ISLAMABAD: The Director General of State Bank of Pakistan
(SBP) Mr. Maghaz Machharji announced the issuance of a new one hundred rupee note in a
surprise move today. This new move came just a few days after the government undertook a
massive campaign to revive the country's dwindling economy.
"We feel that the country has lived with the same
image for a very long time, and it is time that we changed this image for the better of
the country, and I feel that a better country's image would make everyone live
better," said Mr. Machharji, and then got confused. He was accompanied in his
chambers by the board of directors, his trusty chamchas (sidekicks) and one member
of the military personnel. The said military officer, who did not disclose his identity,
toyed around with the directors at random with the tip of his bayonet and cackled with
The immediate reaction to this move in the market was a
favorable one. One dealer was quoted as saying that business is good for him since people
are more willing to part with their money. "No one wants to screw around with the
army in their pockets," he explained.
Not all reactions were as favorable, however. The leader
of Jamaat-e-Islami, Qazi Hussein Ahmed, lashed at the action of SBP, but didn't condemn
the army directly, apparently out of fear of getting the "point" from the
afore-mentioned military official. "This is sacrilege," he said. "How can
you have a picture on the note without the mandatory Jinnah cap? Officers responsible for
this criminal oversight should be sacked immediately." Of course, he neglected to say
anything about the rites of the person who owns the darned cap. Also, he cut quite a
peculiar pose with his beard flailing about in the air as he spoke, and the humble
reporter felt no one would take him seriously.
Despite this, one SBP official did weasel out of his
cabin and explained why the cap was so untactfully neglected. "It was too hot that
day," he explained.
Sources in Karachi said that this move was much
anticipated after General Musharraf was spotted hopping the Express Coaches (dubbed as
Flying Devils) in Karachi. The general was reported to have gotten off at Bali's to get a
haircut, and then proceeded to Jimmy's Studio. An army official from the local barracks
said he was "surprised" to receive such reports. "We had to cordon off the
whole area despite the fact that there was a lungar (food distribution) at Abdullah
Shah Ghazi's mazaar (mausoleum)."
Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, the nouveau elect Prime
Minister of India, was "happy" to see this change. "I believe that this
move shows the confidence of the Chief Executive in his nation," he said. Later, Mr.
Vajpayee parried questions by the press whether he intended to emulate this move by saying
that "such a move would certainly count toward the confidence building measures, but
would have to be sanctioned by the two houses first (a triviality that General Pervaiz can
do without)," he added.
The spokesperson for Gen Pervaiz interpreted this
response by the Indian head of state as a positive one, and pledged that Pakistan would
contribute to the confidence measures by flying Jimmy and Bali's crew (whether they want
to go or not) to Delhi by Air India (India's official international carrier) to perform
the same miracle for Mr. Vajpayee. "We are very hopeful that this confidence building
measure would help solve the matter of Kashmir," he concluded.