Mr Qaim Ali Shah, you have faced tremendous injustice at the grimy hands of this public

Published: October 24, 2015

Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah’s arrival at the Niaz Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad caused quite a stir, not the least because it interrupted a very serious under-19 cricket game. PHOTO: ONLINE

What do you do when you have more money than the poor masses of your country can even imagine? You make it rain, of course. What do you do when you travel through helicopter and there are no helipads in your poor, impoverished country? You descend from the skies when you so desire. Remember, the world (read Pakistan) is your oyster (read parking space).

Our beloved Sindh Chief Minister, Qaim Ali Shah, is being chastised for landing his helicopter in the middle of Niaz Stadium and disrupting an under-19 cricket match. People are saying that he is disrespectful, high-handed and embodies VIP culture in Pakistan. They’re saying he has too much money, has no regard for the people of Sindh and is just basically a terrible person. I fail to understand these admonitions.

Suppose you were out and about in the stratosphere, enjoying the clear skies, above the smog that everyone else lives in, in your big metallic helicopter and had to land somewhere in Hyderabad. (Luckily, imagination does not require riches so you can afford to let your mental faculties run wild). Suppose, you run out of fuel, or want to meet a friend at a restaurant, and absolutely have to land. Imagine the mental anguish that would envelop you when you only see dirty streets and broken roads down below, when you see narrow galis, overflowing encroachments and a city in disarray. Think of how distressed you would be when you can’t find a place to park your millions. Imagine, then, finding a nice open space where a bunch of children are playing cricket. You love cricket. You think to yourself,

“Surely, they wouldn’t mind if I drop in, park my vehicle and say hello.”

“Surely, they can stop the match for a few hours until I get my business in order.”

“Surely, they can fix whatever damages the helicopter landing causes.”

Would you be so wrong to think that the country cannot pay for your follies? Would you be so wrong to assume that people would accept your innocent transgressions against a historic stadium and an organised event by a federal institution?

You dear, dear, fool. God have mercy on your (imaginary) rich, recalcitrant soul.

You see, the people of this country would not care about your distress. They would not care if you do not have space to land your helicopters, your airplanes or your drones. Scratch that, drones are okay, especially the nice, ‘Western’ kind.

You see, the people of this country lack empathy. They do not put themselves in the shoes of the wealthy, perhaps because they are unbelievably expensive, but that’s beside the point. The point is that the people of Pakistan do not understand the needs of their rich politicians.

People in this country scream and shout about minority rights, women’s rights and God know what. But did you know that there are no prescribed rights for the rich in our Constitution? What is a man with a helicopter to do?

Mr Qaim Ali Shah, I feel for you. You have faced tremendous injustice at the grimy hands of this public.

You were nice enough to meet with the players and talk to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials, yet phrases like “You did not ask for permission” and “You’ve destroyed the stadium” were smacked across your face by the media.

Ah, the media.

That remorseless wretch.

The mouthpiece of the grimy public.

No matter how hard you try to shut the disparaging voices of the public out, with your helicopter headset, the media always manages to create enough ruckuses. I understand your plight. When you were a young chief minister, you only had to deal with newspaper headlines. Now you have to deal with television talk shows, news on the internet, blogs and that monster, social media.

You might have bought another helicopter, but life has become significantly harder.

But don’t let this get you down. You and I both know that the uproar is going to fade away until your next excursion. The people may be loud, but they have a short attention span. Maybe Nawaz Sharif would take his tigers out on another stroll and accidentally let them loose. Until then, let Facebook shout, let Twitter scream. You can always buy better sound proofed helicopter headsets.

Nashmia Butt

Nashmia Butt

The writer has done her undergraduate in Political Science from the University of Toronto. She is a subeditor for the Opinions & Editorial section of The Express Tribune. She tweets as @NashmiaAmirButt

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

  • F Khan

    What do you want more from Shahji on the jacobabad incident? He just took notice of it. Isn’t it enough?Recommend

  • NotTheEliteYouAreLookingFor

    Haha gave me laugh I needed. It’s that I am passing on this grime article as a satire blog entry, “The elite class blues”. Recommend

  • Parvez

    Satire……nicely done.
    A democratic dispensation claims the good of the many outweighs the good of the few……..obviously this does not hold good in Pakistan and especially not in Sindh.Recommend

  • Yasmin Elahi

    The poor Sindhis can rant and rave all they can, they can even bang their heads open against the high walls of the Chief Minister House! But nothing we do will change the arrogance and the kingly life style of Qaim Ali Shah! Till death doeth us apart!! Well written Nashmia Butt, but I assure you it will fall on deaf ears and blind eyes!Recommend

  • Bibloo

    Hyderabad is a city? Huh? Where about? We tried to locate it,
    find it, but could not. We did find a giant trash heap, with
    people meandering about in it. But it did not look like a city.
    More like a refuse dump. If Jam Tamachi, the famous ruler of Sindh,
    in a bygone era, was around, he would have dealt Qaim Shah with his
    famous Tamachi Justice. This is what the Jam did to his bunyas who
    cheated him,..Shave beard, mustache, and all body hair.Clothes off
    Paint tar on culprit. Hang upside down, by the feet, in the main chowk,
    say at Merryweather Tower in Karachi, cut loose at sunset; 25 hard lashes,
    then recite the Kalma one thousand times, finally, go home. This is
    what Jam Tamachi did to ANYONE who cheated him, or took advantage.
    of his people. May the Jam rest in peace. Wish he was around to deal with
    the likes of Qaim Ali Shah.Recommend

  • JP

    Remember his famous “Lunch Spread” for journalists, when Qaim Shah
    was visiting Thar during the FAMINE. [600 hundred children had starved
    to death, when he finally decided to visit the region] This was 2 years ago.
    80,000 bags of wheat were sitting in warehouses, which his henchmen sold
    on the black market. The excuse was…’no transporters could be found to get
    the wheat to Thar !’ ‘We are working on it’ !
    The menu was:-
    Malai Boti
    Fried Fish
    Chicken Tikkas.
    and nan.
    When his constituents were starving all around him. He had this catered! !Recommend

  • waheed

    After all the CM needs a helicopter to get around the province in a timely manner, so what is the fuss and satire about? If it is a new helicopter that so what? the old helicopter cannot fly forever and needed replacementRecommend