ANJUM ibrahim

Who’s not home-grown?

“So who do you reckon was the best finance minister we have had?”

“In recent memory?”

“Well, how recent are you talking about?”

“Recent means not too long ago.”

“Are you getting some training from The Khan’s economic leadership?”

“OK, so Hafeez Sheikh does not respond to difficult queries with verifiable data, has been known to be economical with data, projects macroeconomic indicators for the ongoing year that convinces no one and…”

“It convinces your Prime Minister.”

“OK, but then the Prime Minister orders him to hold another press conference and convince the unconvinced that the current strategy is the right one…”

“Which he dutifully does, though he does what he did in the first press conference: spend around 20 to 25 minutes praising the policies that are fuelling inflation, contracting output with layoffs, and then directs those he insists attend the press conference with him to respond to all difficult queries. But on the few occasions that he responds himself the response is not backed by data (other than with respect to current account that the media gets from the State Bank website) and then winds it all up in one hour.”

“The International Monetary Fund has done a number on him, I mean saying that the programme is home-grown…”

“Well, if the Pakistan team of negotiators agree to the conditions as Messers Sheikh and Baqir did then technically it is home grown.”

“Does the IMF team realise that neither Sheikh nor Baqir is home-grown…”

“Only in terms of experience but they have one thing in common with The Khan’s early years.”

“I can’t think of anything, The Khan was world famous, was known as a play boy, was the captain of a team that won the world cup and…and…he was idealistic and….oh you are not referring to Sheikh and Khan’s first wife being Western women as the commonality?”

“No, not at all, the Khan was known as Brown sahib during his early years and viola! Messrs Sheikh and Baqir epitomize Brown sahibs and…”

“Hey back off, this is personal and…”

“I didn’t say it.”

“Who did?”

“Our Ivanka.”

“Stop lying, Jehangir Tareen would never ever…”

“OK, OK, how about our Eric Trump you know Sheikh Rashid.”

“That’s possible though I doubt he would dare say anything that would irritate The Khan.”

“Well, not till the wind changes its course.”