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The emperor’s new uniform


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-Illustration by Khuda Bux Abro.
-Illustration by Khuda Bux Abro.

There is no dearth of leaders to lead this lost nation; they are spread out all over the country. Some leaders lead the nation from within, while others are leading it from overseas even though they don’t need to. For some, becoming a leader is a hobby, while the rest become leaders out of necessity and compulsion. The remaining are under the impression that the nation desperately needs their leadership; there are also a few poor souls whose source of income relies upon being leaders.

Those who don’t consider leadership a profession instead, develop an obsession with being a leader. This usually happens when someone progresses so much that s/he becomes immensely powerful. Then s/he begins to think that the nation cannot take a single step without them. If this happens while one is in uniform, one can easily pass 10-11 years in uniform. But if you get tricked by someone into removing your uniform, then your obsession with power will leave you unable to do anything else.

Our Musharraf Bhai is experiencing a similar obsession with power. The obsession still remains, even though Musharraf removed his uniform and left the country. People say that it isn’t his obsession with power that is the problem. It’s entirely the fault of Facebook. If it wasn’t for Facebook, his obsession with power might have left him and occupied another place. But then Facebook has deceived many. It seems as if there will be demands to hold the elections through Facebook this time. If Facebook fans don’t come to receive their leaders at the airport, why would they come to vote for them?

Nevertheless, our Musharraf Bhai has landed on this land of the pure, amidst his threats of “I am coming! I am coming!” As soon as he arrived he said, “I have only come to tell you that I don’t fear anybody. Those who said that Musharraf won’t come can now see that I did come.” When he was leaving he had said that only God could save this country and now he is saying that he has come to save it himself.

-Illustration by Khuda Bux Abro.
-Illustration by Khuda Bux Abro.

Those who are already responsible for saving the country spend more than half of the national budget in order to save it. For that, they have formed the Difa-e-Pakistan Council, while also financing other similar organisations so they can be used when the time comes. Despite all that, Musharraf Bhai has still arrived to save the country. Previously, he used to use ‘General’ as a prefix to his name but when he realised the level of respect that prefix attracts in our country, he switched to ‘Syed’ so that he could benefit from the respect this title commands from the masses, no matter the kind of person the Syed actually is.

Our leaders’ hearts are overwhelmed with the stormy sea of pain whose waves lash at their insides. Musharraf Bhai’s heart actually cries tears of blood for the despondent masses that have been pushed back further by democracy. The country he had left isn’t the same anymore. However, if the public vote for him in the elections, the nation will soon be back on its feet. Our other leaders are busy in similar struggles to enable the country to stand on its feet again.

On one hand, Mian Sahab is losing weight while he sits in his Raiwind mansion mourning over the grief and dejection of the poor nation. On the other hand, Khan Sahab has won the semifinal in Lahore and reached the finals. Anyway, winning has become his destiny now. But will someone please remind him that the dual national was unable to bring about a revolution from exactly the same spot? The ‘tsunami’ he thinks is coming might also change its route unexpectedly. Our Lahoris love such ‘ronaq melas’ and cannot even protest without dancing to the beats of the dhol. Our younger Sharif is immensely well-versed with these habits of theirs. He has already learnt how to recite poetry while swaying and if he starts dancing the bhangra, then the poor ‘tsunami’ might just get lost on the way.

It isn’t just Musharraf Bhai who has returned. The previous leaders were so overcome with pride and kept trying to prove that ‘Democracy is the best revenge’ slogan as true ended up taking revenge on Musharraf, as well as the public. Now they are back, travelling in brand new Land Cruisers on the roads that were the same five years ago and haven’t changed since then. While these leaders were in power, they sold jobs and ranks. Forget the menial workers; Sindh’s educated white-collar unemployed youth were sold jobs as sanitary workers this time.

Now again, there are the Sharif brothers on one end who have entered the fray in order to save Sindh, while Syed Musharraf shall do the same to save the rest of the country. Khan Sahab has revealed his secrets by allying himself with the Jamaat for the elections. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) is only being targeted because they are hiding behind Mian Sahab. Khan Sahab doesn’t name the other parties because his votes are to come from there.

-Illustration by Khuda Bux Abro.
-Illustration by Khuda Bux Abro.

But those who took advantage of Musharraf Bhai’s better days and amassed much wealth are now avoiding him and joining other parties according to their own requirements. One came under Mian Sahab’s protection, while another joined hands with Khan Sahab. Another came under the protection of the Pir Sahab, while a fourth took the support of the sab pe bhari Zardari, leaving Syed Musharraf all alone; even our Bhai Sahab is just worried about himself.

Our Musharraf Bhai has become a living example of ‘Democracy is the best revenge’. What splendour! What pretension! What hasn’t he stolen from the masses? So many people were devoured in the name of the uniform. Now, he stands on the same soil and speaks with the same grandeur. He even said that he isn’t in uniform anymore but he forgot to add that those who are still in uniform are worried about saving their necks so why would they worry about you? Forget getting votes; he will be lucky if he can find his way back out of the country. The road that takes one back can only be found once, not all the time – and our Bhai Sahab knows this too well.

Listen to this blog in Hindi-Urdu [soundcloud url="" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

The author has dabbled in every form of the visual arts. An activist to the core, Abro’s work deals with social themes and issues ranging from human rights to dictatorial regimes. He is currently working for DAWN as an illustrator.

Author Image
The author has dabbled in every form of the visual arts. An activist to the core, Abro’s work deals with social themes and issues ranging from human rights to dictatorial regimes. He is currently working for DAWN as an illustrator.

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (30) Closed

guddu Mar 28, 2013 07:28am
Lust of power has bring him back to Pakistan but he might not be able to go back and meet his fate thru the fundamentalists and Taliban which he nurtured and grown under his regime.
a.k.lal Mar 28, 2013 08:27am
very good. will somebody write similar articles about indian leaders
Farooq Ali Mar 28, 2013 09:13am
Unfortunately the Power chair in Pakistan is a disposable and can seldom be re used if once left behind ,
Parvez Mar 28, 2013 09:24am
Brilliant've managed to say a lot and that to on the DAWN site......well done.
Ali Bhutta Mar 28, 2013 09:44am
Excellent Article!
Gulbaz Mushtaq Mar 28, 2013 10:49am
shehzad77 Mar 28, 2013 10:53am
Not a good article.
G.A. Mar 28, 2013 12:01pm
Sorry to say this but the general is a 'has been'. The only way he can find his way out of Pakistan is if they gave his uniform back. He did stage a coup after all - a major criminal offence.
Capt C M Khan Mar 28, 2013 12:20pm
Good article, keep writing.
AA Mar 28, 2013 01:49pm
A brilliant article! Love the illustrations.
Waqas Mar 28, 2013 02:01pm
No body is going to come and save sindh. They are doomed with waderas and bhata khors. The battle is in Punjab and KPK.
Azmul Mar 28, 2013 02:48pm
Well written and good serene style of satire. Quite interesting to see you not getting overawed by the tsumani. Stay safe!
Syed Ahmed Mar 28, 2013 03:14pm
Only Zardari and Sharif can go out and live in their palaces. Come back reap the harves and go back.
Iffi Mar 28, 2013 03:27pm
very well said
Amjad Wyne Mar 28, 2013 03:52pm
In the words of the writer, "For some, becoming a leader is a hobby, while the rest become leaders out of necessity and compulsion. The remaining are under the impression that the nation desperately needs their leadership; there are also a few poor souls whose source of income relies upon being leaders."......... the writer forgot to mention those who think that the leadership, by default, belonged to their families and that they owned the nation, the country as well as its wealth and resources. It is this category that have destroyed the nation.
Irfan Mar 28, 2013 05:56pm
Mushraf ruled 8 yrs,He was most powerful man in Pakistan: 1) Chief of Army, 2) ISI head and 3)President of Pakistan by force, what a gift he has given to the Nation: ZARDARI
Jalaluddin S. Hussain Mar 28, 2013 06:40pm
For the first time I heard the author speaking. It is a great technology. I agree with the author. Musharraf should return now otherwise...
rafi Mar 28, 2013 06:57pm
A totally biased opinion. You have been pessimistic about every politician and the general in particular. Now please suggest someone other than all these who you think can lead this country. Also, I as an ordinary citzen feel that his era was far better for the masses than it is today and you know it well too.
Rocky Mar 28, 2013 07:43pm
Good luck
muhammad Mar 28, 2013 07:43pm
wow! impressive that Dawn published this 'audacious' piece of writing. good effort. keep it up.
Zak Mar 28, 2013 08:38pm
I totally disagree with the article however I am proud to say anyone can say with impunity anything they want to a liberty no other country in the region has.well done Pakistan.
farid Mar 29, 2013 12:40am
Musharaf is not a leader.
farid Mar 29, 2013 12:55am
Amazing ,that this man has the courage to come back to Pakistan. Hang him high.He should not be allowed to leave the country.
Karim Lala Mar 29, 2013 01:54am
Seriously you are too good - I love reading your articles and but the enjoyment I get listening is mesmerising. Please visit India - we would love to hear your thoughts.
anil tiwari Mar 29, 2013 04:25am
It will be better for Pakistan to keep such power mongers away.
Moiz Mar 29, 2013 04:32am
I feel the FB Fan page has citizens who are educated enough to understand the importance of voting. We cannot merely judge the outcome of an election result by the "crowd coming to receive" an much appreciated leader. This is an un-necessary culture introduced by politicians who rule those unfortunate people that are uneducated, and are naive to the global political scenario. Musharraf has performed previously, and based on those results he will be able to get some seats in the parliament.
Mohammad afzal Mar 29, 2013 05:40am
He should not go back without a fair trial
fareeha Mar 29, 2013 07:17am
Musharraf is the only leader who did something for Pakistan in the past so rather criticizing him, we should support him.
NASAH (USA) Mar 29, 2013 07:56am
Musharraf is confused -- thinks this is an election to choose dictators.
Gul Rukh Mar 29, 2013 01:41pm
HI Gulbaz. can you please elaborate? :)