Somewhere deep within the heart of Karachi, near the Quaid’s Mazaar, is a place called Kashmir Road. The avenue does not share much in common with its namesake, war-torn region. It is neither green, nor mountainous. It does not house any river systems or glaciers, and because it is a part of the MQM’s ‘turf’, the local population is not docile enough to be conquered and occupied by a mere foreign army.
But a famous Kashmir Road resident, one Fauzia Wahab – proud mother of four and and the most in-your-face information secretary the Peoples Party has produced of late – does have a few war stories of her own. This is one of them:
After a long night on the television talk-show circuit, Wahab makes a call. This is a recorded transcript:
Fauzia Wahab: Hello, is this G.O.D. Inc?
Voice on Other Line: Yes, this is Guaranteed Overnight Delivery, Incorporated. How can I help you?
F.W.: Well, G.O.D., I wanted a special delivery. It’s a tall order, but I need it asap.
G.O.D.: Go ahead. I’m listening.
F.W.: Well, you see, after what’s happened tonight, I need some Save-My-Soul Pizza and some Don’t-Disown-And-Fire-Me Breadsticks. But I want them sent to different locations.
G.O.D.: Hmmm. That’s not a typical order. These days, I’m swamped with requests for either 70-Virgin Pies or Cricket Victory Burgers. The pies usually head up country, the burgers everywhere else. But if you need this overnight, may I recommend Power-Crisis Wings? They come with free No-Water Sauce. I have a lot of those in stock, ready to be delivered all over…they’re very popular in the summer.
F.W. (in a stern growl that comes much too easily to her, much thanks to her talk-show circuit charms): Am I not being clear, G.O.D.? Perhaps I did not introduce myself properly. My name is Fauzia Wahab, and I am the first bi-lingual female spokesperson to belong to any political party in Pakistan. I often moderate seminars for the President, even when Americans are in attendance. I’ve been defending this government against the media’s onslaught for almost two years now, better than any man in the land, and I need that Save-My-Soul Pizza, AND I NEED IT NOW! As for the the Please-Forgive-Me Muffins…
G.O.D. (taken aback, but retaining composure): Right, sorry Ms Wahab, but I’m a little confused here. Was it the muffins or the breadsticks you were interested in…
F.W. (now engraving her handset with her not-too-short-to-be-prudish-but-not-too-long-to-be-sexy-nails): What is this nonsense! I had heard so much about you, G.O.D.! That you take care of the most special of special deliveries! That you know your customers better than they know themselves!! You are SO overrated! I don’t have time for this! To hell with you, and thanks for nothing!
G.O.D.: My apologies, Ms Wahab. I will just process your order. But I have one request, if you don’t mind.
F.W.: Oh, so G.O.D. actually does work! Hah! Typical! A little dressing down by a proper lady and you’re as straight as that A.D.C. who tails the P.M. everywhere! So what’s this “request”? Chop, chop, I’m on a clock here…
G.O.D.: Avoid using words like “hell” when you’re online. That’s it. Simply refrain from any religiously linked expressions, phrases, examples, even metaphors. I’m only saying that because this is a recorded line. Such slips cause complications as the Insightful Service Idealists, our fervent back-office clerks, will take extra time to do the proper paperwork, only delaying your order further. That religion stuff throws them off, you see…
F.W. (experiencing a sudden, conscience-ridden mood swing coupled with a low, early-Bond era tone): I’m sorry G.O.D. You’re right. That’s my Achille’s Heel. When I was younger, I was a champion debater. I could outwit all the boys and girls, on any dais, in any subject. I was pure of thought and heart. But this new job, these new pressures, uff…That’s why I’m ordering the special delivery tonight. The Save-My-Soul Pizza…Well, you see, that’s headed for all the Muftis, Maulvis and Mullahs I can remember, especially all the media savvy types. And the Don’t-Disown-And-Fire-Me Breadsticks are headed to Isloo, Oxford and Dubai. And all because I compared the Constitution to the Quran…
G.O.D.: There, you’ve done it again, Ms Wahab! Religious symbolism again, tsk tsk! Anyway, I have taken your order. How will you be paying?
F.W. (snapping back into the conversation, as if she was contemplating political existentialism): Oh, yes! Paying, of course! Well, you see, I’m a lowly public official, so I was hoping to apply for that Government Employees Zakat discount…
G.O.D.: You’ve said it again, Ms Wahab! More religion talk! No good!
F.W. : Damn! Oops, I mean fine, I will pay for it personally! With a deed. Remorse. Does that work?
G.O.D.: Sure it does. Thank you for your order. Good night.
And sure enough, it worked! As Guaranteed Overnight Delivery went to work, when Fauzia Wahab awoke the next morning, she was welcomed by the following article in the most politically pious newspaper of the land:
“ISLAMABAD – PPP Information Secretary Fauzia Wahab has clarified that her statement regarding comparison between the holy Quran and Pakistan’s Constitution has been misquoted. In a statement issued from the media cell of the PPP Central Secretariat, she said she had never prioritised the Constitution over the holy Quran. She said being a true Muslim, she believed in the holy Quran and the Sunnah as the supreme law. She said she acknowledged Hazrat Umer (RA) as the best reformer in the world. Fauzia said some people were misquoting her statement in the context that she had prioritised President Zardari over Hazrat Umer (RA). Fauzia said she revered the holy Quran, Sunnah and Hadith of Hazrat Mohammad (PBUH) from the cores of her heart, reiterating that she considered the holy Quran as the supreme law, and all other constitutions of the world were secondary to the holy Quran.”