There are still a whole lot of Pakistani men out there who continue to believe that they are the chosen ones That they are at liberty to step over other peoples feelings, that they can abuse at will and, in short, can get away with murder. They live in a world of long-ago and are about as outdated as dinosaurs, but unfortunately, not quite as extinct. I am referring to the most unnecessary and dramatic outburst by a leading light of this government in Sindh, which caused so much mayhem in an already beleaguered city. It is no secret as to where this gentleman derives his strength from. He is buddies with the top leadership, and the to and fro to receive sham scoldings notwithstanding, he feels entitled to expressing his opinions in derogatory language, at will. The concepts that prevail in this country of the ideal man include images of macho men, who are not scared of law and can bend it at will, of being a yaron ka yar (the right and wrong of what the yar has done is not even debatable), owning plenty of luxury vehicles, women and bank accounts. The qualities of being boorish and a loudmouth help to complete the picture. Political power is the ultimate icing on the cake. I would like to ask the gentleman in question, Zulfikar Mirza, and others with similar leanings to wake up and smell the coffee. The behaviour pattern they practise is no longer in fashion. They are just about 40 years off course. They can belong to any party or any province, it does not matter. Their shelf-life expired decades ago and nobody, if they can help it, would like to touch them. This is the age of the media and freedom of expression. People, educated or otherwise, form their opinions freely because they have access to so many avenues that like to expose what happens truthfully, without masking or softening. We have discovered many times before, much to our horror, that Zulfikar Mirza has a bee in his bonnet about the MQM, even when they were coalition partners. Instead of bees in bonnets what is needed is an honest will to find ways to work together in a province, which is as much home to the MQM as it is to the PPP or the ANP and all the various others who belong to none of these parties but have made Sindh their home. Belittling anybodys origins or spoken language is pass. It adds no value to a case being debated or an issue under discussion. As Ghalib would have said: Her ek baat pai kehtey ho tum ke tu kya hai, Tum hi kaho kai ye andaz-e-guftugu kya hai? The humorous aspect of this particular outburst by Zulfikar Mirza was that, after the use of choice insult words which resulted in eruption of violence that claimed 17 lives, he apologised and said that his purpose was not to hurt anyones feelings Perhaps, he can enlighten us on what he actually meant if he did not want to hurt feelings. That he needs to take anger management classes rather quickly was also recently evidenced from the fact that he took offence at the camera team of a channel without any provocation and proceeded to threaten them of dire consequences for doing their job. People, like Zulfikar Mirza, who do not care a fig about the consequences of their actions and the risks that ordinary citizens have to endure in the wake of their ranting, ought to be removed from politics at least. The entire hierarchy of the PPP was on the media clarifying that the PPP was not of the same view as Mirza and that whatever he said was his personal opinion. Why does the PPP hierarchy not demand his disqualification from politics or, at the very least, remove him from his position of provincial minister if it really thinks that Mirza has been a source of embarrassment for it? There was so much welcome quiet when he went abroad recently for a longish period with happy rumours floating that he did not want to come back and had resigned from his position. Alas The rumours were only rumours, as we have unluckily found out soon enough. Postscript: That there is a dire need for deweaponisation in our cities is also so often witnessed at political rallies and wedding ceremonies. A macho display of continuous aerial firing is considered the best display of happiness/power as the case may be. It never strikes any of the trigger-happy morons that it is against the law (what law), or that it can accidently kill or injure. A recent PML-N rally in Faisalabad witnessed an ongoing and massive display of aerial firing. When the CM Punjab took notice of it, his own party representative went much the same way as ZM of PPP and warned the administration in so many words: I will sort out anyone, who tries to lay a hand on any party worker Most interestingly, the American Embassy collaborated with a local theatre group to produce a famous American play, The Odd Couple being staged in Islamabad these days. If ever there was an odd couple in the world, it is Pakistan and the USA It remains to be seen what the drop scene of our real-life play will be. Will we separate and go our different ways while remaining friends, or will we continue in an uncomfortable relationship under one roof? n The writer is a public relations and event management professional based in Islamabad. Email: tallatazim@yahoo.com