The talk of the town is the phone conversation between Trump and Nawaz. To be honest, the issue has been more hyped than it deserves. The conversation is hollow and as far as presidential dialogues go, outright pathetic. Trump’s exaggerated use of the word terrific is almost typically Trump. Someone who listened to the Trump behind the podium during the lead-up to the elections won’t be surprised at Trump’s use of words. The transcript reads Trump all over it. It’s bad, yes. But it’s Trump and well, the guy is not known to have the most composed vocabulary.

How people have reacted to it invites bewilderment. For some, the words praise the man, Nawaz Sharif. The fact that a) they need Trump’s endorsement for how terrific Nawaz Sharif is and b) they actually take his words to be true and not painfully generalised is a dismal affair. If the point of the press release was to prove these exact points, the condition of the country is even worse than what has been emphasised by the pessimists amongst us. If the premier thought this was a chess move in the game that is the Panama leaks, his attempt, much as the Qatari letter, is foolish.

However, there could be another explanation. Much like the explanation of almost everything bad that happens to the country, here too India can be blamed. The release, in its painful flamboyant form, was a statement to the enemy across the lines. If this were the case, I can hear General Qamar Javed Bajwa sigh. Maybe the country finds a nod from the bigoted, laughable and creepy president elect much more valuable than a strong general with a strong army. To such a country, Trump’s inconsistency in principles and promises of the recent past can act as a warning of futile and fragile hopes. That said, for such countries, who’d lean onto such support in the first place, there can be little coaxing. India, or any state in the world really, would not be intimidated from a phone call that has diplomaticism oozing out of it. Why anyone either in the Prime Minister’s office or the Nawaz-League platoon thought this would work is befuddling. Much more, it’s just sad.

A third explanation could be that the Prime Minister’s office lacks an official cadre that the job demands. Someone, somewhere deep inside the Prime Minister’s office needs to be sent home, or, at least, sent for a course in the English language. Pakistan is now a mockery across the world. While, to be fair, the fact that Trump is in the equation does account for the said disdain, the country has contributed its due share to its predicament too. Lessons are to be learnt from this disaster of a situation. Handle matters carefully. Handle Trump matters even more carefully.

On another, very separate note, the nation continues to disappoint. Sajid Meer takes it upon himself to save the country from the worst of fates: An Ahmedi general. Later, he admits he was wrong at his claims. No one bats an eyelid on this mistake. No one condemns him for putting someone’s life in jeopardy. Much like Qari Khalid of the Rimsha case, no one would care to put the accusations and the accusers to check. Sajid Meer needs to be made an example of by having him recuse from his official and party position. A man who fails to understand the impact of such claims is not fit to have any voice whatsoever. However, no one really cares in Pakistan about such things.

All that said, the fact that the nation would disregard a general or a teacher for their religious affiliation is a problem in itself. These positions can be done justice with after experience or education both of which have little or nothing to do with religious preference. And yet, our politicians who sadly represent our nation, believe otherwise. With such ridiculous benchmarks, the country would have little choice but to fall in the hands of those who dictate their own versions of religiousness. The majority would then, inevitably come in conflict with the minority sects. Any and everything beyond that is a rabbit hole that has to be avoided.

The nation will become something to be proud of, someday. That day, however, is not today. For now, it is easily pleased and gullible and bigoted. With the Nawazs and Sajid Meers, amongst us. Nothing would change. Maybe the next generations could be better. Or maybe the next generations too will be Nawazs and Sajid Meers.