Close Encounters of a Mad Kind | Pakistan Today

Close Encounters of a Mad Kind

Could it be with aliens, Jinns, a black hole, angels, a wrinkle in the mind or what?

We all know the now hackneyed saying that the wheels of God grind slowly but they grind exceedingly fine. God needs a vehicle to grind his wheels. The historical forces that I have been talking about for weeks are the wheels of God. They cause all kinds of change. They are an inexorable, unstoppable juggernaut that grinds without regard to who or what they are grinding, even demigods like Ozymandias, the Pharaohs, Hitler, Stalin… Where are they now? They grind nations, civilizations, states and boundaries, else how would new states be formed and old ones change or die? Small fry leaders going mad proves the Greek saying that those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad. So it seems to be happening with our very own beloved leader Nawaz Sharif.

Witness his rants. So much has happened in the last two weeks but the mind is caught up in Sharif’s comical histrionics. Comical because he seems to have lost his mental balance; not surprising given the pressures he has been going through not just in Pakistan but now reportedly in the UK that may be about to investigate his unexplained wealth. He is in danger of losing his favourite refuge. If they conclude that his Mayfair flats were purchased with corrupt money they will be sold and the proceeds given to Pakistan. There is no such thing as stealing money fair and square. Try as he might, Nawaz cannot find an escape route or exit strategy, which is frustrating him even more. No deals, no NROs, no bailouts, no nothing — so far anyway.

It could be that Imran Khan’s mammoth rally in Lahore the other day could have been the tipping point that has unhinged him. The refreshing thing was not only the size of the crowd but that after a long time a political leader made a substantive speech. That’s something that seems to be beyond Nawaz or any other politician: their speeches are just humbug, a collection of badly delivered sloppy slogans laced together in a necklace of mirth.

Completely unnerved by Imran’s huge rally Rana and Abid started vomiting profanities and garbage against PTI ladies, implying that they are rented harlots. Our ‘Man of the Mountains’ Prime Minister Abbasi repeated Nawaz’s chorus of invisible forces. Shrinks are in for a heyday

Sharif has declared that his contest in the next election will not be against Imran Khan or Zardari but against “unseen” or “invisible forces”. Beat that if you can. What invisible forces? Perhaps his demons — and there must be many — have come visiting and are staying beyond their welcome. He needs to exorcise his demons; perhaps he should visit a real shaman. His rants are bizarre and somewhat morbid when he implies that without him Pakistan is in serious trouble. Pakistan is in all kinds of serious trouble but it is largely because of him and the guy who was in power before him. Between them they have looted Pakistan to the bone and gravely deteriorated the human condition. They have used democracy as a means to nefarious ends. Echoes of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the man who led the movement to break Pakistan. Nawaz is handing out a threat: leave me alone or else choose between Pakistan and me. Brazen, unabashed, he embarrasses us no end. He really is asking for more and more trouble.

The invisible forces couldn’t be the army or the judiciary, because they can be seen. Or perhaps Nawaz doesn’t have the guts to name them. But if he could bring opprobrium on his late biological father over his own corruption, why can’t he point the finger on his political father, the army. There is nothing invisible about them. Visit the GHQ and the army can be seen; visit Aabpara and the ISI can be seen; visit the Supreme Court and the judiciary can be seen. When all else fails just use the gibberish that the army is quietly ‘managing’ the situation. At this rate even the volcano eruption in Hawaii will be blamed on the army and the ISI.

Nawaz later went on to clarify that the invisible forces are ‘Khallai makhlooq’ meaning beings from outer space, though strictly ‘khala’ could also be translated as vacuum. Could the invisible forces be aliens from outer space or genies of the lamp or ghosts or poltergeists, if such things exist? Jinns do, but I have never met one to the best of my knowledge. I fear Nawaz is showing distinct signs of schizophrenia.

There certainly is a very powerful force, the most powerful in all the universes that those whose inner eye is functioning can see but those for whom it is shut are blind and cannot see. Not to put too fine a point on it, that most powerful of all forces is the Creator, to wit, God. He is the one that is grinding the wheels of historical forces to make flour out of global, regional and national status quos and grow new, hopefully better flour or status quos for us. You can liken historical forces to the wind that makes the fan of the mill go round and the wheels of God to grind. It is entirely possible that Nawaz is afraid of God’s angels to come down to earth to oppose him in elections. If that is so, he doesn’t stand a chance.

Actually, Nawaz is trying to convert his corruption trial into a democracy versus dictatorship thing. Truth is that judged by his actions Nawaz has been a civilian dictator of the Mughal Emperor kind. What else do you expect from a product of an army dictatorship? Sorry, Nawaz is anti-democratic.

His madness malaise is infecting others in his camp. Not only his Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah and his federal junior minister of something Abid Sher Ali, but his chosen prime minister have caught the disease as well. You only have to see and hear the first two to realize that they are both cuckoo and dangerously crazy. Completely unnerved by Imran’s huge rally Rana and Abid started vomiting profanities and garbage against PTI ladies, implying that they are rented harlots. Our ‘Man of the Mountains’ Prime Minister Abbasi repeated Nawaz’s chorus of invisible forces. Shrinks are in for a heyday.

But seriously, I’m sure Nawaz means the army-judiciary combine, for he is trying to force army intervention to become an international political martyr. He knows the army; it created him. This is patricide. Every ‘great’ leader we’ve had since Ayub Khan has been a creation of the army, and when the army’s support was withdrawn they bit the dust. For having created these odious, marauding leaders the army cannot be absolved of blame for our terminal condition. So those who are looking to the army for succor and even the judiciary are barking up a failed tree. Never forget: it was the Supreme Court that legitimized all army interventions and also civilian usurpers like Bhutto who lost the 1970 elections but grabbed power as chief martial law administrator after helping to break Pakistan, and Nawaz Sharif usurped power after rigging the 2013 elections and the Supreme Court said that elections were “largely” fair. “Largely”, I ask you.

Even today people are wondering why the accountability process has slowed down so perceptibly in Sindh, the province where it started. So it is being suggested that the army has decided to embrace Asif Zardari again as long as he works against Nawaz Sharif. This could all be hogwash, but if it isn’t then neither the army nor the judiciary seem to have learned any lessons. We thought that the army had because there has been no coup. But there are many ways to skin a cat, and this one will take some skinning.

But seriously, obvious solutions often escape us. First, when you are in trouble, keep your wits about you. Don’t lose you marbles. Weigh each piece of advice very carefully before following it. The accused knows better than anyone else whether he is guilty or not. If you know you are guilty, come clean and save whatever you can of what is left of your dubious prestige. Divine Law will certainly catch up with you, as it is doing. That’s the “invisible force”. Then you will, if you are lucky, end up in the cooler, or worse if you are not lucky.

Humayun Gauhar

Humayun Gauhar is a veteran columnist in Pakistan and editor of Blue Chip magazine.



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