Imposing a medieval system of administration in a 21st century metropolis is like shooting a pigeon with an elephant gun
Birds have the best view of everything, be it a police encounter, a cricket match or public displays of affection. Also, a bird is almost always the most impartial observer in any scenario, since they have the least at stake in whatever’s going on down on good ol’ Mother Earth. Maybe that’s why, when they soar into the air, they make it a point never to come back down for as long as they can help it. Or until someone with an elephant gun takes a potshot at them, whichever comes first.
You’d think that using an elephant gun would be construed as a tad bit excessive given the gravity (or lack thereof) of the situation. However, there are people who believe in nothing but disproportionate responses. The list of such people includes everyone from the United Shaitan of America to the transport barons of Karachi. But their ideas of disproportionate are nothing like each other’s. In fact, the Karachi lot are probably a lot better organised than the Americans, because let’s face it, white men can’t strategise. This is the one weakness that lets every American soldier, pilot and superhero down in almost all Hollywood motion pictures. A lack of strategy is the primary reason why Black Hawk came down, why a ‘special needs’ Tom Cruise was forced to fly in combat against Russian Top Guns and why Schindler lost his shopping list. So maybe I’m exaggerating, but you get the point.
But flying over one of the largest, most densely populated and lively cities in the world at 10:05am, the last thing you would expect to see are empty roads and clouds of smoke in the distance, considering we’re not in Beirut. But Beirut is what my city has become. I call Karachi my city because it has been a home-away-from-home for me in sickness and in health. The halaat can be as kharab as they want, but the people of Karachi are always ready to party. Long ago, I used to find that insensitive. Then I started getting invited to such shindigs and I figured, “This isn’t so bad.” Now that I’m out of Karachi again, I have a different perspective on things. But I can’t share that perspective with you until you’ve consumed enough mind-altering substances to make a W-II minibus look like a Velociraptor. Only then will you understand what I’m on about.
But coming back to skeet shooting, I hope you are aware that the Guinness Book of World Records has accepted Karachi’s request to be declared “the world’s largest shooting range” and “the world’s safest war zone”. This is in addition to the highly unnecessary imposition of the centuries-old commissionerate system in the city. To complete the analogy, imposing a medieval system of administration in a 21st century metropolis is like shooting a homing pigeon with the aforementioned elephant gun, just because you can’t be bothered to scrape off bird doo from your car’s chrome paintjob every morning.
But like it or not, this system of governance, which was originally introduced by a chap called Oliver Cromwell before the signing of the Magna Carta, has done exactly what it was meant to do: make the Pee Pee Pee’s opponents extremely unhappy. This was why the merry men at Nine Zero held not one but two emergency press conferences on Sunday and lashed out at the ruling party’s provocative tactics. They even broke out Amir Khan, the recent MQM revert that left many a mouth gaping, to drive their point home and even brought along a few dozen volunteer vocalisers to lend some stereo to the ceremony.
On their part, the People’s have been busy with damage control and allegiance-building. Raymond Malik (no relation to a fellow named Davis with the same first name) landed in Karachi on Thursday night but was unable to find time in his busy schedule for mundane and unimportant activities, such as monitoring the law and order situation in the city of lights. Instead, the wily politician chose to call on Pir Pagaro, who is one of the only the real power-mongers south of Garhi Khuda Buksh that is still alive.
He also issued shoot-on-sight orders to all Rangers and FC personnel in the city. But these poor law enforcers are a tragic lot. Even with a license to kill, they still can’t catch a single ruffian. Why is that, you may be tempted to ask? The answer, like most such answers, is painfully obvious; it’s because they haven’t been issued their prescription spectacles. You know, the ones that DON’T make everything seem all rosy. Raymond Sb should try them glasses too sometime. Maybe it’ll give him some perspective.