Sunday, March 26, 2023
HomeOpinionLetter From PakistanPakistani thieves are anmol ratans. They don’t just steal, they leave creative...

Pakistani thieves are anmol ratans. They don’t just steal, they leave creative stamps

Jinnah’s monocle to Imran Khan’s ‘video threat’, Pakistani thieves have a diverse taste.

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If American model Kylie Jenner posts her breakfast on Instagram from her private jet and it gets stolen, then whose fault is it? Certainly not mine. The fault is in the variety of fruits that one gets to see. Now who wouldn’t want to steal Jenner’s dish? Which is exactly what a Pakistani actress Minal Khan did. Three hours after Kylie Jenner had her breakfast, Minal Khan stole the post, intelligently cropping the napkin and posted it on Instagram assuming no one would have seen the original. It would be an easy choice between waking up early morning to make breakfast versus stealing a well-choreographed spread you see on social media — just copy-paste the breakfast and get on with your day. The only explanation behind this huge coincidence, if it was one, is that both celebrities were on Pakistan International Airlines flight to Gilgit. Hence the same plate.

You shall not steal is the divine call. Yet some steal elections, some mandates, some from national cookie jar (exchequer) but none steal your heart. They steal in plain sight, which makes them much more interesting than those indulging in usual political name calling of chor chor. Their stolen possessions may seem minor but it is their passion that makes them anmol rattan. Sometimes, it is a prised cell phone, a motorbike, a display gun, Jinnah’s specs. At others, it could only be a social media post, a pair of shoes, or a ball from a public statue of a hockey player.

From healthy inflight breakfast to pizza delivery. A gang of four, which ordered pizza for home delivery and then robbed the delivery partner at gunpoint, was caught by Islamabad police. The gang had also stolen two motorcycles and cash in other robberies. Similar to the gang of six thieves stealing six burgers from the deliveryman in Gujranwala, their motto remained pehle pait pooja phir kaam duja.

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8 years, hockey and ball later

Imran is a victim of fate. Eight years ago, his motorcycle was stolen, eight years later he gets an electronic challan for the same vehicle. But wait, the plot thickens when he finds out that his Honda CD 70 was being used by no one else but the police officials in Lahore. While years of complaints didn’t bring back his motorcycle, he has now lodged complaint with the police to recover his vehicle from, yes, the police. Even Pakistani weightlifter Talha Talib’s motorcycle was stolen from outside his house in Gujranwala. Though this isn’t his first, Talib was robbed of PKR 325,000 by an imposter promising (on behalf of the government) him a vehicle for his performance at the Olympics. But don’t forget, there still are unsung thieves like the one who got bail in a robbery case and minutes later stole a motorcycle from the court premises.

Thieves keep a special place in their hearts for Pakistani Olympians. Why else would they keep stealing from them? In Bahawalpur, the statue of hockey star Samiullah Khan installed to celebrate his accomplishments was robbed. First they came for the ball, then the hockey and maybe the statue next? Who knows. The thief who stole and made ‘indecent gesture’ with the statue was arrested and the ball with hockey recovered.

Among the victims of these thefts and robberies is also a former prime minister. There has been a claim of Imran Khan’s cell phones being stolen after a “recorded video threat”. Now, this video is not the one everyone thought was coming out mostly because it was advertised by Khan supporters. This one is of Khan exposing people who ousted him, as if he’s not doing the same so every other day. But sure, anything to create suspense. So let’s add the ‘neutrals’ to the list of phone thieves.

Also read: A Pakistani Jew reached Israel. Pakistan’s having a heartburn

Guns and glasses

Guns and Roses is the thing of the past, 2022 belongs to guns and gunna (sugarcane stick). Consider this a peace overture of sorts. As a New Year surprise in Layyah, an army soldier’s statue was robbed of the artificial gun. And the gun was replaced by a sugarcane stick pointing towards the people. Wonder why the genius thieves thought that sugarcane was a more potent weapon than a gun? Considering the fluctuating sugar prices in the country, sugarcane could be leading next in the arms race. Whatever their logic, their act was considered a serious offence against the commemorative statue and a case registered against the unidentified thieves.

From one set of namaloom afrad (unknown people) to the set of specs. Even founding father Jinnah hasn’t been spared. From Vehari, the thieves stole Jinnah’s famous monocle while his statue read from a paper. This was the thieves’ recreation of Jinnah’s iconic photo taken on 11 August 1947 during the speech to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. Like the 11 August speech, the monocle went missing too. Even thieves have a sense of irony if not a clear conscience.

The author is a freelance journalist from Pakistan. Her Twitter handle is @nailainayat. Views are personal.

(Edited by Anurag Chaubey)

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