Asif Ali Zardari, the former president of Pakistan and co-chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), has summoned his lawyers Farooq Naek and Aitzaz Ahsan again.
Bilawal, who has been asked to remain in his room, is playing Spiderman on his Sony PlayStation 4 Pro. His sisters, Bakhtawar and Aseefa, who have also been instructed to stay away, are intently watching Keeping up with the Kardashians.
Zardari is furious and the high piled ashtrays reflect his level of anger.
Zardari asks, “What are you doing? Why NAB [National Accountability Bureau] is not happy with the response you made for Bilawal and me? Didn’t you tell them that once trees are chopped off a forest does not remain a forest, so why all this nonsense over allotment of forestlands.
“Did you include all the arguments I gave you? Did you? You know that my justifications for acquiring assets are used for training purposes.
“Yes, we helped, but if Shehbaz Sharif [leader of the opposition in the National Assembly] can be made chairman of the public accounts committee, while being imprisoned by NAB, then why you cannot get the ruling that there are no forests, so there are no forest lands to be dealt with. Period.
“Excuse me, in the first place why this child, Bilawal was even summoned! Didn’t you point out that the company is called Park Lane Estate Company Private Limited? Isn’t private private!
“Yes, yes… Imran Khan has no sense of shame in dragging a child to court… I know it is just a pressure tactics to force me to give up my assets. Why should I? I earned it for serving the 200 million people of Pakistan, taking all these loans… all that travel… despite the responsibilities of the presidency, of my 93 foreign trips, I made 45 trips to Dubai during my tenure… it takes time and effort to check all those offshore things!”
Naek submits, “But my respected leader, I did say the case cannot be heard in NAB court, and that it is linked to the revenue department.”
“Farooq, it is good that you dismissed the NAB aspect, but why did you even mention that it is a case and that too linked to the revenue department. Didn’t you proffer them a new aspect to this affair?
“Why you did not assert that it was my prerogative, because… as president… I mean that I, being the son-in-law of the immortal Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the creator of the Pakistan we have today, I own Pakistan. Period.
“And it is just a matter of three hundred and some acres… and Farooq why did you mention that is prime land. At least, you offered the argument that I gave you that we were the shareholders of this company but we never owned it. Imagine… why would I leave a paper trail.
“Yes, I know this [Usman] Buzdar… Imran Khan’s Punjab chief minister is announcing that he retrieved about 100,000 acres of [stolen] government land during their first 100-days of the government. Islamabad does not fall under Punjab governance but it is there… We have seven members in Punjab assembly, we have to put up a courageous fight… no one can touch my land.
Zardari, pointing toward Aitzaz Ahsan, asks, “What were we doing… we supported Nawaz Sharif’s Punjab assembly candidate and still he lost. And now I see Shaukat Basra, who was our Punjab assembly member, joining Imran Khan.
“Aitzaz, we should not waste our energies in Punjab, and go all the way in Sindh. There is plenty to do. [Sindh chief minister] Murad Ali Shah is making this one-time Rs. 950 million grant to pay Rs. 10,000 stipends to families that were displaced due to the Thar Coal Block-II project. Their relocation was estimated to cost $62 million… good… so here is how it works. It will first go to PPP jaylas (loyalists)… yes, only to our people… and from them to me and to any others whom I may name. And I will get enough names on the list with the address of [his own Bilawal House] Khayaban-e-Saadi, Karachi. What will they do with that money in Thar? There is nothing there. I can use it better… my Swiss account needs to be kept moving. We also took care of the taxes we got from Karachi for helping the Tharis.
“Thank God, we have the experience with the Benazir Income Support Program where we got them to sign for higher amounts and they got a portion of it. We have to continue with our education policy of keeping people illiterate. They are our real vote bank!
“Aitzaz, we have to get Sherry [Rehman in the Senate] and Khursheed [Shah in the National Assembly] to suppress any talk about developing any infrastructure of Thar… all this nonsense about building hospitals, schools and such… we have to be firm on our policy of keeping people on handouts, which keeps them perpetually dependent on us!
“And Aitzaz now that we have helped Shehbaz grab the public accounting committee, we have to ensure that there is no mention of any independent non-political body to oversee these Thar disbursements.
“I am really upset over this summon to Bilawal but Farooq and Aitzaz, you have done it in the past and you can do it again by getting rid of the Park Lane thing. I have to focus on the Thar windfall. God never stops giving,” declares Zardari downing his shot of Black Label.