All my life I have worked so one day I could keep the seat warm for a few days between elections. This is the pinnacle of my career; to be remembered as a footnote in history; to join the illustrious list of 50,000 prime ministers and chief ministers Pakistan has had since 1947. The calm moments between the music during musical chairs when I am seated on the chair and it is all mine — for now.
Shehbaz Sharif claims he would have managed the rains better than us. He has been chief minister for so long he even has meteorology under his reign. I did not think that is what people meant when they said, “Shehbaz Sharif can make it rain.” At least we managed to deliver on his promise of turning Lahore into Venice.
We may be barred from making any major decisions and the majors may bar us from doing anything at all but we still proposed a mini budget. We wanted more ice cream in the canteen. It only took two weeks of horse-trading and negotiating to do that. We had to give up the television in the Balochistan Assembly to provide the budget for it but it was totally worth it.
I would like to also congratulate myself on holding the elections. I would like to thank all the institutions who did all the work while we pretended we mattered. We have been accussed of being pro-Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and pro-Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, but the truth is we have been completely impartial; we only favoured the party we thought would win. And there was no way of us knowing which one that would be as we honestly don’t do much around here. Actual prime ministers are dismissed in Pakistan so do you think a caretaker prime minister can do anything? I could not even manage to get my son into Aitchison!
I am just glad Jibran Nasir did not block my protocol. It was fun beating the traffic for a few days. It is so cool when you have to take 30 cars every time you have to go visit your children. At least I got to move some containers around. I managed more playing Sim City than I have working in the caretaker set-up. I have done nothing fun like starting a war or having tea with Angela Merkel or touching Donald Trump’s hair. If only I had the money to buy a permanent seat for myself in the government too, then I would be more than just a caretaker and my wife would love me back.
Nobody will remember all the great things we achieved under my tenure like giving Lahore a central waterfall or launching Coke Studio season 11 followed up by Coke Studio season 12. We are like Aitchisonians and Grammarians participating in a Model United Nations; we are pretending the things we say really matter. At least I got to play Pakistan for a while.
Once we are done playing government-government, we can wrap up this monopoly board, count our money and go back to our daily lives of obscurity. None of us are doing it for the fame because frankly nobody even remembers our name, not even my ex-wife waiting for her new husband. Even she wants to go with the man with the bat.
At least World Hepatitis Day fell during my tenure. Look Mommy, I made a speech on TV, I am a big boy now. Look I even have a strong quote to end my speech.
“Terrorists are our enemies but we will not let tragedies shake our resolve, or Imran Khan’s resolve really. I can’t imagine I can speak on his behalf. He will really be the prime minister. I am just keeping the seat warm but let me say ‘our’ to feel like I was invited to the party too.” PS: It is now time for my tenure to end. It is all slipping away from me, even though I am still in power nobody listens to me because I am not Imran Khan. Yesterday, they changed the keys to my office and I had to wait outside for an hour before somebody would open the door for me. My wife asked me yesterday who I was.
I thought they’d remember me as a hero but instead I will be remembered like Reham Khan. Somebody who was with the man for a while but will never be as loved as Jemima. Maybe one day I will also write a book full of kaali daal and tales of Hamza Ali Abbasi. At least the one who’ll follow me will have magical powers.
I would have put my name at the bottom but it is not like anybody will remember me anyway. Signed: Not Imran Khan.
This article is part of the Herald's satire series titled 'Newsbite', originally published in the August 2018 issue. To read more, subscribe to the Herald in print.