When giants come to play
“Japan went to war with America and was completely devastated, now look at them" he said “I propose war with America!”
The whole council was meeting today in the Parliament house, major leaders from Pakistani Awami Tehreek, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf and Pakistan Muslim League- Q were present in a large brightly lit conference room, which was dominated by a huge mahogany table in the middle.
It could seat 20 people; Qadri had taken up the chair at the head while Khan Sahab occupied the chair on the other side and in the middle sat, the Chaudhry brothers, quite strategically.
Barely a couple of days had passed since their momentous victory in the elections; no one could challenge this bullet proof coalition. They swarmed into Islamabad in their containers and motorcycles, draped in bright t-shirts and faded jeans, together with burqas and beards. The status quo could not find an answer to this terrifyingly flamboyant force.
This council was formed to tackle the immediate issues facing the Pakistani people.
“Khan Sahab, economic growth rate is lower than it should be for such a huge labour force” Qadri observed, running his hands through the thick pile of documents in front of him.
“It’s a problem and it needs solutions, does anyone have any ideas?”
Khan Sahab’s stare swept the room.
“We are an Agri-based economy and I believe we should make that sector stronger, introduce some incentives and loans to give it a boost.”
Sheikh lit cigar between his fingers, eyes studying the roof, the corners of his mouth wore a grin. A murmur of assent echoed through the room.
“I think he is right, Khan Sahab.” Chaudhry agreed, dressed sharply in a crisp shalwar kameez, sporting his signature black sunglasses, “We could even bring in some experts to advise us on how to do that exactly.”
“We could also develop free trade zones in key locations around the country?” Elahi quipped, which was met by a room full of nodding heads.
“What about education then? Half of our population can’t read or write!” Shah Mehmood’s voice rose through the buzz in the room, his face glistened with thoughtfulness.
“All in all, gentlemen, we need schools, desperately, I propose a school for every gali in Pakistan!” Elahi declared with feverish enthusiasm, “They will have the best teachers, and we will call it Parha-likhah Pakistan, two!”
“Hear, Hear!” The whole room cheered as one.
“We could get the billions hidden away in Swiss banks to fund this!” Sheikh exclaimed which brought in another cheer from the men present.
“Gentlemen, if I may interject, all these are some splendid ideas, but as you all know we are a fighting nation.” Qadri looked around the room, “we have grand martial traditions and are a progeny of great warriors!”
“What are you trying to say Qadri Sahab?” Shah Mehmood asked.
“The idea should be in light of the genius of our people and our glorious history of gallantry and chivalry.” Qadri announced.
Everyone sat up straight, erect, staring right at him.
“Qadri sahib what exactly are you proposing?” Sheikh said, taking a puff out of his cigar, exhaling the smoke towards the roof, without looking away.
“I propose war” Qadri announced “with America!”
The room went still as a group of mannequins.
“But uh, Qadri Sahab,” Chaudhry chuckled uneasily, looking towards the door, “how would that work?”
“Think gentlemen! Look at history! Everyone who has ever gone to war with America, and lost, has progressed tremendously fast.” He declared.
“I don’t under-”
“Japan went to war with America and was completely devastated, now look at them. Germany fought America and was defeated; look at how fast they’ve progressed.” Qadri exclaimed, “All we need to do is to get obliterated by the Americans, and as history has it, this will result in remarkable prosperity.”
“Qadri Sahab you’re absolutely right!”
The cigar had slipped out of Sheikh’s hands, his eyes were wide and excited, and he was manically staring from one person to another,
“We should draft a resolution right away!”
Suddenly, the room erupted in cries of ‘Pakistan Zindabad!’ and ‘Long live Pakistan!’ Phones started ringing, papers started to change hands, an excited drone of anticipation filled the room. This was the Pakistan they wanted, progressive and strong.
“I have Hamid Mir on the phone!” someone shouted out.
“Ansar Abbasi has asked me for an interview!” yelled another, on top of his lungs.
“Hold on, Gentlemen”
Khan Sahab’s booming voice put everyone to a stand-still, holding a cup of tea in his hands, studying the room with a blank face, he took a sip and placed it back onto the table. The entire room shifted their feet, expecting, while he took a long tired breath,
“We should think this through, before rushing into decisions.”
“Khan Sahab, what do you mean?” Everyone asked in unison.
“I for one think it’s a great idea, Khan Sahab.” Chaudhry explained, “The evidence is there, we need results and this does look like the quickest, and if I might add, fool proof way.”
“I only have a slight problem with this proposition,”
Everyone in the room peered at each other, puzzled.
“Tell me,” he said, joining his fingers under his chin, “what happens if we win?”