On The Side Confessional

Satire: Diary of CPEC

Updated 23 Jan, 2017 05:15pm
Illustration by Sabir Nazar
Illustration by Sabir Nazar


I am the belle of the ball.

The minister of planning just announced that Finland offered four of its women in marriage and three baby brown bears to Pakistan in order to join me. Ahsan Iqbal, though, was unimpressed by the offer and asked for a dozen elk skins to be added to the bid if it was to be considered seriously. That’s good, for I will not go cheap.

India just has not been able to take my popularity. Once it was the coolest kid in school. Now, even its besties like Russia are drawn to me. India did her best to tell everyone I had the militant cooties and disinvited me from parties she hosted. But when the zeitgeist blows in your direction, you create your own rave.

With the overwhelming response to me so far, the government is considering allowing Bahria Town to auction further allotments to new members. You know you have made it in Pakistan when they treat you with the seriousness of a housing society. Modi claims some of the plots, but he has misplaced the file.

Nawaz Sharif’s plans of making a houbara bustard the foreign minister have been put on hold since I am improving Pakistan’s image abroad. He will, however, go ahead and give the bird the highest civilian medal of honour for the sacrifices it has made for this nation.

Pakistan is slowly facing a diplomatic crisis – though not the kind India hoped for – as it can no longer accommodate the sheer number of contenders to join this game changer, namely moi. With Iran and Russia already trying to force their way in, at the very least this threatens the existence of my catchy abbreviation. PRICEC just doesn’t convey the enormity of the project that CPEC does. M Bilal Hafeez confirmed that Denmark also wants to open a khokha of naswaar and cigarettes at the entrance of CPEC, such is the desperation.

Not since Agha Waqar’s water-kit has the international community displayed such envy. Spies have been dispatched to get details on my specifics but they have returned home empty-handed since most Pakistanis don’t know the details because of the federal government’s secrecy. A Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz spokesperson clarified that there would be a Western and an Eastern Route, but no canals would be connecting them, saying, “We have nothing to do with any canals, and we would like to clarify that under this project, offshore companies are coming to Pakistan.”

Military sources confirm that the project will bring peace to Balochistan, or at least to pieces of Balochistan, or definitely to the soon to be announced DHA in Balochistan. I just hope it will be too late before the Baloch nationalists realise that their share is only the migrating Chinese. How I look forward to the fusion cuisine — the Gong Bao Sajji will be divine.

I am just soooo tired of people asking me how they will pay for me. Dahlings, I am a millennial. We don’t plan ahead, we just live in the moment. And what a moment this is. Negotiating with the Chinese can be tough; they didn’t like it when I said, “If it has to be one belt and one road, make it a Gucci and an autobahn.”

2016 was my fabulous year and 2017 is going to be a brilliant year, but I am just not looking forward to the inevitable request for DNA testing as Nawaz, Zardari and Raheel have all claimed parentage. I must take pains to point out, I belong to the nation.

Yours smoothly,


This article was originally published in the Herald's January 2017 issue. To read more subscribe to the Herald in print.