I have to say, I am outraged at all the social media flak being handed out to Agha Siraj Durrani, Speaker of the Sindh Assembly, for claiming that the shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi will protect Karachi from the cyclone.
This is completely unwarranted and uncalled for, guys.
As a matter of fact, in times like these, where Pakistan faces both external and internal threats, we need people like Agha Siraj Durrani to be steadfast, unwavering and resolute in the face of these dangers.
Didn't you see how his reassurance that the shrine would protect us, averted any potential panic in the public? Hordes of people flocked to the coastal belt to laugh in the face of the storm. Otherwise all around the world, when panic ensues, people take to the streets and steal items from other people; there is rampant mob violence, calls for strikes, and television channels are also briefly shut off.
Imagine if that happened in Karachi – oh wait...never mind.
Also read: We, the VIPs, have troubles too
With international cricket banned in Pakistan and concerts few and far between, storm watching is the only exciting thing left in the lives of many Karachites.
We should be grateful that storms are still brave enough to visit Karachi. I am sure Nilofar is on the hit-list of many a target killer in Karachi; shooters standing at Seaview waiting for Nilofar, proceeding to fire at first sight. After all, nothing says ‘Welcome to Karachi’ like a few gunshots.
Who decided to name it ‘Nilofar’ anyway? 'Nilofar comes to Karachi' sounds less like a headline and more like a line taken off from a mujra promo.
More on the topic: What is in a name? A cyclone by any other name...
But coming back to Agha sahab, let us all take a moment to appreciate how well he has nullified the threat of the storm by professing complete ignorance about it altogether.
You know, the first step towards neutralising an enemy is to dehumanise it. Agha sahab must be very well-versed in the history of philosophy to use such a brilliant tactic against the cyclone. Agha Siraj Durrani is Socrates, Karl Marx and Jean Paul Sartre combined into one. It is fair to say that Pakistanis must now regard him as the prominent modern thinker; he can do what Immanuel Kant.
I personally think we should extend this tactic to all the dangers facing Pakistan. The next time somebody asks a Pakistani legislator about the Taliban, the lawmaker should act completely dumbfounded:
“What is Taliban? Are you proposing a ban on tali (hand clapping)? No, I do not think applause should be banned.”
Or if the war against India comes up, here is a rough guide of what to say:
“India? What is that? I only know of 'out dia', which the umpire did a number of times in the recent Australia versus Pakistan match. 'In' toh koi bhi nahi deta.”
Take a look: Why go to war with India?
Even if an army is on the border of our country, we can send them into an existential crisis just by claiming they are not there. They will start to question if they really are there? If anything is real or is it all a dream? As a result, the members of the army can either go into a full on Cartesian journey to find an indubitable truth, or break into that song Bohemian Rhapsody:
♪ Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide,
No escape from reality ♫
There is another genius in Agha Durrani's statement, which I just realised.
Remember rural-urban migration? One of the largest strains on the resources of our country is people from rural areas flocking to the urban centers looking for employment.
Through directing attention to shrines serving as disaster deterrents, Agha Siraj Durrani played a subliminal masterstroke by hinting to people that they should move to interior Sindh!
Tell me if I am reading too much into it... no, right?
Yes, I cannot believe I did not think of this before. All this time that ignorant brats kept bashing Agha sahab, he was actually working to reverse migration and herald a new age of development in interior Sindh.
His real genius is in the implicit peace-offering in this suggestion. By asking people to move to the interior, he is asking Karachiites to embrace Sindh – a truly laudable gesture to placate the growing concerns of MQM.
So if you come to think of it, within a span of 90 seconds, Agha sahab has offered us solutions for many of Pakistan’s biggest problems.
So let us stop being selfish, Pakistanis, and recognise this hero.
Agha Siraj Durrani is not the hero Pakistan wants but the hero Pakistan needs. He does not see gender. He does not see colour. He does not see any danger or threat to our great land. He does not even see fear.
What more can you ask of a leader?