An old war veteran appeared one day outside the White House and asked the sentry posted there, “Is Mr Bush in”. The sentry said, “No Sir, Mr Bush does not live here any longer”. The old man appeared again the next day and asked the same question and got the same answer. By the sixth day the sentry lost his cool and said, “Why don’t you understand Mr Bush does not live here any longer”. The old man said, “I do understand but I like to hear it again and again”.

When the ticker tape was repeating that President Zardari had been taken ill and taken to AFIP for a checkup and was being flown to an American hospital in Dubai, my wife said you have been watching this news for the last 15 minutes, what is it that you don’t understand. I said, I understand alright, it is just that I like to see it again and again. A praying lady herself, she said, you should be praying. I said, yes I am praying, for the country. I had a colleague in Attock who was a master manipulator. The refinery was in Pindi and the oil fields were out in the woods 40 miles away. We all were very loathe to getting transferred to the fields. When time came for the manipulator to be transferred he did not let grass grow under his feet, and within a few days of being there cleverly feigned a heart attack which fooled even the doctor there and he was sent back to Pindi for treatment and rest. When news broke that an American company was coming to erect the 20,000 barrel per day distillation unit, the manipulator miraculously regained full health and manipulated his way into getting attached to the prestigious project as the liaison engineer.

But nothing to beat the manipulation that was done in dragging out the Swiss Bank and Surrey Mansion cases year after year using the simple ruse of never once attending the courts by citing some illness or the other, even Dementia. The manipulated longevity of the cases which were never settled because they were never attended then became the basis for NRO. My friend in Attock could learn a thing or two.


Lahore, February 13.