Mo­hammed Hanif

Tehelka - - POLITICAL YOGA -

How long be­fore they start mak­ing vam­pire movies about you two?

You have be­come a nui­sance for the neigh­bours as well. You are the new Ad­dams Fam­ily and the whole neigh­bour­hood is scared.

When Pak­istani kids shout, “Go Amer­ica Go”, they are not re­ally cheer­ing you on to vic­tory. They are say­ing: “Just leave.” When think-tank wal­lahs in Wash­ing­ton say, “De­fang Pak­istan”, they are not talk­ing about a nail job.

Look, I am a re­la­tion­ship ther­a­pist, not your neigh­bour­hood watch. And when I think it’s all over, you be­come all nos­tal­gic.

You sit there and go through old fam­ily al­bums. There is our Gen­eral Ayub Khan pat­ting Lyn­don John­son on the cheek. There is a camel in Karachi with a ‘Thank You, Amer­ica’ sign around its neck. Look at your Jackie Kennedy liv­ing it up with the tribal lead­ers. What is the whole NASA crew do­ing on the streets of Karachi? Look at our lovely mu­jahideen din­ing in the White House. Those were the days.

But you don’t look at that other al­bum. You keep it locked away: spy­ing on your neigh­bours, turn­ing your back­yard into an ar­se­nal, truck­loads of dol­lars and il­le­gal de­tainees called en­emy com­bat­ants. You two have more skele­tons in your cup­boards than the old­est zom­bie cou­ple on earth.

And then you turn up here and say that you are in it for the kids. That you want to keep it to­gether for the neigh­bour­hood’s sake. Wake up, smell the daisy cut­ters. Look around, your grand­kids are about to have kids. Your third gen­er­a­tion is about to in­herit your tainted love, they are pledg­ing to continue your blood feud. Give up now, I say, sign the pa­pers and leave. What did you say? You want to apol­o­gise to each other? You want one last hug, just an­other whis­per in each oth­ers’ ears. Go ahead, do what you like. I am leav­ing.

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