The ghairat brigade

Published: October 12, 2010

The watchful gaze of the 'protectors of innocence' can be a nightmare.

You may have come across them. They are at schools, colleges, offices and maybe even in your family. It seems they are every where, the protectors of our innocence the ghairat brigade.

Caring Cousin

A relative who often sports a beard, is a strong believer in Mullah rule,  fanaticism and a proud patriot. He uses social networks (mainly for cyber-stalking girls), but is offended by his female relatives using the same technology. His ghairat awakens. He warns females about the many evils of  “cyber boys.”

University Brat

He proudly roams around with three or more girls at a time but disapproves when he sees any of his female friends talking to someone else. He especially doesn’t appreciate his ex-girlfriend speaking to other guys. He is lazy and slow. Amazingly, his sense of ‘decency’ remains dormant when the time comes to work on group projects, and he has no qualms about letting girls do all the work (even if this involves being put in some difficult circumstances) to get an A.

Eve teaser

This is one of the most hypocritical men you will ever meet. He teases women on the street and physically harasses them in crowded places. However, when women protest, he is the first one to feign innocence and say things like, “What has happened to the people of this nation?” or “Don’t worry Baji.” Although he frequently harasses women, he is capable of pulling out a gun if anyone does the same to his female relatives. He often tells women in his family “zamana kharab hai,” but ogles girls in public places.

Cyber stalker

This person is the first to leave commiserating comments on blogs about sexual harassment or prostitution. He sends idiotic messages to girls who contribute to and comment on the blogs. His “ghairat” is only active at the time of reading the blog, but becomes passive when sending a stupid email to the writer.

Champion of the oppressed

This is the most innocent member of the brigade. All he does is constantly call someone “qaum ki beti” without really knowing her case or checking the facts. His ghairat only awakens when bad news about her is on the media. It doesn’t wake up when thousands of women are forced into prostitution, trafficked, abused, killed in the name of honor, raped and harassed. It only becomes active for one woman.

Family pimps

She is a call girl. She has supported her family for years. Her family lived on her income for years. She educated them with her earnings. Her siblings grew up on her money. Now they are highly respectable doctors and engineers and she has become a symbol of shame for them. They are independent now and their ghairat has suddenly awoken. They want to marry into respectable families now. Their sense of decency was passive when they were being fed on her earnings.

Famous father

How do you feel when you hear a father asking his sons not to have any girlfriends? This famous dad had more than four girlfriends in his time and they were all celebrities. His ghairat is applicable to his children only. Another famous dad criticizes girls when they study in co-ed schools and go on educational trips with their colleagues, but is silent in his own daughter’s case.


He is a famous director who proudly defends his wife and daughters makes objectionable demands of women entering the modeling field. His double-faced behavior makes little sense.

Blast from the Past

She is a grandmother who, is the first one whose ghairat awakens upon seeing an advertisement for birth control or her granddaughter’s uncovered head. She forgets that she too used birth control for a long time. She forgets about the skintight, short, sleeveless clothes she wore in the sixties. Her sense of decency is generation-based.


He is a new lecturer at a college or university who doesn’t want to see his students interacting with the opposite sex. His ghairat awakens when he sees people flirting and frequently lectures them about it. However, his strong beliefs are not as evident when he flirts with students and finds excuses to call them to his office.

No one needs any special alarm clock to awaken their ghairat. Social stereotypes are enough for that. It only awakens at special times and during favorable seasons.

Sadaf Fayyaz

Sadaf Fayyaz

A freelance journalist, photographer, blogger and writer's take on life, culture, media and everything else.

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

  • S. Ali Raza

    “Insaan jaisay khud hota hai, woh doosray ko bhi apnay jaisa samajhta hai” its just natural, but very hypocritical when it comes to your immediate one’s whom one would want to protect. I agree to all the different types you have mentioned, and so nicely covering all the possible relationships, except what a husband would want in his wife and where does his ghairat wake up ;) Recommend

  • sidra

    absolutely loved it! some of the categories are soo true!Recommend

  • Haroon Riaz

    Wah Wah, Nice Analysis, I wonder if you left any types out. To my mind “Ghairat” means “We can have sex, you cannot!”Recommend

  • Syed Nadir El-Edroos

    What about all the poor Frandshippers :(Recommend

  • Tanzeel.

    I concur with many points Sadaf has mentioned here but only men must not be singled out for being a part of ‘Gherat Brigade’. Women have their fair share in this brigade as well but unfortunately feminism has become a catch-all vegetable drawer where bunches of clingy sob sisters can store their moldy neuroses. I foresee the same here. Recommend

  • faraz

    And retired generals(Hameed Gul) and beaurocrats(Roedad Khan) who loyally served the mililtary regime and their Western supporters, suddenly undergo a post-retirement ideological shift and become champions of free judiciary, democracy and independent foreign policy. Recommend

  • abc

    Commendable! :)

    One complain as always though, same topic!!! i hope you dont mind :PRecommend

  • Ghausia

    I have to agree with El-Edroos lol. Sadaf, the last category is a teacher at a uni in karachi, a boy and a girl were sitting together in class and I”m not sure what happened but according to others, the boy was leaning in as he talked to the girl. The dude lost it. He screamed on and on about how “tumharay baap ne tumhe yeh sikhaya hai! Tumhari maa nahi hai!” etc. and from the next class we had to sit boys on one side, girls on the other. He bleeping segregated us, by the third class I was ready to report him but everyone got sick of it and went back to the old sit wherever you want way. Grrr. He’s a stats teacher! Familiar with him?Recommend

  • Sarah B. Haider

    I so wish I could pull a gun on an eve teaser.Recommend

  • WahWah Khan

    Beautifully explained!! But absolutely single-sided. There is still a smell of submissiveness.Recommend

  • Waleed

    Some categories are quit notional…Recommend

  • wasim khan

    well written.

    Another thing in our pure society is the hypocrisy of our ppl(this includes both genders) when it comes to our treatment of men & women.when a couple is dating,their friends,neighbours immediately label the girl as loose,promisous bringing shame to her family,but the guy is lauded & admired for being a stud,the more girls he is with,the bigger stud he is!

    i’ve known instances where girls who had boyfriends in their college days faced a lot of problems in getting married later on,whereas the guys they were with had no problem whatsoever but instead the guy’s value had increased as so many girls had found him attractive.Why this hypocrisy & double standards from our society when it come to our treatment of women???(this hypocrisy is from men & women both,women will marry guys who’ve had numrous girlfriends,but will prevent their brothers from marrying a girl if she’s even gone on a date once)

    i’ve heard numerous times men who r in relationships with women when asked when they’ll marry her promptly say “who’ll marry her yaar?,she’s not the type you’d say “qabool hai” to,she’s not “sharif” ,time pass kay liye to theek hai par shaadi to sharif larki se hi karunga”,Dude if she’s not sharif,then what does that make you???Recommend

  • http://Charsadda Ghafar Ali

    I think the writer wants to promote and encourage the “Baigharat Brigade”.Recommend

  • Nicholas Sharaf

    =D Brilliant I say. I’m trying to find a category for myself though :oRecommend

  • WahWah Khan

    The Author has pasted the photo of her boyfriend up there….lolzzzRecommend

  • Ahmed Iqbal

    Sadaf, very well written. The title could have been been the Ghairat Brigade or the Pool of Hypocrites.Recommend

  • Sakina

    hahah.. i likesss!! <3 just like most of you articles… great entertainment! :)Recommend

  • Ifra


  • ali hamdani

    Would agree with some categories, it is probably the hypocrisy our nation has endured in itself. It is important that we try to curb this element.Recommend

  • Fayaz Hussain

    @ Sadaf
    Very good article where you have covered almost all the situations but have forgotten very important what we could say a contributor to the Ghairat Birgade ‘Husband’ and also the ‘wife’.Recommend

  • AamirRaz

    Well written.. and, yes, would have liked to see the account of a husband in your words here. However, nice, controlled write-up.

    P.S. Your tweets in the past week aired sth like this.Recommend

  • Hashim Nauman

    Nursery rhymes are said,
    verses in my head,
    Into my childhood,
    they’re spoon fed,
    Hidden violence revealed,
    darkness that seems real,
    look at the pages that cause all this evil.

    shoots and ladders- KornRecommend

  • Angelos

    nice article but u missed few things: like husband/wife and what about girls?Recommend

  • Jameel ur Rasheed

    Very well written. Ghairat brigade is a hypocrite group. But one thing, that you have written it in a manner which makes me feel that if you are trying to say it about some play in college then every boy is like him and if you are talking about a daadi (Granny) then all the grannies in Pakistan are like her. I disagree in this context. Recommend

  • m aamir mazhar

    listen we all are only expressing our anger…we should go for a solution and it is widely accepted change start from home so the first step in this regard is that all people who posted there comments should memorised this topic in mind and when we become happy parents we should atleast try to change minds at home.
    this is a place to learn and identify problems and there solutions you should not project the conception that if someone specifically male’s are doing this why dont females can do.
    a very wrong attitude and needs strong discoragement and have faith in ALLAH because in front of ALLAH justice without any discrimination will applied.Recommend

  • Hamza Baloch

    What about those? Who have girl frineds, and adivise others to have girl friends?
    What about those? Who tease other woman and also tell his friend to do this also?

    I think writer want to say to bad things you have done in past… feell proud on them, carry on them and also pass them to your upcomings :ORecommend

  • Hadi Hussain

    I really liked the piece.Recommend

  • maheen usmani

    Very well said, Sadaf. You are so right about women being complicit in this issue too. Recommend

  • parvez

    Potent stuff . Recommend

  • Waqas

    In my opinion its just a manifestation of simplified conscience, this kind of behavior is not specific to cross gender experiences. Its an evil that resides within many people, men and women. Basically one wants to pursue all the things that one knows to be wrong, at the same time one does not want to look at oneself and not like what one sees, the human brain – being able to acclimate to all kinds of situations – comes up with a solution to stop questioning its thoughts and actions. Ergo ghairat brigade among other evils. This kind of self righteousness is quite prevalent in our society, what I find morbidly amusing is how people react if you point something like this out, they spare no effort in doing anything but questioning themselves. Who knows I might do things like that myself.Recommend

  • Waqqas Iftikhar

    @hamza – interesting that you are equating a guy who has a girlfriend with a guy who harrasses women…..interesting in that it encapsulates all that is wrong with the zia-era hudood ordinance…once again you are making no distinction between zina bil jabr and otherwise

    and by the way – its everyone’s own life…nobody has a right to police someone’s sexual activity Recommend

  • Shumaila

    This was really really good. I loved the categories and you’ve pointed out the extreme hypocrisy that is literally overrunning Everyone these days with accuracy.Recommend

  • Rauf Paras Dayo

    Sadaf,how courage sly analysed by you the real but i can say bitter facts.Really each and every one witnesses such characters in every day life,but either they over look them or do not dare to ask truth.Recommend

  • waqar

    @Nicholas Sharaf:
    i like your straight forwardness ;-)Recommend

  • waqar

    @Hadi Hussain:
    well hadi i also liked it ;-0Recommend

  • waqar

    Well sadaf, in my opinion, u have been exaggerating the facts and being so gender biased. As u have mentioned in the category of University Brat, dont u think that its being the problem of females too. i must say that a woman is so jealous at the time when her ” spnoo ka raja” talks to someone else and she directly thinks that the girl before his boyfriend has psychologically captured her “raj kumar”.
    Famous father category might be described as “Famous Parents”. According to u, champion of the oppressed is the innocent member of the brigade, dont u think that females also use their gender fellows for their personnel interests.
    As for as i am concerned, i had become obvious that u want to point out this social problem on the behalf of both genders as “University Brat” and “Blast from the past” are the representatives of the both genders. I might be wrong if i say that u are totally a gender biased person coz if so then u might had disused Grand father as a symbol of Ghairat rather than grandmother in the later category.
    In conclusions i would like to add nothing but only that nice portrayal of true picture of the society but a bit biased. Recommend


    Very good Article and cover’s almost every types of self-made “Ghairat Mands”.Recommend

  • USL

    Pardon my French, but I don’t see what’s so good about this? It’s the same clichéd, monotonous thing the author so vehemently writes about all the time. Recommend

  • Narissa Khan

    Hypocrisy is so rife in our part of the world (the Indian subcontinent). The man may b a Casanova (drinking, womanizing, drugs) but still can b accepted in respectable society. Whereas if a young woman had a similar lifestyle, she will b ostracized from society.

    The same guy who sleeps about, drinks alcohol, does drugs with male and female friends would NEVER allow the women in his house such freedom….may they b his sister, wife, daughter. And to top it all, after he has had a life of dissipation, he conveniently marries a pure, chaste 18 year old virgin his mom chose for him.

    Real sick, hypocritical and patriarchal society!Recommend

  • SadafFayyaz

    Thanks everyone…
    @narissa I m not shocked with your words…………and like your straight forward attitude…….Recommend

  • Taha Kehar

    A startlingly honest approach has been shown. The categories you’ve highlighted are both creative and irreverent.Recommend

  • mobeen

    its gud but i think should talk about both genders Recommend

  • Maleeha

    @Ghafar Ali:
    so true!!! :DRecommend

  • sadaffayyaz

    Writing an article against mushy doesn’t mean that one is a supporter of ppp. Ghairat is a hypocritical attitude, that’s it.Recommend

  • Munib Khan

    hahhaha – i like that fact that you have covered more or less all the categories :) Recommend

  • POiSON

    but not totally… : )

    if a guy stop his lvs 1s..
    it also means tht hE care n lv hER..
    n knws de grim reailty….

    4 xample…
    a thief would never want his son 2 b a thier… : )

    hope u get my point as well… : )Recommend

  • farzam

    I agreed someone said above that it is single sided prospect.But it is written very well and a very true picture of the Hippocratic attitude…. Good effortRecommend

  • farhat

    good work sadaf :) Recommend

  • Usama

    whatever has been written by the author is very true.

    I too want to share my thoughts about something I plan to do in my life. I am not sure if its workable or not , but it certainly looks noble to me And I will go for it in any case.

    I want to build a protection house for women who are forced into The “WRONG” industry .I want to provide them with financial,social and whatever need is due to take them out of this dirt they are coerced to fall into.

    I don’t want this work to get any light , rather I would go for a silent movement that brings some positive results.

    I am strong believer in community and team based movements , and would like to hear if we can collaborate over on this cause.


  • Ayesha

    “What about all the poor Frandshippers :( ”

    hahaha…they definitely deserve a very special mention! Recommend

  • maimoona

    as true as the colour of waterRecommend

  • Jamal-o

    what a complete waste of time! how about writing something with substance for a change?Recommend

  • Zahid Shah

    Very deep observation by Miss Sadaf. Infact, its only through looking deeply at the things around will make us better human beings. Status quo, that too on idiotic pattern is a poison. Well done and keep writing.