A slip of the tongue and misquoting of facts are not uncommon in Pakistani politics — from kanpien tang rahi hain to “Germany and Japan sharing borders”, Pakistan has seen almost everything. However, the latest faux pas has grabbed not only local attention but las garnered international traction as a world-famous author was involved.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senior Vice-President Maryam Nawaz seemingly mispronounced the name of the Brazilian author Paulo Coelho — who has written several international bestsellers including The Alchemist.
The PML-N supremo’s daughter, during an interview, mispronounced his name, calling him “Paulo Coedo”.
“Like there’s Paulo Coedo, he’s a Brazilian author, whom I read with much joy. [He’s] written [The] Alchemist and Warrior of Light,” Maryam said.
Not long after the interview was aired netizens jumped at the error.
One user Tweeted: “Lo g Paulo “Coedo” nawan author aa gya maidan wich. [There you go! A new author Paulo “Coedo” has been revealed.]
Another said: Relax everyone. Y’all misheard shishtar [sister] @MaryamNSharif, she didn’t say Paulo Coelho but Paulo Coedo.”
Another cheeky tweep wrote: “I like Al-Platelets novel by Paulo Coedo and you?”
One user had a deeper analysis to share, writing: “Maryam saying Paulo Coedo and calling fiction closer to reality has its place. But remembering the names of so many writers is also a big task for her. It happens. However, if the conversation about a book does not go beyond “I like it”, then understand that it is not yet time to touch these books.”
However, in an interesting turn of events, people pulling the politician’s leg so relentlessly did not sit well with The Alchemist-novelist himself and he came to the PML-N leader’s defence, shutting down critics.
“I make mistakes very often in pronunciation of foreign names, so don’t be critical,” the author tweeted.
Twitterati — not be so easily quietened then began flooding the novelist’s post with comments, bringing him up-to-speed on the country’s political scenario.
One person speaking in favour of the PML-N leader shared a quick crash course on her being the daughter of a “three times prime minister.” Another warned Coelho to brace himself for “PTI’s impact.”
However, several commenters — clearly not fans of Maryam — spewed vitriol against the former prime minister’s daughter and their party, calling them “con-arstists”.
Coehlo, till the publication of this story, did not respond to any of the comments.