a difference of opinion

A:     I wonder where Billy is these days

S:     Who is Billy?

A:     Billy boy, our very own Bilawal Bhutto. Where is he? I wonder if Zardari has locked him up in a cage somewhere. I wouldn’t put it past Zardari to do that to his own son you know.

S:     Wow; that was a vivid image that I’m not likely to forget very soon. Otherwise, I don’t know, Zardari has him in a cage, metaphorically speaking. He is probably somewhere in London or Dubai, bidding his time at his father’s behest, ready to be re-launched when he has become a little more disciplined.

A:     So you buy the story that there has been no disagreement between the two and he is a dutiful son; willing to be “trained” and accepting of the fact that his is not “politically mature” enough. From the little that I have seen of him, he doesn’t seem that type. He has always gone for the biggest no-go topic. MQM in Karachi, the Taliban before that. I think, and this is just my wild speculation, that Bilawal is done with politics. He came here, tried to make a change, the party didn’t let him, and he went back to his comfortable life in London. Not much of a leader if you ask me. Not much of a Bhutto either.

S:     You may be right. I wonder what his credibility will be in the eyes of the masses if he is seen as Zardari’s lackey. It is not the smartest of strategies, sending him back to London to be re-launched; it doesn’t make sense. The Bhutto name only caries weight because the previous Bhuttos were independent, headstrong visionaries, at least in the eyes of the public that idolises them. This cold, subservient Bhutto will not excite their imagination.

A:     What if – bear with me because I’m about to lay down some shameless conspiracy theories – this whole disagreement is a sham. A way to give Bilawal a clean break from PPP and everything else that people have come to despise about it. He launches a new party, and the old ‘jiyalas’ flock to him. As diabolical as Zardari is, I wouldn’t put it past him to be playing the whole nation.

S:     That is a shameless conspiracy theory, but I wouldn’t put it past him either.