On The Side

Satire: Diary of Asif Ali Zardari

Published 16 Jun, 2019 01:06am
Illustration by Sabir Nazir
Illustration by Sabir Nazir

My countrymen have nothing to fear but losing their chains. Or their lives, if they live in Tharparkar. My brother Che once said that a revolution is not an apple you wait for to fall. You must make it fall (and keep a slice for yourself — addendum by yours truly, Bolshevik Zardari).

We tried to make the government fall, to usher in the glorious revolution, and ordered dapper uniforms for ourselves after the salvo of a single tweet. But, the winds of change went from rejection to withdrawal like moi decamps to Dubai when the heat is on.

I am now a campaigner against corruption. We have pursued Panama in a way that little Khan could not manage. So distasteful that the nouveau riche whiten their money in that little canal state; if they had old money it would have been in Surrey. Black is beautiful.

You know this government has its roots in dictatorship, having flattered the dictators while parking themselves in their laps in the 1980s. But the future is now. This country deserves a PPP firmly cradled by the establishment. We need democracy to take hold outside of Sindh now; no longer should the rest of Pakistan lag behind.

I am sensing my new vision of revolution and anti-corruption is resonating across the country. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the people have told me that PTI has not delivered; in Punjab they cry out for the lack of delivery by PMLN. Everyone is unanimous they want the garbage-strewn streets we give to Sindh.

Not only am I committed to a revolution in this country, I am giving the reigns of power to the next generation. I have a young chief minister who is highly educated. And like one is supposed to do with the young, I don’t let him do anything without my permission. Empowerment is power with me written backwards after all.

My children are so difficult — not easy being a widower. What’s a guy got to do if he can’t even bring Irfanullah Marwat into the party? Or crack a little joke at yackity women in the assembly? I don’t want a dry party. A father’s job is never done. Why do my kids have to be such ardent feminists? One is grateful, though, that they aren’t Gülenists.

Bilawal is deeply impressed by my revolutionary fervour. He asked if my redemption politics against the imperialism of PMLN or PTI is based on the works of Voltaire or Marx. He is young this Bilawal, and hasn’t seen Mel Gibson’s Braveheart so doesn’t know where I get my intellectual roots yet. He said to me, “But Papa, surely the revolution is based on Marx?” Again, what does a father say to a child who has never heard the sublime musical stylings of Prince?

But forget my children. They will eventually see what the common man sees in me: a champion of the poor. The people cannot even afford a Mediterranean salad, forget about adding extra-virgin olive oil or Norwegian salmon shavings to it. We must eat cake. 

No, this can’t go on. The next PPP government will bring employment to every hungry household. A job for everyone in Pakistan Steel Mills and PIA. We will fly with strength. Viva la revolución.

Yours politically,

Asif Ali Zardari

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