The way out of our economic destruction is to apply the method of Muhammad Bin Salman
“A penny for your thoughts,’ said Maverick. “You look deep in contemplation. What’s bugging you?”
“Nothing Maverick. I was only thinking about the ways of God because of the deaths of two of our icons, Mr. Mushtaq Ahmad Yusufi, the great humorist whose short stories always left us with lessons, and Mr.
Jamsheed Marker, our best-ever diplomat. I knew both because they were my late father’s contemporaries and friends. They don’t make men like them anymore. What a loss, but since both were in their Nineties,
their departure was inevitable. Yet we are getting poorer for it all the time. May you live long Maverick.”
“You too, Humayun, but from the looks of it, you worry me sometimes.”
“God is truly the greatest Maverick, so let His be done. Who wants to live forever anyway? Stupid.”
“Yes,” replied the wise Monkey. “When school’s over, you move on to university if you are lucky. That’s where you learn much more because our faculties are much more honed and sensitive. I, for one, look forward to it. But remember, do well at school because that is where you acquire the tools to learn from the Divine University. Now tell me, what else is bugging you?”
“Lots,” I said. “At the personal level, my wife has, as usual, traipsed off to London on the excuse of looking after our grandchildren. I feel incomplete without her, which is not a good feeling. I miss being ticked off.”
“I don’t have that problem,” said Maverick. “I have many wives. We monkeys are not monogamous, like you Homo sapiens.”
“Forget it, Maverick, “I’m worried about the elections too, very worried. If they are held on time, it seems more and more likely that they will be controversial, to put it mildly. Rats are jumping off their ships and swimming towards Ship PTI, captain Imran Khan, who is welcoming them with open arms, which is causing mini mutinies on his ship. If elections are delayed, there will be even more controversy.
You guys have so much to be grateful for, but you are such ingrates that you are a blot on humankind. So go and buy some humility and shame and stop blaming God.”
Which will be very bad. In 2013 each province voted for itself, underlining our centrifugal tendencies. This time they could get reinforced. My mind keeps harking back to the 1970 elections and what they led too. Even now we have many Mujibs (Nawaz Sharif has threatened to become one) and many Bhuttos (Bhutto’s grandson the boy Bilawal has called it something like “puppet democracy”) and India has someone worse than Indira Gandhi. Hope for the best. This time we should give the government to whoever wins or can form a government and not get into cahoots with the loser whether we like the winner or not. That’s what led to our break up from East Pakistan. The ruling army generals then were the biggest culprits — drunken debauch dotards.
“Then, we have completely and comprehensively lost the economic war thanks mainly to the economic terrorism of our rulers. Our chickens will come home to roost in a few months. When the time to pay up comes shortly, what will be our options? Go back to the IMF and die a slow death or do debt equity swaps with China and get recolonized? Take your pick. I love China, but not on such terms.”
“As we spoke last week, confusion and controversy could lead to such chaos that the army will have no option but to intervene, whether it likes it or not. They are sworn to save Pakistan. It is the justification of their existence. Pakistan would inevitably fall into the army’s lap like a rotten plum. The mountain would come to the army; the army will not go climb the mountain for it knows not how.
And the same old rigmarole will start as we saw in four earlier army rules, because the army doesn’t have the solutions to our problems.
Not good either for Pakistan or the army.”
“Don’t be an idiot, Humayun,” replied Maverick. “You think too much. There are other options. There is no better economist than Prince Muhammad Bin Salman or MBA as he is called, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. He devised ‘The Ritz Carlton Formula’ for which he should get a Nobel Prize in economics. Follow that equation.”
“And what pray is that Maverick?” I asked.
Continued Maverick all worked up by now. “Pick up all your looters not only from amongst the rulers but also from amongst the cronies of the rulers, businessmen, feudal lords, the bureaucracy and many other categories and lock them up in the ballroom a hotel. Give them a pillow and two blankets each along with a copy of the Quran and a prayer mat.
“Then present them with all the evidence of their corruption and tell them to answer within a week without lawyers who are experts at wasting time and going off at tangents, with the courts indulging them. If they own up, tell them to cough up within a week, or else. If they don’t, try them in summary courts. If they still don’t accept, tell them they have a week to think about it or they will have only nine fingers and nine toes. If they remain obdurate, show them the gallows. If they wish to save their loot more than their lives, go to the logical conclusion and takeover all their assets in Pakistan and tell other countries to unhand all their monies in banks and assets etc. Then you see how the mare goes round and the money comes in. MBS locked them in the Ritz Carlton hotel and even though they were princes, his relatives, they coughed up. That’s the Ritz Carlton Equation.”
“You are like Stalin, Maverick,” I said.
“They’ve brought it on themselves, Humayun my simple friend, so don’t
feel sorry for them.”
“Look Maverick, I was also wondering why God has made only five percent of the world’s people rich and 95 percent poor and wants the five percent to look after the 95 percent. Where’s the equity in
“There you go putting the onus on God again, you fool” said Maverick crossly. “Humankind has brought this on itself with its greed. Don’t you know that there everything for man’s need but not for man’s
“Are you a communist Maverick?” I asked.
“No, I am a Muslim. Look, God gave us everything. Enough water for our needs, but you lot rob it and pollute it. Enough clean air to breath, but you have polluted it by cutting down trees, carbon emissions and made a huge hole in the ozone layer the size of North America. He has given you your own independent country and you have brought it to its knees with untold loot and plunder. We have everything to be thankful for and little to be proud of. You guys have so much to be grateful for, but you are such ingrates that you are a blot on humankind. So go and buy some humility and shame and stop blaming God.”