The mega Mush fu­ture

The Pak Banker - - 4editorial - Elf Habib

Be­yond his wild vac­u­ous thoughts to ride back tu­mul­tuously like Be­nazir or Khome­ini, Mush seems to have a mega mil­lion­dol­lar fu­ture in a new mam­mon world. He may, for in­stance, rake in bil­lions by sell­ing his his­toric uni­form, i.e. the sec­ond skin, at some gi­ant in­ter­na­tional auc­tion­eers like Sotheby's or Christie's

The re­cent Hol­brooke re­marks about very slim chances for the re­turn of Gen­eral Mushar­raf seem to have fur­ther sealed the fate of the erst­while dic­ta­tor, ousted amid the mount­ing ire and con­tempt of his com­pa­tri­ots. PML-Q cob­bled by him from the more pli­ant PPP and Nawaz League frag­ments foundered in the elec­tions, splin­ter­ing into sev­eral fac­tions. Some of his janis­saries like Ja­mali, who once so fondly rel­ished him as their boss, have been forg­ing an­other League lin­eage which, de­spite its in­signif­i­cance in na­tional pol­i­tics, could cer­tainly im­pair his nascent League so painstak­ingly (read pound­stak­ingly) pro­moted in for­eign lands. Even if these Leagues man­age to merge out of the pains and predica­ments of their parturition, they are likely to be kid­napped by some more po­tent reign­ing gen­eral spoil­ing the most wist­ful Mush dream to reemerge as our 'mean­ing­ful pres­i­dent', im­ply­ing an om­nipo­tent dic­ta­tor. Wors­en­ing these odds against him are also threats like be­ing charged for trea­son, tram­pling the con­sti­tu­tion, un­ex­plained deaths and dis­ap­pear­ances and the Kargil dis­as­ter. Still, be­yond his wild vac­u­ous thoughts to ride back tu­mul­tuously like Be­nazir or Khome­ini, or even sneak in un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously like Nawaz, Mush seems to have a mega mil­lion-dol­lar fu­ture in a new mam­mon world. This, in­ci­den­tally, has noth­ing to do with the con­tro­ver­sial Chak She­hzad es­tate, the stock, sugar, ce­ment scan­dals or the chunks chipped from the Amer­i­can bil­lions but could come en­tirely from his new won­drous ven­tures grow­ing into a new globe-trot­ting em­pire un­in­ter­rupted by In­ter­pol in­quiries.

He may, for in­stance, rake in bil­lions by sell­ing his his­toric uni­form, i.e. the sec­ond skin, at some gi­ant in­ter­na­tional auc­tion­eers like Sotheby's or Christie's as this is not only a his­toric mem­o­ra­bilia like the relics of the rulers and roy­als ra­di­at­ing the power that ruled and ru­ined the destiny of more than 160 mil­lion peo­ple, but also the firstever sec­ond skin shed not merely by a dic­ta­tor but any hu­manoid. Even the Smith­so­nian Mu­seum may be tempted by this rai­ment as their world's largest vaults of rar­i­ties cer­tainly still lack such du­pli­cate skin sam­ples.

The fac­tors of fas­ci­na­tion for such ar­ti­facts, in fact, are quite bizarre and var­ied. In 2006, an Au­drey Hep­burn at­tire was sold for £ 467,200 at Christie's, a mar­ble bust of Ma­haraja Duleep Singh fetched £ 1.7 mil­lion in 1907, while a dag­ger owned by em­peror Shah­ja­han also brought £ 1.7 mil­lion. The sale of an­other dag­ger thought to have be­longed to a Sikh Guru was stalled for its sanc­tity and sen­ti­men­tal as­so­ci­a­tion. Some Sikh com­mu­ni­ties how­ever, whipped up the req­ui­site funds to re­deem its pos­ses­sion. Some diehard uni­form afi­ciona­dos in Pak­istan, like the Chaudhries of Gu­jrat, may also gang up to make a ri­val bid to re­tain the uni­form in their fam­ily as a tal­is­man for the re­main­ing nine dic­ta­tors they had per­sis­tently vowed to get elected in uni­form. Altaf Bhai may need it for the next Lord Gen­eral be­ing lured to liq­ui­date feu­dal­ism and cor­rup­tion. Its worth in the world mar­ket sim­i­larly may be sur­mised from the fact that last year, Nicolas Hayek, chair­man of the world's largest watch mak­ing Swatch group, is known to have paid $ 7.85 mil­lion merely for a piece of wood from a fallen tree, re­puted to be a favourite of Marie An­toinette in the Ver­sailles Palace. An­toinette, the 18th cen­tury queen, has an un­canny par­al­lel with our com­mando ruler as she rev­elled in lux­ury while her peo­ple grov­eled in ab­ject poverty, pin­ing for bread be­fore the French Revo­lu­tion. She is even ru­moured to have quipped why peo­ple would not eat cake in­stead. Mush, sim­i­larly, wan­dered on marathon world trips drum­ming out the de­tails of his en­light­ened mod­er­a­tion while peo­ple were rav­aged by hunger, thirst, drought, dark­ness and dearth and dear­ness of es­sen­tial edi­bles. An­other profitable line for Mush would be to com­mer­cialise his vast dic­ta­to­rial ex­pe­ri­ence of crush­ing and con­tain­ing the demo­cratic forces and com­bat­ing ter­ror­ists while se­cretly cos­set­ing them. A con­sor­tium of dis­carded dic­ta­tors and hard­bound neo-cons en­rolled as a think tank and spe­cial re­source and train­ing re­sort for the Pen­tagon and other in­ter­ested de­fence and arms con­glom­er­ates may be con­sti­tuted for this pur­pose.

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