It is 16 degrees centigrade in Chakwal, with bright and clear skies. But the mood of The News columnist Ayaz Amir is murky at best and the surroundings seem cloudier to him.
He drums his desk lightly, emitting woeful sounds that upon close scrutiny say, “Prohibition, Prohibition, Prohibition. But why in Pakistan, O Lord. Why in Pakistan.”
In his present mood, he would rather tear off his tonsorial and facial hair than stare at the empty bottles of Scotland’s finest. He could curse himself for forgetting the whole New Year eve thing and not getting the extra supplies.
Frustrated! If the word would suffice.
Why in Pakistan! He quitely screamed to himself. And that too from Zulifikar Ali Bhutto. The fifth day of July 1979 … the darkest day of lifetimes. Some “Enforcement of Hadd”! Shoot.
Imagine the Americans celebrating the 4th of July and we in Pakistan, the very next day, yes Sir, the very next day, July 5, Bhutto unleashes President’s Order No. 4 of 1979. As they say in Urdu, putting salt on open wounds –Zakhmoun purr namak chiraknaa.
O Bhutto you had your real stuff, and you orphaned us, the lovers of Scotland’s best. You set us on a path of search and beg. Luckily we have obedient servants: Pervez Masood readily got a new ID as Pervez Massih and became a source of permits. But no the mullah wouldn’t let the good times flow! Someone finally betrayed him and poor Pervez had to incinerate the new ID.
O Scots those of you who rejected the independence have actually tortured me. I would have winged an ambassadorship to your country and contributed to the revenue of your best!
Hear ye! If you had used your conscience, I would have taken the Kamran Shafi route. A few columns blasting Imran Khan and praising the Man of Steel would have had me sitting in Glasgow. Yes, Glasgow and the whisky on tap.
Havana, cigars and rum, and lucky Kamran Shafi. No doubt he missed London but Havana is Hemingway too. Perhaps Kamran made the fatal error of showing our Man of Steel ice cubes and he assumed that Ambassador Shafi was pining for Cuba.
O God, how many columns should I write praising Scotland’s best? May be our Man of Steel thinks that I am referring to Chaudhry Ghulam Sarwar whom he thought was Scotland’s best and installed him as Governor of Punjab.
O Man of Steel, open thy and mind and heart, there is more to this world than lassi, even with all the khoya you add.
In fact, I have a winner here that modern historians doubt that it was Saint Patrick who brought whisky to Scotland, preferring to believe that the secret came to those shores from the Arab world in the Middle Ages. Yes, Arab world and how much our Man of Steel loves the four letter word A-r-a-b.
But wait, sentiments and all that, but our Man of Steel needs more infrastructures. The more overpasses, underpasses, and bypasses, and colored lines, the more votes he sees.
Perhaps my future columns should focus on the financial benefits of ending the prohibition. I need to lay before the Man of Steel how revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages could contribute to his future electoral successes: more money for more bus lines, bullet trains, and you name it.
Finally, golly I pinned it and just staring at these empty bottles.
If only Sturgeon and Scottish National Party do their job and make Scotland free, I can do my part, bash Imran Khan and praise the Man of Steel and blatantly – not like Kamran Shafi — suggest being made Pakistan’s first envoy in Glasgow. Scots and Scotch here I come!