On the side - Confessional

Satire: Diary of Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad

Updated Aug 11, 2016 12:39am

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Illustration by Sabir Nazar
Illustration by Sabir Nazar

Dear Diary...

Yesterday, I had a dream. I had a dream that what had recently happened in Turkey was happening in Pakistan. That the umpire had at last raised his finger after our latest appeal. That instead of lying in front of a tank in Islamabad, I was lying inside one. With Imran driving it, demolishing all institutions of corruption, like the National Assembly, and marriage registrars.

I had a dream that Kashmir had finally become Pakistan, with hourly load-shedding and rallies calling for midterm elections. I had a dream that Pakistan was a world superpower, that the global currency was the rupee with my photo on it. That we were flying drones over America, trying to find Bush and Obama.

I had a dream that Bilawal came to me for advice on how to save his mother’s legacy, and asked if he could adopt me as a father. I had a dream that we had won the test match series against England giving them an innings defeat.

Then I was abruptly woken up to give the concluding remarks at the monthly Awami Muslim League conference. It had gone on for many hours. It was a good turnout, there wasn’t an empty chair to be seen; all three of them were taken.

Also read: Diary of Shah Mehmood Qureshi

I made my concluding remarks that if the army comes into power here, even if people don’t, I myself will distribute sweets. It is the only way an honest politician like myself can get a ministry. I said that first we have taken the Azadi Caravan to Kashmir against Moody and now we will take it to Islamabad against his friend Nawaz.

There was some contention about the dates. I had to call Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Awami Tehreek and Jamaat-e-Islami who are all planning government toppling rallies in August to see what dates and venues they had booked. I wanted the 13th August weekend because an Azadi Caravan makes sense close to Independence Day. Imran said he would hold his on the 7th as he always has to go first.

The date decided, I had to make the announcement and print and distribute the pamphlets. In addition to being the chairman of the Awami Muslim League, I am also the general secretary, the stenographer and youth wing leader.

Awami Muslim League is the only true political party of Pakistan, never to stand behind anything other than a martial law. To keep democracy safe from elections. I have always repeated two things, that unrigged elections in Pakistan are not possible, and that I have won my constituency seven times.

People are demanding change, and I’m not talking about coins.

Dharna is old technology now, it is old fashioned: it is time for something new, as I say these ghosts of legs will not understand by talk. Military takeover is the need of the hour. Imagine yours truly, the Son of Pakistan, scarf wrapped around the neck, cigar in mouth, wearing sunglasses indoors, addressing the United Nations as the foreign minister on behalf of President Raheel Sharif.

I command such respect that Moody has said I will only give Kashmir to you Sheikh Rasheed, no one else.

People know that Sheikh Rasheed always speaks the truth even when he’s lying. I have made thousands of political predictions, all proven wrong by the grace of God. It is my duty to guide this nation, even if like a broken compass. I want to help the helpless, that’s why I stand with Imran.

Imran and I often sit and reminisce about our youth when we were both great sportsmen, him with cricket and me with herding buffaloes. I have coached Imran throughout his career; in many ways, I won the 1992 World Cup.

But not all my advice resulted in positive things, as it was only after he was divorced a second time that Imran realised that perhaps I’m not the best person to take marriage advice from.

I am still Pakistan’s most eligible bachelor. Meera, Veena, even Angelina Jolie wanted to marry me. They call me ladykiller. They say I am the Waheed Murad of politics, and Imran is my Shabnam.

I am a television ratings magnet. I appear on television more often than Ufone advertisements. I can turn any anchor into a star, everyone wants to watch a show that I am not on.

Also read: Diary of Aamir Liaquat

I have inspired the likes of Nelson Mandela and Gandhi, who wrote after their respective deaths that it was Sheikh Rasheed who showed us how to cope with imprisonment. Lal Haveli has provided refuge to all freedom fighters like Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Che Guevara and Imran Khan.

I am a political friendshipper. There are pictures of me with everyone: Nawaz Sharif, Pervez Musharraf, Chaudhry Shujaat. Lately, Nawaz keeps untagging himself from the photos though.

I have been holding the same cigar in interviews for almost 20 years, it was gifted to me by General Musharraf; it was the very cigar he had in his mouth when he was overseeing the triumphant defeat at Kargil. One day, I have promised myself, I will do the same.

Yours belligerently,

Farzand-e-Rawalpindi


This was originally published in the Herald's August 2016 issue. To read more subscribe to the Herald in print.