There are no stupid questions. A question, by its very definition, indicates the presence of (artificial or extraterrestrial) intelligence. Mind you, this is not the same as ‘credible intelligence’, which usually gets people killed. Nor is it the same as ‘false intelligence’, which tends to keep stupid people in office beyond their half-life simply because they cater to the interests of US defence contractors and the interests of Rear Admiral Oil and Gas and Major General Petroleum Products. As they say, artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

No, intelligence is a prerequisite for making smart decisions. The converse, however, is not necessarily true. Archimedes ran naked in the streets after making his most ground-breaking discovery, but had to live the rest of his life in relative obscurity and anonymity because the mullahs from the Jamia Athenia issued an edict declaring him a freethinking heretic who liked to dance naked under the moonlight. This was also the origin of the werewolf story, still used by mothers around the worlds to scare their sheep, I mean children, to sleep.

But mothers are not the only ones who rule through fear. History is literally littered with examples of despots who burn books at the stake, hang ideas till death and sacrifice civil liberties at the altar of national security. This has been standard operating procedure for the likes of Barack Hussein Obama, George Walker Bush and William Jefferson Clinton, ad infinitum ad nauseum. It has also meant that they consider impunity a virtue and truth a vice. Dollars and not facts are their currency, and they will go to any lengths to sex up dossiers, seduce interns, ratify draconian surveillance laws and generally have a good time.

But the birds of prey now unleashed over the tribal badlands of FATA are causing them all sorts of trouble. In exchange for assassinating the most wanted man in the country, Pakistan has upgraded the Great Shaitan from Public Enemy Number 2 to Public Enemy Number 1. This is a great honour, because the last person to occupy the top spot was recently canonized by all leaders of major opposition parties, as well as the Sheriff of Chakri. A shrine dedicated to the memory of Hakeemullah Mehsud, drone wali sarkar, is currently being erected outside parliament and is expected to be inaugurated by the prime minister. This will strain the already tense relations between the two unhappy partners, who have been enduring their loveless arranged marriage for well over 50 years now. The history of their matrimony is steeped in lies, deceit and homicidal defence contractors. But it’s not like there’s a bed of roses waiting for bride Pakistan when she comes back home to her neighbourhood.

The bully, Ivan In The North, barely acknowledges her existence but regularly bitches about her behind her back. To the West, Brother Iran has all but written off its Sunni Twin, because Pakistan has been sleeping with his enemy. The final straw came when, in a bid to please their bankrollers, Pakistan turned down the more than generous offer of building a viable and sustainable energy corridor. This, the bankroller thought, was far too much cleavage than should be displayed by any ‘Muslim country’ and immediately told Pakistan to lower her gaze and guard her modesty.

To the East, the evil twin brother that is India marshals his troops, preparing for the endgame and all but ready to move in to pick at the carcasses left behind by the US in its departure from the Afghan playground. The Afghan playground too has long shunned us on account of the dangerous double game that we play: carrying on with the Taliban behind Captain America’s back. In their efforts to plumb the depths of strategy, the generals and the specifics of the military have exposed themselves, sheltering the villainous and murdering the innocent. Their ‘credible intelligence’ is not always the most accurate and sometimes, leads to innocent lives being lost. Of course, the military is complicit in these attacks from on high: how could they not be? A force that can keep a secret like Osama buried for so long is obviously playing Julius Caesar: The Board Game at the hardest difficulty setting. The government too has put the flute of denunciation to its lips simply because it cannot afford to play a cheerier tune. There is far too much support for murderers, rapists, pillagers and looters for there to be any real justice meted out.

There is really no one point to this rant, one can try their best to make sense of nonsense, but for that a brain with processing power greater than a 486 IBM compatible PC is the minimum requirement. The people in power really need to upgrade their internal RAM if they are to be able to process the massive amounts of corrupt data they have been accumulating.

The Taliban are smarter than your average computer virus and it will take more than Norton Suite to cure the ills that plague our fair backwater. The irony is that the average 12-year-old not only knows how recover your laptop from a fatal crash, he or she has also consumed enough Hollywood to know that the United States does not negotiate with terrorists. Pakistan can, but that does not mean that the US has to like it, or support the process by funding capacity building sessions for impoverished militants. The terrorists too are no Friends of Democratic Pakistan and will not begin contributing to the Army Welfare Fund anytime soon. The program we are currently running is bound to crash. It’s just a question of when.

The writer is a former journalist currently working in the development sector.\