The FIA sent a notice to former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. Then all hell broke loose. In the end, Gilani got the President to visit him personally in Multan. And FIA got egg on its face.
Here in this country, it pays to be a Gilani. He and his ilk float somewhere above the confines of law, smiling away as they look down at the hordes of masses scurrying away like ants.

“As flies are to wanton boys, we are to gods;
They kill us for their sport.”
(Shakespeare, King Lear)

But Gilani should not be faulted. He is a product of a system which perpetuates the relationship between flies and wanton boys; a system which divides men neatly into Gilanis and non-Gilanis so that they can live happily ever after in their own two worlds. But Gilani should not be faulted because this was the system he was born into, and this is the system which defines him as who he is.
For after all, Gilani is an honourable man.
Honourable men do not answer to the state. They are a state unto themselves. Honourable men have their honour to protect, because shorn of honour they are nothing more than mere mortals – flies that wanton boys can kill. Honourable men in Pakistan have honourable lineage, honourable titles, honourable status and honourable followers. They also have honourable children, who can fling away their parliamentary membership for the sake of honour. So let us not fault Gilani for what he has done.
For after all, Gilani is an honourable man.

“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar,
not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives
after them;
The good is oft interred
with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar.
The noble Brutus Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a
grievous fault,
And grievously hath
Caesar answer’d it.
Here, under leave of
Brutus and the rest --
For Brutus is an
honourable man;”
(Shakespeare, Julius Caesar)

Flies do not complain when wanton boys kill them. Perhaps, flies know their place in the greater scheme of things. So did men when they battled the gods of Mount Olympus. But then Olympian deities mingled with mortals, and were brought down with arrows to their heels. The greater scheme of things changed. Men of courage wore their mortality with honour and slew those who could not be slain.
Our Gilanis are immortals. They live on, and on, and on. Daggers thrown at them bounce off their political armour like plastic knives. Law becomes putty in their hands. They make paper planes out of legal notices and fling them back at the state.
In turn, they don’t get a visit from the FIA official. They get a visit from the President of the country. Surprised? Don’t be!
For after all, Gilani is an honourable man.
Here then is the tragedy we face. Not the corruption, not the horrendous policies, not the clash of institutions, not the political intrigues and the lurking fear of Praetorian adventurism; but the fact that we live in a state which differentiates between its citizens. Such a state can never progress, because there exists a very fundamental flaw in its thinking. Remove this tumour and see the flowering of an entire people. But Gilani should not be faulted for failing to realise this reality because this reality is far divorced from the reality in which he functions, and prospers.
For after all, Gilani is an honourable man.
The FIA official, who dared follow the law and send a notice to Gilani to record his statement, has been swatted like a fly. He thought he could flex his official muscle and win accolades from his superiors. He thought he operated under the overhang of a constitution, which says all Pakistanis are equal before law. He thought Gilani was a citizen of Pakistan first, a former Prime Minister second, and therefore ready and willing to bow before the might of the law.
The FIA official was wrong.
He will now realise that he is a mortal living in the land of immortals. He will never dare make the mistake of confusing the two worlds. He will never ever punch beyond his weight. He will never ever pretend to be fair, just and equitable towards all people who populate this land of ours. He will never ever look Gilani in the eye again.
For after all, Gilani is an honourable man.
And the FIA official is not.
But wait. I err. The official is honourable too. He has been slapped down by the immortals, but there are others like him who look up at Mount Olympus with contempt. These mortals know that the tyranny of the immortals cannot endure because these political gods are swimming against the tide of history. The deluge is heading their way. The immortals - howsoever honourable they may be - can cling on to their immortality for only so long. They can dig their nails in, but when the deluge comes, these nails will be ripped apart and they will be swept away into political oblivion.
The heel is exposed. The arrow is ready. And the mortals are warning the immortals:

“If you prick us, do
we not bleed?
If you tickle us, do we
not laugh?
If you poison us, do we not die?
And if you wrong us,
Shall we not revenge?”
(Shakespeare,
Merchant of Venice)

The writer is the host of “Tonight with Fahd” on Waqt News. Email: fahd.husain1@gmail.com Twitter: @fahdhusain