This time it was a preacher, an import from Canada who barreled into town looking like the Sherriff who owned the place. Pakistanis from all walks of life were mystified by his finger waving rants and ultimatums. The very first ultimatum of his long march came within minutes of him taking the stage. He gave five minutes to the country’s Interior minister to change the location of his speaking perch. Then a rapid succession of ultimatums; to dissolve the assemblies followed by the demand for the president and prime minister of the country to resign within the next twelve hours.
The Pakistani public was mesmerized at the speed with which things were unfolding. It was as if they were watching a character from Aladdin (The Disney version of course, owing to his Canadian connection) casting a spell over his listeners with his robe flying and his mystical turban glued in its place despite the frantic movements. All that was missing was a magic wand and a magician’s hat from which many a rabbit were about to be pulled out.
If one were to research the origins of the term ‘conspiracy theory’, Pakistan would proudly be the very first authenticated Wikipedia entry and so it went with political analysts, media commentators, and government and opposition representatives speculating on the preacher magician’s sinister motives and his mysterious backers. The three mighty As were mentioned, often in unison, Allah, Army and America were all supposedly behind him.
The drop scene of this magic show is divided into three parts, the first part before the credit rolls show a smiling Zardari in the backdrop with the evil laughter of a villain ringing out as the voice over, the second scene involves Pakistanis lazily awakening from a hypnotic stupor and asking each other in hushed tones as to what just happened and inquiring about the real identity of the preacher magician? The last scene after the credit rolls shows a cargo ship headed to Canada and on the deck amongst many shipping containers, a bulletproof one with a window with thepreacher magician peering out longingly at the Ocean. Finger not waving, outwitted by the Master, Zardari.