Inside the Mind of Nawaz Sharif


Inside the Mind of Nawaz Sharif

Illustration: Juergen D'souza

Today, I am scared for my life. Or as they say in Pakistan, Wednesday. Here, people are scared for their lives all the time. And in a weird way, there’s some sort of equality to it if everyone from the Prime Minister to a pigeon feels unsafe.

But this is different. This is not a threat from the Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Al-Qaeda, Haqqani Network, or any of the other 137 terror groups. I’m a pro at handling those chaps, but this time around I have to deal with the baap of all thugs – the Pakistani Army.

I hear the army had a national security “meet” over the comments I made about the 2008 Mumbai attacks. I’d take a guess at what they were discussing, but I really should be looking for an escape. What’s the process to ask an American president to send another unannounced chopper to Pakistan so I can flee the country? It did work out well for them the last time they stealthily flew into our airspace – not so much for the man they aimed to pick up.

Did I make a mistake by commenting on the attacks? Yes. If there’s something I should have learnt from the past and from my predecessors like General Musharraf, it’s that you only make controversial statements about Pakistan once you are out of Pakistan. Preferably Great Britain. Anything said from the Oxford Union sounds a lot more intelligent than it really is. I’ve known this since I heard Shashi Tharoor ask for colonial reparations there. Why couldn’t I realise that what I did was akin to hating on Justin Bieber at a Justin Bieber concert?

But I am a true Punjabi at heart. The journalist offered me gulab jamuns, so I opened up. Shoot me for being candid and straightforward (I only mean that figuratively, not literally). I did what anyone does these days when they get hate for being honest. I did a U-turn and issued another statement saying my previous remark was “misinterpreted” and “taken out of context”. It’s something I picked up from Mr Trump – always shoot the messenger.

I said Pakistan is isolated in the world now. And after making that statement, I am isolated in Pakistan.

What did I say wrong? We kept denying our role in the 26/11 attacks, but does the world actually take us at face value? Remember the time we kept saying Osama bin Laden was not in Pakistan and the next thing you know, he was watching anime and Alka Yagnik in a military compound in Abbottabad? God that was embarrassing!

Still, I don’t know why everyone is mad at me, when I should be pissed because of the sacrifices I’ve made have gone in vain. I sat with Mr Modi, ate veg biryani (disgusting!) and promised him that we’d do something about the attacks. But we just can’t seem to get the trial over with. Why is that? Did I stuff my face with veg biryani for nothing?

And now everyone is turning against me and saying I should not be taken seriously because I’m a liar. Yeah, so I lied about my children’s offshore investments, big deal. Like anyone should expect honesty on CVs, tax returns, or Tinder profiles.

Sigh. When will my troubles end? I said Pakistan is isolated in the world now. And after making that statement, I am isolated in Pakistan. My own party distanced themselves from the comments, my brother bailed out on me. The people of Pakistan think I’m a traitor. And Imran Khan has once again launched his attacks – he was always good at taking wickets with reverse swing. The media is also shitting on me 24/7.

And if things weren’t bad enough already, I am now receiving the only thing that is worse than hate in Pakistan. Love from India.