The political situation in Sindh is simmering. Rather hot.
Pakistan Tehreek-i Insaf Sindh Assembly member Khurram Sherzaman soon after asking the Election Commission to disqualify Asif Zardari for not declaring his property in New York City, joined fellow party and assembly member Haleem Adil Sheikh demanding Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah’s resignation as was now on the exit control list in the case involving at least 29 fake bank accounts used for money laundering Rs. 42 billion.
Not only that they also said that they could topple the PPP government in Sindh.
To further raise the temperature, Prime Minister Imran Khan, expressing concern over the current political situation in Sindh, said that he will soon visit there to meet with key political figures. He fired the first shot by calling Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) leader Ali Gohar Mehr and announced that he has accepted his invitation to visit Sindh.
To further stroke the situation, information minister Fawad Chaudhry arrived in Sindh on a “special assignment” to meet with leaders like Ameer Bukhsh Bhutto and Zulfiqar Mirza – two prominent PPP detractors. Chaudhry is also meeting other political leaders as well.
The embattled Zardari has invited three sympathetic journalists: Saleem Safi of Geo News, Marvi Sirmed of Daily Times, and Beena Sarwar.
A few heaping ashtrays lie in front of him.
Zardari starts the conversation, “Thank you for coming. Indeed I really appreciate it that you have come. You will surely recall that in 2007, Benazir [Bhutto] had told Hamid Mir that [president] Musharraf will get her killed. Today, I have called you to tell you that if I die of a heart attack, it will be because of Fawad Chaudhry. The way he is causing me all this pain. You know before he was barred from the Senate, he would keep repeating the word ‘thief’ and every time my blood pressure would shoot up dangerously. To ease the hypertension, I keep a good supply of diuretics at hand. God bless. Dr. Asim Hussain has them coming all the time. But… but, all of this off the record. I don’t want to be seen as weak.
“I don’t know why this chief justice Saqib Nisar is against me. I can understand his situation with Nawaz Sharif. Saqib went to Cathedral High School [in Lahore] and Nawaz at St. Anthony [in Lahore]. And they have serious rivalry. The former is Anglican and the latter Catholic. Really daggers drawn!
“The other thing I suspect is the Cathedral motto, facta non verba. I have been told that it is Latin for facts not words. I believe this is why he never accepts anything besides hard facts, such as verifiable money trails and what not. You tell me how many receipts have you kept of your shirts or shoes? So. How does he expect me to be keeping receipts of the properties I have bought, especially when they are in so many countries? I am not Imran Khan with a Bani Gala house, and his inherited house in Lahore.
“I mean this chief justice is retiring on January 18… in a what two or so weeks, so instead of packing his personal belongings from his office, he is setting date upon date in my cases. Does he want to bulldoze me before he hangs his robe? Even December 31… doesn’t he know, it is New Year’s Eve?
“OK. Let me get back to the hypertension issue. Not just Fawad but also [railways minister] Sheikh Rashid can also be a cause of my death. Did you how he thundered that I would face more solid cases than Nawaz as there were 1000 times strong documented evidence available against me. Not just that. He also said that several more cases are in the pipeline against Nawaz and my party leaders and me.
“You can imagine, how many tablets I am taking now!
“He is not even sparing poor Shehbaz Sharif. After so much work, we got the poor thing chairmanship of PAC [public accounts committee] and this Sheikh is asking Imran Khan to seat him on this committee so he could bash Shehbaz.
“I feel like I am already in jail. This chief justice ordered the seizure of record of all fake bank accounts and has frozen bank accounts identified by the Joint Investigation Team report.
“Imagine the condition of the poor in whose name I had set up all those big accounts.”
Marvi Sirmed, comforting the ex-president, offers, “You are absolutely right. All this is blasphemy against our eternal leaders, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his dearest daughter, Benazir. Such shame. Why don’t you go to India?”
Beena Sarwar quickly joins in support, “Yes, India would give you full honor.”
Zardari, his head bowed, murmurs, “I know… I know. India has never forgotten, the favor done to it by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto when he helped jettison East Pakistan. But what can I do. They have blocked every path. They didn’t need to put me on the Exit Control because they took my passport when I sought bail.
“I have announced and I repeat again that I am only answerable to Bhutto and Benazir after death.
“I have the will… indeed the notarized will of Bhutto that I will be buried at the Garhi Khuda Baksh. I have heard rumors that Fatima Bhutto is in a mood to object if my body is taken there, but I have her grandfather’s will. He made this will when I was a small boy and he used to visit my father.
“My dears, listen loud and clear and let everyone know that this is a deliberate act to cause heart failure.”