By D. Asghar
In a hyper polarized society like ours, reason, logic or rationale does not mean much. We are, what I call, the “hero worshiping” nation. Always looking for a messiah, some super hero, some angel to rid us of our miseries. Knowing full well, that there are no such things in real life. But naïve and silly people tend to always pin their hopes on some miracle.
When the so called “Peace March”, led by the new “pied piper”, tanked at a place very aptly called “Tank”, the spin doctors went into action. The spin was on, that it was all about awareness of “drones.” The objective was to rope in the limelight and have the international media give the atrocities of drones, the much needed coverage. The idea was to merely create the buzz in the international media. The mission was a roaring success.
Without going into the pros and cons of the drones, I would like to remind the superficial patriots who chime with the pied piper, as he is “their last hope”, wasn’t his mantra the same at the so called “dharnas (sit ins).” I remember a year or so back, the media merchants (I am being very respectful here, another term is more appropriate, but cannot be penned here), were going ga ga on the photo ops with the angry middle aged man, at those venues. In the backdrop, you could see the “Say No To Drones” banners and the rhetoric spewed by the macho leader and his reporters, was the same. The reality I am afraid was and is to the contrary.
When Shamsi was closed, this scribe was amused by the reaction of the reactionary crowd. They were rejoicing like it was the end of it. I knew that all what was being done, was the venue of launch being relocated from Pakistan to Afghanistan. Next, I had raised the same question, which I will raise again. If the drones were being launched from Pakistani soil, who was responsible for their launch and now when they enter Pakistani air space from somewhere, who is responsible for that violation of our sovereignty? Still waiting for a rational mind to give me a straight answer on that one.
Moving on, if the “Buzz Lightyear” of Pakistani politics really wanted to protest about the pesky drones, all he had to do was to take his caravan to a well known place in Rawalpindi. But of course he knew the answer of that fortress, from the get go. So he decided to put his show on the road. Knowing full well that it was ludicrous to expect that he would be allowed in the “hostile territory.” Speaking of territory and permissions, a mouthpiece had made a plea to the man in charge, who he dubbed as “Amir Ul Momineen” to let our Buzz in. Some of you might be thinking, why I am comparing our Khan to the Disney character from “Toy Story.” Its plain and simple. Buzz the space ranger wanted to fly to infinity and beyond, knowing in his heart that it was his wishful thinking. So our “Buzz” created the buzz and then the talk shows swarmed him like hungry bees. A few days back, there was buzz that, certain people have granted him permission to enter. Then a day prior to the visit, the “victims of the brutality of drones” sent clear signals that, Buzz was not welcome at all. The “victims” added the threat of dire consequences, to the poor old Buzz, who was supposedly going in to advocate for their cause.
Our Buzz immediately issued a statement and warned, that if anything were to happen to him, the President of Pakistan will be responsible for that. Hmm.. I scratched my head on that one. Either it was being insinuated that President of Pakistan had anything to do with “direct victims” or he was going to use those “victims” to perhaps harm our macho man. The macho man may be macho and all brawn, but when it comes to brains, he needs some serious help. The President, I am afraid lacks the writ in that area to begin with. Heck, even the Army is trying desperately to establish one, and we all know very painfully, not so successful at it.
Come to think of it, it was not the President, his political party or government that prevented him from going to his adventurous picnic. Those who stopped him from entering the area, are the ones that he needs to pick a bone with. But as always he will continue to bark at the wrong tree. Last but not least, the much talked about buzz was nothing more than a publicity stunt. To assume that Western media is clueless about the effectiveness or lack thereof, about drones is again naivete personified, in the highest order. The clueless followers will continue to thump their chests, because it feels good. I am sorry the imaginary bubble that they live in, all it could provide is, a false hope. In the meantime, the show goes on. Both here and abroad. When the intelligence will point towards the potential targets, those pesky unmanned aircrafts, that locals call “Ababeels” will hover. Hope Buzz can use his super powers to reverse those alien objects. In that case, all he would perhaps need to do is, swing his victorious bat. A loud chant of “to infinity and beyond” will perhaps create the much needed buzz at that opportune moment. Problem solved. Buzz Lightyear to the rescue.