They are Bhutto. They are an Icon of Virtue.

Asif Zardari has invited Marvi Sirmed, special correspondent of the Daily Times, Shehzad Khanzada, anchor of GEO News’ program “Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada kay sath,” and, Mehr Bukhari of NewsEye — journalists who favor him, his progeny, his party and its leadership, to Zardari House at 19, F-8 in Islamabad.

As usual, Zardari has his overloaded ashtrays in front, and his glass of Chivas Regal getting refilled regularly.

Also present are his children, Bilawal, Bakhtawar, and Aseefa.

Zardari, with his trademark smirk, offers thanks to the three for their spectacular criticism of finance minister Asad Umar who had the temerity to remind Bilawal that his real and registered name is Zardari.

Zardari declares, “Marvi, you are the hero of the times. No one could bash this Asad Umar like you did. Yes, absolutely awful, a grown man harassing my innocent son. Even though, the now retired Supreme Court chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar was unkind to me a few times, but he declared that Bilawal is an innocent child. Bilawal has left of joys of London and Dubai to reclaim the Bhutto heritage.”

Sirmed quickly bows her head, and adds, “O my beloved leader, the one who was prince consort of our beloved martyr, Benazir Bhutto, I am most grateful for your appreciation. I am your foot soldier, you handmaiden, your wish is my command.”

Zardari, renewing his smirk, turns his face toward Sirmed in appreciation.

Khanzada, waiting to offer his allegiance, quickly adds, “Your excellency, as everyone knows in the country and all over the globe that you are the supreme master. Indeed it was the smartest move that you added ‘Bhutto’ to your children’s names. Indeed, your party is holding on to Sindh in the name of Bhutto and not Zardari.

“Your excellency, no doubt, no one can match Marvi in her love for your family, but I assure that I will stop using the Zardari name with your children. In fact, I will remind all journalists to do the same. God willing in a short while, people will start accepting them as Bilawal Bhutto, Bakhtawar Bhutto and Aseefa Bhutto.”

Bilawal, swiftly signals to his father and upon receiving permission to talk, adds, “I tell you both of them are envious. This is why the finance minister attacked me. Neither Asad Umar nor Imran Khan’s father have anything to do what their sons have achieved. Period.”

Bukhari offers, “It is shameful that in the 21st century, someone, I mean, a once well regarded person, Asad took issue with your English. Shameful!”

Zardari speaks again, “I am proud of all of you and may the everlasting Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto bless you for your love and devotion for the true and genuine scions of the House of Bhutto.

“You have to keep correcting the misperceptions among the people. Asad’s abhorrent speech has affected a few minds. I am being told that some are asking that mothers can be given respect by doing honorable work in their name, and not by taking their name for votes or invoking their tribulations to hide from accountability.

“This is simply unacceptable. Are my children destined to work! God forbid. The Bhutto name is our exclusive property… our exclusive asset. God be praised that He has removed all obstacles from the paths of my children. God be praised… yes, I have sacrificed enough black goats in His name to earn such favors. God be praised, the only danger they could have faced has melted, Murtaza’s [Bhutto] son is in America making a career in dance and music. Fatima [Bhutto] is too absorbed in writing.”

Sirmed quickly adds, “May God bless your children for keeping the name of Bhutto alive.”

Aseefa murmurs audibly, “But Bhutto is always alive! And we should remind everyone that our names were not changed secretly but our Baba held a press conference and announced it loud and clear.”

Zardari takes over, “I mean Asad Umar’s speech was very troublesome. After hearing him, people are questioning my children. They are even saying that one doesn’t get to use the word, achievement, when your only achievement in life is getting 280 characters on twitter before the most users.”

Sirmed angrily states, “Your excellency, they may call you anything but you are our president. I tell you all these derogatory remarks are an outcome of jealousy. They are jealous that they were not born a Bhutto; not even their leader, Imran Khan was born a Bhutto!

“Mr. President, most shamefully, Asad Umar questioned our beloved Bilawal being a Bhutto on the eve of the International Women Day that celebrated womanhood, which was only highlighted by our beloved martyr Benazir Bhutto.”

Zardari signals a wave of blessing and declares, “May God bless you, Marvi, indeed, my children are born for a special mission, the birthright of ruling Pakistan. Their destiny is to be the rulers of Pakistan.

“Their mother did not sacrifice herself for nothing. Their destiny is to protect and to indeed to enlarge the international portfolio that I have assembled. It is their pride… their heirloom. They are Bhutto. They are an icon of virtue.”

Israel is our Lord and Master

The situation arising out of the Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D- Minn.) refusal to relent and accept that fidelity to Israel is a must has the Democrats in a tizzy. And now Donald Trump has backed leading Democrats censure of the congresswoman’s comments, which have been labeled as anti-Semitic by both parties and opinion makers and public figures. However, the public outcry has stalled the inquisition with proposals to include Islamophobia in the language as well as not to mention Rep. Omar.

To make things worst, after New York Rep Nita Lowey, a senior Democrat who chairs the powerful Appropriations Committee, blasted Omar as pressure intensified for her to backtrack, Rep. Omar had tweeted: “I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee.”

Trump has called Omar’s remarks “a dark day for Israel.”

And not to be silenced, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (popularly called AOC) suggested in a tweet that Rep. Omar was being treated unfairly.

The situation has led to a high level of stress for the House Democratic leadership since Omar first tweeted about the power of “Benjamins.” Understandably there has been another outbreak of enhanced physiologic tremor like symptoms affecting the senior House Democrats.

It was not just Speaker Nancy Pelosi, bothered by shaking and trembling, ask the Office of Attending Physician (OAP), which serves the members’ medical needs, to send her a wheelchair. But also the entire House Democratic leadership team requested wheelchairs, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján, Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, Caucus Vice Chair Katherine Clark and House foreign affairs committee chair Rep. Eliot Engel.

Pelosi, third in the line of succession after the president, and a frequent speaker at American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), is severely affected by the tremor syndrome.

Engel, the unrelenting supporter of the censure, amidst violent trembling, demands, “I am not buying into this watered down version of our resolution. How can Muslims be bracketed with my Jewish people? Did they suffer the Holocaust? Only Jews can benefit from Holocaust sympathy syndrome. Why Ilhan’s name has been dropped?

“I ask what do Democrats gain from this meltdown? My chief of staff gave me this research note that a 2018 Pew Research Center poll, found that 46 percent of Americans said they sympathized more with Israel and 16 percent with the Palestinians in their Middle East conflict.

“Nancy, you got [Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan] Greenblatt and [AIPAC executive director] Howard Kohr messages. So how can we not obey?”

Pelosi, tremblingly, says, “Eliot [Engel] I am not saying no to anything you are saying but let us assess the situation.”

Engel, nearly screaming, punches and table, and declares, “The power of Zion must prevail and America must submit.

“Nancy and Steny [Hoyer] you guys desecrated our resolution… how many Muslims you have in your constituencies? How many Muslim billionaires do we have in America? OK… OK… this Jacksonville Jaguars guy… this something Khan. Just one single Muslim American billionaire.”

Hoyer weighs in, “All of us have to act swiftly and hard. We cannot let Omar and AOC shut our tap. It is just not AIPAC and ADL… it is not hard to count. Should I give you the numbers? Don’t we know that more than half of American billionaires are Jews? These awful girls should be tutored about how to feed from the trough.”

Engel, as severely trembling as the rest of the Democratic pack, screams, “Nancy who edited our draft? Are Muslims the chosen people? How can they be bundled with Jews? I am told that they don’t claim to be such. But I am told that they are designated as the middle community. So it means that are neither Democratic, nor Republicans.

“Yes, I had to concede that Omar would keep her place on the House Foreign Affairs Committee because removing her would not solve the problem. But we should clip her wings. We should also clip AOC’s wings.

“Nancy, look across the pond and see how they slashed the prospect of [Labor Party head Jeremy] Corbyn ever becoming prime minister using the anti-Semitism weapon.

“Omar has to learn that she has to have allegiance and pledge support to Israel to stay in any position in America. And imagine that she called Israel a foreign country!

“Nancy, we should adopt the original draft of the resolution, which also includes Omar’s name. We will not allow a dark day for Israel. Both Omar and AOC must pledge allegiance and say it loud and clear that Israel is our Lord and Master.“

No One anywhere should be allowed to Question the Government

Following his execution of nine members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), Egyptian coup president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has called the crown princes of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS) and Mohammad Bin Zaid (MbZ).

El-Sisi, blurts out, his voice quivering with anger, “I just don’t know why the resolution against India over Kashmir was adopted [at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation foreign ministers conference in Abu Dhabi].

“Indeed we should have lauded India for banning the region’s Ikhwan (MB)… this Jamaat-i Islami. We should have thanked [Indian prime minister Narendra] Modi for uprooting this Ikhwan. Wow… wow… he has closed their schools, orphanages, clinics and social services. Yes, starve those ugly folks to extinction.

“What really made you do it? Just because Imran Khan refused to send his foreign minister because you had invited the Indian foreign minister, you had to do this favor! Why! You have given him all this money and you go around pleasing him. Indeed, I deserved all that money. Has he banned the Pakistani Ikhwan? No.”

MbZ offers his view, “Yes, my brother Abdel Fattah, even Tamim (Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar) can’t send any help to these Ikhwan. I will not allow it! God forbid, they talk about democracy.”

El-Sisi shrieks again, “I don’t know what is wrong with [Turkish president Recep Tayyip] Erdogan. Now he is upset over my hanging of a few Ikhwan.

“Are those who oppose governments of their won countries human?

“And now Erdogan is saying that he will never speak to someone like me… Now listen to this, Erdogan has become the only person to criticize me. Who is he to criticize me? I can do anything to anyone in my county. He also has the gal to ask, ‘Where are the Westerners? Have you heard their voices?’ No. We do it all to please them. Why would they say anything wrong. He is even criticizing me for my way of ruling… he is upset that anyone tortured, the way I do, will confess to anything I want him to confess to. Of course, Amnesty International was not too far behind.”

MBS, in a voice affected by anger quickly, asks, “O dear, Erdogan! He has to poke his nose into everything. My brother Abdel Fattah, just give him no mind. You know how he is not letting the world forget Jamal [Khashoggi]. So, Erdogan still doesn’t know that you banned them six years ago!”

El-Sisi quickly blurts, “Yes, yes, I sent them packing when I kicked out [elected president Mohamed] Morsi. Who is there to tell him that Ikhwan is banned all over… America doesn’t tolerate them… Trump doesn’t. Why the fuss.

“O my brothers, with all the money you are giving to Pakistan, you should ask Imran to ban his Ikhwan too.

“You know how much this Ikhwan… I mean Hamas hates our Israel. ”

MBS offers, “Yes, my brother, yes. Our mission is to see that our Abu Ivanka (President Trump) is satisfied with us.

“We have to stand together. See what is coming up in Algeria. Our brother, Abdelaziz [Bouteflika], had acted so wisely to prevent the Ikhwan like elected government coming into office. He has been president only since 1999, and some people are objecting to his fifth term.”

El-Sisi adds, “I hope that Erdogan does not have his finger there. I mean he even objected to what China is doing to the Uyghur…”

MBS quickly states, “And see I expressed my support to China. No one anywhere should be allowed to question the government.”

El-Sisi continues, “Isn’t it time that we let Erdogan know that Turkey no more rules the Arabs. Colonel Lawrence [of Arabia] gave us freedom. All of us should declare in one voice that no one anywhere should be allowed to question the government.”

If Only I had Those Rafale Jets

The pride project of getting India invited to the 46th session of Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states in Abu Dhabi, as an “honored guest” did not fully pan out to prime minister Narendra Modi’s delight, when a separate resolution reaffirmed OIC’s “unwavering support for the Kashmiri people in their just cause” and condemned, in the strongest terms, the recent wave of Indian terrorism in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Upon external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj’s hurried return, Modi summoned another huddle with his close aides at his office in the prime minister’s secretariat. Besides Swaraj, they included National Security Adviser Ajit Dovel, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman, information minister Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, and Anil Kumar Dhasmana, chief of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s foreign intelligence service. Besides his vast experience on Pakistan and Afghanistan, Dhasmana’s domain of expertise is considered to be Baluchistan, counter-terrorism and Islamic countries affairs.

The prime minister, who is nursing his usual glass of his favorite beverage, gao mutra (cow urine), doesn’t seem to be enjoying life.

Modi, turning around uncomfortably in his swivel chair, started, “What am I hearing. The chatter seems that the [Indian National] Congress leadership should wash [Pakistan prime minister] Imran Khan’s feet, and drinks that water too because it will be the first Indian election in which Imran Khan will defeat our party [Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)].

“So, what is your answer Anil [Dhasmana]?”

The RAW chief, starts hesitatingly, “Yes, Your Excellency. I am also hearing such chatter. The general impression is that Imran’s two decisions… a clear line on Kartarpur Temple corridor, and the release of [the downed Indian pilot, Wing Commander] Abhi Nandan Varthaman, has been to [Congress leader] Rahul Gandhi’s advantage.

“Your Excellency, but the more ominous chatter that I am hearing is that Imran Khan is striving toward a regime change…”

Modi snaps to attention, “Anil, what do you mean? Hasn’t he already done a regime change in Pakistan, and sent Nawaz Sharif to jail too?”

Dhasmana continues, “No, Your Excellency, his strategy will be the reason to change your government. Sir, people are saying that the captain has hit a six across the border.”

Modi snaps again, “So, Rahul, you mean to say, is being supported by the ISI [Inter-Service Intelligence, Pakistan’s intelligence service]. Only yesterday, I was told that it is being said that Adnan Sami, the Pakistani singer, whom we gave asylum to is in realty a Pakistani major working under cover. Not just that, I was also told that our valuable asset, Tarek Fatah, is actually a Pakistani brigadier, who, working under cover, has penetrated our inner circle…”

Yogi Adityanath blurts out, “Ram, Ram, Ram… is that so. Modiji, I would say that these Adnan and Tarek cases should handed over to our Gaurakshini Sabha (cow protection society). They are experts. They smell the breath of a beef eater from out of nowhere.

“Now, I don’t know, even if Hussain Haqqani is really our asset, or something else.

“Modiji, you should not have allowed Imran Khan to return Abhi Nandan. Now he is using it for his propaganda. Instead, of sending Abhi back in a private jet, he made a spectacle out him at Wagah border, with all spectators and the international media present there.”

Modi blurts out again, “My dear Yogi, whatever I said about Abhi’s quick return was only for public consumption. The longer Abhi had stayed in Pakistan, it would have been better for us. There would have been lots of demonstrations there for his release… all this would have strengthened our loyal liberal and secular forces there.

“Colonel Rathore, right away deploy your information ministry to clear all misconceptions that Pakistan shot down Abhi’s plane. No. Never. The fact is that Abhi had sighted a huge Pakistani terrorist training camp, and he fired the R73 Air to Air missile. You know that R73 is a supersonic weapon. This created a turbulence due to which he lost control, and had to eject. Another Pakistani lie, you need to bury is the Abhi’s plane fell on their side. No Sir, it fell on our side of the border, not only Abhi’s parachute drifted to the Pakistani side, but also the wind blew away the debris there too.”

Swaraj offers her view, “I am also told about the chatter that the way Imran is playing his cards, sometimes it seems to be a fairy tale. Not just that but I also heard that Imran Khan knows how to spoil your [Modi] prime time love!”

Ajit Dovel, “I am sorry to say that quite a few people are encouraging Imran. It is not just the OIC, but here is George Galloway‏ declaring that Imran has handled the crisis with India in an exemplary way. He called it a captain’s innings.

“I am hearing too the chatter that India should not mess with Imran because once he gets worked up, he just goes after you… he makes life difficult for you. I say that we need to think. Just see what he has done to the [Nawaz] Sharif family. In fact, the entire opposition there is flaying around hapless. Perhaps, we should not have sent Abhi to bomb. With all this, the world is seeing it as our cowardice that Pakistan wants peace and we don’t.”

Modi, takes a big gulp of gao mutra, and offers, “We are getting them soon. When 36 Rafale jets are for about $9 billion. I would say we should add another 36 to the order. Indeed, after this Abhi experience, I would say, if only I had those Rafale jets.”

India Loves Pakistani Liberals

In the light of Pakistan releasing the downed Indian pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, prime minister Narendra Modi has called another huddle with his close aides at his office in the prime minister’s secretariat. They include National Security Adviser Ajit Dovel, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. This meeting also includes information minister Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

Modi, who is as usual, nursing a glass of his favorite beverage, gao mutra (cow urine), starts his talk, “Thank you all for coming again. As all our eyes are on April and May 2019 elections where our target is the total capture of the 17th Lok Sabha (Peoples Assembly), we need to keep the nation on boiling point.

“First of all, I congratulate our Colonel [Rathore] for keeping our media at full throttle against Pakistan. I am really pleased the way, it is going. All our television channels are saying it loud and bold that I have brought Imran Khan and Pakistan to their knees, obliging Imran to repatriate our great hero Abhinandan.

“I know that we all are surprised that Imran took the initiative to deescalate first. But we cannot afford to deescalate. We have an election at hand.

“Colonel, please issue a media advisory as soon as you return to your office that no one can mention or imply that by releasing our hero, Imran has shown a surprising level of maturity.

“All of us are doing whatever is useful from the standpoint of electoral benefits. I know the mood of the nation… [guffaws] we mold the mood of the nation.

“Colonel, we cannot allow any voices asking us to deescalate, because I will not be called a softie. Softies don’t get elected.”

Dovel presents the monitoring reports prepared by his department, “My beloved leader, Modiji, we have an invaluable asset in Pakistan, which never stops working for us. May our Holy Mother, Gao Mata (cow, the mother), bless them. Within a few minutes that the Pakistani military’s information wing announced about holding Abhinandan, Pakistani liberals started taking out demonstrations asking Imran to release him.

“Our Colonel is doing a superb job. Thanks to him, our Indian media has largely ascribed to itself the role of an amplifier of our government’s view.”

Sitharaman quickly quips, “May Lord Rama and Lord Ganesh bless them, our [ultra-right-wing, Hindu nationalist paramilitary force] RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) ranks are our best weapon. The media people know that even a whisper against our Modiji will not go unpunished.”

Swaraj too hastens to her bit, “Our ministry [of external affairs] also deserves the kudos. You will note that in every nook and cranny in the west, our BJP and RSS are only being identified as nationalists. [She guffaws] Of course, this Islamophobia is so beneficial for us.”

The Colonel continues, “I was saying that we have a powerful force in Pakistan… the liberal lobby… the admirers of Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Qurat-ul Ain Haider, Manto, Fahmida Riaz… you name them. Such a fine lot working for India! What a great job is being done by Marvi Sirmid. Another is Beena Sarwar. We lost Asma Jahangir, but now her daughter Munizae has quickly filled the gap. They are selfless! Their love is India alone, not Pakistan.”

Dovel also quickly adds, “And our great work in Canada. Tarek Fatah is an absolute gem. He is not ready to accept any form of Pakistan. We should at least give a him a Bharat Ratna.”

Modi takes another fulfilling sip of gao mutra, and declares, “Of course, after we occupy Pakistan, I will appoint Tarek Fatah as our Integration with India Governor. Just a Bharat Ratna is not enough for heroes like Tarek.”

The Colonel continues again, “Modiji, as I have said before that Pakistani liberals and secularists are our most valuable assets. They have blunted whatever advantage Imran sought to take. They start clamoring for the heads of any Pakistanis we label as terrorists. And they are cheap to get! A few rupees channeled to their favorite NGOs like some feminist thing, some dance thing, a few trips to India, and of course a steady supply of whisky and our fantastic Indian beers.”

Modi, raises his glass, and declares, “Yes, liberals in India cannot be left alive, but let us send a clear message that India loves Pakistani liberals.”

We Will Rule Them Through Our Ruses

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has huddled with his close aides at his office in the prime minister’s secretariat. They include National Security Adviser Ajit Dovel, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.

Modi, who is nursing his glass of his favorite beverage, gao mutra (cow urine), “Our eyes are on April and May 2019 elections where our target is the total capture of the 17th Lok Sabha (Peoples Assembly).

“Anil [Kumar Dhasmana, chief of the Research and Analysis Wing] really did a fantastic job with Pulwama! We are more than a billion Indians, so what if forty were sacrificed for a noble purpose – the total and complete victory for BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). We will do clean sweep with the sympathy vote.”

Yogi Adityanath thunders, “Modiji, my great leader, this Pulwama is a brilliant move, nothing better ties terrorism to Pakistan. This is votes and votes and votes!”

Modi, bottoms up his glass and signals for a refill, and offers, “The cow belt and the Hindutva belt are ours.

“My Balakot attack is working, the joy and celebration continues, as if we have removed Pakistan from existence!

“This is votes!

“We should let the Pakistanis hold [pilot of down Indian jet fighter] Wing Commander Abhi Nandan. It means votes! And anyway, we don’t need to waste our energy on him. The Pakistani liberals are doing our job marvelously… they are demanding his release.

“When I met with my three service chiefs and our intelligence heads, I gave them total authority to act. This means continuous escalation. Yes, this means votes.”

Yogi Adityanath quickly signals his desire to speak and ask, “Modiji you too may seen Imran Khan’s speech. More than once he said that Miss Calculation causes wars. So what… I mean, who is this Miss?”

Modi, takes another sip of his favorite beverage and offers, “Don’t worry, dear Yogiji. You know I am a Gujrati and we know what is calculation. I have calculated what I am getting out of this war.”

The Yogi asks again, ”But I was asking about this Miss Calculation.”

Modi, puts down his glass, and states, “My honorable Yogi, you know that during his cricketing days, Imran was surrounded by ladies… all those white ladies. So I am sure that Miss Calculation is someone, whom he must be remembering. This is why he mentioned her more than once.”

This generates another question from the Yogi, “But I have never heard such a name. I have never read anyone called Miss Calculation.”

Modi, a trifle flustered, retorts, “My dear Yogi, you know these European people take up strange names like Wolf, Parrott, Lamb and what not, so this Miss Calculation is another of these odd names. You know these Europeans don’t have great ones to name them after… in ancient times, the Europeans did not have plastic surgeons like we had… see Lord Ganesh when an elephant head was grafted on a man and he became a god. Don’t worry, with Narendra Modi, you are in great hands.

“Nirmala [Sitharaman], I am calling Trump to accept his request to buy their F-21 fighters jets. I know these are just F-16s with a little makeup but this is a sure way to win over Trump. You know that, while publicly calling for restraint, Trump is encouraging India, assuring us privately of his support.

“We have fulfilled the political objective, which was to send a message to the people on the eve of a general election that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a leader who has the political will to set everything right and make India great again.

“Lord Rama is so kind that he gave us Bollywood, which has obliterated the nation’s IQ … we will rule them through our ruses.”

Our Lives Lie Where Our Wealth Lies

Maulana Fazalur Rehman, chief of his eponymous faction of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, has called upon Asif Zardari, a former president of Pakistan, and co-chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party.

As usual, Zardari is sitting in front of a few ashtrays piled high with cigarette butts. Out of his deference to his visitor, he has ordered his Chivas Regal to be brought in a porcelain mug emblazoned with the Hyatt Regency The Churchill name, the hotel he owns in London. For the visitor he has ordered a tall glass of lassi.

The Maulana, however, has no appetite for the offering and launches into his discussion, “My dear brother, you see what is happening… you see where the country is heading to. You don’t feel the pain too much. You have Sindh and your money is still coming in, even though trifle by your and even my standards, but just look at me. It is the seventh month without any diesel permits… the seventh month without a roof on my head.

“Imran Khan is the center of all our sorrows… all our troubles. He has let the NAB [National accountability Bureau] do whatever it pleases, and surely NAB is bent upon on harassment and this reign of fear.”

Zardari tries to pacify the pained visitor, “Maulana just have patience.”

The Maulana blurts, “You know, due to this harassment and fear, no bureaucrat is even ready to welcome you in their office… don’t even think of asking them to sign anything… the business of the country is stopped.”

Zardari, takes a sip and a deep puff, adds, “Maulana do you think that I wake up or sleep comfortably? Yes, God be praised, the 18th Amendment that I signed is working, but Sind alone doesn’t provide me the avenues I am used to.

“Corruption is our way life. I know that Imran Khan disagrees, but see the country is facing economically and there is a social crisis but Imran Khan sees no need to boost the economy and improve social conditions. You can’t do things without the people getting their shares.”

The Maulana, still unable to lift his glass, moans, “Probably, I have to learn to live a life without diesel permits.

“My dear brother Asif [Zardari], all of us need to be thankful for what we have. You have Sind firmly under your control. See what happened to our brother Nawaz [Sharif, former three times prime minister]. The Islamabad high court rejected his bail plea requested on health grounds…”

Zardari quickly adds, “This is cruel. That poor man has heart conditions. Maulana, we should also acknowledge that our brother Nawaz lacks the art of hospital stays. You know how I stayed in jail for 11 years… in hospitals. No one matches the force of Zardari.”

The Maulana barely able to talk, murmurs, “My dear brother, I am worried for everyone… yes, indeed, I live for diesel permits, but see how callously, our brother Nawaz’s bail application was turned down. I fear for all of us.

“My brother Asif, did you read the judgment? The first thing the court said that his condition couldn’t be regarded as an extraordinary situation or a case of extreme hardship. Such an attitude is worth fearing. On top of that the court said that he is already receiving the best possible medical treatment available to any Pakistani.

“Do you note the words, ‘any Pakistani’? What sort of thinking is that? What is happening that we, the ones who serve the public are being bundled under ‘any Pakistani’?

“My dear brother Asif, to make things worse, the prison sentence also comes with a fine of Rupees 1.5 billion plus $25 million.

“The poor man is being robbed too. And to make things worse, your Khurshid Shah says that he can come to Sind for medical treatment because the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases is fully equipped with the latest technology and specialist doctors to treat him.”

Zardari quickly takes a few quick puffs and offers, “Yes, my brother, I agree. I will ask Khurshid to present himself before me. He should not have said this. Even the best in Pakistan is not up to our standards. Khurshid needs to be reminded that our lives lie where our wealth lies. Overseas.”