Sunday, August 26, 2007

Delving in the Recent Past

With Musharraf’s emissaries in London, engaged in last ditch efforts to win over Benazir Bhutto, everything remains in a state of flux.

There are also some reports in the press suggesting that the team - ISI chief Lt. Gen. Ashfaq Pervaiz Kiyani, the chief of staff to Musharraf, Lt. Gen. Hamid Javaid, and the ubiquitous Tariq Aziz - might try and meet the Sharif brothers as well.

In absence of anything new to report, I hope readers won't mind if your Blogger instead reprints two of his earlier blogs. These were written in earlier days when The Glasshouse, being new, had much fewer readers - most you of will therefore be reading these pieces for the very first time.

CNN - Predicting Pakistan's Future
(Previously posted on Saturday, May 28, 2005)

Dateline: 27 May 2105

Transcript of CNN’s interview at Army House, Rawalpindi

CNN: General, will you be standing for re-election and more importantly, will you be keeping the uniform?

Musharraf: No and Yes and, of course, Yes and No.

CNN: Sorry. Sir, could you kindly clarify that.

Musharraf: (Chuckling) You people never really understand what I’m trying to say. As I have always said we have to place the interest of Pakistan first and foremost.

CNN: Yes? (Interviewer nodding her head and looking quizzical at the same time)

Musharraf: As a straight shooter I don’t dilly dally, you see. So really, whatever is in the interest of the nation is the only path to follow.

CNN: So you will be standing again?

Musharraf: Yes and No.

CNN: And in uniform?

Musharraf: No and Yes.

CNN: Sir, do you realise that at the age of one hundred and sixty-three you are the most ancient Army Chief in world history.

Musharraf: So what? Pakistan needs me, my uniform fits me and I am positive that we will catch that rascal Osama by the end of the year.


Those Damned Chowkidars
(Previously posted on Sunday, January 29, 2006)

Here is a modern parable

Years ago the head of a family died leaving two separate groups of family members. Neither side was rich, but the older family clan had much larger numbers and more resources. The less powerful and anxious younger clan decided to breakaway and divide the joint family holding as they feared they would be overwhelmed by their more numerous cousins.

After having broken away the junior clan continued to feel intimidated. Convinced that their more powerful cousins would not tolerate the property division, they employed a bunch of Chowkidars to protect their property and counter any potential aggression from their neighbouring cousins and their employees.

As year went by there was a great deal of acrimony between the two clans, which led to several serious scuffles involving employees on both sides of the divided fence. The Chowkidars of the younger clan kept warning their employers that things were going to only get worse as the rival clan was not only more powerful, but, according to these employees, held very hostile intentions. The younger clan got decidedly nervous and not only employed more Chowkidars and enhanced their status and remuneration, but also began involving them in their family council meetings.

As years went by the Chowkidars grew more powerful within these family council meetings. Why? Well they managed to convince some of the family members (especially those that loathed the other clan), that the family would not survive without the Chowkidars, who were not only qualified to protect them, but were the only ones able to defend their community.

A few years later the Chowkidars decided to take over the council and dismissed the family altogether. Why? Well, according to these employees, the family had become too weak and feeble; thus unable to defend itself. To bolster the family’s defences the Chowkidars insisted that the larger part of the family income be handed over to them, as they were now not only shielding the family from aggression but were now obliged to run the family’s affairs as well.

After a number of years an odd thing came to pass – the Chowkidars had by now taken over the property and the family that had originally employed them, found themselves working to the bone to provide for their once-upon-a-time employees. Whenever the family members – by now completely powerless and impoverished - tried to raise their voices and attempted to remind the rich and powerful Chowkidars that the property they now controlled wasn’t really theirs, these unfortunate people would be smacked on the head, be accused of criminal ingratitude, and told that they didn’t really know what was good for them.

Does the story sound familiar?

It definitely ought to. After all it is our bloody Chowkidars that have taken over our property – Pakistan.


AAS said...

A bit simplistic look at a very complex picture and you leave out so many factors inside and outside that have affected the family(nation).

This might be your worst post ONLOOKER.

Spin Doctor said...

Mr.Ass or is it Aas ... I beg to differ, cutting the long story short I don't think that our blogger could have illustrated the situation more better.

Good post mate !

AAS said...

Well no need to rude...but i stand by my opinion and i know ONLOOKER would not respond the way you have. Good thing he writes this blog and not you.

Anonymous said...

The chowkidars don't even pretend to do the fighting these days, they subcontracted that job out a long while ago to unpaid family members telling them early death and paradise is better than a proper education, jobs and a full lifetime.

Anonymous said...

Reminds of so-called dying words of Napoleon "Tete-d'Army" or something of that sort. It is literally translated as "Head of the Army"

Mush if no bonaparte but analogy is apt.


Kashif said...

If these chowkidars are not restricted to their domains, that is, to be on the guard, we will end up in situations like Algeria, Sudan and Somalia.

Our so called politicians are to blame for this mess as they have used wardis to get rid of their oppositions or to come in power. Its like invoking a demon from hell to overpower one's enemies and the demon consuming the invoker in the end.