Here’s to you Sherry!

Published: October 29, 2010
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PPP chose to penalise Sherry Rehman and Senator Safdar Abbasi.

Earlier this week, MNA Sherry Rehman became one of the many Pakistani politicians to face the consequences of having a brain.

Yes, not only does she have a killer wardrobe, Ms Rehman is also in fact one of the few leaders in Pakistan who does more than steal, bribe or sit on talk shows all day. Ironically, it was exactly for this crime that the ruling PPP chose to penalise her and Senator Safdar Abbasi. How dare they appear on a talk show that would be broadcast on one of the county’s most popular television channels?

Actually, the real question is how they dared to appear on the channel after the party had told them not to.

This military-style crackdown on PPP members is shocking. Rehman and Abbasi were issued show cause notices by the central executive committee (CEC) for indiscipline. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan the former information minister’s house was late raided and her family harassed.

An HRCP statement said:

The police stood by as armed protesters blocked the roads leading to Sherry’s residence and blocked the entrance to her house. The protesters also called her a traitor to the PPP and the country.

This is an unfortunate trend in a country where one does not have to look far for methods of intimidation and harassment.

Disssent and democracy are apparently two diverging values, which the PPP has once again failed to reconcile.

The PPP’s decision to boycott a media group known for bad-mouthing the president and the government may have been debatable, but the decision to turn cannibalistically upon its own members is nothing short of frightening.

Does the government expect lawmakers to follow its every dictum without question? If so, that is not a government that I want running my country.

The party has long been one of the few groups to champion democracy and freedom of speech in Pakistan – so why now is the PPP punishing Sherry Rehman for believing in everything they taught her was right?

Faria Syed

Faria Syed

A Karachi based multi-media journalist working on the web desk of The Express Tribune. Faria blogs about life in the news business and human rights.

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

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/143/taha-kerar/ Taha Kehar

    Since its inception, the Pakistan People’s Party is infamous for orchestrating political victimization against its adversaries. But railing against it’s own party members has only proved its reputation for rhetoric. This lack of solidarity could have been camouflaged. But since it is now public, we can, by some stretch of the imagination, expect drastic implications on either the structure of the party or the longevity of its rule. Recommend

  • http://syedaabidabokhari.wordpress.com The Only Normal Person Here.

    This is interesting mindset our nation has, in general.

    The minute a person rebels or go against his/her party, we forget all the past follies, all the opinions we actually used to have and all the things which were done by that person. And treat the person as our Hero.

    This change of heart… is interesting. VERY VERY interesting. Recommend

  • SK

    Yeah that’s the democracy and those are the savioiurs of democracy. Actually as much as its depressing to see how she is being treated, I would hope that now Ms. Rehman would spend time to think about the actual worth of hooligans who she used to call her ‘Peoples’ party.

    People’s party….. not so much for people after allRecommend

  • Sohrab

    Wow!!! Not one of you has expressed their appreciation of the principled stand taken by Sherry Rehman. Instead, you have taken this opportunity to criticize PPP and its’ “hooliganism.” Come on, the point of the article is the courage Ms. Rehman has shown by defying her own party and leadership at her own peril and disadvantage. Commenters should take a note of it and praise it. If we do not express our acknowledgement when leaders take courageous and honest stand and consequently suffer because of it, where is the incentive for them to continue??? According to press reports a mob of unruly women had demonstrated in front of Sherry’s house when she was not at home and in the unguarded house only her old mother and younger sister were present. Supposedly someone in PPP had arranged this demonstration though officially PPP has disassociated itself from it.

    It is time that people like Sharmila Farooqi and Shehla Raza and multitude of other PPP members who profess PPP’s democratic credentials should at least say something about this. I am not holding my breath for their statements because I know none is forthcoming.

    All I want to say is “Sherry, thank you. Your father and uncle would have been proud of you to display the characteristics they themselves were known for in their times.”
    .Recommend

  • http://www.tanzeel.wordpress.com Tanzeel

    Sherry Rehman and Safdar Abbasi should have followed party line, when Sherry Rehman was clearly told to do as directed there was no question of appearing on Geo Tv or being a part of group that is literally indulging in mudslinging against her party co-chairman. She might have a great track record in the PPP but she cant violate party’s policy on the basis of her services. Although I condemn the way PPP for letting her home surrounded by Lyari Women who chanted slogans against her patriotism but that’s what Pakistani politics is all about.Recommend

  • http://ibteda.wordpress.com Sadaf Khan

    I never got a good vibe from Naheed Khan and Safdar Abbasi duo – But Sherry is another story.
    Am not shocked at the PPP’s antics. Every since the Chairmanship was handed to Mr Zardari through a will, the party has ditched even the impression of being democratic.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/13/syed-ali/ S. Ali Raza

    It was more of a mafia than a political party! You go against it, you get served for it. Recommend

  • Noor-ul-aln Hanif

    I have watched the show in which Safdar Abassi senator appeared and I am very glad that he appeared in the show second time also many party workers were in favor and some are against.
    the msot important message given in that talk show was:
    IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE MESSAGE, DON’T KILL THE MESSENGER!!

    which is an excellent message for all parties!!

    where as women protesting outside Sherry’s house were told that she has left party and working with other party poor women. they are just using public for their means!!
    . Recommend

  • Mani

    Aunty Sherry couldnt give two hoots about the public or rights. She just wanted to be on tv and claimed she hadnt received the memo about not to appear on Geo. She never took a stand dear blog writer! She cowered and tried to duck out of it. She is just as much of a hypocrite as the others. KIller wardrobe – pity about the looks though!Recommend

  • http://www.homequranonline.com Muhammad Imran Khan

    Those who are criticizing Pakistan People’s party for her dicision to not participate in Geo T.V talk shows have less knowledge regarding a formation of a political party. In all democratic countries party members follow strict party discipline. In United Kingdom, this discipline is more strict then all other counties in the world..

    If any channel is biased and running his vested agenda then any individual or party could boycott it. The same move carried by Obama, when conservative channel in USA like Fox news started a biased reporting against him. Later channel had to change his policies. Actually, the main victim of Geo is not Government but ordinary public and whole country itself. In International community Pakistan became more corrupt state not due to what volume of corruption we can find here but rather negative campaign against Government by Pakistan’s media particularly by Geo. Recommend

  • Umair

    Is this the same Sherry Rehman who was minister of information when Geo TV’s Aalim Online famously declared Ahmadis wajib-ul-qatl; causing deaths and she did not utter a single word of condemnation? Apparently her love for GEO TV is above and beyond her morals.

    I hope Sherry is reading. Recommend

  • ayesha

    All leaders are big theifs of pakistan. nothing more to say.Recommend

  • Amna

    @S. Ali Raza:
    yes, very similarly to MQM.Recommend

  • Dr. Asad Sadick, Germany

    This is not the first time that PPP is showing vindictiveness against its own people. Remember ZAB? Sherry has been outspoken, but with right words and reason. Wake up PPP.Recommend

  • Shaheen Awan

    How does one instill discipline amongst party members? United one stands, divided all fall!Recommend