Zardari’s Signature – Cowasjee Version

Cowasjee narrates his versioin of the (in)famous Zardari signature story at Mazar-e-Quaid. Simply love his last line. We shall now have a spelling-minister.  “Now, back to this September 12 when I went to the Mazar and asked the keepers to let me have photocopies of what had been written by the September 11 visiting ‘dignitaries’ in the visitors’ book. I was given copies of remarks recorded by the president, the Sindh governor and the Sindh chief minister. Subsequently, on September 14, I wrote in my column: “Recorded by Asif, in illegible handwriting resembling that of a stressed physician, were the words “May Gaad [sic] give us the street [sic] to save Pakistan.” The internet then took over, and messages attaching a photocopy of what had been written were flashed around the world. The spooks sprang into action. They removed from the 100-page book the double-page on which Zardari’s message and that of the Karachi station commander were recorded, leaving 98 pages in the book in which visitors will now record their views, and on a fresh page rewrote Zardari’s message correcting the two misspelled words.

On September 26, on the back page of The Nation, a news item under the heading ‘Zardari’s misspelled remarks proved fabricated’ reproduced images of the original page and the rewritten new page, informing readers that “Some hidden hands have sent an email … 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 … It was distressing to note that a senior English-language columnist did not bother to verify the facts and added fuel to fire in his column while referring to this fabricated story.”

This was picked up by APP and their report on the ‘outrage’ was printed on September 27 in The News under the heading ‘Spokesman slams malicious campaign against Zardari’ and in The Nation under the heading ‘Propaganda against Zardari ‘malicious’’, both telling us that “The presidential spokesman has taken strong exception to a malicious campaign initiated by some anti-democratic elements to tarnish the image of President Asif Ali Zardari.”

Not to be outdone, that same day an editorial in The Daily Times under the heading ‘A shameful forgery’ commented on the original Nation report of the 26th. It opened up: “The past week has seen a vicious electronic and press campaign maligning President Asif Ali Zardari through a forgery”, and reproduced the comments about hidden hands and the columnist.

This was all very unnecessary and somewhat foolish to draw even more attention to the matter. The initial news report did no favour to the president, and neither did the amateur ‘presidential spokesman’ who would have done better to remain silent. Admitting that fuel had been added to fire indicates that indeed a fire burns (or even rages) when it comes to the matter of Zardari’s image.

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27 Comments so far

  1. bozz on October 6th, 2008 @ 11:49 am

    Yes I enjoyed reading the above article too. How come Pakistan breeds and Pakistanis support such leaders? Is this because they elect leaders like themselves?

    Here I would like to take the opportunity to ask the more informed ones about what I am about to write below. Can someone please (only if you know) put things in true light?

    Altaf’s son from his ex-wife, residing in Karachi is engaged to be married to Zardari’s daughter Bakhtawar. I bet this is a surprise if true. Why else would Zardari embrace this person (for want of a better word!)in London and Altaf offer him his support?

  2. shoaib on October 6th, 2008 @ 12:28 pm

    I was never a supporter of Zardari but i dont understand why he tried to write in English despite knowing his WONDERFUL ENGLISH. English is not a pride for us as perceived by many of our Pakistani’s. There is no harm telling that his English is not Good which off course not many of us cannot claim. Its the same we start making fun of Cowasjee’s Urdu.

  3. fizdosani on October 6th, 2008 @ 2:28 pm

    regardless of Aaif English and Cowasjee urdu controversy
    I would like to share my a story of my Boss during visit to china last ear!
    They have been invited to attend a Textile conference in Shenghai.
    Most guest and delegation are from around the world who do not aware about a single Chinese word but you are surprised to know that every speaker in the conference first speech in its mother tongue then an English interpreter invites for delegation.
    so listening speech in Chinese is mandatory.
    What a nation they are…
    They have their own rules which help them to conquer the world not through weapon but through Economy.

  4. mastqalandar on October 6th, 2008 @ 7:26 pm

    Can any one just tell me in one statement (instead of pages and pages)?

    Did Zardari write "GAAD" or not?


  5. kaami on October 6th, 2008 @ 7:43 pm

    So whats new? What we deserved we got. Thanks to the talk show hosts, the talk show politicians this baraat of returning thiefs was escorted by our civil society while the lawyers played the band. Out went the capital, the investors and the talented professionals which returned to this land after a lot of canvassing. The middle class that grew stronger and was taking hold has been conveniently sidelined as the feudal’s move in, they have only one strategy and that is “to beg for money”. While the Lion of Punjab sleeps after licking his wounds. I think he is happy too. He can now once again enjoy his acres in Raiwind and continue to look for a new advisor to fill his dumb head with a trickle of wisdom.

    So, from a point in our history where we, as a nation were poised to move ahead, despite the troubles in the north and the inflationary trends in our economy, we had the people and the money, yet we choose not to steady the course instead acting as a deranged bull pressed the self destruct button. Now we have nothing better to do but to spell check our leaders. What a farce!

    This is a hole that we have dug for ourselves and climbing out of it seems impossible as our legs were broken during the fall, just like our currency.

  6. Adnan Siddiqi (adnansiddiqi) on October 6th, 2008 @ 9:03 pm

    How come Zardari’s English fluency become more important than current Pakistani crisis?

    Speaking of Daily times, is it not owned by Salman Taseer? :-)

  7. Adnan Siddiqi (adnansiddiqi) on October 6th, 2008 @ 9:10 pm

    Kahan Kahan PPP k members Zardari ko pamper karay gey. Last night I was watching GEO, PPP’s member Farzana Raja was trying to clarify that Asif didn’t allow US to strike missiles as it was taken "out of the context" :>

  8. human01 on October 7th, 2008 @ 8:51 am

    Can’t agree you more Kami, we deserve what we got…I still remember the night when Benazir was slain and almost the whole country was being torched and looted, the morons (talk show hosts) were trying to justify this erratic behavior of super morons, better say crimnals as a natural outburst of anger & sorrow…….I also remember the dancing fools on Musharraf’s resignation……& now we are concerned about Zardari’s incompetence……….how lame it could be….

  9. human01 on October 7th, 2008 @ 8:57 am

    Well I am eager to see the explanation on Zardari’s flirting seen with Sara Palin… would be really interesting to know how they going to cover that one….. I think they would say….oh he was just being friendly & forgot that he is not in his Bilawal Para any more…..

  10. bozz on October 7th, 2008 @ 9:00 am

    @mastqalandar – Yes he did

  11. barristerakc on October 7th, 2008 @ 9:56 am

    bhaiyoon, the martial races aka self-confessed patriots paindoos are bent upon telling us again and again (the lesser ones from smaller provinces) that we are “mentally”, “physically” and “academically” not qualified of ruling this experiment gone-wrong, Pakistan and that they are the “chosen ones”.

  12. drfsid on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:48 am

    unfortunately 30% of Pakistani population officially turns out to vote…out of those a guesstimate of 10% are fake or dual or multiple votes…apparently the people who are ruling at this time are the representatives of less than 20% of the nation….the fault is not in those who came out and voted but in those who stayed home and let people like these be our presidents ans primeministers…May Allah help Pakistan and keep it stable…Ameen…

  13. fizdosani on October 7th, 2008 @ 1:49 pm

    @ Kaami
    Now we have nothing better to do but to spell check our leaders. What a farce!

    @ Adnan Siddiqui
    How come Zardari’s English fluency become more important than current Pakistani crisis?

    Agreed with both of you!

  14. safdar on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:13 pm

    eye vill goe one day and b da prezident of pakistan and i wil write my commentz in Mazar e Quaid in a language kalled as english by moust off the poeple on ploanet aerth!!!

  15. kabirdas on October 7th, 2008 @ 11:20 pm


    I am not one of the ‘more informed ones’ however, I can tell you to add 2 and 2 together. If your answer is 4 then it is the correct answer.

    Have a nice day.

  16. Adnan Siddiqi (adnansiddiqi) on October 7th, 2008 @ 11:25 pm

    Irony is that Parsi Oldie also got nothing else this time other than discussing this lame topic.

  17. faylasuf on October 8th, 2008 @ 11:03 am

    No matter what we write about how he was elected or what Zardari did in past, He is President of Pakistan, and a nation is expected to have respect for the head of state. But the question is… How much can we as a nation ignore?

    Now if copy and paste what few of our fellow b-loggers have written here

    Kaami >> Now we have nothing better to do but to spell check our leaders<
    Adnan Siddiqui >> How come Zardari’s English fluency become more important than current Pakistani crisis?
    Adnan Siddiqi >> Irony is that Parsi Oldie also got nothing else this time other than discussing this lame topic.
    Fizdosani >> Agreed with both of you!

    Adnan, English fluency is not more important and I do wonder if you are actually a frequent reader of the “Parsi Oldie”. What Zardari wrote is least important at this point of time, a point to ponder would be “can we actually educate such a grown up person?” but yes we would like our leaders to be sure of what they say or write.

    Fizdosani re>>They have their own rules which help them to conquer the world not through weapon but through Economy.<

    It’s about being confident of what you are, yet be humble enough to learn and this is how a nation progresses with sheer hard work and consistency. Pick up any nation in the world, France, Germany, China or even India, they are proud of what they are but at the same time, willing to learn and work hard.

    @drfsid >> unfortunately 30% of Pakistani population officially turns out to vote.. the fault is not in those who came out and voted but in those who stayed home and let people like these be our presidents and primeministers<

    Do you know the exact percentage of voters that turn up to vote in USA or UK? What is the benchmark voter turn out? How many options do we have? Pakistani public went out to vote n to opt for the lesser Evil. Not for the worst, but for the “Lesser Evil”. As far as vote is concerned, after the Feb elections, how many of us had any power to prevent Zardari from becoming the President? Lets not start the debate about democracy.

    It has been a comedy of errors

    Stating that matter of “528B” would be settled, his English fluency, holding up BB’s portrait in his Address every where, declaration of his undying love for BB, his claim that he has got democracy back in the country. That “BB doctrine” is the only solution. I would not even consider bringing up the matter of his meeting with Sarah Pauline here.

    It seems like every one is waiting with crossed fingers, guessing how long will this continue. The point is not really if he is literate enough to write one straight sentence with out any spelling mistake, it is about the whole equation of what he is as a person for a nation in these troubled times. Is he even trying to “act” like a president?

  18. shoaib on October 8th, 2008 @ 11:06 am

    @Adnan Siddiqi
    Too bad that we are identifying him with a PARSI. Come on let not bring the religion to identify someone. Cowasjee has been discreet in his observations but it would be disastrous if we start calling him parsi xx.

  19. bozz on October 8th, 2008 @ 1:17 pm

    Ok people let us have some fun out here. Read for smiles.

    Bihar Driving License…

    ============ ========= ========= ========= ========= ========= =======


    ———— ——— ——— ——— — ———— ——— —

    NOTE: Please do not soot the person at the applikason kounter.

    He will give you the licen.

    If you dot know how to fill ,copy from your phriend (dost)applikason.

    For phurthar instructions, see bottom applikason.

    1. Last name:

    (_) Yadav (_) Tripathi (_) Pandey (_) Misra (_) Dont no

    (Check karet box)

    2. phust name:

    (_) Ramprasad (_) Lakhan (_) Sivprasad (_) Jamnaprasad (_) Dont no

    (Check karet box)

    3. Age:

    (_) Less than phipty (_) Greater than phipty (_) Dont no

    (Check karet box)

    4. Sex: ____ M _____(F) _____ not sure _____not applicable

    5. Chappal Size: ____ Lepht ____ Right


    (_) Politison (_) Doodhwala (_) Pehelwaan (_) House wife (_) Un-employed

    (Check karet box)

    7. Number of children libing in the household: ___

    8.. Number that are yourj: ___

    9. Mather name: ____________ _________ __

    10. Phather Name: ____________ ________ (If not no ,leabe blank)

    11. Ejjucason: 1 2 3 4 (Circle highest kilass attended)

    12. Dental rekard:

    (_) Ellow (_) Berownish-ellow (_) Berown (_) Belack (_) Other -__________ Give egjhakt color

    (Check karet box)

    13.Your thumb imparesson :

    ____________ _________ _______

    (If you are copying from another applikason pharom, pleaje do not copy thumb impression also. Pleaje

    provide your own thumb impression.)


    Use thumb on your lepht hand only. If you dont have le pht hand, use your thumb on right hand. If you do not have right hand, use thumb on lepht hand.



  20. barristerakc on October 8th, 2008 @ 3:40 pm

    bozz – you made my day since my "susral" is "unfortunately" from Bihar (Noorpur Side). Bhai-Sahib with due respect to my wifeee and biharis – dunya mein doo he qasim kay loog sab kay zada doozakh mein hongay, eik bihari aur dosray biharan :)
    word of advice: BEWARE OF MITWAS – LOL

  21. kabirdas on October 8th, 2008 @ 8:04 pm

    @ Adnan Siddiqi: "Irony is that Parsi Oldie also got nothing else this time other than discussing this lame topic."

    Mr. Siddiqi that may well be an irony as you say but the tragedy is that we have bigots like you among us. Calling Mr. Cowasjee ‘Parsi Oldie’ was absolutely uncalled for and shameful. These kinds of comments only reflect on your prejudiced mind, flawed upbringing and poor education.
    It is not the first time that you have shown your true colours in this manner. You had done the same kind of thing at the killing of a Pakistani hindu at the hands of a mob for blesphemy. And on another ocassions I remember you talking about someone’s ethnicity instead of responding to his valid comments on some issue.
    Sir, you should be ashamed of yourself and try to cleanse your mind of this kind of thinking. May I request you to tender your unconditional public apologies to a very respectable senior citizen of this country, Mr.Cowasjee, in a manner which is acceptable to him.
    Thanking you in anticipation.

  22. kabirdas on October 8th, 2008 @ 8:08 pm

    @ Boz

    Your joke may be good or bad but it is certainly not relevant to ongoing discussion. It would have been better if you had told some joke which had some bearing on the issue at hand.

  23. kabirdas on October 8th, 2008 @ 8:12 pm

    @ faylasuf

    Well put. Even I wouldn’t have been able to say it so well as you have said it :-) Agree with you 100%.

  24. kabirdas on October 8th, 2008 @ 8:19 pm

    @ barristerakc

    Good to see someone who can laugh at himself. It is a sign of good sense of humour which is not very common these days. And taking micky out of your ‘susral’is a sure sign of your love for your wife.

  25. barristerakc on October 9th, 2008 @ 9:25 am

    kabirdas, Shukaria! :)
    Laugh at yourself and smile at others! My philosohy of life.

  26. khurrum on October 9th, 2008 @ 2:38 pm

    Todays’Featured article at Wikipedia has one Pakistani Mr.Akhtar Hameed Khan (1914–1999)

  27. djawal on October 26th, 2008 @ 3:12 pm

    what a douche bag az is

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