Finally, an expert Indian hand in Pakistan politics

The caller was frantic, writes E.R. RAMACHANDRAN.

“Is this Indian Confederation of MPs: iCON?”

“It is. How did you come to know of our organisation? A few of us just recently started this. What do you want?”

“Somebody told me it’s a new outfit for ‘Saving Democracy’ in India. We need your help. I am the spokesman of the PPP and PML-N. Asif Zardari asked me to get in touch with you.”

“What can we do for you?”

“A lot. We are moving a motion to get President Pervez Musharraf impeached. We are short of a few MPs to get two-thirds’ majority. We know you are good in organising such things at short notice. We want the motion passed in Parliament. But the thing is we don’t have the required numbers.”

“Leave that to us. But it could cost you a lot. First we have to get the opposing MPs to vote for your side. Then we have to tail your MPs. Finally, there’s our fees, too.”

“Why tail our MPs? They are OK. They are with us.”

“Oh, are they! You don’t understand the back side of democracy!! We may have to use ‘Resort Politics’ to keep your MPs like a flock of sheep and shepherd them to a resort so that Musharraf and his men can’t poach them. We move them from resort to resort and bring them directly to the House on the day of voting. Sometimes you may to have to change the bus midstream so that nobody has a clue where you are taking them next. Their mobiles will have to be confiscated temporarily. You will learn all this by and by.”

“You guys are so good in these things! What’s your fee?”

“Double of what we charged here.”

“You will make sure the motion for impeachment will be passed?”

“We never quote without making sure of the result. 50% payment before the job balance after the job.”

Tring, tring.

“Hang on. There’s another call. Hello!”

“Am I speaking to Indian Confederation of MPs: iCON?”

“Yes, you are. Who’s speaking? What do you want?”

“I am a member of PML-N Party in Islamabad. The PPP and PML-Q parties are planning to bring an impeachment motion on our President Janab Musharraf. We want to defeat the motion. You are listed under ‘Save Democracy’ in Google. I got your number from your ambassador. We want your help.”

“Hold on for a sec.”

“Sorry for putting you on the hold. Let me know how you are making the payment. Call me in the evening.”

“Hello! You want our help to defeat the motion to impeach president Musharraf. Am I right?”

“That’s right. Kaam pakka hojana chaahiye. What are your charges?”

“Four times what we charged for the Indian job.”

“That’s too much.”

“It‘s tough saving the Head of a State. We don’t have any experience in this sort of a thing. We want to make it foolproof. The other side may use ‘Resort’ politics. We have to have a counter plan. Will do your job. Apart from cash we want CDs of Ghulam Ali, Mehndi Hassan and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.”

“Don’t worry about that. Will send CDs and also arrange a separate bhaitak of mian Ghulam Ali at your house. Our job should be done.”

Kaam ho gaya, samjho.”

***

Nobody knows for sure what will happen. But one thing is certain. There’s bound to be some Indian Hand in this.