Pakistanis are a superstitious lot. It is easier for us to blame our own mistakes, lack of vision or just poor risk perception on evil eyes, bad omens or anything else that suits our fancy. The important thing to remember is, it is never we, who are at fault. And why would we ever be at fault? Superstitions trumps logic any day!
It is our good fortune that it is not just the average citizen that hold such beliefs, even our politicians and heads of state believe in bad omens, evil eyes and jinxes. I mean, since they are leading our great and glorious nation on a path of progress and prosperity, they would know better right?
Asif Ali Zardari – Former president
Our former president, who has the distinct honour of having his party’s democratically elected government complete its full term, the first in our history, weathered every storm by sacrificing a goat every day. Every day of the year, for years.
If goats had the same rights that some humans do in this country, they would be out on the streets everyday protesting against the genocide. Good thing most people and goats don’t have rights.
One wonders if the goat sacrifice is still the norm behind the fortress-like walls of Bilawal House, but only God and American spy satellites would know.
It would be an injustice if we do not mention Pir Ejaz, the pir who enabled our former president to access the paltry sum of $60 million in his Swiss bank account.
The pir gave up all worldly pleasures and meditated in Medina for a year, for the sake of el presidente’s money. The level of dedication is admirable.
At the end of the year long meditation, the former president was able to cash his cheque at his Swiss bank branch.
The pir also claims that no harm can come to Asif Zardari, due to his otherworldly efforts.
The pir had also advised the then president to live near the seashore, in order to ward of ‘evil spirits dangling over his head’. It is highly likely that Zardari’s presence so near to the coast saved us from Cyclone Nilofer.
Nawaz Sharif – Incumbent prime minister
Our incumbent prime minister is no stranger when it comes to superstitions and pirs. They have guided him well, so well in fact that he got kicked out of office twice; let’s hope third time is a charm.
The pir in Sharif’s life was the celebrated Dewana Baba of Dhanaka Sharif in Mansehra District. Sharif would race to his hilltop abode every time an election was near, in order to get his blessings. It is matter of debate how the blessings worked out, as Sharif is yet to complete a full term in office.
Nawaz’s visit to the pir was surely a blessing for the pir’s fellow villagers, as their village was electrified during Sharif’s second term. Pirs surely work in mysterious ways. The pir died in 2008, one wonders if there is a new pir in Nawaz’s life.
Benazir Bhutto – Former prime minister
Elected twice democratically, and dismissed just as many times undemocratically, former prime minister of Pakistan and wife to Asif Zardari, had her own pir to guide and assist her. No need for advisers or ministers to advice on functions of the state, the pir knows all.
Benazir was lucky to have inherited Dewana Baba after she assumed office following Nawaz’s dismissal. His dismissal should have been a red flag, but Benazir continued to visit the 'famed' pir, and sought his blessings whenever the need arose.
It is reported that she had the road leading to the pir’s abode paved, and eventually constructed a helipad for easier and quicker access, beating Nawaz to his favourite pir.
Another famous incident is of Benazir’s first trip to the White House after getting married. She was accompanied by an individual, part of her very ‘small’ entourage, who baffled the culturally savvy American Secret Service as well as the Pakistanis.
The Americans, just like the Pakistanis on the trip, were unable to determine who the individual in question was. Many say, including a very prominent journalist of Pakistan, that the man was a pir who was accompanying the first couple of Pakistan.
So there you have it plebs, our pirs have been to the White House.
Imran Khan – Kaptaan
If social media and certain reports are to be believed, Khan rubbed kaali daal all over himself to ward off a curse. Another distinct possibility is that Khan was experimenting with a new method to cleanse his skin. All those trips to Sindh’s dusty interior areas to gather votes wreak havoc on one’s skin.
There were also media reports about certain amulets being found. In a perfect world, amulets would win elections and stop those unsavory opposition party leaders from rigging elections, but fortunately, the world is not a perfect place.