Then comes Mr Scofflaw in his shiny new Pajero who crashes the red light, overtakes from the wrong side, nearly runs over some poor pedestrians and when he stopped by the policeman, comes out of the car and proceeds to thrash the hapless law officer. Mr Scofflaw is an elected member of one of the parties in power
Somebody please stop playing that beautiful Iqbal Bano/Faiz song. We don’t really want to see all of the things Iqbal Bano throatily is belting about as only she can, apocalyptically predicting the revolution that will come to pass. Great song. But we don’t do revolutions here.
We do, however, do everything else. We have long queues for food and even longer queues for petrol. We have no electricity. Children are afraid to go to school because somebody might come and bomb them. Our women and old folk are afraid to go out lest they get mugged, maimed or are killed.
Worshippers in our mosques get beaten or pushed around because they are standing in God’s House to pray but must stand in exactly the manner some self-styled zealot wants them to. After you have passed this acid test of being a Muslim and another Muslim has not planted a bomb in the mosque, be prepared to walk home bare feet in the scorching sun because some other Muslim brother has decided he likes your shoes and stolen them.
That person directing traffic in the noon day sun is a poor policeman, his throat parched from blowing his whistle at people in cars who thumb their noses at him and whiz past him, and the red light.
Then comes Mr Scofflaw in his shiny new Pajero who crashes the red light, overtakes from the wrong side, nearly runs over some poor pedestrians and when stopped by the policeman, comes out of the car and proceeds to thrash the hapless law officer. Mr Scofflaw is an elected member of one of the parties in power.
I once overheard a conversation between a bobby and a Pakistani in London who was replenishing the parking meter with a handful of coins. The bobby said: “Morning”. This greeting sent the Pakistani into a long explanation much to my amusement and the bewilderment of the policeman. “I am not meaning to do anything wrong, sir this being my car and this being my money…”
“Carry on then sir” is all the bobby could muster and carried on walking his beat.
I could not help asking the man: “Key hoya eh?”
“Oh Kuj nai ji, mein nien anadai mathay lug da!” (Nothing, I just don’t like tangling with these guys!) So, if there, why not here?
Meanwhile, our political leaders for months now have struggled with this meddlesome question of restoring the judges and if they could have their way they would have hoisted the UDI flag for the judiciary a week ago. If only they would separate and not confuse the issue of restoration with the more lofty cause of an independent judiciary.
I caught Republican Senator John McCain’s speech last night on judicial conservatism as he sees it, versus the judicial liberalism of his democratic rival Barack Obama. I could relate to Senator McCain’s statement when he said: “It is not that they don’t see wisdom…its just that they see it only in themselves!”
There is of course this other little matter of “NROs” and “PCOs”. If I were Asif Zardari, I’d be worried about putting some of the old judges back in power as well. He has spent 10 long years in jail on charges including some filed by one of his now coalition partners. But that partner has not been the beneficiary of this marvellous instrument called the NRO and has nothing to fear if the judges are reinstated. Zardari does.
What if they reversed the NRO? There are all kinds of combinations and permutations but it is like that diabolical “toy” called the Rubik’s Cube — a five-year-old can figure it out in seconds but give it to an adult even with a genius IQ and he will be trying to get it right for weeks. And we know how many geniuses we have sitting in the National Assembly.
The television channels are having a field day. They keep coming up with these skits based on Indian film songs. Yes, blame it on the Indians!
Then there is this clip of this diminutive lawyer, who is a cross between Tarzan and an aging thespian. What is with this guy? Why does he so badly want to hold someone by the throat? Surely there is a nicer more subtle way of showing his disdain for someone. Look at the wonderful example he is setting for today’s kids. What if one of his errant children got up and said something like that to him? The channel showing this clip ought to edit this inflammatory piece out. It makes his arms look longer then they really are!
Someone once told me this wonderful story about a man who had been hit by a truck and was lying there in the middle of the road surrounded by people who in such cases gather around like flies, each with his own version and with a suggestion. “Give him air”, shouts one. “Make him smell your shoe”, says another. “Take him to the hospital”, pleads another.
Then an elderly lady who has silently been observing the man quietly says: “Give him a drink!” Nobody pays attention. Suddenly the poor man who has had enough by now shouts: “Why don’t you all shut up and listen to this poor lady!”
In today’s frenzied times sometimes the simplest suggestions can make all the difference.
Mahmud Sipra is a best selling author and an independent columnist. He can be reached at email@example.com
Courtesy: Daily Times, 8/5/2008