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Reading Text for Dummies

by Ejaz Haider

Ejaz Haider

A response to the outrage over ‘Aitzaz Hasan and the Bomber.’

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]y tribute to Aitzaz Hasan has been vastly, and in many cases deliberately, misunderstood. If it were just about the venom the detractors have spread against me and whose intensity is inversely proportional only to their level of comprehending anything that is above the primer, I would not have bothered with this write-up. I am not in the business of explaining my writings. I never have, and I don’t intend to change that rule.

But my thoughts were, and are, about a boy whose sacrifice that morning of Jan. 6 in Hangu should help change the way we think not just about the existential threat to our individual and collective lives and our value system, but also about ourselves as a people. And thinking about ourselves presupposes just that, the ability to think and connect dots where none exist for common minds. The record must, therefore, be corrected.

I have never been in any doubt about this threat. Equally, I have no doubt that the threat resides within. We are threatened by us. My various writings and what I have said on several television programs, including my own on Capital TV, is a testimony to that. But such is the national I.Q. emergency that a piece which I wrote from the heart has led people, many among them who have never read a word of what I have written or read words and sentences out of context, to send me abusive tweets and call me names—all in the name of “respecting” a boy who embraced death, literally, in order for this society to free itself of its own coercion. It is a strange society that tries to offer its respects to him by doing exactly what he died for to prevent.

But let me come to the ‘offending’ article. On that score, allow me to first thank many readers who grasped its context and spirit. This guide is not meant for them. They give me hope. Now to the many, who, lemming-like, have decided to go off the cliff in a ritual that would be laughable if there weren’t so many of them. It will be an obvious waste for me to point them to some scholarly writings on how to read a text and, therefore, I will rely on my own meager resources.

Some of them want to know why I had to identify the boy as Shia. Wasn’t he one? Is it not a shameful fact that we have been trying to purify this country in the name of Islam, and after taking good care of the Ahmadi community as well as our non-Muslim citizens, have decided to purge this land of the Shia? My opening paragraph referred to this satirically: “Actually, we don’t know if his surname was Hasan or Hussain. There is confusion about this basic fact. I will settle for Hasan. In any case, either of these surnames can get you killed for the greater glory of Islam.”

The reason the terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi sent a suicide bomber to attack Hasan’s school was precisely this. To ignore this fact would be to disregard another fact, something I wrote about in The Express Tribune on Feb. 26, 2013, “If a Shia, You Are on Your Own.” This also links up with another fact: while Jhangvi pursues its sectarian agenda, it is also affiliated, ideologically and operationally, with the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. This means that political parties like the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf that try to create a distinction between the two entities fail to realize that this is a hydra-headed monster with the same body. There are consequences of this lack of understanding for counterterrorism efforts.

There is yet another bunch of critics who are frothing at the mouth because I called Hasan fat and unkempt; some have run away with my reference to his not being able to score with the girls. I can understand those not familiar with the idiom to have misunderstood the passage, but there are others who should have known better.

First, this write-up was not an article nor was it an analysis. There was nothing cut-and-dried about it. It was a story; the story of a moment; the life of Hasan before and after that moment. How many of those sitting in their living rooms and expressing outrage would have noticed this boy if he hadn’t done what he did? What was he before that moment, for himself as well as for others? A nobody. Take a hard look at him. Before that moment he would be dismissed as unkempt, fat, and unassuming. But the reference was not just to his banal existence before that moment, it was also a satire on our urban, upscale existence. This is what I wrote:

“Not fat-fat, as in obese, but one whose genetic makeup would be a matter of existential concern for him if he lived in the upscale neighborhoods of Islamabad, Lahore or Karachi. He doesn’t look like a boy who could have scored with the girls, and he certainly needed to go to a stylist instead of getting a shabby 30-rupee haircut from a barber.

“Except, in Hangu, he probably had other concerns. The basic ones, like how to survive from day to day, not in the sense of where the next meal would come from—his father labored in the U.A.E. so we can be sure things weren’t too bad on that front—but when a Lashkar-e-Jhangvi/Pakistani Taliban zealot would come to claim him as his ticket to Paradise.”

If critics had chosen to read these sentences in a context—see italics—instead of reading them as standalone—an incredible exercise if you ask me—they would have got the meaning without much trouble. But then that would not have fulfilled the burning desire of some to attack me. As a matter of fact, I repeat the theme in the closing paragraph: “let’s not forget that he died so we can lead ordinary lives, go to our hairstylists, worry about weight gain and several of the other banalities of life that constitute modern existence.”

The mention of Hasan’s weight, hairstyle, and scoring with girls was not about him; it was about us. These were not his issues. These are the existential issues for the urban youth, boys and girls, whose lives for the most part revolve around “problems” that, to a common man, would come across as incredible even as they use the social media for commentary that makes them acceptable with reference to whatever niche they live in.

The entire episode, the moment in Hasan’s life that morning, is about life’s ironies and paradoxes: an ordinary boy one second; an extraordinary human being the next. But to what end did he do what he did? He did it in the service of the ordinary so we can live and worry about weight gain and hairstyles and scoring with girls. That’s the paradox. That is also the irony. It would take some hard work—in some cases malicious intent—for anyone to miss that point.

There are others who have accused me of creating equivalence between Hasan and the bomber. Are you guys for real? Equivalence? Unless your brains are situated where they could only be located with a proctoscope, it would be impossible to make that leap of imagination. One of my central points was that there is a dialectical relation between Hasan and the bomber. That is reflective of what we have become. Do civilized societies need the kind of sacrifice Hasan had to make? They don’t. When I say we don’t need “a million Hasans,” I am referring not to him but to the bomber. And the bomber signifies our troubled state. A 15-year-old is not supposed to die. He should live, even if it means going through an ordinary life. To be unable, in such large numbers, to miss a point so obvious and elementary means we are now in danger of being destroyed as much by our inability to think as by the suicide bombers in our midst looking for a place in Paradise.

Finally, here’s my question to the passionate twitter warriors: you respect Hasan, as you must. How many of you would have done the extraordinary if you were in his place? How many of you, after sending abusive tweets in order to respect Hasan’s memory, resolved that you will emulate him? As I wrote, “As we both mourn and celebrate Hasan’s sacrifice [it is] an act that almost none of us can, to the last man and woman, emulate.”

So spare me your faux passion, socially-acceptable pieties, and twitter baloney and go and learn to read a text before you decide to comment on something that would be obvious to you if you went through life with even an average head on your shoulders.

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anam naveed January 12, 2014 - 4:41 pm

Yea yea yea. Smooth way to cover your tracks now buddy. That’s what we’d all do.

Wahab jameel January 12, 2014 - 4:48 pm

Huh.. Ur just making fun of urself!!
Stop writing and start some other business plz..!

Rafay Salman Mazhar January 12, 2014 - 5:15 pm

awwwww….thats cute Mr.Ejaz.
Let’s call this article “covering up by dummies”

zenshark January 12, 2014 - 5:18 pm

The only way you will grow and mature as a writer is if you take criticism and learn from it, rather than justifying your mistakes. Your intentions may have been saintly, but we mere humans do not posses the ability to read minds and intentions. We can however read, and we can make judgements on the style, tone, structure of what is written.

You may have intended to write a piece humanising the tragedy and getting people to wake up, but your skill as a writer clearly let you down. You may call your readers stupid, but remember that it is your readers that make you worthy of even a moments worth of attention.

Take your sub-heading for example: ‘We dont need a “million more” Aitazaz Hassans’. What you clearly meant (I hope) is that we don’t need a million more DEAD Aitazaz Hassans. We need them alive. For which society would not benefit from having youth courageous enough to put the welfare of others before their own well being? But that is not the direction you chose to go in, perhaps because you lack the foresight to judge how the written word is interpreted, or perhaps because that would not have been a confrontational enough heading, given that any idiot would know what those who desired ‘a million more’ actually meant.

In fact people who have vociferously come to your defence go so far as saying that having a million more Aitazaz Hussains means having a million more suicide bombers. If that is the best your defenders can come up with, maybe you should side with the ones offering criticism.

Lets go further ‘There’s another character, too, in this drama—the suicide bomber. Hasan could not have traveled the distance from ordinary to extraordinary without the bomber.’ you write. How do you know this? Are there soothsayers that opened the book of his future to you so you know what kind of a life he would have lived? Or are you saying you would have run towards the bomber as well, rather fleeing away from him? Let me not even get started on your closing paragraph.

And here you write ‘It is important to mention Hasan’s sacrifice and celebrate his extraordinariness. But if we don’t want other Hasans to die, we also have to focus on the bomber. But, wait, shouldn’t others emulate him? I hope not. There’s something extraordinary about the ordinariness of collective life. Hasan sacrificed himself to…’. There is something extraordinary about life itself. And there is something even more extraordinary about a life that is extinguished to save life. Aitazaz understood this in a way you it appears can only pretend to.

As for you, I would say you are facetious. Not facetious-facetious, as in openly callous, but one whose genetic makeup would be a matter of existential concern for him if he lived among real rational people.

Khan January 12, 2014 - 10:14 pm

Touché sir. Well played

Kublai January 17, 2014 - 1:01 pm

Thank you for writing this response to Mr. Haider’s explanation. Everything in us should be repulsed by his facile analogies and the mindset behind it. But also by the lack of finesse
and utter cravenness.

Ejaz Zafar January 12, 2014 - 5:29 pm

There are no such things like lashkar e jhangvi or sipah e sihaba now. These are just masks. And who is not on his own now in this country? Yes every single pakistani is on his own when people like you will keep manipulating.

Safdar Khan January 12, 2014 - 6:18 pm

“There are no such things like lashkar e jhangvi or sipah e sihaba now”. This is a classic example of “LIVING IN FOOLS PARADISE”. Wake up to reality Mr Ejaz. They r out there and hell bent on destroying our unity and disintegrate this country. How can we fight them when ppl like u totally deny their existence…mayb u know it but r too scared to admit it. But when the govt is also scared of them..who r u not to b afraid….God help this cty if majority of our ppl think like u. Today the biggest threat to our existence is these sectarian militant outfits like lashkar e jhangvi or sipah e sihaba (or whatever name under which they r working) and have full patronage of the govt. Whenever there is a sectarian attack the media and ppl like u try to cover up the identity of victims whereas the fact is that Shias r being killed ruthlessly and no body gives a hoot about it. So far the Shias have shown lot of restraint but i fear the day when they will start hitting back and that will probably b the beginning of the end.BTW I am not a shia but a Sunni but have the guts to call a spade a spade..

Moosa Rahman January 12, 2014 - 9:46 pm

I, for one, agree with Mr Ejaz on both accounts and although its the first time, I also like his writing style.
On the other hand, since its a side issue as reflected by my fellow readers, lets worry about the problems at hand with terrorism, inflation and proverty than criticising writers with bring to light ginormous social issues with lighter words.

Ajai Shukla January 12, 2014 - 5:58 pm

Badly written first piece, Ejaz. But that’s forgivable… op-ed writers are only human and we make mistakes oftener than we’d care to admit.

But this second piece is a full scope blunder! You’ve not presented a convincing argument to explain the offending piece. And, to make matters worse, you’re accusing your critics of being too stupid to understand the super-subtle argument that you’re claiming you made.

Naaaah. Best to move on.

S Haider January 17, 2014 - 11:46 pm


Shahpar Ali January 12, 2014 - 6:57 pm

This article should have been named..Covering up my ass..
You wrote a crap article and now you are telling us that it is actually a deep philosophy and only Plato and Socrates would have understood that!

A small apology and this small explanation would have been enough. Mates, I did not receive this month’s salary from Abpara and was drinking to drown my worries. I don’t know what I wrote.

btw: Can the writer explain his deep philosophy underneath this line. ‘There’s another character, too, in this drama’, what philosophy is behind calling this whole episode a drama.

Newsweek: I want to lodge a complain with The Daily Beast or Newsweek International the parent company. Can you share the process on you website please.

dialogueforpeace January 12, 2014 - 7:45 pm

Mr Ejaz’s knack of complicating otherwise a simple idea reminds me one Shakespearian character in Hamlet who goes by the name of Polonius.

Anjum Hameed January 12, 2014 - 8:09 pm

Ejaz Haider stop whining..to add insult to injury, you have decided to insinuate that the 99% of those who were offended by your article are idiots who don’t understand your “gargantuan” intellect..yep, you’re right, it is us, the 99% who found your words offensive, who don’t get it!..only YOU get it and have the right to say so..tell you what, stick to your Raybans and strolls down the Riviera, you’re more suited to articles in Tatler than in Newsweek Pakistan..which brings me to the point, who edited that article?….

Sadia January 12, 2014 - 9:48 pm

I am baffled at Newsweek, supposedly a publication of international renown, to publish a write up which is riddled with condescending and accusatory language and tone towards its readers. Even if one assumes this ‘seasoned’ journalist is correct in his response, it’s hardly a decent one. How is he different from those hurling abusive tweets at him? He wrote a story but if the response is unfavourable, isn’t that part of the deal of being a journalist? Looking at this piece from an objective standpoint, it has made Mr Haider look like the fool he probably is. If he had better sense, he should have maintained his dignity by remaining quiet. Or perhaps, Newsweek should have advised him to do the needful. A complete waste of written space.

Tahir Nadeem January 13, 2014 - 6:16 am

my sentiments EXACTLY.

anali January 12, 2014 - 10:17 pm

You have added further disgrace ……

Mahine Rizvi Ahmad January 13, 2014 - 1:48 am

Ejaz Haider has really dug his own grave by publishing this rejoinder to the offensive article he wrote. By trying to justify his earlier article as being ‘tongue in cheek’ and by criticising all those who were naturally offended, i have just one question – did the loss of life of a child in such tragic circumstances warrant a satirical article? And really at the end of the day the fault lies with the editor of Newsweek who didn’t immediately scrap the first article. Sadly in Pakistan many journalists have lost any sense of moral integrity and a sense of right and wrong!

avish January 13, 2014 - 5:23 am

سوشل میڈیا پہ قوم پرست اور رافضی پیج جس طرح سے اعتزاز حسن نامی رافضی کو ہیرو بنا کر پیش کر رہے ہیں اور نشان حیدر کا مطالبہ کر رہے ہیں تو دال میں کالا تو پہلے ہی نظر آرہا تھا ، جی ہاں یہ جو ایک موٹا لڑکا جس کی تصویر لگا کر سوشل میڈیا پہ مہم چلائی جا رہی ہے یہ بھی ایک ملالہ ٹائپ ڈرامہ ہی ہے ، اس کی اصلیت آئیندہ دنوں میں مزید کھل ہی جائے گی ۔۔ لیکن اس وقت ہمیں ہنگو سے ایک بھائی نے میسج کیا اور کچھ حقائق بتائے ۔۔

پہلی بات جب ہنگو میں یہ دھماکہ ہوا تو خود کش تو مارا گیا اس کے جسم کے چیتھڑے اڑ گئے لیکن یہ موٹا کیسے بچ گیا؟؟؟ اس کی لاش کیسے سہی سلامت بچ گئی ؟؟؟

اس رافضی موٹے کے پاس کونسا ایسا جادو تھا کہ یہ تو بلکل سالم رہا اور خود کش کے چیتھڑے اڑ گئے جبکہ اس نے اسے پکڑ رکھا تھا؟؟؟

میڈیا نے کیسے فوری طور پہ اسے پہچان لیا ؟؟؟؟

اور انہیں کیسے معلوم ہوا کہ یہ شخص خود کش کو روک رہا تھا؟؟؟

ہو سکتا ہے بم ہی اس رافضی نے پھوڑا ہو یا اس سے پھٹ گیا ہو ؟؟؟

واضح رہے

یہ وہی دجالی میڈیا ہے دس محرم کے روز راولپنڈی میں مسلمانوں کی مسجد اور مدرسے میں گھس کر 96 معصوم لوگوں کو شھید کرنے والے ظالم رافضیوں کی مکمل پشت پناہی کرتا رہا اور مکمل طور پہ رافضی میڈیا بن کر اپنا کردار ادا کیا ۔۔۔

بشکریہ : شاہ فیصل ہنگو

Saba January 13, 2014 - 6:23 am

The general response to both of Mr. Ejaz Haider’s articles is just evident of how the Pakistani community is a narrow minded one – a problem which is the root to most of our problems. Firstly, anyone who understands more than just basic English would not be offended by such pieces because there is nothing offensive per se stated by Mr. Haider. And secondly, if there are ANY offensive undertones, they are those purely for our society and not for Aitzaz Hasan (Shaheed). The outrageous response only goes forth to prove that our society is an illiterate and bigoted one. We take it as a slight to our huge egos when once in a while someone steps up and points out what is wrong, instead of being more open to constructive criticism and trying to improve ourselves. I don’t believe half the people commenting and tweeting have even read the articles properly, let alone understood them.

I, for one, think that you have done a splendid job, Mr. Haider. And I hope you keep writing more, as there aren’t many people here to speak out such ideas. People always hate what they cannot understand.

gp65 January 17, 2014 - 12:34 am

Sorry Ma’m. It is offensive to descibe a dead boy as being fat and cheap haircut EVEN if he was just an ordinary dead boy. Nowhere in the world is it considered in good form to talk poorly of those who are no more. To do it for a boy who gave up his life so that his friends might live is incredibly poor taste. Then to have a tin ear to the complaints of all those people who are shocked and in fact condescendingly put them down as dimwits who cannot understand is bad judgment.

Even though I understood Ejaz’s original point that in a normal society such acts of heroism would be unnecessary – I was appalled at his description of Aitzaz and I am neither Muslim nor a Pakistani. I am an Indian Hindu.

Ahmed January 17, 2014 - 3:58 am

Saba, you may be one of the lucky and blessed few who understand and cherish the writer’s subtle style of sardonicism. However, his writing and convoluted logic doesn’t belong in a publication that is mostly consumed by us mere mortals.

Unless we the “illiterate and bigoted” masses were carrying on about Aitzaz’s weight, getup and academic performance, why bring it up at all? Yes, we have proven to be less than human on countless occasions, but this was not one of them and it was insensitive of the author to do so.

Off course, the icing on the cake was this atrocious response that was again allowed to be published. A simple apology (to the many who may have misunderstood his intentions) would have sufficed.

Mehr January 13, 2014 - 6:38 am

I am sorry but you’re a really bad writer if you have to write another dumb piece to explain your bullshit in a previous one.. And when your explanation solely relies on the argument that thousands of Pakistanis can’t read English or have no sense of satirical writing.

Ayesha January 13, 2014 - 7:15 am

…haha, enjoyed reading insults hurled at EH… :) Hadn’t read his op-ed in a long time. Will try to read more often from now on.

Jawed Rizvi January 13, 2014 - 9:06 am

Typical…..back track….or cover up…..but there is no way you will ever gain my respect or interest as a columnist

Shahid January 13, 2014 - 10:11 am

Ejaz Haider, who do your parents know that you were able to get a gig at Newsweek Pakistan?
Nepotism / Cronyism is the only fathomable reason why someone of such lackluster talents can get published not once but twice by such a high- profile publication.

And let’s not even get into his over-inflated assessment of his own intellect. The problem is not the “commoners” whose minds are too puny to understand the grand, overarching philosophy you expounded upon in the initial piece. You’re a wanker whose writing is for sh*t. That’s the problem.

If you have to write a piece explaining your previous piece then you’re doing it wrong.

Tughral T Ali January 13, 2014 - 11:55 am

Man, the first piece was bad enough.. in poor taste – but now you are adding insult on top. So the reason a majority of readers were offended by your first piece on this boys death was because we were stupid? Gee, thanks. I’m glad you took the time to write another one to explain how dumb I was not to get your insight into humanity the first time round. Except that now I’m just angry. Angry at people like you know who don’t know when to quit and angry at newsweek for not having better editorial sense.
Seriously EH and Newsweek – just stop. You guys misfired on this one. Let it rest.

Amir January 13, 2014 - 1:45 pm

Come up with an article in bad taste and writing, draw parallels where none exist, and then blame your reader’s low IQ for failing to understand your intended ‘satire.’

You were all over the place, with no idea about what you really wanted to say.

Newsweek needs improved editing.

Saim Saeed January 13, 2014 - 5:45 pm

If you have to explain what you wrote a second time, you probably didnt do a good job the first time.

sohail majeed January 14, 2014 - 10:34 am

Yes, he has got the poetic licence; So he can write an obituary in satirical manner! as claimed by him in his “RESPONSE” in this ” READING TEXT FOR DUMMIES” . But surely he is on back foot and retreating by giving his defense ;)

noun (plural obituaries)
a notice of a death, especially in a newspaper, typically including a brief biography of the deceased person:
his obituary of Samuel Beckett
[as modifier]:
an obituary notice
it is premature to write the obituary of British science

[mass noun]
the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues:
the crude satire seems to be directed at the fashionable protest singers of the time
[count noun] a play, novel, film, or other work which uses satire:
a stinging satire on American politics
a genre of literature characterized by the use of satire:
a number of articles on Elizabethan satire
[count noun] (in Latin literature) a literary miscellany, especially a poem ridiculing prevalent vices or follies.


a seemingly absurd or contradictory statement or proposition which when investigated may prove to be well founded or true:
the uncertainty principle leads to all sorts of paradoxes, like the particles being in two places at once
a statement or proposition which, despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems logically unacceptable or self-contradictory:
the liar paradox
[mass noun]:
Parmenides was the original advocate of the philosophical power of paradox
a person or thing that combines contradictory features or qualities:
cathedrals face the paradox of having enormous wealth in treasures but huge annual expenses

mid 16th century (originally denoting a statement contrary to accepted opinion): via late Latin from Greek paradoxon ‘contrary (opinion)’, neuter adjective used as a noun, from para- ‘distinct from’ + doxa ‘opinion’

whatever January 14, 2014 - 1:32 pm

So we missed your deep underlying message. Let me assume this is the case. If 99% people weren’t able to ‘get it’ then you were simply not able to put the message across. And that equals to ‘bad journalism’.

Qurat-ul-ain Zaidi January 16, 2014 - 3:22 am

Goshh..Dear writer you are so lame! Please stop practicing your luck in article-writing-stuff, it’s not gonna work..Seriously!

Justice Miscarried January 16, 2014 - 5:24 pm

Ejaz Haider’s problem is he likes to sound too sophisticated and that really is beyond him. He should give up considering himself as a philosophical writer of a high caliber and try to write simply and in a straight forward manner.
Don’t try too many similes, ironies, and avoid indirect inferences. Keep it simple, stupid.

Sheraz January 16, 2014 - 8:00 pm

Someone said it nicely somewhere that We don’t need a 1000 Aitezaz because we really dont need a 1000 suicide bombers trying to slaughter 10s of thousand innocents. I think majority of the people missed his point and I think at this point it would be a good idea to admire and appreciate Aitezaz. Highlight the root cause of this menace in Pakistan. For God sake its time we stop putting band aids and do a full fledged surgery to cure this problem.

gp65 January 17, 2014 - 12:25 am

I for one did get the point he was making i.e. if the thousand suicide bombers were not there, a thousand heroes would not be needed. However the suicide bombers are unfortunately there and hence heroic acts such as Aitzaz’s do need to be acknowledged without ifs or buts.

The point he was making would have been better received if he had not made shallow personal comments about Aitzaz’s personal appearance. Describing him as a fat boy with a cheap haircut was beyond tacky.

gp65 January 17, 2014 - 12:23 am

I did get the point you were making i.e. if the thousand suicide bombers were not there, a thousand heroes would not be needed. However the suicide bombers are unfortunately there and hence heroic acts such as Aitzaz’s do need to be acknowledged without ifs or buts.

The point you were making would have been better received if you had not made tacky personal comments about Aitzaz’s personal appearance. Describing him as a fat boy with a cheap haircut was beyond tacky.

Finally regardless of what you intended to convey, if so many people were hurt by your words then to write a follow up article condescendingly putting down those who were hurt is incredibly bad judgment. Jale par namak chhidakne wali baat ho gayi.

KAS January 17, 2014 - 7:25 am

“My tribute to Aitzaz Hasan has been vastly, and in many cases deliberately, misunderstood. If it were just about the venom the detractors have spread against me and whose intensity is inversely proportional only to their level of comprehending anything that is above the primer, I would not have bothered with this write-up. I am not in the business of explaining my writings. I never have, and I don’t intend to change that rule.”

You should have stopped. Just here. Now please do not expose us to a crappy article #3 explaining what you meant in the crappy article #2, which itself was an explanatory piece on your crappy article #1!

nksuman January 17, 2014 - 9:58 am

Know your audience….bad sarcasm equates to rudeness

Munazza Khan January 17, 2014 - 4:34 pm

My advise for any writer would be to never take sensitive topics towards the sarcastic side at all. That doesn’t only make you look like a snob (as if you’d know better than the rest) but it’s also highly unethical as many, including the victims family in such cases, might not be able to understand the point and that would just hurt their feelings.

The problem in our country is, every person with a DSLR has become a photographer and every other person with an internet access wants to become a writer/blogger. For heaven’s, just learn this once and for all that a biased piece of work is not a sign of a skill-full writer. Let go of your opinions and biased feelings when writing about ANY REAL INCIDENT, please!

Shariq January 18, 2014 - 4:10 am

@ MUNNAZA KHAN: And my ADVICE to you is to use spell-check, for HEAVEN’s sake!

White Russian January 17, 2014 - 8:10 pm

This Ejaz Haider is the same guy who once wrote an emotional piece about sacrifice of fallen servicemen, and quoted Alfred Lord Tennyson (the charge of the light brigade). There his tone was entirely different, and more respectful. The kind of respect which fat, ugly, bloody, sub-provincial civies and sons of manual laborers in UAE do not deserve. These elitist columnists have no skin in any game and just have to write, just write every other day. Words, mere words. And he thinks sarcam, patronising, condescending is only his birth right, and just cant digest when he himself is at the recieving end of similar caustic verbosity.

Assad January 24, 2014 - 1:48 am

That is uncalled for Russian.

Ejaz has a point. Which is that the sacrifice of Shaheed Aizaz, while an act of great heroism, is something that we should not be celebrating often. Perhaps some words used did not have the desired affect that the author wanted to have, but you cannot question his motivation and call him out for being different in terms of respect shown for those in uniform from those in civvies.

We don’t want to see more Shaheed Aizaz, we’d rather see them continue on with their education and not have to deal with the menace of terrorism. The anger and contempt being shown towards Ejaz, a strident voice against extremism in Pakistan, would be better directed at the perpetrators of the attack that led to Aizaz’s heroism and resulting death.

Ghazala January 18, 2014 - 3:29 am

I liked your piece very much and cannot understand what the fuss is about.

Rizwan January 21, 2014 - 8:21 am

Loved the title. “Reading Text for Dumbs” would’ve been even better.

Ali Mohsin April 29, 2014 - 10:21 pm

What a waste Ejaz Haider! Instead of all that hard work you could have just said, “Dear readers, please consider registering for an introductory course in Reading Comprehension

MilfGonzo August 30, 2019 - 9:55 pm

You are a great writer. Do you have any more sites?


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