Nature has gifted Pakistan two brands of lovers: the rulers and the masses. Both love Pakistan passionately. But the two love-affairs are fundamentally different in essence. Let's have a look at the difference. The rulers are paid phenomenally handsomely for their love-making. The more they are paid, the intenser grows their love. The masses are extremely jealous of the love-earnings of the rulers. The masses also love the country passionately. But they are punished for their love-making. Whereas the rulers are regularly paid whole bagfuls of solid gold for their love-making, the masses are regularly paid whole sackfuls of solid misery for their love-making. One just shudders to think what the beloved must be thinking about the love-making of the two lovers When the rulers of a rich country look at the life-style of the rulers of a poor country, they feel ashamed of themselves. But when the domestic animals of a rich country look at the life-style of the masses of a poor country they feel proud of themselves. Our poverty-stricken masses are looking with tears-drenched eyes at the rulers. Their looks are begging: "Please Rulers, for Pakistan's sake unshackle us from our misery. The chains are eating into our very flesh." The rulers are moved. But they are helpless. They console the masses: "We would love to rid you of your plight. But your fate doesn't permit us to help you. We can't defy fate. A sage has said that what cannot be cured must be endured." Some Pakistanis believe that what the sage has said is all nonsense. And they rid themselves of their misery by killing themselves. Thus, according to the self-killers, what cannot be cured must not be endured. Fate and Justice are eternally at war. They cannot live as good neighbours in the same habitat. Where Justice rules there Fate is an outlaw. Where Fate rules there Justice is an outlaw. Unfortunately, only a handful of the world's countries are under the occupation of Justice. Most of the countries are in the clutches of fate. Fate is horribly capricious. It crowns whomseover it fancies to crown. And it grinds to dust whomsoever it fancies to grind. Fate crowned Bhutto. But soon she was fed-up. She hanged him. She crowned General Zia. But in a few years she was fed-up. She crushed him. She did with Benazir what she had done with Bhutto and the general. Could she be more capricious? Pakistan has been Fate's favourite playground. Numerous governments have come and gone. Numerous presidents have come and gone. Numerous premiers have come and gone. Whenever a new government assumed power, the hopes of the masses touched the skies. But soon, very soon, they were dashed to the ground. And they have been dashed to the ground as many times as there have been governments. But the masses have become incurable hope-addicts. All their frustrations have been the gifts of their hopes. Once they gave up hoping all their problems would be solved forever. During Musharraf's regime, Bush's coalition forces regularly bombed our tribal areas. Numerous innocent men, women and children were regularly killed. Bush paid large sums of money to the government. Probably, the money was given for giving decent burials to the dead-bodies of the innocent residents killed by the bombings. After all, Bush is not without a touch of humanity. In Afghanistan, marriage processions have been bombed by the Coalition. Funeral processions have been bombed. Prayer congregations have been bombed. Children's schools have been bombed. One simply wonders why so far the graveyards have been spared. But there is no need for wondering. After all, Bush does have a touch of humanity. We have never had a destiny of our own. Our destiny has always been determined by America. The American presidential elections are round the corner. And obviously, our new destiny is also round the corner. Bush is on his way out. But if the Republicans won the presidency, Bush's Afghanistan policy would get a new lease of life. And Pakistan would get a new lease of political misery. Actually, it would not be the new president who would rule. Actually, it would be Bush's ghost which would rule. However, if the Democrats won then things might get somewhat better for us. The Democratic hopeful has obliquely hinted that if elected he would manufacture America's Afghanistan policy anew. But we must not be unnecessarily over-optimistic. We must know that everything is fair in love and politics. And sometime what is unfair even in love is fair in politics. Physically, Bush has grown up normally. But mentally he never grew up. Mentally he is still a child. And a very nasty one. Normally, children love destroying things for fun. So does Bush. He is destroying Palestine. He is destroying Iraq. He is destroying Afghanistan. Probably, Pakistan is next on his destruction-list. The children all over the world must be viewing his destruction fun-fair with envy. The writer is an academic