The Pakistani Thanksgiving Day | Pakistan Today

The Pakistani Thanksgiving Day

To be credible, accountability has now to be across the board

“Why are you cartwheeling like a monkey, Maverick? What’s happened to you?” I asked like night.

“Well, I am a monkey, so stop being cute. I’m happy because what I told my tribe has come true. My standing has gone sky high. Nawaz Sharif has got 10 years in the cooler and his daughter seven. His domesticated son-in-law gets one year. Not to forget confiscation of their Avenfield properties and banning from holding public office for 10 more years after their sentences are served. There goes Maryam’s dream of becoming Hasina Wajid: seventeen long years of waiting before becoming prime minister.”

Pakistan is changing before our eyes. Historical forces are moving in fourth gear now and all the maleficent of society had better look out.

“How did you know?”

“Because Arif Nizami said so and your cousin Babar told me.”

“Yes,” I said. “Both are ‘Pirs’ or shamans after a fashion or very well informed or connected. Arif should take to predicting football results. We will all become millionaires, though never as rich as Nawaz Sharif or Asif Zardari. For that we will have to acquire power. God forbid. You aren’t good at making money illegally and will be caught in 10 minutes. I was never good at making money, period.”

“Perhaps all three,” said Maverick impishly. “Arif is very good in matters political and matrimonial and Babar is very good at everything and being the heart and soul of the party. Great sense of humour, like his late father. Never a dull moment.”

“Collect yourself, Maverick. Please remember that God is the Greatest, Allah O’ Akbar. That it is He who bestows honour and dishonour. Every breath we take is by His Will. So at this time we should show some humility and bow down in thanksgiving to Him. Perhaps July 6 will become the Pakistani Thanksgiving Day.”

“Oh I do,” said Maverick petulantly. Though never Turkey on Thanksgiving. I hate the stuff and its stuffing. I prefer a bunch of bananas. While you were focused on God as you should be all the time, I was thinking of our great poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz.”

“Actually, Faiz sahib was there in the back of my mind too: he would have been so happy today”

“Punishment and forgiveness will take place here on earth;
The trumpet heralding doomsday will be sounded here. The Day of Reckoning will take place right here.”

“Well said, Maverick. Nawaz Sharif has had his day of reckoning. I was also thinking of,
“The day when thrones are overthrown and crowns flung high”

and,

“When we the disempowered are placed on the seat of power.”

“That has yet to happen Maverick so don’t jump the gun. Look Maverick, we can go on and on in this vein. So stop monkeying around and listen.

“My sense is that the majority of the people are happy with this verdict. But it’s also a day of great embarrassment that our prime minister has been thus convicted. It reflects very badly on us the people that we ‘elected’ him thrice. Are we so naïve and dumb that we thrice put a person like Nawaz Sharif on the throne and suffered grievously for our stupidities. It remains to be seen whether we have learned lessons from our follies. I see signs that we are learning when I see how constituents are lampooning former parliamentarians when they visit them to ask for their votes once again. Right now people are saying it with questions, abuse and invective. Fear the day when they drop the invective for sticks and stones as they did in Lyari when young Bilawal visited them. If their anger and frustration increases, they can throw away the sticks and stones and pick up guns and knives instead. Heads will roll and there could be rivers of blood. It could become the ‘Pakistani Revolution’ or the Pakistani Anarchy.”

Now Maverick decided to say his piece: “People feel like a huge idol has been removed from their Ka’aba. But they will soon realize that there are still many idols, big and small, political and non-political, left there and they too have to be broken and cast away.”

“You’re right Maverick. Across the board accountability is now an imperative else the cry of selective accountability will be go up, just what Nawaz and his fellow travellers want.

“The credit for this goes mostly to Imran Khan and his persistence else Nawaz would still have been there. Also to the TV channels ARY and 92. Not to forget the Chief Justice and the Army for standing by the Judiciary and its decisions. Pakistan is changing before our eyes. Historical forces are moving in fourth gear now and all the maleficent of society had better look out. This is the best translation of our word ‘Badmash’ — those who are bad for society.

“Don’t forget that Nawaz and daughter might return and go into appeal and the whole tamasha will start again,” said Maverick.

“I’ve always looked on Nawaz Sharif as a coward remembering his desperation when Musharraf arrested him. But so what if they return, Maverick? Now that the authorities have tasted blood, they will become Badmash eaters. Accountability will gather pace after the elections, though what the wisdom was in the NAB chief announcing that he will not arrest any candidate till after elections? It defeats me, unless he is trying to prevent the accusation of pre-poll rigging. Don’t worry, Maverick. July 25 is not far away. Patience is something we should have learned after so many years of suffering. Don’t forget, our forebears suffered the Brits for 150 years and the curse of mental colonization has yet to be lifted.”

“Now NAB should say, Asif Zardari and cronies, here we come. It has started. Just you see,” Maverick said in turn.

“I love your optimism, Maverick. I keep meeting you because of it and also because of great public demand. Many have fallen in love with you and complain when we don’t meet and talk.”

“Well I’m not Najam Sethi’s sparrow. The poor little bird has long been char grilled in Gujranwala and eaten by Nawaz Sharif.

Humayun Gauhar

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



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