Hairan Harkatee of K2 Times has clinched a meeting with Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at his Zardari House in Islambad’s F/8.
Even before Hairan could offer his opening question, Bilawal started his spiel, “Don’t ever say or even think that I have no management experience. Only in Lahore, I am managing a house with a covered area of 82,959 square feet – the Bilawal House. Not just that, this house is situated on an 844,379 square feet lot.
“I believe you can understand that managing a house bigger than a stadium with all its servants requires courage and management skills. It requires managerial skill and of course the art of nurturing resources to keep the premises running without accruing any costs on power, water and real estate dues.
“It is a gift of Uncle Malik Riaz Hussain, the fine developer of Bahria Town estates. I take good care of it. Given Lahore’s climate, I get the heating turned on in winter and the air-conditioning in summer. For instance, Uncle Malik Riaz is a very unassuming person, he valued this property only at Rs. 480 million; out of this, we ‘paid’ – you understand what I mean – Rs. 170m. All this requires people to people skills.
“We really love Uncle Riaz. We value the great work he is doing. Our Sindh government facilitated a beautiful land swap between his Bahria Town Karachi and the Malir Development Authority, where he was given prime real estate in exchange for scenic land dotted by mounds and scrub alongside the Sindh-Balochistan boundary line. Of course, it is our… err government land. Our Uncle Riaz loves gold, so he was given gold in exchange for silver… or rather iron.
“Now coming to our own experience. I, along with my sisters, Bakhatwar and Aseefa, are directors of Zardari Group, with our aunt, Faryal Talpur, the co-director. I imagine that you can comprehend that managing a multibillion business cannot be done from standing atop a container.
“You know, like our grandfather and mother, all three of us are well-educated, but we have never lost touch with our feudal values, and we neatly skirt aside all aspects of social conscience.
Hairan asks, “How do you think the Imran Khan administration is faring?”
Bilawal snaps sharply, “What do you mean by ‘faring’… forty days have passed and there is no mention of the completion of his government’s 100-day plan! Forty days, do you understand… and 100 days not done as yet?
“Do you forget how the entire media… how the entire country swooned when I delivered my first speech in the National Assembly in English. They were gobsmacked… utterly astonished… astounded!
“Our strength lies in the adoration of the nation’s liberals. The class that is borne aloft by battalions of servants… our strength lies in the democratic idealists who uphold and cherish sexually transmitted democracy… they worship us… great thinkers like Aitzaz Ahsan… Sherry Rehman… Nafisa Shah … to name a few.
“Imran is nothing… a selected leader. Look at me, I am a born… a hereditary leader who has the ruling genes. Imran Khan has to know that the parliament is not some container and that there is a huge difference between leading a sit-in and running a government.
“I had a lot of expectations from his naya [new] Pakistan, however there is no mention of the government’s completion of the 100-day plan. Let me remind you that forty days have passed! Where are those one million jobs?
“Development, health and education… where are the state-of-art hospitals… the international level infrastructure… the Ivy-League level universities…
“Where are they in his government’s 100 days… on the 40th day?
“It is a shame that these emotional people helped Imran Khan into power. Just look at us… look at the achievements of the Pakistan Peoples Party of our great and perpetual martyrs, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto… my mother had strengthened the party with her 30 years struggle; and now it is strategically confined to Sindh. We rule Sindh unchallenged.
“Who can match our party’s achievements? During 2014 to 2017, only 1,340 children died in drought-hit areas of Tharparkar. We are dealing with it head on to reduce such deaths.
“Simply, look at our innovative plan! We are extensively distributing family planning supplies whose packaging carry the reminder that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is perpetual… he never died… he never will die. Our family planning supplies will drastically reduce the number of children who have to die in Tharparkar for want of food, water, health facilities, and basic necessities.
“Mr. Hairan Harkat, Imran Khan said that he will break the begging bowl… but forty days have passed and we don’t even see it chipped. Instead of auctioning government cars, buffaloes, and homes of people who have to live overseas on the account of their health, Imran Khan does not have to capacity to take loans from the World Bank… IMF… Asian Development and what else bank… you pay the interest and you can borrow anything. Does he even know what banks are for?
“Consider the achievements of our party that continues to be elected to rule Sindh again and again… when we had a water issue in Karachi, instead of wasting time and money… let me digress, money is there to be intelligently parked in offshore entities… on building water related infrastructure, we let our loyal party members supply water to people in their tankers.
“We have no equals. Thank you”