Tuesday, 13 November 2007

The Grand Old Duke of Pakistan

I love the English

The English can be so wicked; dressing up the most scathing criticism with the novelty of a nursery rhyme exemplifies that kind of pretend kindness that is equivalent of taking long knives in the back whilst seeing everyone smile at the event.

The debacle that Pakistan has settled into is not only puzzling but farcical; a tin-pot general who thinks his incumbency would be threatened by the judiciary imposes emergency rule and sacks the bench and puts his puppets on the bench.

Pulling all stops

He stops people from gathering to protest his megalomania as the constitution is caught between the limbo of being suspended and being the basis of the rule that is martial law in everything but name.

The election date became a moveable feast that moved from January to February and then back to January, but nobody is free to campaign for elections that would take place in less than 60 days if they do.

The khaki-thug who commands an air of grudging respectability from the West because of the perverseness of the war on terror might just find that his firstname Pervez is really a colloquial corruption of perverse as people get corralled into prison with impunity and house arrest orders get imposed and removed; the cordons and barricades swung in and out of place like a matador coaxing a bull – and I am in Spain – Pakistan might well run out of prison space as the brigands in police uniform mob the public with sticks and staves and slaps.

Drunk with intoxicating power

When he said imposing this rule which seems to have no focus apart from whims that seem to chart the course of a completely inebriated man on his way home in the witching hour was the hardest thing he had ever done – one can see how power-drunkenness that lead one to do foolish things.

However, enough of this and let us see how history would remember the Grand Old Duke of Pakistan and notice that history just has a way of repeating itself location not withstand – the similarities are left for you to note.

The nursery rhyme

O! The Grand old Duke of York

He had ten thousand men

He marched them up to the top of the hill

And marched them down again.

And when they were up, they were up

And when they were down, they were down

And when they were only halfway up

They were neither up nor down.

This is as I remember it, we marched, stood up and sat down to the events depicted in the nursery rhyme none the wiser about the fact that we were making fun of an army general.

I would not pen the Pakistani version, there are literary proponents ad poets in that country better talented to give us a nursery rhyme that depicts the events in Pakistan today for posterity.

General Pervez Musharraf would be remembered well maybe not the way he would want to be remembered but that shows how much control we have of the present and none particularly of the future and history.

Preferences

Pakistan’s Political Crisis

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