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The Glorious Revolution

Extraordinary Rendition 

12th October, 1999 was a milestone in the history of Pakistan. On that day the nation cast off the shackles on freedom of expression, and started the process of banishing the grim memories of repression of Zia era. There was a flowering of new avenues of expression, and the phenomenal rise of new genres and art forms. This renaissance of liberal and secular outlook was further developed under the enlightened and forward looking supervision of PEMRA and the Press Complaints Commission.

This process reached its glorious culmination on 12th of May, 2007 When a massive public demonstration of freedom of expression took place, using overhead bridges and freight containers as platforms and automatic weapons as implements to create high art, noted home and abroad for its stunning impact. 

A new mode of self-realisation became very popular predominantly among young men. The protagonist would rearrange his body and those of his audience, in a burst of creative energy. This was often undertaken in culturally rich historic environments. Some philistines were strongly opposed to this art form and raised called it ‘garish’ and ‘Kafkaesque’, but there was no dispute regarding its electrifying nature. The whole world waited with bated breath for the next event to take place. These young artists were nurtured in their formative years, and were supplied artistic materiel by the inter-departmental government agency to promote arts, called the ISI.  

Because of the modern and enlightened nature of the revolutionary government, the sciences were not neglected. A Higher Education Commission was established. The process of establishing new universities was simplified and the condition of prohibitive and often ridiculously large amounts of funds was dropped. A private entrepreneur should have enough funds to be able to by a box of paint, and someone who can spell ‘university’, so that he can write it on a wall. Thus, he can embark on his scientific and academic endeavour. 

Building on Pakistan’s excellent track record in particle physics and nuclear research, dedicated teams of scientists started working day and night on nuclear devices, so that they could be miniaturised to fit into suitcases. A national centre of excellence was established in the University of Wana, in South Waziristan, under the guidance of the brilliant scientist, Dr Baitullah Mehsud. Not unexpectedly, there was concern expressed by the IAEA, regarding the safety aspects of this research. This concern was thought to be misplaced and firmly rejected by Dr Mehsud, who emphasized the peaceful nature of his project, and accused the IAEA to be exceeding its mandate and pandering to the alarmist western lobby. This project draws upon the skills and expertise of the senior scientists from the AQ Khan laboratories, who have been given emeritus status. Dr Mehsud has curiously named his project the ‘Manhattan Project’. 


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