Deluding ourselves is our national past-time. The inability to separate wishes with facts which makes us make wrong diagnoses of the ills afflicting our society. This, in turn, exacerbates our daily lives by making us feel more helpless at our present state of affairs. The following are a couple of examples of the collective delusions that afflict us.
Delusion: Pakistan is a sovereign country.
Reality: Really, do you think so? And just what was it that you put down as collateral when obtaining loans from the World Bank and IMF?
Delusion: While we may live in troubled times in Pakistan, but our children will live in a better Pakistan.
Reality: All the social, economic and political indicators point towards the contrary. As a matter of fact, they predict that our children will live in more tumultuous Pakistan.
Delusion: Asif Zardari is not a patriot while Nawaz Sharif is.
Reality: The test of patriotism is not whether you were in Pakistan at the time the floods were ravaging our lands and killing our people or whether you raised the slogan Pakistan khappay but what you have actually given back to the country. Nawaz Sharifs tax returns are rather witty (brevity: soul of wit) and it is unclear whether Asif Zardari has paid his dues on all of his moveable and immoveable properties.
Delusion: Asif Zardari is an accidental leader.
Reality: So was Benazir Bhutto, thanks to her father and Nawaz Sharif, thanks to Gen. Zia-ul-Haq.
Delusion: This government is about to fall.
Reality: All stake holders have learned a lesson from their past and have decided not to rock the boat in their own personal interest. Personal likes and dislikes are immaterial.
Delusion: If the going gets tough, Bhutto family will leave Pakistan but Sharif family will stay.
Reality: Yes, and the deal between the Sharifs, Saudis, Lebanese and the Musharraf government was, wellum.
Delusion: Nawaz Sharif is a simpleton while Asif Zardari is cunning.
Reality: Elder brothers kids gloves came off when younger brothers government was dismissed by Governor Taseer at the behest of Mr. AZ.
Delusion: Asif Zardari is corrupt while Nawaz Sharif is not as much.
Reality: Both personalities and their respective families owns hundreds of properties all over the world with money whose source is not always known. Further, it is our judicial system in general and investigating agencies in particular which give births to the Zardaris and Sharifs of this country.
Delusion: Both the PPP and PML have failed Pakistan.
Reality: Both of these parties were voted in by Pakistanis and not by Indians or Israelis.
Delusion: This PPP is not of Bhuttos PPP.
Reality: Benazir Bhuttos PPP was also not of Bhuttos PPP.
Delusion: Bilawal Zardari is Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
Reality: Since when have we started to adopt names of our maternal grandfathers as our family names?
Delusion: Bilawal is being groomed for future leadership of Pakistan.
Reality: Reza Shah Pehlavi too groomed his son for the Persian crown but today he buys his own groceries in Northern Virginia.
Delusion: Gen. Kayani is apolitical.
Reality: Six secret meetings with Shahbaz Sharif and Ch. Nisar, a reported phone call for Iftikhar Chaudharys restoration and further participation in brokering NRO at his last job.
Delusion: The war against terror will be won eventually.
Reality: Maybe, but at what cost? It is not being won as of today.
Delusion: Muslim countries should get together against the infidels.
Reality: Only recently Saudi Arabia has permitted the Israeli air force to fly over its air space to attack Iran, if need be.
Delusion: A Muslim is braver then a Hindu.
Reality: The 1965 war, the 1971 war and the 1998-99 Kargil war. Go on, do the math.
Delusion: Kashmir banay ga Pakistan.
Reality: This is perhaps where we have been most delusional. Weve always misinterpreted a Kashmiris hatred for India into love for Pakistan. Remember Operation Gibraltar where the Kashmiris were to stand up against the Indian rule in support of Pakistani infiltrators? And folks, if I was a Kashmiri, I wouldnt ever want to be rescued by Pakistani authorities while being knee-deep in flood waters.
Delusion: Pakistan is a fort of Islam.
Fact: This is one hell of a fort whose keeper was trained at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, U.S.A.
Sweet dreams, my people.
The writer is an advocate of the High Courts.