July 12th, 2010
03:52 PM ET

The Jim Henson of Pakistan

[cnn-video url=http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2010/07/12/robertson.pakistan.political.satire.cnn]

Pakistan is a nation in constant political upheaval, with a new political scandal emerging seemingly every week. The latest scandal involves numerous parliamentarians with fake university degrees, a subject so tense the government has tried to silence the media from reporting it. Puppets on the other hand are harder to keep quiet.

Master puppeteer Farooq Qaisar's weekly show is full of satire and caricature of Pakistan's politics. A recent show had the puppet prime minister serenading a President Obama for money.

"Our contribution in the media is we again give the awareness to the people," says Qaisar. "This is good.. this is bad.. now you have to decide."

Decades as a children's puppeteer made him and his principle character, Uncle Segum, more than famous: they are trusted. Dubbed the Jim Henson of Pakistan by the Muppets creator himself, Qaisar now has reinvented his characters for a new generation.

"It's a serious show but we are doing it in a way that people should understand and at the same time they should laugh," says one of the producers, Shaista Yasmeen.

While the show is light-hearted tongue in cheek, some parliamentarians caught up in one of the shows recent sketches about fake degrees don't think it's a laughing matter.

Journalists in one province protested when the government there banned them from broadcasting about fake degrees that some parliamentarians had used to help them gain office. The puppet show has so far escaped the clampdown put on regular reporters.

Qaisar believes that's what makes their programming valuable. "Showing this fake degrees - this is the high work, the basic work of the media."

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