If Only, Men Could Be Men

The election results coming on the TV screen in his cell, have depressed the now incarcerated former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. He has called his younger brother Shahbaz Sharif, the former chief minister of Punjab, to discuss the situation.

“Yes, I am the one to blame. I thought with my wife, Kulsoom so ill, and then Maryam and I bravely coming to face our prison terms, we will get tons of sympathy votes.

“Shahbaz what is happening! I can’t believe my eyes! The people of Pakistan have rejected the party of the three times prime minister of Pakistan.

“We should have used Kulsoom’s illness and stayed in London.

“We need to initiate our alternate scheme of becoming guests of one of our dear Arab brothers,” said Nawaz Sharif.

On the instructions of his older brother, Shahbaz, has installed a hotline where two attendants, who are also fluent in Arabic, are always present hoping for a much desired call from the Middle East.

“It was very kind of our brother Asif Zardari to visit me and to advise how to get transferred to a hospital. He knows. After all, he spent his entire six-year imprisonment occupying the full second floor of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS). I did everything he said that I should.

“Now the phone call has even become more urgent, especially after these results and also when this five-member medical board from PIMS said that I have no acute medical problem, and I am well-oriented in time and space. The doctors only said that I need fluids, rehydration and comfortable environment.

“Oh, yes, I forgot to ask them for fluids, if they could recommend lassi.”

“Yes, Bhaijan, I am keeping my ears and eyes on the hotline. Alas, there is no King Abdullah. What a man he was!” exclaimed.

“May God grant our beloved King Abdullah the highest place in Heaven. I am told that when he called Gen. Musharraf to send us to Jeddah, the general was all the time standing attention and only uttering ‘Yes, Your Majesty’.

“Shahbaz, why not you call General Raheel Sharif … he should at least remember that I gave him permission to become commander of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition and make big heaps of Saudi Riyal.

“No doubt, the real ruler of Saudi Arabia is Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, but this force is dear to him, but then with all the war with Yemen, General Raheel must be on good terms with him to present our case for once again becoming royal guests in Jeddah.

“Shahbaz, during his visit, Asif Zardari shared some very useful information with me. He said that instead of sending Benazir to request Gen. Musharraf to pardon them, they first hired a lobby firm, BKSH & Associates in Washington, DC, who helped them with the 2007 NRO, to court American lawmakers, elite media and think tanks to advocate for democracy in Pakistan. At that time he only paid them $250,000 for six months of work. But money is no matter … a few hundred thousands is fine with me. Plus, he also has friends in Washington, D.C. who can collect quite a few American leaders at their home. For whom, he said, friendship is more important than morality.

“I don’t know … should we hire a lobbyist and public relations firm in Washington, D.C.?

“But again, unlike Asif Zardari, we have no investment portfolio in the United States.

“Shahbaz, has this Qatari Prince Hamad Bin Jasim called you? I can’t say why…

“I am just plain unlucky. Prince Hamad is also named in the Panama papers. He has eight offshore companies and three other holding companies. Look has anyone said a word about him!

“I was hoping that at least he would call. When the Panama case started against me, Prince Hamad was writing all the letters I needed. And now not even a call to you,” moaned Nawaz Sharif.

“Yes, my dear brother … my Bhaijan, no doubt, King Abdullah was the pinnacle of kindness. He had clearly stated that Saudi Arabia believes that hosting any friendly political figure must be done without any noise in the media, and they welcome the kingdom’s guests and offer them all possible comfort, but without publicizing this in the media,” Shahbaz added.

“Even if Prince Hamad is now not in power but he is a royal family member. Now someone will say that Qatar is about 186 times smaller than Saudi Arabia, but in Jeddah, we were not occupying anything like our JatiUmra residence. It was just a royal villa,” lamented Nawaz Sharif.

“About Hamad, he is too much into money. When he was writing the letters, you were prime minister of Pakistan,” agreed Shahbaz.

“This Adiala Jail is no place for me, and especially my little princess, Maryam. No doubt I will miss JatiUmra, but I will be 69 in a few months. I am not seeking anything … just a place to live peacefully with my nearest and dearest.

“I expect nothing from the present judges and especially nothing from Imran Khan. In fact, our bother Asif Zardari should also be boarding his plane along with nearest and dearest.

“At least, with all his faults, Gen. Musharraf let us to go to Saudi Arabia, and he also pardoned all the crimes of Benazir and Asif Zardari and 8000 of their party members. I cannot see why Prince Hamad cannot ask his cousin, the Amir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to offer us hospitality.

“I only wish that like our beloved King Abdullah, men could be men. May God shower His blessing on him,” sighed Nawaz Sharif.


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