The circus is in town – by Ali Aftab Saeed

It’s a free-for-all!

The circus is in town. Tahir-ul-Qadri is back with invaluable suggestions for forming and running a new government. The other usual suspects, to a man, are there too. Suddenly everybody has forgotten that Sipah-e-Sahaba is a banned organisation. The Kashmir jihad may be over but Hafiz Saeed is now determined to teach NATO a lesson. I thought Ijaz-ul-Haq, like most politicians, did not publicly own Zia-ul-Haq anymore. How wrong I was! Hameed Gul and Sheikh Rasheed can never be away from action when national security is at stake. Everybody is using the opportunity to thrash the MFN status awarded to India; this outpouring of outrage may have come now because Kayani took a long time before disliking the proposal – perhaps he was too occupied with the memo thing earlier. Jamaat-e-Islami had helped make it possible for Musharraf to pass the 17th amendment. Before that, it had the best time among the political crowd during the Afghan war; but all of a sudden now it is against the US – as are the other traditional beneficiaries of US aid. It doesn’t matter if none of the 60 parties comprising the formidable Difa-e-Pakistan Council has any seat in the parliament – and they might never have many either. Still, they have delivered time and again as a pressure group. The army itself will come round sooner rather than later, and the NATO supply line will resume as soon as a good bargain is achieved. Where will all this aggression be directed once US again ceases to be our enemy? You don’t need a PhD degree to answer that. By the way, ‘Mullah nassya wich hijab’ fame Abdul Aziz wants to rebuild Jamia Hafsa, for which of course, he has court orders.

Meanwhile, the Ghairat Brigade is not very happy. The president has successfully lobbied in the US leading up to the affidavit of James Jones. The two columnists who were to help guide the SC solve the memo mystery may not be able to do it now. They must be devastated now considering that they were earlier jumping up and down in joyous anticipation. ISPR is adamant that Kayani just had a one minute phone conversation with Zardari, as if it were a crime to talk to the president. A leading Ghairat Brigade trooper reported in the Urdu press that Hussain Haqqani was desperate to get into Zardari’s helicopter but the PM didn’t let him. Since this reporter is notorious for passing his desires off as news, it was most probably a made up story. However, in the unlikely event of it being true, it raises a question: considering that only ISPR could’ve let this news spill, where do these Ghairat Brigade reporters get their stories from?

We have always been used to hearing that despite the best efforts of our enemies within and without, it is only because of our brave army that we are still on the world map. Then there was this welcome addition of the journalist community that started regularly saving the country from untold disasters. It must be said that the journalists have proven their credentials by being properly reverential towards the original saviours. The judiciary has made its entry relatively recently but boy, did they join the club with a bang! We now welcome the cable operators who have passed the ultimate test of patriotism by shutting down the BBC transmission and vowing to do the same with the local channels if a word goes on air against the army. With this quartet in place, our nation is now well and truly secure.

The experts on TV have suddenly stopped advising Hussain Haqqani to sue Mansoor Ijaz and The Financial Times, for they know that any scrutiny of the ISI in a court outside Pakistan can be detrimental to the security of the nation. Of course, Haqqani might still do it if he feels threatened here in the SC, but that is not very likely now. Nawaz will continue using the SC’s shoulder, Pasha will continue investigating the memo, Imran will keep showing his outrage and the Jamaat will become even more desperate. With every passing moment though, the frustration on the part of the above parties is building up. The prospect of Zardari having the last laugh, again, is giving them ulcers. But the most pitiable community is that of our TV anchors.

His adversaries often forget this but Zardari has spent eleven defiant years in jail. He is easily the most strong-nerved politician around. People who hoped he would give in without jeopardising the very existence of a few sacred things around simply don’t understand his temperament. The circus is in town. But so is the president.

The writer is a member of the band Beygairat Brigade that has recently released the single Aaloo Anday.

Source: Pakistan Today



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