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In the Name of God بسم الله

Yousuf Raza Gilani, Pm Pakistan

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Gilani's 'bad' English during US visit termed 'unmitigated disaster'

Pak daily reports that the PM even failed to understand questions, giving answers unrelated to query

Washington: Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's inability to speak coherently in English on his just-concluded official visit to Washington was termed as an "unmitigated disaster" because he failed to understand what he had been asked, gave answers that were unrelated to what the query had been.

Both Gilani and his country would have been better off had he chosen to express himself in a language he could speak with comfort, the Daily Times reported.

He could have spoken in Urdu or Seraiki and a competent interpreter would have done the rest.

Gilani rambled and his thoughts were disjointed and haphazard, his choice of words poor and his grammar and syntax weak during his address at a community dinner at a local hotel on July 29.

At the White House where he walked out from the Oval Office with President Bush, he was awkward and unable to express himself clearly, to waiting journalists. He also called Bush "Mr. President Bush" at least twice.

The three days that he was in Washington, Gilani said some most curious things. For instance, he kept saying that Pakistan does not have "sophisticated weapons" to deal with the insurgency in the tribal areas.

No one in Washington has any illusions about Pakistan, nor people here are unaware of where power lies. It is known that the Prime Minister exercises little authority and all decisions are taken by others, the paper reported.

Gilani made an appearance in an open dialogue with Richard Haass, one of US leading foreign policy experts.

The large invited audience contained the cream of Washington's intellectual community. Gilani first read a prepared speech, which contained the unfortunate line - that he repeated elsewhere too ­ "This is not Charlie Wilson's war. It is Benazir Bhutto's war."

Asked if Pakistan had the will or ability to fight terrorism, he replied that he had accepted the challenge and Pakistan would go for good governance.

Asked if the Pakistani state was structurally weak, Gilani replied that "we have inherited this," adding that the US is facing difficulties in Afghanistan and "this is a guerrilla war, not an ordinary war."

When asked why FATA was not being integrated with the rest of the country, Gilani replied that FATA was under the federal government and it had its senators and MNAs "who are supporting us". "Well, good luck then," Haass told him as the audience burst out laughing.

Replying to a question, Gilani said, "The US knows more about Pakistan than I do". To the question about rampant anti-Americanism in Pakistan, Gilani replied that the last government had no political support and used force.

He said the US had backed the military. Asked what the US could do to help resolve Kashmir, the prime minister declared; "The US can do what it wants".

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Don't make fun of other people's english otherwise they will make fun of your english inshallah.

Dont speak in a language on which you do not have command specially when you are representing your country on an international level. Why can't our leaders be nationalist and learn some lessons from the Chinese, Japanese, French, Dutch and other Europeons..

Better save that Insha Allah for something meaningful

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English is not his language. It is commendable that he tries. He would be well within his rights if he spoke SEraik and had a translator translating .

By the way, Bush does not speak English.

The last British Prime Minister who spoke English of an appreciable quality was John Major.

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English is not his language. It is commendable that he tries. He would be well within his rights if he spoke SEraik and had a translator translating .

By the way, Bush does not speak English.

The last British Prime Minister who spoke English of an appreciable quality was John Major.

He shouldn't "try" and that too in international forums. Who's stopping him from speaking in Seraiki or Urdu and getting a translator?

The discussion here is neither about bush nor any british PM.. It is about the Pakistani PM

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The fact is that our people are ashamed of their identity so thats why they dont want to use national or regional languages for interaction in other countries.

People of Iran are lucky that even their President uses his national language for any international communication.

Remember how he did it in the University of columbia........!!!!They promote their identity because they are proud of it...!!!!

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The fact is that our people are ashamed of their identity so thats why they dont want to use national or regional languages for interaction in other countries.

People of Iran are lucky that even their President uses his national language for any international communication.

Remember how he did it in the University of columbia........!!!!They promote their identity because they are proud of it...!!!!

Not only Iranians but Chinese, Germans, Italians, French...

true its all about being proud of your nationality

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The Bhuttos were foreign educated

Dear bro.........even locally educated leaders have good English.......eg Ghulam Ishaq Khan,....,the present governor of NWFP etc etc... ok General Musharraf as well etc..........its just that who really wants to learn the language......!!!

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Dear bro.........even locally educated leaders have good English.......eg Ghulam Ishaq Khan,....,the present governor of NWFP etc etc... ok General Musharraf as well etc..........its just that who really wants to learn the language......!!!

Uh oh... You've named General Musharraf.. This will surely spark a new controversy as soon as Sis Rawshni visits this thread :P

Edited by Hasan Farhan Naqvi
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Consider this a final warning.

Will the admin/mod be brave enough to show me his or her name and tell me why should i consider this a final warning? Final warning for what?

and how is it suddenly a final warning for me?

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Like sis Rawshni said, we should be proud of him instead of attacking him just because he doesn't happen to be a Punjabi or a Sindhi or Muhajir or Pathan. Thats right, Baluchis and Saraikis are the ignored folks.

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Their early schooling was in Pakistan. That is when the foundations are laid.

They never went to public schools accessible to common folk. And I know very well the lot which comes out of the "good" schools ...

English is not his language. It is commendable that he tries. He would be well within his rights if he spoke SEraik and had a translator translating .

By the way, Bush does not speak English.

The last British Prime Minister who spoke English of an appreciable quality was John Major.

Aap sey hargiz yeh tawaqqa nahin thee...

Aap kyun defensive ho rahee heyn? Logon ka kaam hey kehna...

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Some one claimed they were foreign educated.

Karachi Grammar School, Presentation Convent, in the days BB went there were pretty good schools in the social sense too; they weren't producing little lord faunterloys in thise days,

Private education started becoming the dung heap of society during the Zia days.

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Don't make fun of other people's english otherwise they will make fun of your english inshallah.
(Rawshni @ Aug 27 2008, 03:25 PM)

English is not his language. It is commendable that he tries. He would be well within his rights if he spoke SEraik and had a translator translating

Mr. Gilani is not an ordinary person he is a Prime minister. It is his prime responsibility to present Pakisan’s policy to the World in accurate and coherent way. The words spoken by a person of his stature carry a lot of weight as intentions are judged from them. The wrong choice of a single word can result in sever consequences for the whole country. So it is important that he should speak in language in which he can clearly say what he wants to say. If he doesn't know English that is not a problem at all as he can always speak in urdu or Sariki. The problem is speaking in a way which is misleading or making himself laughing stock.

Edited by Sayyid
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At the end, we are PROUD to be PAKISTANI......Alhamdulillah, Maula ka Karam hey!

I would consider myself fortunate if I am a true Muslim and momin, which will ensure that I am good human being as well ( if one is not a good person he can't be a good Muslim). Just being a Pakisani, Irani or Afghani has no role at all in making one a good human so I can never be “proud” to be a Pakistani. However, I like Pakistan to be prosperous because this is my country.

Edited by Sayyid
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Mr. Gilani is not an ordinary person he is a Prime minister. It is his prime responsibility to present Pakisan’s policy to the World in accurate and coherent way. The words spoken by a person of his stature carry a lot of weight as intentions are judged from them. The wrong choice of a single word can result in sever consequences for the whole country. So it is important that he should speak in language in which he can clearly say what he wants to say. If he doesn't know English that is not a problem at all as he can always speak in urdu or Sariki. The problem is speaking in a way which is misleading or making himself laughing stock.

NONE of you had any problems when Chaudary Shujaat was the prime minister of Pakistan for a few days. Thats because he was a PUNJABI not a saraiki. truth hurts.

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(salam)

"Bad English", "unmitigated disaster"? Reality or exaggeration?

English is not my mother tongue nor my first language and I do not claim prowess therein, but after going through the whole Daily Times diatribe and some other comments I couldn't find any potential disaster even distantly comparable to the usage of the word "crusade" by Dubya - whose mother tongue is American English - in reaction to 9/11. And I am not even bringing My Pet Goat into the discussion!

An opinion has been expressed above that Gillani's lack of proficiency in English may result in "severe consequences for the whole country". Well, the unfortunate use of the word "crusade" by one whom many call - though certainly no Shi'a would do so - the most powerful person on earth, did not result in any severe consequences for anyone. It was later clarified by his minions as having been an honest mistake. And this was committed by an Anglophone. Gillani, not having English as his mother tongue, would, only for that reason, be given much greater leeway in his usage of a language that is foreign to him.

Interestingly, while finding perceived lack of proficiency in English an "unmitigated disaster", we do not seem to feel that a similar lack of proficiency in Urdu - and resultant inability to properly communicate with one's fellow countrymen - could be an indicator of failure of leadership. I won't talk of the lack of ability of Jinnah, Ayub, Yayha, Z A Bhutto, Benazir or Nawaz Sharif in their national language giving them the allowance of it not being their mother tongue, but what about the extremely poor Urdu of Pervez Musharraf who belonged to an Urdu speaking family, but who seemed to have learnt the language at Kakul? Jinnah and Yahya rarely, if ever, spoke the national language while addressing a nation lacking knowledge of English. All the others did, but without any eloquence, and often miscommunicated because of their lack of command over their national language.

Coming back to English, what about - as Hraza has already referred - Ch. Shujaat's mumbo jumbo and the fairly poor English of Nawaz Sharif ( before he apparently took lessons during exile ;))? Both served as Prime Ministers without causing any disasters because of this inability that was much more glaring in their cases than in case of Gillani!

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NONE of you had any problems when Chaudary Shujaat was the prime minister of Pakistan for a few days. Thats because he was a PUNJABI not a saraiki. truth hurts.

The truth is that I am neither a Punjabi, nor Pathan, nor Sindhi, nor Mohajir and nor a Baloch. I am just a Shia Muslim Sayyid. So your truth is not hurting me :) ? How can you claim that all of us never had any problem with that dictatorship stooge? Any evidence? The problem is that you are reading things on the basis of nationalism. Get rid of nationalism and you would understand what I wrote above. Lastly, two wrongs can never make a right.

Edited by Sayyid
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(salam)

"Bad English", "unmitigated disaster"? Reality or exaggeration?

English is not my mother tongue nor my first language and I do not claim prowess therein, but after going through the whole Daily Times diatribe and some other comments I couldn't find any potential disaster even distantly comparable to the usage of the word "crusade" by Dubya - whose mother tongue is American English - in reaction to 9/11. And I am not even bringing My Pet Goat into the discussion!

An opinion has been expressed above that Gillani's lack of proficiency in English may result in "severe consequences for the whole country". Well, the unfortunate use of the word "crusade" by one whom many call - though certainly no Shi'a would do so - the most powerful person on earth, did not result in any severe consequences for anyone. It was later clarified by his minions as having been an honest mistake. And this was committed by an Anglophone. Gillani, not having English as his mother tongue, would, only for that reason, be given much greater leeway in his usage of a language that is foreign to him.

Interestingly, while finding perceived lack of proficiency in English an "unmitigated disaster", we do not seem to feel that a similar lack of proficiency in Urdu - and resultant inability to properly communicate with one's fellow countrymen - could be an indicator of failure of leadership. I won't talk of the lack of ability of Jinnah, Ayub, Yayha, Z A Bhutto, Benazir or Nawaz Sharif in their national language giving them the allowance of it not being their mother tongue, but what about the extremely poor Urdu of Pervez Musharraf who belonged to an Urdu speaking family, but who seemed to have learnt the language at Kakul? Jinnah and Yahya rarely, if ever, spoke the national language while addressing a nation lacking knowledge of English. All the others did, but without any eloquence, and often miscommunicated because of their lack of command over their national language.

Coming back to English, what about - as Hraza has already referred - Ch. Shujaat's mumbo jumbo and the fairly poor English of Nawaz Sharif ( before he apparently took lessons during exile ;))? Both served as Prime Ministers without causing any disasters because of this inability that was much more glaring in their cases than in case of Gillani!

I would like you to reread what I said above. Please understand having bad English is not a problem at all, speaking in a language in which one can't say what he wants to say is a big problem. Mr. Gilani not only has speaking problems but he also seems to have understanding questions and answering in correct sense as well. So his intellectual ability also raises eye brows.

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I would like you to reread what I said above. Please understand having bad English is not a problem at all, speaking in a language in which one can't say what he wants to say is a big problem. Mr. Gilani not only has speaking problems but he also seems to have understanding questions and answering in correct sense as well. So his intellectual ability also raises eye brows.

(salam)

I had read your input as also the thread as a whole, which is about Gillani's supposedly "bad English" being an "unmitigated disater", though the quoted article does not give an example of any such disaster.

As regards your point which is somewhat tangential to the topic, do share with us specific example(s) of his inability to understand/express that you felt could have "severe consequences for the whole country". I have shared one example ("crusade") used by Mr. Bush - an Anglophone - where the usage was apparently without consideration of connotation that may be conveyed to the audience. A question of intellectual ability? Quite possibly.

Furthermore, if one accepts your hypothesis of Gillani's intellectual disability, it will be irrellevant whether the question was put to him in English or Urdu or Seraiki, he won't be able to understand it! The basic premise of this thread thus becomes irrelevant. And by that measure, Musharraf's gift to the country, our erstwhile PM Ch. Shujaat should never have spoken at all!

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