A pre-printed ‘Sifarish’ letter

While a post earlier we discussed the rare breed of honest Pakistanis who truly believe in making sure that all their outstanding debts to society are cleared up. In all honesty when looking out our current breed of politicians one sincerely hopes that they too may one day learn that being an elected representative of a population they thence forth entrusted with a very heavy responsibility to serve the people in a very just way and to top it off being Muslims they are further burdened with an additional responsibility to be answerable to all their actions and deeds in life here-after.

This scanned letter has been making its rounds on various mailing lists for the good part of this week. The letter originates from the desk of Mrs. Nargis Makhdoom who quite blatantly uses the title of “Sister of Prime Minister” & “Wife Of Additional Secretary National Assembly” which might be good enough to force Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed of HEC to hear out The Barar[sic] Zafar Ali to present his ‘special case’ and maybe Dr. Ahmed would then in light of the attached letter be accommodating to Zafar’s special situation.

What probably may humor many amongst us is to note that the extensive preparation done in advance to create the fill-in-the-blanks type of sifarish letter, typically all prepared to dole out immediately as and when needed without the proper critical evaluation.

On November 11th 2008 The News carried a report on a statement issued by the PM Secretariat titled Gilani warns his family members not to use his name

‘Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has issued strict instructions to his family members not to use his name to influence anyone in any way,’ his Press Secretary Zahid Bashir. The PM has said that he would not tolerate it if his son or anyone else in his family would use his name to influence anyone, he said. The PM’s press secretary said this when his attention was drawn to a fake letterhead through which various ministries are being pressurized to avail jobs or other favours.

A copy of this fake letterhead was received by The News, which is addressed to the Higher Education Commission, describing Mrs Nargis Makhdoom as sister of the prime minister and wife of an additional secretary National Assembly Zahid Bashir said that if Nargis Makhdoom had printed such a letterhead, then she had not sought prior permission of the PM for this. He asked for a fax copy of the letterhead. However, he did not react when a copy was faxed to him.

Three mobile numbers are mentioned on the letterhead and the PS to the sister of the PM confirmed that one of them was of Nargis Makhdoom. The other numbers are of her son and personal secretary. The telephone number of her home is also correctly mentioned in the letterhead.

However, the PS to Mrs Nargis Makhdoom said it was a conspiracy to defame the prime minister. When Nargis Makhdoom was contacted, she said she had not written any letter and kept on insisting that the original letter, not the photocopy, be sent to her. ‘Neither I have sent any letter nor I have any letterhead with such a portfolio,‘ she said. The spouse of Mrs Nargis Makhdoom said that his wife did not write such letters and that he was an additional secretary in the National Assembly and he could have written a better letter with better results. He said that someone else was misusing the name of his wife

A comment from Daudpota on flickr which seems to have be the original source of this image quite rightly questions The press would do well to ask the HEC about how it acted on receiving this and previous notes from the high-ups and their relatives.

Though the Prime Minister is angelically may be denying any misuse of the Prime Ministers office, but what he might have conveniently forgotten is the wedding that took place a month or so back



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28 responses to “A pre-printed ‘Sifarish’ letter”

  1. farrah k raja Avatar
    farrah k raja

    It is not shameful that such letter is being used.SHAMEFUL
    is such letter is used to decieve maybe a very needy and genuine person who is in desperate need of help.Who would have really spent money on travel to reach the madam and than to city and ended up with this letter which leads no one to no where.
    MADAM would say ,”YES we did you a favour we gave you a letter.”
    And the person sitting in the office would say ,this letter does not say what I am suppose to do exactly.Have a cup of tea sir.Leave your application ,I will have a look.Give my compliments to madam.”
    and the deliverence would never come ,what ever it may?

  2. Dr. Farrukh Malik Avatar

    The greatest irony and a hardcore fact of our society.

  3. ReallyVirtual Avatar

    Let me tell you the end of the story – the needy and genuine person will give up all hope and commit suicide as he has nowhere else and nobody else to go to, to fulfill his genuine needs.

    No offense, but what is really shameful is how easily you (and therefore, us Pakistanis) have submitted to this way of life as being the standard operating procedure for all of us. Please share what makes you think the person is “needy and genuine”, and what gives him the right to “break the queue”, so to speak, to approach princesses and kings to solve his problems, and btw what exactly is “LDC”?

    So if you were Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, you would have offered him a cup of tea AND given him the favor he wanted, not because he was genuinely needy but because he carried a letter?

    Please guide us on the rights and wrongs, we desperately need some advice from you.

  4. farrah k raja Avatar
    farrah k raja

    Really virtual
    Thanks for asking me why I thought like this before blasting me off.
    I am from a rural background.My family is the one where we were the first graduates and thus quite previliged as compared to rest of the people.So during my life time I have seen people travelling all the way to Lahore for ID card or ordinary job like a peon or a sipahi with a letter .
    Personally I do not think there is anything wrong with a letter,it is just that you write me a letter tomorrow saying this girl is comming and does not know anyone can you help her.
    If I am in a position I will.This is how the world works.
    You and I very well know these letters do not get anyone anywhere.
    This is another deception,ACTUALLY DOES SIFARISH WORK IN PAKISTAN,I do not think so…….IT IS MONEY and only money.
    Well I could never be DR.MUKHTAR AHMED,I was intelligent enough to know I have no politiccal background and I do not know anyone in a strong position so my survival is hard work and well I am doing that.
    But I always laughed it off ,I had to move forward.
    I understand your reaction is of a city person.I have felt like you ,many times, like in our MA class the boy who did top never came to Uni but than he got degree for the exchange of a car.Aur hum paarh paarh kai fail.
    I have failed in all the job interviews,my dear in Pakistan.
    and I am not ashamed of these failures when they were never testing my intelligence how can I fail?
    The thing is how we change the system….answer is simple..
    With this dialogue we are doing that.Our CHANGE HAS JUST STARTED….

  5. farrah k raja Avatar
    farrah k raja

    My response is very long but my point is valid.Here in first world change and fair system is working because when Mr.A worked hard during his student life at MAc Donalds later when he got degree from Cambridge ,Mr.A became executive he felt comfertable working with boys who had worked at KFC and Mc Donalds during student years.
    One of my reasons for pro Musharaf is if he is head of state I write a letter of grievances to him,he will read it sympathetically and probably he would be able to see where my boss is playing what game?
    Whereas these feudals will only see me as an object of pleasure or a working class idiot.WOould they be able to relate to my letter of grievances.No.
    Despite being woman I never felt close to BENAZIR,although she was my leader.Her life was well unimaginable for me.

  6. ReallyVirtual Avatar

    There is a big difference between “This guy doesn’t know anyone in Lahore, please help him as much as you can” and “This guy is coming with a SPECIAL request, please treat him as a SPECIAL case”
    The problem is the word SPECIAL… while helping out a stranger in town with nowhere to go to is commendable, creating a SPECIAL scenario for a SPECIAL person is not.

    So if a person looking for a position of a peon comes to Lahore with a note telling an employer to see if a job can be created for him, that should be acceptable, but if that peon comes with a note and grabs a job opening that 10 other people had applied for (and I’ve seen applications for office-boy positions by masters degree holders) then you have a corruption problem – and I am actually embarrassed to have to spell it out like this here. Yes, corruption is everywhere, but the least you can do is to NOT accept it as a normal way of life. What did you do when you came to know that your classmate exchanged a car for a degree. Did you object to your university staff, or did you accept it as inevitable?
    I don’t want to be the ‘moral police’ here, but being born in a city or knowing the PM’s sister does not make me any more SPECIAL than you or the 10 guys that apply for the peon position.

  7. farrah k raja Avatar
    farrah k raja

    Really Virtual
    “There is a big difference between “This guy doesn’t know anyone in Lahore, please help him as much as you can” and “This guy is coming with a SPECIAL request, please treat him as a SPECIAL case”

    Thanks for correcting me politically and socially .
    Not because you are a police man but because you have made the point so clear and have convinced me.Thanks for drawing the line between right and wrong.

    But you have made me thinking,why I accept this as a norm?

  8. Rafay Kashmiri Avatar
    Rafay Kashmiri

    @ Farrah,

    job for qualified and unqualified problem will remain
    every where in the world, must understand our country
    is only 60 years old, have no experiences of centuries,
    instead, we inherited this black enormous hole in our
    professional lives, we are going towards more
    opportunities if more enterprises have their base in
    Pakistan, problem today is more political than anytime
    in our history,

    BTW, I think we found who had stolen the Fauwwarah,
    Pride of Karachi, they found a similar letter behind
    a rock, sea water had faded the “ink “, they could read
    with magnifying glass, talking of Hundi, Hawalah, with
    a flag of red, black & green colours,(PPP) and a slogan
    in Sindhi Jiway Jiway Ghauri Jiway and some Karamat to
    make things disappear, etc etc

  9. farrah, k.raja(SHAH) Avatar
    farrah, k.raja(SHAH)

    Thanks for sharing this information regarding fountain.I knew there is something political but could not figure it out.Again your last sentence
    “…..some Karamat to make things disappear, etc etc”
    It is funny to share with you that my full name is Farrah Karamat Raja.BUT NO I DO KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT this disappearence and miracleous appearence of FAUWARRAH.

  10. Hassan Zaib Avatar
    Hassan Zaib

    Jesus Christ doc , cant you see this letter is a fake. Look at the enlarged picture and you can clearly see the address section and the telephone and even bismillah copy pasted… i dont mean to lecture but i trust PM Gillani he is an honest man

  11. farrah, k.raja(SHAH) Avatar
    farrah, k.raja(SHAH)

    Hassan and Unaiza
    look at the original letter at the flicker ,the link is provided in the post.
    I would like to use what Ardheshir Cowasjee wrote on Zardari spelling mistake,”BLACK IS NOT WHITE”

  12. Unaiza Fatima Avatar
    Unaiza Fatima

    Teeth! The wedding took place at a residence, not the Convention Centre or The Parliament Building or The Senate. President can do whatever he wants in Presidential residence within domestic capacity. If president allowed the PM to celebrate a family event at his house, what is your problem?

    Secondarily, this letter can easily be fake. Even I can make a fake letter like this, right here right now. By publishing it on your blog without scrutiny, you are just strengthening their stance to put curb on blogging.

    Teeth! I appreciate your great service as a blogger and I have found your blog to be the most interesting among all blogs in Pakistan. Your commentaries on domestic and international issues are worth-noting and you are often the first to publish new developments and issues. But I advise you to be very careful in selection of topics, especially in times of this sham-democracy which is worse than any dictatorships I know of.

  13. Rafay Kashmiri Avatar
    Rafay Kashmiri

    @ Farrah,

    my wit and fingers are beyond control, at the
    moment, but I promise you my legendary sobriety
    in the matters of Karamat, and rest assure, we have
    two Grand ” Karamati PEERS on our discipline
    protocolaire. Peer Minister and Londonian Paan-ke-pattay
    Btw, you better consolidate your Karamats for your
    forth coming haqiqatian comments.

  14. ranjit singh Avatar
    ranjit singh

    Dr. Qadeer quoted a very interesting persian sher(couplet) in his recent article,

    translation of the last line:

    The Afghans,the kambohs,and the Kashmiris;all three are roughes(badzat)

  15. A.H.Kalwar Avatar

    While it is likely this letter is authentic, it could be forged as well. Judging by the amount of anti-PPP propaganda nowadays i wouldn’t be surprised in either case.

  16. Fraz Avatar

    This letter is a pretty bad copy ‘n paste job. But it convinced some so the purpose was served.

  17. Rafay Kashmiri Avatar
    Rafay Kashmiri

    @Ranjit Singh,

    O Sardar ji !!! tuhadi mat mari gaei aiy

    tusi pher galt number laga dita !!

    It was Not Dr.Qadeer

    it was a kahawat related to Mughals Jahils by

    M Q M’s Kunglay and Rangilay Nawwabs of Ouwadh.

    They also maintain that the

    Afghans and Kashmiris were the reason for the

    loss of one eye of Maharaja Ranjit Singh


  18. KarachiObserver Avatar

    Your point is valid……

  19. dr.jawwadkhan Avatar

    99% of our population is in state of suspision and remaining 1% is in state of denial.
    what a nation we are!

  20. Talkhaba Avatar

    I have seen the same pre-printed letter pad of nisar khoro. Nothing strange. When I asked a Jilla “what is this” He said so what? Yeh PPP ka karkun sazi form hai. It’s not the fault of Mr Teeth. He has never been member of PPP, PML N or Q or MQM. Jamaat Islami and PTI may be the parties who have never used this form. May be someone says they have never been in government but the fact remains

  21. Sultana Sidiki Avatar
    Sultana Sidiki

    I totally agree with this letter being fake, whoever reproduced this letter had really bad photoshop skills..
    and why cant people just leave the PPP alone?
    Now coming to the fact even if for SOME reason this is true, whats the big deal?…Everything in Pakistan does work through sifarish in one way or the other…from the passport office,NIC office….its always contacts.
    Build a Bridge & Get over it!

    1. optimist Avatar

      @ sultana. that was really lame. you just cant build a bridge and get over it. becuase by doing so you're just avoiding all the senario and leaving things to tend to themself which is selfish. it is a huge deal if this thing is really a fact since it shows the true nature of our society.we should be correcting this decay of our comunity rather just building a bridge over it.

  22. ReallyVirtual Avatar

    I am pretty sure that the last time I checked, one of those Ps stood for “People” – that is probably the reason we can’t “leave PPP alone [to rule over us as they Please]”

    I’m really surprised though, that our agreed-upon motto of
    “Yeh Pakistan Hay”
    has not surfaced after all these comments… I mean… come on PeoPle! :-0

  23. Rafay Kashmiri Avatar
    Rafay Kashmiri

    @ sultana sidiki,

    Oh no no, nobody has done any harm to PPP !!
    anyway party changed its domicile to Dubai yonks ago.

    your last phrase is intresting,

    ” build a Bridge & get over it ”
    and a sifarish for its collapse !!
    and the Fauwwarah ?

  24. Media Vampire Class Avatar
    Media Vampire Class

    They may pretend to be Muslim…..

    They may pretend to be the Victim….

    but our Rulling Class Draculas pray to one and only one God …

    That is Sifarish…

    it is so ingrained in Pakistan… that you wont get any thing done .. without calling out 2 prayers of Sifarish…

    even if you need a sweeper to clean the footpath infront of your house…

    you need Sifarish….

    and every thing else ….

    you need sifarish…..

    the REal God of Pakistanis…

  25. pakistani media Avatar
    pakistani media

    yeah our rulling class is really going busted these days by the Vampires of the media groups…..

    we sucked the blood of poor pakistanis for 60 years…

    now these Vampires of Media group are destroying wat was left… of the poor pakistani patient….

    i mean Zardari and Nawaz sharif does not have a Rolce Royce Car…

    btw…. Rolce Royce is the most expensive luxury car in the world…

    it is made on specific order of the buyer…

  26. Mir Shakeel ur rehma Avatar
    Mir Shakeel ur rehma

    i am the owner of jang group and Geo TV…

    i have made billions of dollars … from enemies of islam and pakistan…

    when i show terrorism videos again and again… to plague the great nation of pakistan and to please my american europian aids and hiv infected masters….

    and divert the interest of pakistani nation towards the Kama Sutra type indian movies and songs….

    you have no idea there is not a single pakistani channel that is not being paid by my masters and is not working on the same agenda…

    did any one notice the Mir in my name

    mir jaffar, mir saddiq, mir shakeel ur rehman

  27. waitnsee@gmail.com Avatar

    All the rich Pakistanis are running on Credit Card, it took USA credit Card consumers 10 yrs to go bankrupt….

    for pakistani consumers who are not as wealthy and doesnt have a large no. of middle class consumers… like USA….

    pakistanis have around 4 – 5 months to go bankrupt…

    than the real ‘Reference’ would show how the top Rich class of pakistan will go ‘ bitch ‘ on each other……

    pakistani government was always poor, corrupt, anti pakistanis…. but the rich people of pakistan had money…… so the pakistani economy crawled a little bit and survived…

    now the real problem is those rich people have been bankrupted for the last 2 yrs…..

    and are almost bankrupted in credit card debt….

    wait and see…. how these Sifarishi…. rich assholes …… go down the gutor…..

    to all those “shit nuts” here …. who are trying to convince people that ‘Reference’ and ‘Sifarish’ is the same thing….

    must answer how a son or relative of minister or big businessman is more suitable for a top management job … without proper experience or education…. and gets high paying jobs….

    while the people with the right experience are destroyed and demoralized by these Sifarish culture of Sifarish Republic of Pakistan…

    I agree with ‘Media Vampire Class’ 100000% that “They may pretend to be Muslim…..

    They may pretend to be the Victim….

    but our Rulling Class Draculas pray to one and only one God …”

    Sifarish has destroyed the whole concept and Ideal of Pakistan….

    wait a little and you will see for your self….how these super rich ppl of pakistan will become beggars soon…..

    age of oil is over…. Meglev Trains and transport is here….

    electric cars are here….

    Arabian Royal Families are soon to become beggars… cuz they wasted all the Oil wealth on fukin … strippers and pathetic camel race … assholes……

    when the muslim children were dying due to lack of food and water….in their neighborhood….