An Account Of General B’s Farewell Meeting With Qalandar

An Account Of General B’s Farewell Meeting With Qalandar
B thought that if he starts his farewell meetings with Qalandar, the move will convince the world that he is shedding uniform after 29 November.

Qalandar received him warmly at his aastana (monastery). “I have important issues to discuss,” said B, while looking at an army of mureeds around him in the lounge.

“Go ahead. They are my boys and mureeds, not Dawnleaks!”

“The long march! Patay Khan is mobilising the masses. He is giving me sleepless nights,” complained B.

“Don’t take him seriously. He is playing the same old records repeatedly: revolution, Dirty Harry, Mir Jafar, Azam Swati, Shahbaz Gill, Toshakhana, etc. You should worry about the Dengue which is far more dangerous than Patay Khan and moving at a much greater pace than the long march!” answered Qalandar.

‘If I address a press conference?’ inquired B.

“Someone's village is missing their idiot. Your brainchild – DG-ISPR & DG-ISI joint presser has already caused the Army the damage that India could not. Now, the venom against the Army which the enemies spitted privately is being spewed publicly by every Tom, Dick and Harry and you are thinking of another spectacle!” warned Qalandar.

“But I must do something to leave my marks!”

“Amend the Constitution and declare New Delhi as Pakistan’s capital. Patay Khan and his Youth are sans common sense. They will take a U-turn and start marching towards Delhi. Thus you can give Modi hell,” Qalandar advised and B showed respect.

“Sarkar, how I would be remembered after retirement?”

“Visit Islamabad Club for lunch. If Saleh Zafar breaks another scoop like 24 January 2021 – General B was holding a plate in his hand and waiting for his turn among masses – it means you are still a mega star like Salman Khan.”

“I will but this time I want another 1,000 scoops like January 24”

“Just impose martial law for life and legendary sycophants like Saleh Zafar will continue to write in your favour, or be ready to be consigned to history’s dustbin like Musharraf,” Qalandar remarked.

“Martial law? That’s not easy!” answered General B.

“Not difficult either! Patay Khan has already given you the go-ahead. Didn’t he say it does not affect him in any way if you impose martial law? And the international community always welcomed martial law in the past. In public, it will condemn it but in its drawing rooms with you, it will praise you to the skies. There will be powerful winds and a torrential rain of dollars. Pakistan’s economy will become solid like a rock. Dollar will be at Rs. 9!”

“Great idea. I must rush to Pakistan Television (PTV) for a speech,” said B.

“No need. PTV team is already here. In the next room, the stage is ready. The walls are bearing the portraits of Jinnah and Iqbal. Go there and start harping on the same old raga!”

“Which one?” asked General B.

Meray Aziz Hamwatno! (my dear people of Pakistan!). The country is passing through a delicate situation. In the greatest interest of the country, the armed forces have been condemned to impose martial law and take control of the country! In addition, ban the internet, mobile phone services for ever. They don’t suit us. Impose a lifetime ban on all the print and media outlets. They are the agents of our enemies and do thing except hatching conspiracies against Islam and Pakistan. Appoint Orya Maqbool Jan your spin-doctor. He is great in concocting holy dreams. He can easily convince the gullible masses of this hapless country that there is only one Messiah that can bring back the old glory of Pakistan and Islam. His name is B. But he can’t save this citadel of Islam without imposing martial law. Thus, speaking against your new role will become a crime against religion, punishable with death,” said Qalandar.

“And the antara (second movement of a music composition) will be: I promise to the nation that I will hold the election within 90 days!” added General B.

“No! Just say: ‘I will hold the election soon, InshaAllah!’” You know what InshaAllah means here?” asked Qalandar.

“Yes, Sarkar. ‘N-E-V-E-R’!” winked General B.

Mohammad Shehzad is based in Islamabad. He has been writing for national and foreign publications since 1992. He is the author of The State of Islamic Radicalism in Pakistan (Routledge Taylor & Francis) and Love and Fear: Poems Beyond Time ( He learns tabla and classical vocal music. He is a passionate cook and shares his recipes at Email: