To Share and Care

Former president Asif Zardari, upon learning that former and now incarcerated prime minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif is suffering from kidney and heart issues, is visiting him in Adiala Jail.

“My dear Mian Sahib … Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, I think it is a hopeful sign … right when I was entering my car to be driven here, I was told that you are being shifted to the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology on the advice of doctors. Very good, no less a doctor major general verified that you are diabetic and a heart patient.”

“You remember when I was jailed, I got myself admitted in the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences. It was six years of comfort and pampering. I had the entire second floor to myself! Wow … they wanted me to shift me to the Police Lines Headquarters hospital. But a little here and there counts!

“I am told that you have kidney issues too. Just keep repeating about the pain like you have at least six hurting kidneys! It is just the beginning, this kidney complain got you an air-conditioned room.

“We have to keep our spirits high. All these bureaucrats know that a little biryani and meat-stuffed parathas will keep our vaters satiated and never keep us far from power.

“You will recall that in April 1999, Benazir Bhutto was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for corruption for receiving kickbacks on our government’s contract with a Swiss firm, disqualified from holding public office and fined more than £5 million, by the high court in Rawalpindi. Similarly, I was handed the same sentence, when I had been held at a Karachi jail since 1996. But she was safely away in London.

“Yes, I remember. My brother Asif, we can say ‘God save the Queen’ … your and our families and our party leaders, and even Altaf Hussain enjoy her kindness. She is an honorable hostess. None of us are has ever been asked about the sources of our money when we buy property there.

“And then you had the fantastic prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani who refused the Supreme Court’s order to write to Swiss court trying that case,” intoned Nawaz Sharif.

“Indeed, Yusuf is a great man. Remember how he pocketed that very expensive necklace that Mrs. Erdogan has taken off and donated for flood victims during their visit to Pakistan!

“You have a TV here, and you may have heard that the Federal Investigation Agency had declared me and my sister Faryal Talpur absconders in the money laundering case. God be praised that our family has a very capable lawyer, Farooq H. Naek who got Faryal a pre-arrest bail arguing that the move was to prevent her and the other accused from contesting the elections 2018.

“And there is the great Ishaq Dar sitting untouchable in London. Now I have to get our Pakistan Stock Exchange Chairman Hussain Lawai out free,” Zardari nodded in approval.

“My dear brother Asif, may God bless you for your visit. Also, now I feel that unlike you, I did not branch out in so many countries, especially America, and only invested in British real estate. I continue to trust the Queen’s hospitality but you are right that America is also as hospitable if you have the right lobbyists. Indeed you had better advisors too.

“For one, I think that I too should engage your team of lawyers, great people like Naek, Aitzaz Ahsan, Nayar Bukhari and Latif Khosa to deal with our cases. For one, for starters, I would like to get them to arrange that everyday I get nihari and lassi at breakfast time at least!” exclaimed Nawaz Sharif.

“My dear Mian Sahib, you are most welcome to engage my legal team. It looks like yesterday but it was in London on May 14, 2006 that you and Benazir signed the Charter of Democracy.

“We should not let that spirit wane.

“My dear Mian Sahib, I am constantly guided by the wisdom of our great and perpetual leader, our great martyr, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who told Air Marshal Asghar Khan, ‘My program is to fool the people. They are fools, and I know how to make a fool of them. Join me and we will rule for twenty years. No one will be able to remove us.’

“Let us pledge once again to share and care, and strive together to make a fool of the people,” Asif Zardari beamed and warmly embraced Nawaz Sharif.

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