Maulana Fazlur Rahman, chief of his eponymous faction of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, calls 4939267, and as soon he hears the click, he excitedly asks, “Is this the Edhi Center?”
Upon hearing in the affirmative, he launches his sales pitch, “I am Maulana Fazlur Rahman… surely you must be familiar with my name…”
The receptionist interrupts, “Are you the same Maulana Fazlur Rahman whom people call Maulana Diesel?”
The Maulana falters a bit and continues, “Yes… I mean no… I mean yes, I used to be diesel before I lost all those permits. Now I am simply Maulana Fazlur Rahman.
“God bless you… may God bless you. I have heard a lot about you. They say that your center is available anytime to respond to emergencies. They say that your center has very polite and responsible staff. May God bless you always.
“Tell me is this center located in sector G-10 [Islamabad]… I mean the one adjacent to CDA [Capital Development Authority] office I.”
Once again hearing in the affirmative, he mumbles to himself, under his breath, “God is Great… I will get my foot in the CDA as soon as the center accepts me… all those lands… God is Great… CDA here I come!”
The Maulana regains his posture and continues with his pitch, “I hear that you have a big setup for orphans.”
The receptionist once again replies in the affirmative, and the Maulana brings up the big question, “God bless you. So do you also accept political orphans?
“I mean even political orphans who are also homeless.”
The receptionist responds, “Our beloved [Abdul Sattar] Edhi Sahib had great consideration for orphans. May God bless him and reward him with the best. Yes, we do serve the orphans but I have never seen or heard about this category you tell me that you belong to… political orphans. Do you mean these are orphans, whom you say are political orphans like yourself, are those whose both parents were politicians and they died?”
The Maulana cannot let the opportunity get past him… being in such close proximity to the CDA, continues, “Yes, you are right in a way. In fact, in my case, I had two political fathers and both abandoned me… isn’t it sad?”
The receptionist sympathizes adding, “Once you will be at our center, we will take good care of you. We have a counselor too. She comes every Tuesday. I am sure professional counseling will help in healing your hurt. If you consider that I am not being intrusive, could you please tell me how such a tragedy befell you?”
The Maulana takes a huge sigh and continues, “When I say that I had two political fathers, please don’t think that I was living in a homo… I mean in America, they call them gay… family.
“For nearly four decades, both of my political fathers… whenever I approached them they would reinsert my pacifier in my mouth and then give a diesel [import] permit. This was not the end. Both of my political fathers were very kind hearted. Some fifteen years ago, they assigned me Bungalow number 22 in the ministerial estate. Ah, what a life it was.”
The receptionist consoles adding, “I can see how you feel as an orphan. We see orphans at our center every day. I assure you our counselor can help you overcome the grief.”
The Maulana continues spiel, “You know, July 25 was a very sad day for me. I lost everything but I still had some hopes in my political fathers. But no, life deals you blows.
“I was saying July 25… you know nearly one month after, this PTI [Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf] government takes over… this Imran Khan… and everything goes topsy-turvy for me. I lose the roof over my head… but even then, I did not let misery overcome me. I continued holding hope in my political fathers. Yes… the diesel permits too went poof!
“Just like the prophets are assigned to convey the message of God to people, I was conveying messages from one political father to the other. Ahhh…
“On October 31, I suffered another setback. One of my political fathers, [former president Asif Ali] Zardari said in the National Assembly that he was begrudgingly accepting the PTI government just as he had begrudgingly accepted Nawaz Sharif’s government. God have mercy… not just that, he also said that the federal government ought to fulfill their five years. And that he is going to assist Imran Khan. God have mercy … five years without diesel permits… without a roof on my head.
“I had such high hopes. Actually, first it was my other political father, Nawaz Sharif who torpedoed the [opposition’s] all-parties conference I was trying to arrange. Both the brothers, [former prime minister] Nawaz Sharif and [Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president] Shehbaz Sharif, refused to attend the meeting. After both the brothers refused to attend, I had no choice but to cancel it.
“I don’t know what happens to Asif Zardari, but it was so painful when I heard him saying that this government must plan for the next twenty 25 years.
“I mean, I did all the legwork and what was Zardari saying.”
“I can understand that Nawaz Sharif has lost his will to rule since Imran Khan auctioned off his prized buffaloes… ahh…what lassi was made from their milk. But Zardari… yes, I see, the money laundering case has shattered his nerves.
“So my friend, you heard how I became homeless and a political orphan, could you tell, will the Edhi Center accept me?”