Google_plus Pinterest Vimeo RSS

Diary of Shah Mehmood Qureshi...(Herald)


I, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, spiritual leader to a multitude, custodian of the donation boxes at the shrine of Bahauddin Zakariya, hereby commence this diary gifted to me by one of my mureedain, in the hope that he will find employment with my blessings — but in the prevailing market for unskilled labour, I doubt it.
It is true that when I enter a room, people lower their gaze; when I sit down, they adorn me with garlands and when I get up to leave, they kiss my hand. I ask for nothing in return, except for their valuables, their servitude and a lifelong commitment to voting me into the National Assembly.
I joined Imran Khan because he reminded me of myself, when he was my age. Dashing, educated, well spoken, women swooning at the sight of him. I told myself this was a man I could call party chairman.
He asked only two things in turn.
“Shah, will you stand with me against the world?”
“Well, Imran, we Makhdooms are more accustomed to sitting.”
“Will you hand in your resignation at my call?”
“Well, Imran, we Makhdooms leave our seats only when we leave this world.”
“Good, you’re in.”
I have seen the corruption of these political elites up close, having spent so much time in both the PMLN and PPP. Not a day passed without witnessing some form of moral decadence. And now, after 30 years, three ministries and eight elections, I’ve decided that enough is enough, it’s time to put an end to the status quo.
For if we are prepared to sacrifice everything the Sharifs own to save this country, why can’t they do the same?
We asked for just four constituencies to be opened. Not five, not six – that would have been unreasonable – no, only four. It’s a fewer number than the amount of dishes Mian Sahib has for lunch, fewer even than the times Shahbaz has been married.
Now we will be forced to change our demands, to the resignation of the prime minister, and come out onto the streets in our hundreds of thousands.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi - Photo by Tanveer Shehzad
Shah Mehmood Qureshi – Photo by Tanveer Shehzad
Unfortunately, due to blockades and bullying, we only managed to come out in our hundreds, not thousands.
In many ways, this has been a tale of three Butts. Gullu Butt, whose hatred for the Toyota Vitz is now part of our cultural history. Pomi Butt, whose invisible bullets deeply wounded Sheikh Rasheed. And DJ Butt, our own Butt, whom they took in Islamabad.
The arrest of DJ Butt was a terrible injustice. Just think for a minute, if it weren’t for his musical interludes, we would have to listen to Imran all the time.
I gave a fiery speech in parliament against the tyranny of the status quo. I could hear the assembly floor tremble in excitement. Even the ministers who had been sleeping there since the last session, a month ago, woke up.
Public speaking is an art. The important thing is to enunciate. Enunciate — that means going over each word slowly, grinding it between your teeth like pistachio nuts, pausing at the end of every sentence to stare at your audience, letting the spittle settle in your mouth.
Parliament is a stage and I, its diva. Soon, we will have our resignation.
Still no resignation. It’s been two excruciating months in Islamabad. There is no decent food here. I hear Ataullah singing in my dreams. If somebody asked me to resign so many times I’d write it down and sing it to them, just to make them go away. Someone should resign, Nawaz, Shahbaz, Kulsoom, their cook, their gardener … why don’t they have a heart?
My driver is saddened at my abject state. He says don’t worry Shah Ji, if they won’t give you an isteefa, I will.
Sometimes, in the dead of the night, I recall my time as foreign minister. We had some beautiful days, Hillary and I… If the Raymond Davis affair hadn’t come between us, well, she would’ve been standing on this container with me today, shouting “Go, Nawaz, Go!” and asking why we’re cheering him on. Such are the sacrifices we make for our countries.