Maulana Fazlur Rehman, chief of his eponymous faction of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, has invited two of his favorite television hosts to the farmhouse, which has been his temporary residence since he had to vacate the ministerial residence that he had enjoyed for more than a decade and a half without ever holding a cabinet post.
Present are Saleem Safi, senior analyst, columnist and anchorperson Geo News, and Kamran Khan, journalist and anchorperson who hosts the political talk show Dunya Kamran Khan Kay Sath on Dunya News.
The Maulana welcomes the duo, and announces, “I am sharing the good news of a multi-party conference (MPC). After my brother Asif Zardari [co-chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party] assigned me the responsibility, I discussed the MPC proposal with my brother Nawaz Sharif [perpetual head of his eponymous faction of the Pakistan Muslim League; PML-N]. Praise the Lord, he agrees with the idea of an opposition parties’ alliance.
“My friends, it is more than sixty days, that all of us in, what we are now, the opposition parties, have been living in deprivation, and especially fear.
“My brother [PML-N chairman Raja] Zafarul Haq agreed with me that we devise a common strategy to check the Imran [Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led federal] government. He assured me that together we will devise a common strategy.
“I also met with Hamza Shehbaz [Punjab Assembly opposition leader, and a heir of the Sharif dynasty] and he also agreed on joining hands with our brother Asif Zardari for the sake of the country.
“He is a young man, and may be holding on to his father, Shehbaz Sharif’s promise of dragging Asif Zardari in the streets, but he agreed with me when I said that all opposition parties will have to play a joint role.
“He is a bright young man, and I hugged him as an uncle would, and reminded him that the purpose of joining forces is to pressurize Imran to take the right path and also to stop him from taking the country towards a state of deterioration… all these anti-corruption drives are adversely affecting the health of our leaders.”
Saleem Safi placing his hand on the Maulana’s hand offers, “No doubt, you are rendering outstanding service to the nation. Like you, I too have not come around to accept Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi as prime minister… I promise that I will continue to do so.
“My most respected Maulana Sahib, I was consistently telling my viewers that the world hates Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi. I don’t think that King Salman and his son, crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman watch my program, and this why they gave him more than $6 billion.”
Kamran Khan quickly springs his question, “I can guarantee it that prime minister Imran Khan has made a deal. The Saudi royal family loves Mian Nawaz Sharif. They have paid him this much to get Nawaz Sharif free. You will see all his cases withdrawn and he will fill up a Boeing jet with his extended family and his 351 suitcases and fly into a palace in Jeddah. I should schedule a visit to Jeddah to do a program from his palace.”
Even before the Maulana could open his mouth, Safi declares, “You are spot on Kamran. This Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi is just money. His only specialization is collecting donations.”
The Maulana, enjoying a vibrant supporting cast, adds, “I needn’t say anything but the state of economy is before you. Instead of going to IMF for new loan, he went to Saudis to beg for donations.”
Safi, again quick to draw, adds, “This is an insult! Begging from the rich. He thinks that running Pakistan is like running his cancer hospital.”
The Maulana, readjusts his headgear, and offers, “Just in 60 days, Imran Khan has already lost confidence of the people of the country. People are tired of his anti-corruption drive. This is good for us.
“You know the duty of Prophets… the Messengers is to convey the message of God to the people. In my capacity as the messenger appointed by our brother Asif Zardari, I conveyed the message more successfully than many prophets, and you see the entire opposition has come under the MPC.
“Despite that, I am a sacrificing person and I will take the diesel permits only after we succeed… and succeed we will because I am the gifted messenger!”