By Dr Farrukh Saleem
The News, April 29, 2007
On April 20, Islamabad-based newspapers and magazines got some unexpected mail. A letter in the mail read: "Pakistan is an Islamic state and all media organisations have to follow Islamic rules and regulations. If they do not stop carrying vulgar and un-Islamic content every possible step shall be taken to put an end to such practices." The author: Judge, jury and executioner all in one.
Two hundred and sixty kilometres from Islamabad is Lahore. As if on a different planet, Lahore is now home to Porsche Centre. Porsche, the German sports car maker, had projected to sell thirty of their six million rupee, high-performance vehicles in their first year of operation. On April 20, Porsche Lahore announced that they had already sold eighty.
On April 5, Bismillah Khan had also received an unexpected letter. As he opened up, an Rs500 note fell out. The letter read: "You are not living your life as per the prescriptions of Islam. The money is for your heirs to give you a decent burial." On April 8, Mohabat Khan, Bismillah's eldest son, found his father's dead body. There have been Bismillah Khan episodes in Kohat, Mardan, Darra Adam Khel, Tank, Bannu, Lachi, Charsadda and Sherkot.
Lahore, a mere five-hour drive from Kohat, must be on another plant. Lahore is now home to Royal Palm Golf and Country Club, a 140-acre "expanse of rolling greens and stately old trees." On April 8, while Mohabat Khan was dumping his murdered father into a hole, the elite of Lahore's elites, were also chasing holes. In pursuit of their golf-playing pleasures, they sat in Royal Palm's comfy Club House watching the final competitive round of The 2007 Masters. Unreal, isn't it?
On March 9, the Chief Justice of Pakistan was made 'non-functional'. On March 19, Justice Jawad Khawaja of the Lahore High Court resigned. The other ninety-eight judges of Pakistan's superior courts stayed put. Obviously, the system designed by the masters of our state is working just fine; only one of the ninety-nine slipped through the filter. Surely, this isn't a 'judicial crisis' because ninety-eight judges haven't moved, not even an inch.
On March 26, the prime minister of Pakistan met a delegation of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI). At the PM House, the prime minister told FPCCI: "Government believes in the supremacy of law." On March 27, girl students of Jamia Hafsa, a mere three kilometres from the PM House, kidnapped Shamim Akhtar, a 65-year old lady, her daughter, her daughter-in-law and a sixth-month old baby. While the kidnapping ordeal was taking place in Islamabad, Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi and Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid were addressing a public rally at Liaquat Bagh. They said: "Rawalpindi was a stronghold of the Pakistan Muslim League."
On April 6, Friday's sermon at Lal Masjid threatened "suicide attacks if the government did not enact Islamic law." While the sermon was being delivered President-General Musharraf addressed ladies gathered to celebrate the World Health Day. The president said: "Healthcare targets under Millennium Development Goals would be achieved ahead of 2015 deadline."
On April 20, Friday's sermon at Lal Masjid stated: "We will not wait more … it will now be Sharia or shahadat." On that day, the President of Pakistan told Al Arabiya Television: "I am willing to travel to Israel to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
Unreal. Isn't it?