I recently read an article by Amina Jilani titled The dead horse syndrome (published in The Express Tribune on September 7) and I completely agree with the author’s graphic statement that “it could be said that the nation has been astride a dead horse for decades of its life, the majority of its citizens being fully aware of the fact but seemingly willing to not only to continue to remain astride but to ignore the horse’s steady decomposition and stench of decaying flesh”.
I don’t like the stench of decaying flesh and I really want to get somewhere in life. Therefore, I have decided to establish a new political party that will be perfectly aligned with the psyche and genius of the people of the great Islamic Republic of Pakistan. If my party wins the forthcoming elections, we may not get to ride a horse but we will definitely get a hardy and reliable donkey. In line with the spirit of “slow and steady wins the race”, I have named my party the “Pakistan Ride-a-Donkey Party (PRDP)”.
Following are the salient features of the party’s manifesto:
1. The constitution of Pakistan will be immediately abrogated. It is a voluminous document far beyond the understanding of the simple people of Pakistan, more than half of whom cannot read or write. Copies of the constitution will be sold by the kilogramme and will thus be put to the more useful purpose of wrapping kebabs, parathas, samosas, paan and other such delicacies.
2. A parrot (tota) will take all decisions regarding matters of state. Five hundred totas, trained in a civil service seminary, will be released on January 1 every year and the first one to land in the president’s house will be declared the head of the state. Policy choices will be written on chits and selected by the tota in a nationally televised show. For example, for foreign policy the choices could be: “USA is our friend”, “USA is our enemy”, “Taliban are good folks”, “Taliban are horrible”, “Love India” or “Crush India”. Since there will be no constitution, the sole function of the Supreme Court will be to ensure the fairness of “Chit Process”. Given that the tenure of the president will only be one year, no policy will ever be implemented and “Tota Chashmi” will be the cornerstone of our policy making. This will ensure that Pakistan will remain non-aligned and milk all the countries of the world!
3. All educational institutions will be closed down. It is abundantly clear that the education system is not working in Pakistan. The more we try to push education, the more ignorant our people become. This is evident from recent events, where the Chairman of PCSIR, Pakistan’s largest scientific research organisation, and various other so-called top scientists publicly endorsed that cars can use water as fuel. However, since degrees are far more important than education, they will be printed and sold through all government utility stores. The price of the degree will depend on the level of education required. We suggest Rs1,000 for Matriculation and Rs50,000 for PhD. To ensure that more resourceful persons do not abuse the system, the maximum number of degrees per person will be limited to three. For the sake of fairness, anyone with a real degree from abroad will be promptly deported. This innovative approach will ensure that Pakistan will soon join the ranks of developed nations.
4. The Pakistani economy is in shambles. The begging bowl has become the centrepiece of our economic planning. We have all kinds of debts: linear debt, circular debt, special debt, peculiar debt and a lot of some just plain old debt. The types of debts read like a kebab restaurant menu. The solution, dear countrymen, is not only staring us in our faces but is also right up our noses! Look around you, what is our greatest natural resource? No, it is not oil, gas, copper, coal or iron. It’s garbage! All we need to do is to advertise our land as the world’s largest garbage dumping ground. This will be a unique economic solution since it will be based purely on imports! Garbage producers of the world will fill up ships and send them out to the Karachi port. Nuclear and chemical waste will attract higher rates than regular filth and will be stored in the abandoned National Assembly, Supreme Court and president, prime minister and governor houses. A major advantage in this programme is that the garbage will be a magnet for the animal world and soon we will have national parks the size of the Serengeti and Jasper, thus attracting international eco-tourism. Remember, we are Pakistan, the land of the pure, and no amount of garbage can make us impure!
5. Every year a huge part of our annual budget is spent on defence. We are even ready to build nuclear devices to defend our nuclear devices and build even more devices to defend these other nuclear devices. We are ready to go bankrupt to defend our sacred land and we are the only nuclear power with no electrical power. We are even ready to sacrifice our neighbour’s best friend’s roommate’s last child to defend our homeland. Noble as this great patriotism is, we have to wonder: if we sacrifice our last child what is left there to defend? PRDP has given some deep thought to this very sensitive issue.
The best way to make Pakistan unconquerable is to make it not worth conquering. With the economic policy of importing garbage the whole country will become one big garbage dump. What country will want to occupy a land covered in filth? We can thus dismantle our army and loan it out for “professional services” to friendly nations like Saudi Arabia, Libya, Syria, Congo, Liberia etc. This will bring both prestige and money to Pakistan. All nuclear assets will be sold on eBay to the highest bidder.
6. In spite of repeating ad-nauseam, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s vision that all minorities will be treated equally in the newly formed Pakistan, all minorities have been treated equally badly. To correct this situation all religious sects will be declared minorities. This will level the playing field and the killing field. Once all the religious bigots have killed each other, the remaining will live in peace and harmony.
7. Sports have been long neglected in Pakistan. The squash players have been squashed like insects on the international circuit, hockey players are only useful as hired hands in beating up political opponents with their curved sticks, and our cricketers have become gamblers. The only difference left between organised sports and organised crime in Pakistan is that organised crime is a bit more profitable. In order to revitalise sports in Pakistan, only traditional sports like Kabbadi, Pithu Garam and Gili Danda will be allowed. However, Kabbadi will not be shown on television as it involves men wearing skimpy outfits that sometimes ‘accidentally’ come off. This is obviously not good for the morals of decent ladies. Ladies will play more homely sports like Ludo and Snakes and Ladders.
8. We are not a healthy nation. We lead the world in diarrhoea, dysentery, piles (khooni and otherwise), half a dozen horrible varieties of coughs, some that are dry and others that are accompanied by large dollops of phlegm laced with blood, deathly fevers resulting from mosquito bites and other diseases of the body and mind not found anywhere else in the world. PRDP believes that the nation’s immune system has become weak. We believe in the survival of the fittest and once the garbage starts coming in, those people whose immune systems are not up to the mark will perish from the rampant disease, leaving only the strong ones with iron constitutions. The beauty of this approach is that it would control our rampant population growth while fostering a nation of supermen ready for any post nuclear holocaust scenario.
Friends, Pakistanis, Countrymen … if you want a bright, albeit a bit smelly, future for Pakistan please join PRDP in droves and herds. Donkey carts will be provided to transport you to the polling station. Remember to place an X against our election symbol “The Dump” as pictured below.
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, November 4th, 2012.