His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is seated at the head of the conference table in the Operation Decisive Storm command center in Riyadh. On his right is the Chief of Air Staff of the Royal Saudi Air Force Lieutenant General Mohammed bin Ahmed Alshaa’lan; on his left are the Chief of Army Staff General Eid bin Awad Al-Shalawi, and commander of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, Vice Admiral Abdullah bin Sultan Al-Sultan.
The Prince addresses them with a twang of happiness, pointing out that the Pakistanis are giving positive signals.
“I see this week’s Pakistani Supreme Court’s majority decision to lift the ban on the hunting of houbara bustard as a positive sign.
“Perhaps some of you may know that their now retired chief justice Jawwad S. Khawaja had ruled on August 19 in favor of the ban on hunting the bird. We must give our brother Nawaz Sharif due credit that in October, the federal government and governments of Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh asked the court to review its decision. Indeed, we should remember the greatness of the late Khadim al Harmayn King Fahd. It was he who had intervened and brought Nawaz Sharif to the Kingdom.
“Our foreign minister, Adel Al-Jubeir told me that the Nawaz government told their Supreme Court that the invitations to Arabs for houbara bustard hunting are a cornerstone of [Pakistan’s] foreign policy.
“What can be nearer to the truth? What do we need from Pakistan? I am told that the houbara is only thing they have.
“I wish that I could go for the hunt today, but this Operation is holding me back. Yes, my Operation’s consultant was telling me that with the facilities we have on board our airplanes, I could smoothly command the war from the hunting fields.
“But I decided to stay here and get this Operation successfully concluded. It is my goal to become the first Saudi Field Chief Marshal of Saudi Arabia.
“When General Raheel Sharif was visiting me, I asked him if their army had any field marshals? He told me that it does not take one to win a war to become a field marshal. He said that they had General Ayub Khan who decided and became a field marshal.
“But I want to be a field marshal who won a war.
“In fact, I have asked our defense attaché in London, Brigadier General Abdullah Saleh Alzughaibi to visit the classic bespoke tailors, G.D. Golding who was awarded the Queen’s Royal Warrant for services to the Royal Household in 2001. Prince Andrew has been his customer for two decades and Mr. Golding has fitted diplomats, military officers and business leaders, and now I find that the list also includes Prime Minister Cameron. I am told that he has more than 40 years of experience as a military tailor to officers.
“I have asked Brigadier General Abdullah to ask him to develop some designs for the Saudi Field Chief Marshal.
“I have news that will certainly dampen the Iranian enthusiasm over their nuclear deal. This is why I started with telling you that I see hope in the houbara bustard judgment.
“Our brother Nawaz has told me so many times that he always returns favors. I had asked Adel Al-Jubeir that he should tell Nawaz that Pakistan should sell a few nuclear weapons to us.
“You all know that how much Nawaz needs money. He has so many bus projects. He wants to put a bus project in every city before their 2018 elections. We have the money and he has the nuclear weapons. What a great chemistry!
“As far as I know that Nawaz cannot say no. Didn’t Pakistan sell nuclear technology to Libya?
“Even Secretary of State John Kerry knows it. You know all the public posturing America does! Kerry is warning us and Pakistan against trading nuclear weapons, saying there would be all kinds of NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty] consequences” if we did. He even appeared on CNN to dismiss concerns that Saudi Arabia may try to buy a nuclear weapon to compete with Iran. But you know that once the Pakistani material arrives, it will be the U.S. lined up to upgrade the F-15 and all American jets that we have it fitted for nuclear bomb delivery. And of course, Cameron will be calling me to offer upgrading their Tornadoes!
“You all know the things that Iran has gone through with respect to NPT and inspection and so forth. We can buy now, we too can also talk and talk, and get things smoothed out.
“I am told that Nawaz is ready to fulfill our purchase order but their air force has a favorite. He is saying that we have to buy at least a squadron of their locally made JF-17 jets when they order their nuclear weapons.
“We all know that these puny JF-17 are nothing before the fighters jets we have – the F15, the 5-E, and the Tornadoes.
“In fact, I am going to go with it. Does it matter General Mohammed if a squadron of JF-17 is parked in one of your airbases? We all know that the most important thing is to win the Yemen war, which will automatically make me a Field Chief Marshal.”
He clicks his watch, and says, “It is 10 a.m. in London, so I will call in an hour to ask Brigadier General Abdullah Saleh to get the uniform going. You know once the nuclear weapons arrive from Pakistan, the Houtis will surrender especially when Iran is so busy in celebrating its nuclear deal with the United States.”
The Prince rises from his chair and walks to a mirror, declaring loudly “Field Chief Marshal Prince Mohammed bin Salman.”
The Chief of Army Staff General Eid bin Awad Al-Shalawi is quick to interject, “His Royal Highness Field Chief Marshal Prince Mohammed bin Salman.”
In unison, the three armed services chief chime “Masha Allah.”