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Good Cop, Bad Cop - Game of Deception
[For this month's Satire issue, Kashmir Herald through its deep-throat contacts managed to get the transcript of a discussion between Pakistani Dictator-Chief Executive-President-Commander-in-Chief Pervez Musharraf, his political advisors, Pakistani religious leaders and ISI Generals. Here we present that discussion.]
Venue: Somewhere in Pakistani tribal area close to Afghan border.
When: Few days after September 11, 2001 attacks on America.
Pervez Musharraf: Salaam Wale-kum! Please have a seat.
Everyone: Wale-kum usSalaam!
Musharraf: Hope you all are doing fine. Let us get right to the business.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman [Head of the pro-Taliban Jamat Ulema Islami (JUI)]: Pervez Bhai, Can we first ask why we are here?
Musharraf: Sure. You will know in a second. First of all, let me make it very clear to all of you. Anything we say here is going to stay here, within these walls. If we found anybody leaking out anything, you know what ISI can do. ISI has everybody's address. So be careful.
Lt. Gen. Mahmud Ahmed [ISI Chief]: (grins….) You are absolutely right about that.
Musharraf: Now let me come back to business. As you all know, our country is right now standing between deep sea and the devil. Osama Bhai and Bhai Mullah Omar have put us in a very delicate situation. By attacking America in such a daring manner, not that there is anything wrong with that, they have made our situation a little difficult.
Qazi Hussain Ahmed [Vice President of (MMA) Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal and Chief of Jamaat-i-Islami (JI)]: How so?
Musharraf: I just finished talking to America's Foreign Minister Secretary Colin Powell. You know he has been my buddy since his military days. We go a long way.
Lt. Gen. Mahmud Ahmed: What does he want?
Musharraf: He wants our help in removing Taliban from Afghanistan and capturing Shaikh Osama.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman: No way. How could we do that? They are our brothers. We created and supported them, for our own selfish reasons. You better tell him to take a hike.
Musharraf: It is not that easy, Fazlur Bhai. I wish I could do that. After all, Osama and Omar are my brothers too. Not only brothers, they are my heroes too.
Qazi Hussain Ahmed: But?
Musharraf: But what? Haven't you heard what George Bush said? "You are either with us or against us." Remember?
Lt. Gen. Mahmud Ahmed: So?
Musharraf: So, we have a choice. Either we don't help and face Daisy-cutters or we help and save our skin. You do know what Daisy-cutters are? Don't you?
Maulana Fazlur Rehman: I know. I know what Daisy-cutters are. So you are basically saying that we don't have a choice.
Musharraf: You got that right. We don’t have a choice. The choice is pretty much made for us. But here is the kicker.
Qazi Hussain Ahmed: What is that?
Musharraf: Here is my plan. Even if we know that we don’t have a choice, we are going to act differently. This is our opportunity to use Amereekan Infidel’s money for our own purposes.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman: How so?
Musharraf: I am suggesting that we support Amereeka in toppling Taliban but demand billions of US dollars before we give any kind of support.
Lt. Gen. Mahmud Ahmed: Topple Taliban? No way. Do you expect us to support it?
Musharraf: Mahmud, didn’t you hear what Fazlur Mian said? We don’t have a choice. So how can you not support it? The question is how can we play a double game and still be good guys and rake in billions of dollars. Think. Think hard.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman: Are you saying that we will help American capture brothers Osama and Mullah Omar?
Musharraf: Did I say that? Here is what I am planning and you all listen to me. Listen hard. Before you jump up and down, listen hard and think hard.
Qazi Hussain Ahmed: We are listening.
Lt. Gen. Mahmud Ahmed: We are listening.
Musharraf: Here is the plan. I am going to turn our back on Taliban. And when I say, "I am going to", I mean Pakistani Government. Fazlur, that does not include you guys. That is where we are going to play in tandem and play the double game. We are going to be good-cop and you are going to be bad-cop.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman: Why do we have to be bad-cop? What if we get caught?
Musharraf: Don’t worry. Who is going to catch you? We three have to work together as a well-oiled machine.
Qazi Hussain Ahmed: We three? Who is the third one?
Musharraf: Fazlur…Fazlur…You never learn…ISI…Remember, they run the show behind the scenes. I will run the show in the front with US as an ally. You will continue to support Double-O and ISI will manage the show between two of us.
Lt. Gen. Mahmud Ahmed: You got that right, Musharraf.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman: Double-O? Are we working with James Bond as well?
Musharraf: No. I meant Osama and Omar.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman: Oh! Got it.
Musharraf: So did you get the plan?
Maulana Fazlur Rehman: Kind of.
Musharraf: Let me repeat it for all of you. We three (You, ISI and I) will have specific roles in this big game. I am going to act as a staunch ally of US in this war on terror. You will continue to support and harbor our Taliban and Al-Qaeda friends.
Lt. Gen. Mahmud Ahmed: (interrupting Musharraf….) And we will provide the needed funding and logistical support to all the concerned parties.
Musharraf: Right you are. In this game, we will lose some critical assets, both living as well non-living. But that is the price we have to pay in order to get the big green dollars. If we big fish have to survive, we will have to sacrifice a few little fish. So let us be very careful.
Qazi Hussain Ahmed: But what if America pressures you to go after Double O?
Musharraf: I have a plan to tackle that as well.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman: And what is that?
Lt. Gen. Mahmud Ahmed: (again interrupting Musharraf…) ISI will help Double-O to get across the Afghan border and move around in tribal areas along the border.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman: How is that going to help? That is all the more trouble. They will be now in Pak territory.
Musharraf: Try to understand. As you all know, Pakistani government machinery has never ventured into tribal areas. And it is very dangerous to do that. So I am going to use that as an excuse for a while. Then we are going to have assembly elections very soon.
Qazi Hussain Ahmed: How are elections going to help?
Musharraf: Can you let me finish? Like all the elections, we are…I mean Mahmud and his gang is going to manage the election. And do you know who is going to win in tribal areas?
Maulana Fazlur Rehman: Who?
Maulana Fazlur Rehman: How come? We have never gotten more than 5% of votes in any election. Isn't that the past record?
Lt. Gen. Mahmud Ahmed: Who cares about the past record? We can easily change the record. Remember, how we managed the wiring of $100,000 from Omar Sayeed Shaikh to Mohammed Atta for September 11 attacks? Fazlur, I am sure you are aware of our capabilities.
Musharraf: Mahmud, let us not talk about Omar and $100,000. Coming back to the point, Fazlur, since local population's anti-US sentiments are at its peak, we can easily justify the religious parties win in tribal areas. Also, I am going to ban other political parties from contesting the elections. That would leave people with no option but you. So once you win the elections, you rule that part of the country. And thus continue to give shelter to Double-O. I will be making some harsh statements against fundamentalist folks belonging to Taliban and Al-Qaeda. But those are for Powell's consumption. You guys have to stay mum and not be concerned about those statements. Remember that at the end of the day, we are all brothers. Meanwhile, I will keep my friend Powell busy with my promises.
Lt. Gen. Mahmud Ahmed: Musharraf, I will cover up $100,000 transfer deal. But you better keep Amreekans away from Omar. They shouldn’t be able to lay their hands on him.
Qazi Hussain Ahmed: (interjecting…) How long can we play this double game?
Musharraf: As long as we can. And I have to plan for that as well.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman: And what is that, Pervez Bhai?
Musharraf: This is where ISI is going to pitch in. Every time, we feel that America is getting itchy and/or we need more money, we have to give up somebody. At critical junctures, we will provide tips to FBI/CIA and/or arrest some low-level Al-Qaeda operative. That would keep the Powell and his folks in good humor.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman: So what is the next step, Pervez Mian?
Lt. Gen. Mahmud Ahmed: You will be informed of next step at the right moment by ISI.
Musharraf: Remember I don't talk to you guys. I am the good guy. You are the bad guys. So let us keep that distance. Let us keep criticizing each other in public. And let us keep working together behind-the-scenes via ISI channel.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman: And let us keep stashing US Dollars in our Swiss accounts.
Musharraf: I didn't hear that.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman: Sorry Bhai.
Musharraf: Also, time and again, depending upon the situation and the heat of the matter, I will ban some organizations that are waging jehad in Kashmir and other parts of the world.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman: Kashmir! Pervez Mian, Afghanistan is OK. But we can't dump Kashmir. No way! (stands to leave….)
Musharraf: Sit down! (raises his voice…) Use your brain. Did I say I am going to give up on Kashmir? All I am saying is that circumstances might force me to ban some of such organizations. But we will do it carefully. We will once again work through our brothers in ISI and inform our Mujahideen brothers before issuing banning orders. We will give them enough notice to change their names and transfer money from their accounts. Once again, remember I have to take these steps. I am the good guy. I am the guy who is going to get you green dollars. So stay put, relax and keep doing what you do best. Is everybody clear?
Maulana Fazlur Rehman: Yes, Jenaab.
Musharraf: Fine. I have to leave now. Remember that we never met and we never talked.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman: What meeting?
Musharraf: That's right. What meeting?