All in a day’s work

4 June 2023 (Morning) - No one has a clear idea as to what is brewing in the melting pot. Spiritually bankrupt minds and psychologically broke souls are helplessly looking to the skies. Businesses are in limbo. Industries are experiencing a freefall. Daily wagers are in deep depression. Salaried people are digging deep in their pockets. Pensioners are buried in the grave of inflation. All economic indicators are bleak. Politics is undergoing cosmetic surgery. Political parties are cautiously counting chickens.
Democracy is not even mentioned anywhere. Rumor mongering is the next best occupation. Invisible panaflexes bearing ‘Forget About Elections’ are mounted in the air. Indifference has reached its limits. Wait and see is the compulsive variable. Opportunists are trying to grab slots in the upcoming new governmental set-up. Loyalties are being sold, purchased, and changed at will. Unbelievable scenes on tv screens portray a typical farcical situation. The hapless judiciary, deserted parliament and tongue-tied government departments are reminiscent of some Greek tragedy. The military leadership of the country? Well, enough has happened in the country for them to revisit their decision on staying ‘apolitical’…!!!
4 June 2023 (Afternoon) – Clear blue sky. Birds chirping. Panoramic view. As usual, Daman-e-Koh hosts several families. Food and soft drinks are available. Children are playing hide and seek. Some lovebirds are also seen trying to look for some secluded place. A few youngsters are feeding the monkeys. In and around the Supermarket, the parking lots are full of fancy cars. The restaurants are overbooked. Traffic is moving in an orderly manner. One odd military vehicle could also be seen patrolling on clean roads. The diplomatic enclave is as peaceful as ever. The Foreign Office is busy in formalizing the re-elected President of Türkiye’s visit to Pakistan. The Line Ministries are following the working hours, completely oblivious to the IMF’s latest condition.
4 June 2023 (Evening) – In one of the upscale restaurants of Islamabad, four renowned intellectuals have just started a discussion on the ongoing political situation.
First: History is repeating itself. The country is in turmoil again. The wheel is being reinvented. The good thing? No one is talking about any ‘foreign interference’. The bad thing? The oft-repeated story of the staged drama is too obvious. No questions are being asked as all answers are available. Perhaps, the only query is about the names of the ‘chosen - ones’ who will be tasked to do the dirty work. It is like selecting the playing eleven. Except for a few usual candidates, others have their fingers crossed. Some hopefuls are carrying their CVs and eternal allegiance readily available. Who knows whose horse gets lucky?
Second: They must announce the election dates now. The problem lies in announcing Khan’s successor and his party’s share in the next Assembly. After seeing his close aides fleeing and the government’s response to his ‘talks’, Khan has started looking outside, sadly, towards the same country which initially ‘hatched the regime change conspiracy’ against him. I hope he realizes that internal problems must be addressed internally. External solutions always come at a price. There is no free lunch in international affairs. Talk about desperation. This is what happens when you don’t look beyond your own nose.
Third: Incorrigible. This nation will never learn. In the face of all possible causes of a societal collapse, people are silent by choice. They have forgotten that the long-term decline of cognitive abilities invariably produces undesirable results. Instead of having different manifestos, political parties have only one agenda in mind: we must form the government or at least the next PM should be our own candidate. Bottom line? You get what you deserve. Full stop.
Fourth: Whosoever is recording this conversation must know that I have left PTI on my own even though I was never associated with either Khan or his party. Hence, no input on politics from me, guys. Allah bless us all…!!!
4 June 2023 (Late at night) – Two watchmen. In uniform. Looking tired.
First: So, your MA in political science and mine in economics landed us this job. Talk about getting educated in Pakistan…! I could have qualified for this job without even going to school. What are we waiting for? Have you seen what they did to the young doctor? Is there any method in all this madness? Are we going to experience another Martial Law? Pakistan Zindabaad….!!!
Second: Don’t be disheartened, brother. I am confident the next government will take care of us. In any case, our Chief is there to salvage the situation. Don’t worry. Soon, justice will be served to all and sundry.
4 June 2023 (Somewhere in the North) – Two men in their late forties, attired in navy blue designer suits, in a large office room. The Man across the table, seemingly an octogenarian, with a disinterested look on his face, raises a finger, allowing the two visitors to speak.
First: Today’s sitrep, Sir. Iran not budging. The war of nerves continues. Sudan is going as per plans. Our friends in the Mid-East are continually in touch with us on KSA and UAE. Damascus is tilting towards the enemies……!
The Man: South China Sea? China?
Second: Under control, Sir. BRI is getting in the way, otherwise, things aren’t that bad. Russia is demanding compensation on the Ukraine war. Zelensky is getting jittery. In South America and Africa…things are going on fine. Oh, some good news from South Asia, Sir. India has agreed to our proposal. The Taliban are talking to Doha. And Pakistan, well, Kristalina and the British Ambassador are waiting outside. Should you have a few minutes for a briefing on the developing political scenario …!!
The Man: We can probably cut that out. No more excuses. No more money. And since when has Pakistan started having political issues? Meeting over….!!!

Najm us Saqib

The writer is a former Ambassador of Pakistan and author of eight books in three languages. He can be reached at

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