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.
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.