Jolie surprised and delighted many people by her willingness to visit the flood victims in remote areas. Dressed in simple clothes, similar to those worn by the homeless victims, she sat close to them, held their hands and consoled them. She also made generous contributions to the relief funds set up for the victims, which showed up the pitifully small contributions to the relief effort made by Pakistan's billionaire and mult-millionaire politicians. Above all, it was the warmth and humanity she showed towards the flood victims, destitute and homeless, which contrasted so oddly with the aloof behaviour of Pakistan's politicians who remained rooted to their power bases, looking down upon the victims from afar.
She was entertained lavishly by the Prime Minister - whose looks seem to have impressed Jolie sufficiently to give him advice about a possible career in Hollywood! - and others. On her return to the US, Jolie produced a damning report about the glittering lifestyle and sheer wastefulness of Pakistani officials as the country creaked from recent calamities. Pakistanis who relegate their own language and culture to an inferior position in their own country waxed eloquent, praising her sky high.
Pakistan's dynamic Urdu press, however, saw things differently. One well known journalist, who writes in both Urdu and English, contrasted Jolie's behaviour with that of Pakistan's "elite" and concluded that even a person with Jolie's background was morally superior to the people who exercise power in Pakistan. His article in Urdu has unleashed a storm in Pakistan. Those who ostentatiously flaunt English, and its inevitable corollary, an alien culture which looks out of place in local conditions, cannot forgive this journalist for revealing the sordid details of Jolie's background to the millions who read Urdu newspapers. It is OK for westernised Pakistanis to know all about Jolie's personal life but readers of Urdu press? Hell, no! Pakistan's westernised bloggers are out in force to vilify the hapless journalist and to perpetuate a system of apartheid in Pakistan where certain things are left unsaid in the Urdu press.
My contributions to this debate have been in the form of comments at a couple of blogs:
"I seem to have ended up here more by accident than design. I am saddened to read this piteous piece of writing by a Pakistani blogger whose mind has been conditioned through long exposure to an alien culture and its language. The curse of celebrity worship is destroying western societies through a general process of dumbing down, and trivialisation of values which are essential for maintaining stable societies.
Do you realise what you are saying? Just goes to show the extent to which Pakistanis have been brainwashed by the country’s bastardised educational system – which replaces independent thinking by a servile acceptance of high sounding, meaningless drivel uttered by arrogant Americans and other English speakers. The Americans and the British tend to hold the average English-spouting Pakistani in contempt because this sorry specimen of humanity is expected always to fall in line with the western view of things. What makes such obsequious Pakistanis so useful to the West is their utter failure to feel any sense of national pride or to comprehend what is good for their country as a whole.