Satire: Diary of Farooq Sattar

Updated Nov 29, 2016 01:10am


Illustration by Sabir Nazar
Illustration by Sabir Nazar

Dear Diary...

Someone has been giving me missed calls all day like an angry wife, but I haven’t picked up the phone. In fact, I have unplugged the landline at home as well. This long distance relationship is over. MQM is not a multinational company and, from now on, will be operated from Karachi.

Bhai, what Bhai? I have no Bhai. I am an only child.

No more protection money; businesses can pay us a nominal fee for not protecting them, if they want. No more shutter down; we can burn tyres while shops remain open. We don’t want to leave Pakistan anymore; we just want to leave Sindh. MQM will continue to represent the Muhajir community of Karachi, just with a lot less singing.

We have categorically said to all sector and unit incharges that there must not be anymore targeted killings. Yes, if someone gets killed ‘accidentally‘, that is fine — but no more targeting.

We sacked four major Rabita Committee members because we feel so many people are not needed now that the MQM leadership has moved from London to a rangers’ internment camp. We will make a new Rabita Committee to Skype with Waseem Akhtar in jail, where Waseem Bhai says the facilities are even better than the mayor’s office.

“For one, the fans here work,” he wrote to me. “There are no cabinets full of files from the 1960s. In fact, there are no files at all; they’re not allowed under the conditions of my detention.”

The lack of paperwork means he can get work done quicker. “We must free Karachi from corruption and crime,” he writes, rattling his handcuffs.

If Altaf Hussain doesn’t like the new direction the party’s taking, he can leave a comment on our Facebook page.

I am the new Quaid. My duties include press conferences, cooking and cleaning. We are also going to put Nine Zero on rent and move out. There was a raid being conducted everyday; we should at least keep the authorities guessing.

I have held long consultations with Thakur and I agree when he says that the “minus-one formula” is better than 10 years in prison.

Thakur didn’t arrest me; he just took me into custody to ask some questions about other suspects. Actually, he didn’t even bring me to the Rangers Headquarters. I insisted on going in my own car, so basically I arrested myself.

For the longest time, we were blind. But Thakur opened my eyes — and taped them to my forehead and hung a floodlight right above them. I see the truth now, and sometimes I see flying horses and the fairies of Koh-e-Qaf.

During my interrogation, I was informed that I have been funding terrorism. I told them, sir, I can’t even fund the Karachi Municipal Corporation to pick up trash. How can I fund terrorism?

Khawaja Izhar-ul-Hassan has done nothing wrong either and I’m sure he will convince the rangers of that, just like I did. What they have done with him is wrong. SSP Rao Anwar is rightly suspended. Izhar has never hurt a fly, and hurting flies isn’t a crime anyway.

You can keep our missing workers, just as long as more leaders don’t go missing. A party rests on leadership, not workers.

We obviously feel a bit victimised because the rangers’ operation is only targeting organised crime. I am so scared of the rangers now that I’ve even stopped eating kernel rice.

Not only is MQM reformed, we also invite the rangers to contest the next elections as well, and Thakur to stand from an MQM seat reserved for paramilitary forces. We believe in democracy and right now there are more paramilitary forces in Karachi than civilians, so they deserve representation, too.

I injured my left arm while making tea, it had nothing to do with my arrest. The prime minister called inquiring about my health. I said I’m okay, just suffering from separation anxiety. I ended up in the hospital because the alternative was jail — I learned this from the great leader, Musharraf.

Our oath does still include Altaf, but that’s only because we haven’t hired any new oath writers yet. We are still looking for the best candidates. Maybe Arif Alvi.

It is difficult to say whether we will resign from assemblies. We have to wait to see what London tells us to decide by ourselves.

We will not join Pak Sarzameen Party. This Mustafa Kamal speaks against Altaf now; back then he used to consider him his spiritual father. When Altaf kissed Kamal’s forehead once, he didn’t wash his face for a month.

Got another phone call today, asking if I was the bookmaker Farooq Satta. I want to change my number now, but Thakur says it’s not allowed in case they have to pick me up again.

Yours brotherly,

Farooq Bhai

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