A land of miracles

Pakistan, I keep telling people, is a land of dreams. It’s a country where what’s possible is limited only by your imagination. Where words, in fact, do not just describe reality, they create it.

Take university degrees, for example. According to Nawab Aslam Raisani, Chief Minister of Balochistan, “a degree is a degree, whether real or fake”. Ta-da. There. Crisis averted. He went on to say that regardless of the authenticity of degrees, he will “continue to live in [his] house”. Good to know.

Pictured: A magician. “And for my next trick, watch me make corruption
allegations against all government officials go away . . . Governance is
governance, even if it is corrupt. Presto!” [Picture courtesy APP]

In other news:

– US congresswoman Nita Lowey refuses to give Afghanistan another cent, because she says too much US aid ends up in the pockets of ‘corrupt Afghan officials’. She says she will recommend that no more money is given, other than ‘life-saving humanitarian aid’. Watch this story – it may go nowhere after the subcommittee hearings, of course, but it’s significant, and symptomatic of the growing lack of patience with this nation-building project in Afghanistan.

Another day, another drone. This time it’s near Wana, and interestingly some alleged ‘Punjab Taliban’ and al Qaeda militants were killed. Hm.

– The CS Monitor‘s done a story on how ethnic minorities in Afghanistan are against all this talk about negotiating with the (mainly Pashtun) Taliban. In particular it quotes minority Afghan lawmakers, and anger from public figures about the ouster of Amrullah Saleh, the former Afghan intelligence chief, who was also an ethnic Tajik.

– While we’re talking about negotiations in Afghanistan, US President Obama has made one of his more nonsensical remarks on the matter: he says the talks should be viewed with a mixture of “scepticism and openness”.  So what you’re saying is . . . we should be open to the idea, but not really think it’s going to work? And if that’s the case, how, exactly, are you planning to pull out in June 2011?

– Benazir Bhutto’s name has now been inscribed into law (as the Benazir Income Support Programme Bill 2010). Hardly surprising, considering that this government has inscribed her name into virtually everything else it could get its hands on. I’m just surprised cheeseburgers aren’t now known as Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Burgers.
Now I’m not even entering the debate of whether or not Ms Bhutto was a capable leader – I’m just humbly suggesting that maybe we should spend less time arguing in the National Assembly about chest-thumping on self aggrandizement, and maybe just a little bit more on . . . I don’t know, let’s say . . . governance?

– Finally, thank you Twitter, for letting me know that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is a massive Messi fan, and that Marvi Memon just killed a lizard with her shoe.

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4 Comments

Filed under Afghanistan, Musings, Pakistan, Politics

4 responses to “A land of miracles

  1. ‘When asked whether his government was in danger due to the issue of fake degrees, Raisani said no matter what happens, he was safe in his house.’

    hahahaha What was he trying to say here?

    No, seriously. What the fuck does this mean??

  2. asadhashim

    I think Mr Raisani’s implication was that you can say what you want about his degree, he’ll still be a Nawab (and by virtue of this still qualified to be a member of parliament?).
    Do they have an entrance test for becoming a Nawab? What questions would it have on it?

  3. a) What is the minimum number of women-folk that have to buried for someone to obtain manhood?

    b) What is the appropriate age for growing a twirly mustache? is there any such thing as a pre-mature mustache? (this, of course, is a trick question. there’s no such thing as being too young for a mustache.)

    i feel positively orientalist after this comment.

    • asadhashim

      You forgot the MCQ section:

      You have just been told the area near your village has rich deposits of valuable minerals. Do you:

      a) Make a naked grab for the rights to the minerals.
      b) Demand that villagers who live in the area are not displaced, and that they have a real stake in whatever mining/development occurs.
      c) Do (a) while claiming to do (b).

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