Amir of Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) Maulana Munawar Hassan has claimed that there are thousands of Raymond Davises operating in Pakistan. Sheikh Rasheed of the Awami Muslim League also repeated this charge at a recent public meeting in Rawalpindi. The wise and patriotic leaders did not give details of the whereabouts of these operatives, but one got the impression that there are clones of Raymond Davis, who travel in rented Honda Civics, followed by mysterious white vans, brandishing their Glock handguns and randomly shoot innocent Pakistanis in broad daylight, on busy roads. If that is the scenario, then we must protect our sovereignty and honour and trace these sinister invaders. These ‘bodysnatchers’ can be rounded up by undertaking a national witch-hunt. Raymond detectors can be manufactured, which can start beeping when they are close to a 36-year-old burly, silver-haired white man with sophisticated weaponry and James Bond style spyware. The Raymonds, if spared by lynch mobs, could be locked up and subjected to the latest torture techniques in front of CCTV cameras. The matter of dispensation of justice can then be left to our experienced and efficient justice system, whose record of successful convictions of dangerous terrorists is envied by the world. The other option is to let a death-row prisoner, with appropriate incentive, do the job. Punjab’s dreaded fake encounter squads could be used as Plan B. Once the Raymonds have been weeded out from our beautiful land, Raymond-proof fences can be erected all around the country. Pakistan will then be no more an American colony, as feared by Maulana Munawar Hassan.
But Raymonds may come in different shapes and sizes. What if the bodysnatchers have got into the bodies and souls of our people? There might be Raymonds of all hues in our midst: Black and brown, Sindhi and Punjabi, bearded or moustached. There could even be undercover, burqa-wearing Raymonds. It should be our patriotic duty to trace and terminate these Raymonds. We should look for them in spirit rather than in body. If that line of investigation is followed, we may enter a huge minefield. At the very onset, we might see our first prime minister laying the foundation of the US colony in the Land of the Pure. We may learn that sons of leading maulanas studied in the US and Pakistan’s most ‘intellectual’ universities. Jihadis, in fact, received their MPhils and PhDs from US universities too.
During the Zia era, Pakistani and Afghan jihadis were honoured as heroes by Washington and the mushrooming of madrassas during that period was facilitated by US dollars and Saudi riyals. Foreign jihadis were invited to use our tribal area as their base and their leaders were hosted as VIP guests in our capital. If the trail is vigorously pursued, we might end up in the maulana’s own backyard, at the gates of Mansoora.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 15th, 2011.
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