Farooq Qaisar’s Hope for the People of Pakistan

Daily Show Pakistan Puppets

Farooq Qaisar - the 'Jim Henson' of Pakistan

Pakistan is truly one of the most unstable countries in the world. Its history is plagued with invaders, political unrest, other conflicts with neighbors and military rule. A modern day government is vastly overshadowed by military dictatorship through which most of the country is mostly controlled.

In times such as these, where journalists are being attacked and protests silenced. One voice is reaching the people. Farooq Qaisar, dubbed the “Jim Henson” of Pakistan by the creator of the Muppets himself, has created a new show featuring his familiar characters, a ‘Daily Show’-like answer to these troubled times.

“Our contribution in the media is we again give the awareness to the people,” says Qaisar. “This is good.. this is bad.. now you have to decide.”

The show is more straightforward and serious then the master puppeteer’s previous endeavors. The new show is full of satire and caricatures of Pakistani politics. A recent show has Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, serenading U.S. President Obama for money.

“Our contribution in the media is we again give the awareness to the people,” says Qaisar. “This is good.. this is bad.. now you have to decide.”

The show has proved a therapeutic hit with the people. So far, its been able to touch on issues other Pakistani journalists have been unable to. A recent scandal in the Pakistan Parliament revealed many members of the governing body had used fake diplomas to reach their lofty position. Protests against the corruption have been squelched and media outlets censored, but so far, Qaisar’s show has been able to point out these types of problems.

Qaisar believes that is the value in his new project. “Showing this fake degrees – this is the high work, the basic work of the media.”

Daily Show Pakistan Puppets

a 'Daily Show'-like answer to troubled times

Having worked as a children’s puppeteer for decades, his characters, such as Uncle Sequm, have become more than just recognizable. They are now ingrained in the culture and trusted by the people. The ability to make light of the situations we can’t control, and still educate the people, is extremely valuable in any society.

Shaista Yasmeen, one of the show’s producers, says, “It’s a serious show but we are doing it in a way that people should understand and at the same time they should laugh.”

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