APC minus one by Lifafa Khan

Before I share the story of the All Parties Conference (APC) I must confess that I have few bad habits that I am unable to control. One is that I assume too much and the second is that I am not very well organized. These two bad habits landed me in a situation that I am now about to share with you.


Few days ago I received an invitation in the mail to attend the All Parties Conference (APC). This was a surprise because I did not hold any political office and was not even member of any political party. I considered myself belonging to the nation as a citizen. To ensure that it was not sent to me in error, I called the number on the invitation card and asked the person why am I being invited? I was informed that one of the Doctors advising the PM suggested to him that since all parties at the table will be representing their special interest it is important to invite a model citizen to the conference to represent people of Pakistan. PM as a staunch democrat liked the idea. But then I asked the person why me? He said that since I have been paying all my taxes and do not even have a traffic violation in my name for last three years that makes me a model citizen and hence best person to qualify. In my heart I cursed myself for not going along with the larger culture and vowed to adopt this lifestyle once I get over this latest crisis in my peaceful life.


On the day of the event, I dressed up and drove to the GHQ in Rawalpindi. I went straight to the guard room to get the entry pass for the APC. The guard looked at me as if I was an enemy combatant. I always wondered why soldiers looked at the citizens as if they are enemy combatants but I guess this was not the occasion to engage in this kind of discussion. The guard said he is not aware of any APC being held in GHQ today. I requested that he should check with the supervisor because I am quite sure the event was planned for today. He called someone from his desk phone but got the similar response. He then asked me if I had the invitation card with me which off course was not with me because of my bad habit.


I scratched my head and asked the person does the Army Chief maintains office here. He said yes. I then told him than I am dead sure APC is going to be held here as Chief was the smartest politician in the country and was supported by the most organized political party in the country. It seems my praise of the Chief was not appreciated by the guard and a frown appeared on his face. But I refused to give up as I considered it important to attend this APC. I asked the guard did Afghan President come to GHQ before he went to meet the President or the PM. He said yes. I asked him is it not that all politicians resolve their conflicts through him as an arbiter. He said yes. I then asked him is it not that country is more important than the constitution. He said yes. I then requested that he should check again as the APC has to be held here as only then it would have a meaning and being effective for the nation. But it seems this praise of the Chief increased the annoyance of the guard and he told me to come back with invitation card or he will get me arrested if I continued insisting.


I was really disappointed for not being allowed to attend the APC. I went home with a heavy heart and called the person on the card again. He said the APC was held at the PM house because they serve better food than GHQ and all the decision were made according to the wishes of the leader of the nation and largest political party in the country.

Long live democracy and the people of Pakistan.

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