The disqualified, but de facto prime minister of Pakistan, Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif has gathered his progeny at his Avenfield House, the residence in London, where he had joined his cancer-stricken wife.
She was elected to the National Assembly seat that the court had made him vacate following his conviction.
Present are his sons Hasan and Husain and their spouses, two in case of Husain; his daughter Maryam, fresh off her triumph leading the winning campaign against Enemy Numero Uno, Imran Khan’s nominee, and her husband Safdar; and his younger daughter Asma and her husband Ali Dar.
Despite the gloom of losing the top title, the mood is sort of celebratory, as Kulsum has secured the seat her husband had to resign. In keeping with his practice, the former prime minister has a tall glass of lassi, one upped with a generous dollop of heavy cream.
Daughter Maryam, who is being proclaimed as the new standard-bearer of Nawaz Sharif dynasty, is giving her account of winning the seat for her mother.
She laments, “Abbuji, aren’t we all disappointed with cousin Hamza?”
Her father tries to console her, and adds, “You will recall, when my friend Asif Zardari signed the Bhurban Accord with me, he mentioned that after us, our children, Bilawal and Hamza Shahbaz will lead Pakistan.
“I too had great hopes in Hamza, especially his father Shahbaz has been the most loyal brother anyone can wish for. When I asked him to guard Punjab instead of taking the interim prime ministerial seat, he obeyed me. When I said that his focus on Punjab is more important than being president of our Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, he obeyed me.
“I know some in the media and in the opposition tried to read too much between the lines in the talk of Tehmina Daultana. It is no wonder that Shahbaz has three wives. He lets them talk but never lets differences pop up in our family.
“My dear children, you know how we have worked to be here. Our Abbaji, your most respected and beloved grandfather, put me on the path to the glory I, and now our family is achieving, when he introduced me General Ziaul Haq.
“Abbaji always gave his own example that we should consolidate our gains. And God be Praised, I have kept on this path most diligently.
“Theresa May can’t be trusted by our family for gaining United Kingdom’s support and patronage. You know, Benazir Bhutto had obligated her by introducing her to Mr. Philip May who became her husband. These big power people always promote people they trust. Surely Bilawal will use this card with Mrs. May.
“My Maryam and Safdar, we are all blessed because Junaid has graduated in government and politics from Trevelyan College of Durham University. So what if Bilawal has graduated from Oxford. We also have England-educated star!
“But my dear son, Junaid, we are most blessed that you took up playing polo, the sport of kings. You belong to the Nawaz Sharif dynasty that will rule Pakistan forever.
“Now Maryam and Safdar, as I was saying the our Abbaji taught us about consolidating gains.
“I am therefore considering hiring a lobbyist to ensure our Junaid gets opportunities to play polo with Prince William and Prince Harry. Our family needs to get a firm hand on our close ties with the Royal Family. Tell me, then what better way is there than to get close to the future king of England, William and his young brother.
“I tell you, the moment, my brother Asif Zardari starts reading the news about Junaid playing alongside Prince William and Prince Harry, he will become concerned. So what, if Zardaris have links to Prime minister May, the Nawaz Sharif Family has links to the Royal Family … links to the future king of England.
“My child, Junaid, you were very young when our family’s royal contacts worked to our advantage. When Pervez Musharraf was trying to a way to kill me, it was, my brother King Abdullah who asked him to keep away from me and our Family, and he also invited us to his kingdom and gave us much wealth and honor.”
Daughter Asma speaks up, “Abbuji, it is time that we tell Pakistan … we tell the world that Nawaz Sharif matters. I would say, we change the name our party to Nawaz League. It is our party and we own it. It is Nawaz League.”
Nawaz Sharif stands up and moves to hug his youngest child.
“I think that Asma has given an excellent suggestion. I mean we have a great team in Pakistan, people like Rana Sanaullah, like Khawaja Rafiq, like Daniyal Aziz. They will make our party name known far and wide.
“Also, it is more than to consolidating our gains but also to learn from others.
“You see how wisely he acted when at the time of Benazir’s death, my brother Zardari immediately inserted Bhutto in his three children’s name.
So my children, especially Maryam and Safdar, all of you should insert Nawaz in their names. It should be Junaid Nawaz Sharif Safdar. When our Junaid will be playing polo with Prince William and Prince Harry, the people will immediately know that Junaid is grandson of the only three times prime minister of Pakistan, Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif.
“Hussain and Hasan, you are doing great and I suggest that you consolidate gains with the Trump family. You can buy into a few of his properties.
“So children, remember as your grandfather, Mian Mohammad Sharif stressed, we should always consolidate the gains.