But before we go there, a hand for democracy winning out at the end, despite the serious assaults upon it by the Ghairat Brigades and its masters who live and operate in the underworld, in the dank and dark shadows in which our Deep State thrives.
How good it is to see a caretaker prime minister and chief ministers take over from elected politicians thrown up by the national and provincial assemblies without the “aid” of the Pakistan Army, abetted by people like Ghulam Ishaq Khan (aka Mr GIK) and Farooq Leghari and their ilk.
How heartening, despite the slings and arrows so to speak, of the Ghairat Brigades and their cohorts when they quite rudely point to the ages of the chief election commissioner and the caretaker PM, or when they question someone’s credibility on spurious allegations of being an agent of this or that foreign country; to see Pakistan start the transition from one civilian elected government to another.
How wonderful to see the political temperature, which was raised to beyond boiling point by hawks in all parties, come down to civilised levels, telling the world that we are not a bunch of monkeys but a good and sagacious people who need a chance to shape our own destiny without help from the security establishment that so prides itself on being the “most efficient” organisation in Pakistan.
And now to being dheet and who first in line but the great Commando himself who made a homecoming to the rapturous cheers of upwards of 1,000 supporters who turned out to greet him at Karachi airport.
The versatile and vigorous Urdu word dheet has many meanings in English, but my preferences are: “petulant”, “pretentious”, “insolent” and “wanton”. For now, let us leave aside the fact that among his other achievements, such as gifting us the Mullah Military Alliance (MMA), the Commando also dismissed and arrested the superior judiciary, let me take you back to 2006 when he was master of all he surveyed; when, according to himself, manna from heaven used to fall in Pakistan. My family and I had just returned from Sri Lanka and Thailand.
On August 3, 2006, I wrote in the Daily Times: “As fated, we have made the great leap backward after our month-long holiday, landing with a rude thud back in the Fatherland, bang smack in the middle of the utter chaos that is Musharraf’s Pakistan. Right from Karachi airport’s immigration hall which gave the impression of a badly-run fish market despite the brave efforts of the helpful and considerate immigration officers, to the meeting area in the airport’s veranda which was as usual teeming with taxi drivers soliciting passengers, to the city which was, as usual, in the throes of loadshedding, all of it was exactly as one had left it.”
And: “Whilst our hostess in Karachi had a generator and we slept off our jetlag in peace, that very evening, visiting my son’s home we were hit by loadshedding. ‘Signs of evermore progress, Abba,’ exclaimed Tubby, echoing Musharraf. Incidentally, last week I had also referred in this space to the General’s brilliant statement that there was a power shortage in Pakistan because there was progress in Pakistan. I had pointed out that this obviously meant that Sri Lanka and Thailand and Malaysia were not progressing because we experienced no loadshedding there.”
So there you have it, reader, a short glimpse into the Commando’s Pakistan, fully five and a half years into his reign, for there is no other word for his absolute rule, in which he wielded unlimited and supreme power and was answerable to no one on earth; a time when the US had opened its generous coffers and billions were pouring into the country no questions asked. And when not one watt generated by a new power station was added to the country’s grid. The man left the country in such a terrible mess and still wants to take us back to those days? If this is not dheetpuna what is?
However, this dheetpuna extends elsewhere too: you guessed it, to the bowels of the Deep State too, which goes on tripping over its two left feet when it comes to combating terrorism, which is threatening the very existence of this country. Whether it is the advance of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its foreign commanders and men in Tirah and Bara, getting ever closer to Peshawar, or to the extreme threats being issued by Shia killers, the Deep State, which is a law unto itself, acts as if it sees no evil, hears no evil. Simply because it does not let go of its stupid jihadi policies, and goes on boxing above its weight.
What could be a more serious indictment of the “premier” agencies the MI and the ISI than the fact that it took the Supreme Court, no less, to get them to admit this last Tuesday to a huge terrorist threat to the country. What more proof is needed that the “agencies” know a whole lot more than they divulge, even to the properly constituted government of the country?
Whilst this in itself proves that they might be up to no good in their arrogant quest for “strategic depth”, it is no secret to be told by them that sectarian killers are hooking up with the TTP. We, the common people of this hapless country, knew this many years ago. We can read you know, sirs.
So, there we have it: good news and very bad news indeed. And while there is a (tiny) sliver of hope in the distant future in that a whole lot of young people have evinced an interest in politics and elections thanks to the exertions of Imran Khan’s PTI, I foresee an extremely difficult time for the country in the immediate future.
And that hinges on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan when the guns of the Afghan Taliban and the TTP and its foreign jihadis will turn on our country. THAT is when the thing will hit the fan. Wait for it.
Dheetpuna, what else?
Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th, 2013.