The Pak Banker - - 4EDITORIAL -

OH! Loads”, says Farogh Naweed, a former ad­di­tional sec­re­tary who has held key po­si­tions in Nawaz Sharif’s and Be­nazir Bhutto’s gov­ern­ments. Ask him how and he’s got a story to tell why names mat­ter, es­pe­cially those that get jerked around long af­ter the peo­ple whose me­mory they hon­our are dead and gone. The name Emer­son, for ex­am­ple. But more of this later.

To­day, name-call­ing has hit the In­dian me­dia like a Ti­tanic hit­ting an ice­berg. The ‘ice­berg’ be­ing our prime min­is­ter. “He’s get­ting called ‘The Be­header’,” a rel­a­tive from Delhi rings up to say. “It’s Pak­istan bash­ing at its height pro­voked by the ar­rival of Prime Min­is­ter Pervez Ashraf to In­dia”. Pity the man who has earned the name of ‘Raja Ren­tal’ in his own coun­try and now net­ted a new ti­tle from across the bor­der. “The In­di­ans blame him for the slay­ing of their sol­dier,” she quickly adds. A fre­quent vis­i­tor to Delhi to pay her respects at the shrine of Naz­imud­din Au­lia, Ni­gar says the hys­te­ria against the Pak­istani VVIP vis­i­tor is un­prece­dented. No­to­ri­ous for name-tag­ging, folks in the sub­con­ti­nent show re­sent­ment against crooked lead­ers by dub­bing them with dele­te­ri­ous la­bels that stick like gum. In short, th­ese ep­i­thets be­come house­hold names. Re­count­ing them re­quires a sep­a­rate col­umn. An­other time, shall we say?

Pak­istan is presently un­der­go­ing the res­ur­rec­tion of the Bhutto name just when the pre­tender to that name winds up his five year ‘democ­racy is the best re­venge’ mis­rule. Ev­ery­thing in sight is be­ing bap­tised with Bhutto as if Is­lam­abad didn’t al­ready have a sur­feit of the name. The PPP hon­chos at the Se­nate re­cently sneaked in a bill nam­ing Is­lam­abad’s ex­ist­ing Pak­istan In­sti­tute of Med­i­cal Sciences (PIMS) the ‘Sha­heed Zul­fikar Ali Bhutto Med­i­cal Univer­sity’. Like the North Kore­ans who wor­ship their leader Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un, the Zar­dari government doggedly wants the Bhutto to be­come an­other Kim Jong cult.

His­tory shows that th­ese my­opi­cally short-range schemes of the jiyalas drag the Bhutto name in the dust when a new ruler turns up. Re­mem­ber how the ‘Bhutto House’ writ­ten big and bold across the grand ed­i­fice touted as the ‘Awami Cen­tre’ in Is­lam­abad by bu­reau­crat Sal­man Farooqi to please prime min­is­ter Be­nazir Bhutto got un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously pulled down the moment she ex­ited.

Driv­ing on Jin­nah Av­enue, we hit Agha Shahi Road. We wait end­lessly at the traf­fic in­ter­sec­tion. The dual car­riage­way is choked at all times of the day. The road was named af­ter the former for­eign sec­re­tary soon af­ter his death. One feels sorry for the civic agen­cies scrap­ing the bar­rel, so to say, when they have to re­sort to call­ing the Ninth Av­enue ‘Agha Shahi Road.’

Dr Nafis Sadik, the former ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of UN Pop­u­la­tion Fund is with us in the car. She is the first woman to have bro­ken through the glass ceil­ing at the United Na­tions. She no­tices the Agha Shahi name and ca­su­ally re­marks that prime min­is­ter Be­nazir Bhutto had promised to hon­our the me­mory of Nafis Sadik’s late fa­ther fi­nance min­is­ter Mo­ham­mad Shoaib by nam­ing a road af­ter him. That never hap­pened. Pak­istani lead­ers, past and present, have a pen­chant for nam­ing or re­nam­ing any­thing that catches their per­sonal whims.

Pres­i­dent Ayub Khan dis­lodged the whole government from Karachi, spent bil­lions to con­struct a new cap­i­tal and called it ‘Is­lam­abad’. Only be­cause he wanted to be close to the GHQ in Pindi and his vil­lage Re­hana

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.