As the latest edition of J.R.R. Tolkien's, ‘The Hobbit’, gets screened in theatres around Islamabad this week, moviegoers who have not read the book or the series ‘Lord of the Rings’, are confused whether the movie is the beginning of the Trilogy or the end.

The non-readers argue that how could it be the beginning, if the trilogy has already been filmed and seen in cinemas?

The same kind of confusion was visible at Garhi Khuda Buksh on December 27, where people not familiar with the Bhutto Trilogy – Zulfikar, Benazir and Bilawal – questioned whether it is the beginning or the end.

Adding to the confusion is now the arrival of Tahirul Qadri on the scene. Religiously devoted followers fail to understand the intentions of Qadri – announced on a talk-show – as how he plans to lead a rally to Islamabad, hoping that General Kayani would intervene and put him at par or on the negotiating table with ‘sinners’ like Nawaz Sharif and Zardari.

Point being of the religiously inclined: why rub shoulders with sinners when one has the option to guide them to the right path from the pulpit?

On the other hand, political commentators are optimistic that if Qadri is catapulted to the negotiating table, Zardari would be the first to share his bowl of ‘yogurt’, which Qadri would accept because like the president he also suffers from digestive problems.

However, Zardari’s health complications began in jail because he was a swashbuckling polo player before that, but Qadri has had stomach ailments since his college days in Lahore. Given to emotionally charged and scream-aloud-speeches in his younger years, temperamentally being acidic is now just part of the persona.

But cynics say that beyond yogurt, nothing else would be of Qadri's interest on Zardaris table spread.

Zardari’s taste for boiled, watered down lentils and desi food is something Qadri lost a taste for long ago. Qadri is now into international cuisines - Chinese being a favourite.

Although like Zardari and Nawaz Sharif, Qadri is also a man of dreams. When Qadri launched his political career in the 1990s, his followers claimed that “he had been given a message in his dreams.”

That way he has an edge over Imran Khan. While Imran Khan has to go to a professional mystic to interpret his dreams, Qadri has the luxury to dream his own dreams and interpret them himself.

“The real competition is between Qadri and Imran Khan,” according to a political activist, who at one time was close to both, adding: “It’s like a sibling rivalry. Both leaders launched their political careers in the 90s, wanting to bring a revolution and when Musharraf came along, both became candidates for prime minister.” In the PTI camp, presently, there is even fear that “the Tsunami might have been officially hijacked.”

Even then if Qadri is propelled in the company of Zardari and Nawaz, senior political analysts are pessimistic stating that historically the establishment prefers striking deals with mainstream political leaders.

Political eccentrics like Imran Khan and Qadri have a utility but it’s limited.

The best example being forwarded is that in the past the maximum Musharraf could offer Imran Khan was chairmanship of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Qadri the religious affairs ministry, while majority of the loot went to the Chaudhry’s of Gujrat.

And in the end, believe it or not, it all has to do with dreams and the way people interpret dreams.

Politicians are day dreamers and see waking dreams, in the company of people desiring “bread, cloth and housing” for the waking world, unlike Qadri and Imran Khan, whose dreams have an ‘other worldly’ dimension. Therefore, parting of ways is inevitable.

But as the argument goes that what one dreams today and people who share those dreams are bound to be re-dreamt, leading to a collision in the future, in another time or sphere.

As Bilawal inherits the dreams of his ancestors in Garhi Khuda Buksh, Qadri’s sons have also returned to Pakistan, after graduating from an Egyptian university, to inherit their father’s other worldly dreams and a million dollar enterprise, which will be used in the future to guide the “sinful followers” of Bilawal to the right path.

It all sounds confusing but people who have read Tolkien understand - whether they watch the latest rendition of the Hobbit in cinemas or Bilawal’s speech in Garhi Khuda Buksh - that it is not the end but the beginning of another Trilogy, which has already been foreseen.

Opinion

Editorial

China’s concerns
23 Jun, 2024

China’s concerns

Pakistan has no option but to neutralise militant threat to Chinese projects, as well as address its business and political stability concerns.
War drums
23 Jun, 2024

War drums

If it is foolish enough to launch another war in Lebanon, Tel Aviv will be solely responsible for setting the Middle East on fire.
Balochistan budget
23 Jun, 2024

Balochistan budget

BALOCHISTAN’S Rs955.6bn budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 makes many pledges to the poor citizens of Pakistan’s...
Another lynching
Updated 22 Jun, 2024

Another lynching

The chilling alternative to not doing anything — which appears to be the state’s preferred option — is the advent of mob rule.
Tax & representation
22 Jun, 2024

Tax & representation

THE taxation measures outlined in the budget for the incoming fiscal year have triggered a lot of concern among ...
Life of the party?
22 Jun, 2024

Life of the party?

THE launch of Awaam Pakistan, a party led by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former finance minister...