January issue 2010
The A to Z of Pakistani Politics
Politics in Pakistan can be many things: complex, frustrating, shameful, regressive . . . and the list goes on. But it is, without fail, always interesting.
Here is a lighthearted look at Pakistani politics, from A to Z.
Army: Pakistan’s largest conglomerate of businessmen and real estate agents.
Benazir Bhutto: Since December 27, 2007, the first two words of every government programme, including boxing championships.
Constitution: An unchanging document that has proved so popular it spawned two sequels and nearly 20 spin-offs.
Dubai: The political and financial capital of Pakistan. Its residents include Asif Zardari and all the money that should have gone to the CBR.
Election: What Imran Khan and previously Asghar Khan call for every time a national crisis erupts.
Fazlullah: Most vocal advocate of polio vaccinations and women’s rights in Pakistan. Has recently moved to Afghanistan for some R&R.
GHQ: Supposed to be the central HQ of the army. Has less security than your local dhaba.
Hair: What Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan have miraculously grown after turning 50.
Imran Khan: A politician who receives media coverage inversely proportionate to his political influence.
Jamaat-e-Islami: Sees Jews, Christians and Hindus under every bed.
Kerry-Lugar Bill: Legislation that disproved the maxim “Beggars can’t be choosers.”
Long March: A yearly fashion show with the world’s longest ramp featuring lawyers with killer bhangra moves.
Martyr: A description initially given to those who died carrying out terrorist attacks in Kashmir. Since 9/11, used to describe those who kill the former martyrs, now known as terrorists.
Nuclear Weapons: Pakistan’s chief export.
Obama: Deliverer of peace, one drone at a time.
Predator: Gets rid of the pesky over population problem in North Waziristan.
Quorum: What the National Assembly’s members are rarely able to meet.
Rehman Malik: The least reassuring presence at the scene of a terrorist attack.
SMS: A technological innovation that allows the easy transmission of anti-Zardari jokes.
Twitter: What Marvi Memon uses to give migraines to all her followers on the micro-blogging website. Also used by Memon to show off her abbreviation skills.
USA: Similar to the significant other who you hate but must get along with because he keeps you in diamonds.
Visa: Pakistan’s first casualty of 9/11.
Wheat: In shorter supply than Kalashnikovs and bombs.
Xe: Xe aka Blackwater aka DynCorp. Similar to the kid in The Sixth Sense, Shireen Mazari sees their employees everywhere.
YouTube: Where Pakistani political indiscretions are immortalised.
Zardari: The widower with the perpetual grin.
Nadir Hassan is a Pakistan-based journalist and assistant editor at Newsline.