Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has emerged from political hibernation. He has once again targeted the Pakistani military and its agencies, calling them the “State above the State” in Pakistan. As your adored military general with a trigger-happy Twitter handle, I have been watching all of you working yourselves into a frenzy over what he has said. All right, fine, I get it that you all think Nawaz Sharif’s speech last Sunday was a volcanic eruption. But this is a new Sunday. And I am here with an ice bucket challenge.
Truth be told, Nawaz has always been jealous of the Pakistani Army, for he is the only leader who saw our political potential in Kargil, or on the eve of 12 October 1999 coup, or when we selected Imran Khan to dislodge him. I admire his wit. But we are the surrogate mothers of the greatest politicians in Pakistan. It is us who made Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the father of democracy; and it was again us who made Nawaz Sharif, the father of resistance. Credit goes to us either way. If we had not hanged Bhutto or dethroned-exiled Benazir and Nawaz, would they have your respect today? So, thank us.
With this, I come to the volcanic assertion that the Pakistani Army has no role in the country’s politics. It never did and it never will. You think we are part of politics? No, my friends, we are the politics. That’s why I keep saying, don’t waste your effort trying to drag us into politics. We don’t need you to do that. We will ride ourselves in. It is for seasons like this that we made a career out of calling ourselves your messiah. Yes, I have a messiah complex and you, aziz humwatano, need to be saved at all times. But don’t overuse that sentiment because there is no one to save you from us.
Nawaz Sharif says we don’t want to salute prime ministers. I don’t understand what the issue here is.Why should we salute when it is the PM who should salute the army chief? Now, you may ask, why do Pakistani generals wear so many badges and stars on their uniforms when we have not won a single war? I get where you are coming from but the thing is, we get a star every time we think of invading India. Now that counts for a billion stars but there is no pleasing you. I am so done with your bickering.
Don’t begrudge my meetings
By the way, I am now being accused of meeting politicians, of micromanaging their political activities. Guilty as charged but I do take help from my intelligence chief Faiz Hameed. Together, we make a great team and are nicknamed Heckle and Jeckle. Now don’t blame the ISI the next time Indians enter Pakistan with fighter jets. By now you must know that we have to keep a close tab on our siyasatdans in the country instead of keeping intel on what India is planning. Our real enemy lives within our borders.
When I was born, the nurse predicted that Iwould be a great meeter, which no one knew what it meant at the time. For those who don’t have a clue, it’s in my DNA to meet politicians, bureaucrats, judges and anyone who we believe needs to be kept on a tight leash or might come in handy at some point. What can I do if it’s in my DNA? More importantly, why is it even an issue? No, don’t quote what Quaid-e-Azam had said about the role of the armed forces, that they are the servants of the people of Pakistan. I know all about that, and I am glad he is dead otherwise I would have had to book him under Article 6 of our Constitution for treason.
Let me say it: I am free; I am free to meet anyone I want. Be it Fazlur Rehman, Bilawal Bhutto, Shahbaz Sharif or even the man I selected, Imran Khan. In my dreams, I have also met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and advised him how to control the farmers’ protest. Our repression of Okara farmers in Punjab in 2004 is largely an untold story even though it remains one of the Pakistan army’s greatest conquests. If I meet Rahul Gandhi, I can help him end the Congress party’s woes too.
I don’t get the due
I am bored, what should I do? I have already finished all the seasons of Ertugrul and there is no new Katrina Kaif movie coming out anytime soon. On the border front, I’m bored too; India-China are busy with each other, and the Taliban are ghosting Pakistan in Afghanistan. So please, just let me meet opposition leaders and threaten them with my stick.
I deserve that for doing all the work in Pakistan. Both me and Ganesh Gaitonde from Sacred Games have one thing in common: hum dono ko he kabhi kabhi lagta hai ki apun he bhagwan hai.
But you folks are thankless. You call me the foreign minister of Pakistan, when all I do is clean up the mess the real foreign minister makes. It was I who went to meet Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to win him over. But he was in no mood to kiss and make up. What can I say, such is my life.
There is no doubt that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the future for Pakistan. In its honour, I have built my own chiselled 6-CPEC-abs. You will forget all about the abs of Bollywood’s Khans once you have seen mine, which I am very sure you won’t be able to unsee. It was difficult to maintain that kind of fitness but I only ate pepperoni pizza in my second term as Pakistan Army’s chief to get in that shape.
They say, Generals fade away and politicians live on in Pakistan. Well, there is some truth in it, considering all former chiefs are abroad and are only remembered for their misadventures. So, I am glad that I have you, my readers, and I promise to never leave you alone, even if you wanted to be left alone.
This is part of an occasional, irreverent take on Pakistani issues by General Twitter. The real name of the authors will not be disclosed because they don’t want to be taken too seriously. Views are personal.