Sep 25, 2010

PM House to Hollywood

Anjum Niaz
Another job awaits him should he get the shrug from parliament. His looks are the stuff that opens studio doors in Hollywood. Angelina Jolie is super-impressed by Prime Minister Gilani's handsome face that gushed her into declaring that he could easily be the next silver screen idol. There is a mojo in the man from Multan that makes Americans gravitate around him. Last year, the influential Forbes magazine nominated him as the 38th most powerful man in the world out of a list of 67!
What impressed the editors most about Gilani was that he "has the keys to Pakistan's nuclear arsenal." Someone forgot to tell Forbes that it's not Gilani, it's not Zardari, it's Kayani and his men who mind the nuke store. The first two may have the duplicates, but the original set lies elsewhere. And more recently someone forgot to tell Angelina Jolie, billed as the "most beautiful woman in the world", that Gilani is not doing a heck of a job at running the country as she claims. But the odd man out is Richard Holbrooke, President Obama's special representative to 'Af-Pak' -- a name the Americans bequeathed to Afghanistan-Pakistan. Mercifully, the atrocious acronym appears to have died a natural death as one does not hear it bandied about anymore.
Ambassador Holbrooke is the man who first revealed to a clutch of reporters in Islamabad about Angelina Jolie's remarks. She as we all know was in Pakistan recently as our goodwill ambassador. She toured the flood-ravaged areas and has now made an appeal to the world community to help Pakistan. Holbrooke hit the news here in the US for a different reason. Bob Woodward, Washington Post editor in his book Obama's Wars quotes Holbrooke declaring that Obama's strategy in Afghanistan "can't work." The book also quotes Vice President Joe Biden calling Holbrooke "the most egotistical b-----d I've ever met."
Ahem! No comment.
But let's return to Gilani. Early in life we learnt 'handsome is that handsome does.' The 17th century proverb that means, how we act is more important than how we look, has stayed firmly entrenched in my mind. Unfortunately, the recent appointments or shall one say 'disappointments' by the prime minister have left him with a lot of egg on his handsome face. He appoints and the Supreme Court cancels. It's almost like a serial in a soap drama; a sort of comedy of errors, a burlesque, a ludicrous parody.
Except it's not funny!
Why cannot the "38th most powerful man in the world" resist the pressure he receives from the presidency to appoint men who, to borrow a commonly used slang in our diction, are "history-sheeters?" Men who have a long criminal record or were arrested several times." Men like Ahmad Riaz Sheikh, Sajjad Haider and Rehman Malik were granted the presidential pardon when the apex court moved against them. The PM was mum. His latest appointment of Kamran Lashari to become the Sindh chief secretary and Adnan Khwaja to head the OGDCL got cancelled right away by the Supreme Court.
The PM should have thrown in the towel and put in his resignation to the presidency!
What's wrong with our leaders? Among a population of 170 million swell, why do they appoint crooks and charlatans to head organisations that need to be reformed since they reek of corruption, inefficiency and moral turpitude. What message do they send to us, the people of Pakistan, and the world community? If this question was put to the Greek philosopher Aristotle he would push his deductive reasoning which would be:
1. Every history-sheeter gets appointed.
2. Leaders make the appointments.
3. Therefore, leaders are history-sheeters
This is not a nice conclusion to reach, especially about a 'handsome' man who could be headed for Hollywood!

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