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Home > Opinion
The lying game

Najmul Hasan Rizvi (LIFE) / 16 December 2013

WE LOVE to play all types of games, but the one which has earned us distinction is the lying game. We hate to tell the truth even where it is impossible to hide it, Mr Right lamented.

“It’s noticed every day in courts,” I said. “Nobody wants to spoil the business of prosecutors, pleaders and fake witnesses.”

“I know, all of them combine to promote a justice system that is a fake from top to bottom,” Mr Right observed. “You cannot be sure if the right person has been detained for a certain crime and even if he is convicted and jailed, you might be shocked to know later that the prisoner too was a fake.”

“A fake prisoner. How is it possible?”

“Why not? Our police are capable of doing anything. You will find many prisoners in jail who are not supposed to be there. They are there because somebody wants them to stay there in place of the real ones,” Mr Right said.

“That means the ‘real ones’ are allowed to stay out of jail and break the law at will without fear of punishment since they have a strong alibi,” I said.

“That’s right,” Mr Right agreed. “Sindh has the honour of having 41 such proxy prisoners in various jails.”

“This is a classic example of faking identity of the people,” I said. “The police must be praised for inventing such a foolproof method of protecting the big fish.”

“But I must say that the protectors of law will never want to keep the prisons empty. They keep the supply of inmates to prisons uninterrupted,” Mr Right said. “This monthly quota of prisoners is met by picking up beggars, street urchins and innocent young boys in poor localities.”

“They claim to have arrested hundreds of extortionists, kidnappers and terrorists in their targeted operation during the past few months, but nothing has changed in Karachi,” I pointed out. “Killers never miss their targets and banks are looted in broad daylight.”

“No doubt, things are bad,” Mr Right agreed. “But I am sure a day will come when our police and para-military squads will be able to fight the real criminals. Currently, they are busy getting shooting practice in fake encounters with terrorists and dacoits.”

“The sad part of the story is that many innocent lives are lost in these fake encounters,” I said. “An unarmed taxi driver was gunned down in Karachi recently and one can never forget that bloody incident in Kharotabad, Balochistan where sharpshooters killed some foreigners, including a pregnant woman, sometime back.”

“The question, however, is whether only police should be blamed for faking things and promoting the lying game. We are part of a society where anybody speaking the truth is considered mentally retarded,” I said. “Smart people excel in lying.”

Mr Right smiled. “All our top institutions are full of these smart people.”

“Parliamentarians acquire fake degrees and make fake promises in elections and bureaucrats present fake statements about their assets.” I said. “Even our sportsmen resort to dishonest means to earn money.”

“This shows that society as a whole is facing a crisis of morality,” Mr Right said. “Everybody has become a pilot who wants to fly the plane in a drunken state.”

“The only reason for this social degeneration and moral decay that comes to my mind is that schools have miserably failed in their role of character building,” I added.

“Which schools?” Mr Right looked at me sarcastically. “Are you referring to those 5, 000 ‘ghosts schools’ in Sindh which are located in cattle pens and horse stables but the government diligently provides funds to be spent on fake teachers and upkeep of the so-called schools? It’s part of a big lying game.”

“Are there any clinics that can help us stop lying?” I asked. “After all, we have clinics where people are treated to give up smoking.”

“I am not sure, but if there are any such clinics which are not fake ones, they must be having poor business,” Mr Right remarked. “Most people these days hate the truth and love to pretend to be what they are not.”

Najmul Hasan Rizvi is a former assistant editor of Khaleej Times

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