Firdous cudgels brains to redefine double jeopardy

October 14, 2019

It is usually said that ‘creativity is no one’s exclusive domain’. Following an interaction with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, for Information and Broadcasting, Dr...

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It is usually said that ‘creativity is no one’s exclusive domain’. Following an interaction with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, for Information and Broadcasting, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, I have coined another phrase and that is that ‘creativity is not necessarily the hallmark of Einsteins or Russels’. Even men and women of a little-more-than ordinary prudence, can create and coin newer terms like the one created by the governmental wizard of information, yesterday (October 12) during her thorough (read massive) discussion with media seniors at the Governor’s House, Lahore.

The way she cudgeled her brains and took up the cudgels to defend the government, especially the Prime Minister, Imran Khan, and his policies including the latter’s economic philosophy and international diplomatic overtures, makes me feel that the lady Special Assistant (nay, the Minister ‘for all practical purposes’) is a woman of a little-more-than-ordinary prudence. Some people may like to construe it as a psychological state somewhat between the ordinary and the extraordinary, that’s their choice. I have stated in all earnest what I felt on the spot.

At other times too, I have had interactions with the lady including our one-time foreign travel, in Pakistan Air Force One, to Boao Forum meeting in the ‘Hawaii of China’. At that time, she was a full-fledged Federal Minister for Information. Even during that period, her skill of bonhomie coordination among the media seniors and the sitting Prime Minister outsmarted her main forte that forms the prefix of her name.

This time, she acted like an unbreakable bridge between columnists, editors, anchors and the government (rather the PM, Imran Khan) as she made use of every thinkable and unthinkable term, undeterred by the ‘consequences’, in order to explain her government’s and her own point of view in response to the most difficult and formal as well as informal questions bombarded in rapid succession by the media.

Even providing more and more opportunities and courage to the media seniors to ask everything happening on earth and underneath, owes to Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan’s ‘information forte’ or perhaps to her specific psyche that remains undeterred by the ‘consequences’.

But, on one or two occasions, she displayed a good measure of restraint and caution when she was confronted with some sensitive questions whose true answers could have ended up in a jeopardy or double jeopardy, to quote PM’s Special Assistant for Information.

It was, however, in a different context that Dr Firdous used the term ‘Double jeopardy’. Normally, this term is used in the realm of law to mean double punishment. The law, in most parts of the world, provides protection to the people against double punishment in the same case.

Dr Firdous has given a new meaning to this term and I think these meanings are perhaps there to stay or to be quoted whenever a similar situation arises that needs to be explained with the help of hitherto incomprehensible terminology. When I mustered some courage to seek an explanation, the Special Assistant said that she was trying to say that if a successor government was made to repay the heavy, unjustified loans borrowed by a predecessor government, it wass a case of ‘Double Jeopardy’.

Should we infer that the government of the day is facing a situation of ‘Double jeopardy’ at the hands of former PML-N government that is blamed by the PTI leaders for obtaining unimaginably excessive loans ?

But the question remained unanswered, although it was raised at the Governor’s House, what would the next government (if it were not a PTI

government, after the next general election) say about the loans being obtained so ‘profusely’ by the incumbent government? …

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