A Windfall Awaits Us

Former president Asif Zardari is on the phone with the now convicted prime minister Mian Nawaz Sharif.

“Mian Sahib, I know what you must be going through these days, especially with your wife being so ill, but never lose hope. Initially, I was taken aback when I heard that the Supreme Court will be building dams to help tackle the water crisis, and the court had observed that the government does not want dams to be built because that it isn’t the government’s priority.

“You see how so close to the election, we were being labeled as indifferent,” said Zardari.

“My brother Asif, you are right. These judges have no idea about public life. They think that we are indifferent. Now tell me how many people visit a dam? And now you see how many see and use the bus systems I have built in Lahore and other cities, and the Orange Line Train … hundreds of thousands of people see it 24 hours a day, and tens of thousands use it.

“My brother Asif, at voting time will the people go to see dams and vote for their builder or the projects they see every day!” declared Nawaz Sharif.

“You are right. Mian Sahib, this is why, I immediately instructed Bilawal to talk about it. Instead of waiting for holding a press conference, I told him that he should tell the journalists gathered at our Zardari House in Nawabshah that there was not a single country in the world where the judicial branch of government had constructed any dam. He told them that this job must be left to the government, legislature and executive,” responded Zardari.

“Absolutely, you are right, Zardari Sahib.”

“Mian Sahib, indeed you may done a few bus and rail projects but just see this … the total cost is 101 billion rupees for one dam – the Daimer Bhasha Dam. The government has released 71 billion and now the project needs another 29 billion.

“This means that every adult Pakistani should pay about 200 rupees average. The CJ had paid 1 million from his own pocket… the Army is contributing two days pay. And so many others are paying too, even overseas Pakistanis.

“I am told that in thirty days they collected a few million from the people. Even if we assume, I am told if they collect 20 million per day, then it will take 72,500 days to reach the target, or 199 years.

“At the moment, this fund is being administered by the registrar of the Supreme Court,” Zardari stated.

“My dear brother Asif, the Supreme Court is too busy troubling us … both of us … the real leaders of the people, so how can they manage such a big fund,” agreed Nawaz Sharif.

“Mian Sahib, voting will be on July 25, and a few days later the new government will be formed. This is where lies our opportunity. We will get the parliament to get the fund under our control, and of course start spending. Both you and I, know a few good consultants who know the rates they pay for finder’s fee,” added Zardari as they both guffawed with laughter.

“You are right my brother, yes it is the finder’s fee,” agrees Nawaz Sharif.

“Mian Sahib, you have experience with the ‘qarz utaro, mulk sanwaro’ (pay off the debt, and better the country) scheme, which you did in your second term … if I am right, sometimes in the late 1990s. Yes, our party also has similar experience, in his last year as prime minister, our great and beloved leader … the martyr Zulfikar Ali Bhutto introduced a similar scheme. The television commercials asked everyone to contribute one rupee a day, which would be used for development purposes,” said Zardari.

“Yes, my brother Asif … yes … people were sending me money from everywhere, even from overseas,” agreed Nawaz Sharif.

“The possibilities are endless, Mian Sahib … endless. Let the fund control come to us … the construction and the machinery come later, first we will get going on the land acquisition and resettlement … absolute gold mine. Mian Sahib, a windfall awaits us,” jubilates Zardari.

“My dear brother Asif if your were in London with me right now, we would have toasted with glasses of lassi. Yes … yes … yes … a windfall awaits us,” said Nawaz Sharif raising his own glass of his favored dairy beverage.

Advertisements

No way Mr. Chief Justice

Former president Asif Zardari is in a meeting with his family, besides his three children, Bilawal, Bakhtawar, and Aseefa, there are his sister Faryal Talpur and her husband Mir Munawar Ali Talpur. Also present are his star lawyers Farooq H. Naek, Aitzaz Ahsan, Nayar Bukhari and Latif Khosa to brief them on their legal options.

“Munawar this is election engineering by the establishment through the Supreme Court,” rumbled Zardari.

First they get me and Faryal and all those connected to the 29 ‘benami’ accounts on Exit Control List (ECL), and then the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) constitutes a Joint Investigation Team (JIT), headed by their Sindh chief Munir Ahmed Shaikh, to investigate the matter.

“Now, Munawar, Aitzaz, Latif Khosa … a BS-20 officer, who was earlier serving DIG at the Central Police Office, has been asked to question the first Pakistani president to complete his term.

“No … be warned, you cannot break Asif Zardari with such cheap tricks! They want to prove that our ‘benami’ (no name) accounts were used to channel illicit funds. They want us to explain the accounts and transactions.

“This character assassination campaign is launched against Asif Zardari during elections … We should draw the attention of the Election Commission of Pakistan,” declared Zardari.

Before he could proceed further, his youngest child, daughter Aseefa interjected, “Dad, you should call Dr. Asim Hussain so he can send a doctor from his Ziauddin Hospital to give medical certificates to you and Puffi Faryal.”

“Oh, my little princess, my little angel, yes, you are absolutely right. I have been thinking that President Trump got all his deferments from service in Vietnam due to his bone spurs. We can ask Dr. Asim’s consultant to certify that no doctor in Pakistan knows how to treat bone spurs.

“I just checked on my iPhone that we would need to go to Geneva for the treatment. There is the Hirslanden Clinique La Colline, which is the best-specialized hospitals for medical treatment in Geneva … I do my banking in that city too,” beamed Zardari.

Once again Aseefa interjected, “Dad, lately, I have seen someone has been tweeting the 8th February 2013 report published in The Telegraph headlined, ‘Outrage in Pakistan at multi-million pound home for Benazir Bhutto’s son’… That it cost £32 million … I guess that it is a big sum for some people in Pakistan … and now this report in Daily Mail that Nawaz Sharif’s sons own £32 million worth of properties in London … so our 14-acre house in Lahore is like their several properties in London.

“Last night, you re-hired the lobbyist in Washington, D.C. who worked on your NRO, but now we also need an effective public relations campaigns in this country too. I am afraid these tweets will get some people talking. I would say that we hire the same PR team that worked on the NRO.”

“Yes, my little angel, I am going to do it as soon as their morning hours start.

“We have four lawyers in this room. How could the Supreme Court take suo motu notice of a 2015 probe into what they call suspicious transactions made through 29 ‘benami’ accounts? What is the fuss about $30 million … and now some say $60 million.

“Meanwhile, we have to get this treatment in Geneva project started.

“Thanks God, Bilawal doesn’t need to worry about his elections because people are voting for our nation’s greatest martyrs, his mother, our BB, and his grandfather, our profound leader and guide and our inspiration, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto,” beamed Zardari.

Aitzaz, speaking for himself and his legal colleagues, opined, “Our Mr. President and our dear sister Faryal, you just go there and deny their charges. Simply go and tell them that how could you open these no name accounts when you have never even heard of this term.”

“Yes, just keep calm and outright deny their accusations. You know that there are no lie detectors in Pakistan. Simply it will take time to even to import and then get training on using them. Be assured no can challenge you,” declared Latif Khosa, raising his thumbs in jubilation.

“Yes, you are right Uncle Latif. You know last week when Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar ordered starting construction of the Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams immediately as the country faces impending water crisis, I said the judiciary is not involved in the construction of dams anywhere in the world… the construction of dams is the responsibility of governments… building dams is not judiciary’s job,” roared Bilawal.

“I mean, yes, imagine the Supreme Court issuing dam building contracts. These multibillion projects need the involvement of politicians. The judges don’t know about negotiating prices and commissions and gifts.

“Since the day this Chief Justice … Saqib Nisar has launched his dam fund, donating his own one million rupees, and gotten the Army to contribute two days pay, he is looking to squeeze out cash from anywhere.

“And his target is Asif Ali Zardari. No way Mr. Chief Justice.

“First the arrest of this poor heart patient Hussain Lawai and then they get the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan to ask that the Pakistan Stock Exchange to immediately remove him from his post as their chairman. Is it fair!

“I am afraid, these hunters’ next aim will be Asif Zardari. They will ask the Election Commission of Pakistan to get our party to remove me as co-chair. No way Mr. Chief Justice. Asif Ali Zardari has this,” he points toward the wall adorned with framed copy of his late wife’s alleged will making him the party co-chair.

“No way Mr. Chief Justice.”

Our Salvation Lies in Formula Milk

Izzy Snoutstein and Rachel Gutterberg, president and vice president of the Washington Effective Legislative Action (WELA) are celebrating in their K Street NW office in the nation’s capital. They can’t tire of high-fiving each other.

WELA represents infant formula-milk manufacturers and marketers. Client anonymity refrains them from naming their clients. The $70 billion infant formula industry can’t afford to lose.

It was their lobbying that made the United States threaten nations in an effort to blunt a resolution supporting breastfeeding this spring at the 71st meeting of the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization in May.

The U.S., the New York Times said July 9, threatened retribution on trade and military aid to Ecuador to get it to drop the resolution and at least a dozen countries also avoided the resolution out of fear of the U.S. The U.S. delegation also reportedly suggested cutting U.S. funding for the World Health Organization.

“Phew, Izzy, we got it through. This resolution was calling on governments to protect, promote and support breast-feeding in order to void enriching formula manufacturers,” beamed Gutterberg.

“I know that eventually, Russia introduced the resolution, and we were unable to blunt the measure, but our delegation successfully struck language calling for the international health body to provide technical support for nations seeking to stop ‘inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children,’ and added the phrase ‘evidence based’ to certain provisions.

“This is good news.

“You know what we did to that anti-Semitic UN Human Rights Council. Now this World Health Assembly’s days are numbered.

“Rachel, you really put it very strongly that if this resolution was adopted women would be denied access to formula milk. Here the Times says that spokesperson from the our Department of Health and Human Services told them that the original resolution placed unnecessary hurdles for mothers seeking to provide nutrition to their children.

“The spiel on women being denied access to formula was a winner.

“And yes, the resolution also talked against misleading attempts to sell substitutes for a mother’s milk. It was awful.

“And what about our clients getting all that formula milk business with immigrant children separated from their mothers and put in internment camps. Whoa!

“We can’t stop here because there are studies like that breast milk provides antibodies to babies that helps prevent deadly infections, and also that babies who breast feed have lower incidences of obesity, diabetes, and asthma later in life.

“We have to go into science and get a few studies going that formula milk is better than human milk.

“We have an excellent example when the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA) and Alcoholism, one of the 27 institutes and centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued the U.S. guidelines that say men can safely drink twice as much as women. The threshold for low-risk drinking, the researchers, they said, found, is about seven beers a week for men and women alike. The best of all NIAAA courted the alcohol industry to finance the 10-year $100 million study that could change the American diet, a huge clinical trial that might have well delivered all the medical evidence needed to recommend a daily alcoholic drink as part of a healthy lifestyle.

“Why can’t we! We got to set pronto on preparing a brief for our clients about courting NIH hosting a study paid for by us on the positives of formula milk.

“I am told that a study came out of Florida Atlantic University that pregnancy escalates oxytocin levels and that breastfeeding releases oxytocin, which have anti-depressive effects. Fine, but we have all kinds of antidepressants … Zoloft … Prozac, and you name it,” declared Snoutsetin raising both hands to signal a touchdown.

“Izzy, what a remarkable observation. We can get the pharma industry on this too. Of course there are many of them in the milk producing too … you have Nestlé, Abbott, Mead Johnson and Wyeth, and more. The industries are intertwined and we have a government that walked more than a mile for us. Our pharmaceuticals generate $446 billion. We can do a study that works for us.

“We could spread, Izzy. You read what Macron of France told the BBC in Nigeria a few days that it is overpopulation that causes the refugee crisis. So, we have another positive in our favor that encouraging universal breast-feeding would prevent 800,000 child deaths a year. I am sure they are talking about Third or Fourth world babies, not Americans! Do we need another 800,000 refugees?

“We can get all enviros on our side because dairy cow flatulence is increasingly being targeted in the fight against global warming. We can get studies to show how little of bovine products go into formula milk. And why not adults too drinking an adult version of formula milk, which results in reducing use of bovine milk!

“We got to get that NIH study on and now to instill the fear of human milk. Fear is the word!

“Our salvation lies in formula milk,” beamed Rachel Gutterberg triumphantly like a child finding the tooth fairy’s largesse under her pillow.

Lobbyists in Washington D.C. Count

The ripples that may lead to intimidating waves moved the former president Asif Zardari to summon a meeting of his family and top legal advisors. Besides his three children, Bilawal, Bakhtawar, and Aseefa, and sister Faryal Talpur, there was lawyer Sardar Latif Khosa, who last year, successfully got the name of accused currency smuggler and fashion model Ayyan Ali removed from the Exit Control List (ECL), allowing her to go abroad; there was also the much prized Farooq H. Naek Naek who had gotten the former president acquitted in nine corruption cases, and was also serving as counsel, when on March 30, 2017, the Sindh High Court granted bail to former Sindh information minister Shajeel Inam Memon in a corruption case. Earlier, Memon had fled abroad to escape arrest. Also present was Anwar Mansoor Khan, the lawyer, who last year successfully argued for removal of former petroleum minister Dr. Asim Hussain’s name from the ECL, permitting him to travel abroad for medical treatment.

Another attendee is former federal Minister of Defense Production Abdul Qayyum Khan Jatoi.

“Just this week a few from our party were jubilating that Mian Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Safdar had been found guilty and handed prison terms,” toned the former president gravely.

Jatoi interrupted, “Our honorable leader, we lost the opportunities to overhaul the legal system of Pakistan. You know that nine years ago, I had declared that “corruption peh hamara haq hey!” (corruption is our right). We should have gotten that put in the books.”

The former president continued, “Thanks to the good work done by you, Latif Khosa now Ayyan Ali is out of reach and Anwar Mansoor due your work, Dr. Asim is out of reach too. But now the Supreme Court has now placed me and Faryal and eighteen of our other friends on ECL in the fake bank accounts case, and have summoned the seven fake bank account holders and 13 beneficiaries on July 12.

“This is turning to be alarming. And we don’t have BB whose charisma helped us get NRO.

“Bilawal, you should go tonight and meet with your aunt, your mother’s friend, Theresa May and solidify her support for us. No need to visit your constituency. Your one Lyari visit is enough because the voters are voting for your late mother, BB, and your grandfather, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto – our nation’s two greatest martyrs.

“Abdul Qayyum Jatoi perhaps you may not know but it was our BB who introduced the then Theresa Brasier to Philip May at Oxford and they became a couple. I am sure that Theresa is forever indebted to her and our family for this favor.

“Bilawal’s visit is important because only two months ago, Britain was enacting a legislation that would require British Overseas Territories to publicly reveal the true owners of companies as a key step towards preventing the purchase of U.K. property with suspicious wealth. Thankfully, however, the Labor amendment that would have tried to force the crown dependencies into disclosing the true owners of companies was dropped.

“I am much concerned because these self-appointed do-gooders are trouble. Now this head of advocacy at Transparency International UK, Rachel Davies Teka is asking the authorities to investigate the London-based assets identified in Nawaz Sharif’s conviction and to ensure that he and his family are no longer able to enjoy any properties that have been bought with the proceeds of corruption. She also asked the U.K. must look into any other potentially criminal U.K.-based assets owned by the Sharif family. She says that this will serve as an important test as to how serious the May government is on cracking down on the prevalence of corrupt money in London. More so she said that laundering of dirty money is not confined to Russian oligarchs and it is important that they target illicit assets wherever they originate from.

“All this talk is fine but there is always hope. If you may have noted that despite all these declarations, the British authorities did not properly assist their Pakistani counterparts during this Nawaz investigation. Bilawal’s intercession with Prime Minister Theresa will not be in vain.

“Indeed I am heavily invested in these British territories … Cayman and all. I am already mapping other possibilities. But meanwhile, I think that I should re-hire BKSH & Associates in Washington, DC, who helped us with 2007 NRO, to court American lawmakers, elite media and think tanks to advocate for democracy in Pakistan. At that time we only paid them $250,000 for six months of work. But money is no matter … a few hundred thousands is fine with me. Also, I will get our friends in Washington, D.C. to start their work. There is the absolutely loyal senator Dr. Akbar Khawaja, and there is Rafat Mahmood who can collect quite a few American leaders at his home. For them friendship is more important that morality.

“You remember the scare that was created by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) detaining our Dr. Asim Hussain. Now they have deployed the same tactics by picking up Hussain Lawai. I mean that man is vice-chairman of the Summit Bank.

“It is a joke … the FIA Director General Bashir Memon told the Supreme Court that Rs. 35 billions — $29 million — were transferred to 29 fake bank accounts … so much noise for this measly $29 million!

“I can only blame myself. When I was president I should have voided the suo moto authority of these courts.

“Now so many good people … people who love our great martyrs, BB and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto … these great people were doing such great work, running so many of our fake accounts.

“But now is the time to act. Bilawal is flying to London immediately and I am getting in touch with BKSH & Associates in Washington. You all know that lobbyists in Washington D.C. count.

Team Selection Matters

Former President Asif Zardari has called the now convicted former Prime Minister Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif at his son’s home in London to express solidarity with him.

“Mian Sahib, it is really a sad day for Pakistan that our contributions are not being valued and we are being hounded. I sincerely sympathize with you. I wish that you had a team like mine.

“You will remember the NRO that Gen. Pervez Musharraf was obliged to sign after he was pressured by President George W. Bush. Under the NRO, the Criminal Code of Procedure was amended to withdraw all cases against BB and me, and our party stalwarts filed by the government between January 1, 1986 and October 12, 1999. But you know things are not as simple as they seem.

“In February 2007, BB and I signed a contract with BKSH & Associates in Washington, DC to court American lawmakers, elite media and think tanks to advocate for democracy in Pakistan. Yes, my brother, democracy!

“We only paid them $250,000 for six months of work. See the work they did. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) introduced a resolution that U.S. aid to Pakistan should be determined by its ability to hold “free, fair and inclusive elections,” which then Senators Joseph Biden  and John Kerry cosponsored.

“And to go with it since October 2004, we had the Public-relations firm T. Dean Reed to represent us. Till 2007, we had paid them about $70,000. We chose BKSH with care: The “B” in BKSH is for Charlie Black, a Republican lobbyist and former Reagan administration official. The campaign has Democratic connections as well: Mark Penn was a top adviser to then Hillary … Sen. Hillary Clinton, was president of Penn Schoen and CEO of Burson-Marsteller, the corporate owner of BKSH.

The campaign focused on the press by scheduling editorial board meetings for BB with The New York Times and The Washington Post and targeted top journalists like Fareed Zakaria, who was then with Newsweek and New York Times columnist Tom Friedman.

“Mian Sahib, you also acknowledge our late BB’s foresight. Our contract arrived at a tense time when relations between Musharraf and the American government had soured.

“Our NRO was a smart move. It worked twice over for me. It allowed me safe passage to parliament (the president is part of it) and therefore gave me immunity. And it robbed my opponents of any opportunity to hit me.

“Mian Sahib, I am not trying to run you down. But while you put in what is about $40 million in London real estate but you left America unattended. And see what I did … I invested in America, England, France and Belgium, plus all the dozens of offshore accounts and the money kept in several Swiss banks, British banks and banks in Dubai.

Since 1996, I have retained Farooq Naek as my personal lawyer and legal counselor. What a man. Brilliant! No one has any hope before him. And I have rewarded him well. He has been our senator from Karachi since 2003. Twice he was our federal law minister. I also got him a 3-year term as Chairman of Senate.

“You remember when that girl Ayyan Ali got stopped at Karachi airport with a briefcase filled with half-a-million dollars, I put Farooq Naek as her attorney. Ayyan Ali is free. No one mentions her. When Dr. Asim Hussain was charged with a list of wrongs worth billions, and jailed, again I let Farooq Naek do the job. Now Dr. Asim is the chairperson of the Sindh Higher Education Commission.

“You remember that when this chief justice Chaudhury Iftikhar tried to get my Swiss cases reopened and my Swiss banks accounts pried, not only I had Farooq Naek on the job but also our great stalwart prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. What a guy as the Americans would say. Mian Sahib, you remember when we had that huge flood in 2010 and Emine Erdoğan, the Turkish first lady, who was visiting with her husband Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, donated her necklace for flood victims. Our great guy, Yousuf Raza simply pocketed it! I will say it again, what a guy! The estimated price of that necklace then was Rs. 1.6 million when 60 rupees equaled an American dollar. Now were at Rs 125.

“Mian Sahib, I wish you had asked. I would have recommended Farooq Naek. Not just that, I would have recommended you hire a lobbyist in Washington.

“Mian Sahib, don’t you agree that I excel in team selection. Just see Farooq Naek … Yousuf Raza … and so many … each of them more loyal to me, my children, and my family than a dog would be to his master.

“Mian Sahib, I only wish that you had invested in America too … that you had invested in lobbying in America … that you had Farooq Naek as your lawyer.

“Mian Sahib, not only Imran Khan keeps saying that he will come after me too and do what he has done to you, and also I also keep hearing rumors that those who tormented you are aiming to imprison me.

“Mian Sahib, no one can touch me … no one can touch my business and real estate ventures in so many countries. You need to acknowledge that skimming people’s money also requires building a team that can keep every problem brushed aside. My dear brother never forget that team selection matters.

Sanction Canada

JJ “Big Shot” Gutterwulf, founder and president of the Original Wild Boar Frankfurters, Inc., the first real wild boar cold cuts, and Rick Weedsbush, president of Weedsbush Plumbing Supplies, are at their favorite watering hole, the Dimwits Lantern. They toast with their 12-oz. cans of their favorite drink, Pabst Blue Ribbon.

“Rick, we finally got a guy with a heart in the White House. Wow, the way he ripped up this sissy kid from Canada. Wow, some folks called that place ‘America’s affable neighbor’ … our Donald, called this Justin ‘dishonest and weak’,” gushed Big Shot.

“Yeah, Bigs, can’t trust these maple suckers. Imagine how Justin would be stuttering when our great guy reminded him of the War of 1812, that these guys burned down the White House after American freedom-fighters attacked then-British colony York, Ontario,” declared Rick.

History didn’t matter that it was the British and not Canadian troops who set fire to the White House.

“Really Rick! I didn’t know that these maple suckers are so nasty. Next they will be in Milwaukee burning down the PBR brewery. No Sir! They can’t do that! We will dry up the Niagara Falls and run their farms dead,” roared Big Shot.

“Bigs, I say no one should trust these foreigners, even the white ones. Do you know why these two showy guys made things so awful, it was to getting our President to leave early? Man this French guy Macron and Justin had been planning not to tell Trump the location of their G-7 after party. Yes Sir! I have it from reliable sources that there was agreement among the non-American participants to withhold information about the time, place, and existence of an after party from our President,” Rick confided.

“Yes Sir. Bigs this guy Justin is trouble. I hear that our President caught him for making false statements. I mean if he was American … there you have a trial under perjury and in the dump for five years plus be paying fines. This Justin was calling that our tariffs were kind of insulting and did you hear, Justin says that he ‘will not be pushed around’. I mean Canada! … not pushed around … Ha …,” declared Rick banging his PBR can on the table.

“Wow … ‘not pushed around’ … didn’t Justin hear how the North Korea guy … that Kim Jong-un got on his hands and knees and begged for our President to meet with him. I will say that Justin is delusional … he charges 270% duty on our dairy and doesn’t want us to charge duty on his steel and aluminum. Rick, I don’t mind paying more for PBR cans if this aluminum duty fixes up Justin.

“He has already slapped tariffs on $12.8 billion worth of our exports, including metals, toilet paper, ballpoint pens and pizza. Even pizza … Rick, how much more mean one can one get … pizza. Like Justin thinks that we will die if we can’t export our pizza.

“Na … the President can ask his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to call the Saudi crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman and he will buy duty-free three times more American pizza than Justin can tax!,” thundered Big Shot.

“Bigs, did you hear that our President said that he will tax their cars coming into America. He said that the cars are the big one.

“Truly, I didn’t know that they made cars. Never heard of a Canadian car. I thought that these Canuck lived on maple syrup like the Saudis live on oil.

“Coming here, I heard on the radio that Canada’s new countermeasures also apply to a long list of consumer items, including American whisky, lawnmowers, yogurt, ketchup and maple syrup.

“Justin is evil. He is targeting our leaders. This whisky tax is aimed to hit our Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who represents Kentucky, which has a sizable bourbon whisky industry. And Vermont, with its established maple syrup industry, is represented by Bernie Sanders. Well, this Bernie thing I don’t mind. He is just a loud voice in Congress,” declared Rick.

“Rick, I would tell our President that he first he calls the Saudi prince called MBS and asks him to import duty-free everything that Justin wants to tariff. And our President should tax everything Canadian hard … not just that he should do what he is doing to Iran … Just sanction Canada.”

I Have Better Pets

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is visiting former president Asif Zardari at his $50 million dollar Bilawal House in Lahore.

Nawaz Sharif is worried that his nemesis Imran Khan is hurdling ahead of him in more ways than one.

After exchanging niceties, Nawaz Sharif opens the discussion, “Zardari Sahib, did you hear it too. I learn that Imran Khan keeps a pet dog or two.

“I clearly suspect that he is keeping this pet dog to show that like American presidents, he too keeps a pet. I think that it is a sinister move on his part to look like the most powerful men in the world.

“Zardari Sahib, I am told that all American presidents have had pet dogs, and even though I hear that Trump does not have a dog but his vice president Pence has nearly a zoo of pets! My daughter Maryam was telling me that when Obama got elected, he did not have a dog, but the day he won the election, he announced that he will get a dog, and then the now late Senator Edward Kennedy arranged a puppy for him. Not only that, later Obama got one more dog on his own.

“I have this feeling that Imran is keeping his dog because he thinks that keeping dogs brought good luck to all those people like Bill Clinton, Bush, and Obama. I don’t see no good in this, my dear Zardari Sahib.”

“My dear Nawaz Sharif Sahib, although you know that I have either a BA or BS or MA or MS from the London School of Education, I did not keep a dog. Yes, I graduated from the London school …”

“Excuse me, may I ask Zardari Sahib, but you went to school in Cadet College Petaro, then why you went to school again in London?”

“No, my dear Mian Nawaz Sharif Sahib, while even our colleges change their names when they start giving higher degrees, like Government College University, or King Edward Medical College University, but the fashion in London is to keep their old name …”

“Zardari Sahib, I think this may have to do with benefitting from your brand name like Tibet Snow cream will call their toothpaste Tibet Snow Toothpaste!”

“Mian Sahib, we digressed a little bit. We were talking about the issue of keeping pets. But let me digress a little too. You know I may have gotten my BA or BS or MA or MS from the London School of Education but I got more education from sitting in the ticket booth in my father’s Bambino Cinema in Karachi.”

“Indeed Zardari Sahib, doing sales is very good education. When my father was running the Ittefaq Foundry, I used sit in the sales office, I would show the customer 1/4” inch steel sheets and deliver them 1/8th inch sheets. If anyone asked, I would tell them that steel settles in transportation.”

“Really, Mian Sahib, you are nearly a genius like me. So let us get back to our topic of today, about keeping pets.

“You know I have a pir, my spiritual mentor, Pir Mohammed Ijaz. He told me that democracy is sexually transmitted. And so right is he! This is why I don’t need a pet. I have people around me who rigorously believe that democracy is sexually transmitted. Let me give you just one example. I have Aitizaz Ahsan, he is educated in Cambridge University and is a barrister, and he is more loyal to our family than any dog would be to his master because he believes that democracy is sexually transmitted. You see he was equally loyal to our two greater martyrs, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir, as he is loyal to me and my three children, Bilawal, Bakhtawar, and Aseefa. He says that our family alone has the ruler genes …”

“But my dear friend, Zardari Sahib, I have never seen Aitizaz wearing jeans! Really he says your family has the jeans!”

“So Mian Sahib, let Imran Khan keep one hundred dogs but I have loyal puppies like Aitizaz Ahsan, and more.

“Zardari Sahib, I cannot say this for myself because quite a few people whom I thought were loyal to me have run to Imran Khan … Even after 35 years Chaudhry Nisar Ali has shown me his eyes.”

“Mian Sahib, may God bless you but I have better pets than Imran Khan. And all of them firmly believe that democracy is sexually transmitted.”