-Photo Illustration by Faraz Aamer Khan.

Today I bring news about a famous faux-fugitive. Or, more specifically, a certain red-haired radical.

The other day, I was taking some time off from my campaign to become Pakistan’s first American president. As I exchanged emails with my spies, perused stolen maps of Pakistan’s nuclear facilities, threw darts at a bulls-eye festooned with Pakistani public opinion polls, finalised plans to conjure up a cyclone that strikes Karachi next month, and other leisure activities, my campaign adviser Rawcia McMossad rushed in to share some curious news:

One of the meanest militants this world has seen, with a $10 million bounty recently placed on his head, had extended an olive branch.

“If the United States wants to contact me, I am present,” he declared at a press conference held at a hotel bearing a name that sounds more like Marvel Comics than Rawalpindi. “They can contact me.”

Spies like us are privy to voluminous reams of information, but unfortunately I did not have easy access to his mobile number or LinkedIn account; it was buried beneath the instruction manual for the Create-a-Cyclone-from-Scratch machine.

Yet I did not want to squander this immediate opportunity.

So I did the next best thing: I decided to leave my campaign headquarters at Shamsi Airbase (shh—we’re still here—don’t tell anyone) and travel to Pakistan’s lovely cultural capital in the hopes that I would find him out for an afternoon stroll. I understand he enjoys breathing in Lahore’s fresh air and reveling in the city’s ideal location, just over the border from the nation that so consumes his thoughts.

With my able adviser Gary Faulkner the Bounty Hunter in tow, we commandeered an idle F-16 (given how many of these we send to Pakistan, there are always spare ones available for special missions) and touched down at Allama Iqbal Airport minutes later. Because American aircraft seem to have no trouble flying across Pakistani airspace, we arrived without incident. And because PIA flights were all delayed or cancelled, few people were at the airport, allowing us to move about undetected.

The Difa-e-Pakistan Council had scheduled a rally in Mozang Chungi, a neighborhood often frequented by Americans, so we had no trouble locating it. Only after we arrived did we discover that the $10 million man did not participate in the rally, because he was too busy giving 456,345 interviews to the media.

Happily, our fortunes changed once we arrived in lovely Model Town. Gary spotted the absconder-that-isn’t on a leafy street, enjoying a leisurely gander.

We approached him, and he spoke first: “I am ready to face any American court, or wherever there is proof against me,” he said in beautiful English.

“Fair enough,” I replied. “But first we should arrest you. And for that I’ll need some help.” I spotted a black-suited young man walking nearby — clearly a democracy-loving lawyer.

“Can you help me detain the fellow strolling about across the street?” I inquired.

The lawyer regarded me with disdain. “I don’t talk to terrorists,” he said.

“There’s no need to talk to him,” I replied. “Just arrange for his arrest.”

“No, I’m referring to you,” the lawyer said. “You’re a terrorist, and I won’t talk to you.”

So Gary and I returned to the wanted man. “Would you care to present evidence that would allow the Pakistani government to arrest you?” I asked him. “We haven’t been able to produce such information ourselves.”

“I can do that, but then you would have to pay me the $10 million,” he said.

I paused. Gary whispered that he had a point: Our government was offering $10 million for evidence that would “pass judicial scrutiny” and lead to his conviction.

“Alas,” I declared. “Our dear Pakistani friends accept evidence neither from us nor from India. I imagine they would be more receptive to evidence coming from the wanted man himself.”

So I made a bold yet ingenious decision: I decided to pay the wanted man for information leading to his own arrest and conviction.

Ug Lee, you may ask. Are you mad?

No, I am running for president of Pakistan. And I have Pakistan’s’ best interest in mind. For the first time, America shall direct its largesse to a national hero in Pakistan — a gesture sure to earn me some votes.

He has already proposed a rather peculiar plan for how this money would be spent — “good deeds in Balochistan.” I shall not oppose this; in fact this would probably get our campaign compound back at Shamsi some new flower beds.

And, you may demand, what if he simply pockets the cash and presents no evidence to Pakistan?

Then we shrug it off and move on. We have already spent more than $10 billion in Pakistan; why be troubled by a modest $10 million loss?

Follow Ug Lee’s campaign to become Pakistan’s first American president here.

Michael Kugelman is the program associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. He can be reached at michael.kugelman@wilsoncenter.org

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

The author is the Senior Program Associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. You can reach him at michael.kugelman@wilsoncenter.org

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (11)

April 24, 2012 3:04 pm
Loved the statements in bold!
April 13, 2012 2:18 pm
A model country for world to see. If no law and order prevails, if country is tried to rule on religious and ethnicity only. What it turns into? It makes us respect more to our nation’s founder’s leader to respect and pray for them, to give us a viable nation.
April 13, 2012 2:28 pm
Haha, very intersting, the scribe has succinctly captured the sentiments of all the parties involved and at the same time highlighted almost every point of contention between US and Pakistan. Given the biases and sensationalism in media nowdays, this is one of the very few articles I've read recently which has been ironically factual.
April 13, 2012 4:12 pm
Writer's been non-polar and that's important actually.
April 13, 2012 11:33 pm
Ironical but so very accurate !! Though the writer has taken current day happenings in Pakistan the government (in)efficiencies portrayed are equally applicable in India too. Am so confused trying to figure out who is the terrorist in the world today killing so many innocent lives and supplying arms to mercenaries all over the world in the name of 'war on terror' and 'search for weapons of mass destruction' and now the latest phrase added - 'prevent rogue nations from building WMD'. Guess we better ask Mr Obama and co.
April 14, 2012 1:06 pm
All I can say is HAARP! Funny never the less. I would vote for you. You seems to be the best choice available. :)
April 14, 2012 4:05 pm
Very good article. He portrayed the ground realities in a funny way.
April 14, 2012 9:30 pm
great, but who he want to tell this story ..THE AMERICANS or ..........
Shaikh Mohommad
April 18, 2012 9:34 pm
Pakistan has become a colony of USA. Its army, Government and anyone who is anyone act upon the instructions of Washington.
April 25, 2012 10:50 am
Its not funny! It just shows how terrorism is supported not just by masses but even by educated, pathetic !!
May 11, 2012 8:34 am
So want to meet your campaign advisor 'Rawcia McMossad'. Like this piece very much.
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