Because writing about anything else would be moronic. Because nothing else happened the entire week. In the entire world. Because nothing else mattered.

Because a National Security Event had been triggered on the October 6, 2016.

Normally, my husband quietly passes over to me the DAWN newspaper once he is through with it, while I checkout other news sources on Twitter. But the DAWN I read in hard copy. The owner of such piquing equanimity, he never gets excited enough to share any news, assuming the other person would read it in their own time. October 6 was different though. I was taken aback when he started to read a front page exclusive aloud. By the time he finished, I could hardly breathe. He still had the paper, and I wanted to read every word with my own eyes, over and over again. There was no buzz in any Whatsapp group or on Twitter, which seemed odd – till I figured out that the front page story hadn’t been uploaded to the web till 8.30 in the morning. And given the nature of the story, who knew it might’ve been aborted! So I furiously started to share photos of the hardcopy (later the softcopy was uploaded of course).

Before I move forward, I have to comment on something different but related. I was about to erroneously use the word ‘liberal’ for a category of people when I realised that that would be completely wrong. But my mistake would’ve been understandable because a second category of persons who became very, very angry at Cyril Almeida’s front page exclusive began to call the first category of people ‘liberal’ for being happy at what they had read, and for believing the story was true, and for hoping that the ISI Chief actually meant to do what he had been asked to do by the Prime Minister of the country.

Anyway, so I’m not going to call the happy people the ‘liberal’ coterie because I can’t for the life of me figure out why simply believing the story of a very credible journalist, carried in an incredibly credible newspaper, qualifies anyone as a ‘liberal’ – whether social or political. So, for want of a better description for the first category of people, in context to Cyril’s exclusive, I shall simply call them the ‘Happy People’.

Now what to call the other category? Certainly can’t call them right wing or anything, because each one of them professes hatred for militancy, wants to see Pakistan rid of extremism, eulogises tolerance and ‘true democracy’ and real power for the people and what have you. Indeed, many members of this group happen to be as, if not more, socially liberal as the people they call liberal as a pejorative.

But to leave no stone unturned to let the perceived labelled ‘liberals’ know how despicable they think liberalism and the liberal scum are, the Angry Birds often call them libtards or libidos. Because without being called that, the alleged liberals might not actually get the contempt or disgust their political leanings inspire and deserve.

But I digress within the digression. So obviously the self avowedly democratic, anti-jihadist, egalitarian, local bodies loving lot of Angry Birds can’t obviously be called right-wingers (by the way, and as an aside, drugs and alcohol are absolutely common, randomly, to members of both Happy and Angry groups). So you see my difficulty now in giving a name to this category of people. Ah! The Cyrilgate context again to the rescue! ‘Angry People’?!

Phew! Now that we have the terminology sorted, let’s get back to the main issue. (Yikes! Ed! I’m at 600 and I haven’t even begun opining yet! Two part? Will call you).

So the main issue was that, starting on that fateful October 6, the unsuspecting Happy People started becoming very, very happy on Twitter and Whatsapp. It was the stuff of the Happy People’s dreams: the civil military leadership looked to be on the same page; both agreed certain proscribed extremist militant groups causing heart attacks to neighbours and headaches to us would now possibly be actually dealt with; the recognition of past policy follies was actually going to dictate the future corrective course; the Prime Minister wasn’t a ….. what shall I say …. A …. ok forget that ….. the Prime Minister actually had them; Pakistan might finally be turning the dark corner and head toward the light; and so on and so forth.

Now, I have to admit (dang!) I was part of the Happy People lot. Breathlessly I began to circulate pictures of the exclusive story. Then DAWN uploaded it. What I remember next was breathless congratulations or restrained, slightly trepiditious expressions of hope expressed amongst each other by the core Happy Group and/or the intersectionists on the national Venn Diagram of all sorts of weird category of people, including, of course the Happy and the Angry.

(By the way, this JUST struck me. These are not antonyms - as in Happy versus Sad - or Angry versus Serene. Happy and Angry are weirdly tangential. But forgive me, I transgress again. The mind is wont to wander 45,000 feet above sea level with the body wedged in an economy seat next to a person who makes long calculations to Eureka that the trip between Lahore and Istanbul is going to be ‘Dhai ghantay’ (2.5 hours)).

So the Happy People were happy – for the reasons stated. The Angry People were angry for reasons quite perplexing by turns: the news story is rubbish; Cyril Almeida was smoking something; Cyril is a liar; DAWN is a traitor; those who fed Cyril the story were liars; the story was fabricated; Cyril and those who fed him the fabricated story and the Happy People were all enemies of the state; Kashmir!; India!; National Security!; National Interest!; you’re an idiot; you hate the army; go to India; are you Canadian?; and so on and so forth.

We are descending now (pun intended). Let’s continue next week...

The writer is a human rights worker and  freelance columnist.­

Because writing about anything else would be moronic. Because nothing else happened the entire week. In the entire world. Because nothing else mattered.

Because a National Security Event had been triggered on the October 6, 2016.

Normally, my husband quietly passes over to me the DAWN newspaper once he is through with it, while I checkout other news sources on Twitter. But the DAWN I read in hard copy. The owner of such piquing equanimity, he never gets excited enough to share any news, assuming the other person would read it in their own time. October 6 was different though. I was taken aback when he started to read a front page exclusive aloud. By the time he finished, I could hardly breathe. He still had the paper, and I wanted to read every word with my own eyes, over and over again. There was no buzz in any Whatsapp group or on Twitter, which seemed odd – till I figured out that the front page story hadn’t been uploaded to the web till 8.30 in the morning. And given the nature of the story, who knew it might’ve been aborted! So I furiously started to share photos of the hardcopy (later the softcopy was uploaded of course).

Before I move forward, I have to comment on something different but related. I was about to erroneously use the word ‘liberal’ for a category of people when I realised that that would be completely wrong. But my mistake would’ve been understandable because a second category of persons who became very, very angry at Cyril Almeida’s front page exclusive began to call the first category of people ‘liberal’ for being happy at what they had read, and for believing the story was true, and for hoping that the ISI Chief actually meant to do what he had been asked to do by the Prime Minister of the country.

Anyway, so I’m not going to call the happy people the ‘liberal’ coterie because I can’t for the life of me figure out why simply believing the story of a very credible journalist, carried in an incredibly credible newspaper, qualifies anyone as a ‘liberal’ – whether social or political. So, for want of a better description for the first category of people, in context to Cyril’s exclusive, I shall simply call them the ‘Happy People’.

Now what to call the other category? Certainly can’t call them right wing or anything, because each one of them professes hatred for militancy, wants to see Pakistan rid of extremism, eulogises tolerance and ‘true democracy’ and real power for the people and what have you. Indeed, many members of this group happen to be as, if not more, socially liberal as the people they call liberal as a pejorative.

But to leave no stone unturned to let the perceived labelled ‘liberals’ know how despicable they think liberalism and the liberal scum are, the Angry Birds often call them libtards or libidos. Because without being called that, the alleged liberals might not actually get the contempt or disgust their political leanings inspire and deserve.

But I digress within the digression. So obviously the self avowedly democratic, anti-jihadist, egalitarian, local bodies loving lot of Angry Birds can’t obviously be called right-wingers (by the way, and as an aside, drugs and alcohol are absolutely common, randomly, to members of both Happy and Angry groups). So you see my difficulty now in giving a name to this category of people. Ah! The Cyrilgate context again to the rescue! ‘Angry People’?!

Phew! Now that we have the terminology sorted, let’s get back to the main issue. (Yikes! Ed! I’m at 600 and I haven’t even begun opining yet! Two part? Will call you).

So the main issue was that, starting on that fateful October 6, the unsuspecting Happy People started becoming very, very happy on Twitter and Whatsapp. It was the stuff of the Happy People’s dreams: the civil military leadership looked to be on the same page; both agreed certain proscribed extremist militant groups causing heart attacks to neighbours and headaches to us would now possibly be actually dealt with; the recognition of past policy follies was actually going to dictate the future corrective course; the Prime Minister wasn’t a ….. what shall I say …. A …. ok forget that ….. the Prime Minister actually had them; Pakistan might finally be turning the dark corner and head toward the light; and so on and so forth.

Now, I have to admit (dang!) I was part of the Happy People lot. Breathlessly I began to circulate pictures of the exclusive story. Then DAWN uploaded it. What I remember next was breathless congratulations or restrained, slightly trepiditious expressions of hope expressed amongst each other by the core Happy Group and/or the intersectionists on the national Venn Diagram of all sorts of weird category of people, including, of course the Happy and the Angry.

(By the way, this JUST struck me. These are not antonyms - as in Happy versus Sad - or Angry versus Serene. Happy and Angry are weirdly tangential. But forgive me, I transgress again. The mind is wont to wander 45,000 feet above sea level with the body wedged in an economy seat next to a person who makes long calculations to Eureka that the trip between Lahore and Istanbul is going to be ‘Dhai ghantay’ (2.5 hours)).

So the Happy People were happy – for the reasons stated. The Angry People were angry for reasons quite perplexing by turns: the news story is rubbish; Cyril Almeida was smoking something; Cyril is a liar; DAWN is a traitor; those who fed Cyril the story were liars; the story was fabricated; Cyril and those who fed him the fabricated story and the Happy People were all enemies of the state; Kashmir!; India!; National Security!; National Interest!; you’re an idiot; you hate the army; go to India; are you Canadian?; and so on and so forth.

We are descending now (pun intended). Let’s continue next week...