The screen of my touch phone glowed and it beeped. I picked it up and it said,

“One new message received.”

There was a text message and it read something like this.

Man: “What’s the difference between a radio and a newspaper?”

Pathan: “Yaara (dude), the major difference I can think of is that one can wrap chapattis in a newspaper but not in a radio.”

The moment I finished reading it, my cell beeped again. And this time it read,

“A man was drowning in the sea. Tourists stood on the ship, helplessly watching the man frantically gasp for air. Suddenly a Pathan, standing on the deck, jumped into the raging sea. The crowd was shocked. Soon, he returned to the ship having saved the drowning man. People on board clapped and cheered for his act of valour and the Pathan replied,

“Thank you very much but first tell me, who pushed me in?”

I could not believe what I had just read.

My grandfather used to tell me the same joke when I was a child. The only difference was that the central character had been changed from a Sardar to a Pathan!

Until a few years ago, such jokes were associated only with Sardars. We grew up with the stereotype that Sardars have a relatively low Intelligence Quotient (IQ). Today, we think the same about our Pakhtun brothers and sisters. The intention may be to share a laugh but I am afraid that if we don’t change this mindset now, our children will grow up learning to discriminate against and mock the Sikh and Pakhtun community. They will associate Sikhs and Pakhtuns with these jokes and not with their traits such as hospitality, loyalty and bravery.

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by: Iram Moazzam


  1. Hi Iram Moazzam .. thanks for commenting .. we took the article from one of Pakistan news paper .. and in end of article there is source which can take you to the original one .. but we will mention your name in end here too … thanks..

  2. Hi, I am Iram Moazzam, the writer of this article about pathan jokes. Don’t you think it is very unprofessional and unfair to use a writer’s article WITHOUT HER PERMISSION or without MENTIONING HER NAME???