Back then, I was GM Lahore and was waiting to receive him. He came out of the car, suddenly came towards me and asked; Did you direct that drama Zard Dopehr? I said yes. Then he asked again; You wrote it yourself too? I said yes again. He looked at me angrily and said; Now get ready to pay the price of what you did. He said that in front of the press and TV.
I was really amazed that the whole nation has chosen him as the Prime Minister of Pakistan and here he is instead of worrying about the issues Pakistan is facing he was arguing over a TV play. Most probably Nazir Naji had briefed him about it who was in the car with him.
Anyways, I went on a long leave because I didn't want to be insulted anymore. Mushahid Hussain Syed called me and said that you are a professional and shouldn't worry about anything. Maybe he had realized that I was on a long leave and no one will be able to say anything because as soon as I came back, they transferred me to Quetta. MD PTV was my school friend but even he refused me give me any kind of relief. He said he was under pressure from higher authorities. After all this I resigned but they refused to accept my resignation, and then dismissed me a few weeks later on the basis of a 10 year old newspaper interview.
Actually that TV drama was about the reign of General Zia and because Nawaz Sharif one of his biggest supporters he just couldn't digest it. The play was about police and lawyers and what they did after taking bribes from politicians. Perhaps Nawaz Sharif took it too seriously or maybe it related to him. Had it been any other country PM would have applauded me for raising an important issue but here, it was total opposite.
As told by - Shahid Mahmood Nadeem who is an award-winner Pakistani journalist, playwright, screen writer, theater and television director and a human rights activist. He served as General Manager, Director Programmes and Deputy Managing Director in Pakistan Television Corporation. He is currently serving the Ajoka Theater as Executive Director and also the Director of PTV Academy. During the era of Gen. Zia-ul-Haq, Shahid imprisoned three times by Zia in 1969, 1970 and then in 1979 for his political activism. In 1980 he was forced to live out abroad so he went to London where he worked eight years for Amnesty International from 1980 to 1988 in London and 1991 to 1993 in Hong Kong and later in Los Angeles.