I understand that Pakistan’s intelligence chief, Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha, head of the Interservices intelligence directorate (ISI), held a news conference this morning announcing some big news. He was joined by Army chief Gen. Ashfaque Pervez Kayani. Admittedly, I wasn’t there, but my sources tell me it went something along the lines of the following:
Pasha: Good morning, we have some very big news today. Very big. I would like to announce that, after years of very sly intelligence work, we, the ISI, of which I am the chief, have found Osama bin Laden. Yes, that is right. He’s been hanging out in Abbottabad! Right here. In Pakistan! Who knew?
Kayani: Well, certainly we did not. Let me be very clear. We had no idea that bin Laden was alive and well and burning important documents just down the road from our army training academy. Are you kidding? Of course we did not know this. How could we know this? Are we psychic people? No, we are not. We are soldiers, we are not psychic people.
Reporter 1: Sir, are you saying that you’ve found the world’s most notorious terrorist living a couple of blocks from Pakistan’s premier military academy?
Kayani: When we are talking to reporters from America and the West, we like to refer to it as Pakistan’s West Point. Of course, we don’t like to refer to it like that here in Pakistan. But you can refer to it that way in your western newspapers. It is that good.
Reporter 1: If it’s that good, does it concern you that nobody in the academy seemed to be suspicious of what’s being reported as a million-dollar, walled, barbed-wired compound eight times the size of other homes in the area?
Pasha: What, you think we have no rich people in Pakistan? That we do not have big shots with walled compounds like Tom Cruise? Because we do not all drive around in gas-guzzling SUV’s – not all of us anyway, I do of course – you think it is impossible that we would have such a big luxurious house sitting in the midst of all the impoverished people? Do not be foolish.
Reporter 2: Are these rich people normally seen burning mysterious papers and shooing off children with cash?
Kayani: Shut up.
Reporter 1: Can you please spell Abbottabad for me?
Pasha: No, actually, I cannot. I am a super spy, I am not a spelling bee champion.
Reporter 3: Now that you have located bin Laden, what are the next steps?
Kayani: We will go talk to him. You cannot rush these things.
Reporter 4: Actually, sir, the Americans have already located bin Laden.
Pasha: Go away with your American propaganda. We have found bin Laden. The ISI. Of which I am the chief. I expect a big reward from the American president.
Reporter 4: No sir, here’s the headline from the Washington Post from two days ago. An American special forces team went in and shot him. He’s dead.
Kayani: Get out.
Reporter 5: No, it’s true, sir.
Kayani and Pasha confer away from the microphone.
Pasha: How could we not know the Americans entered our airspace?
Reporter 4: Allegedly, President Obama and the U.S. military chiefs were afraid that you might tip off bin Laden. So they didn’t inform you prior to going in.
Kayani: Tip him off? We just wanted to talk to him.
Pasha: So he is dead? This is what you are telling me?
Reporter 5: Yes, sir.
Pasha: Wow, who knew?
Reporter 4: Pretty much the whole world.
A guard drags Reporter 4 from the room.
Ayman al Zawahiri raises his hand from the front row of the news conference.
Zawahiri: I’m with Inspire magazine. Do you not think that the murder and martyrdom of Islam’s greatest warrior will inspire others to join the noble international jihad?
Pasha: Well, that is what we are suggesting to the jihadists swarming our borders. And evidently swarming our cities too.
Reporter 2: Wait a minute, are you saying that you’re helping terrorists recruit?
Pasha: I am not saying it, that man over there is saying it.
Reporter 2: That man? He’s a terrorist.
Kayani: Get out.
Reporter 3: He’s right. That’s al Zawahiri — al Qaeda’s No. 2 man.
Kayani: Everyone in Pakistan is a terrorist to you people. That is why we have terrorism today. And you keep bombing our country in the name of a War on Terror. And, evidently, keep coming into our country in the dead of night without telling us and killing so-called terrorists. We are going to need a lot more cash from the United States if you are going to keep this up.
Zawahiri: One more question, since you brought it up. Do you not think that, with the death of bin Laden, al Qaeda will need a new leader and that the new leader should obviously be the guy who was the No. 2 man at al Qaeda? Does that not make sense to you?
Kayani: It depends on whether he will help us fight India.
Pasha whispers in Kayani’s ear.
Kayani: And help protect the Taliban on our Afghan border.
Reporter 1: Aren’t you supposed to be an ally of the United States in rooting out Taliban radicals in Afghanistan?
Reporter 1: The War on Terror. Rooting out extremists and terrorists within the Taliban.
Pasha: Do not be ridiculous.
Kayani: No, he is right. Yes, we are allies of the United States. Definitely allies.
Kayani: We love America! USA! USA! Please send money! No more questions.