Following the day when Minister for Information Pervaiz Rashid was sacked, two vehicles sped off in the early hours of the day from the Prime Minister’s Secretariat to an undisclosed location within the capital city in order to bring back a highly spiritual figure (whose name shall not be mentioned due to certain reasons) summoned by the country’s premier.
The spiritual figure was not only a confidant of PM Nawaz but also used to give him what the Prime Minister usually considered as invaluable advice over matters ranging from religion to politics. Only a few people knew about the close relationship between the two men as the staff of the PM Secretariat was made well aware of the consequences of disclosing the details about this association.
That morning, even the spiritual figure was a bit baffled over the unusualness behind him being summoned at that hour of the day. No information was provided to him regarding the details of his summons as he was rushed to the PM Secretariat where a perturbed Nawaz Sharif greeted him in his office.
After being sure that the person escorting the spiritual figure had locked the door of the big room where the two men sat and that there was no one around to listen to their conversation, the two indulged in dialogue.
‘Baba jee, I’m really sorry that I had to call you at this unusual hour.’
‘No problem at all, Mr. Prime Minister! They told me that it was urgent.’
‘Yes. I haven’t actually discussed the matter with anyone yet. I am very confused, Baba jee. I think I’ve done something terrible.’
‘Calm down, Mr. Prime Minister, and tell me what’s wrong?’
‘I had a horrible dream last night. Probably the worst I’ve had in years.’
‘I see. So what was the dream about?’
‘Well, I dreamt that I was escorted to my office just like every other day. As I went inside the building, I realised that it was unusually dark. I thought that it was because of a power failure and that the guys would probably be fixing it and that it’ll be fine soon.’
‘All right. Carry on…’
‘I entered into my office room which was even darker when all of a sudden I got the feeling that someone was sitting in my chair. I was unable to see the person as the chair faced the opposite direction and also because of the darkness inside the room.’
‘I got pretty angry, of course, and wondered at the same time: Who would have the guts to sit in my chair? I turned towards the person and inquired in a resentful tone: ‘Hey! Who the hell do you think you are and what are you doing in my chair? The Prime Minister’s chair!’
‘So what did the other person say?’
‘Baba jee, do you know who the person turned out to be?’
‘No. How am I supposed to know? It was your dream, after all.’
‘It was Imran Khan, Baba jee! He was sitting in my chair!’
‘Ya Allah Khair! Did he say anything to you, Mr. Prime Minister?’
‘Baba jee, he slowly turned his face towards me. He was smirking at me and as he realised that I was petrified after witnessing him there, he started laughing hysterically.’
‘Oh my God! Did he approach towards you or do something to you?’
‘No, Baba jee. He remained seated while his eyes were locked at me as he continued with his sinister laughter. I then noticed that there were two shadows behind Khan towards his left and right.’
‘Were you able to recognise those two figures, Mr. Prime Minister?’
‘While Khan continued laughing, those two shadowy figures slowly approached forward and I was able to identify that it was Sheikh Rasheed who was at Khan’s left whereas the person at his right was Cyril Almeida.’
‘My goodness! Did those two cause you any harm?’
‘Initially, they also just stood there with their large, bulging eyes aiming towards me. But then they also joined Khan and burst into laughter, simultaneously.’
‘And then what?’
‘I was hell scared at all of this and wanted to storm out of the room which was constantly getting larger and darker. I rushed towards the door from where I entered but it turned out that it was locked. So I pulled the door and kept pulling it with greater force until it opened and then…’
‘Then what? What did you see?’
‘Baba jee, at the other side of the door stood Pervaiz Rashid. His face was pale, he didn’t utter any word and just glared at me.’
‘So what did you do then, Mr. Prime Minister?’
‘I inquired from him whether he was feeling all right but he did not respond and kept looking at me for a while until he stretched his arms and with clenched fingers, he slowly moved towards me.’
‘Was he able to get any near you?’
‘It was all so horrifying. I turned my face back and as I was about to run in the opposite direction. Khan, Sheikh and Cyril stood right in my face. With their laughter becoming louder and scarier and their sizes increasing as the light around me faded, I screamed at the top of my voice and found myself sitting in my bed, shocked and sweating badly as a result of the nightmare. The time was 3:58am.’
‘I see. Indeed it was a terrible dream. Tell me, Mr. Prime Minister, do you still wear that amulet I gave you?’
‘Well of course I do, Baba jee.’
The PM unbuttoned the top button of his shirt, put his hand in his vest and after a bit of searching took out the amulet and showed it to Baba jee.
‘Good. Very good. From now on, don’t take it off before going to bed. Just keep wearing it. Additionally, I’ll tell you some wazaif which you need to recite before sleeping. You’re under a lot of stress, Mr. Prime Minster. Everything will be all right soon.’
‘Baba jee, I get the feeling that I’ve ditched one of my most important men and that it was a very wrong move to make. At times, I think of shutting down Dawn by taking them to the court and asking the judges to try them for publishing a story against the country’s interests.’
‘That wouldn’t be a sound thing to do, Mr. Prime Minister. Cyril is on your mind right now after his little stunt. This whole issue will be resolved in a few weeks and it’ll be calm again. After all, who reads that boring, sophisticated English newspaper anyway? As far as Pervaiz is concerned, I think you had to make that move and I’m pretty sure that he understands. He is one of your most loyal companions and would always want to ensure your benefit. The worst that can happen now is that he joins Khan and…’
‘Don’t! Please, Baba jee. Don’t say that. Gosh! I hate Octobers. This month has never done me any good and has always proven to be ominous. What about those wazaif you were talking about?’
P.S. the piece is a satire.