On The Side Confessional

Satire: Diary of Khawaja Saad Rafique

Updated 15 Aug, 2015 05:38pm

Dear diary,

I don’t know why Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf walas complain so much about the slow justice system in this country. After two years of unfairly pressurising the election tribunal into doing the work it is supposed to do in two months, and when it finally managed to reach a decision on irregularities, I had it overturned in only two days. That’s as quick as it gets.

It’s all about doing your homework. Did Imran Khan have proof? I had proof. I had all the papers ready — even printed some extra just in case.

I petitioned the court to not punish me just because the returning officers were stupid, the polling staff incompetent and the voters blind. Those 90,000 votes are unverifiable, which means they cannot be traced back to me, which means I am innocent.

Rigging? Do you know how much it would cost me to have an entire constituency rigged? I would lose less money if I set fire to my bank.

All these ‘mummy daddy’ children voting for the first time probably thought Khawaja Saad forced people to form lines and stand in the sun. Khawaja Saad made voting last all day. Khawaja Saad personally cast 90,000 fake votes with his extensive collection of artificial thumbs. Everything must look like rigging to them.

Bus kerdeya kero. Of all the Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz candidates they could have accused, they picked me?

There are PMLN leaders who look like henchmen from a Sultan Rahi movie — who have more criminal cases open against them than they have votes, and they picked me? Have they seen my portfolio? I can invade polling stations and carry off ballot boxes, but I can’t land better ministries than the Youth Affairs and Railways?

In any case, if Hamid Khan wants to explain to the prime minister every day why 200 locomotives are still inoperative and why half the railroad is missing – presumably sold by Ghulam Ahmed Bilour – he’s more than welcome. All the other MNAs will call him coolie and he’ll have to sit on a committee with Sheikh Rasheed. Every day. For three more years.

If not, I only have one thing to say to him: ‘Paray ho jaa soniye, saaddi rail gaddi aayi.’

When I first took the ministry and found out that it incurs losses in the billions, I wondered what they could possibly be doing for things to get so bad, paying people to travel? Throwing money off moving trains? Hiring monkeys to do the accounts? It turned out to be a bit of everything.

When I asked if the trains ran on time, I was told a railcar which left from Rajanpur in 1967 had just arrived in Lahore. When I asked about the condition of the cars, I was told that a doctors association now considers Pakistan Railways as the number one source for arthritis and lower back pain in the country.

But Mian Saab insists that I fix this because the Chinese won’t invest if we don’t have a railway industry.

Two years ago, we cemented Pak-China friendship by blacklisting one of their companies for selling us useless locomotives. Now we are going to have the Pak-China economic corridor running on the back of donkeys.

Mian Saab often pulls out a map and points everywhere and says we should make railway tracks here. I say, Mian Saab, we don’t have any trains to run on them. But he says it doesn’t matter, the Ittefaq Foundry steel is at a surplus and it needs to go somewhere.

To control corruption in the railways we have introduced a computerised system. So you can find out about timings on a computer and you can buy your ticket on a computer and then you can go to the place you want to visit on your computer, without having to leave your home or bothering us.

We have also started the Green Line Express Train, which goes from Islamabad to Karachi in only 5,000 rupees and 24 hours. Though my friends tell me people are willing to pay a lot more to stay away from Karachi.

Breakfast is complimentary: you get a compliment when you wake up. Tea is compulsory because Mian Saab has just started a packaged milk product and it needs to go somewhere. No doubt, our country is on the right track...

Yours truly, Khaja Saab

This satirical diary was originally published in Herald's June 2015 issue. To read more, subscribe to Herald in print.