Stick to kissing cobras Waqar Zaka!

Published: April 2, 2013

Why Grammar School? And why girls only? Are boys and non-Grammarian girls excluded from his fan-following? Are non-Grammarian girls any inferior? PHOTO: PUBLICITY

On April 1, 2013, I logged on to The Express Tribune website and was taken by surprise by this little headline in the right corner that read: ‘Waqar Zaka to go from cobra to constituency.

Though I am not one of Mr Zaka’s fans, I went on to give it a read. The constituency bit smelled fishy considering the 2013 elections are just round the corner.

There I had it: Waqar Zaka plans to contest the elections!

Initially, like many others, I thought he tried to pull off an April fools prank (And I secretly still hope so). However, considering that the news was published at a reputable newspaper, I was forced to assume that he does in fact intend to join Meera and Musarrat Shaheen’s league – the celebrities who intend to contest the elections.

Honestly speaking, there is nothing wrong with that. In a democratic setup he has as much right to contest the elections as anyone else.

That aside, the story about his election plans has so much that is wrong with it, that I have been compelled to write a response.

As I proceed to decimate his statements, I would like to apologise in advance to his fans before the hate mails start pouring in.

For those who don’t know, Mr Zaka is a VJ/host and his claim to fame is a “dare show”.

He is also famous as Mr Daredevil for the ‘daring’ stunts he has pulled off such as kissing cobra snakes.  So our Mr Daredevil here has decided to be daring enough to contest the elections. This is what he had to say:

“My fan following is diverse — from Nazimabad’s gutka-chewing audiences to Grammar School girls. I am assessing how much my fans love me,”

“…. If my show’s ratings are soaring high, then they should translate in a strong voters’ turnout for me.”

Apparently he wants to test his fan following by running in the elections. I do not, however, know how he expects his audience, of school and college going kids — mainly under 18 years of age — to be eligible to cast a vote.

Putting that fact aside, as a prospective voter, I would like to ask him some questions based on his statement:

1.      Does he mean people living in Nazimabad are gutka chewers? Or, does he mean that his audience from Nazimabad are gutka chewers?

With that statement he should forget about any political support he can get from people living in Nazimabad – except for the gutka-chewers may be.

2.       Why Grammar School? And why girls only? Are boys and non-Grammarian girls excluded from his fan-following? Are non-Grammarian girls any inferior?

By the way I am a girl, I am not a Grammarian and I am offended.

Moving on, Mr Zaka expressed his intent to contest elections from NA-253 but claimed that while he is open to any party who gives him a ticket, none of the parties except MQM were welcoming towards him. He also alleged that ANP was discriminatory against him because of his long hair. I feel sorry for him regarding the long hair bit (no pun intended).

That aside, NA-253 is a major MQM stronghold and Haider Abbas Rizvi is the primary contestant from that constituency. As such, I do not understand why MQM would consider giving Mr Zaka a ticket on that seat.

The most important and intriguing highlight of the story is Mr Zaka’s manifesto. He claims that his manifesto addresses people’s needs. Here’s what he is offering:

“Education weducation bakwas baatein hain. Perhne likhne se insan lethal banjata hai”

(Education is all non-sense. It makes one lethal)

“My basic idea is to open the doors of entertainment for the masses.”

Apparently, he means all the target killers, kidnappers, insurgents and ‘namaloom afraad’ in the country must have highly qualified academic backgrounds, considering the extent of their ‘lethalness’. As for the entertainment part, many of our politicians are already offering that.

Mr Zaka further believes that the provision of free Wi-Fi and gaming zones is more important than electricity and water.

Bijli and paani come way after that — people want tafreeh (fun) first.”

This one line statement gives rise to many questions.

a)      If free Wi-Fi comes before electricity, then how will the Wi-Fi device operate?

b)      Will there be an alternate energy source to run the Wi-Fi devices (something like Agha Waqar’s water kit, may be)? Or, will free generators/UPS be provided to facilitate smooth internet access without disruption.

c)       Most of the ‘ghareeb awaam’ might not be able to afford PCs and laptops. Since a Wi-Fi device is incomplete without a PC, laptop or a smartphone, will that be provided for free as well? Also the not-so-educated masses will need free training in order to be able to access the internet.

Lastly, I have a million dollar question to ask Mr Waqar Zaka on a personal note.

If education is not on your list, and you want to provide free Wi-Fi solely for the sake of entertainment, what kind of entertainment do you want people to have from the internet and how, if at all, do you see the country prospering under your authority?

Read more by Sana Iqbal here and follow her @sanarites


Sana Iqbal

A marketing student who teaches economics, Sana is a freelance writer based in Karachi. She is an aspiring journalist and blogs at Twitter handle: @sanarites

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

  • Iknowright!!

    He is the worst person ever.
    These people have turned politics and elections into a joke. Its really humiliating and embarrassing for Pakistan if he contests these elections.Recommend

  • Mag

    Another Veena Malik in making!Recommend

  • Maxwood

    He will contestRecommend

  • Yoghurt lover


    “These people have turned politics and elections into a joke. Its really humiliating and embarrassing for Pakistan if he contests these elections.”

    Don;t be too harsh on your country. Every country has its share of Waqar Zakas.

    India had Sanjay Dutt contesting elections.Recommend

  • bool crrappp

    I don’t understand how he manages to get on TV. He seems to have a big parchi behind him. Could be a relative of Haji saab. Recommend

  • Sana (Iqbal) Adnan

    Dear readers,

    The unedited version of this post is now up on my blog.

    Enjoy reading :)

  • Tabish Ahmed Shah

    Sana, Why did you waste so much time for writing an article on him?Recommend

  • Sana (Iqbal) Adnan

    @Tabish Ahmed Shah

    For some reason I was tempted to. Moreover, it was less about him and more about his plans to contest the elections. :)Recommend

  • umair409

    i believe after waqar zaka; sahir lodhi will also announce that he’ll be contesting in elections.his manifesto will be:

    1-SRK’s movies will be aired on TV twice a week.
    2-Special attention will be given to persons who can imitate SRK.
    3-Original Dell laptops customized with SRK’s wall papers & screen savers will be given to deserving students.
    4-Marriages on daily basis will be done on his show.Recommend

  • v

    While Waqar Zaka is no angel, the writer should definitely brush up her grammar skills and also logic. For example, she says ‘no pun intended’ where there is none. This shows an ignorance of basic English words.Very poor.Recommend

  • Impressed

    “2. Why Grammar School? And why girls only? Are boys and non-Grammarian girls excluded from his fan-following? Are non-Grammarian girls any inferior?

    By the way I am a girl, I am not a Grammarian and I am offended.”

    I feel sorry for you.. really really SORRY!!!Recommend

  • SK

    W.Z you could never win the elections because it requires millions of rupees and most importantly political intelligence.Recommend

  • opler

    well, honestly speaking whenever i see him . . I feel disgusted! (no offence intended)Recommend

  • danny boy

    if you vote for him then you will be responsible for all your actions and all the reactions caused by those actions….Recommend

  • Atif

    Whatever the casei t’s still better thanpoliticians who didn’t even manage to graduate from high school and easy 2-year colleges!

    Sahir Lodhi over PPP, PML, MQM, ANP, Fundamentalist parties, etc anyday !!! :)Recommend

  • Sinn Sal

    witty Recommend

  • Faraz

    Waqae zaka is an embarrsament to the society. Elections is a serious affair and he is making a mock of it. This shows his vision, aptititude and commitment to his country and its future. I hate him.. Recommend

  • The Only Normal Person Here.

    2013 elections are indeed most interesting Recommend

  • Umer

    Tons of hatred for this guy!Recommend

  • Uzair

    Criticizing wont help the Writer, to make Home in People’s heart or if she’s thinking that way.. she’s badly mistaken.. Their’s actually a very thin margin between truth and Gossip.. and sadly the people are attracted more towards gossip and “MASALA”.. That’s why They Figure out content of their own interest and Present it the way they want..Recommend

  • Uzair

    No one could imagine the “Pain” or “Fear of loss” of Loved one unless he himself had gone through that situation… the Phrase including resignation on target killing.. may help the People to regain their conciousness who have gone through it… May Allah Bless You..emphasized textRecommend

  • Tabish Ahmed Shah

    @Sana (Iqbal) Adnan:

    Quite a temptation, Sana. Anyways, good job. :)Recommend

  • HJ

    Education makes one lethal!!…Anyway I believe this is nothing more than a publicity stunt.Recommend

  • riz

    thanks for writing… whenever i watch him i feel like giving raptaayyy to his fans not him :pRecommend

  • Loki

    @Faraz: Recommend

  • Loki

    @Faraz: Then just keep hating cause thats what you do best you hate him because he is very straight on every thing and he is not any embarrasment to the society and we only abuse politicians and even elect them again!!Recommend

  • Raza

    Start wroking on something constructive, I liked the way you have expressed yourself.

    I think I have the answer for your first question, his audience from Nazimabad are gutka chewers. Recommend

  • citizen

    seriously people watch his show ? phew ! Recommend

  • sajid

    @ writer.. why did you take his words so seriously?? people hardly know himRecommend

  • gp65

    @Yoghurt lover: “India had Sanjay Dutt contesting elections.”

    Sanjay Dutt wanted to contest elections but was not allowed to due to his conviction.So eventually he did not contest. Of course his father Sunil Dutt was the MP from the constituency that I lived in for many years and he was as upright as they come.

    @Author: the gutka chewers to grammar school girls was an alliterative way of showing a wide social group of supporters. Your grilling on this question was pointless. Anyway even if you think his ideas are weird what is the problem if he contests? IF his ideas make no sense he will lose the election. Finally, as useless as his ideas maybe they seem to be less harmful than people recommending unconditional negotiations with TTP who is killing Pakistani civilians and refuses to even acknowledge Pakistani constitution.


  • Skeptical

    “…. If my show’s ratings are soaring high, then they should translate in a strong voters’ turnout for me.”
    Hahahahaha Ok this part was funny!!Recommend

  • Asif

    Two words came to my mind after reading this …


  • Jude Allen

    hahahaha Sana your narration of him was SPOT ON :) Very-well articulated and presented. I loved every moment reading through this. Great work. Keep it up!! . . . . . Recommend

  • Zaka

    great Article…
    by the way I’m not Waqar Zaka 0_o
    I’m Zaka Khan Recommend

  • ahsan

    One word is enough to tell his lifetime story….Recommend

  • UIG

    The only take away from this blog is that you are offended easily.Recommend

  • MJA

    He is delusional!!! what a thorough critical article! I enjoyed:)Recommend

  • MAD

    He can contest elections if he wants. If you dont like him dont vote for him. Recommend

  • ammar

    Excellent piece, cant stop laughing. Waqar Zaka is more of a comedian, I watched few of his shows. I do not understand why TV channels let him do all that stuff. Recommend

  • HJN

    April fool people :pRecommend

  • Ammar

    I am not really a fan of Waqar Zaka (in fact I used to hate him), but after his announcement — my respect for the guy has increased. This is the beauty of democracy, that practically anyone can contest polls, as long a they meet certain bare minimum requirements. The fact that he is contesting elections is instrumental in signifying how democracy has evolved over the last few years. He has clearly demonstrated that he has the vision (no matter how skewed) to contest polls, and do something for his constituency. This may include redundant, and completely pointless activities, but hey – the guy at least has a vision, which can evolve with time.

    His manifesto may be utterly full of crap, but hey, how many manifestos have you actually read. At least he is not a religious bigot, capitalizing on discrimination against minorities. Why not give him a chance – why not just ask him to substantiate his manifesto, or suggest improvements, rather than labeling him as a joke.

    Completely writing him off is a fallacy. One can argue with him, debunk his theories, challenge his manifesto — and I am sure the guy will understand, and improve accordingly, but simply writing him off is just rash. He has taken a big step in contesting polls, and whether he wins or loses, doesn’t matter — but how he has shown that an ordinary citizen can contest polls is truly admirable, and this is something that we need to appreciate.Recommend

  • Him

    @Sana (Iqbal) Adnan:

    Less about him and more about his plans for contesting. That means pretty much all of it is about him, ain’t it? Recommend

  • Pakistani

    Surely a good article.Recommend

  • Ahmed Mujttaba

    Hahaha! Thumbs Up Sana!!! xDRecommend

  • Tanzeel

    Zaka achieved what he wanted. : )Recommend

  • Milind

    @gp65 – “IF his ideas make no sense he will lose the election”

    Can’t agree on this.. this is too simplistic – true in theory…

    Our masses are not mature enough to make rational choices.. Emotions, religion, caste, charisma play a wider role….

    What ideas did Govinda bring to the table when he triumphed over an experienced veteran Ram Naik in North Mumbai… Yes the same Mr. Naik – a studious petroleum minister who incidently had the guts to differ & digress from his Govt and party policy over the petroleum ministry?

    In Pune, every educated middle-class person waxed eloquent about the upright civil servant Mr. Arun Bhatia, but voted for the corrupt – the Kalmadi (Congress) & the like….Recommend

  • Somebody

    Like there is a lack of ‘daredevils’ in our politics! Recommend

  • nexus

    God help this country – the likes of him and his ideology would certainly sink this country further… not that it isn’t half sunk…Recommend

  • Mustafa

    I think she might just have been referring to the long hair part? You would understand if you read the original article regarding ANP rejecting waqar because they do not entertain men with long hair.Recommend

  • gp65

    @Milind: The examples you gave are unfortunate. But the solution is not to come up with arbitrary barriers for people contesting elections. You can see the kind of mayhem an undefined article 62-63 is causing with ordinary returning officers serving as judge in deciding who can contest and who cannot.
    The criteria for standing in elections need to be very objective and anyonemeeting those criteria should be allowed to contest. Democracy is a sieving process over the years Indian voters are giving more importance to governance rather than identity issues like caste when giving their vote. Even if voters make a mistake there is an element of self correction in democracy by voting for someone else the next time.Recommend

  • Sana Iqbal


    Yeah Mustafa. It was referred to that incident.
    Thanks for clarifying. Cheers. :)Recommend

  • Shazzie

    You think the current politians we’ve got are better than zaka? I’m not a fan of zaka, nor supporting him for the elections but kinda amazed to see hatred for him to that extent. Recommend

  • Asad

    Made me chuckle a bit. Feel better now, hahaha.Recommend

  • Ray

    Dear Blogger,

    I’m one of the “Burger” Bacha’s that admire Waqar and no, I’m not a girl. If you have ever watched Waqar on television then you would have known that he is perhaps the most straightforward and honest guy out there. just because the Express Tribune writes something, that doesn’t make it true. The media, in general, is known for twisting, turning and manipulating words. I can assure you that Waqar Zaka never made such statements

    . As a keyboard warrior, oh I meant “Blogger”, you should be encouraging the youth and general public to participate in the elections.. The only way Pakistan can truly change is if people like Waqar Zaka, Me, and yourself, yes you Sana, participate in the elections. The other option is to follow the lead of Egypt and Tunisia. In other words that means people like you, yes you Sana, must come out on the streets and risk your lives.


  • Khawar Junjoi

    Cheap way of publicity on media! : SRecommend

  • Salama Farooqui

    These type if idiots should be kept away from television so that they don’t corrupt the mind of young children..Recommend

  • naps

    We have started to take our politicians as a joke and our comedians seriously.. the world has gone to the dogs!Recommend

  • S

    buhahahahahaaaa love this article Sana Iqbal! simply awesome!Recommend