How to become a famous English columnist in Pakistan

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10 ideas for budding writers to become famous columnists in Pakistan

It is believed that becoming a writer is not particularly easy. It is also believed that becoming a writer that gives their views on current, political or social issues is even more difficult. It is further believed that it takes years of reading, research, writing and earmarking your expertise to become a columnist in a daily newspaper. However, let us be the first one to break the news to you: all of that is utter and absolute nonsense.

Becoming a columnist in Pakistan is a quintessential cakewalk. While, it is equally easy in Urdu print media; for that one needs to expound rubbish of a particular radical and jingoistic kind. In English print media there is a wide gamut of gibberish that you can propagate under your byline, that not only would get into print, it would actually make you a really famous columnist.

Here are top 10 column ideas for budding writers to work on, that would guarantee a rise in popularity and establish them as among the best columnists in Pakistan.

It’s all Ziaul Haq’s fault

Everything is Zia’s fault. From inflation to the rise in sectarianism; from power shortage to ties with India, everything is owing to religious fundamentalism in Pakistan, which is totally and completely Zia’s very own creation. Make sure you steer clear of Bhutto and the founding fathers’ role in imbuing Islamic bigotry in Pakistan and you are gold.

Drones and suicide bombings both are wrong

Equate drone strikes that target terrorists with suicide bombings that target citizens. Ignore the fact that the former has less than 10 percent collateral damage while the latter has 100 percent. Endorse either negotiations or military operation as the ideal means to tackle the Taliban, while ignoring the fact that the former has never worked while the latter causes five times more collateral damage than drones. You would neither be here nor there as far as solution to militancy is concerned, but your PT points would skyrocket.

India is messing with Pakistan’s water and Kashmir

This one’s easy: start with the Indus Water Treaty and go back to 1948 for Kashmir. While you can create a very logical case against Indian intervention in Kashmir and its misuse of the water, make sure you sound xenophobic and on the verge of saying ‘Pakistan zindabad’ after every paragraph. Also say things like “India causes floods in Pakistan.”

Musharraf is a traitor

Democracy is the best revenge, even though no one knows who the vengeance is aimed at. It is the in thing to criticise poor old Mushy these days. Ignore whatever good he has ever done, and dub him a traitor with a capital T.

Pakistan should not beg IMF for loan

Yup that is the solution to all of Pakistan’s financial problems. We should just stop taking money from the IMF and the US and the economy would be up and running at the rate of knots. How Pakistan would actually drag itself out of the debt quagmire is none of your concerns, all you know is that everything would be magically fixed once we have stopped borrowing money.

Why is Pakistan obsessed with Saudi Arabia?

Mock Pakistan’s obsession with all things Arab. Do it in English (ideally slang) and refuse to see the irony. Ignore the fact that the founding fathers of Pakistan spent years telling you (the Pakistani Muslim) that you have nothing in common with the Indian Hindus. Just be adamant that Pakistanis aren’t Arabs. If Pakistanis are neither Arabs nor the Hindus that inhabited the region, who exactly are we? That question and its answer should never creep inside your head

I believe in freedom of speech but…

This is with regards to the YouTube ban. Write that you are against the YouTube ban and for freedom of speech, as long as it does not target religious sentiments. Make sure you ignore the fact that preventing criticism of any ideology contradicts the ideals of free speech. Again, not your concern.

Sectarian killings hurt Pakistan

Use the word sectarian when the Shia are targeted owing to their faith. Continue to claim that it is a sectarian war when the only Shia militant organisation has been extinct for over a decade. Refuse to acknowledge that it is barefaced ethnic cleansing, because you do not want to fuel the non-existent sectarian war.

Taliban’s actions are against Islam

Instead of just saying that the Taliban’s actions are wrong, make sure you go all defensive and start protecting your religion. Also excommunicate the Taliban by claiming that Muslims cannot kill other Muslims, ignoring the fact that Islamic history is brimming with Muslims killing one another.

Is this Jinnah’s Pakistan?

Jinnah’s Pakistan is as religious as you are. No matter if you want to portray it as Islamic or secular, you would fail to make a convincing case of what kind of Pakistan Jinnah actually wanted. So the safest bet is to just reiterate that this is not Jinnah’s Pakistan, hence the overflow of problems. Ignore the fact that historians have spent decades on figuring out what actually Jinnah’s Pakistan was supposed to be.

The writer has made a career as an English columnist by refusing to stand up for anything and by failing to manifest any clarity of thought. All side effects of reading The Horizontal Column are the readers’ headache.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Wow well i really don t think its that easy bcoz you become a writer not for fame or money there are better options for that but for the sake of doing somethin that matters and yes we should change but we always are changing

  2. No Sir !!
    I disagree upto some extent.
    To become a famous english/urdu columnist, you need to have good contacts with media folk and with this be visible on TV channels. Simulteneously, you must be listed in the goodbook of any political party in Pakistan.
    With this principle in mind, I can identify many pseudo-columnist writing frequently in Pakistan.

  3. perfectly portrayed the mindset of Pakistanis…. Good to read some truest facts about how to be pompous by producing such stuff.

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