Indian General: They did it.
Pak General: You did it first.
Indian General: It’s a gruesome beheading.
Indian TV Anchor: Bash them up.
Pak General: We didn’t do it. Beheading is against good soldierly conduct, which only authorises blowing people’s brains or guts out.
Indian General: Also arms, legs, other body parts.
Hina Rabbani Khar: This is war-mongering.
TV Anchor: How dare they accuse us of war-mongering? Bash them up.
Tahirul Qadri: I completely agree. The Pak government deserves to be bashed up.
Pak Govt Spokesman: We have done nothing. We never do anything.
Indian Govt Spokesman: Don’t say that. It’s we who do absolutely nothing. What about 26/11?
Pak Spokesman: Those were non-state actors. We, on the other hand, are state non-actors. You’re confusing the two.
Pak General: While we, of course, are state actors.
TV Anchors: And we’re actors.
Pak Spokesman: Be that as it may, it was non-state actors who started the Kargil war, the 1947 action, the nuclear bomb.
AQ Khan: The bomb was entirely my fault. I developed the whole thing in my washing machine, the government didn’t have a clue and realised what was going on only when they saw the mushroom cloud over my kitchen.
Pak General: And what about the mayhem in Balochistan? R&AW is behind this.
Indian Spokesman: Of course not.
Pak Spokesman: Well, R&AW wouldn’t be doing its duty if it wasn’t stirring up trouble in Pakistan, right?
TV Anchor: Why isn’t R&AW doing anything? They should start doing things at once.
Pak General: But we agree the government must be bashed up.
Indian Spokesman: Now who’s war-mongering?
Pak General: I meant our government, of course.
Pak Citizen: What government? We have a government?
Pak PM: I’m still here. At least, till the Supreme Court tells me to go.
Pak Chief Justice: Completely agree. We must, we must, grind them in the dust.
Indian Opposition Politico: We’d like to do the same to the Indian government.
TV Anchor: Why doesn’t our government say something? Should they keep mum at this insult? Bash them up.
Indian Spokesman: But…..
TV Anchor: Bang him on the head. The nation wants to bang him on the head.
Indian Liberal: It is our responsibility to strengthen democracy in Pakistan. We want Pak singers, hockey players, cricketers.
Pak Spokesman: We want peace.
Pak Taliban: Who’s we?
Pak spokesman: I and Hina Rabbani Khan.
Indian PM: We cannot have business as usual. We will hand over a strong letter of protest and skip the coffee.
Indian Liberal: Skipping the coffee will be a terrible blow to the peace process.
Indian Spokesman: Where’s the Pak PM gone?
Qadri: He has run away, with the chief justice nipping at his heels. You can hand over the letter to me.
Pak Spokesman: Please make five photocopies — one for the PM, one for the General, one for Qadri, one for the chief justice and one for the Taliban. How many copies of our protest letter do you need?
Indian Spokesman: Just one, of course. No, no need to give it to the PM.
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint
Views expressed by the author are personal