…the country has become gripped by electoral dramas. There is fevered speculation about whether the new electronic voting machines, closely modelled on those used in Indian elections, will quash much of the speculation about rigging that so bedeviled the last election. Since the fizzling out of the revolution that never was in late 2014, the two protagonists have seen their fortunes decline rapidly. Dr Qadri eventually limped off back to Canada having achieved little beyond a degradation of the flora and fauna in the vicinity of the Constitution Avenue in Islamabad. His supporters drifted back to their homes across the country, tired and disillusioned, never to pick up the revolutionary cudgels again.
The speaker of Parliament eventually accepted the resignation of all the PTI MNAs, and in the subsequent by-elections in 2015, the PTI gained not a single seat. Despite these being the most monitored elections in the history of democracy, Imran Khan claimed that all votes cast were somehow tainted or rigged, refused to accept the result and subsequently wrote a book about his dreadful treatment at the hands of The Establishment.
Meanwhile, the Taliban government in Kabul has said that it will be seeking to secure Peshawar as its regional capital in the south of what is now known as Greater Afghanistan, and will also be looking for UN approval of its annexation of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. The bloodless coup that saw Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa seized by a consortium of parties formed of the TTP, ISIL-in-Pakistan and the remnants of the PTI and its affiliates — is steadily being consolidated.
All female education has been ended, women are officially declared invisible, music is never played and judicial amputation is proclaimed the provincial primary recreation, with mandatory attendance every Friday at stadia dedicated to the spectacle.
A groundbreaking deal with the Chinese in early 2017 saw them purchase Karachi. They have moved swiftly to stabilise the city, principally via summary execution of alleged mobsters, the imposition of a curfew and a requirement that everybody eats with chopsticks. Slums — and their inhabitants — have been bulldozed everywhere and the City of Lights is ablaze, mostly because fire and rescue services have been outsourced to a company that previously specialised in selling ostrich feather fans.
The Iranian invasion of Balochistan in 2016 came as no surprise to anybody, and the Pakistan government, once it realised that the Iranians were dead serious about the takeover, welcomed the move. It was later explained that Balochistan had become a bit of a bother in recent years and that the Iranians were welcome to Balochistan, and if they could make a better job of it, well jolly good luck to them.
Whilst all this was going on, the Ebola outbreak decimated the population nationally. About 20 million died by the time the epidemic faded in mid-2017. It started in November 2014, was out of control in a fortnight and the entire country was quarantined by the rest of the world in early 2015. In other health news, polio ran rampant along with cholera, typhoid and measles. Estimates vary but the population of Pakistan today in early 2018 is about two-thirds of what it was in late 2014.
Once again to the surprise of nobody, Punjab and its ruling families have prospered. The establishment of a fortified corridor southwards has ensured economic prosperity and our relations with the kingdoms and satrapies of the Arabian Peninsula has filled the coffers of the Punjab government, so empowering and enriching them that their slogan for the upcoming 2018 election is ‘Go Punjab, Go’. There is speculation that Punjab is going to declare the rest of the country an inconvenient irrelevance and seek to rename Pakistan as ‘Punjab and a few other bits’.
Islamabad is now a national theme-park run by Disney East, Gilgit-Baltistan declared itself independent in 2017 and is currently marketing itself as a five-star tourist destination; and interior Sindh had recently been discovered to be host to a number of alien species sent to make a study of Pakistan and devise methodologies to spread throughout the universe to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again. And who will win the 2018 elections? Why… the PML-N, of course!
Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2014.
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