In a press release, Maulana Fazlur Rahman has proclaimed himself a peacemaker. Living up to his claim, he has brought Nawaz Sharif, the former three times prime minister, and perpetual head of his eponymous faction of the Pakistan Muslim League, and PPP-Parliamentarians president Asif Ali Zardari on Skype. They were not ready to risk meeting in person, even at the Maulana’s temporary residence in suburban Islamabad.
The Maulana begins his talk, “My dear brothers, Nawaz and Asif, it is now more than two months that not only I have been without diesel import permits but also homeless… [whispers to himself, How I miss [ministerial] Bungalow number 22].
“Even this [Tehreek-i Labbayk Pakistan] TLP thing fizzled out. Imran Khan’s people tricked them into withdrawal within three days. Now, I appeal to you once again to come together and get rid of this stifling situation where spoils… I men dues… I mean compensation for public service is showing no promise.”
Nawaz Sharif quickly offers, “Yes, my brother, you had so much hope in TLP, but did you hear what this [minister of state for interior Shehryar] Afridi said that no compromise will be made in the matter of those who took law into their own hands, and in the same breath, he hinted that people from our parties are also involved in damaging property during the protests [spearheaded by the TLP].”
Zardari speaks out, “Yes, all this is very disturbing. Indeed, my dear Maulana you have spoken well. Just look at the current state of affairs in Sindh. If only the federal government would release funds to us, there would be no stopping of the development and prosperity of the region. You have the great example of Thar before you. The successful population control is only one aspect of our program. You all know that survival of the fittest is best suited to mankind and in Thar, those who can’t take it are going away.”
Before the Maulana could drop in, Nawaz offered, “Yes, my dear brothers, the situation is so depressing. My phone does not stop ringing. Journalists are calling from all media groups… be it newspapers, magazines or TV networks… I mean not just employees but also owners. All of them say that same thing that they miss my… I mean, not just mine, but also my brother Asif’s time when advertisements… and of course fattened envelopes abounded.
“Yes, yes, I did thank them on behalf of the entire opposition… Maulana, including you, although, like me, you too don’t have a seat in the parliament. I thanked them for their powerful use of fake news for troubling this awful Imran Khan govern… I mean… this torture set up.”
Zardari taking up the thread, adds, “My dear brother, thanks Heaven that there are more than a few in the media who have not forgotten what we have done for them and they are doing their part to trouble this Imran set up.”
Nawaz starts again, “Did you hear that now Imran has barred federal ministers from going abroad for medical treatment on state expense. Not just that, even senior officials, advisers and federal secretaries as well. My dear brother Asif you know, you have stayed in PIMS [Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences] so much. Medical facilities in Pakistan are no match for what we have in London or America… for myself, I prefer London, when both Hasan and Hussain are there.
“My dear brother Asif you are right that with all the ongoing inquiries by NAB [National Accountability Bureau], no bureaucrat is ready to work in such circumstances.”
Zardari rues, “My dear brothers, Imran is not alone. This [chief justice] Saqib Nisar is his partner in this torture. Look, my dear brother Nawaz, how you brought [Ataul Haq] Qasimi to head TV, and now Saqib Nisar has ordered not just [former information minister] Pervaiz Rashid and [former finance minister] Ishaq Dar, but also your [principal secretary Fawad Hasan] Fawad to pay back Rs. 198 million. Fawad is docked 10 percent because of his failure to act with due diligence in processing the summary for appointment… come on, he is a civil servant…”
“Like this Sindh Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) wants to register an FIR, not only against [former Karachi mayor and Pak Sarzameen Party chairman] Syed Mustafa Kamal but also current and former officials of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and Karachi Water and Sewerage Board for some 2009 allotment of 82 acres of amenity land [in Mehmoodabad].”
The Maulana speaks, “My brothers, let us be practical. My dear brother Asif, I know you also had issues with my bother Nawaz but you remained silent. And my brother Nawaz also did similarly.
“My dear brothers, Imran is misleading our new generation… all this nauseating and never-ending talk about ending corruption, and whatnot… but we will work together to put him on the right path.”
Zardari quickly adds, “Dear brothers, our dear [former Sindh minister for home affairs] Manzoor Wassan has dreamt that this government won’t complete its tenure.”
The Maulana enthused upon hearing this declares, “God bless, so we don’t have to seek an NRO [National Reconciliation Ordinance] from Imran. I am sure that good times will return.”