Forget the movies, music, TV, theatre — so much of the drama and hilarity we enjoyed this year took place in provincial assembles and live press conferences. They're gifts our politicians just won't stop giving.

Here's a round-up of some moments in politics so incredulous that we think we dreamed them... but didn't:

1) The time when Sharmila Faruqi's bag was the bomb — literally!

It's happened to all of us at some point.

Sharmila Faruqi forgot her handbag at work, that is, her seat in the Sindh Assembly. But before she could come back to retrieve it, all hell had broke loose.

Her male colleagues suspected that her $895 Burberry could be hiding a bomb — you know, unattended airport luggage style... But they didn't call the bomb defusion squad, oh no. They called for a baalti of paani instead to ummm... drown the bomb?

We're just glad Sharmila reached before her Burberry got drenched!


2) The time we thought Pervez Rasheed believes saying the word 'sex' is haraam

One fine day in May this year, Pervez Rasheed launched a tirade against Imran Khan, which is not unusual, except that he dropped a rather odd slur mid-rant.

Pervez said, "Take the name of that place… where your [Imran Khan’s] children are growing up. I will not take the name of that place…because if a Muslim says the word he will have to perform wuzu (ablution for cleansing) for even bringing it on his tongue.”

Many on social media came to the conclusion that Pervez was referring to the university where Imran Khan's sons Sulaiman and Kasim study... i.e., Middlesex University. The assumption was that Pervex thought the word 'sex' is haraam. A hilarious Twitter trend ensued, curating all the names of places God-fearing Muslims like Pervez Rasheed couldn't ever take.

But people were mistaken...

Pervez soon clarified that he was actually referring to Hamsfield, "which is the Goldsmith residence where Imran Khan stays when he visits the United Kingdom."

So, it's ham that's the actual bad word!


3) When PTI thought a turquoise robot kitty would be the undoing of Pakistani children

One would think that important matters are discussed in the Punjab Assembly.

But one afternoon in August, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Malik Taimoor urged parliamentarians to talk about Doraemon, a Japanese anime series with a Hindi dubbed version that is widely watched in Pakistan.

Doraemon's plot revolves around a robotic cat named Doraemon, who travels back in time from the 22nd century to help a pre-teen boy named Nobita.

The resolution submitted by Taimoor read, "Cartoon channels on 24 hours are having a negative impact on the educational and physical well-being of children... The language that is used in the cartoons is destroying our societal norms."

Also read: 7 reasons why Doraemon is a threat to Pakistan

“We do not want a ban, just controlled timings,” the PTI office bearer Mian Mahmood later added, clarifying that the resolution was Taimoor's idea and "not party policy".

Still, many Pakistanis wondered — don't we have bigger problems to deal with? A hashtag #PTIvsDoraemon soon started trending.

Good thing that PTI didn't bring up the subject after that first time.


4) When a reporter brought a gun to the Sindh Assembly just to prove the security was crap

Far more serious sh-t goes down at provincial assemblies, though.

Just ask Sindh Assembly, which got a rather rude wake up call about its lax security when a TV reporter brought a gun into the house just to prove that point.

The reporter, who had hidden the weapon in his clothing, marched up to the speaker and handed him the gun, only to promptly get arrested for his well-intentioned exposé.

He was initially kept in detention by the assembly's security staff and later handed over to the police.

Was a proper inquiry ever made into the Sindh Assembly's security arrangements? Who knows?


5) When Bilawal's phopho mixed him up with the family *shaheeds*

Someone tell Faryal Talpur that 'shaheed'... isn't a surname!

While addressing a public gathering in Azad Kashmir, Talpur said, “Martyrs never die, they are alive”.

She went on to say that she believes Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is with them, his daughter Benazir Bhutto is also with them and “her son Bilawal Bhutto Shaheed is also with us at the gathering”.

Even if that slip in tongue didn't draw a huge gasp from the crowd, the look on Shehla Raza's face was priceless!

Also read: This conversation proves that even Bilawal Bhutto can't escape the rishta scene


6) When this PML-N senator insisted that "the poor are born to serve the rich"

Someone teach this man about a little thing called equality.

During a meeting of the Senate Functional Committee on Devolution in August, PPP Senator Taj Haider raised the issue of Pakistan increasingly becoming the property of the ruling elite.

But PML-N Senator Sardar Mohammad Yaqoob Khan Nasar didn't see why that was a problem.

“This is a system created by God, and He has made some people rich and others poor and we should not interfere in this system,” Senator Nasar said.

“Those who cannot get an education and cannot earn more have no right to live the life of a bureaucrat,” he later added.

We'd laugh at Senator Nasar's entitlement, if it didn't signify such troubling, tragic things about the mindset of our rulers.

The senator, who is charged with improving the lives of people, failed to see that it is his job to work towards an increase in literacy and employment rates in Pakistan. Instead, he believed the suffering of the poor is ordained by God.

Thankfully, some of his peers in the Senate didn't agree with this opinion and reminded him that God has created all people equal.

Unfortunately, he still didn't get it. "Once in China all people were considered equal, which did not work out well" was his reply.

We wish we could disregard him as one bad egg, but that's not the case.

Read on: Of rich legislators & poor taxpayers


7) When Altaf Hussain gave us an air kissing tutorial

Most people say 'Hi' or utter a salaam to greet others, but then Altaf Hussain is hardly 'most people'.

We've grown to never expect brevity from the MQM founder and it's true that he sometimes does the craziest things during addresses to his party workers.

But we weren't prepared for the ruination of the Pakistani cheek-to-cheek kissing ritual when this minute-and-a-half long video went viral in October.

In the video, Altaf Hussain is seen puckering up and bestowing "a pappi idhar" (a kiss on this cheek) and "a pappi udher" (a kiss on that cheek) to the legions of young children he imagined were watching at home.

You just can't unsee this. And pappis will never be the same again.


8) When Khwaja Asif called Shireen Mazari a 'tractor trolley'

The presence of a vocal woman with strong opinions tends to unsettle a lot of men, and Defence Minister Khwaja Asif is no exception.

At a National Assembly session in June, Khawaja Asif was giving a speech on loadshedding in Ramzan when PTI led by MNA Shireen'Mazari protested against against some points he made.

Incensed by the interruption, Asif launched a tirade against Mazari, saying "Someone make this tractor trolley keep quiet."

"Make her voice more feminine," he said, according to eyewitnesses. Another lawmaker chimed in from the government benches to say "Keep quiet, aunty."

Talk about not being able to handle criticism.

Although some TV reports claimed Mazari appeared on the verge of tears, PTI's chief whip denies having "broken down".

In fact, she said that she out-shouted her opponent.

We trust her version of events.

Khwaja Asif was earlier reported to have called PML-Q's Begum Mehnaz Rafi a "penguin" in reference to her limp, which goes to show that his sexist offences in Parliament are going unchecked.


9) When JUI-F senator Hafiz Hamdullah issued rape threats on TV

Debates often get ugly on Pakistani talk shows, but they hit a new low when JUI-F Senator Hafiz Hamdullah hurled rape threats at analyst Marvi Sirmed for what he believed was her support for the comments of Barrister Masroor, a panelist in the programme, over a lack of reaction from the Council Of Islamic Ideology on honour killings.

Although the threats were never televised, Sirmed revealed in a Facebook post that Hamdullah had swore at her and threatened to "take off her and her mother's shalwar". He also tried to beat her, she said in her Facebook post:

Although there was widespread condemnation for Hamdullah's attack, he suffered no real consequences for it — a reality that allows for such abuse to occur in the first place.

10) When "severe mental stress" got the better of Altaf Hussain

Oh Altaf Hussain, we all have bad days, but do we take it out on the entire country on live TV? Nope.

While addressing MQM workers protesting outside the Karachi Press Club against “enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings” in, Hussain not only raised slogans against Pakistan but also called the country “a cancer for [the] entire world”.

That wasn't very nice. He was later made to realise this, and thought to apologise.

“I was under severe mental stress over extra-judicial arrests and precarious condition of my workers sitting at the hunger strike camp,” he said in a statement released on Twitter.

A note for Altaf Hussain: Next time your work load is too much for you, take a break, don't drag your nation's name through the dirt.

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