I have lived a life in Lahore and I thank God, Lahore doesn’t have him. I walk around the block and come back safe home, with my earrings still in my ears and I thank God, Lahore doesn’t have him. My sons and daughters and their sons and daughters leave their homes for school and work and I thank God, Lahore doesn’t have him.

    I want to die her in Lahore. I love my city; so every day, I pray and I thank God, Lahore doesn’t have him.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Agreed there is a lot wrong with Nawaz and his brother but then there is very little right with Zardari, Altaf, Asfandiar Wali, Fazlu R and the rest of the motley bunch. The article in my view lacked depth and somehow missed making its point.Recommend

  • sindhi

    If you like so much MR.Altaf Hussain. That is great news. We people of Sindh has no problem to export you ALtaf and his party to Lahore. Sindh has been their home for last 60+ years. Their contribution to Sindh’s peace and brotherhood is matchless :) Pakistan does not end in Sindh and it was never part of partition document that majority of immigrants come and settle in Sindh. Now Punjab should also share the burden. It is enough for us now to be fooled in the name of patriotism and religion. Take these folks to your Lahore. I wish you good luck for peaceful Lahore without load-shedding !!Recommend

  • Atta

    Uncle? all karachi’s buildings are SELF-POWERED, they Buy petrol and power themselves with stand-by generators,
    LOADSHEDDING is all same irrespective of provinces and cities, and even if karachi is being powered more is because this city is the only city that generates half the revenue of the entire country, if you decide to power lower in place of karachi than you must make lahore a more revenue generating city,
    And who doesn’t know what Altaf bhai does for karachi?? If you want him, please take him.
    Anyway, an entirely poor article, Uncle seems to be too much taken by the loadshedding frustration to write such an idiotic article.Recommend

  • Omaidus

    An absolute nonsense, this writer is just trying to use racism to empower his argument, I have just visited Karachi in last month, and the facts he is giving is totally wrong, Karachi faces same problem of load shedding, the difference is Mian sb in 2 ears after the 18th amendment hasnt produced even a single megawatt into the system of Punjab, as 18th amendment gives the provinces a right to produce power. Punjab nationalism will not solve punjabs problems…….. and please give facts, bahawalpur, multan and kherpur were never part of Punjab.Recommend

  • waqas

    just because sindh is enjoying 800mw of extra share of electricity because of punjab’s gud will gesture toward other provinces does not make karachi better place to live. You trivialised all projects of punjab govt without taking a step outside ur drawing for pete’s sake. Also, raising questions about ethnicity of ns just make you look no better than a ethinic or racist profilic. Piece of crap article.Recommend

  • Rubab A. Zaidi

    NS is a gone case, he or his bro doesn’t deserve so much attention. P.s. Wondering how can target killings, sectarian killings and street crimes, not that grave problems as load-shedding. Who would want the abundant luxury of Light over Life !! Recommend

  • Adeel Syed

    Please do not equate Muhajirs with MQM, I’m sure most sane minded Muhajirs like me do not vote for tyrantsRecommend

  • The Only Normal Person Here.

    Awesome. Exactly what I thought. May you be safe from N brigade.Recommend

  • Maria

    @sindhi: The current problems in Karachi are largely due to the antics of the MQM and Altaf Bhai I agree. I don’t dispute the fact that Karachi’s problems have to do with the fact that local Sindis lost control of their own city. I don’t care that Mian Nawaz Sharif is actually Kashmiri and not Punjabi- the fact that he runs Punjab as a Punjabi where the majority Punjabi people hold him to a certain level of scrutiny has resulted in the relative peace and prosperity that you see there. Lahore has a majority Punjabi population which is loyal to the city and the province. Karachi would be as stable as Lahore is Sindis who are loyal to their own soil again became the main players in Karachi instead of migrants from KPK, Punjab or Muhajirs from India. Load shedding has more to do with failed government policies the last 10 years under a dictatorship.Recommend

  • Sameer Qadir

    Personally, I don’t think Nawaz Sharif, or his brothers or Zardari or Altaf Hussain or any other political leader or the Establishment or the beaurocrats are hypocrits. They are all looking at a sleeping nation and taking full advantage of it. If a big political leader was in prison for a long time and there he realized that no one was going to shed a tear for him, why should he in his prime care about anything or any one. So now he is doing the same. If another political dynasty was exiled, how many people protested against his/ their sufferings. A handful perhaps.So really why should they be bothered now. Those of us who write all these things on our walls or comment otherwise are really friends of all of the above. At least They know what we are feeling and how we are venting those feelings. We may not be Their best friends, but we could not be Their worst enemies also. The worst enemies are those who will without warning come out on the streets and try to change the system. It is those people all of us should fear.
    So if we want to change the system, its time to put the pen down and hit the streets with banners. Then, we will truly be able to critisize the players in the political arena.Recommend

  • Ovais

    I guess this is not criticizing nawaz sharif but in someway .. highlighting that he is not punjabi but Pakistani … i dont like nawaz because he is incompetent and we have a better alternative in imran also nawaz misunderstanding on sindh and balochistan issues wont help either … but this article is not against nawaz i guess…Recommend

  • Ali

    Karachi does not only have MQM. it is the political hub of the country, and every political party is active in karachi. karachi is the only city where every party is involved in every kind of business… but unfortunately, because karachi is the stronghold and fort of MQM, MQM is the only one blamed.
    to all those who accuse mqm of extortion and street crimes, let me tell you that lyari, sohrab goth and katti pahari are the worst affected areas of target killing, extortion and street crimes, and these areas are the strong holds of ANP and not mqm. main saddar market has a strong and growing presence of ANP, and threat of ‘bhattakhori’ has proportionately risen!Recommend

  • Minahil

    I agree with what you said and how nicely you put it. It is just so unfair how the puppeteers at PPP-MQM-ANP have been exploiting Karachi and how they have made the city into a battleground.

    We here in Karachi, deep down in the heart of hearts, envy the peace and tranquility that Lahore has to offer. Recommend

  • Adil

    Sir, you’re much older and experienced. You write reasonably well. But this article is a disappointment. Firstly, there’s no comparison between the two. You’re hailing Altaf and letting go off extortions, kidnappings, target killings etc and you’re bothered about how Mr Sharif wants to gain his lost throne and how he SHOULD PROVIDE YOU WITH ELECTRICITY in Lahore? It’s the federal governments JOB! I don’t even want to argue about other things anymore. Seems like a waste. Recommend

  • http://Canada Attif Abbas

    Nice kiddie talks.
    Mr Nawaz is your next premier good for Nawab shah as well.Recommend

  • Karachities

    You and people like you can talk against everyone except the DON of UK… Recommend

  • Hamza hasan

    Firstly, does it matter for pakistan, if he is a punjabi or Kashmiri, or if he delivers his speech in punjabi or not? Anyone hardly knows from which province of India did Altaf pop out. Moreover Benazir never delivered a speech in urdu, the national language, without making at least a hundred grammatical mistakes. 
    Secondly, I believe the writer does not know that all three,four and five star hotels provide 24 hour electricity to the guests. It seems it’s the first time he has stayed in one. And again a 12 year old would know that electricity generation, policies,distribution etc are all in the hands of Islamabad.Recommend

  • sindhi

    Thanks for your insight. I totally agree with you. Today, our city is bleeding thanks to bounties of 1947 Freedom in the shape of “Immigrants/Refugees”, who don’t own Sindh but rather they behave as if they had conquered this land. They use violence and divisive politics to continue their occupation.Recommend

  • Yasir Mehmood

    Haha another teriible effort on part of ET against NS. The writer is not intelligent enough to know that the center is responsible for electricity generation and distribution. Since, PMLN( and it is not in fedral government) is PP rival punjab has to face more power outage. and your comparison with Altaf bhai is flawless hahahaha. Recommend

  • Leo Celestine

    I can’t really remember the name, however a noted American intellectual once went to west Africa and drove from the Ivory coast to it’s neighboring country Liberia.

    Ivory coast was basically a former french colony, so the government of the Ivory coast retained strong ties with France; had lots of French advisers, ambassadors and consuls who were pretty much managing the infrastructural development of the country. As a result, compared to it’s competitors the country prospered reasonably well and gained a considerable advantage over its neighbors.

    The American intellectual asked someone from Liberia, why the Ivory coast had prospered so much and Liberia hadn’t progressed at all.

    Funny as it sounds, the man replied, “Well off-course we haven’t progressed ! Because unlike the Ivory Coast we didn’t have the privilege of being colonized by the French.”

    In the time frame of 60 years after Independence, our Pakistani politicians have totally soaked the country dry. Even after such a long time we have not even improved our railway system, many of our top schools like Aitchison were all established in the colonial era and this is not to mention the fact that electricity itself was introduced in the Sub-continent by the British. Hassan Nisar explains all of this stuff quite beautifully in this video or if you prefer to read an English Translation then click here

    Sadly the average Pakistani is pretty much in the same situation as that Liberian.

    If asked the question why Pakistan hasn’t prospered, he/she might as well throw in the towel and say, “Well off-course…That’s because we don’t have the privilege of still being a British Colony.” Recommend

  • ahsan

    I am a Punjabi, not by chance or forced migration which applies in your case, but a proud descendant of long chain of Punjabis who resisted marauders from Alexander to Abdali.

    Come on mate dont lie please. punjabis as a nation never resisted any invader infect they did bhangra in frount of every invader.Recommend

  • Jawwad Jafri

    Have you completely lost it! I don’t have electricity 12 hours a day in Karachi. U stay in a bloody hotel and think everything is alright!Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    Firstly, it’s not true that there is no load-shedding in Karachi. In those localities where power theft is rampant and recovery of bills very low, there are power outages lasting four hours or even more. Secondly, the people of Karachi have been paying much more for electricity than other places in the country. In Punjab, where line losses are very high, the people until now were paying much less (I paid up to Rs. 13 per unit last year, while in Lahore even now the rate is Rs. 7 to Rs. 9 per unit). Once Karachi’s line losses are controlled and KESC’s dues are paid by the government, load-shedding in Karachi will be a thing of the past.Recommend

  • Raza

    Terrible article. Firstly, Punjab does not need a nationalist like Altaf bhai; and be thankful for that since it shows Punjabis dont face discrimination. Secondly, Lahore is wonderful, better than Karachi in most regards; loadshedding is practically just one problem you face. I agree that Nawaz Sharif is an ignorant hypocrite; but please dont think that life in Lahore can ever be worse than anywhere else in Pakistan, particularly Karachi.Recommend

  • Omer

    I don’t want to be dragged into Imran Khan and Mian Sahib debate; but this piece from the author is shameful in so many ways.

    << I am a Punjabi, not by chance or forced migration which applies in your case, but a proud descendant of long chain of Punjabis who resisted marauders from Alexander to Abdali. >>
    Dear Author kindly feel proud of your ‘OWN’ achievements and not what apparently your forefathers did!! And “REALLY” what was the point of making this statement?

    So what if he is either? What difference does it make Mr. Author? We are not living in dark ages where somebody’s ethnicity might have been a determining factor of sorts. Thanks to Islam and the advancement of civilisation, things like race, religion, colour or ethnicity does not matter. With all due respect but perhaps your statements only reflect your bias/backward state of mind.

    All the PTI supporters showering praises on this shallow piece of work should in my opinion be ashamed of themselves. Just because you hate a person does not mean you lose your ability to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong.

    (tribune .. please publish my comment. If this article can be published (with all the ethnicist elements) then surely comments of your readers can also be published. Afterall freedom to express should apply both ways. Thanks.Recommend

  • stenson

    Load shedding or no load shedding- we all know Lahore is peaceful and prosperous compared to Karachi and ask anyone from Lahore why the city is doing well economically or developmentally. They will all answer because of Shabaz Sharif; We don’t care whether he is originally Kashmiri as long as he continues to improve Lahore and Punjab like he has done so far. You may have stayed in a hotel with a back up generator or not but I would say that Lahore has better infrastructure and organization to any other city except maybe Islamabad.Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    Leo celestine,
    Two hundred years of colonisation, one is nothing but a flunky, with very few testaterones and brain washed to the extent of a specie from the stone age. People are not more than a zombie, without own culture and without once own language. Some occupy the empty chairs and send their children to english speaking countries and others carry on as usual with what was left to them. The worst yet that the anglo saxons are the most underdeveloped and regressive people today in Europe. Ask any Pakistani how far behind the country is verses Europe, he is unlikely to admit that 200 golden years. India and China have taken the lead, copy advanced Nations, India implanted the french constitution, China undertook to copy all the Engineering skills of Europeans, and Pakistan got stuck with military and former criminals introducing death sentence for Blesphamy and excommunicating muslims from their fold who think differently. And when they want to refresh themselves they take a flight to heathrow, without realising that their ex masters live in an Island, called Great Britain!

    Rex Minor Recommend

  • popsaeed

    Look like agent of PTI& MQM “Ittehad” In electionRecommend

  • Mohajir

    So, If Nawaz sharif is responsible for electricity and all problems in Punjab, we should also accept Altaf as all the issues in Karachi which includes, target killings, burning of public and private properties including vehicles, bhatta, and gun culture. As he own karachi and his people says karachi is altaf’s cityRecommend

  • Heran

    Can you plz write an artice which asks Altaf Hussain, is he pakistani or British???Recommend

  • Madiha R.

    What a CRAP!!! Seriously!?!

    … What difference does it make if Sharif is a Punjabi or a Kashmiri? Nothing. He’ll continue to be what he is. And please never bring ethnic backgrounds into a debate. That is only racist.

    Altaf Vs Sharif – Taubah! One is a personification of terrorism and the later one is epitome of corruption. No comparison. Period. Recommend

  • Kashmiri

    Thousands of Kashmiris have flourished in Pakistan and specially in Punjab since 1947. They call themselves Pakistani without a blink and wear it on their sleeve. I havent heard a single Kashmiri living in Pakistan ever talk about independent Kashmir as an option. They always have and will be Pakistanis (Unlike Muhajirs, Baloch and Pakhtoons to some extent). To ask this question of Mian Sb ‘Are you a Kashmiri or a Punjabi?’ is not only ignorant, it’s an attempt to get a rile out of a nation which considers itself Pakistani to the core and has contributed as much as any other who inhibit the land.
    And yes, I thank God every day we dont have an Altaf Hussan. Besides, writer should know that electric supply is responsibility of the federal govt and for obvious reasons, Altaf has lights in Khi and Punjab doesnt. And as far as that ISPR sponsored rumor of ‘Ameer-ul-mumineen’ is concerned, that’s utterly subjective. Apart from his follies, I admire him for not bowing down to those who hijacked the system and keeping an alliance with PPP (even at the cost of his own vote bank) to sustain a system where elected officials get time to complete their term. That’s how democracy should role. We fail to understand that instead of supporting the processes, we start supporting individuals. In the recent past, he has been the only statesman like politician. Ask Marvi Memon if you will ;)Recommend

  • Kashmiri

    And please do not even get me started on this bit < I am a Punjabi, not by chance or forced migration which applies in your case, but a proud descendant of long chain of Punjabis who resisted marauders from Alexander to Abdali. > Alexander marvelled at how unconcerned the Punajbi tribes are that thier land is raided by outsiders. These ‘Punjabi’ tribes continue to plough thier land and chose to stay away from the battle till the time their own land is attacked.How Punjabi tribes sold themsleves to british and Moghuls and to whomever they could for a few acres (and we are still suffering from after effects of that fuedal system) is also part of the archive. Punjabis had great heros from Mansoor Malangi to Bhagat Singh and yes, every nation has bad apples! The judgemental categorization of of tribes and the writer’s lack of comprehension has morphed a read which made my morning dump an extremely un-pleasent experience. Infact the bowels stopped moving :/ and they were like a German train, always on time! :(Recommend

  • The Pointer


    And…….. We thank Allah SWT that such people like YOU are not in Karachi, who only knows to blame Altaf Bhai for even if an ant bite them.Recommend

  • KHK

    He must have been paid handsomely by MQM.
    His attire endorses my view about him; He is definitely ‘show me the money’ type of darbari write.Recommend

  • Saud Usmani

    “but a proud descendant of long chain of Punjabis who resisted marauders from Alexander to Abdali….” nice jokeRecommend

  • Madiha R.

    @The Pointer:
    Do you mean Altaf Bhai doesn’t deserve any blame? Eh, you are disillusioned!

    LOL – Nice observation! ;)Recommend

  • Ali

    Not a supporter of NS or SS but this is what happens when the party in Punjab is not in the Federal Government. It is just like giving less Gas to Punjab, wrecking the Punjab(Faisalabad) Industry and simply avenging the Punjabi people for not voting for the Khappay manRecommend

  • http://- Abid P. Khan

    @The Author:

    A very important question, you forgot to ask NS, Are you left-handed?Recommend

  • Malik Mehar

    Nawaz sharif is a true PakistaniRecommend

  • Haroon

    Mian Nawaz Sharif is a PAKISTANI national leader, he is leader of sindhi, balochi, pathan, baltastani, kashmiri & punjabi, but you are only punjabi(period)Recommend

  • Rex Minor


    Do not be hard with kashmiris! They are very resilient and hard working people. When their land was invaded, most crossed over as refugees in Pakistan, but instead of relying on charity they asked for a Pakistani passport and one way ticket to the UK. Eversince then they have been living in the UK as kashmiris, initialy with Pakistani documentation and later with a British passport which they use purely for travel purpose. They regard themselves as kashmiris though most even born in the UK. You have probably met non kashmiris, who regard themselves as Punjabis.

    Rex Minor Recommend

  • Nadeem Akram

    A few things I would like to add here to clear the air:
    1) I was not staying at a five star hotel instead I was staying at my brother’s!

    2) Both Nawaz Sharif and MQM not Altaf Hussain per se, are products of General Zia.

    3) The former was smart enought to seized the opportunity and become a national leader the former was naive enough to eliminate the think tank to become the dictator that he is.

    4) The laundry list san load shedding in my piece was just to remind the Karachites that they are responsible for bringing this band of brigands to power by shedding their jewellery and other assets to strengthen them to a position of power that they have enjoying for quite some time., So why moan target killings, kidnapping for ransom, and so on so forth you strengthened their hands through you donations, forced or unforced contributions and so and so forth.

    5) Sindh hardly produces a few megawats of electricity and yet thanks to the street power of Altaf and the Sindh card that PPP uses so effectively, it has been the beneficiary of Federal legislation since the time of ZAB, Sindhi language being one of the example.

    6) The reason I asked Nawaz Sharif whether he was a Punjabi or Kashmiri is very simple! It was during the time of Zia and Nawaz nexus that our intervention in Kashmir was at it’s peak. God bless Aitazaz was betraying the country and BB for that matter. Well Aitazaz has
    sold his sould to devil for senatorship and I have sold his book Indus Saga to raddi wala.

    7) The point I was trying to make was not solely about load shedding or comparing NS to AH, the point was who want what? Altaf knows, for obvious reasons, that he cannot come back to Pakistan and therefore he could never be the PM, NS on the other hand is hopeful that somehow he could hoodwink Pakistanis in electng him the kind of PM that he was till such time that he was ousted by Mushy. ( And trust me Mushy was far more forgiving than NS would ever be) Mush liked cigars, ladies, booze and tranquility and he had it all, the ill-advised Mian by another imbecile Kashmiri had no moral grounds to dilodge him while he was in the air. What transpired later, NS deserved and so did his advisors.

    8) NS is no longer a national leader, he is hardly a provincial leader and that is why his last call for rally against load shedding was a failure.

    9) Whilst Karachites should revel the thought that their interest are being protected by a murdrerer and a thug they should also take solace that there is no one in this country that could take on these people, except Zulfiqar Mirza (who) and by no means NSRecommend

  • Mufazzil

    I guess the progress of all nationalist parties should be discontinued. I being a Sindhi, Nor I, neither my ancestors have ever supported these nationalist parties. ANP, MQM, JSQM,JSSF, STP, BNP,BLA etc. After putting a barrier to the entry routes of these parties, atleast we will be left with leaders who have always talked for Pakistani Nation, though they are even not sincere, but I am sure we will be at some stable position.Recommend

  • Maria

    @ahsan: Tell me what South Asian race resisted foreign invaders? They were all ruled by others for well over a 1000 years. When you disparage Punjabis for being occupied do you remember that all native races in Pakistan were similarly occupied by foreign powers- this includes the Baluchis, Sindis, Pashtuns and Kashmiris. You sound very smug to say Punjabis did bhangra when invaders came but does that mean that South Indians didn’t do karnataka dance or that people in UP didn’t do Bharat Natyam in front of invaders – if anything Punjab was under British rule for far less time than most of South Asia under the British. Most foreign invaders respected martial Punjabi races as adversaries unlike most other races in South Asia whom they labelled as cowardly. So learn your history first before spouting your racism against native Pakistani races.Recommend

  • Ishtiaq

    Poor research and a useless article, it seems quality of articles are day by day decreasing on ET.Recommend

  • khan

    Compare to other provinces the PUNJAB is the best as all over he world it has been recommeded.Health isues are being addressed very good in panjab hospitals,coruption free atleast from the top level,roads,flyovers,colleges,universities.The problem is that there is irresponsible people sitting in the center who can not handle the things and they are corupt.
    Mian Nawaz Sharif is the best poilitical leader who has wisdom and experience and having excellent team to run the country affairs.

    Motorways,IT revolution,Fiber optic net work,basic infrastructure,Airports,Ghawader ports,Plants Oil and Gas,better transpot system,nuke test,JF17 thunder,Bridres,defence road which crosses almost all the area of kashmir,

    But anti pakistani forces do not wanted him to progress the country that,s why he was removed.

    Today there is only punjab who did not get a single fils loan from abroad….this is called KHUDI,they are shaheens of pakistan.Ch.Nisar,Ihsan iqbal,saad rafique,mehtab abbasi,khawaja asif,hanif abbasi,sirtaj aziz,ishaq dar,raja zaraful haq,shah sb,and PMLN is the only political party which gives tickets to normal people but other are jageerdars,wadeeras,mahdooms, let us join hands to support to make pakistan as asian tigers. Recommend

  • khan

    In raiwand 65 people live,this is the form house of sharif family.they have business even before pakistan came into being.BUt the Prince living with musharaff dog in islamabad palace who has enjoyed all the legal an dillegal activaties and requesting PM punjab that i am poor man give a [email protected]: Recommend

  • liberalpak

    @Nadeem Akram:
    I really feel pit on your knowledge and how ET allows you to publish material without cross check. In your comment number 5. You said ” Sindh hardly produces a few megawats of electricity ”

    Pls check the facts first which tell us that Sindh has 213 MW of installed capacity and Punjab has only 2.1 MW and then blame Sindh.For your information read following info.

    “According to Census of electricity undertaking conducted by FBS average growth of electric energy recorded during last 10 years in installed capacity on Pakistan basis was 446 MW, electricity generation and consumption were 2339 min KWh and 1,764 KWh respectively. On provincial basis the average share in installed capacity of Punjab was of only 2.1 MW whereas Sindh had 213 MW, NWFP and Balochistan installed capacity share was 183 MW and 5 MW respectively. Average electricity generation in Sindh province was highest among other three provinces. In Punjab it was 269 min KWh which was 76 per cent less than Sindh where average generation was 1,154 min KWh against Punjab had 269 min KWh. Even generation in NWFP comparatively with Punjab was better by 72 per cent where its average was 962 min KWh. Balochistan has on average generated only 6 min KWh during last 10 years. Average energy consumption level in Punjab was 136 per cent higher than in Sindh where it was 439 rain KWh against 1,036 min KWh of Punjab. In NWFP average consumption was 213 min KWh and Balochistan had only 77 min KWh.”Recommend

  • http://- Abid P. Khan

    @Nadeem Akram:
    “there is no one in this country that could take on these people, except Zulfiqar Mirza (who) and by no means NS”

    Brilliant. You confessed it.

    Your intent all the time has been to bash certain ethnic group. You have succeeded in provoking the jialas of different hues who have swarmed this site as angry bees.

    The legislature should make it punishable to provoke hate and violence among the citizen.

    You are even inciting some political figures to “take on these people”, for proving loyalty to the “soil”, otherwise you, NS will not be regarded as a real Panjabi. Recommend

  • Nadeem Akram

    I have carefully read all the comments. Let me answer few of them if not all.

    1) I did not stay in a five-star or any star hotel, and therefore the suggestions that I may have stayed at hotel for the first time is rather funny.

    2) The question asked to NS about his ehnicity was based on his life long support to Kashmir cause which has resulted in loss of thoursands of lives, both soldiers and innocent civilians, so if he cares so much about Kashmir, why remain silent when Punjab’s industry is at the brink of closure and people are talking about division of Punjab.

    3) Someone referred to the division of East Punjab with time lines, yes they are correct but it was Nehru who foresaw that and ensure that Punjab was evenutally divided. I will post the relevant links later on.

    4) As luck would have it, I was in Karachi over this weekend again, and this time around based on what I have read here, I preferred to ask a common man, a driver about the load shedding, and Lord be praised, despite living in a impoverished area of Karachi, the load shedding did not exceed more than six hours, according to the driver.

    5) There was a rather immature remark about Punjabis performing Bhangra at every foreign invasion, presumably in relpy to my remark about Punjabis being at the forefront of resisting occupation. I would not like to get into lot of details, but fodder for thought, Alexander lost his favorite horse in a battle against Punjabis in Kamalia (Kamalia is the distorted version of the name of Alexander’s horse who died in the battle) Alexander received the wound at Kamalia which eventually proved to be fatal. Dulla Bhatti of Punjab rebelled against powerful Akbar and his hanging brought the change in law in owning private property. Bhagat Singh, and there are numerous other names that can be quoted, but suffice to say Punjabis love their freedom and have always fought for it. More recently, the Bhutto hatao movement escalated in Lahore.Recommend

  • Alaa Qiadat

    Couldnt have a more stupid article..the one which even has a wrong 1st paragraph…prolly u have no idea why the coup happened and how musharaf came into power…rubbish!Recommend


    such a waste of time, and what can i say to you that you had light in karachi and you wrote this.
    being punjabi or kashmiri for nawaz, and forced migrated kind of punjabi what a racist remark, i being a kashmiri feeling down after hearing this from you. we are pakistani and thats it.

  • Ali

    Nwaz Sharif is an opportunist not more than this.Recommend


    well said indeed! Recommend