Salman Rashid

Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

‘Problem with the Backbone’

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My all-time favourite movie is Scent of a Woman, the movie that won Al Pacino his first ‘best actor’ Oscar award. And what a win it was! Pacino plays the abrasive, overbearing retired Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade. And he is blind too. I have to admit I have watched this film no fewer than three dozen times. And that should be a cautious estimate!

Slade hires young Charlie Simms (Chris O’Donnell) as guardian for a Thanksgiving Weekend and ends up defending him in front of a school disciplinary committee. One of the things Slade says in favour of young Simms is: ‘Well, gentlemen, when the shit hits the fan, some guys run and some guys stay ....’

The upshot of Slade’s spirited defence of Simms’ silence on the question of an indiscipline he saw occurring in school is simple: integrity and moral character.

And here we have a retired general I prefer to call Mush-a-Riffraff, a loudmouth bully and a craven coward; a man who had the brazen temerity to say that women pretended to have been raped in order to get Canadian visas. And I challenge anyone to counter me on this for I have his recording on tape and in digital format. He is the ‘man’ who threatened to beat up a woman journalist for asking him a difficult question in New York.

When the shit hit the fan in Mush-a-Riffraff’s case, he first ran to hide in ‘big daddy’s pocket’ (Slade’s dialogue from the movie) and then like all cowards did not stand to face the fire. He got ‘big daddy’ (his army) to manipulate his escape from the country.

Dawn today (2 October 2016) has a back page story with Mush-a-Riffraff’s picture. It is headlined, ‘India only good at hurling threats, says Mush-a-Riffraff’ (Obviously a paper as straitlaced as Dawn cannot call Riffraff by that name; I therefore take the liberty of changing that little bit.)

The man warns India to not take Pakistan as Bhutan and also has some other advice for Narendra Modi. What he conveniently forgets is the heightened tension of 2002. To remind Mush-a-Riffraff, he went running to shake Vajpayee’s hand in India. And Vajpayee having given him a limp hand said something like, ‘These handshakes won’t make any difference.’

Good on Vajpayee for he knew he was dealing with a liar and a cheat.

On the subject of why he is staying outside Pakistan, today’s news item has this from Mush-a-Riffraff: ‘I have a problem in my backbone which is being treated.’

The man doesn’t know that the problem can never, I repeat, never be treated. Because the problem is that Mush-a-Riffraff simply does not have a backbone. If he had a spine, he would have stayed to face the fire for his wrong doings. Instead, he saved his skin by running away. He did not have the spine to own responsibility for what he had done.

Mush-a-Riffraff, the only problem with your backbone is that it isn’t there. You are an invertebrate, a slug, an insect of no consequence.


posted by Salman Rashid @ 00:00,


At 3 October 2016 at 09:10, Anonymous Krishna said...

To the point. Thanks for reminding the facts to the people who feign to have forgotten Kargil and the mad General's misadventures.

At 3 October 2016 at 11:01, Anonymous Aftab said...

Musharraf, while waging Kargil war, didn't even inform his Prime minister, they kept Pakistan air-force blindfolded to the end (read Kaiser Tufail's account on internet), Navy didn't even know anything. After doing that, he broke down the constitution and forced the elected prime minister into exile. Mushar-riff-raff is a trator to our country Pakistan. He must be tried under article 6 and must be sentenced to death.

At 3 October 2016 at 23:33, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you angry at Musharraf or his statement against India.

At 4 October 2016 at 14:33, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

I am angry with him for back-tracking (2002) after first having said boo to the mullahs in Oct 2001. I am angry with him for the dastardly slaying of Nawab Akbar Bugti. And I'm angry for him being the all of Pakistan for nine years and doing nothing except drinking whisky and dancing with bimbos.

At 4 October 2016 at 14:37, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

M/s Krishna and Aftab, thank you very much. Aftab is spot on.

At 5 October 2019 at 20:55, Anonymous Col Sodhi said...

Mush played a gamble. He thought,if he is able to annex Kargil, he will make the history. Besides losing, this man abandoned and refused to collect the bodies of his soldiers including officers. Shameful.
Indians preserved the bodies and forced him to collect these belatedly. Mush didn't apologise to the families of the soldiers for his sins.

At 8 October 2019 at 13:32, Blogger Salman Rashid said...

The most shameless act committed by that vermin was abandoning the soldiers on Kargil. If he had started a foolish venture, he should have owned it. I was very moved when the Indian Army returned our dead with full military honours. The vermin should even now as he lies in his deathbed with a wasting disease render an apology. It might make the release of his ghost easier. But then, I am speaking only in human terms, sir.


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My Books

Deosai: Land of the Gaint - New

The Apricot Road to Yarkand

Jhelum: City of the Vitasta

Sea Monsters and the Sun God: Travels in Pakistan

Salt Range and Potohar Plateau

Prisoner on a Bus: Travel Through Pakistan

Between Two Burrs on the Map: Travels in Northern Pakistan

Gujranwala: The Glory That Was

Riders on the Wind

Books at Sang-e-Meel

Books of Days