Why I am comfortable with religious freedom in Pakistan

Editor’s Note: This is a satire on extremism that takes any form.

This is a Pakpotpourri Exclusive

By: Syed Varris Hasan

I believe  our laws are NOT against basic human rights in Pakistan  .
Citizens of Pakistan as such  have no rights;  basic or otherwise.  So
why the distinction ?

Some may disagree. Allow me to support my arguments.

Blasphemy law is the most popular cause in the present times  and if
the present government attempts to visit it I shall join the
protestors. There is no need to go over this settled issue. It has
empowered the majority  masses  over the minorities in my country
( regardless of  what the founder of the nation thought of them or
promised them) and all lovers of the Holy Prophet should not tolerate
any modification in it .

Advice to the government  .  Keep Ms. Sherry Rehman well protected .
She is vulnerable.

I love the religious tolerance in my country.  Here is my secret .
Although I am not a very strict practicing Muslim I am knowledgeable
enough to talk  as  a Deobandi , Barelvi , Ahle Hadiz , Wahabi , Shia
or whatever as the situation demands.  In diversity of knowledge lies
strength of my tongue. I have in stock a green turban , a black
turban , a white turban  and some spare cloth which can be dyed at an
hour’s notice. Not to mention that my family  belongs  to the Hazrat
Waris Shah  Silsila  of Lucknow,  and on suitable occasions I wear a
saffron colour  turban, in the hope of being elected as a
makhdoom .  I have noticed  in Pakistan , that status wields big
power .

Can one enjoy the same liberty  in practicing his beliefs   in any
other part  of the world? I bet expatriates don’t  know the
significance of so many  coloured  turbans , with which we are
blessed . They hardly have any choice in Mosques whereas we can go to
so many different ones.

Our great benefactor  Mard e  Momin Mard e Huq –  AH Gen. Zia Ul Huq
( I  call him  Aala Hazrat – or Al Haaj), did this nation a huge favor , amongst many others, by promulgating  the
ordinance  which is ideal  for me as a   Sunni Muslim. He created Anjuman Sipah Sahaba , supported its militant wing , Lashkar e Jhangvi and made sure that Sunnis gain ascent. He marginalized Ahmedis , Christians , Hindus and Shias.

Since I am a Sunni Syed  ( My late father  possessed a sworn Affidavit to that effect dated 1948 ) from a long line of landed
gentry of Oudh, though I suspect my grandfather was a  dispenser of herbal medicines in a  Hakeem’s  clinic in Lucknow,  I can conjure up endless possibilities in our land of the pure .

I know my law and the prevailing environment . It can solve a lot of
mundane problems.

Hypothetically speaking if I have a problem with Veena Malik or Meera
refusing me  an audience , I could  throw some torn pages
of Arabic fiction  in her front garden, call up a friendly SP and the
Mullah of  nearest Mosque to  let them discover the crime of the lady.
An announcement on the loudspeakers of the Mohalla Mosque and the
resultant mob will carry her over their shoulders to the Police
Station. There I could bargain , not only for her audience ,
but also  for cash compensation .  

Look at  another example . In DHA  , if my next door neighbor is an
Ahmadi.  I could make an offer to  purchase  his property at  less
than 50% of the market price . If the  Charlatan refuses , I could
grab him by the collar  with the help
of a few acquaintances ,and if he claims to be a muslim,launch report of his false claim.  He will have a choice of going to jail or giving up his pathetic house. You decide for him.

Another scenario . Let us say I have a Christian Office Boy as an
employee . He is getting insolent and tardy . A time comes when he
deserves sacking . But there is  a problem. He is  entitled to
gratuity and a Notice period of two months. Meanwhile I have in mind
the son of my maid  servant for the same job.  Every time she squats
to  mop  the floor , her magnificent  behind is  a sight for lustful
eyes, and as she swings  it from side to side.

So one day I call the  Attendant in my office  and ask   ,” Do you
know the punishment under the Blasphemy Act ? ” He is stunned , looks
bewildered for a moment and  then the full  import of the question
dawns on him. He profusely apologizes , pees  in his pants out of
fright and commits  to hold his silence.  Next day  he goes  Absent
Without Leave and never returns to collect his dues.

Maid is delighted  that I can employ her son as Office Attendant . I
am also thrilled at future prospects of his promotion to Office
Superintendent if her mother keeps squatting . Then  a slight hick up
comes to light.  He is a Maddrasah product and  devout Muslim .
He    insists  on offering his prayers five times a day in a Mosque  ,
which is wonderful , but adding that to his lunch break , and the
tableegh he conducts , leaves him  no time for serious office work
like fetching  my  tea .

But I keep cool as my brilliant imagination rises to help .  I  gift
him a nice padded jacket from Lunda Bazaar to wear under his shirt
and tell him that a Gora  Kafir ( Actually a  ‘Black water ‘
operative )   is ready to embrace Islam at his hands . He keeps the
tryst . During the meet he is suddenly overcome with emotions at the
enormity of his accompalishment  and faints.  When he  gains
conscience ,  he  is in Gitmo , enjoying sports like water boarding in
its exclusivity , and I am richer by $5000. End of another inning on a
rather sticky wicket.

As $100  are  donated   to the maid for spending on learning the where
abouts of her missing  son and  my  crocodile tears   follow.

Life is wonderful in Pakistan as long as you know how to go about it
the right way , have a quick wit and a smooth tongue.

As far as I am personally concerned I am comfortable with the  way
things are here . I have learned to breath  in my own dirty little
pond and would probably die of infection if exposed to fresh waters
in  a free/civilised society.

I  will just have to keep my tail clear so that no one pulls the same
stunt on me as I am thinking  to do unto others.

Long live Zia Ul Huq . Long live spiritual mentors of all sects .
Long live the Islamic Republic. Long live Blah Blah .

Aala  Muqam  Syed Varris Hasan Warsi Lucknavi  Ba Qalm Khud
(Self declared ).

(The writer is a retired person with a vibrant sense of humour,based in Pakistan).

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  • Shahid  On March 11, 2011 at 10:58 am


  • Anjum  On March 11, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Bravo. GurruJee you’ve done it again.

  • F M  On March 11, 2011 at 11:00 am

    It is indeed interesting and I like it V Ji. Once a US lady told me dirty minds are good to attract like minded because they are simple people.

  • Shaukat Qadir  On March 11, 2011 at 11:26 am

    My compliments, Syed Varis Hassan RUA, Live long and happy.
    Humor is all that is left to us to still make life livable in this fantastic country of ours.

  • Admiral Fasih  On March 11, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Cheers for Varis!
    Haven’t enjoyed reading an article so much, for a long time.
    A breath of fresh air was so so needed.
    Fasih Bokhari

  • Masud  On March 11, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    “I could throw some torn pages
    of Arabic fiction in her front garden”,

    Above is about which I was thinking to write while reading this very interesting article. “JARRAR” is a periodical, probably weekly, published by Jamaat ud Dawa. For the last about 2 months, some one comes in the evening and throws a free copy though the gate. Sometimes it goes under the car and on other times it goes to a side and remains there till picked up by the sweeper. Twice it was treated badly by rain.

    I thought of calling on the phone numbers given but a friend advised me not to do that as someone may get annoyed and get me caught for blasphemy because the paper contains Quranic Ayats and quotations from Hadis in addition to articles on the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

    Can any one advise what should I do


  • Farman  On March 11, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Very good reading.Thanks,
    All applause for him but with waterless tears.Farman

  • Inam Khan  On March 11, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Pakistan is a land of hypocrites.Alas no more a land of the pious and the pure.Viva Zardari !He is an excellent example.
    …………….Inam Khan

  • Inam Khan  On March 11, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Blasphemy Law is the most abused law in Pakistan…………….Inam Khan

  • Laila  On March 11, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Excellent humor!

  • Inam  On March 11, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Regret.There is no religious freedom in Pakistan although it is a lawless country…………Inam Khan

  • Zubair  On March 11, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    How very true. I couldn’t have put it better.

  • S U Turkman  On March 12, 2011 at 2:23 am

    Pakistani Laws are for who has money or resource to reach it. Pakistan is the world’s most Free Enterprise country. You can buy Law but you can not buy all the time.
    There is no guarantee you would not be beaten up, looted, raped or killed. Its like a Jungle Law. Whoever has power rules and blackmails the world.

  • Latif  On March 12, 2011 at 2:46 am

    That’s super hit Varris bhai. Aap ne tau tehlka macha dya. Believe you me, I have never ever read anything like this here or anywhere before. That’s really really wonderful. And the way you have decorated your article with our favourite Veena’s presence, really exhilarates me, (rather turns me on). I would request you to please keep writing.
    You are simply WONDERFUL !!
    I have frowarded this article to 60-70 of my contacts. I am sure they are all going to tremendously enjoy it.
    Thank you for this breath of fresh air.

    • Idrees  On March 12, 2011 at 2:47 am

      Yes, it needs to be published in DAWN and all other papers incl Urdu. It is true literature.

  • Ali Chaudhry  On March 12, 2011 at 2:51 am

    Every country having a law 4 dr citzns to live wd dr belivs so sm of dm r dbbl mind to obay r not

  • Munir Ahmed  On March 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    AOA,,,,,,,,,Although a taunt but very pinching one.

  • Chaz Yaqoot  On March 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    An epic satire. Keep writing Syed Varris. Kudos.

  • Hasan  On March 12, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Glory and Grace of A L L A H be on the Holy Prophet, his progeny and on all those whose love and respect for The Holy Prophet transcends that of own children and parents. Amen!

  • Varris  On March 12, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    It’s a pithy commentary on the sad state of affairs of my country. Every day brings new agonies. Some one once said,” I cry in the rain so that no one sees my tears”.
    I hide my tears in humour , so that you do not see the pain.
    It is not the external factors which are besting us. It is the bigotry, hypocrisy, divisions within which are decaying our values. Knowing others is knowledge. Knowing ourselves is enlightenment. Since independence we have remained ignorant of others. After 1400 years we still lack enlightenment.
    The longest journey is the journey inwards. Let us embark on that.

    S.Varris Hasan

    • Nasim  On March 13, 2011 at 2:36 am

      This is a classic. All of us should follow his example. We should also keep ID’s with various names like Makhdoom, Quershi, Shah and Malik. While in PakhtunKwa we should have an ID card showing Usama or Maulana Umar Sianvi?


  • G.Rabbani  On March 13, 2011 at 2:39 am

    It is a very soul searching article.last night my wife daughter son in law and grand daughter were returning from tariq road with baggage as she is travelling to london near pidc house a mob who had called a strike in sind by ppp attacked the car with bricks,my driver did not stop but all the glasses and wind screen were shattered with bid dents on the car .i am gratful that they escapped serious injury.i have to hire a car till it will be ready.how should i ask my last daughter to stay with me till my death.she has been picked up by standard chartered in international cader.the day the first opening will come she will just leave for posting abroad.my 2 sons in uk have politly declined to visit pakistan with their wifes and very young kids.i will continue to curse zb and his family that we continue to suffer since he actively participated in breaking of pakistan.inshallahy in a day or 2 once i overcome the greif of missing my grand daughter i will pen down about a person who i know personally for 25 years and who master minded killing of mujeebur rehman.every day the hope goes down seeing country drifting towards anarchy.grk

  • Zuq728  On March 13, 2011 at 6:55 am

    Couldn’t enjoy anything more than reading this intelligent piece of litreture. Feel like forwarding it to Firdous Ashiq Awan 🙂
    Cheers to you Varris Sb.

  • winslowhub  On November 27, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Varris, What a pleasent surprise to come across your briallant blog. This is a great piece of writing brimming with insight, pain and sorrow which still brings a wry smile.
    Would love to contact you and catch up with lost decades. Iqbal

    • winslowhub  On January 2, 2013 at 11:27 am

      Varris, The old friends of yester-year are trying to contact you. Please contact any of us.
      Iqbal, Zaheer, Mohsin etc.


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