Monday, September 7, 2009

The Moving Finger.

The late Z . A . Bhutto was no relation of mine nor was the late Saddam Hussein . Yet the manner of their death touched me no less .
After being deposed in 1977, Bhutto was made to face the farcical drama of a criminal trial, the likely verdict of which was anybody's guess.Within less than two years of being overthrown, Bhutto was sentenced to death by hanging and the sentence was executed in April, 1979. I still remember having heard the late General. Zia ul Haq say over the telephone, in a BBC broadcast “ the higher you go, the harder the fall ”. Ironically these same words proved prophetic, a little more than nine years after Bhutto’s death, when, one ‘fateful’ morning, sitting in a remote corner of the State, I heard someone saying in chaste Pahari “ Jia mari gaya oye.... " meaning Zia is dead. In this case the fall was harder for Zia himself , who was responsible for eliminating the late Bhutto, and died in an air crash and virtually fell from a much greater height .
Zia’s death still remains a mystery and there are many who believe that it was a conspiracy . Inspired by this event , Mohammed Hanif in his debut novel , “A Case of Exploding Mangoes”, has put forth various theories including that of emission of gas from a container purported to be carrying mangoes but no definite conclusion could be drawn .

This is no secret that President Bush was out to eliminate Saddam Hussein, at any cost and to justify his actions, raised the bogey of Weapons of Mass Destruction, allegedly possessed by the Iraqi dictator. To this day no such WMD have been found and it is more than two years now since Saddam has gone . This brings to my mind the story “The Wolf and the Lamb” with the moral -Might is right .

Is it not ironical then that some of us become arbiters of others’ fate, little knowing what the Moving Finger has written for us . Are these lines of Omar Khayyam:

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it .

-not enough to wake us from our slumber ?

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