Afghan President Hamid Karzai is quiet resourceful when it comes to creating ripples in the media. And that is the only thing he is good at. With American generals and NATO troops protecting Kabul, the Afghan president tirelessly designs colorful robes, worn in a funny way amid high profile dignitaries. The happy-go-lucky Afghan was enjoying limelight in Bonn when his peaceful country fell prey to terrorism.
While everyone condemned the gory killing of 58 Shiite pilgrims, Mr Karzai sacrificed his shopping trip to London where mercury and prices nosedive ahead of the Christmas. No wonder, only a dedicated, full-time statesman would do so. For once, he thought of a quick stop-over in the United Kingdom. But in the interest of visually-starved, electronic media back home, the Afghan president descended on the Kabul airport. Soon, a bunch of loyal American commandoes enveloped their beloved friend and shipped him to the president palace where Afghan and western journalists dashed to record his fireworks.
Beaming at cameras lined up in the arrival lounge, Karzai soon wore angry look, denouncing terrorism in the free land of Afghanistan whose prosperity and sovereignty irked the larger eastern neighbor.
Courtesy his superb PR skills, each question came loaded with an answer. With brilliance and bit of an India-educated graduate, he shot verbal hellfire missiles on Pakistan, categorically blaming its government of disrupting the most peaceful atmosphere of a land with zero crime rate and stockpiles of wheat and gold.
The press conference was quite a success with three dozen SLR cameras and roughly an equal number of TV journalist shooting and filming him in a brand new signature attire, dramatic facial expressions and animated body language. While leaving the press room, he directed his Tajik advisor to board TV cameramen on helicopters bound for Mazar-i-Sharif where terrorist had hit on Ashura day. Moments later, the courageous Afghan leader was airborne an armored helicopter with a dozen US commandoes. Kudos to his self-discipline, the president wasted no time in finding a new suit and multi-color robe.
Meanwhile in the historic northern city, Afghan equivalents of James Bond had gathered ‘undeniable’ evidence of Pakistani hand in spilling blood of the innocent pilgrims. Just recently, Karzai had turned down an Interpol request of borrowing Afghan investigators to track down top Italian mafia leaders.
As the Afghan ‘Air Force 1’ landed along with two choppers carrying truth-hungry media personnel, Mazar-i-Sharif residents were rejoicing a rare visit by their president in years. His hometown Kandhar has never been so lucky though. Peaceful, prosperous and enlightened Afghan loves their leader head over heal, no matter they get to see him or otherwise.
By the time Karzai arrived in the five-star hospital, he had spoken to a dozen western, largely American, news TV and radio channels, about the rare peace-shattering event in the country’s history. He was fully ready to lambast enemies of Afghan solidarity and sectarian harmony.
During photo session, the president heard eye witness accounts of blast and thanked his stars for being in cozy confines of Bonn. Karzai smartly overcame his nervousness when an 11-year daughter of injured pilgrim questioned him, “Can we not catch the terrorist before they reach us? Where are our military and police when they reach to attack the Afghans?”
As if he never heard the girl say something, the president followed his script. Raising his voice, he replied, “Those who kill Afghans are neither Muslims nor human beings.”
Though his attempt to dampen his eyes was far from successful, Karzai could make it up with his sobering voice.
“Afghanistan takes this very seriously. It is the issue of the life of the people which we will fully follow up with Pakistan,” he said. “We can’t let go and ignore the blood of our children.”
While the Afghan leader repeated him for one hundredth time, he whispered to himself that for the next fortnight, he won’t be out of the news headlines.
As his entourage raced to helipad, foreign journalists were awe-struck by with the multi-storey marble-studded Mediterranean style homes, lush green golf courses, and Jaguars, Mercedes and Audis parked in almost all colors of rainbow.
Tomorrow’s historian would commend President Hamid Karzai’s reign for unmatchable Afghan sovereignty, peace and affluence. And also, the way he warded off countless conspiracies and threats to his beloved homeland with crispy soundbites and refreshing robes.