The ISI killed the shark. Or at least that’s the theory I am considering.
A few days ago, a whale shark over 40 feet in length turned up dead in the waters near the Balochistan coast. The product of over 60 million years of evolution died as soon as it came close to the country, its immense corpse floating for 10 days before cranes large enough to lift the carcass could be employed to do just that. The body was instantly purchased for Rs200,000, presumably by a Lawn designer hoping to sell it off to confused Aunties as pre-shrunk evening wear. The Supreme Court has yet to issue a suo motu notice demanding an investigation into the cause of death, but we are still free to speculate. There are, after all, many reasons why it could have been killed. And many killers who could have wanted to kill it.
Given that it was found in the ocean, there is a distinct possibility that the poor beast was killed by America’s Seal Team 6. This is a group of trained killers who have disposed of at least one other high profile target by dumping the body into the murky depths. Perhaps the whale shark was a high profile member of al Qaeda and they did what they did so as to prevent people from making a shrine out of its grave. Indeed, it could be that the shark was Mullah Omar, a theory made all the more plausible by the fact that he has never been photographed. However, given how President Obama recently gave a State of the Union address and forensics have established the shark’s death as over 10 days ago, he would definitely have mentioned such a major event had it occurred under his orders. He needs the ratings.
Maybe the gentle plankton feeder was an Ahmadi. Or a Shia. Or a Hazara. Or a Christian. Or just someone, anyone, who doesn’t subscribe to the vehemently intolerant and utterly flawed interpretation of Islam practiced by members of the Difa-e-Pakistan. In a country where we have legalised bigotry against one religious minority and through negligence are fast legitimising the persecution of all others, it isn’t hard to believe that the shark was killed simply for what it did or did not believe in. The utter silence of the government on the circumstances surrounding its death seem to confirm this, however, final confirmation cannot be had until the shark is buried. If it is then dug up and it’s grave desecrated, then we can know for sure.
Perhaps it was killed by the intelligence agencies. This could have happened because the shark had uncovered some truth about links between the armed forces and terrorist organisations and they needed to send a message to other marine life. Or it could have happened because the shark just happened to be a native of the province of Balochistan and that was enough to mark it as a viable victim. Either way, if the shark had gone missing prior to its death and then everyone in the media and the government ignored its subsequent passing, then we have definitely found our killers. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do with that knowledge.
Finally, the shark could simply have committed suicide, purposefully drinking the water filled with sewage, diesel and used condoms in a tragic attempt at escaping the rising cost of living. It isn’t easy for a shark in these waters to make ends meet with the government constantly increasing the cost of plankton and krill. Maybe the shark committed blasphemy? If a shark commits blasphemy and no one is there to hear it, should we kill it anyway?
So how did the shark die? We may never know. And even if we did, we wouldn’t do a thing about it.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2012.