Freedom, as they say, is growing in leaps and bounds. And, one of the places it is leaping right over is Pakistan. In an announcement leaked to press, and surprising only to the South Asia Desk at State, The General has decided to “stand for elections after his current term expires in 2007”. Of course, this is for the better of all concerned. Right?
I am going to come off as a broken record by now. Here is what they say: The General is good for Pakistan. He can keep the jihadists in check. He is good for the US. He can hunt for UBL. He is good for the economy. He is good for peace with India. He is good guy. He means well. He promises Enlightened Moderation. He shoots straight from the hip. Here is what I say: Bullshit. Give the Pakistani people what they deserve: Democracy.
One must remember, though, that there is no problem that a sychophantic press and a media consultant can’t fix. Democracy included. The truth is that this General is not my father’s General or my grandfather’s General. This General “can talk politics with Manmohan Singh and entertainment with Shahrukh Khan and Rani Mukerjee. Democracy, the LFO and coup d’etats aside, the President, to put it in a nutshell, is ‘cool’.”. COOL, I say. Take that, Mugabe. Take that, Lil’ Kim.
In a puff piece that will shame Jeff Gannon, The News International visits The General to find him delighting to some Pakistani pop on his Bang and Olufsen system “which is one of the best sound systems you can buy”; ruminating on Urdu “Even Indian songs are in Urdu”; on the gentler side of Pakistan “Extremists held sway and they pushed the soft face; the art face of Pakistan into the background calling it unñIslamic whereas it is not”; on Art “Islamic art has been embraced and adopted by many in the world. It is known as Islamic art. It is Islamic and we should be very proud of it”. Right you are, Mr. President.
To show the world the “soft face” of Pakistan, The General has hired a media advisor: One Mahreen Khan. I wish India Shining on the lot of them. I also breathlessly await the next press briefing from the State Dept. to see what they have to say about freedom in Pakistan.