Riddles in political communication

'Also, politicians armed with the finest communication skills often found themselves in political troubles. Examples: Benazir Bhutto and Imran Khan. This is the volatility of the trade of politics'

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So, the Balochistan government, which changed hands last year, was in fact a deal worth Rs3.5 billion, if Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI’s) Balochistan Assembly parliamentary leader Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind is to be believed. In back-to-back interviews with two national TV channels, the tribal sardar of Balochistan, who also resigned as special assistant to the prime minister on power and natural resources, made these allegations with impunity. Neither the anchors asked him to offer solid proof for the serious allegations, nor Rind sahib volunteered to offer any explanation.

The Balochistan Assembly changed its chief minister after a majority of the assembly members approved a no-confidence move against Jam Kamal and elected Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo as his successor.

“No, no, the chief minister of the province was not elected by the votes of the Baloch, but was appointed at the will of ‘those in Islamabad’,” Rind said in the interview.

Who are the appointing authorities?

Rind sahib explains that there are “three contractors and some personalities” in the federal capital who are the real power dealers and they got Bizenjo appointed as the chief minister.

In Pakistan, it is very easy to throw allegations with impunity, without being questioned (or punished) for doing so.

Also, it is fashionable to pun, twist and never say a fact in plain words.

The soft-spoken Rind could have minced no words in pointing out the contractors and power dealers.

Then he comes up with the mother of all allegations that the Balochistan government was “changed” against Rs3.5 billion.

Who paid Rs3.5 billion? And to whom?

Did Bizenjo take the money?

“No,” says Rind.

Did Bizenjo pay the money?

“No,” he repeats.

Then he went to say that Bizenjo is mere a “facilitator” who collected the money and passed it on to those sitting in Islamabad.

Rind sahib himself is shy of naming a name but he asks the prime minister to disclose the merchants of politics who, according to him, paid Rs700 million to win a Senate seat from Balochistan.

The whole interview is a set of riddles, except for the money count – Rs3.5 billion.

Now, we do not know if Rind sahib is still in the PTI or has left it.

We also don’t know if Rind sahib is happy with the prime minister or not.

Such interviews give a field day to journalists to come up with the stories that sell like hot cake.

Rind sahib is not alone in spinning straight things.

Have you ever heard an interview of Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and grasped even a single line?

Every interview of his fails my listening comprehension skills.

When he was in opposition, he would say “there will be March before the month of March” and “there will be sacrifice before the Eid of sacrificial animals”.

And when he is in power, he will say: “Opposition’s nuts and bolts will be fixed very soon.”

Politics is most of the time all about communication. In our part of the world, people with poor communication spend successful careers as politicians. Examples: Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Rind sahib.

Also, politicians armed with the finest communication skills have historically often found themselves in political troubles. Examples: Benazir Bhutto and Imran Khan. This is the volatility of the trade of politics.

I wish I had such wonderful communication skills as of Rind sahib and Sheikh sahib to say nothing through saying something.

I wish I had the power of wild imagination to infer what Rind sahib and Sheikh sahib say.