Neutered is the new neutral. And I am your General Neutral. There was a time when I used to be the force turning the wheels of democracy in Pakistan. Now I wait and watch anxiously, like you all. Certainly, a role reversal from my yesteryears. Those were the days when I’d plan and execute coups, now orange is the new black. Civilians are carrying the baton forward. They pull coups and I don’t even get to know. Even if I know, for the record, I don’t know. Not knowing is the new knowing in Pakistan.
I do enjoy the thrill of it. Not knowing what comes next is like doing your entire grocery shopping on the last day of the month and realising your salary hasn’t come in yet at the check-out counter. Living on the edge, if I may add. These last two years I have worked hard to reach this state of international significance, yet national insignificance. While my escapades from Afghanistan to Russia are well-known, it is at home that I now keep a low profile. Don’t worry, I am still in charge, but I don’t like to say that anymore.
My friends, your general now loves status quo. For the first time, I am not the one pulling the strings of change, I want nothing to change. For the first time in the history of Pakistan, if not last, I am not the puppeteer of the puppet I so fondly built thread-by-thread in 2018.
The truth about Imran Khan
I do understand that you want me to tell you more about Imran Khan. Truth be told, the less you know the better. He is as brilliant as his Pashtun predecessor, General A.A.K Niazi – one lost half of Pakistan, the other lost Kashmir. What I will tell you is that our prime minister is an asset of destruction – no wonder all the superpowers of the world want to take him down. Now you know why I keep my Bajwa Doctrine under lock, better known to you as BDSM – Bajwa Doctrine of SadoMasochism. We don’t want inimical forces to get their hands on our weapons of mass destruction.
Okay fine, I’ll address the elephant in the room. You want me to give you insider gossip on what’s cooking in Pakistan – if there is a power struggle, if anyone wants to get rid of me and become the new chief and if people are conspiring with Imran Khan. The answer is yes, there are some lieutenants who think that my eating samosas, chicken kachoris and pakoras at Iftaris has resulted in a constant gassy situation for me. So, they want me out because of this ‘unprovoked firing’. The answer is also no, because I am the one who is spreading these “power struggle within military” rumours. I want you to think that anything is possible in Pakistan. For the past week, you all, like me, have realised that Pakistan has a constitution too. It’s a major discovery for us as a nation.
People have come up to me with many theories – one is that Peshawar corps commander Faiz Hameed, who was previously DG ISI, has been conspiring with Imran Khan. I say that might be true or that might be false, because I want you to continue playing Wordle in your head. Faiz Hameed told the world: Don’t worry everything will be okay. Yet he didn’t assure the same to me and now I read Alia Bhatt is marrying Ranbir Kapoor. As if I hadn’t had enough heartbreaks already this year. I ignored the Indian conspiracy of firing BrahMos in Mian Channu only for my love interests in Bollywood. But now I find out that not only do our radars not work, our plans of regime change in Indian Punjab has also failed. Me hugging Navjot Singh Sidhu, thinking he will one day be my chief minister, was for nothing then.
I also confirm that DG ISI Asim Munir came under the black spell of Bushra Bibi when he shared details of finding a gold necklace given as bribe in PM house. I eventually replaced him.
Those trying to conspire against me, remember, if I give you a chair, I can take it back too. Who’s behind who is the best-known secret between me and you. Why else do you think I am hiding DG ISI Nadeem Anjum’s face from the world? Interesting story I tell you, Bill Gates asked me, “General, can I see the faceless DG ISI?” I told him to give $1 billion for moonh dikhai. He signed a cheque straight away. If everything goes according to my extravagant plans, I shall address the Pakistani nation soon. Beware, mere aziz hum watano, I am coming soon!
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.