All nations have armies. One army has a nation.

Using the latest in satellite technology, E.R. RAMACHANDRAN plugs into three telephone conversations:

***

“Hello! Is this Mr. Zardari?”

“Yes, Zardari speaking. May I know who it is on the line, if you please?”

“Clinton, Hillary Clinton. We are glad you followed our advice for the day. Tomorrow I will call again and tell you what to do. Please make notes as we talk. OK?  Meanwhile don’t get into any trouble.”

“Thanks, madam. I will be ready for your call.”

**

“Hello! How are you Mr. Gilani? This is Hillary. Have you received my point-by-point instructions and also answers from India for your 30 questions? You must have, by now.”

“I have not yet seen today’s daak, madam- Secretary.”

“When you open your mail, it will all be there.  Listen. We have been telling you for the last three months that you must do ‘more’. We want you to take some real action. What you have done so far is just not enough.  Understand? I will call you tomorrow evening. I want to go over with you each reply from India and action required from you. OK?”

“OK, madam.”

“By the way, it was a good show to reinstate Justice Chaudhry.”

“Thank you madam. Direct orders from our President.”

“Oh! Is it? A good move, I must say. And Nawaz Sharif’s Long March was also controlled in time.”

“That was Gen. Kayani’s orders madam.”

“Good. Nice to see everything working so well. Will call you again tomorrow.”

**

“Hello! General Kayani?”

“Yes, Kayani speaking. Who is this?”

“General Casey. We talked just before Mr. Sharif’s long march.”

“We did as you had instructed, Sir. We averted the long march.”

“Good.”

“Anything you want us to do, General?”

“Yes, indeed. Are you aware that Talibans come in ‘good’ and ‘bad’ shapes something like ‘good’ cholesterol and ‘bad’ cholesterol? We want you to sort out the good ones from the bad. Our President wants to start a dialogue with the good ones. You can charge us for sorting out the Talibans.”

“OK, Sir. Anything else, General?”

“There’s one more thing.  Do you know anything about Hindu Kush?”

“Hindu always means something to do with Hindustan. Why do you ask, General?”

“It has got something to do with Osama Bin Laden.”

“Nobody believed us when we claimed that India has all along been hiding bin Laden. That is why Hindus are Kush, I mean happy. If you had let us attack India, we could have got bin Laden dead or alive as your ex-president wanted.”

“General Kayani! Hindu Kush is a mountain range connecting Pakistan with Afghanistan! We have information he is hiding there. No wonder you created a Kashmir problem all these years fighting for it when it was not yours! I will call you again and instruct you what to do tomorrow. OK?”

“Yes Sir.”

***

As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looked on, Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr, remarked, “It’s awfully hard to run two armies at a time, especially one on a satellite phone. I don’t know how you  are running democracy in Pakistan by remote.  We must ask the President to double our salary or at least for a bonus!”