Benazir Bhutto welcomes Kulsoom Nawaz to her new abode up in the skies. They embrace each other and sit down to catch up on the happenings in Pakistan.
Kulsoom immediately brings up Imran Khan’s plan to convert the palatial Prime Minster’s House into an educational institution, and transforming the governors’ houses into luxury hotels and educational institutions.
Kusloom asks, “Benazir, did you hear that this nut, this Imran Khan is turning our Prime Minister’s House into some college or whatever he calls it?”
Benazir, sadly offers, “Yes, indeed, I did. I mean just see, the memorable moments both us have spent there …”
Kulsoom quickly adds, “Leave aside the Maybachs and BMW-760S’s and the helicopters … he has even auctioned off my Nawaz’s prized buffaloes which gave him so many pitchers of healthy and delicious lassi and so many heaping bowls of khoya …”
Benazir continues, “Yes, Kulsoom, heard that too. God bless, we did not have Rolls Royces and Bentleys … otherwise Queen Elizabeth, herself, would have called him to stop this craziness!
“Thank God that our MNA Nafisa Shah has come hard against all this silliness. So where will my Bilawal, Bakhatawar, and Aseefa live when they become prime ministers …”
Kulsoom quickly adds, “Yes, indeed, where will my Maryam and Junaid live when they too become prime ministers.
“Does this nut expect them to live in that tiny military secretary’s house that he has commandeered for himself? I guess that it is no better than any servants’ quarter type accommodation.”
Benazir continued, “Our Nafisa spanked him well, Kulsoom. You were busy getting buried that day but our Nafisa told Imran Khan that this great house is not his personal property and he should convert his own Bani Gala house into a university… specifically she tweeted, ‘This house is a state asset and belongs to the people of Pakistan and to house all future prime ministers as well.’
“After all, Nafisa has a doctorate in social and cultural anthropology from Oxford… pure blue blood.”
Kulsoom offered, “May God bless Nafisa. Instead of selling our heirlooms, why doesn’t he borrow from the IMF … World Bank … anywhere… may be from our families … not interest free though?”
Benazir picking up the conversation, added, “I know Imran longer than you. He used to be at Oxford at my time… always hungry. He used to get himself invited to my parties … looking for free food… but he never brought along his handsome cousin … he is so self-centered… he knew all about my fluttering heart.”
Kulsoom again swiftly added, “I bet Benazir, he must be eating a lot because of all the exercise these sports people do … always hungry. You know, I have descended from great wrestlers, I know how these sports people eat.
“Although Musharraf was bad with us, but at least he was good with and gave you freedom from all the criminal cases as soon as President Bush ordered. But this Imran is bad for all of us.”
Benazir continues, “And why do we need another educational institute? Didn’t Ronald Reagan establish enough madrassahs in Pakistan?
“Nafisa told him that has he counted the number of universities and colleges in the capital? It’s far too many. Even Washington, D.C. has only twenty colleges and universities that are listed under the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Does he want to turn Islamabad into America?”
“Education … education … we don’t need more education. It only turns the minds of voters … you see Sindh! How a less educated population keeps making us stronger in Sindh!”
Kulsoom offering her support, “I agree, although sometimes our husbands may not agree on how to make more money, but everyone can see the difference. You see how Karachi, which has more education institutions, gave twelve of its fourteen national assembly seats to Imran, while the less educated rural Sindh gave you a huge majority.”
Benazir appreciating her kind words adds, “No sense of history. No sense of gratefulness to the British masters. Where did he throw his Oxford degree, I wonder! Now Imran is going to convert the Governor House in Lahore into a museum and art gallery, and it’s park will be open, of all thing, for the public – as they say the unwashed.
“Thank God, we have our government in Sindh to block turning the Governor House in Karachi into a museum.
“But the poor governors houses in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be turned into museums. The beautiful governors houses in Murree and Nathia Gali will become a boutique hotels, like 7-star hotels.”
Kulsoom confides, “Seems like lunch time. By the way what choices do they offer here? I would go for Chinese. You too?
“Benazir, you went through the experience before me but this Pakistani burial system is so dated. I mean, see in America, how they dress up people in finery when they bury them … even jewelry and all.”
Benazir hugs her, adding, “I agree 100%. Like you, I too miss all my clothes and jewelry, especially the diamond set that I used to keep in our Swiss bank vault. I am sure that upon becoming prime minister, my Bilawal will reform the system, where we will get full dress burials … yes … away from the dirty common folks … gated cemeteries with gardens.”
Kulsoom murmured, “Neither you nor Nawaz thought about it.”
Benazir demurely stated, “Yes, we never imagined dying. Death we thought was for the poor.”