The evening of November 9th was a tumultuous affair: full of excitement, revelations, astounding robust thrills, political reverberations, media resonance and the restrained admittance of a Messiah-in-the-making by a resurgence of political association between once friends and recent foes. The few hours of the evening seemed like creating history for Pakistan.
In Abu Dhabi’s fabulous cricket stadium, Mohammad Aamar and Saeed Ajmal were making grand cricket history and every cricket lover everywhere in the world sat on the razor’s edge watching the inherently delightful and ebullient epilogue of the gentlemen’s game. Cricket was at its best – the excitement extempore.
On the Pakistani TV Express News channel, the Pakistani Peoples’ Party’s participant on Javed Choudhry’s program “Kul Tak” was making a mind-boggling statement: there was no “Pireshani” (perplexity, confusion, embarrassment, perturbation, worry), none whatsoever, absolutely none at the highest levels of PPP leadership on the prevailing state of affairs in the country. Everything was “hunky dory” in absolute earnest for Pakistan and its increasingly impoverished people (including the lethal bombardments of its own territory by its national army).
Dr. Shahid Masod was racking his brains on his program “Meray Mutabik” to get straight answers on the future implications of the now dead and buried NRO.
Pervez Musharraf shamelessly and blatantly was using “un-parliamentary” language for the sitting President of Pakistan.
Fouzia Wahab, the PPP stalwart and an apologist for Asif Ali Zadari, was meritlessly and gracelessly defending her already discredited boss.
Many other eminent journalists, meanwhile, were demanding the President’s head – along with his political-financial collaborators.
The news of Imran Khan’s surgery were being aired on TV channels.
Also being discussed on several talk shows was Seymour Hersh’s gallant disclosure of American intentions for Pakistan’s nuclear assets in his revealing article entitled “Defending the Arsenal”.
And if all of this was not enough to turn one’s stomach, the Pakistani maverick politician and barrister-at-law, Aitzaz Ahsan, was making restrained announcements of his recent meetings with the President, the Prime Minister and the Army Chief with loaded melodramatic and anticipative linguistic skills and tactics on every Pakistani TV channel. Aitzaz said: “If I fully disclose the nature of my discussions, many many people will lose their night’s sleep.” Well said, but Aitzaz Ahsan, we pretty much know what’s up. Let me explain the riddle to my country fellows.
Be mindful that Aitzaz Ahsan was on a visit to the US when he was urgently summoned back to Islamabad by the Prime Minister for successive meetings with the President and the Army Chief. Do you see the emerging scenario?
The Attorney-General’s offer to Aitzaz Ahsan is a hoax to gain time. The political theatrics of the drama entitled “Some Will Lose Their Night’s Sleep” unfolds as follows:
1) On November 13th, Aitzaz Ahsan’s membership is restored by the Peoples’ Party Central Committee.
2) Behind the doors, work starts on yet another masterly crafted NRO out of public view and in absolute state secrecy.
3) The President resigns and is given a safe passage out of Pakistan along with his political-financial cohorts. Zardari’s and his friends’ massive financial assets are saved in foreign countries. The deal is hailed as a victory for the fledgling Pakistani democracy. Not a bad arrangement for Zardari, his associates, Aitzaz Ahsan and the PPP.
4) The PPP elects a new party Chief from Sind. This person might be even Mumtaz Bhutto.
5) The ruling party and all the opposition in the Parliament elect Aitzaz Ahsan as the new President of Pakistan.
6) Nawaz Sharif, Altaf Bhai, the rest of the political leadership and the Army all celebrate the victory of democratic forces over the evil powers that had besieged Pakistan.
7) A new savior, the Messiah, in the person of Aitzaz Ahsan, is born and presides over the nation.
8) American patronage continues: the Obama Administration’s escalation of the “war on terror” remains undisrupted and undisputed. Arms and money keep pouring in as military aid and socio-economic grants. Neo-capitalism continues steadfastly on its forward march.
9) The Pakistani democracy is saved. PPP completes its five years in power. Hail Caesar: a divine intervention gives Pakistan a new head of state – honorable, dedicated, poised, determined, charismatic, honest and patriotic. Suddenly, Pakistan turns into a “Heaven on Earth.”
Not so fast, though. A vital question in a change of political power structure (whatever that may be) in today’s Pakistan is: Will the present day political status quo continue in the country? Will US-NATO stay on a course of military solutions for purely political problems in Afghanistan and expand it further into Pakistan?
What if Seymour Hersh’s theory on Pakistan’s nuclear assets is not proven wrong?
Aitzaz Ahsan’s ascendency to political “Messiah” will be a welcome development in Pakistan. But is he up to the challenge?
Barrister Ahsan’s American baggage is a thorn in the equation!
Fellow Pakistanis! Heaven was not made in a day. Present and future NROs must cease to exist. US-NATO must pack-up and go away. Begging must stop. Self-reliance on our own resources and people is the only recipe for our future survival.
This has been an imaginative and innocuous piece of writing to envisage what might be coming our way in Pakistan in the next few days!
But I have a serious question: Will this nation live with yet another concealed and camouflaged NRO?
That is what would ultimately shape this nations destiny!
The author is a professor, political analyst and conflict resolution expert