More and more details of the US operation to kill terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden are now being revealed. Sources say that Osama’s last words, uttered just before being gunned down, were “Et tu, Kayani?” That cryptic reference to the head of the Pakistan army led to much embarrassment before ISI experts pointed out that bin Laden might have been referring to Kayani bakery in Pune, famous for its wonderful Shrewsbury biscuits.
Be that as it may, intelligence analysts are also intrigued by the conversation that ensued after Osama was shot. One of the US Navy Seals reportedly made the remark: ‘Who’s your daddy?’ while another said, ‘Yo.’ A pregnant silence followed, broken by Osama’s wife enquiring timidly yet hopefully whether his insurance covered a hole in the head.
Meanwhile, reports from Abbottabad say that Osama’s ghost has been sighted. “Much to his chagrin, Osama was denied admission to Paradise because of all those innocent people he killed and he’s been haunting us ever since,” said a local maulvi. He targets young women in the area, sneaking up on them and asking, in a sepulchral voice, whether she’s a virgin. “He’s still looking for his reward of 72 virgins promised to all martyrs,” explained the maulvi.
“He was kind of creepy, but I was flattered he took me to be a virgin,” said a local beauty. But Pakistani officials stoutly deny that Osama’s spectre is in Pakistan. “It’s very likely his ghost is haunting Afghanistan,” said President Asif Ali Zardari.
General Ashfaq Kayani has denied that Osama’s last words were about him. “What he said when he opened the door was, ‘Is it the biryani?’ because he had just ordered biryani from the takeaway down the street,” explained Kayani. He said he believed Osama was a guest of the Pakistan Taliban.
The Pak Taliban, however, blamed the Afghan Taliban, who blamed the ISI, who blamed non-state actors, who blamed Military Intelligence who blamed the Pakistan government. The Pak government, however, has laid the blame squarely at the door of the country’s income-tax department. “If someone builds a million-dollar home, surely it’s up to the tax guys to ask some tough questions about the source of all that moolah?” said Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
Sources also say the property tax returns from the house in Abbottabad bear no signature, but merely the initials ISI scrawled across them. “Rest assured we’ll question everybody who has these initials,” said a local cop, dragging a chap called Iskander Sheikh Imtiaz to the lock-up. He said he believed someone with those initials was likely to be the next al-Qaeda boss.
In the US, a government spokesman outlined the fiendishly clever strategy being pursued in the region. “Scores of al-Qaeda operatives have been found in Pakistan, the Taliban have their sanctuaries there, terrorists sneak into Kashmir from Pakistan, there are terrorist training camps in Pakistan, people like Dawood Ibrahim find shelter there. That is why, in a masterstroke, we fight in Afghanistan,” he elaborated.
The Indian government has accused Pakistan of knowing Osama’s location all along. In a strong gesture of protest, it says its cricket team will deliver the 23rd dossier on the Mumbai attacks to the Pak authorities when they tour the country soon. The Pakistan government, however, claimed that fugitives often hide right under the noses of their enemies simply because nobody would think of looking for them there.
In other news, the Pakistan Cricket Board has announced that a cricketer called Mullah Omar will captain their team in the forthcoming series against India.
(Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint. The views expressed by the author are personal)