We Pakistanis as a nation live off speculation and gossip. We love to talk behind backs and believe you me there is an aunty (phupho) living in each one of us no matter how much we want to deny it.
When we first heard about Bilawal inviting the most beloved baji of the nation, Maryam Nawaz, for iftar, the first thing we all wanted to do was turn into the annoying rishtay wali aunty and start the instant match making. AND WE DID NOT STOP! Have you seen all the memes over the internet?
Come to think of it a PPP and PML-N mash up would not be too bad and the offspring Maryam-Bilawal would bear are likely to have pretty decent odds, while obviously being super cayoot (cute) at the same time.
So, the biggest news over the past few days is Maryam and Bilawal’s iftar date, along with some other people but do we really care about them?
Meh, maybe Hamza Shehbaz, just a bit. Anyway, Pakistan’s two largest and oldest political dynasties came together to write a new future, or maybe build upon the one their forefathers fought so eagerly for, or maybe not. Obviously talking about the Charter of Democracy that Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif constructed. But let us talk about that later.
When PPP and PML-N supporters heard about the dinner, they obviously praised the move and sighed for relief, as they now could see a future – a future without fear and where they were not being dragged around.
On the other hand, PTI supporters came out and bashed the whole idea altogether – for them this was a corrupt iftar.
Maybe shaytan (the devil) himself was unsure about it, according to some. And some even went on to say that this iftar was the foundation of a new corrupt regime, where the two major political parties would come together to loot the nation once again (Hint: This is where the title of the article came from).
Nevertheless, is that all true and what was it all about? So what if Maryam and Bilawal had iftar together…
But then again, only if it were that simple.
A young Pakistan – ‘the rebranding’
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s bread and butter is his appeal to the youth of the nation. I still have to figure out how a 60-year-old man can still be considered a youngster, but that is not the point right now. In my opinion, Imran is young, but merely as a politician and maybe that was his appeal that’s got the majority of the nation to get behind him and get him the premiership.
He fought the old political war dogs of the nation – the same faces and the same families that have ruled over Pakistan for far too long.
He presented an idea that was based on the very notion of change and progression. He gave hope to the very lowest member of the society that he too can one day dream of becoming the Prime Minister of Pakistan. That he too, a common man, can break the shekels of injustice and raise a voice. But most importantly, Imran gave them hope that there will be someone there to hear their voices.
As Pakistanis, we have seen the Sharif family, the Bhuttos, the Chaudhry brothers, the Gandapurs, Legharis, Khattaks and so on, but Imran was someone new, someone the people of Pakistan could get behind, because in reality among all these families and clans, we never saw something to aspire towards.
But this Sunday, Imran’s bread and butter was snatched from him as the old dogs learned new tricks. Bilawal and Maryam are the new faces of their political parties, they are indeed the product of clever political re-branding and it seems to be working. People are eager and political workers are now seeing a renewed hope in the shape of Bilawal and Maryam.
Although the only person young enough in Pakistani politics to actually be considered as youth is Bilawal and despite the fact that Maryam is technically a Nani (grandmother), they have successfully re-branded their political parties and are slowly but surely transferring the influence and power from their fathers to themselves.
And here is the clever bit; Maryam, Bilawal and to some extent Hamza Shehbaz are clear, with next to nothing against them, as compared to their fathers. The three represent a trilogy that can only be prophesied as the three musketeers.
On the side notes though, talking about Maryam, have you seen the lady? Looking at her I aspire to join Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N). You have to admit she is one hot nani… I don’t think they make grandmothers that hot anymore.
Chill Khan sahib, chill – Thanda Rooh Afza piyeen ja kar aap
Our beloved Prime Minister Imran Khan has openly opposed this meeting, so much so that he said that the attendees of the PPP’s iftar dinner are hampering the progress of the country. To that my question is, since when democracy and a strong opposition (well that is debateable, but for the sake of the argument) become hurdles in the progress of any nation. Has PM Imran forgotten about his time on the container? Was he not the one to introduce or maybe re-introduce the idea of jamming the political system of the nation? And was he not the one to urge and incite the public towards civil unrest and civil disobedience?
Imran Khan seems to be opposing the very notion that he based his politics upon.
And as much as I know the timing of this iftari seems like a desperate cry on behalf of the opposition, Imran Khan should have taken the high road. The leader that people once loved, seems to be losing it all. But despite all the chaos, can Khan sahib revive the beacon of hope he once ignited?
At least for now he seems to have lost his footing and something as small as an iftar dinner seems to have irked him ever so thoroughly.
What now? – the politics
The current government has developed quite a habit of historic blunders and failures. Moreover, to PTI’s much displeasure the economy is in shambles, the effects of which our generations to come will feel as well. The PTI led government swore upon 10 million new jobs, new houses and countless other unfulfilled promises but after the IMF’s agreement, it is expected that around one million people are likely to lose their jobs, let alone get new and better ones. The question for the poor now is not about a new house or a new job but a question of basic survival.
Banking on this very sentiment, both Pakistan Peoples’ Party and Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz have promised a political power show after Eid. They have promised to give the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government a tough time. They have promised to stand united and come together as a United Liberation Front against the failing government by raising a slightly corrupt one. By something as small as an iftar dinner the opposition has sparked the hopes of liberation from unkept promises and failing governments.
And they also know that we as Pakistanis have short term memories, not so long ago half the nation stood behind Imran for these very reasons and in search for liberation.
But, as much as the opposition wants to derail the current government, they know that they do not have the political muscles to that just right now, so they are building momentum.
And as much as the dinner seems like a desperate cry for help following the scrutiny and investigations as part of the massive country wide anti-corruption drive – the PPP and PML-N coalition has always brought fruit for the two parties, not so much for the nation, I guess.
Maybe this is the beginning of a new era in Pakistani politics, played and orchestrated by the same old people.
But maybe there is more to it than what meets the eye.
In the side lines of the conversation, rumour has it that our prime minister is soon to be side lined himself. How true that rumour is, no one knows for sure, but his anxiety and constant blunders suggest something. Yet I am not here for all this. I never got featured in the news when I invite my piece of sh** friends over for dinner. Is this not that injustice?
My argument is simple; times are tough, and we need to ensure Pakistan’s future, not some political party’s future. And in all honesty, I am least bothered about who sits on the throne as long as Pakistan prospers. At least we as Pakistanis can live a life in which we are not only allowed to live as humans but are treated as ones as well and that too with respect.
My dream is that I want a Pakistan, where not even a single man of the land goes to bed empty stomach, where every child has the right to education and where every woman is treated as an equal and has a voice – a voice that cannot be silenced just because she was born the way she was born.
I want a Pakistan that is truly free and progressive.
For all its worth, all of Pakistan’s political capital can go have a slumber party, but as long as they deliver and not make fools out of the general public with stunts, schemes, speeches and scams.
I know in the grander scheme of things none of this matters. Keeping people hungry, uneducated and voiceless is eventually considered good for politics – you have to keep people in a certain state so they can be ruled. In short, our rulers need subjects to rule over without being questioned about how they rule them.
But just for a minute when I close my eyes, I want all the noonis (PML-N supporters), youthias (PTI supporters), jiyalays (PPP supporters) and what nots to become Pakistanis and become one.
If for just a minute we let go of political point scoring and prejudice and come together to build a better future, a better Pakistan, we can indeed become better humans.
All I have to say now is, ‘ao mil kar Pakistan ko khilatay hain, kaheen koi bhooka na reh jaye’.