August Issue 2015
Saba Imtiaz: If I Were Prime Minister
Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Prime Minister. If you’re done with the character assassination (a given for every woman who has ever been in a position of power) and the actual assassination attempts (been there, done that), I’m ready to present my manifesto. A saat-nukati agenda. Half of the 14 points, which Pakistani teenagers have unsuccessfully been trying to memorise for decades, save for ‘Sindh should be separated from the Bombay Presidency.’ Given the damage to this country’s core and constitution (hello, Sharifuddin Pirzada), what’s the worst I could do?
Mangoes for peace: We’ve tried fashion for peace, talks for peace, exchanging shawls for peace, cricket for peace and war for peace. It’s time to kick-start mangoes for peace. Just ask Aamir Liaquat. Does anyone even remember that he once instigated murder? Nope. But you’ll always remember that he stuffed a mango in someone’s face. Here’s the plan: everyone gets a free mango. You don’t need electricity, water or gas to eat a mango. Just one bite of a succulent Anwar Ratol will make you happy and wonder why you were angry in the first place. Conclusion: peace. (Until wars break out over mangoes, in which case an advisor will be sacked, an inquiry commissioned and an overpaid consultant will come up with some other gem… for peace).
Appoint Imran Khan Ambassador to Afghanistan: Imran Khan is our most renowned expert on Afghanistan. Like other Pakistani experts on Afghanistan, he probably hasn’t ever visited the country, or at least, been there in decades. Yet he is fond of drawing parallels between Pakistan and Afghanistan on everything, from Afghanistan’s stance on negotiating with the (Afghan, and entirely different) Taliban to its (entirely different) electoral system. This makes him incredibly suited for the job. Plus Afghans actually don’t like Pakistan, and Imran Khan’s appointment as envoy will be another iteration of just how flawed our policy is towards the country.
Put Gullu Butt in the GHQ: That prowess with the bat, the twirly moustache, the Punjabi credentials — Gullu Butt’s resumÃ© writes itself.
Electric duas: For decades we’ve been told ke yeh mulk duaaon pe chal raha hai (this country survives only because of prayers). Dr Samar Mubarakmand and Agha Waqar will be asked to devise a plan of generating electricity through prayers.
Charge everyone with blasphemy: With every passing day, everyone — from doctors to students and clerics to churchgoers — is being drawn into the net of blasphemy charges. It’s inevitable that the entire population will be charged one day, so why not just put all Pakistanis on an equal footing?
Container cleric: Pack Tahir-ul-Qadri in his container — along with the anchors who hang onto his every word — to shake the foundations of society elsewhere, since Pakistan is already pretty shaken up. The South Pole sounds ripe for revolution. How long can the penguins hold sway?
Appoint Taher Shah as Minister of Foreign Affairs: Because we can always see eye to eye with the world.
This article was originally published in Newsline’s August 2014 issue.
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