On 11th September the newly elected President Asif Ali Zardari paid homage to the Mausoleum of the Father of the Nation in Karachi, all seemed well until reports started trickling in from various sources of a juicy controversy, where our new President had accidentally misspelled a few words here ‘n there. The message that appeared in the on the Guest Book placed at the Quaid’ Mazar read “May gaad give us the strent to save Pakistan” — Asif Ali Zardari, President, Islamic Republic of Pakistan. This email was also supported by a picture which showed his signature.
Since the past few days the Ministry of Information has been issuing a strong statement to condemn hidden forces in the media to have launched a smear campaign against Asif Ali Zardari, this specific incident took place over 20 days back and the Ministry has suddenly woken up to issue a condemnation, I feel this was pushed through after the global blooper our President committed when he met Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin and had some interesting comments to share which were seen to have been a little awkward and poorly timed for the occasion.
In regards to the misspelling fiasco, a fellow blogger, Farhan, questioned bloggers in general to have been a part of the malicious campaign, in a small way I too must take the blame as my blog did carry a guest post by Silence who humorously poked fun at the English Cracy (sic) of the incident. This could have been a follow up from my own rant which I made on 12th of September where I joked on another twist to the message.
If people had even a fleeting glance of the picture, it does contain the actual signatures of Mr. Asif Ali Zardari and it also seems to be the writing of our President, so the question here should be can we now reason that NO ONE should trust the signature of The President of Pakistan, it is a fact that we did loose faith in believing Zardari’s promises of which he even signed a Murree Declaration and refused to accept it later.
The Nation is seen to have come forth with a short investigative report published on 25th September but reading the investigative report one does feel suspicious as to why the reporter could not reproduce an image of the Guest Book despite having been presented the evidence by the caretaker.
The Nation: Zardari’s misspelled remarks proved fabricated – by Shafi Baloch September 25, 2008: Some hidden hands have sent an email to different journalists, newspapers and electronic organizations claiming that the President had misspelled the words God and strength. However, a verification of this matter by The Nation revealed that the campaign was a venomous propaganda against President Zardari that was aimed at tarnishing his image in the eyes of the masses.
The upshot of President’s comments in the visitors’ book during his visit to Mazar-e-Quaid made it clear that Asif Zardari had impeccably written “May God give us strength to save Pakistan” instead of “May Gaad give us strut to save Pakistan” that was being propagated by the hidden hands through the email. When contacted Muhammad Arif, Resident Engineer, Mazar-e-Quaid, produced the book containing the views of the President. Arif said that he was accompanying President Asif Ali Zardari during his visit of the mausoleum and witnessed him express his views by writing in the visitors’ book: “God may give us strength to save Pakistan”.
After the visit of President Zardari, several high-ranking officials of Sindh government including Governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, chiefs of the armed forces and Naib Nazima Karachi Nasreen Jalil also visited Mazar-e-Quaid and expressed their views in the visitors’ book. All of them had written their views in English except Naib Nazima Nasreen Jaleel, who wrote her comments in Urdu language, Arif concluded.
Thats what really puzzles me, the reporter Shafi Baloch in his write up for The Nation paints a very nasty picture of the electronic media (right or wrong is not the question) but in his report he seemingly sets up his entire investigative report based on when he contacted the Resident Engineer Mohd Arif [some how the news report gives an impression that he may have called up Mr. Arif and asked him to clarify this confusion] and hence forth the resident engineer refuted any claims of misspelling by the President.
The question the reporter fails to address is that whether he actually ‘saw’ the guest book or simply took Mr. Arif’s word for it, and if the reporter did actually see the guest book then why has he not published the evidence to expose the ‘hidden hand’. I would suggest that when he does end up reproducing the alleged pictures it might really help if the messages of other dignitaries are also preserved to show authenticity.
That said – everyone makes spelling mistakes, that is not a crime, but it just goes to show how insecure our establishment really feels itself to be in, being all paranoid about a typo should be the least of their concerns. Someone should knock some sense that its often a a good PR strategy to let dead skeletons lay dead and not reopen the circus for the fear of yet another mind numbing circus hence forth.
God or Gaad who cares – Does it really matter !
[damn I just participated in spelling-controversy-circus-II, but I think it was more to answer Farhan’s post and less to do with a five day old ministerial directive which I ignored as irrelevant]