People & Society

How parades showcase our unity, strength and discipline

Updated Apr 17, 2018 10:34pm


It is time to sit back and enjoy a parade. Pakistan’s economy is not the best; we do not have basic infrastructure or health facilities or education but everything will be alright because we have a parade — everybody seems to be marching to our beat anyway.

We have just hosted three out of 34 matches of our own cricket league; there are no protests anymore in the country; the Line of Control is under control — what better time to have a parade? March 23 is only an excuse for us to get a chance to see the planes whizz by — not the kind that take our leaders to exile but the ones that harass our leaders into exile. Next time you complain about roads, think about the pretty planes in the sky and feel some patriotic fervour, you Indian agent!

You can just go to Sea View in Karachi to see a few planes fly by — this is the Air Force’s version of the Karachi biker boys going to Sea View to do some wheelies. This is our armed forces showing the country who the real Pindi boys are.

If there was something wrong in the country how would we be able to pull off this display of bravado? We all know Pakistan is a democratic country, completing its second consecutive democratic term, so clearly the armed forces do not need to flex their muscles to enter into politics. The boys have no need to take the law into their hands; however, you can’t blame them for saying no if the law takes them into its own arms.

In the words of Donald Trump, “There is no collusion.” It just so happens that the armed forces, judiciary, opposition parties, popular media anchors, twitter trolls and my iPhone’s Siri are all on the same page; it is all completely coincidental. There is no evidence of the establishment interfering in the democratic process. What is dismissing a couple of prime ministers within friends?

Let’s celebrate this unity with a parade. Let us show the world that it is safe for the public to gather together to stare at giant phallic missiles drive by slowly for a few hours. No fear of terrorism at the parade. Literally all the weapons we have are in the parade itself. Who would target it? This is Pakistan, not the movie Dil Se.

On March 23 each year, all the top brass of the government and armed forces get together for a rare show of unity. It is humbling to see democracy alive and well, with the prime minister standing at the feet of the army chief and the president being denied access to the VIP area.

The parade is meant to remind us of a simpler time before there were 5,647 channels in Pakistan. A time when there was just one — one TV channel that told you everything was alright like Bob Marley, and showed you a parade.

There is something about a parade that just makes you want to stand up, makes you want to sing the national anthem and makes you want to burn all the history books that may tell you the truth about the wars we’ve fought in the past 70 years. None of those matter in this moment.

And as long as the Pindi boys are there, you can sleep at ease at night knowing that there are no monsters under your bed. And even if they were, the boys would take care of them. In the worst-case scenario, the state will make you come to a power-sharing agreement with the monsters in your closet, but one way or the other you will stop looking at them as monsters and sleep better at night.

Our nation needs a parade. I am sure all Pakistanis felt proud watching the parade. When they go back to their lives and realise nothing has changed, they will at least have the memory of watching a show which took them away from those realities at least for a little bit, and if they need a boost to their escapism they can simply go to any movie theatre and stand up for the national anthem that plays before each movie to feel the same pride again. You do not even have to stay for the movie — just the national anthem.

This article is part of the Herald's satire series titled 'Newsbite', originally published in the April 2018 issue. To read more subscribe to the Herald in print.