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Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan: Pakistan’s new minister of information – by Tanveer Qaiser Shahid

While the Fake Civil Society (FCS) and right wingers of Pakistan are busy in ridiculing Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan attacking her accent, gender and non-urban background, here is an excellent article by Tanvir Qaiser Shahid which offers a balanced perspective on Dr Awan’s choice as Pakistan’s Federal Minister of Information and Broadcasting. It may be noted that Dr Firdous Awan joined the PPP in 2007 before elections, and contested a general seat on the PPP ticket in upper Punjab. She defeated a towering figure of Musharraf’s regime, i.e., Chaudhry Amir Hussain, the sitting speaker of the National Assembly and that too by no less than 30000 votes. She is extremely well popular in her constituency in Sialkot.


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  • Information Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan says electronic media has turned into an industry

    http://news.ptv.com.pk/national1.asp

    Information Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan says electronic media has turned into an industry and there is no restriction on the freedom of press.

    Talking to a delegation of Pakistan Cable Operators Association in Lahore, she said cable operators are backbone of media and the public has rights to access to information. The Minister said Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority should be a watchdog on the Information Ministry affairs instead of becoming its subordinate institution. She said PEMRA should be full authority to stop any channel so that the government is not blamed in case of the channel is closed.
    Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan said we want to give strength to the institutions coming under Information Ministry, and media through a mechanism as a growing industry it will further go ahead. The delegation of the Pakistan Cable Operators Association apprised the Information Minister of their problems.

  • Ministry for Information and Broadcasting

    Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, of heera mandi attack fame, who is often called to talk shows when a little ghunda element is needed has been given the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. Dr Awan is now responsible for ‘handling’ the media, and tactfully explaining the government’s policies and defending it’s mistakes.

    From now on, after every single cabinet briefing, we’ll see Dr Awan taking the stage. I have a sneaking suspicion that the leader has been given this portfolio simply to avoid the burden of the inevitable backlash of the government’s decisions. After all, who better than someone like Dr Awan to stand her ground, and mollify the poisonous arrows of criticism?

    She has an imposing personality and a booming voice, that is loud enough to be heard over any number or screaming journalists. So, instead of criticising the government for choosing someone who is not exactly known for her tact, perhaps we should applaud them for choosing someone who has the power to suppress any incoming attacks.

    http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/4340/skeletons-in-the-cabinet-a-reshuffle-that-makes-no-sense/

  • From Twitter

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    While #FCS chatter about Aapa Firdous, here is a piece in The Economist on their former abbu (daddy): http://criticalppp.com/archives/39860
    11 minutes ago Favorite Reply Delete

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    The #FCS including a silly foreign journalist who term Dr Firdous Awan as ‘aapa’, did they ever use this term for Sherry Rehman? Hypocrites!
    29 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    In sincerity, character and attachment to her people, not even 100 (urban) Sherry Rehmans equal to one (rural) Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan
    31 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    Typical #FCS RT @NadeemGehla Other day a notorious Burger was making fun of Javed ch for his Eng accent, not 4 content/ideology he paddles
    33 minutes ago

    NadeemGehla nadeemgehla
    @
    Other day a notorious Burger and PPP hater was making fun of Javed ch for his Eng accent, not 4 content/ideology he paddles @AbdulNishapuri

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    Veena Malik to Mufti Abdul Qawi: You attack me only because I am a woman? #FCS to Firdous Awan: We attack you because you are a rural woman

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    Apparently so many #FCS busy in attacks on “Aapa” Firdous Ashiq Awan. The same were busy defending Veena Malik’s feminism a few day ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    It is funny to see this term “Firdous Aapa” used by some urbans, uncritically recycled by foreign journalists. @Razarumi @Rezhasan
    17 hours ago Favorite Reply Delete

    Rezhasan Rezaul Hasan Laskar
    @
    @Razarumi formidable being key word here. mucho #respect for Firdous aapa.
    17 hours ago

    Razarumi Raza Rumi
    Despite her opportunism she is a formidable woman – in touch with reality and rooted in her context! Salute RT @Rezhasan Firdous aapa

    2 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply
    »

    shahidsaeed Shahid Saeed
    Much loved new spin doctor Apa Firdous with @fispahani http://bit.ly/icNk7f
    2 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

    shakirhusain shakir husain
    Please tell me you know Apa Firdous! “@BinaShah: I cannot BELIEVE who they chose as the new Information Minister.”
    18 hours ago

    hushamahmed Husham Ahmed
    But the best part in the episode is ‘clarification statements’ of Apa Firdous, who has just started doing her job.
    18 hours ago

    Rezhasan Rezaul Hasan Laskar
    So Firdous apa has linked Musharraf’s warrant to Qureshi’s decision not to join cabinet. WTF!!
    23 hours ago

    Rezhasan Rezaul Hasan Laskar
    Is Firdous apa inking warrant for Musharraf to SM Qureshi not being in cabinet? wtf.
    13 Feb

    pakblogging Pakistani Blogs
    A Reluctant Mind: Apa Firdous, you rock!: You know what, people may think I am a bloody nobody and Apa Firdous … http://bit.ly/dTPpsE
    12 Feb

    tazeen tazeen
    hahaha someone just comapred Apa Firdous to Alys Faiz on my blog.
    12 Feb

    mehreenkasana Mehreen Kasana
    I love this by @tazeen. Apa Firdous, you rock! http://bit.ly/fGWbQR
    12 Feb

    kaalakawaa Kala Kawa
    @
    .@tazeen’s ode to our brand spanking new Information Minister: Apa Firdaus. http://bit.ly/fGWbQR
    12 Feb

    tazeen tazeen
    Now I can die happy RT @aapafirdous Meray baray mein blog pay achi achi batein! Mein tujh pay sadkay jaoon tazeen beti! http://bit.ly/i8Qjcn
    12 Feb

    pishipotty Pishi Potty
    @
    @tazeen I hope one day that you get to interview Apa Firdous and Afridi at the same time. That day is going to be awesome.
    12 Feb

    tazeen tazeen
    From the blog: Apa Firdous, you rock! http://bit.ly/fGWbQR
    12 Feb

    tazeen tazeen
    @
    @kaalakawaa here it is http://bit.ly/fGWbQR
    12 Feb

    msvayani Shahid Vayani
    Lol 😀 RT @ammaryasir: The world cup kit is made in Sialkot. Rumor has it they made 1 for Apa Firdous as well with special gotay wali karai.
    12 Feb

    ammaryasir Ammar Yasir [RONIN]
    The #PakCricket world cup kit is made in Sialkot. Rumor has it they made one for Apa Firdous as well with special gotay wali karai.
    12 Feb

    xabeen Sabeen H. Syed
    RT @ammaryasir: No comparison b/w Egypt and Pakistan. No sane democracy will have Apa Firdous Aashiq as information minister.
    11 Feb

    ammaryasir Ammar Yasir [RONIN]
    No comparison b/w Egypt and Pakistan. No sane democracy will have Apa Firdous Aashiq as information minister.

    Bolshevik Urooj Zia
    @
    @Rezhasan I heard that in the morning. ‘WTF’ was my reaction too. Aapa Firdous vs Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Pahahahah!!!
    23 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

    Bolshevik Urooj Zia
    Wow, Aapa Firdous vs Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Claims Qureshi refused Cabinet after warrants were issued for Musharraf.

  • How many women are able to win a general elections seat in Pakistan? Dr Awan was able to defeat a sitting speaker of the National Assembly and that too by no less than 30000 votes. She is extremely well liked by her constituency in Sialkot.

  • I do not agree to this appointment. Firstly, FAA was a member of National Assembly on reserved seats from PML-Q. She had tussle with Ch. Amir Hussain and had a few skirmishes with him while he was speaker. Though she jumped the wagon of PML-Q and joined the PPP, it was only after completing the tenure. She won the 2008 elections and that too on a PPP ticket. Though she fights very well against the male competitors on TV shows, Ministry of Information is a different ball game. The person is supposed to be a face of the government. There could have been better options, even Kaira wasnt bad. This is my opinion. I am a jiyala and in no way I want division in my party.

  • “from Shireen Rehman to Fidos Aashiq Awan” summarized the performance of Zardari Govt.

    no offense to anyone but it is a reality..

  • The appointment of Ms. Awan as Information Ministry is a travel from progressive out look to conservative thoughts. Although she is a brave lady but not like Sherry. Now, it is a big responsibility on her shoulders after Kaira because he dealt media with spirit to defend the government. He did a great job.

  • Shaheryar Ali
    October 28, 2009 at 12:49 am

    Though i would generally agree [with Raza Rumi’s article on Kashmala Tariq-Firdous Ashiq Awan], with the premise that Pakistan’s media has brought the misogyny to a new height, I would rather disagree with the representation of this premise in the article in form of Awan-Tariq exchange on the media.

    The problem with it is that it takes a rather “moral” stand on the issue, in the philosophical sense of the word ie “ethics”. Its precisely a certain kind of “morality” which is the cause of the issue under discussion. When “male defined view” of woman’s sexuality is under critique i rather find it ironic that we read lines like “This was as ugly as heerra mandi lineage—”. This unfortunately again a “male oriented or Patriarchal view of reproductive relations” and its certainly not helping the crusade against misogyny. In Lahore, there is the artist Iqbal Hussain who rather celebrates his Heera Mandi lineage by doing so he is reclaiming what has been discarded by the patriarchal society and this is liberating. The more contemporary feminism, the third wave feminism actually favors the “reclaiming” approach.

    In this approach words like Bitch and Slut and Cunt are adopted as symbols of pride rather than degradation, in text we see books like “Bitch: In praise of difficult women”. That was a rather passing remark not alluding to the conversation two ladies had on TV. The passing of political judgment on bases of the sexist? [though its rather controversial weather two women can be sexist to each other, or a black man calling other black man a nigger is racist, or a guy guy calling other gay guy faggot is offensive ] remark is not a very good strategy if we keep the premise in mind.

    Whether Kashmala Tariq’s remarks were “fair” should have not been part of this article because , Tariq is sitting in parliament not as a equal human being but as a reserved seat nomination, a political bribe by male politicians to fill in “women rights column of their election manifesto”.

    Its question of political importance and if we read many reports of the women parliamentarians , it shows they are not representing Pakistani women but are in parliament due to being related to in one way or other to male politicians and elites. Most of them lack any grass-root political experience, and that is true for Tariq as well.

    Firdous Awan on the other hand joined PPP before the general election, contested a general seat on a PPP ticket in upper Punjab defeated , a towering figure of Musharraf’s regime, who was speaker of the previous national assembly.

    Tariq was nominated by PML-Q, her seat in parliament exist totally due to will of her party but she was the first person to make “Forward Group” as Musharraf was defeated in General elections. Her political conduct cant be called “fairer” as compared to Awan’s, whose change of political party was validated by people of her constituency and she is a grass root political worker.

    I think this scenario was not a very typical one to highlight this very important issue. Raza Rumi otherwise is superb writer and despite the critique reading this article was a sheer pleasure.

    http://www.razarumi.com/2009/10/26/media-misogyny/

  • author of this article seems to be a professional ‘palshia’. khoob makhan lagaya hai secret fund se wazeefa laine ke liye ……….. stupid

  • Dr Firdos ashiq awan loti he general Musharraf ka sath daiti rahi.
    usay sania Mirza to yad a gae magar Dr aafia yaad na aee.
    shame on you Dr. FAA

  • hi,i just want Dr.firdous aashiq to take notice of educational corruption in biggest college of sialkot which is GOVT.POST GRADUATE COLLEGE FOR WOMEN SIALKOT.Mrs.Ismat Mazhar is principal of this college and she with a director ARSHAD BUTT And principal of punjab group of colleges AKMAL are doing corruption.akmal has taken on govt.lecturer miss.afifa muslim as a visiting english lecturer and since last year she is teaching in punjab college boys campus and Mrs.ismat mazhar supports her in this and in return she gets money and other lucrative benefits by akmal.director arshad butt is main person in supporting afifa muslim to do govt. and private job at the same tima because she is his girl friend and arshad also attends punjab college functions as chief guest.eve. education secretary of punjab also suppot them due to arshad butt being a member of muslim league nawaz group.please take action against it.thanks

  • now afifa is going abroad on 20.04.2011 and she will get pay and all benefits just because she is arshad butt girl friend and aashad butt ismuslim league nawaz group supporter so all is right for him.please bring these corrupt people to face laws and let people see that justice always prevails.thanks.

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