If you are upset that your smooth talking neighbourhood shopkeeper put some rotten mangoes into your basket without your knowledge well this should really give you pause. some smart people in our “friendly” neighbouring country have found more creative uses for the humble fruit.
Twenty years after Pakistan’s military dictator General Zia-ul Haq died in a mysterious aircrash, Mohammed Hanif assembles a brilliant fictional account of the events leading to the likely assassination in his book “A Case of Exploding Mangoes”. Actually it is only a brand new conspiracy theory in the making narrated supposedly through the eyes of someone who had a lucky escape. because no one will ever know what really happened.The cover-up was as good as the Nepali Royal massacre more than a decade later.
You might have seen me on TV after the crash. The clip is short and everything in it is sun-bleached and slightly faded. It was pulled after the first two bulletins because it seemed to be having an adverse impact on the morale of the country’s armed forces. You can’t see it in the clip but we are walking towards Pak One, which is parked behind the cameraman’s back, in the middle of the runway. The aeroplane is still connected to an auxiliary fuel pump, and surrounded by a group of alert commandos in camouflaged uniforms. With its dull grey fuselage barely off the ground, the plane looks like a beached whale contemplating how to drag itself back to the sea, its snout dropping with the enormity of the task ahead.
The only witness to that televised walk, the only one to have walked that walk, would be completely ignored.Because if you missed that clip, you probably missed me. Like history itself. I was the one who got away.
Yes, sir, I was the one who got away.
The name Shigri didn’t figure in the terms of reference, the investigators from the FBI ignored me and I never had to sit under a naked bulb and explains the circumstances that led to me being present at the scene of the incident. I didn’t even figure in the stories concocted to cover up the truth. Even the conspiracy theories which saw un unidentified flying object colliding with the presidential plane, or deranged eyewitnesses who saw a surface-to-air missile being fired from a lone donkey’s back didn’t bother to spin any yarns about the boy in uniform with one hand on the scabbard of his sword, stepping forward, saluting, then smiling and walking away. I was the only one who boarded that plane and survived.
Even got a lift back home.
If you did see the clip you might have wondered what this boy with mountain features is doing in the desert, why he is surrounded by four-star generals, why he is smiling. It’s because I have had my punishment. As Obaid would have said, there is poetry in committing a crime after you have served your sentence. I do not have much interest in poetry but punishment before a crime does have a certain sing-song quality to it. The guilty commit the crime, the innocent are punished. That’s the world we live in.[link]
The Video on the Assassination of General Zia of Pakistan.