Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and her Oscar do not mean much for Pakistan

by admin

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is a darling of Pakistan's urban elites affiliated with the military establishment.

Related post: Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy: Contradictions of an Oscar win – by Safiya Khan

While Pakistan’s powerful urban elites (military establishment and their affiliates in socio-economically advantaged families of Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad) are celebrating Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s Academy Award for her documentary about acid attack victims in Pakistan, ordinary Pakistanis have a different view.

Pakistani filmmaker and first-time Oscar nominee Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy won an Academy Award on Monday 27 Feb 2012 for her documentary about acid attack victims, a first for a Pakistani director. According to her fans “Her victory shines a spotlight on a subject which affects thousands of women in Pakistan and elsewhere, but is seldom discussed at home.” Chinoy dedicated the award to the women of Pakistan. The women’s “bravery and resilience in the face of adversity inspires me every single day,” she said. “They are the true heroes of Pakistan.” (Source).

In Pakistan’s social media (facebook, Twitter etc), there is a race within urban elites and their aspirant, middle class paraphernalia to congratulate Sharmeen and eulogize her imaginary services to Pakistan and humanity.

However, for majority of ordinary Pakistanis, Sharmeen and her Oscar do not mean much. While at Karachi Grammar School and later at Smith College and Stanford University, Sharmeen was able to cultivate her elitist links with powerful lobbies in the US media including but not limited to the Saudi-Ikhwan mouthpiece Al Jazeera, US mouthpiece CNN etc. At the same time, she further reinforced her connections with Pakistan’s military establishment and is also known to have worked with Pakistan army’s pubic relations wing.

Sharmeen is known in Pakistan for a few things:

1. She is a part of an urban elites group (other members include Najam Sethi, Mosharraf Zaidi, Sherry Rehman etc) which remains socio-economically affiliated with and dependent on Pakistan’s military establishment. It is the same group which remains completely silent on Pakistan army’s kill and dump policy against innocent Baloch civilians.

2. She is a part of a powerful mafia in Pakistani and international media which has maintained consistent silence on the systematic and ongoing target killings of three most suffered groups in Pakistan: Shia Muslims, Balochs and Pashtuns. Nor has she paid any attention at all to Ahmadi Muslims, Pakistan’s most persecuted faith group. In fact on more than one occasions she refused to make even a tiny documentary on the suffering of Shias, Pashtuns and Balochs on the pretext that she did not want to annoy Pakistan army.

3. She is known for choosing topics which are no more than minor irritants for Pakistan’s military establishment (e.g., acid attacks on women), yet she fails to write on topics which might hurt Pakistan army’s real interests, e.g., sufferings of Shia, Baloch and Pashtun women whose dear and near ones were kidnapped or target killed by Pakistan army and its various proxies. Her choice of topics is driven by sexy appeal for west, commercial oriented agendas, instead of paying attention to urgent human rights crises in Pakistan.

4. It’s interesting to see urban elites of Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad celebrating someone who used Shame Pakistan campaign in 2011 (on Twitter) only because she got stuck in traffic in Lahore.

5. Elitist show off: When asked about her dress before the Oscar ceremony, Ms. Obaid-Chinoy said, “I am wearing Bunto Kazmi for the ceremony and will be wearing Sana Safinaz and Saniya Maskatiya for Oscar-related events. My jewellery will be done by Kiran Aman of Kiran Fine Jewellery and Sherezad Rahimtoola of Labels. (Source)

6. Read this article published in Pakistan Today: “none of Chinoy’s documentaries has been screened by any Pakistani channel on account of costly fees demanded by foreign channels”

That explains the real aim of Sharmeen and other similar elite film makers. If her aim was to create awareness and reform within Pakistani society, she would have made her documentaries in Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi etc and released them at nominal fee to local TV /cinema circuit. But that was never their real aim. They sell Pakistani women’s miseries to foreign audience to augment their personal wealth and fame.

Compare Sharmeen Chinoy’s made for English speaking audience movie to Iranian Oscar-award winner movie (A Separation) which was made in Farsi (Persian) and was made available to Iranian domestic viewers. The content (language) and intent of two movies are so different.

7. Here is a statistical evidence. According to Sharmeen, more than 100 people, mainly women and girls, are disfigured in acid attacks every year in Pakistan. Now compare it with the magnitude of other more urgent and intense sufferings ignored by Sharmeen. In the last 57 days alone (from 1 Jan to 27 Feb 2012), at least 112 Shia Muslims have been killed and more than 118 injured or maimed in various attacks across Pakistan by Pakistan army-sponsored Jihadi-sectarian militants. Dozens of Pashtuns and Balochs have been killed in the same period. Thousands of Shias have been killed since late 1970s due to Pakistan army’s support to Saudi-funded Jihadi-sectarian groups. However, this topic (genocides of Shias, Pashtuns, Balochs by Pakistan army and proxies) is not sexy enough for Sharmeen whose interest in human rights and people’s sufferings remains as selective and shallow as that of other members of Pakistan’s urban elites.

Two affiliates of Pakistan's military establishment: Imran Khan and Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy

8. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has been tasked by Pakistan’s military establishment to promote ISI’s new puppet Imran Khan in Pakistan’s political scene. Sharmeen is often seen visibly and also behind the scene promoting Imran Khan and his political party (PTI, which is known for links with Jihadi-sectarian groups such as Jamaat Islami, SSSP-ASWJ and Difa-e-Pakistan Council DPC). Sharmeen was seen clearly promoting Imran Khan’s rally in Lahore in October 2011, exaggerating the intensity and impact of the ISI-manufactured rally. For example, this is what Sharmeen wrote on Twitter on 30 Oct 2011 as a running commentary on PTI rally:

sharmeenochinoy Sharmeen Obaid
The numbers are impressive- people still believe in the system and democracy! Thank you #PTIjalsa –

Along with another right-wing PTI propagandist Dr. Awab Alvi (of Teeth Maestro blog), Sharmeen is a co-organizer of TEDxKarachi, an elitist organization for commercial exploitation of ideas, which is also used for mutual congratulations and promotion. Sharmeen invited Imran Khan as Chief Guest on 27 May 2011 in the TEDx Karachi event in which Imran Khan used vilest language against leaders of two most popular political parties, PPP and PML-N. In one of such events, Imran Khan also termed President Zardari as worse than a dog, a comment which was much appreciated by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy.

Sharmeen sponsored & promoted this insulting picture of Benazir Bhutto in 2009.

9. Sharmeen is known to have intense hatred of non-elite segments of Pakistani society except when she has to sell their stories and pictures to earn fame and money in elitist circles in Pakistan and abroad. Otherwise, her hatred of Sindhis, Balochs, Pashtuns, Shias etc is commonly known. For example, two years ago, she organized a so called cultural festival in Karachi (in April 2009) in which she displayed an insulting picture of the Daughter of the East, Daughter of Sindh, Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. People of Pakistan, particularly Sindhi political activists, were legitimately insulted by such offensive picture, their protest was  misrepresented by Sharmeen and her affiliates in the PTI-JI duo. For example, PTI propagandist Awab Alvi published an entire blog on how PPP workers had attacked Sharmeen and a great arts festival. Here is the insulting picture (showing Shaheed BB sitting in General Zia-ul-Haq’s lap) which was sponsored by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.

58 Responses to “Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and her Oscar do not mean much for Pakistan”

  1. Not unlike Nazi Germany where there was a collective silence on holocaust, there is a collective silence in Pakistani and international media on genocide of Shia Muslims, Balochs and Pashtuns.

    Sharmeen has contributed to that silence by remaining silent on these most urgent topics!

  2. I never saw this woman interviewing wives and daughters of innocent Pashtun women whose husbands, fathers, brothers were killed by ISI-supported Taliban in FATA.

  3. A few years ago, a Taliban suicide bomber exploded himself in Shia women’s gathering (Majlis) in Bhakkar, Punjab. Did Sharmeen ever make a documentary on the suffering of those women?

  4. There is no genocide of Shias taking place in Pakistan. There is no silence. Refrain from attacking pieces and dirty propaganda against Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.

  5. Baloch genocide? On the contrary, Baloch RAW, CIA agents are killing thousands of Punjabis. Get a life.

  6. Be happy for once!! Such bitterness will cause the most harm to u!!!

  7. I am a Shia, and I agree that like almost 99% of Pakistani media persons, Sharmeen has not touched many topics, including Shia killngs. However, I think that Sharmeen’s achievement is not diminished by any of the reasons given in this anonymous write-up.

  8. Hey Sharmeen, I know you will never make a docu on this:

    12 Shia women and children killed in bomb blast during Majlis-i-Aza
    25-4-2002

    BHAKKAR April 25: At least 12 people including seven women and five children died, while 25 others were injured after a bomb exploded in the women’s section of a religious ceremony at Bhakkar on Thursday.
    However, government officials put the death toll at seven and 20 injured. The bomb exploded at the Shia congregation of “Yahri Bahri” at Qadeem Imambargah, Bahir Wala Qabrastan in Bhakkar city. Witnesses said tens of thousands of people were attending the ceremony when the blast took place. Arif Hussain was addressing the Majlis when the bomb rocked the area at about 11.25pm. People started rushing in different directions to save their lives. A dozen of people were injured in stampede.

    Witnesses said the bomb left a 5X10 square feet crater, suggesting that it was of very high intensity. Blood and body parts were found spread at the scene, witnesses said. Bhakkar Nazim Hameed Akhtar Niwani reached the spot at about 12.10am, while Bhakkar SP Khurram Gulzar at about 12.15am. Till then no ambulance had reached the scene, witnesses complained, adding that a squad of elite force was there, but it did not extend any help.

    Locals have expressed anger over the city administration’s attitude as ambulances reached the spot after more than half an hour of the incident. Witnesses said many of the injured were rushed to hospital on foot, rickshaws, motorcycles and private vehicles. Two of the deceased were identified, while there was no clue to the others as their bodies were disfigured. The identified were Narjis d/o Agha Abdullah Khan and Ruqaya d/o Nazar Hussain.

    Bhakkar is known as a centre ofShia activities, a witness said while elaborating the event of Yahri Bahri. He said that a large number of Zakirs address different Majalis on the occasion and more than 50,000 people from across the province attended the event every year. On Thursday, there were more than 50,000 attendants.

    Till late night, announcements regarding lost children were being made from almost every city mosque. The injured were rushed to the district headquarters hospital and other nearby hospitals. Rescue work was under way till the filing of this report.

    Security in Bhakkar tightened
    SARGODHA, April 26: Security was tightened in Bhakkar on Friday after protesters, reacting to Thursday night’s bomb blast, tried to block roads. The blast claimed 12 lives.

    The protesters held a rally, set bonfires and raised anti-government slogans, reports from Bhakkar said here on Friday.

    The police were patrolling streets in the town where tension was high with protesters demanding registration of case against the killers. Meanwhile, death toll in Qadimi Imambargah blast has risen to 12, nine women and three children. The condition of over a dozen injured, being treated at the Bhakkar DHQ Hospital, is reported to be stable.

    Nine of the 12 dead were identified as Fauzia Perveen, Rukhsana, Narjis Khatoon, Atyia Batool, Ishrat Bibi alias Hashmat Bibi, Kaneez Fatima, Zakia and Faiz Mohammad (child).

    As per reports collected by this scribe, the explosive went off at a Majlis-i-Aza at Qadimi Imambargah at 11.30 pm on Thursday when more than 8,000 people were listening to the Majlis. Nine were killed on the spot.

    Inspector-General of Punjab Police, Malik Asif Hayat, who visited Bhakkar on Friday, put the blame on Al Qaeda and Indian lobby.

    http://www.geocities.ws/sipahisahaba/2002/25042002.htm

  9. @Sabah Hasan

    Unless you are a Shia of Imam Hasan’s army, you will agree that there is a collective silence on Shia genocide in Pakistani and international media and that Sharmeen is actually contributing to that silence.

  10. Faiza S Khan ‏ @BhopalHouse
    To the “@sharmeenochinoy shld have made docu on drones/Baluchistan/progressive Pak” brigade, get off your arse and it yourself if you fancy.
    Retweeted by Raza Rumi

    Asad Baloch ‏ @Diagoh
    @Razarumi @sharmeenochinoy @Laibaah1 pakistanblogzine.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/sha… read this b4 being irrational, @BhopalHouse

    Faiza S Khan ‏ @BhopalHouse Close
    @Diagoh Did someone say it was going to change country? may one not congratulate her on achievement? @Razarumi @sharmeenochinoy @Laibaah1

    Asad Baloch ‏ @Diagoh
    @Razarumi @sharmeenochinoy @Laibaah1 @BhopalHouse who said not 2 congratulate her it is after all a good documentary! Mubarik 2 U Pakistanis

    Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1
    @Diagoh I refuse to congratulate those Nazi artists who were working on other ‘important’ topics while Jews were being massacred.

    Asad Baloch ‏ @Diagoh
    @Laibaah1 It is actually a “Name & Fame” game, u can get both of them if u work with elite sources & wont touch milk & butter of Paki army

    Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1
    @Diagoh Barring very few exceptions, I don’t expect integrity and honour from Punjabi and Muhajir elites of Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad.

  11. Sharmeen Obaid belongs to Punjabi-Muhajir elites of Pakistan, the ruling group, which is a part of Pakistan’s problems, not solutions.

    She has never said a single word in support of Baloch movement for rights and freedom.

  12. fully agree with Ms Chinoys selective human rights yet…and remember once I argued with her for using ShamePakistan phrase on twitter. Highlighting her selective morality is a very bold effort for choosing just those topics which sell with the international audience ..which also included her “Chidlren of Taliban”. However we must not undermine the topic in hand.

  13. @Salma

    I agree with your comment. The aim was not to undermine the topic (acid attacks on women) which we all appreciate. The aim of the post, as you rightly note, was to highlight her and other urban elite’s selective morality and choice of topics that sell with the international audience without hurting Pakistan army’s interests.

  14. Seriously disappointing Article. I’m searching for something positive from Laibaah but so far I’ve failed. The work of Sharmeen is a proud for us but she presented it like a shame.

  15. It’s time for candid confession. My name is Anjum Kiani. I have been tasked by ISI to support ISI assets on social media.

    I have many aliases e.g., Anjum Kiani, Lashkar Bugti, Pak Baloch.

    I have many friends e.g., International Professor, Difae Pakistan, Pak Nationalists, Samad Khurram, Humza Baloch, Amir Khan, shahid shah ‏ @shazoom1, Ehsan Ahmad Rehan ‏ @EhsanAhmad, Rehan Ali ‏ @rehanali77, Aamir Nawaz Kha @aamir_khan82

  16. Personally I do not like it when people are judged or even penalised for their social status or lack of it. With or without that backing, the achievement is definitely noteworthy. We can only hope that this leads to real passion for making a difference in the society. We now look up to Sharmeen to prove her mettle in a more profound manner for the affectees projected in her documentary.

    • To add more Shaista, we need mentors. This nation has none, and when society gives liberty and raise thier hands to clap for them we have such writeups.

  17. Can once we have some one with Optimism please. You want people to to talk about the dead, so they do. Then you writers say why dont you talk about the ones who are being raped, injured, bombed and homeless. They do that and then when one woman raises some thing on a women of Pakistan who live with a face no body is ready to accept you say its not helping.
    Does every thing has to translate into morning glorry? Bring an effect and cause the very next day. Ever wonder why they even make documentaires? Coz it brings tons of foriegn aid for the NGO’s which, hopes sakes, invest on building lives.
    I say get reall and look beyond what one person has done to make one miserables indivudals life better.

  18. Sharmeen Obaid ‏ @sharmeenochinoy
    Thank u so much 4 all your love & support #Pakistan- v overwhelmed & v grateful to God 4 giving me this opportunity

    Elisheva ‏ @MalangChic
    Not saying that @sharmeenochinoy is not talented and insightful. Just that Saving Face wasn’t worthy of it.

    Sharmeen Obaid ‏ @sharmeenochinoy
    @MalangChic really why? Have you seen the film? Because everyone & I mean everyone I have met whose seen the film thinks otherwise

    Elisheva ‏ @MalangChic
    @sharmeenochinoy I am looking forward to seeing the whole film but the clips, trailers, and the subject matter do not look esp. impressive.

  19. Raza Rumi ‏ @Razarumi ·
    @Laibaah1 this film is not about elite parties. It is about poor women who suffer on a daily basis. Women’s plight eq to minority cause!
    2h Meera Ghani ‏ @MeeraGhani
    @Razarumi @Laibaah1 there isn’t a trade off. You can’t tell people what to think, write or say. All issues need to be discussed.
    Shoaib Taimur ‏ @shobz
    @MeeraGhani @Razarumi am not surprised that laibaah is the party pooper once again. Nothing makes him happy.

    ………

    Shoaib Taimur ‏ @shobz Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    Wonder where laibaah gets his “intel” from. I didn’t meet @sharmeenochinoy at the #klf :p.
    1h Aamir Aleem ‏ @itzaamir Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    RT @Laibaah1: Shoaib Taimur aka @shobz was seen licking Shrmeen Chinoy’s shoes during #KLF 2012. He ll be allowed a foto with d Oscar award!
    Retweeted by Shoaib Taimur
    1h Shoaib Taimur ‏ @shobz Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    Wow Laibaah sure loves to rain on everyone’s parade. Will share the tweet he sent out. Haters love to hate.🙂

    …….

  20. Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    Soon we will see articles, features in @etribune, TFT, Dawn etc on Sharmeen. Same didn’t publish a single column on recent Khanpur massacre!
    28m Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    Is it a coincidence that most of those eulogizing Sharmeen Chinoy & her Oscar are silent on Allama Saqlain Naqvi’s murder today?

    31m Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    Is it a coincidence that the dominant majority of those eulogizing Sharmeen and her Oscar are urban elites from Lahore, Karachi, Isloo?
    40m Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    Dear Paksitani media and activists: Why silent on Allama Saqlain Naqvi’s murder today? pakshia.com/ur/2012/02/27/…

    ………

    Taimoor Malik ‏ @TaimoorMalik Reply Retweeted Favorite · Open
    Perhaps it would be more comforting if instead of arguing with them, we can understand why our persecuted communities are unable to rejoice
    Retweeted by Laibaah
    1h Taimoor Malik ‏ @TaimoorMalik Reply Retweeted Favorite · Open
    At the end of the day, with all its prestige, its just a film award. Pales in comparison to 100s of thousands of lives wasted & humiliated.
    Retweeted by Laibaah
    1h Taimoor Malik ‏ @TaimoorMalik Reply Retweeted Favorite · Open
    The joyous celebrations of a Pakistani win at Oscars cannot comfort the long & brutal sufferings of our persecuted communities.
    Retweeted by Laibaah

    ……..

    Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    @LocoRibelle Go through TL of all urban elites and their flatterers on Twitter. How many are condemning Allama Saqlani Naqvi’s murder?
    In reply to Zeeshan Tahir
    1h Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    @LocoRibelle You will see collective silence with your own eyes. Don’t be surprised.
    In reply to Zeeshan Tahir
    1h Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    @romarizvi People are afraid, or sold out, or Shia-phobes. Whatever, they are, they are either a part of killings or a part of silence!
    In reply to romarizvi
    1h romarizvi ‏ @romarizvi Reply Retweeted Favorite · Open
    @Laibaah1 ppl afraid of that negative power which is behind Shia killings..This is not the only Blast which Shias faced…
    Retweeted by Laibaah
    In reply to Laibaah
    1h Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    Will Pakistan PM Gilani also announce an award for Shia scholar Allama Saqlain Naqvi, Principal of Jamia Al Huda, Ali Pur, killed today?
    1h noreen ‏ @naseer_noreen Reply Retweeted Favorite · Open
    @Laibaah1 go thru Sherry R briefing in US she promised to share inf abt death rate of B.blast in KP & FATA, since then our suffering started

    ……..

    Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    @LocoRibelle Really? Example: 34 Shias were killed in January 2012 in Khanpur. SHow me a single article by anyone of them!! @romarizvi

    Zeeshan Tahir ‏ @LocoRibelle · Open
    @Laibaah1 people express themselves in different ways without necesserily disagreeing … you can’t expect all to express the way you do🙂
    Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Close
    @LocoRibelle Your this very tweet is a polite justification of collective silence. One day you will realize, I hope.

    Meera Ghani ‏ @MeeraGhani · Open
    @Laibaah1 yes so speak up don’t be a part of it. But don’t impose on others. I speak up, if others join in great. U can only do your bit.
    Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Close
    @MeeraGhani Don’t abuse the word impose please!

    Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    @LocoRibelle Sorry, Your conduct so far is to defend and deny the media and urban elites’ collective silence on genocides in Pakistan.
    In reply to Zeeshan Tahir
    2h Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    @LocoRibelle Review this on collective silence: criticalppp.com/archives/72411 @romarizvi
    In reply to Zeeshan Tahir
    2h Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    @MeeraGhani Silence on collective silence is a crime. I refuse to be part of this crime.
    In reply to Meera Ghani
    2h Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    @LocoRibelle Those who are not in denial of collective silence are excepted. Are you one of the exceptions?
    In reply to Zeeshan Tahir
    2h romarizvi ‏ @romarizvi Reply Retweeted Favorite · Open
    @Laibaah1 Hum Khoon Ki Qistien Tu Buhat Dey Chukey Laikin…Aye Khak E Watan Qarzz Adda Kion Nahi Hotaa…
    Retweeted by Laibaah
    In reply to Laibaah
    2h Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    @MeeraGhani Confronting collective silence and selective morality of media and urban elites is our collective duty.
    In reply to Meera Ghani
    2h Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    Shias, Ahmadis, Balochs and Pashtuns must learn from Punjabi-Muhajir urban elites who remain united like a Mafia.
    2h Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    @MeeraGhani What an uninformed and presumptive statement. You are wrong! @Razarumi
    In reply to Meera Ghani
    2h Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    @MeeraGhani We really appreciate your work on highlighting Pashtun genocide by Pakistan army & proxies @Chiltan @azadPashtun @ShahidQazi1
    In reply to Meera Ghani
    2h Lutf ‏ @Lutfislam Reply Retweeted Favorite · Open
    another Oscar idea. a whole nation being slowly lowered into acid bath of #mullahgardi
    Retweeted by Laibaah
    2h Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    @MeeraGhani Laughters are for urban elites of Lahore, Karachi, Isloo. Dead bodies are mostly for Shias, Balochs and Pashtuns. @Razarumi
    2h Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    @LocoRibelle There is no collective silence on women’s issues in Pakistan. Write and you will get published. Same not true for Shia, Baloch
    In reply to Zeeshan Tahir
    2h Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    ISI agents such as Lashkar Bugti are leaving comments (on my critical blog) in support of Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy. Am I surprised?
    2h Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    Folks, apparently there is no collective silence on Shias, Balochs, Pashtuns in Pakistani media. This is all hogwash!
    2h Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    @MeeraGhani A silent urban elite in support of another silent urbane elite? Am I surprised? @Razarumi
    In reply to Meera Ghani
    2h Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    @LocoRibelle Not all women are equal. Ever heard about intersecting identities? Those Bhakkar women who were killed by Taliban? @Razarumi
    In reply to Zeeshan Tahir
    2h Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    @LocoRibelle Holocaust was not one issue amongst several others. Please open your eyes. There is collective silence! @Diagoh
    In reply to Zeeshan Tahir
    2h Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    @Razarumi How many columns were written on Khanpur massacre please? Why deny collective silence? @Diagoh
    In reply to Raza Rumi
    2h Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1 Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    @Razarumi We are only identifying urban elites who are consistently silent on genocide of Shias, Pashtuns, Balochs. How’s that imposition?
    Raza Rumi ‏ @Razarumi · Open
    @Laibaah1 sorry your imposition of what film-makers should do or not is also inexcusable. Are women rights not an imp issue? Violence ag 51%

    Raza Rumi ‏ @Razarumi Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    @Diagoh that’s hogwash. Look at how much has been written/spoken about Baloch. Unprecedented in a country still silent on Bengalis @Laibaah1

  21. She belongs to 0.0001 per cent of looter and elites who are most corrupt of Pakistan:

    Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (born 1978) is an internationally renowned Emmy and Oscar award winning Pakistani journalist and documentarian. She won an Emmy for her documentary, Pakistan: Children of the Taliban in 2010. She is also the first non-American to win the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.. On 26 February 2012 Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy won an Oscar for her documentary Saving Face. She is the first Pakistani to win the prestigious award.

    Early life
    Sharmeen Obaid was born in Karachi to an Urdu speaking family, and attended the Karachi Grammar School. Sharmeen graduated from Smith College with a bachelor of arts in economics and government and then went to complete two master’s degrees from Stanford University in International Policy Studies and Communication.

    Obaid’s career in documentary filmmaking began when she examined the plight of Afghani refugee children in Pakistan for one of her articles. Their situation was so dire, and their stories so compelling, that Sharmeen decided to return to Pakistan and create a film about them. She petitioned Smith College and New York Times Television production division for the grants that would allow her to accomplish her goals. Intrigued by her story, both organizations gave her the funds as well as production equipment and training. She is currently a faculty member at media sciences department in SZABIST (Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and technology, Karachi).

  22. Mohammad Ali Siddiqui

    Any film which shows the weakness in Pakistani culture, society or any thing going wrong in the country will always win Oscar Award. Had the same film made on the weakness of the Western Culture would have banned the entry of film maker would have labelled her as connection with Al-Qaeda or Taliban, followed by the prosecution.

    HQ

    the documentary received an Oscar before even being released in PK. Sharmeen’s been given the Oscar for exposing a minor reality in the West, and trying to show Pakistan as a backward nation. Hell, abuse against women is not an issue of Pakistan, it is a global issue – but not really worth making a documentary over – and definitely not worth winning an Oscar.
    Oscar’s been given to her for a lousy effort of showing a dark side of men, who happen to be Pakistani. I wonder if someone did such a documentary on the rapes that take per minute in France and US itself – whether it would receive such huge recognition – let alone the Oscar.
    What bullocks! too much for the pessimistic Pakistanis who feel proud over an Oscar.

    Satti

    Congrats Ms Chinoy on this massive achievement. God bless you. You are an inspiration!!..
    But lets not forget that she isn’t the first pakistani to bring home an oscar. only recently Mir Zafar Ali did.
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1485675/bio

    Farah

    I can bet on this: that if the topic of this documentary would have been related to any progress in Pakistan. It would not have been able to win this award.🙂
    Anyways it is a great news though !

    ahear

    You can get better rewards in West when you bash your own country. How ironic!! They dont give it to Edhi oh!!! yes I forgot!!! He is a patriotic Pakistani doing good on the field. Live a life!!! Now those who left their parent rote in old homes, while classifying women no more than sex slaves and phonographic objects will teach us morality. Get a life!!!!

  23. Silly post. Sharmeen is the best human rights activist followed by Sherry Rehman and Beena Sarwar.

  24. Maverick
    Obaid-Chinoy is playing to the gallery- all those ‘bleeding-heart’ Western liberals who will seize on any opportunity to denigrate Pakistan and show it as being a backward Muslim country that tolerates violence against women. Her claim that the film shows the ‘positive image of Pakistan’ is cynical and disingenuous.
    Ofcourse we have a problem, but broadcasting it to the world [while ignoring other more grave and urgent human rights violations] and further one’s career is almost as morally reprehensible as the act of acid-throwing itself. I suppose it would also not get the attention that she so obviously craves.

  25. To calculate the percentage of integrity in Pakistani tweeples, divide the No. of tweets on Sharmeen by the No. on Allama Naqvi killed today.

  26. And what may I ask have you done to help the cause of these minorities? Can Obaid-Chinoy just strike her wand and have made films about every cause that there is in Pakistan? If she has not made a film about a cause you care about does that mean you scorn her accomplished work about a cause that she cares about. Mind you, acid violence inflicted on women in your country is something you should be concerned about. Sitting at your computer and hating on someone’s hard work is easy. Going out there and working for change is not. At the end of the day, Obaid-Chinoy is a much bigger person than you will ever be.

  27. @hight

    Granted you don’t know the collective silence phenomenon on Shia genocide etc in Pakistan. Ever heard of the Khan Pur massacre? 34 people died only last month. Not a single column was written by ANY Pakistani columnist or activist. Not a single TV program on that massacre. That’s just one example!

    But who cares! Do you?

  28. @hight You wrote “At the end of the day, Obaid-Chinoy is a much bigger person than you will ever be.”

    Perhaps you wanted to say much more famous!

    The difference between a big person and a famous person, I guess, is not lost on you!

  29. Is Chris do distant from realities of Pakistan’s socio-political context?

    Christine Fair ‏ @CChristineFair
    This blog is just mean spirited. Be glad for her, proud of her. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy &her Oscar don’t mean much 4 Pak wp.me/p1joLZ-anZ

  30. May 27, 2011
    Chairman Imran Khan speaks at TEDx Karachi, inspires many
    By Imran Ghazali | 3018 Views | | News, Karachi, National

    Karachi: 27th May 2011:

    Special Report by Imran Ghazali:

    Pakistan’s legendary leader, Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Imran Khan addressed the annual TEDxKarachi event here on Friday. TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. TEDxKarachi is independetly organized event associated with TED. The theme of this year’s TEDx was “Making the Impossible Possible”. The event was organized by Dr. Awab Alvi, Ms. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Asad Rehman, Sophia Balagamwala, Shahana Rajani

    This year’s event also included Mukhtar Mai, Fasi Zaka,Raja Sabri Khan, Sarmad Tariq, Dr. Qurutulain Bakhteari and Noori among other distinguished speakers.

    Mr. Khan talked about how he always had the big vision and never ever in his life he compromised on his mission or lost hope. He said when a person has bigger dreams he has to face many setbacks but one should learn from the mistakes and move forward with stronger force.

    He said when he started his Cricket career the news papers termed: “Imran Can’t” but since he had a strong will to become a great fast bowler he changed his whole bowling action to achieve his goal. He said he further dreamt to become the best allrounder and worked hard to achive that. He stressed there is no short cut to success, one has to work hard to achieve his/her goals. In the end he said his hard work, determination and strong belief in his abilities paid off and Pakistan was able to life the World Cup trohphy in 1992.

    Mr. Khan said when he came up with the idea to build the Cancer Hospital in Pakistan, he had to face the resistance again. This time it was much stronger and most experts told him it is impossible to build a Charity Cancer Hospital in Pakistan. He said he was determined and worked hard along with his team, travelled all across the world and in 2004 Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital was declared one of the best hospitals of Asia providing Cancer teatment by World Health Organization (WHO). Mr. Khan informed that more than 70% of poor patients at SKMCH get free treatment.

    Imran Khan also told the inspirational story about Namal University. He said during his MNA days he observed that many youths in rural areas of his constituency are involved in criminal activities and durg use because they do not have jobs or any education to persue decent careers. He said that is when he decided to build a Technical College at Namal (Mianwali). He said with the collaboration with Bradford University (UK) whom he is also the Chancellor, they decided to set up the university at Namal. Mr. Khan informed that a state of the art university present in Namal – first private university in such a rural area which is providing Bradford University degrees to underpriviliged students of Pakistan. Mr. Khan pointed out that Namal is the first institute in that area where we have co-education and both men and women are treated equally. He said he further expanded his vision and now wants to make a “Knowledge City” at Namal.

    Mr. Khan said Pakistan has so much talent and hardworking human capital that despite the system Pakistanis are successful in thier fields all over the world. He said if we can fix the governance system of Pakistan – we can make it one of the best countries of the world.

    In the end Mr. Khan said that he is very hopeful of the positive prospectus of Pakistan. He said it is very important to have independent justice system in Pakistan. He highlighted that Pakistan’s media is also very vibrant and only if we can have free and independent election comission in Pakistan than no one will be able to stop this revolution in Pakistan.

    All the other leaders were also very inspirational in thier talks. Mr. Raja Sabri Khan, who invented the first drone in Pakistan stressed he is totally against usage of Drones for military purposes but he highlighted the positive usage of Drones.

    Mr. Fasi Zaka stressed upon the need to fix the education system in Pakistan. He informed that Pakistan Education Task Force launched Education Emergency in Pakistan during the month of March and it was highlighted to fix the education systme of Pakistan and increase its budget.

    Mr. Sarmat Tariq who is the first ever Wheel Chair bound Pakistani athlete to repsent Pakistan in NY marathon gave his witty and moving talk. He motivated the audience that despite his physical disability he never ever felt hopeless and always kept achieving his dreams with a positive frame of mind.

    Dr. Quratulain – who is a social welfare worker talked about her life and how she stood up for the rights of underpriviliged people. She highlighted her works to uplift various societies.

    Noori, who was representing youth also performed at the event and talked how they inspired the youth to think about bigger goals and never feel shy to chase their dreams.

    Ms. Mukhtar Mai was another inspirational speaker who talked about who the bad justice system and feudal mindset became the misery of her life. She talked about how she faught her case and how she is still determined to stand up for her rights. She said education is very important and she regrets that she did not get any formal education. She has set up a social welfare organization who is providing education to people in her village among other welfare and counciling services.

    http://insaf.pk/News/tabid/60/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/6579/Chairman-Imran-Khan-speaks-at-TEDx-Karachi-inspires-many.aspx

  31. Sharmeen displayed an insulting picture of Benazir Bhutto:

    9 April 2009
    ALERT
    Armed men disrupt Karachi cultural festival over photo montage

    INCIDENT DETAILS
    organisation(s)
    attacked (PPF/IFEX) – Armed assailants stormed the Arts Council in the Pakistani capital, Karachi, on 8 April 2009, ransacking the Shanakht Cultural Festival and accusing organisers of “political blasphemy”. The event was organised by the Citizens Archives of Pakistan (CAP).

    The attackers were outraged by a photo montage depicting former leaders of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto, along with other Pakistani rulers, in an unflattering manner. Bhutto was depicted resting on the lap of her arch rival, former president General Zia-ul-Haq. The offending image was posted on the blog of cyber activist Awab Alvi at http://teeth.com.pk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/n513812365_1579700_6371905.jpg

    At around 8:00 p.m. (local time) armed men had an altercation with the organisers over the photo. The enraged men tore down festival banners and ransacked the offices of the Arts Council. They also herded private security guards and a handful of police officers present, spreading panic among the visitors. Hurling abuses, they ordered all the visitors to leave the premises immediately, while some warned photographers not to take pictures of the attack.

    Provincial Information Minister Shazia Marri, who visited the scene, deplored the incident, saying that emotions must be contained at all cost. She announced an inquiry into the matter and said that the government would like to see the festival continue.

    PPP’s district central general secretary, Sohail Abdi, said that the party found the exhibit offensive and would lodge a criminal complaint against the organisers.

    Deputy superintendant of police Salman Hussain, who visited the site after the incident, refuted the claim that the culprits belonged to any political party and said that no criminal complaint had been lodged against the assailants.

    In a statement, the CAP said that the festival had invited contributions in any form by Pakistanis. CAP sincerely apologised that one of the contributions had offended some people and said they had removed the offending photo from the exhibition.

    The organisers have since decided to cancel the festival, citing security concerns.

    http://www.ifex.org/pakistan/2009/04/09/armed_men_disrupt_karachi_cultural/

    Dawn TV

    ………….

    Five-day Shanakht festival from 8th April

    The Citizens Archive Pakistan (CAP), an ambitious project of preserving archive of Pakistan’s history, has announced Shanakht-2009 – a five-day free for all festival featuring art, theatre and photography, the event organizers announced.
    Unfolding the details, President CAP Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy said the festival despite lacking corporate sponsorship will be a bigger happening than its launch edition last year. This year too the Shanakht festival will be held at Arts Council from April 8 to 12.
    Starting at 5pm every evening, there will be live theater performances, story telling, book readings, art installations, children’s art activities, etc. Starting at 8:30pm every evening the indoor auditorium will feature plays by Sheema Kermani and National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA), she maintained.
    “We hope to attract visitors of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs eager to get acknowledge and participate in movements that express and preserve our nation’s history, identity and spirit,” Chinoy said.

    http://blog.karachiundernet.com/2009/04/09/five-day-shanakht-festival-from-8th-april/

    ……….

    Sharmeen’s baby, CAP’s first project is the Shanakht Festival which has already gone underway from August 11 and will continue till August 14 — Pakistan’s Independence Day. The first of its kind, Shanakht aims to explore our identity as a nation collectively and individually as citizens of this country through a series of readings, photography and painting exhibitions, plays, interactive discussions, documentaries and performances.

    Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s baby, CAP’s first project is the Shanakht Festival which has gone underway from August 11 and will continue till Independence Day. The first of its kind, Shanakht aims at exploring our identity as a nation collectively and individually as citizens of this country. “We don’t give the general public any form of entertainment that requires them to use their brain cells,” says Sharmeen, “The partition of 1947 was a traumatic experience and remembering it gives a sense of how Pakistan came into existence. And who were the people who made it happen”

    At the end of it all, more important than whatever goes on in the Shanakht Festival itself is what people will take home with them — a sense of renewed identity and a stronger sense of belonging and connection to the country they belong to as well as a desire to help bring it forward into the future.

    http://sharmeenobaidfilms.com/2007/08/hello-world-2/

  32. “none of Chinoy’s documentaries has been screened by any Pakistani channel on account of costly fees demanded by foreign channels”

    http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/02/the-first-oscar/

    That explains the real aim of Sharmeen and other similar elite film makers. If her aim was to create awareness and reform within Pakistani society, she would have made her documentaries in Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi etc and released them at nominal fee to local TV /cinema circuit. But that was never their real aim. They sell Pakistani women’s miseries to foreign audience to augment their personal wealth and fame.

    Compare Sharmeen Chinoy’s fake movie to Iranian Oscar-award winner movie (A Separation) which was made in Farsi (Persian) and was made available to Iranian domestic viewers. The content and intent of both movies are so different.

  33. Reality is she won Oscar. that’s it

  34. Here are some examples of how every one (means every urban elite and their flatterers) in Pakistan is celebrating Sharmeen’s Oscar:

    sherryrehman ‏ @sherryrehman Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    Go Sharmeen.”@tammyhaq: Rooting for @sharmeenochinoy as she heads to LA for the #Oscars & hoping #Sharmeen wins #Pakistan”

    Awab Alvi ‏ @DrAwab Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy on the Oscars bit.ly/xUlE5L @sharmeenochinoy go knock ’em dead were rooting for you all across the world #TED

    jehan_ara ‏ @jehan_ara Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    Pakistan’s first #Oscar thanks to @sharmeenochinoy! #SavingFace wins! Great moment of pride! Congrats Sharmeen! We love you. Bring it home!

    Murtaza Solangi ‏ @murtazasolangi Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy becomes first Pakistani to win #Oscar for#Saving face!

    Raza Rumi ‏ @Razarumi Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    Pakistan’s Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy wins an Oscar nblo.gs/usXen

    Marvi Sirmed ‏ @marvisirmed Close
    Celebrate Pakistan, you have women like @sharmeenochinoy. You didn’

    Shahid Saeed ‏ @shahidsaeed Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    A FATtastic congratulations to @sharmeenchinoy

    Riaz Ali Toori ‏ @RiazToori Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    Thank U for making us Proud. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy with her #Oscar yfrog.com/gztusmtj @sharmeenochinoy

    christinalamb ‏ @christinalamb Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    Am really hoping Saving Face wins Pakistan its first Oscar tonight – go Sharmeen!

    US Consulate Lahore ‏ @USCGLahore Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    We will be rooting for Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy watching the Oscars tonight!

    George Fulton ‏ @GeorgeFulton1 Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    Many, many congratulations to Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy for winning Pakistan’s first Oscar. Wonderful and happy news!! nblo.gs/usXen

    Nadeem F. Paracha ‏ @NadeemfParacha Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    Viva la @sharmeenochinoy! dawn.com/2012/02/27/sha… The pride of Pakistan is in their artistes & intellectuals. Not in bombs and bans!

    Atiqa Odho ‏ @atiqaodho2009 Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    Well Done Sharmeen ! You took Pakistani fashion to the red carpet of the Oscars and brought back the Oscar for us… fb.me/16jMES93R

    Nasim Zehra ‏ @NasimZehra Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    Landed in Doha & heard the great news.Cant stop smiling! Sharmeen does it..second to none! Gets us r first ever Oscar

    Abdul Nishapuri ‏ @AbdulNishapuri Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    You tweeted loads to congratulate Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, not a single word to condemn Shia scholar’s murder today? Shame on you, Pakistan!

  35. See how Sharmeen Lovers = PPP haters:

    Shaanakth and the Beatification of Benazir
    By Ahsan Butt Apr 09, 2009

    11 Comments

    At around 7 p.m. today a group of PPP jiyalas stormed the Arts Council in Karachi during the first day of the Shaanakth festival. They were protesting the exhibit of a photograph of Benazir sitting on General Zia’s lap. Along with vandalising the exhibit, they also threatened the organisers with physical violence. The police was present but no would would be surprised to know that they were missing in action.
    Given the situation one can hardly blame photographer Amean J, one of the organisers of the event, for apologising for displaying the photograph. But he has nothing to apologise for. It should go without saying, but sadly always bears repeating: Every Pakistai should have the right to display what they damn well please, especially when they are making a political statement.

    The violent reaction reminded me, if on a smaller scale, of the furore caused by the Danish cartoons. In both cases, artists provocatively sounded off on what they saw as the totalitarian nature of their subjects. And both times, the response of the subjects in question has only proved their critics right.

    For the forseeable future, we will no longer be able to do anything but place a halo over Benazir’s head, especially when our views will be exposed to a mass audience. Had Shaanakth been a private event charging a thousand-rupee entry fee, this photograph would probably have not incited violence from the PPP thugs. But Shaanakth is a free festival trying to attract a wide range of Karachiites, and as such you are nor permitted to accurately depict someone who, for god’s sake, was nothing more than a flawed politician.

    As of now, the festival is going to ahead. I would urge all our Karachi readers to make their way to the Arts Council tomorrow. Don’t let the goons score another victory.

    More From Ahsan Butt:

    Showing 11 comments

    Kalsoom
    I agree that Amean J has nothing to apologize for. This is so ridiculous. It’s one thing that the picture was offensive and for me to understand why people were angry with it, but it’s a whole ‘nother thing to justify wrecking an exhibition as a result. Are we so uncivilized that we can’t just have a dialogue about such things? Ugh it makes my blood boil.

    And to echo KK, I just interviewed this artist Faiza Shaikh, who is really incredible because she combines a lot of words from religious texts (Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, etc.) within her art to create messages of tolerance. My number one question to her was how people would react in Pakistan to her work. It’s one thing for people to appreciate works espousing tolerance and interfaith in London (where most of her exhibitions have been), but it’s different to gauge reactions in an environment that may be less pliable to such ideas.
    Like Reply
    04/11/2009 12:48 AM

    Kalsoom
    our show had the editor of Nukta and Amean J come on, and both of them were very apologetic and kept saying that yeah you have to be aware of the climate, especially in pakistan, before you exhibit.

    but the editor lady – nilofur Furrukh – made an important point which was that since art is so rarely displayed in the public realm, artists have little idea about the public, and the public has little understanding or respect for the arts.

    and, i find it really funny that the artist was not living in pakistan. speaks volumes i think.
    Like Reply
    04/10/2009 09:22 PM

    Nadir Hassan
    AKS: The festival was cancelled. And Sohail Abidi of the PPP filed an FIR against the organizer Sharmeen Obaid and artist Nilofar Akmut, which means they will probably be arrested soon. Akmut doesn’t live in Pakistan but I don’t know if she is here right now. I can’t even begin to articulate how outrageous this is.
    Like Reply
    04/10/2009 09:34 AM

    Kalsoom
    Does anyone if the festival is still going through? I’ve been receiving conflicting news.
    Like Reply
    04/10/2009 12:13 AM

    Ahsan
    My feelings are hurt every time Jahil Online or Zaid Hamid are on TV. Why are they granted freedom of expression? What about MY feelings?
    Like Reply
    04/10/2009 12:07 AM

    Kalsoom
    @AKS
    What you mentioned is only the tip of the ice berg. Don’t get me started on what is happening in Lyari. Outlaws reign supreme.

    BTW, I have a very vivid memory of Benazir, in one of her trips to the US, saying she would allow foreign troops into the country. She was a bitch who would go beyond all limits to satiate her lust for power.
    Like Reply
    04/09/2009 07:40 PM

    Kalsoom
    It is time we stopped calling the PPP (or for that matter the MQM and the ANP) a secular, liberal party. These parties are as good as the JI.

    BTW, I couldn’t understand what political statement the artist wanted to make by showing Benazir in Zia’s lap. I mean Bhutto in Ayub’s lap makes sense, even Benazir in Musharraf’s lap would make sense — but Benazir in Zia’s lap?
    Like Reply
    04/09/2009 06:14 PM

    Kalsoom
    Here’s what the Chief Minter Sind’s spokesperson Waqar Mehdi had to say:

    ‘Anything that is religiously or politically controversial should not be displayed. It should be acceptable to all. Even if offensive pictures of Altaf Hussain or Nawaz Sharif were displayed, we would oppose it. Our party believes in freedom of expression, but that does not mean it should be a free-for-all. People’s feelings should not be hurt.’

    Do they have any idea of what freedom of expression even means?

    This government really needs to rein in its goons. I’m honestly scared of driving on the main roads of Clifton and Defence, especially on the weekends. Jiyalas treat these roads as their personal jagirs, and there’s little anyone can do.

    In another example of the jiyala’s supremacy over the law, a group of young men has started congregating outside a newly built, vacant house which faces my uncle’s house (one street before my place). They come in 2 or 3 SUVs (affixed with mandatory PPP flags) accompanied by armed guards, turn the music up in their cars, start drinking booze in the open and generally create a nuisance. My uncle approached the chowkidar one morning to enquire who these men were, the chowkidar replied that he had no idea, they had threatened him when he asked them to leave so he just sits inside house quietly when they come. The noise reverberates throughout the neighbourhood (they even had loud music playing on 9th Muharram) but nobody has the courage to complain to the police or the DHA – they don’t want to invite more trouble. So the residents of this neighbourhood patiently wait for the day when these guys tire of this haunt and head somewhere else. My uncle and his family meanwhile have started designing their journeys to and from the house around the schedule of these jiyalas, so that there interaction with them is kept to a minimum.
    Like Reply
    04/09/2009 05:21 PM

    Nadir Hassan
    The liberal PPP has responded by announcing that they will be filing an FIR against the Citizens Archive of Pakistan and the Arts Council. Yeah, that makes sense. No point blaming the guys who were fucking shooting guns at an art exhibition.
    Like Reply
    04/09/2009 09:48 AM

    Ahsan
    Yeah, great point on the parallels to the Danish cartoons.

    I’d like to see the “liberal” PPP disavow publicly the actions of their workers. Somehow, I’m not holding my breath.

    You guys should check out Oba’s post on this issue:
    http://adpdiaries.blogspot.com
    Like Reply
    04/09/2009 06:32 AM

    Kalsoom
    Saint Benazir- now thats what the next exhibit should be called. And it should show her doing all those lovely things she did in her life for this country. And then we can sit back and see who storms what.

    Everyone, please show up at the festival. This cannot be the victory of the goons.
    Like Reply

    http://asiancorrespondent.com/36185/shaanakth-and-the-beatification-of-benazir/

  36. Ahsan Butt (MQM propagandist, Five Rupees blogger) at it again:

    Benazir’s Picture at Shanakth
    By Ahsan Butt Apr 10, 2009 5:37PM UTC
    28 Comments and 0 Reactions
    By NB

    Apparently, this is the ‘photograph’ of Benazir that was displayed at the Shanakht festival in the Arts Council in Karachi, and the cause of so much ‘offense’ to the PPP Jiyalas.

    I don’t really have much by way of comment, except that:

    A) its clearly not a photograph or a painting of anything, and is rather an intentionally obvious mock up of a family portrait, with the heads cut & pasted over. It depicts Yahya Khan on the lower right, Ayub holding baby Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto on the rear left, Benazir, sitting on Zia’s lap, and (I cannot for the life of me identify the person on the top right).

    B) Its obviously meant to be provocative, not offensive,

    C) I hope the entire Pakistani Blogosphere is plastering this all over the net, so that the ‘offended’ PPP Jiyalaas who saw fit to disrupt the festival, fire their weapons, issue death threats and FIRs to the organizers of the event, and who generally think that Pakistan is their fucking fief, may eat shit and die.

    http://asiancorrespondent.com/36188/benazirs-picture-at-shanakth/

  37. Take a few deep breaths and relax. You should then relish the fact Sharmeen has been able to put across such a good message to the world. That “Pakistan can solve its own problems” us ne theka nahee liya hua sub problems theek karnay ka. She has the right to choose what she writes-makes etc. And so far she has done an absolutely awesome job

  38. @sajjad,

    She has the right to choose, as have all other elite media persons of Pakistan. Ever heard of Khanpur massacre? 34 Shia Muslims were killed by Pakistan army-backed Jihadi-sectarian terrorists in Khanpur (Punjab) on 14 January 2012. Not a single Pakistani media person wrote a column or conducted a talk show on this topic. I dare you!

    Sharmeen Chinoy is a part of the collective silence on Khanpur (and other similar massacres). All of them are a part of collective silence on Shia genocide. This reality, however, is lost on lackeys of Pakistan’s military establishment or Saudi-indoctrinated Shia-phobes.

  39. Asad Badruddin ‏ @sasadb
    @Abdul_Bugti @Laibaah1 ppl work on causes that mean the most to them not causes that (statistically) need the most attention.

    Laibaah ‏ @Laibaah1
    @sasadb Elites in any society are known to work on causes that are most beneficial to them.

  40. Seriously, I was not expecting such a fool article. Raise your standard Pakistan Blogzine.

  41. @ Laibaah
    I am actually a member of the Shia minority myself, and the genocide stirs in me as much if not more feeling than it does in you. Yet the fact that Obaid-Chinoy did not choose to comment on that specific incident does not warrant criticism on her other achievements. I could use that very tactic for you. Why did you not mention the right of Ahmadis but only choose to speak about the Shias? The tactics that you critics employ are pathetic.

  42. HAHAHAHAHA – THIS IS THE MOST FUNNIEST AND MOST RIDICULOUS POST I’VE READ – THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME THE BEST LAUGH OF MY DAY –

    On a serious note to the Shermeen / Imran Khan Basher and PPP PMLN lover who posted this and those who defend it –

    Your complaints on Shia genocide and Baloch genocide and terrorism etc are 100% valid – but when you defend trash like this post in the idiotic manners that you guys are, even you valid points are viewed as conspiracies and ravings of mad men…

    FACT: Sharmeen has won an Oscar – its a great honor for her and for Pakistan

    FACT: Just because she comes from a rich family doesnt make her an establishment supported evil-doer.

    FACT: She is not everyone’s daddy’s servant that she will do one documentary after another to please you on your chosen topics.

    FACT: AT LEAST 1 PERSON who will read this post and the harsh comments below will come to the conclusion that Shia and Baloch Genocide is a bullshit conspiracy theory because of your attacks on someone who has nothing to do with the situation. THAT BLAME LIES ON THE PEOPLE WHO WROTE THE POST AND DEFEND IT.

  43. Why are Pakistan army’s propagandists (Pak Nationalists) promoting Sharmeen?

    ISI’s most trusted stooge Ahmad Quraishi writes an appreciating article on Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy in a pro-ISI newspaper. Hey, don,t make it obvious:

    Sharmeen or politicians?

    Ahmed Quraishi
    Wednesday, February 29, 2012

    19

    Two women dominated Pakistan’s news headlines over the weekend. And both provided some answers in their own ways to a perennial question: why our democratic system will never work without major changes that close the gap between a talented hardworking people and their failed politicians.

    Director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy won an Oscar and international recognition for Pakistan through sheer talent and hard work. Politician Syeda Waheeda Shah Bukhari viciously slapped two female election staffers in the full glare of television cameras at a voting centre in a rural district and walked away free.

    Sharmeen knew her work will be appreciated outside Pakistan because our Zardaris and Sharifs don’t have time to celebrate Pakistani talent at home. (Plunder and kickbacks is the only talent recognised at that level.) And Syeda Waheeda knows she is a feudal lord of her area and the state would never confront her because it never has in 64 years. And, really, just what is the Pakistani state at present but a collection of failed, feudal politicians who will protect one of their own in any case?

    We produced the world’s youngest Microsoft-certified professional. Think about it: could we know a genius was rising in our midst had someone from outside Pakistan not told us? How many politicians and feudal lords like Bukhari sponsor talent in the districts they dominate? Could we have heard of Mohammad Ali Jawad, the British-Pakistani plastic surgeon, a central character of Chinoy’s Oscar winning documentary, and his charity work to restore the acid-burned faces of unknown Pakistani women, had his work and Chinoy’s and her co-director’s not been recognised outside Pakistan?

    Do we have any mechanism to identify talent inside the country? Is there any government department that would recognise and promote ordinary Pakistanis working out their talent and excelling?

    Is it any wonder that a talented 40-year-old Pakistani village girl and a mill worker’s daughter, Sayeeda Warsi, can become the co-chairman of the Conservative Party in Britain but never dream of rising through the ranks to head a major Pakistani political party? In fact, had she tried to mount such a challenge, she would have been cut down to size by the ‘Syeda Waheedas’ of our version of violent democracy.

    Warsi did it the only way it was possible: by migrating to another country where a Pakistani can excel. Our politicians have created a system where a talented Pakistani has to escape abroad to do something good. Sure, amazing exceptions exist. But ask them how many of them have honestly considered migration in the last five years.

    Why should talented Pakistanis escape abroad and leave the country in the hands of recycled politicians who are only good at dividing Pakistanis in the name of language and sect, strikes, and violence?

    Our NGOs that collect foreign money to promote democracy and ‘build the capacity’ of politicians like Syeda Waheeda will never say this, so let me have the honour: Pakistani democracy is a failure. It was a failure in 2008 and will be a failure in 2013 and will continue to be a failure until we have a system in place that can allow Sharmeen to contest elections if she wishes without letting Waheeda use her clout, armed bodyguards and private underground jails to intimidate challengers.

    This democracy will continue to breed division, turmoil and instability until someone enforces change imposing rotation of power inside political parties and force these parties to produce fresh blood, outlaw divisive and violent politics, and compartmentalise and reduce our national politicking into district-level, town-level and village-level politics focused on improving a Pakistani’s quality of life.

    Only by having less of Syeda Waheedas and more of Sharmeens and Warsis can we take our homeland forward.

    The writer works for Geo television. Email: aq@paknationalists. com

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=95139&Cat=9

  44. The most moronic article I have read in a long time

  45. Sharmeen is being criticized for not making a documentary about Shia Killing, Baluchi issue, etc etc etc and choosing the Acid issue. This lot would still be criticizing her for not making a documentary about ACID issue etc if she had made a documentary about Shia or Baluchi issue. The simple point is that these are all issues and should by highlighted, Sharmeen cannot make dozens of documentary on issues facing Pakistan. (Ethnic Killing, Political Killing, Kidnapping, Land grabbing, prolonged dispensing of justice, narcotics, fake medicines, killings by quacks, black marketing, corruption, child labour, prostitution, Fanaticism, etc). One of the many evils touched her heart and she projected it. WHAT ARE WE DOING ? Blaming one courageous girl to have taken up the issue…………no please dont do that. No one denies these are NOT issues. I am blaming MYSELF and YOURSELF for not making a documentary, writing articles, arranging talk shows, coming out on road and doing any of the many peaceful ways to express. Why blame Sharmeen ? I absolutely fail to understand.

    Sharmeen this is encouraging for you that so many people are complaining and so many are blaming you for not taking up other issues…………….they are all endorsing that these are issues, that too is your success..
    All prayers and appreciations for Sharmeen. We love you.
    S M Hasan

  46. 6h Tarek Fatah ‏ @TarekFatah Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    @sharmeenochinoy You shd change your profile picture to one with the statue.

    6h Sharmeen Obaid ‏ @sharmeenochinoy Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    @TarekFatah would love 2 but have dedicated my profile pix to Shahbaz till he returns! Which will be soon hopefully

    Tarek Fatah ‏ @TarekFatah Reply
    @sharmeenochinoy Tip my hat to you sister. I should have realized. Good for you and let her mum and wife know we all want him back, safe.

    Abdul Nishapuri ‏ @AbdulNishapuri
    Of course Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy would choose Shahbaz Taseer’s picture as her DP, not Javid Naseer Rind’s. Hello, urban elites!

    Javid Naseer Rind, another Baloch journalist silenced by the Deep State – by Laibaah
    http://criticalppp.com/archives/61697

  47. Once again @Laibaah1 Marri proves why she is the scourge of the Muhajir-Punjabi origin urban elite of Pakistan. I laud her on this post of hers! One of the few brave voices on Pakistan’s social media who isn’t afraid of going against the wave!

  48. Celebrating acid attacks | Pakistan Today
    03/03/2012 BY IRFAN

    Awards, such as Oscars, are effects of power and as such “are not located outside of the politics.”

    There is a great spike in the number of Facebook status messages having to do with the first ‘Pakistani’ Oscar. As is to be expected, a majority of these messages are congratulatory in tone and there are few denigrating this award as well. More often than not, the nationalist flavour in the celebratory comments was unmistakable–”Congrats Pakistan for bringing the OSCAR home!” .

    Those who see it as Pakistan’s win do not see that academy doesn’t put documentaries in the same box as the ‘foreign films’. There are no foreign documentaries. There are just documentaries, and in this sense it wasn’t an award for Pakistan in the same way as ‘A Separation’ was an award for an Iranian film as the ‘best foreign film’. The realists out there say, “Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy-First Pakistani Oscar Winner!!!”

    Then there are those outrightly disparaged Sharmeen and the award. For instance, the admin of a certain Pakistan blogzine thought that Sharmeen was part of urban elites who remained socio-economically affiliated with and dependent on Pakistan’s military establishment and preferred to remain silent on ‘Pakistan army’s kill and dump policy against innocent Baloch civilians.’ One of my American friends thought that critics, particularly the blogzine, were ‘mean spirited’, and another American commentator thought backbiting was the past time of ‘all’ Pakistanis.

    This post from which I am excerpting below was Facebooked today by my friend Farheen. It offers a very refreshing argument inasmuch as it regards Oscars and their celebration as effects of power, as located within a certain politics, and the need to recognise this. Reading Hashim’s post, I was reminded of Foucault who had said something like this somewhere: “In political thought and analysis, we still have not cut off the head of the kind.” Its great to see folks cutting off the king’s head with analyses of this sort. Happy reading!

    In absence of the asking of these questions, a commentator like myself felt vindicated in saying, it is either sheer ignorance or sheer laziness that allows our elite classes to receive laurels from the West without engaging in seminal work in the study of Orientalism and neo-Orientalism. The question being asked was based on the understanding that accepting the award meant reifying ‘Empire’s discourse on gender’.

    This is, of course, not to deny the reality of the crime of throwing acid on women in Pakistan. Only a week ago, acid was thrown at four women in Faisalabad. The question to ask is one of the fundamental questions asked by postcolonial feminists – Gayatri Spivak to name one: what is the value of a feminist value reified by white men (Oscar judiciary) to a brown woman (Sharmeen and the acid attack victims represented)?

    http://just-questions.com/2012/03/03/celebrating-acid-attacks-pakistan-today/

  49. The laurels for Saving Face were independent of the questions of: who was giving the award? How was the subject depicted?

    In absence of the asking of these questions, a commentator like myself felt vindicated in saying, it is either sheer ignorance or sheer laziness that allows our elite classes to receive laurels from the West without engaging in seminal work in the study of Orientalism and neo-Orientalism. The question being asked was based on the understanding that accepting the award meant reifying ‘Empire’s discourse on gender’.

    This is, of course, not to deny the reality of the crime of throwing acid on women in Pakistan. Only a week ago, acid was thrown at four women in Faisalabad. The question to ask is one of the fundamental questions asked by postcolonial feminists – Gayatri Spivak to name one: what is the value of a feminist value reified by white men (Oscar judiciary) to a brown woman (Sharmeen and the acid attack victims represented)?

    The Oscars, if it be remembered, are greatly contested within the Unites States. Over 70 percent of the voting academy are white males. When Halle Berry became the first black woman to receive an Oscar for ‘Best female actor,’ questions were asked by the American black community over why the first black woman to receive an Oscar had to film an explicit sex scene in order to secure the award. It is a similar question that can be asked in this context: why does the first Pakistani documentary to receive an Oscar have to present brutality against women?

    Again, one is not critiquing the importance of the documentary itself here, but asking why, indeed, we are either celebrating the entire matter or are expected to be doing so.

    In terms of the debate on Facebook, another friend had shared a tweet from the Oscar winning lady from June 2011 where she said, “Employees of #KESC on strike I have zero sympathy for you – you facilitate kunda connection, slow meters etc,” which he used to legitimately ask: “she received an award from a bunch of white men for her sympathy for acid attack survivors but fails to recognise that unions are a basic democratic right?” The earlier friend shared an interview of her from 2004, where she said, “Pakistan is not ready for democracy yet.”

    This raises the point again: that Pakistan’s liberals suffer from selective consciousness. This is not to take away from the important step that the acid attack documentary indeed is – but rather a plea that we allow our understanding of social contradictions to expand. Sharmeen’s work in the Citizens Archive Pakistan is work I appreciate in its ability to offer nuanced histories and focus on speaking to local audiences.

    The larger point is that the Oscar to ‘Saving Face’ is not located outside politics. And a celebration of it is a celebration of the particular politics that the award is about.

    “Acid attacks brought Pakistan recognition. A toast is due,” as crude as it sounds, is what those celebrating are saying.

    http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/03/celebrating-acid-attacks/

  50. Palwesha Yusaf · 1 day ago
    What a fantastic, timely and important critical analysis of a popular event relating to Pakistan. This is exactly the sort of journalism that is important for a readership, as in it requires more than reading, it requires analysis.

    I also want to congratulate the journalist on pointing out the blatant Orientalist narratives that continue to be played out not only towards women in Pakistan but post colonial populations women everywhere. Somehow we end up becoming complicit in this narrative through self congratulation over the west’s congratulations. Like all people, we have vibrant creative communities that are capable of solving the deep social issues which afflict us. We have a wealth of experience in these communities that can be mobilised to address social ill like acid attacks which are a result of wider political arenas where women are not protected through adequate legislation, no redress system for complaints and legal action for vulnerable women in our communities, and a lack of committed public service funding to prop up good community initiatives such as safe houses and rights education.

    Anyhow, I could go on but at the end of the day, the real celebration and congratulation regarding the Oscar is your analysis.

  51. To understand the shallowness of Sharmeen and other urban elite heroes’ work, refer to Robert Fisk’s column titled ‘The heroic myth’:

    It took a lot of courage to get into Homs; Sky News, then the BBC, then a few brave men and women who went to tell the world of the city’s anguish and, in at least two cases, suffered themselves. I could only reflect this week, however, how well we got to know the name of the indomitable and wounded British photographer Paul Conroy, and yet how little we know about the 13 Syrian volunteers who were apparently killed by snipers and shellfire while rescuing him. No fault of Conroy, of course. But I wonder if we know the names of these martyrs – or whether we intend to discover their names?

    There’s something faintly colonialist about all this. We have grown so used to the devil-may-care heroics of the movie version of “war” correspondents that they somehow become more important than the people about whom they report. Hemingway supposedly liberated Paris – or at least Harry’s Bar – but does a single reader remember the name of any Frenchman who died liberating Paris? I do recall my dauntless television colleague, Terry Lloyd, who was killed by the Americans in Iraq in 2003 – but who can remember the name of one of the quarter or half a million Iraqis killed as a result of the invasion (apart, of course, from Saddam Hussein)? The Al Jazeera correspondent in Baghdad was killed in Baghdad by an American airstrike the same year. But hands up who remembers his name? Answer: Tareq Ayoub. He was a Palestinian. I was with him the day before he died.

    This curious symbiosis is all too evident when “war” reporters talk of their “combat experience”. Three years ago, at an American university, I had the pleasure of listening to three wounded US Iraqi/Afghan war veterans putting down a journalist who used this awful phrase. “Excuse me, Sir,” one of them said politely. “You have not had ‘combat experience’. You have had “combat exposure”. That is not the same thing.” The veteran understood the power of quiet contempt. He had no legs. [Here you may refer to Bina Shah’s epic comment: I’ve been in a rickshaw: http://criticalppp.com/archives/39241%5D

    And who can forget the words of the Israeli journalist Amira Haas – Haaretz’s reporter in the occupied West Bank, whom I often quote. She told me in Jerusalem that the foreign correspondent’s job was not to be “the first witness to history” (my own pitiful definition), but to “monitor the centres of power”, especially when they are going to war, and especially when they intend to do so on a bedrock of lies.

    Yes, all honour to those who reported from Homs. But here’s a thought: when the Israelis unleashed their cruel bombardment of Gaza in 2008, they banned all reporters from the war, just as the Syrians tried to do in Homs. And the Israelis were much more successful in preventing us Westerners from seeing the subsequent bloodbath. Hamas forces and the “Free Syria Army” in Homs actually have a lot in common – both were increasingly Islamist, both faced infinitely superior firepower, both lost the battle – but it was left to Palestinian reporters to cover their own people’s suffering. They did a fine job. Funny, though, that the newsrooms of London and Washington didn’t have quite the same enthusiasm to get their folk into Gaza as they did to get them into Homs. Just a thought. A very unhappy one.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-the-heroic-myth-and-the-uncomfortable-truth-of-war-reporting-7499735.html

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