Major Retired Zaheer has vowed to kill Nawaz Sharif should he ever meet the thrice-deposed prime minister. The former prime minister’s schedule has suddenly filled up for the next few months. “I’ve been calling his assistant for three days now but always busy, always busy,” complained Major Zaheer. Commentators said we always knew fauj ke haath mare ga but not like this. Not literally.

The retired major runs his own political party called Tehreek-i-Labaik. He looks like he hasn’t trimmed his beard since the martial law of 1977. An event he no doubt considers holy. He is currently the only member of his party. But he hopes to recruit more people who want to murder people in authority. Like Retired Lance Naik Zaid Hamid and Subedar Ahmed Qureshi.

Sharif’s sin seems to be — changing the wordings of the oath legislators have to take in the assembly, never mind that he is no longer the prime minister or in the assembly and thus had no part in passing the bill.

With the former PM’s life under threat, politicos express grave concerns

Sharif’s other sins include not pardoning Mumtaz Qadri, a murderer, and calling Ahmadis his countrymen and brothers. 

The declaration has prompted Imran Khan to complain, “Why isn’t he threatening to kill me! If the system was based on merit and not corruption, Major Zaheer would threaten to kill me instead.” Speaking from his residence in Bunny Gala, he said: “I was perfectly happy in England being threatened by Jemima’s family. I left all that to come back and help the poor majors of Pakistan.” (With Hugh Hefner dead, Khan has changed the name of his residence in the hopes of attracting aspiring models.)

Pervez Musharraf endorsed Zaheer’s vow and said I tried to do the same in 1999 but the Saudis wouldn’t let me. “It’s good that a brave jawan is following in my footsteps. Oh he’s 61? Well, once a jawan always a jawan, haha,” he said, puffing on his cigar and swigging his whiskey.

Aitzaz Ahsan said that legally it wasn’t allowed to kill someone just because you’re a retired major. “I mean the constitution allows for retired majors to do a lot of things but murder is probably not one of them. There are, however, always legal lacunae.” 

Chaudhry Nisar meanwhile gave a two-hour presser on how he will decide next Sunday whether to endorse or oppose Major Zaheer’s decision. “It is a difficult situation for me,” he said. “More difficult than for Nawaz Sharif, believe you me.”

The DG ISPR blamed the entire thing as a RAW conspiracy to undermine civil military relations. “He’s no major of ours. When was he a major? What did he major in? Nobody retires before a colonel, otherwise where will they get post-service placement? His beard is fake, his name is fake, this Tehreek-i-Labaik is fake. The interview was conducted in Mumbai and then sent to anti-state elements here, like Nawaz Sharif. Basically he’s threatening to kill himself. To gain public sympathy. We will challenge this threat in the Supreme Court.”

Asif Ali Zardari was concerned that if the former PM was actually killed they still won’t be able to identify Nawaz Sharif’s killer. “Mohtarma BB Shaheed has been dead for a decade. She wrote down her killers’ names. The investigation pointed straight to them. The UN pointed to them. We pointed to them. They still couldn’t ‘identify’ them. If Nawaz Sharif is killed they won’t be able to identify his killer either.”

Chaudhry Nisar meanwhile gave a two-hour presser on how he will decide next Sunday whether to endorse or oppose Major Zaheer’s decision. “It is a difficult situation for me,” he said. “More difficult than for Nawaz Sharif, believe you me.”

The international community was also concerned. Donald Trump said that retired majors killing heads of states was not a good development because there are a lot more retired majors in the world than heads of states. “You do the math!” he tweeted, “Because I can’t!”

Meanwhile UN secretary general Antonio Guterres said that the UN couldn’t interfere in Pakistan’s private matters. “We will, however, condemn the incident strongly and send heartfelt condolences to the Sharif family — the highest form of UN intervention.”

Human Rights Watch was alarmed. “We are appalled that this man has not been arrested. We have also just been told that he is a retired major hence he cannot be arrested.”

Tahirul Qadri has said he’ll fly back from Canada and sit in a container until Major Zaheer comes good on his word. 

Meanwhile, academics and civil society members said that while they don’t endorse murder they don’t believe in interventionism either. “Look, the system is self-correcting and when enough heads of state have been murdered by retired majors, we’ll see a natural shift towards a healthy, more democratic system of governance.”

MQM leader Farooq Sattar said he was sad to hear of Nawaz Sharif threatening to shoot a retired major. “Oh what’s that? Okay. Jee Bhai, woh ulta hisaab hai. Nahin ulta. Jaisay seedha nahin hota...”

Hafiz Saeed’s Milli Muslim League was unavailable for comment. A statement on their website said they have gone to Srinagar for door-to-door campaigning.

Published in Dawn, EOS, October 15th, 2017

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