Friday, January 9, 2009


Had it not been in the backdrop of the terror attack on Mumbai on November 26, 2008, what is happening in Pakistan now would be easily have been termed hilarious. In any case, it has certainly upset bananas as their fair name is being tarnished in describing the state that calls itself 'Pure' (Pak). Ajmal the Butcher (Kasab means butcher), the lone terrorist to have been fortuitously captured alive by the Indians, has created more mayhem and panic in Pakistan than he and his gang of 10 did in Mumbai.

Right from the moment Ajmal was captured, Pakistan went to a hyper-denial mode about his being a Pakistani. Even when the media reached his village and his father came forward to tell the world that it was his seed indeed that had done Pakistan proud, no one in the establishment was willing to accept that Kasab was his father's son. The agitation, it has now been learnt from reliable sources - as reliable as you can get them in Pakistan - was not about his nationality but about his surname. How possibly could the state of Pakistan, the ISI and the military, allow Ajmal, a class four drop-out and once petty criminal, to walk away with the supreme honour of being called Kasab?

President Zardari, a mild Sindhi man more interested in collecting monetary cuts than inflicting physical ones of the Kasab variety, was aghast at the idea of being branded a butcher himself, being Head of State. Army Chief Kiyani, who was ISI chief before he took over the reigns of the whole Army, was, on the other hand, furious that the credit for months of painstaking efforts that had been put in by the ISI to assemble a hit squad of mindless fools, was being hogged by one idiot who had missed his date with virgins.

Prime Minister Gilani was already smarting from the humiliation that Zardari was inflicting on him, having appropriated his powers, after quietly breaking his earlier promise of giving up all powers that Musharra had earlier illegally transferred to the President. Gilani should have known better than to expect better from a Sindhi. But, he was powerless to do anything and was looking worse than a bad joke-r in the pack that the world thinks runs the Pure Land. National Security Advisor Durrani silently shared the views of Zardari but had to follow the orders of Gilani who was supposed to be his boss, and who in turn had to listen to Kiyani who was the real behind-the-scene boss of them all.

So, when India sent in the dossier giving credible evidence about everything they all always knew to be true, Giani, Durrani and Kiyani got together and decided that Ajmal's nationality would not be owned up under any circumstances; it was a question of national honour and pride, after all. There was also an added bonus inherent in maintaining the denial: the other nine terrorists who had died before they could tell the tale could, with some difficulty, be passed off as Hindu-Zionists who were planted by India to spoil the 'pak' name of peace-loving Pakistan.

With India thus neutralised, preparations would begin in right earnest for the next Mumbai 11/26 that would be 10 times bigger and would be executed by terrorists trained to consume potassium cyanide, LTTE style. They could not be allowed to find out that the Indian legal system and its media were their best bet to get to the paradise of super-stardom on earth itself, and that there was no need for them to die in their prime only to get virgins.

This was the ill-cooked biryani the three of them thought would they would be able to shove down the throat of a reluctant US that had been rendered helpless due to its dependence on them for its war on terror in Afghanistan. Once the US took a bite, they reckoned that India would have no choice but to polish off the left-overs! Indians had to visibly demonstrate that the did love Bush deeply; they couldn't let their PM down when he needed them most.

After this seemingly logical decision was taken, it was easy for the trio to get usual suspects like Mushahid Hussain and a string of retired generals to get on Indian television channels, always more than eager to embrace and promote Pakistan's democracy rather than present and expose its brutality, to summarily dismiss the evidence submitted by India, and continue to deny that the Butcher was a Pakistani.

Unfortunately for Kiyani, this biryani was not palatable to Zardari, the scheming businessman who became a husband to a PM and then the President himself after she died, to better his business and, some say, love interests. So, he got hold of the amenable Durrani and got him to officially accept what was already known to every boy in every Pakistani and Indian street : Ajmal Kasab was a Pakistani indeed.

When Kiyani heard that the thunder of all the terror that he and the state of Pakistan had generated for decades had been stolen by Ajmal, he was livid. So, he in turn immediately got hold of the hurt Gilani to try and get him to get one back on Zardari. Gilani happily hopped across to the Kiyani camp and immediately sacked Durrani for letting the cause of Pakistan down for that slippery, scheming Sindhi. But, by then, the damage had been done and it was no longer possible for anyone to continue to deny that Ajmal's illiterate father had indeed fathered him in Pakistan and not in Kathmandu or somewhere else beyond the shores of Pakistan while on a business visit. The "na-na" republic suddenly became a "banana" republic, much to the dismay of that great fruit!

Kiyani is still uncontrollably furious at the unexpected turn of events. For the Army Chief who is the most powerful symbol of a nation that has fathered the Taliban, mothered the Al Qaida, brothered the Kashmiri separatists and slaughtered the Indians, what can be worse than to hear again and again that one rustic Pakistani is Kasab? Decades of hard work has been undone, only because a puppet civilian President and not a military one is heading the country.

Kiyani's dreams lie shattered. He was looking forward to the Day when, after successfully routing the US in Afghanistan, he would have appeared live on TV to utter three magical words to the whole world: "Pakistan is Kasab". The thunder of those words, he had thought, would finally eclipse that of the immortal words of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, words that had for long rankled him as even MA Jinnah could not better them in his lifetime.

But, the treacherous Zardari and the meek Durrani have stolen the promised moment from right under, and despite, Kiyani's cane. Worse, they have given the supreme honour that rightfully belongs to the whole nation to one illiterate Pakistani whose name does not even figure in the national data base of Pakistan! What an unpardonable double insult.

Last heard, Kiyani was busy cooking another terrific biryani with Gilani and some other "ani" that will enable him to come out of the closet and claim the lesser of the two prizes still available to him for the asking. If all goes well, and that is hoping for a lot in Pure Land, he will soon appoint himself President and send Zardari back to where he should have been in the first place: jail! Zardari, on the other hand, is working equally hard on a fool-proof plan to ensure that, this time, the plane carrying the Army Chief does not land anywhere in Pakistan...