In George Orwell’s chilling 1984, the totalitarian state of Oceania is in a state of perpetual war with either one of the two other, similarly fascist states called Eurasia and Eastasia. At any given point in time, two would have formed a tenuous alliance against the third.
Oceania – and presumably the other two – would stoke patriotic fervour against whoever they were at war with at that time through massive rallies and official propaganda. But when the government in Oceania decides to stop fighting with Eurasia and ally with it against Eastasia, saying the war with the former is now over was not good enough. The official line wasn’t ‘We are not at war with Eurasia,” but “We were never at war with Eurasia!”
As it so happened, the change in alliances took place while a state-sponsored anti-Eurasia rally was taking place. All the participants holding anti-Eurasia placards and banners were promptly arrested and sent to the gulag for besmirching such a time tested ally!
It appears that the federal information minister has taken a leaf out of the party’s book in the aftermath of the tumult caused by Dr Farrukh Saleem’s appearance on a Hum News’ program. The government isn’t treating the disease in the economy, but only the symptoms, he had said. The devaluation of the rupee is going to bring inflation, but did not bring with it the increase in exports that were hoped for.
The clip went viral for obvious reasons. This wasn’t just a pundit; he was the government’s spokesperson on economic affairs!
Fawad Chaudhry’s reply to this was a most unexpected one. He said the fellow wasn’t, in fact, the government’s spokesperson on economic affairs! Some weak explanation about how his appointment wasn’t even made final. The fine folks over on twitter took him to task and dug up an old tweet of his congratulating Saleem on becoming the government’s spokesperson on economic affairs.
Clarification is needed @SaleemFarrukh is not spokesperson of the Government. We ought to have appointed Dr sb Govt’s Spokesperson on economy but later it transpired that PM office has banned any hirings so his Appointment could never transpire,he is free to have any opinion https://t.co/SrQiJnNJD7
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) January 2, 2019
Ministry of Information is pleased to announce that Dr Farrukh Saleem will be the Government’s spokesperson on Economy and energy issues, notification shall follow accordingly @SaleemFarrukh
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) October 9, 2018
Besides, The Dependent had already made fun of Farrukh Saleem in his capacity as the government’s spokesperson on economic affairs, which is of more value than any letter of appointment by the federal government.
But this brazen day-is-night approach is a sign of things to come.