Mazar-e-Quaid or a ‘love shack’? What’s next?

Published: February 24, 2014

Where would you find such highly creative, extremely ambitious and down-right greedy and shameless souls who would rent out the mausoleum of their nation’s founder for the meagre amount of a few thousand rupees?

Where would you find such highly creative, extremely ambitious and down-right greedy and shameless souls who would rent out the mausoleum of their nation’s founder for the meagre amount of a few thousand rupees? Where would you find such highly creative, extremely ambitious and down-right greedy and shameless souls who would rent out the mausoleum of their nation’s founder for the meagre amount of a few thousand rupees? PHOTO: AFP

Let’s acknowledge one thing folks. As a nation, we are an extremely industrious people and highly innovative as well. Therefore, our poor economic situation, which seems to be worsening by the day, is beyond any rational reasoning at least to me.

Where else in the world would you find such highly creative, extremely ambitious and downright greedy, shameless and vulture-like souls who would rent out the mausoleum of their nation’s founder for a meager amount of a few thousand rupees?

Imagine this scenario.

You are the caretaker of a place – a place where the father of your nation rests in a grave, on the land that he fought for all his life. He did not just fight for himself but for millions of people like you and I, so that we could live with respect and dignity, in harmony and freedom.

But as a caretaker, you see this piece of land as a gold mine because to your numb mind and dead soul it is just another piece of property. It is simply a place for you to make money, if not in large amounts at once, then at least in small chunks for a very long time. You think about how to use it as effectively and efficiently as possible.

And that’s when the youth comes in to help.

In a society where extremism, confused sectarian identities, social stigmas, sexual frustration and an unnatural gender divide prevails, you have found the ideal ‘target market’ for what you are about to launch as your new business model.

You turn the mausoleum of the Quaid into a ‘love-shack’ and rent it out by the hour.

But how do you reach out to your ‘target market’?

You needn’t worry. They will come themselves. All you have to do is step out of your office and look behind the bushes and benches…

And there you have your customer; scared and excited at the same time but more than ready to give out a little cash that his father must have earned either through sheer hard work or in bribes. Whatever the case, that guy with his sagging jeans and even more sagging values is more than happy to get a little privacy with a girl wearing a mask of innocence on her already-ageing, characterless face, in a city of 19 million zombies. They are eager and willing even if it means desecrating a place where their own fathers and mothers would have entered with their shoes off, eyes downcast, reciting fatiha.

However, there is a threat to this business model and you might not enjoy the monopoly for too long.

Other such soul-less scoundrel ‘businessmen’ might already be in the market under the garb of caretakers and project officers in several other places such as tombs of Sufis and mausoleums of national heroes, selling the sanctity of these places for money.

But Mr Caretaker of Mazar-e-Quaid, you needn’t worry too much. After all, you have the prime property in your control and as long as the shameless sons and daughters of this nation can adjust their ‘honeymoon bookings’ to dates other than August 14, December 25, September 6 and March 23, it will all work out just fine for you and your partners in crime.

You, Mr Caretaker, need to develop a network so that you get business sitting at home through referrals. And why not?

Any money coming in is welcome in these hard times and that too without any personal investment.

And with this money you will send your children to school. School – where they will read in text books about how Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, along with other selfless people struggled for years and how they made personal sacrifices just to ensure that children like your sons and daughters could live a comfortable and dignified life. And then one day, they will come to you in all innocence and excitedly say,

“Daddy, can you please take us to see the tomb of our great leader? We want to say thank you to him.”

What will you say then? Will you say,

“Sorry children, I sold that place to the devil a long time ago, along with my soul, to make money. Let’s just say thank you to the Quaid on the Rs1,000 note.”

You might not be able to say much but you will know deep down that all that money was not worth the shame and insult your children would feel knowing what you have made of their great Quaid.

Shame on you. Shame on us.

Samir Tariq

Samir Tariq

A Strategy and Business Transformation Manager for one of the leading banks in the Middle-East. He lives and works in Dubai. A literature lover and a writer by hobby he mostly writes fiction inspired by true life events.

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

  • ajay gupta

    Ha ha…..even ur quaid is sorry for creating pakistan….& what sacrifice do you talk about? He did not have to give up his posh life even for aday……none of the league leaders ever took to mass struggle….it was a feudal movt to protect lands in a soon to b far more egalitarian india….do you kno jinnah himself exclaimed “oh my god what have I done” when he saw the flood of refugees following the mayhem that was patition? Is it any wonder that people in such a nation will b unscrupulous given that the nation was created to protect vested interests in the name of islam?Recommend

  • NoNy

    In another news a 15 year old boy allegedly involved in cinema attack in Pehswar killing 14 people did that just for Rs. 8,000. Making it Rs. 571 per person. What you’re talking about is no more valid in a country dying on the hands of terrorism, extremism, conservatism, corruption and poverty. No one in the world respects laws and moralities once it comes to the level of deprivation where people find it hard to fulfill their basic necessities. Yes there are Zombies and this state is responsible for the condition of masses and their mindset. If they starve, they will come steal… equally applies to other basic human instincts.Recommend

  • Ajab Niaxi

    ajay gupta , this issue is specifically related with every Pakistani because they realized Quiad as Father of nation…and you are mashing ? what if same done to your Ghandi…its revealing your moral values ,instead of being rational you are just posing typical Hindu -nature …if somewhere in India likewise incident happen at least i condemned rather articulating my best wishes …i am not considering anything you mention above because it would be unfruitful .,just raise-up you morality and think specifically toward the issue …and if you can’t just stop falderal ,we already know your extremist hated thinking toward Pakistan and our QuiadRecommend

  • Ammara Faiz

    We lost all our ego,moral values,culture in a race of becoming up-to-date.Lending Quaids tomb is nothing to our shameless people for such a dirty deed.May be they remove the lessons about Quaid & other National & Islamic heroes from our syllabus.Our voice can´t change these numb-minded people,though we can pray for our Quaid´s and other great heroes souls and for the peace of our country.May ALLAH have mercy on all of us.Recommend

  • saania

    yeah exactly keep telling yourself that… you were sitting right next to jinnah he said it right in your ear…

    go and make toilets in your country first… india’s poverty is more than all the african poverty put together

  • Ammara Dil

    We lost our ego,moral values and culture all in a race of becoming upto date.Lending Quaid´s tomb for few pennies is nothing to our shameless nation for such a dirty work.Our voice cant change these numb minded people though we can pray for our Quaid´s soul and peace of our country.May ALLAH have mercy on all of us.Recommend

  • Bazinga

    @ajay gupta, wow, Gandhi had an eye for picking advisors and close friends. You must have heard of Jawaharlal Nehru..The “Saintly” figure often seen mingling with Lady Mountbatten. Hit Google and you’ll find him all around Edwina.. (Intended Pun)

    Egalitarian my foot.. Please don’t get me started on your nuisance of a country and how its ego of “secularity” (obviously no such phenomenon as secularity in India) has overshadowed the rights of its minorities.

    “What have I done” crap.
    Did Jinnah Sahab SMS you or got resurrected to call you to tell that he made a mistake? Oh wait, Gandhi might be chirping in the trees, we better hide our crackers. (7 generations of rebirth). At least Jinnah wasn’t assassinated by his own Muslim brethren!

    Again, secularity is not defined a fascism. The Gujarat riots and the Golden Temple massacre clearly negate your own jingoistic bias of analysis. I’m biased too but I don’t distort facts and accept the reality and endure it.

    ” You don’t throw stones on others if you yourself live in a glass house”Recommend

  • Ok. Relax. I would have thought that smart people in Pakistan had by now learned not to use words like shameless, characterless, desecrate , etc, due to the immense damage that has been done to our country because of gratuitous judgments, religiosity, and moralizing about personal behavior. The grounds keeper, or whatever, at the mazaar is some poor man who saw an opportunity to make a quick buck and took it. Since this is not the intended use of that public space, lets enforce the rules and make sure it doesn’t happen. But there’s no need for these over-the-top hysterics. Why don’t you go save all those thousands of little boys and girls being molested inside mosques and madrassas first! Now that’s a truly shameful desecration.Recommend

  • fze

    MR.ajay gupta, don’t let your hatred towards us make you stoop so low so as to make you believe unauthenticated things. One must maintain one’s dignity at all times.BTW, have you read Jaswant singh’s “Jinnah” or else you are an ardent supporter of BJP?Recommend

  • ajay gupta

    @ saania….Like pakistan is brimming with public utilities, including toilets for all its citizens? Lack of toilets don’t stop indians frm bcoming global ceo s or india frm bcoming & continuing to b the world’s largest democracy, yes a lot of work needs to b done including toilets, but its western twin is a failed state! Recommend

  • Haris Javed

    It is just beyond me what sort of contentment [some] INDIAN readers drive by spreading hate speech whenever ET or any other forum highlights our societal predicament.

    As far as above plight is concerned, those criminal love birds should be spanked publicly!!!Recommend

  • ajay gupta

    @ bazinga….when nehru got involved with edwina, he was a widower. It was edwina who was married, & if anybody crossed the line it was she. Nehru never claimed to b saintly. However, it did nothing to stunt nehru’s stature as as a statesman. Yes, even then there was competiton as edwina found nehru far more appealing than the dour jinnah, ( also a widower)
    Indian democracy & secularism r both flawed, but at least they exist. Gujarat was and continues to b a blot on it. But on paper there is nothing to stop a muslim frm reaching the highest office of the land & they have….presidents, chief justices, ib chief & I am not going into films & cricket. Most of our amry chiefs have been sikhs, not to mention the current pm.
    Jinnah wasn’t killed by a pakistani, but what r his countrymen doing today? Shia sunni punjabi baloch mohajir no one gets along with another….a nation built on hatred for the other, well the identiy of the people other keeps changing, doesn’t it? & for yr info, liaqat ali khan, zab all were killed by their countrymen. & yes, india is not only north india which is culturally perhaps similar to pakistan…..but look east, south n west india is def more egalitarian. Show me a leader in ur country who is not feudal/ rich & i’ll show u a dozen who have risen frm poverty.Recommend

  • -SHAGY-

    I am shocked at the news…I wasn’t aware of it..disturbing, disgusting & disappointing!Recommend

  • effi

    “an unnatural gender divide prevails”

    Dear Author, Is gender division unnatural?Recommend

  • Reader

    Will somebody ask our beloved Mr. Bilawal Zardari if he is done celebrating Sindh festival to take action against his CM for not been able to take action against culprits or because the news is not about PTI, it’s fine.Recommend

  • Samir tariq

    Friends the intention of writing about this wasnt to start india-pakistan debate…its silly and futile….india has scores of problems of its own to deal with…The law and order situation with regards to females especially in delhi is shocking..And some of my closest friends are indians who acknowledge this fact that it is indeed embarassing…i dont think either one of us be it indians or pakistanis can point fingers at each other….The point of this article was to express personal disdain and shame about the state of affairs in our own land…Recommend

  • Samir tariq

    And as usual some people mentioned “poor caretaker” ….and how “system forces it”….to that i would say please wake up and smell the coffee..the guy involved was the senior official and an officer along with of course the watchmen, the secretary and god knows who…just because times are tough doesnt mean that all stupidity and corruption can be justified….Recommend

  • Samir tariq

    Yes effi…unnatural means ratio of men to women which is really tilted in pakistan due to female infanticide and other evils…or do u think like maulvis that pakistan is “blessed” naturally to have twice the number of men against female population?? I think its more than double…someone might know the exact numbers…Recommend

  • abhi

    How do you know that his children will not be in queue for availing similar offers?Recommend

  • Gingo

    Funny that you are appalled at the sanctity of Mazar e Quaid being lost by turning it onto a makeshift brothel but not a word on the loss of sanctity of the countless houses of Allah (mosques) where young boys and girls are raped and sometimes are a front for prostitution.
    I personally know of a madrassah in Safoora Goth where prostitution occurs, the imam of the madrassah offers up girls who are there supposedly to learn the Holy Quran.Recommend

  • vasan

    None of the murders of political leaders were ever solved in Pakistan which is another factor that Pakistanis have to worry about.Recommend

  • S.Nasir Mehdi

    Surisingly what the ceremonial guards of army,navy/airforce were doingRecommend

  • Nobody

    You took the words right out the my mouth.
    Was thinking the exact same thing as I read the piece.
    While I agree this behavior is indeed disgusting, unfortunately it is not among the most shameless activities taking place all over Pakistan everyday. i.e. parents selling their children for money, fathers selling daughters to square away debts or as retribution for some “crime” to another and countless others. And I am not subscribing to the usual ‘one negative act forgiven/forgotten for another’ as I, too, believe this is a terrible way to make a few bucks, but the unfortunate fact is that people are not being physically harmed in this particular case, whereas in many others, they are. Their freedoms are being trampled upon and not enough is being done to rectify these wrongs.Recommend

  • Nobody

    Producing wealthy people or having many educated abroad in Western countries is not, in itself, a means to sustain any nation’s future in the long run. Indians that make it abroad and a fare few within India are no doubt hard working, but that does serve as sufficient to every ill nor will it push India to grow as fast as it needs to in order to play catch up to the real players in the game.
    For every achievement, India has its own share of staggering problems with poverty, sexism, violence, illiteracy, child labor/illiteracy/marriages, and even racism of sorts. As for being the world’s largest democracy, lack of birth control and efforts to stem an overflowing population is to thank for that – neither of which are considered a positive thing in a country with dreams to become a world power.

    P.S. Dear Mods, please publish. Many thanks. :)Recommend

  • Nobody

    I certainly can’t speak for the author, but yes, imo and the opinion of many others, it is indeed unnatural. Men and women are meant to coexist, not be separated from each in every sphere of life. Bathrooms and such places, perhaps, but not everywhere. Most men and women in Pakistan don’t know how to interact in a healthy manner with the opposite sex due to lack of exposure. Fornicating is not the only way for men and women to communicate, contrary to what many think.

  • -SHAGY-

    have you done something about it? like report it to authorities or some NGO?Recommend

  • Shail Arora

    You’ve hit the nail on the head.

    If only some of my fellow Indians would realize that accepting shortcomings are not a sign of weakness but being realistic and that by displaying their intellectual bankruptcy and bigoted views on international public forums, they are just disgracing the nation.Recommend

  • gp65

    I do agree overall that India has many challenges just as it has many achievements and gloating is unnecessary.
    I would like to correct you about one point where you may perhaps be factually misinformed. Total fertility rate (TFR) in India is 2.3 (as of 2012) and dropping which is very similar to US where it is 2.1 India’s population was ten times that of present day Pakistan in 1947 and it is a little over 6 times now. The difference has been due to the fact that birth control programs i India have been far more effective than in Pakistan (where by the way contrary to popular perception) also there has been quite a bit of progress if you look at it in absolute terms (TFR of 8 coming down to TFR of 3.9) – though in purely relative terms, no doubt Pakistan lags behind.

    India does get credit for being the largest democracy – not so much becuase of the large but because of the democracy – which is certainly not the case in its entire neighborhood where democracy is an on and off process.Recommend

  • gp65

    I agree. This particular blog had no relevance to India.Recommend

  • Dictator


    “live with respect and dignity, in harmony and freedom” …… look at Pakistan today and tell me sir which of these attributes apply ? ……… None.Recommend

  • Virendra Kaul

    The van carrying Jinnah broke down on the way and had it’s fuel exhausted too. By accident? Recommend

  • Bazinga

    Surprisingly, yes. It was an old 1900s Red Cross Ambulance which was not maintained by the state. Liaqat Ali Khan sent it for Jinnah Sahab who was being moved to Karachi from Quetta.

  • Guest

    Bail is already given to suspects accused of renting out room at Mazar-e-Quaid. Judiciary will remain corrupt!!!Recommend

  • Samir tariq

    Dear are 100 % right…wen i had sent this piece those words i had written in quotation marks…which are used in english writing to show that its not the reality ….in fact i had written “peace” , “harmony” and “freedom” in a way that suggested sarcasm to express how we are so far away from these virtues….its a classic case of “lost of translation”….when this piece was published they edited out the quotation marks and that changed the structure of the statement completely…..Good catch!!!Recommend

  • Anti Punjab

    Look at the reasons please: State of Pakistan must stop interfering with people’s religion, sex, personalities, only then people will stop doing crazy things.Recommend

  • Annonymous

    Ajay… Have you ever heared of your country spending 700,000 pounds to buy love letters written by gandhi to another man? I am sure many people reading this piece also read that news when it happened but none of us made folderol about it..
    Here are the links just in case you haven’t read it yet…

  • Umar Farooq

    you mean that in order to avoid from these incidents govt. should allow such vulgar things anywhere. What a foolish reason is given by you.Recommend

  • Umar Farooq

    Quaid has given us freedom and what we are giving to him?Recommend

  • Umar Farooq

    Very funny
    you mean that illegal things can be stopped by making them legal.Recommend

  • Umar Farooq

    Quaid has given us freedom and we are not allowing him to live in the grave.
    He has given us the country and we have not given him a piece of land to live peacefullyRecommend