Ug Lee American performs on Coke Studio
Happy days are here again, Pakistan.
Not long ago, many thought the plug had been pulled on the life support system keeping US-Pakistan frenemyship alive. Fortunately, a major new development has emerged that proves the plug is still in the socket: The new guidelines proposed by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security to govern our grumpily shared future.
I am ecstatic to hear sweet-sounding statements such as “Pakistan reaffirms its commitment to the elimination of terrorism,” and “The dialogue process with India should be continued.” So ecstatic, I assure you, that I can ignore the fact that the other 99.9999 per cent of the recommendations are wholly inappropriate.
Thank goodness our strategicactional relationship is back on track. As our most senior diplomat recently uttered for the 345,623,451st time, our partnership with Pakistan is a vital one.
So, let’s celebrate. And there’s no better way to celebrate together than by embracing our sole mutual strength: the capacity to croon.
Pakistan, let us sing.
Politicians in both our nations love to break out in song (President Obama belts out the blues; Shahbaz Sharif relishes something more complex). Except when they go rogue and snap incendiary photographs,visiting US musicians regale Pakistanis with gusto. Sometimes our great peoples even establish formal musical collaborations.
So I hereby announce a major campaign event: A jam session featuring Ug Lee American and The Do More Quartet. I will of course provide vocals. On percussion are my national security campaign adviser, Rawcia McMossad, who will boisterously bang on the drumbeat of war; and my Predator drones aide, a trigger-happy kid Somewhere in Nevada, who will steadily strike his Triangle of Death.
To amplify that our partnership is an equal one, we have designated a Pakistani as our fourth band member. He will play bass, though only when we tell him to, and only after he makes noticeable progress toward reducing militancy.
The venue for our performance is one of the few institutions in Pakistan that is wildly popular with Pakistanis despite being emblasoned with an American brand name. And I am not talking about the visa section of the US embassy.
Rather, I am referring to Coke Studio.
The only question is what song to perform (my advisers gently dissuaded me from Iggy and the Stooges’ “Search and Destroy”). We have decided to entertain your suggestions via live webchat. The feed starts now, live from Coke Studio:
MusicalinMultan: Ug Lee, neither American nor Pakistani leaders are known for their dancing prowess. Perhaps you should sing an acappella song that enables you to remain immobile, such as Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry Be Happy.” This tune would perfectly encapsulate your delusionally optimistic sentiments about the state of the bilateral relationship, and its opening whistling solo would allow you to keep on whistling past the graveyard of the relationship.
UgLeeAmerican: Actually, we prefer a danceable number. I take inspiration from the lead singer of Laal, who grooves slightly awkwardly in his brilliant anti-militancy music video “Dehshatgardi Murdabad” — yet he has no fear!
PakistaniPatriot: Ug Lee, if you had one nano-iota of good sense, you would perform a Pakistani song, to show us that you care about our rich musical history.
UgLeeAmerican: Indeed, and after our Pakistani part-time bassist eliminates more militants, we will task him with exploring our options.
ILuvShehzad: Perform a Shehzad Roy number. He is successful, he is talented, and he is a humanitarian. He represents the side of Pakistan that you generally ignore.
UgLeeAmerican: Alas, he lost my support when, in his otherwise-stellar video for the infectious “Laga Reh,” he depicted US intelligence personnel in Pakistan as shady and sinister. As our dear allies the French say, Quelle boulderdash!
DisgustedinDir: Ug Lee, do you really think performing on Coke Studio will get you any votes?
UgLeeAmerican: Who said I need votes to win the election? And incidentally, is there actually Internet connectivity in Dir?
Ranithemuppetchatmoderator: Sorry for the delay. Pakistan’s next president had to take a call from his cultural sensitivity adviser about not making insulting generalisations.
UgLeeAmerican: What wonderful feedback. Thanks so much; I am truly grateful. I am pleased to announce that we will indeed perform a Pakistani song, and will try to ignore the fact that many Pakistani musicians are unwilling to condemn militancy.
Ranithemuppetchatmoderator:Another delay for similar reasons.
UgLeeAmerican: Thanks to all for your input. However, I have decided to disregard it and to make my own unilateral decision. We will perform one of Pakistan’s most famous tunes, “Dil Dil Pakistan.” However, there is a twist: We shall use the lyrics of the iconic Bruce Springsteen ditty “Born in the USA.” What better way to fuse the most cherished musical contributions of our respective nations?
SeethinginSaragodh: Ug Lee, you are unbelievable.
UgLeeAmerican: Thanks for that high praise. I always knew Pakistanis were on my side.
Michael Kugelman is the program associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.