Guest Blog by Silence from Islamabad Observer
“May gaad give us the strent to save Pakistan”
Asif Ali Zardari
Islamic Republic of Pakistan
During Zia ul Haq’s dictatorship, Late Makhdum Sajjad Hussain, father of Shah Mahmood Qureshi (presently foreign minister) was appointed as Governor of Punjab. He was a very simple person, a feudal lord and a known ‘peer’ with millions of followers especially from rural Sindh. Whenever someone would approach Mr. Governor with any problem, “Allah Kracy” (God will Do) the Governor used to reply in Saraiki language and would raise his hands to pray, hundreds of followers sitting around would also raise their hands and pray with their peer cum governor.
Weather some one asks for transfer of his son or complains about poor condition of road or even a magistrate asks approval to arrest protesters, the answer was always same, “Allah Kracy” followed by raising hands. The joke around the province was that people of Punjab are sandwiched between ‘Bureaucracy’ and‘Allah Kracy. The requests from bureaucracy to pass orders helped little. Mr. Governor preferred prayer rather then passing any orders and always used Saraiki as language.
Prime Minister Gillani is said to be a very good writer, journalist and author of a book but the moment he starts speaking English, the whole impression is gone. When Prime Minister Gillani visited USA, a joke around the White House was that President Bush was very pleased to hear someone speaking worse English then himself.
Similarly, President Zardari is known for choice of words, his comments are always meaningful and well phrased, but it was a surprise to see what he has written on eve of his visit to ‘Mizar-i-Quaid in comments book, although I am pleased that his writing skills are worse then me. General Kiani is also not much behind of two top leaders in his English proficiency.
Although, I feel really bad to see that Pakistani people are judging our national leader from their expertise in an alien language. If we need English-proficient national leaders we should make it a necessary qualification for election. But at the same time what stops our leaders from using our national or regional languages to express their views more clearly.
Our serving PM is a Saraiki. President, a Sindhi and Army Chief a Pothohari/Punjabi, if they delivers their speeches in his own mother tongue, they would do much better. As a last resort, they can speak in Urdu which they know much better than English. As Chinese, Japanese and French always use their respective languages on any international forum.
Our leaders should stop embarrassing themselves and the nation by choosing English and should start using Urdu or even regional languages as medium of expression. They can follow Late Governor Sajjad Hussain Shah in use of language but at the same time remember that they do not pass similar orders by prayers. However, I am sure that they are not going to consider this option as, this time; we are sandwiched between ‘Democracy’ and ‘English Cracy’.