Kafka Country

Surprised by what is happening in the land of the pure? Raza Rumi says stop jumping, life is business as usual in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Our dear editor in his crisp editorial, “How Extraordinary!” ( TFT , 23-29 March) marvelled at the recent events that took place in such a short span of time Indeed, the current drama, uncertainty and confusion seem to be extraordinary. But is it that unusual? History, if anything, has prepared us for the bizarre and the peculiar. I was therefore prompted to jog my memory and dig out snippets that remain semi-buried in my fallible mind.

Colonel Ilahi Bux, the personal physician of Quaid-e Azam, MA Jinnah recounted in his little book, With the Quaid-e-Azam During His Last Days, how our executive machinery treated the Quaid when he returned to Karachi after his recuperation in Ziarat. This is a scene from Marquez, the head of state, Governor General and Pakistan’s real, and perhaps the only principled advocate lying in a broken ambulance on a road side and the Madar-i-Millat (mother–of–the–nation), his sister, waving a copy of the newspaper to keep the heat and flies away! And this was no ordinary VIP. The rescue ambulance arrived hours later but the damage had been done. Beyond belief? Yes.

The Quaid passed away in 1948, and his Prime Minister was shot down by a “lunatic” in 1951. To date, we have no clue as to who hatched the conspiracy, with what motive and why the first Prime Minister was brutally murdered. The assassin was overpowered and killed in the melee that immediately followed the killing. Later the investigating officer’s plane went down with the case files. Thus, we shall never find out the truth; and that is extraordinary. Alas, there is no Oliver Stone here to produce a film on this assassination. Even Kafka, whose vision the Pakistani officialdom typifies, would have been shocked at such developments. […]