One gets the impression that the MQM’s Barrister Saif and Waqt News’ Matiullah Jan are friends. I mean that they meet socially. This much was made clear by Saif in the video below (online readers only.)
Now many would remember Saif as a spirited supporter of General Pervez Musharraf. In fact, some of you reading this would have even done a double take upon reading he is in the MQM now, but he has joined the party since some time now. (An aside: if reports are to be believed, that isn’t going to be an either-or situation much longer.)
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So, perhaps knowing this, Matiullah Jan was trying to play with him. Maybe, actually trying to get a rise out of him. Who knows?
Our man asks him about what qualities should be required of the upcoming army chief. Saif spouted out all the separate adjectives his lot thinks are appropriate.
So Matiullah asks him about Raheel Sharif. He served the country well, says Saif. What about Pervez Musharraf?
He also served the country well.
Well, yes, but one served for eleven years, the other for three, so who served more?
Now it is patently clear that this wasn’t a serious question; Matiullah was just having fun with the fellow. And, truth be told, if one has been a supporter of a military dictator, one should be able to laugh off some mild ribbing. One should be able to fashion a “haha, yaar, Matiullah, aap bhi na!”
But Barrister Saif showed a bit of the same zero-to-sixty-in-three-point-five that he has displayed on many occasions on TV talks shows.
You are trying to be funny with me. Which was the truth, of course.
Matiullah tried to calm the fellow down. It’s okay, he said, don’t get worked up over this. No, you are trying to irritate me. So why are you getting irritated?
So, other people started gathering on the spot, including not just other media men but also other legislators. Including the JUI-F’s Hafiz Hussain Ahmed, who tried to calm the Barrister down, who was absolutely livid at this point. No calm person wants to be told to calm down.
By are you shouting, asked Matiullah. “I am not shouting,” shouted Barrister Saif.
By this point, even Matiullah Jan had been ticked off. Be a man, he said. I am a man, replied, Saif.
Go and complain about me to Musharraf, said Matiullah as a parting shot. It would have been a petty thing for Matiullah to say were it not for the fact that Saif probably did, later.