Television host Syed Iqrarul Hassan’s claim to fame is his show Sar-e-Aam but over the weekend, he was trending for a different reason: his tweets.
“India vs Pakistan. We are not even sure that we ordered the vaccine or not, banana to door ki baat (making it is another story),” he said.
“Muqabla kerna hai to taleem main kerain, science main kerain, khail main kerain, infrastructure main kerain, economy main kerain, technology main kerain … aur such ka samna kerain (If you want to compete, do it on the basis of education, science, sports, infrastructure, economy, technology … and face the truth).”
He then shared photos of public transportation in Pakistan and in India side by side, with the former being in a dismal state.
The anchor didn’t stop there. He then pointed out how the Pakistani passport and rupee are of a much lower value as compared to other countries, especially Pakistan’s South Asian counterparts.
“Unfortunately, the Pakistani passport holds only as much value as one from Somalia or Afghanistan. The rupee is also at 1.90 compared to the Bangladeshi takka, and 2.20 compared to the Indian rupee,” he added.
“May God give us the ability to turn Pakistan into the true meaning of ‘zindabad’,” he concluded.
The tweets weren’t received well by the public, with some going as far as labelling him a traitor. Soon, the hashtag #ApologiseToTheCountry started trending on social media.
Hassan, however, found support from celebrities who helped another hashtag #WeSupportIqrar trend.
“Before bashing anyone, one must see the context of what is being said. Love, devotion and dedication of Iqrar ul Hassan towards our beloved country Pakistan is not even debatable or questionable,” pointed out cricketing great Shoaib Akhtar.
He wasn’t the only cricketer who came to Hassan’s defence; Kamran Akmal also shared his thoughts.
“We can’t judge his love and devotion towards his country by a post; it’s just his wish to see a better transportation system for his own people and his own country. Nothing wrong in that. Stay strong,” he said.
Journalist Ihtishamul Haq also raised his voice in support.
“We should all be thankful to Iqrar for exposing mafia in his programs, taking risks and saving hundreds of lives, mostly girls. Instead, we are calling him XYZ agent and making trends against him. This isn’t acceptable. I stand with IQRAR UL HASSAN.” he said.
“When a man who has risked his life many a times and worked tirelessly for his country and its people posts a picture that could be his wish to see a better transportation system, judge him for his intention with the same compassion and kindness he has always shown,” said singer Ali Zafar in support.
Actor Imran Ashraf also vouched for Hassan’s love for his country.
“I know one thing about Iqrar. Whenever he writes something he completes it with the most precious word PAKISTAN ZINDABAD, even his autograph is PAKISTAN ZINDABAD,” he concluded. “I support Iqrar.”
Original posted at www.dawn.com