Tag Archives: Pakistan

An Open Letter From The Pakistan Foreign Office To India

(Note: This is my Hindustan Times column dated 9th Aug 2015.)


Qazi Khalilullah


Pakistan Foreign Office


The citizens of India

Subject: It Wasn’t Me

Dear Indians

On behalf of the Pakistani government, I’d like to condemn the recent attack on an Indian BSF convoy in the Udhampur district of North-Eastern Pakistan Jammu and Kashmir. It is exactly the kind of attack that aims to undo all the trust and goodwill generated by Bajrangi Bhaijaan. So please put all your logic and common sense aside and for once, trust me when I say that Pakistan isn’t responsible for this attack, just as it wasn’t responsible for the 3463874979 attacks preceding it. Contrary to what the facts would have you believe, Pakistan is not the designated fluffer for the LeT.

Sure, I can see what it looks like. You apprehended one of the “terrorists” who claims he’s Pakistani, and it doesn’t help that he looks like Kasab on day six of a juice cleanse. (By the way, Kasab wasn’t Pakistani either, but like the case against Hafiz Saeed, I’m going to let that one slide.)

There’s a very simple explanation for this. The suspect, Mohammad Naveed, is trying to defame Pakistan and you’re falling for it. Have you even considered other options, such as the fact that his entire video confession was morphed? Surely a country that produced Shaktimaan and Captain Vyom has the VFX muscle to do this.

Or maybe Naveed is a cybernetic organism – living tissue over a metal endoskeleton – created by a brand for the purposes of internet virality? The kids are really into all that Youtube stuff these days. (Psst… Superwoman, if you’re reading this, I ❤ you. Please make a video on #ShitDesiGovernmentsSay?)

Hey, maybe the guy is Chinese? They’re trying to sneak into your country too, you know. Plus if a Chinese kid trains really hard, he can grow up to look Pakistani. Who knows what these mystical Orientals are capable of?

Anyway, the point is that much like Dawood ‘Goggal Mein Kya Mast Lag Rela Hai Bhai’ Ibrahim, Pakistan has nothing to do with this guy. I understand that this very newspaper got hold of a number disclosed by Naveed and called up one Mohammad Yakub in Faisalabad, Pakistan who – picture me making air quotes as I say the next word – confirmed that he was Naveed’s father.

It’s a classic trick. I mean if an Indian chap gave you my number and I answered and said, “Hello, Michael Jackson speaking” will you show up outside my house for a concert? Nahin na? Phir why you’re doing like this?

This just brings back memories of 2008 when Indian security forces went back in time, crossed over to Pakistan, ensured the hookup and subsequent consummation of the marriage of a random couple in Faridkot, just so that after 26/11, that couple could be paraded around as the parents of Ajmal Kasab.

Your jihadi Marty McFly act was so good, even Geo News fell for it, thus giving the world an “irrefutable” Pakistani link to 26/11. There are claims that the ISI has since tried to kill Geo’s senior staff, including executive editor Hamid Mir, but that’s just how we celebrate a free press.

I urge you to not let this little hiccup derail the talks between the national security advisers of both countries scheduled for later this month. In fact, if you happen to bring up terrorism, our man will be forced to raise his hand and say “Same to you no returns.” We’d appreciate it if you stuck to the most pressing issue at hand, i.e. supporting our claim to the Pakistani half of Nargis Fakhri.

At the time of writing this, there were reports of yet another attack in Udhampur. I’d like to make it abundantly clear once again that Pakistan has nothing to do with this and the whole thing is a holographic sequence projected onto Kashmir by aliens. Please consider this reason binding for any attacks that may occur in the future.

Yours sincerely

<Insert signature that looks like a middle finger>

(Chief Bovine Excreta Deliverer)


Life Hack: Get Douchey Or Die Tryin’

(Note: This is my Hindustan Times column dated 5th July 2015.)

First up, I’d like to inform my editor that even though this column arrived sixteen days late, it is not my fault and has nothing to do with the fact that I was neck-deep in a pizza-and-Daredevil marathon. No, what happened was that I’d sent the email across at the same time as a bunch of MPs and the data packets got held up by the ministers’ data packets. The whole network was jammed as my electrons waited patiently for the ministers’ data convoy to pass through. You could tell it was VIP data because it was moving through the cables in a white car with a license plate that read ‘TU KYA UKHAAD LEGA’.

Man, I wish I could really use excuses like that in real life. Given how the VVIP culture works in this country, I’m sure I’ll get the chance someday. There was a flamboyant display of the overlord mentality this week, when reports alleged that an Air India Leh-Delhi flight was delayed and three passengers were deboarded to accommodate Union MoS for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju and the deputy CM of J&K, Nirmal Kumar Singh. On the bright side, it’s always nice to hear that an Air India flight got delayed for reasons other than the fact that they’re Air India.

However, the Ministry of Civil Aviation gave a clean chit to the ministers in question, so that’s that. I imagine that in cases where the government has to look into its own, there’s a standard template for the investigation that goes like this:

Did you do the thing that they say you did?


Cool. So what do we tell everyone?

Choose from the following:

1. This is a conspiracy to malign my good name.

2. “Woh mera judwa bhai thha – Laxman Prasad Dashrath Prasad Sharma.”

3. Aila, chest pain.


So if the ministers were in the clear, it logically follows that the statement issued by the airline station manager, as well as all the news reports claiming otherwise, were incorrect. This makes perfect sense because as we all know, the airline-media nexus is infamous for spreading rumours about powerful people misusing their power. They need to make up stories because it’s not like real incidents ever happen.

For example, I’m sure last month’s story about an airhostess on a Patna-Delhi Jet flight being manhandled by Bihar MP Pappu Yadav was totes fabricated. Pappu Yadav – a name that belongs in a film where Manoj Bajpayee goes around killing people in some place that looks like it’s yet to discover deodorant – is known for being a sweet chap with only one murder conviction to his name.

So naturally, the airline-media nexus had to ruin his reputation by claiming that he pushed the attendant forcefully and at one point, also took off his chappal and threatened to hit the crew with it. What I love about this story is that there is nothing more Indian than smacking someone with a chappal. This shows what a true patriot Mr. Yadav is and so we must take his word that the airline staff is lying, QED.

These are just two cases. If you google ‘VIP delay flight train India’, Arnab Goswami will jump out of your computer, scream at you for six days as the bottom of your screen bursts into flames. But that’s not the best part about VIP culture. The best part is that if given VIP power, most of us would do pretty much the same thing.

The guy who jumps queues at the ticket counter would also make flights wait for him, if he could. The parents who defend their eve-teaser son with a “Boys will be boys” statement would also get witnesses bumped off if he ever killed someone, if they had the lal batti needed to do so. Basically, everyone is a douchebag – it’s just that some work harder than others. And if that’s not a life goal worth having, then I don’t know what to tell you except GO TO PAKISTAN TAKE THE FIRST FLIGHT OUT UNLESS IT IS DELAYED DUE TO NETA.

Indian Politics May Be Injurious To Sane People

Google celebrated its 15th birthday with a piñata doodle on its homepage, thereby overclocking the already melted brains of Candy Crush slaves. Whacking away at the hapless decoration, I realised that it was obviously a metaphor for the current state of Dr. Manmohan Singh. The only difference between the piñata and the PM is that the piñata is supposed to be passive.

In the ’90s, Dr. Singh was celebrated as the economic Superman who pulled the nation out from under the giant rock where it willingly lived. But people don’t have the same respect for ’90s icons anymore, as anyone who still wears dungarees will tell you. In 2013, Manmohan Singh is still a superhero, except he’s in a more Dark Knight kind of space, wherein he sits around wheezing, “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to become the guy who looks like he’s forever buffering.”

But even his most vocal opponents must acknowledge his formidable resume and academic achievements, such as becoming the only Punjabi to not go to Lovely Professional University. He turned 81 this week, which is not a cause for concern at all, because all the octogenarians I know are wonderful people, even if they sometimes forget to put on pants.

You know you’re having a terrible birthday when you have to spend it with your Pakistani counterpart, convincing him to implement pest control. I’d rather do phenyl shots than have to go through something like this:

PM: Mr. Sharif, Pakistan is the epicentre of terror –

Sharif: (fingers in ears) LALALALALALALALALA!

PM: Mr. Sharif –


PM: Theek hai.

It was reported that Miss America, Nina Davuluri, would be specially invited to lunch with the Indian PM. I’m not sure how this helps anyone, seeing as how she’s American and wouldn’t know what to say to a man she only knows from hailing cabs in New York. It’s a cliched approach: An Indian leader’s in town, so let’s show him all the Indianness we have. We don’t do that. When Barack Obama came here, we didn’t make him hang out with Salman Khan’s accent.

Modi is clearly ahead on the birthday front, seeing as how Mallika Sherawat recently performed ‘Happy Birthday’ for him, in the musical style of a dying buffalo. The Congress can top this by roping in Sunny Leone, although she has apparently refused, saying, “Deep throat and all is fine, but politics would really upset my family.”

I quite enjoyed the drama around the Convicted MP ordinance that took place this week. First, the ordinance gets passed, with supporters saying, “Hey, at least convicted MPs won’t get any salaries or benefits while their appeals are heard in higher courts.” So sad. They’ll just have to live off the hundreds of crores that got them convicted in the first place.

Then Baba surprises everyone by having an opinion, saying that the ordinance that his own party had passed was rubbish, and that it should be torn up and thrown away. Suddenly, there’s a new good cop-bad cop dynamic between Baba and Manmohan Singh. I can’t wait for their buddy cop movie: Lethal Weapon Nirmaan Yojana.

Baba: Let’s mess things up! Let’s tear up some ordinances! Let’s crash at a poor person’s house! WOOHOO! YEAHHH! *crazy eyes*

Manmohan: I’m too old for this sh*t.

Meanwhile, the BJP received flak for celebrating Modi’s campaigning as ‘Operation Blitzkrieg’, the name given to Hitler’s invasion of Poland and the subsequent, um, road-building. Now why would the BJP use a name associated with death and destruction? I cannot think of a single possible reason. (As expected, Modi fans are busy looking for CDs of India’s only supremacist band, The Aryans.)

This was the amount of farce generated in just one week. Things are going to get increasingly bizarre now, which is great for humourists, because we get labelled as ‘paid media agents’ by all factions, depending on what jokes they choose to ignore. I honestly wish I was important enough to get paid by parties for infantile humour. Seriously, have you seen the rents in Bandra? I already sold one kidney, and I use the other as a pillow because I can’t afford furniture.

Jokes aside, as educated citizens, we would do well to put hysteria and pettiness aside and work together to answer the most pressing question of the day: How the hell do you cross 170 in that stupid doodle?

(Note: This is my HT column dated 29th Sep 2013. Cross-posted from here.)

Waiter, There’s A Skeleton In My Closet

This was an embarrassing week for Pakistan, making it totally different from the 28437 weeks before this. A spate of revelations about Osama Bin Laden’s life in Pakistan became public, bringing much shame to a nation that is already under international pressure to explain the existence of Taher Shah. (If you don’t know who he is, just imagine the love child of Ram Kapoor with a toad, who then grew up to dress like an 80s Bollywood smuggler trapped in the prison of his acid-soaked mind.)

The report is the work of the Abbottabad Commission which was set up by the Pakistani government after Osama’s assassination to study the reasons behind the mess and fix loopholes so that in the future, no terrorist would have to die a senseless death. The judge-led report states that Osama had been in Pakistan since mid-2002, causing much shock and bewilderment among Pakistanis who cannot believe that the judge is still alive.

This means that while Bush was bombing everything in Afghanistan, including civilians and rocks that had a higher IQ than him, Laden was holed up in Pakistan, probably watching the coverage on TV and thinking, “Dammit, the camera does add ten pounds. Stupid decadent western camera.” So before the war, when Bush said, “We’ll smoke ’em out”, I guess he was referring to American jobs.

(This would never have happened in India. We’d never let murderers go undetected for this long. No, we would find them, drag them out and send them straight to public office.)

It was also learnt that the search for OBL could’ve ended in 2002, when a traffic cop stopped his car for speeding in a Swat bazaar. The cop didn’t recognise the then clean-shaven Laden and let the car go in what has to be the goofiest slip-up since Herschelle Gibbs “dropped the World Cup” in ’99. Now had Laden actually been captured, tried and executed, all because of that minor traffic violation, he would’ve had a pretty awkward time in hell. Imagine the inmates hanging around, talking about how they got there:

Hitler: I popped a million different pills and then shot myself in the head. They never caught me. Hey Laden, tell us again na how you got here.

Osama: Sigh. It was a traffic viola- AIDS. Fine. I got AIDS. You happy now??

Hitler: LOL.

Osama: Whatevs, Lance Armstrong.

During all those years in hiding, Osama had also managed to father four kids. Now that’s dedication. Despite being hunted by the world’s largest military, Osama took the time off to badonkadonkadonk, which is more than you can say about the average man in his 50s. I wonder if he got so used to the danger that after a point, he couldn’t function without it. This must have led to some odd exchanges between him and certain experts:

Dear Dr. Watsup 

I am man from respectable business family. I can get in mood with my wife only if I make my other wives stand outside room and make assault rifle noises. What to do?

Yours sincerely


Dear Not-Osama

Wow. I didn’t know goats could even make assault rifle noises.

Earlier this year, it was announced that to boost tourism, Pakistan would develop an amusement park at Abbottabad. Apparently they have a roller coaster that goes straight into a building.

In other terror news, the Indian Mujahideen issued a threat on Twitter this week, which begs the obvious question: What are terrorists doing on Twitter? If you guys want virgins, go to Orkut. The IM said that Mumbai would be hit next week, provided their guys don’t face flooding at Juhu Circle.

Security has been stepped up, and that’s because India isn’t lax with terror threats. No siree, we keep an eye out for everything, as proven by the crackdown on anti-national Delhi couples who unleashed lethal hormone bombs all over the Metro. It’s really weird. CCTV footage of couples kissing and making out on the Delhi metro recently began surfacing on porn sites. Only Indians would be desperate enough to get on a porn site to watch people kiss. Going online to watch people kiss is like paying a hooker to high-five you. (Yes, I get that voyeurism is part of the appeal, but if you’re such a peeping Tom, you should just join the telecom ministry.)

I hope that the latest terror threats amount to nothing, and that we find the scum behind them. I’m sure the authorities will get to it once they’re done interrogating all the suspects on hotdesicctvitemlog.com.

(Note: This is my HT column dated 14th July 2013. )

Keep Calm And Ban Everything

Once again, India was witness to a colossal whirlwind of stupidity that began sometime last week and is expected to end by the year ‘Haha Are You Kidding Me?’. India and Pakistan stopped sparring over Kashmir for a while and chose to divert attention towards something far more important – the well-being of Shahrukh Khan.

The farce began after an essay written by Khan gained circulation, and left people shocked by the fact that Bollywood actors could actually string together sentences that weren’t typd lyk dis gng 2 gym lolgodbleess mwah. In the essay, Khan talked about how he often became the target of political machinations because of factors like status and religion. You know which religion I’m talking about. Yes, the one that people tip-toe around a lot. Scientology.

Khan’s essay caught the attention of Pakistan’s interior minister Rehman Malik, who took time off from his busy schedule of denying 26/11 and asked the Indian government to provide SRK with security. It’s wonderful when two of the world’s most watched nuclear rivals set aside piddling matters like poverty, corruption and domestic strife, and choose to talk about a guy who peddles fairness creams. And because that wasn’t enough, Hafiz Saeed, 26/11 mastermind and Ugly-In-Chief of the JuD, said that Shahrukh was free to come to Pakistan if he felt unsafe in India. Now that’s just daft. The only Indian who can be safe in Pakistan is Dawood.

Then of course, every idiot with an internet connection had to weigh in, and this is what the comments section under every article looked like:

ProudIndian: (8 minutes ago)

SRGAYYYYY! Dey r all tarorist! Go bck 2 homeland u asterisk-loving asterisk-asteriscker!

SweetAnjaliTinaSimran4u: (3 minutes ago)

SRK da bessttt! ❤ u alwayz! leave gori, marry me!

JessicaMcBusty138179 (1 minute ago)

I was very moved by your article. I have shared a few thoughts on the same on my blog. Do have a look. I’m waiting for you on http://www.getgianterectionsandimeangiantlikeKingKong.com

If that doesn’t make you break down at the state of the gene pool, just consider the week Kamal Haasan has had. His six trillion dollar magnum opus, Vishwaroopam, was banned for hurting the sentiments of people who hadn’t seen it.

(The film, set in New York, is classic Kamal fare. It’s about Vishwanath aka Wiz, played by Kamal Haasan, who battles a jehadi, played by Rahul Bose, also played by Kamal Haasan. Haasan also plays his wife, the cops, the FBI, the bomb and the Empire State Building. In fact, this isn’t a computer – this is Kamal Haasan playing a computer. If you don’t believe me, rub the bottom of the screen gently. Go on. I dare you.)

The contention was that Vishwaroopam showed members from a certain religion (Shintoism) in a bad light. There were protests in Chennai, causing average commute times to soar to 4 hours instead of the usual 3 hours 55 minutes. Also, I’m always intrigued by the logic that goes into these protests:

Leader: This film/book/TV show/comic/web clip/text on shampoo bottle portrays our community as a bunch of violent fanatics. What should we do to counter this?

Follower: We could just ignore it and work on real issues –


At the time of writing, the protests had been withdrawn after the government and protestors sat down with Haasan and forced him to sweetly asked him to delete certain ‘offensive’ scenes. It’s nice to see our secular government ensure that no matter what group you belong to, you will be personally met and mollycoddled by our leaders as long as your cause is crazy enough. But fickle causes like justice for a gangrape victim – remember her? – or anti-sexual harassment reforms are matters that merit the attention of only inanimate objects, like water cannons, or Sushil Kumar Shinde.

Even though my name suggests otherwise, I am part of a minority. I’m part of a group that bases its opinions on something other than the honour of Magic People In The Sky, and then broadcasts those opinions into a world filled with petty agendas backed by powerful maniacs. I’m part of a group that will one day share jail space with murderers and rapists, because someone somewhere didn’t like the sound of our thoughts. So if this column offends you, I urge you to try and understand us, and join hands in espousing the one cause that we all believe in, regardless of faith, i.e. Hafiz Saeed should really take a bath.

(Note: This is my HT column dated 3rd Feb 2013. Cross-posted from here.)

If You’re Indian And You Know It, Watch TV!

Friends, Indians, countrymen and six million illegal Bangladeshi immigrants living under my sink, I want to wish you all a very happy Independence Day. Independent India is soon going to be sixty five years old, or to put it in politician years, foetus. It’s weird to think that some of the people ruling us today were around during the British Raj, dreaming of the day when India would no longer be under the thumb of a white lady. They’re still dreaming.

Anyway, it’s a great time to be Indian, as long as you’re not Kashmiri, North-Eastern, poor, Dalit, a minority, a farmer, female or worse, from Kolkata. On the bright side, we did put up our best show ever at the Olympics, especially with Mary Kom teaching India about grit, grace and more importantly, Manipur. She has inspired a whole generation of women, such as small-time model Gehna Vashisht who went nude to celebrate the spirit of India and Photoshop. Having googled Gehna Vashisht, I can honestly say that I’m reminded of Helen of Troy, because Gehna’s is the face that launched a thousand STDs.

This year, as always, we will indulge in our usual display of patriotism and military might, also known as Ek Tha Tiger. Fun fact: Pakistan had reportedly banned the promos of the film, which means that every man, woman, child and goat in Pakistan has seen them. Let’s face it – the only Pakistani ban that worked was the one they put on democracy. Anyway, the promos were banned because Pakistan felt that they showed the ISI in a bad light. Hey, you know what really shows the ISI in a bad light? Kargil.

Meanwhile, our idea of celebrating freedom is nursing a hangover while watching patriotic films on TV. And by patriotic, I mean any film that shows us pulverizing our neighbour, be it in ’71, ’99 or even ’47, when Sunny Deol killed all of Pakistan with a hand-pump and got Amisha Patel in return. If you’ve ever seen Pakistani women, you know that is a rubbish trade off.

Then at some point, you take a break from the movies and start surfing news channels, and this is what it sounds like:


Rajdeep: Hello and welcome to CNN-IBN. The hard-hitting question we’re asking today is ‘Is Independent India A Sexy Sexagenarian?’ And to answer that, we’ve dusted off and brought out our famous historian, Ramachandra Guha.

Guha: Before we answer this question, we must recollect the events of August 1947, 1912 GMT, 33 degrees East, 72 degrees North, when Pt. Nehru took a deep breath, and uttered the now-historic words, “Boss, Dadar kis side aayega?”


Hello and welcome to yet another edition of Newshour aka ARNAB IS AMAZEBALLS. Today The People demand to know: Are we really free? Are Suhel Seth and Mahesh Bhatt the same person? How come we never see them together? Are you Pakistani? Am I Pakistani? Is India Pakistani? And why the hell is baby nappy mein bhi happy?




The biggest spectacle is still the Independence Day parade, wherein the Prime Minister gets on top of the Red Fort and does the Macarena. OK, I don’t know what happens because I haven’t actually watched the parade in years. I mean if I wanted to watch Manmohan Singh speak, I would just stare at his picture really hard. As usual, he will make a speech listing out all of his government’s achievements in the past year, so try not to blink or sneeze.

Then a bunch of different floats will go by, each representing a different Indian state. Let’s be honest: if it weren’t for these floats, you wouldn’t even know about the new states that keep cropping up, like Uttarakhand, or Orissa (Odisa? Orisha? Oreos?) Also, I can’t wait to see the U.P float just sitting there, refusing to move until someone promises them “half-return”. And I bet the Haryana float is just one giant ultrasound machine.

So everything said and done, spending Independence Day in front of the TV is not a bad thing at all. It involves sitting around and living off the hard work of our forefathers. And what could be more Indian than that? Jai Hind. Or as Manmohan Singh puts it, (THIS SPACE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK)

(Note: This is my HT column dated 12th Aug, 2012. Cross-posted from here.)

P.S. ANOTHER, MORE IMPORTANT NOTE: Regular readers may have noticed that the frequency of the column has been changed from weekly to fortnightly. I’ve been assured by HT that this is temporary, but nonetheless, massive withdrawal symptoms are setting in. I want to be able to do this every week. So here’s a small request: if you’ve ever liked any of my work, please drop in a comment here saying, “Hey HT, make it weekly!”, or send in a mail to ashish.shakya85@gmail.com saying the same thing. This will make sure I don’t die alone, sobbing and curled up in a foetal position next to my laptop. And it may help get the column back into weekly mode. Help me out and may Ryan Gosling and/or Anne Hathway do unspeakably satisfying things to you. C’mon. Send that mail. Write that comment. Do it for Sachin. Thank you.