Some time back, after my ST article on good governance was printed and circulated through the internet, I received several emails from friends who advised me to be careful: 'Don't Send Funny SMS Or Emails On Zardari. Govt May Arrest You'. The bottom line was: 'Mr. AZ has given stern instructions to the sleuths of FIA to hunt down Pakistanis responsible for circulating jokes about him through emails and text messages. He was angry at someone who faked his signature on the Visitors' Book at the Quaid's Mazar'. Another attempt by the 'hidden hands' to embarrass AZ ?' The 'evidence' has now been replaced with a new page, with the correct spelling. Apparently, he was also angry about the reports of his disappearance from an Iftar reception for Pakistanis, to attend a private party at Geisha, an upscale restaurant in Manhattan, New York'. And why not? AZ is now foot loose and fancy-free, has charm and hard earned money that he made while in jail, to burn and spend on his friends and foe. He has been told, over and over again, that a President is just a figure head and is not suppose to interfere or responsible for managing the affairs of the country. This is the responsibility of his PM and the merry men and women of Islamabad. For God sake, the man has been hounded for years, spent over eight years in jail, accused of crimes he never committed, became an accidental president of a nuclear country that has been misgoverned from day one and is riddled with corruption. And you still expect him to cross his eyes and dot his tea? Come on, give the man a brake. Let him play the fiddle and enjoy himself. He has earned it. Deliberate and misleading news must of course be condemned, but one hopes that gentle sarcasm will be acceptable and that Mr. Zardari and his charming Information Minister and not so charming security personals will not over react and call out the riot squad or their goons every time a cartoon or a few lines appear in the print media or go whizzing through cyber space around the world about Mr. Zardari. They shouldn't forget that, freedom of expression, speech and the press is the fundamental right of the people. 'Leaders' who have tried to gag the people and the press have always regretted it. Mr. Musharraf, for all his faults and short comings, must be appreciated for this. Despite all the TV skits, cartoons, articles, slogans, etc. ridiculing him, some of which were in bad taste, he did not loose his cool, except perhaps in the last few months of his 'reign'. In fact he allowed all the freedom the media needed and was instrumental in allowing so many TV channels to be established. Any steps to enforce 'the silence of the lambs' would start another spate of protests and marches, similar to the lawyer's movement and this time the government might not be so lucky and the end results could be disastrous. A show of tolerance had been displayed by the very lady who Mr. Zardari had found so 'gorgeous and wanted to hug her'. According to a report in the American press: 'Millions of television viewers have been treated to hilarious, spot-on portrayals of Sara Palin, the Republican VP candidate, by comedian Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live, a weekly comedy show. Ms. Palin's response was: "I love her. She's a hoot and so talented". These skits can be watched on U-Tube. Being dyslexic is nothing to be ashamed of, as some very famous people are dyslexic, including Albert Einstien, the famous mathematician, Thomas Edison, the founder of electricity, Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Airlines, William Hewlett , founder of Hewlett Packard and Tom Cruise and Whoopi Goldberg, famous film stars, just to name a few. And now we have our very own President, who has joined the exclusive 'Dyslexia Club'. So don't worry AZ, like me, you are in good company. But being dyslexic myself, I know how awkward it can be at times, but you learn to live with it and adjust your life accordingly. I don't know about AZ, but I did not realise that I was dyslexic till the ripe old age of 58, when my daughter, Azmaira, a clinical psychologist, diagnosed my problem. My writing is terrible, I have problems with numbers and spellings, pronouncing difficult words and hopeless at remembering names, dates and directions and get can lost in a one way street. As such, I decided that it was time for me to hang up my spurs and ride off into the sunset. I handed over the business to my son and wife, who have done a much better job then I could have done, established Helpline Trust, with a separate office and started writing my Straight Talk articles, which has earned me the nick name of 'Trouble Maker'. That was some twelve years back and I am still going strong. No regrets so far, except a few, but then, who is without regrets? My biggest challenge has been to get my ST articles out in time and with as few mistakes as possible. But thanks to spell check, word web, Goggle and a Talk Aloud software, which reads out the article to me, I have managed to keep my mistakes to a minimum. However, AZ is a brave man and more ambitious then I am. Instead of allowing something like dyslexia to bother him, he stepped right into the arena packed with wolves, hungry to snap at him wherever they could. But the choice was his and as the old saying goes, 'If you can't take the heat, then stay out of the kitchen', about which I had written in a previous ST article, Enter the President. For those who might not be aware of what dyslexia is, let me try and explain. It is not a medical or psychological problem, but basically a learning disability, which can be treated under careful supervision by skilled teachers. (Web site: Dyslexia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia - a learning disability that manifests primarily as a difficulty with written language, particularly with reading and spelling). Unfortunately, in Pakistan, like many other third world countries, there is very little awareness about dyslexia, how to recognise the symptoms or how to deal with the problem. The only institute that I know of is READ, (web site:, managed by Shahina Alvi and a group of committed teachers, including Sajeer of Imran Aslam's Jyiyala fame. So I suggest that AZ should keep his cool, have a good laugh and enjoy the jokes, unless they are malicious, misleading or are politically motivated. As for the 'knock' on my door? Well, 'so far, so good', so, don't worry, be happy. Unfortunately, the man who wrote and sang the song, committed suicide. E-mail: