The arrest of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shahbaz Sharif and the dismissal of former finance minister Ishaq Dar’s appointees has unsettled both the former three times prime minister and perpetual head of PML-N, Mian Nawaz Sharif, and former president Asif Zardari, who is co-chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party and presently a member of the National Assembly.
The advancing camaraderie between them has taken a new urgency.
Zardari has called Nawaz, who hurriedly put down his glass of foaming lassi, to listen to his friend. Mind you, letting the foam go on your lassi is no small sacrifice for a true aficionado.
Nawaz quickly responds, “Now they picked up my little brother, Shahbaz on this Ashiana Housing thing… just a matter of few [billion rupees]. Totally immoral… the [National Accountability Bureau] NAB people are cheats… they invite him to talk about our revolutionary Saaf Pani project to give healthy water to people… and the next moment, they send his car home and take him to jail. You know his son-in-law Ali [Imran Yousuf] had come up with this fantastic project. Now they are asking him for records… [guffaws] his office caught fire… how will he get the papers… the poor boy is not even in Pakistan now?
“My brother Asif, thank you for ordering Syed Khursheed Shah to condemn this insult of the parliament.
“NAB already is holding [Lahore Development Authority former director general Ahad] Cheema and Fawad Hasan Fawad, who was my principal secretary.
“My brother, you were asking about the dismissals. Yes, I heard it. Isn’t it like a slaughter!
“Dar Sahib recommended and I ordered their appointment. You know he is my Asma’s father-in-law, I never say no to him; nor have I ever questioned him.
“Yes… all the fine people… they never hesitated in advancing any loans… great people like Saeed [Ahmed chairman, National Bank of Pakistan]…
“My brother Asif, even the regulators I appointed are gone… like the deputy governors of State Bank [of Pakistan].”
Zardari offered, “Yes, my brother Nawaz. Since Shahbaz’s arrest, I have been sleeping under my bed… safety come first. But we need a strong opposition. With poor Shahbaz locked up, we should make Bilawal as leader of the opposition… his English is so good!
“This Imran Khan is acting like he is a bulldozer. He is undoing all our good work. Now, this cheap justice… this Saqib Nisar has a partner… he is getting even nastier.
“You must have heard what he did to poor Malik Riaz Hussain… a person who is doing so much, creating Bahria Towns across the country. What a patriotic person! Such a loving person. You have seen the Lahore Bilawal House, which he lovingly gifted to his nephew… Bilawal was so happy when he presented him with the house key in a gem-encrusted gold case.
“My brother, you know God asks us to return favors.
“You know Malik Riaz is a perfectionist. His Bahria Town Karachi was facing some imperfections. I asked [Syed] Murrad [Ali Shah, Sindh chief minister] that Malir Development Authority (MDA) do a land swap with him. The humble person he is, he did not take it for free but in exchange gave scenic property dotted with mounds and hillocks and scrub situated alongside our provincial border with Balochistan. Now shamefully not just Saqib but also [Justice Asif Saeed] Khosa said that Sindh government’s land was given to Bahria through deceit. Gold, they said, was given in exchange for silver… but a metal is a metal!
“This is how you treat the country’s 7th richest person?
“They said Murrad had no right to authorize the swap. Don’t they know that Sindh is ours?
“Both MDA and the Sindh government told the court that they did not suffer any losses. Despite that they want to put NAB on Malik Riaz! Simply murder!
“Not only that, they want that the poor [MDA director general Imran Atta] Soomro to be arrested.”
Nawaz Sharif, signaling for a fresh glass of lassi, offers his wisdom, “I say, our friend, Malik Riaz should ask his doctor to certify that he has same the disease as our Dar Sahib has, incarcerophobia. The doctor who was treating our dear Kulsoom in the Harley Street Clinic told me that the word comes from a language called Latin incarcero meaning ‘jail’ and the patient suffers from the fear of going to jail, most worry about spending the rest of their life there. London is best for cure.
“Now just take National Bank’s Saeed… head of the country’s largest bank… poor man is accused of money-laundering. What nonsense! Have you even seen a laundry machine that washes paper? Are currency notes made of cloth?”
Zardari offers, “Indeed, the breeze is not blowing our way. Imran is laying waste to our age-old system… departments are being given autonomy… which bureaucrats will obey us… care for authority?
“He is getting from bad to worse… now he even has a special assistant for accountability and of all things he set up this Asset Recovery Unit [comprising NAB and Federal Investigation Agency] to chase our overseas assets. Pure violation of all rights!
“My brother Nawaz, we need to do more. As I have said before we should merge. United we stand to rake in more.”
Nawaz Sharif stops nursing his glass of lassi, and offers, “We should fast-track it. No doubt united we stand to rake in more.”