For the first time since announcing my intention to become Pakistan’s first American president, I confess that I am worried.
Let me explain what drives my despair. For each successive missive I have posted on this medium, my Facebook “likes” — that most crucial predictor of success — have plummeted ever more precipitously, from a high of 171 to the most recent lowly quantum of 13. I fear that the buzz surrounding my candidacy is dissipating. The .0000045 per cent of Pakistanis who speak English, use the Internet, and engage Facebook are letting me down.
Worse, I’m being told that Pakistan’s establishment may shift allegiances by dumping me and throwing its weight behind that cheeky ex-cricketer who resembles a young Richard Gere. Fiddlesticks!
The rising momentum of this curious upstart, who attracts as much skepticism in Washington as a certain fellow does reverence, has prompted my advisers to urge me to do something heretofore verboten in US foreign policy: Defer to Pakistani public sentiment.
I hereby declare that, in the shared interest of our two great nations — and we all know that at least 1/450 of US and Pakistani interests are shared — I shall start to engage the Pakistani people. To wit, I shall respond to the grievances of those who pose the greatest threat to my candidacy: the PTI trolls.
I confess that when first confronted with this option, I thought I was being instructed to engage those adorable Norwegian gnomes — until I realised my staff had different trolls in mind.
My advisers have set up a live Internet chat on our campaign website (for fear of spawning hacker attacks, I shall not divulge the URL here), and invited the trolls to weigh in on my candidacy, with yours truly encouraged to respond. The live feed follows forthwith; we will keep it rolling so long as it is not interrupted by the loadshedding that theoretically stopped earlier this month:
Imran4ever: Ug Lee, ur drones r responsible 4 all our problems. Think of all that has afflicted us since your dastardly drones program began in 2004 — militancy, floods, earthquakes, JuniorJackStupidiscoGate, and the mediocre nihari I consumed last night. With no drones, we would have none of these horrors.
UgLeeAlltheWay: Tut tut, my dear Imran4ever! We suspended drones for much of December, and what did that bring you? Memogate and other monstrosities. And soon after we resumed the drones campaign, your cricket team and a brilliant filmmaker scored great successes. Now that we know that drones exist in Pakistan, we can both exult in their efficacy.
PTIoftheTiger: Ug Lee, we must rid Pakistan of its ills, and bring back clean politics and good governance. This must begin by expunging all vestiges of America’s malign influence, as embodied by your every move in Pakistan.
UgLeeAlltheWay: PTIoftheTiger, rest assured that the most unsavory elements of America are nowhere to be found in Pakistan these days. These elements are presently stalking our home front, as they fight for the right to become the next president of America. Whatever you see here in Pakistan is innocuous by comparison.