The government has finally decided on a stern move that will ensure that the brutal Taliban militants are off the streets of Karachi and are sent to the place where ruthless murderers, rapists and traitors conspiring against Pakistan belong — air conditioned offices. A brilliant new consensus move that caused share prices of key Pakistani companies to soar, Pakistan’s parliament has decided that it will ask the Taliban to list themselves in the Karachi Stock Exchange.

There are several reasons why the Taliban belong in the stock market, an expert said. Firstly, they are already accustomed to speaking loudly while wagging their finger in front of a screen. Secondly, they are also detached from Pakistan’s economic realities and have no clue what is going on in the rest of the world. Thirdly, there are a lot of stakeholders, but it is the brokers who actually call the shots.

The move is being seen as a key step towards sustainable peace and economic prosperity after a disappointing series of failed negotiations. Weeks ago, the PML-N government proved to be as ineffective as its PPP predecessor when it failed once again to persuade cricket captain Misbahul Haq to score faster. Not long before that, backchannel negotiations broke down after party elders failed to persuade Ali Zafar to give up his hopeless acting career. The party’s ability to negotiate had especially been questioned after it lost a by-election in Faisalabad when party workers declined to work with Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah until he trimmed his moustache and PML-N stalwarts failed to convince him after several days of parleys at his residence that the 80s were over.

But the new move has been welcomed throughout the country. The stock market responded so enthusiastically to the decision that share prices of a mobile company began to rise despite the annoying appearance of Adeel Hashmi in its television ads. “We do however agree in principle that someone should tell him that if you do the same thing over and over again, it gets annoying after a while,” an investor said.

The economic activity that the decision has generated is unprecedented, an analyst said. The only previous example of such a surge is when the ban on Youtube about a year ago forced the country into doing useful work in their offices.

Outside the stock exchange building, tensions were high as supporters and opponents of the decision held demonstrations close to each other. Occasional scuffles were reported, but there were no serious injuries. A stray dog died in a brief stampede, but there is disagreement over which side he died on and whether he is a martyr. The atmosphere was charged. “So far, only the banks had been robbing people,” a member of Jamaat-e-Islami told this scribe. “Now, the people will rob the banks.” Opponents of the decision gathered on the call of charismatic young PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto, revered for his dramatic rise in the party’s ranks from a lowly eldest son of a chairwoman to the post of the chairman. In the past, the party has been a supporter of privatization of other entities that pose existential threats to Pakistan

A Taliban spokesman welcomed the move. “Yes we rob banks, we raise money with extortion, and we abduct people for ransom,” he said, “but we make actual profits, unlike Twitter.” He admitted though that because of worsening economy and soaring dollar prices, the Taliban had been facing financial problems and had recently given a golden-handshake to more than 10 parliamentarians. He said a lobby was conspiring against peace between the government and the militants because of vested interests. “All those freelance journalists writing about us will have no option but to find a real job.”

The new measure is also expected to restore the faith of the people of Pakistan in democracy after the government failed to meet their expectations. The efficacy of democracy was questioned by commentators when the government failed in the first few months to call an all-out war against the US. Privately, defence officials say they are committed to sending thousands of men to the US to ensure that democracy is allowed to take its course in the wake of severe criticism of the Muslim president of the overwhelmingly Christian nation. “The US is an important country in the region and a stable US is key to a stable North America,” a foreign office spokesman said last week. “Our interests are tied with the interests of the US and we know the Americans understand that helping us is in their own interest.”

The author has a degree in Poetics of Prophetic Discourse and works as a Senior Paradigm Officer.

harris@nyu.edu

 @cyborgasms