Upon seeing the news report that the federal law minister, Farogh Naseem has hinted on the federation’s intent to invoke Article 149 (4) to administer Karachi, former president Asif Ali Zardari has summoned his inner circle to his suite at the elite Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences’ Cardiac Center in Islamabad, where he has sought medical cover to avoid the rigors of jail.
Present are his son, and party chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Senator Sherry Rehman, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Gen. Farhatullah Babar, Nayyar Bokhari, Syed Khursheed Shah, and Manzoor Wasan.
The thermos flask brought for him, carries his favored beverage.
A nifty sip and deep puffs on his cigarette stir him to action. He trademark smile on, he offers, “This 149 thing is more than ominous. Up till now, we have been standing firm on the 18th Amendment…”
Murad Ali Shah quickly adds, “Indeed, my beloved and respected leader. The 18th is your gem. Yes, we don’t have the center but the 18th keeps the cash flowing. I am duly transferring the proceeds to your offshore vehicles.”
Zardari continues, “Yes, my dear Murad, you keep proving your loyalty to the House of Bhuttos. I know it and it lights up my heart to see the growth. May God bless you.
“But I am really put off by this news. Why did you let [federal minister for maritime affairs] Ali Zaidi’s Karachi cleanup project to proceed? You should have taken the most extreme measures to stop the cleanup. It is a conspiracy against Sindh that others than the loyal servants of our great martyrs, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir can carry out projects in our province. It is a conspiracy aimed at snatching our powers under the 18th, the landmark Amendment that I signed as president.
“We should stand firm against anything that may hinder even the slightest cash flow to our personal treasuries.
“I had directed Bilawal to announce that our party will not be part of Maulana Fazal Rehman’s October Islamabad sit in. This was the right move as we can always show the government our good intent as seek ways out of these [National Accountability Bureau] investigations and cases.”
Gen. Babar adds, “My great and beloved leader, your every step is amazing, beyond remarkable. We are just worms that glow in your reflected glory. Your decision to stay away from Fazlur Rehman is most judicious. The absence of diesel permits and his perks are driving him to desperation. He cannot exist outside of the five-star environment…”
Zardari adds, “You mean like he is facing a fish out of water situation. You can judge his status when Imran Khan did not even take notice of his ultimatum that he resigns by August 31. And you know today’s date!”
Gen. Babar and Sherry Rehman, almost signing in unison, inform him that they are trying to find as to who would be governing the city after the enforcement of the Article.
Zardari continues, “You see that I also asked Bilawal to declare that Imran Khan’s committee for cleanness was not constitutional…
“Let me digress here. Murad just ensure that a few more houses next to our Clifton Bilawal House get acquired before Imran Khan launches his raid.”
Sherry Rehman, containing her anger, offers, “What is Imran Khan doing… I tell you he is killing the urge to enter public life… not only unconstitutional but also a violation of our fundamental rights. How can you block the avenues of our income? Who works for free!”
Zardari takes a few sips from the thermos flask and few deep puffs and declares, “It is a war. Yes, we are staying away from Fazlur Rehman’s march, but we will wage a pitched battle for our absolute right to rule Sindh and for our divine right to generate compensation for our public service.
“My dear all, we want the cash flows to continue tomorrow when Bilawal will rule… and Aseefa… and … when like you today, your children will be in their cabinets.
“Sindh will remain our personal treasury forever!”