It is the Presidential Palace in Islamabad. A mild-mannered dictator in a beautifully tailored sherwani sits quietly at his desk attending to great affairs of State. He seems perplexed.
There comes a soft knock at the door.
Excuse please Mr President, a private secretary murmurs deferentially. I am introducing Inspector Ghoti of Newscotlandyard.
Ghoti? Who the hell is Ghoti, yaar? I have never heard of this fellow!
Eh, Mr President, not wishing to disagree in any way but you have personally send request to British Prime Minister for high-class police chap with all forensic detective skill.
Why did I do that?
To investigate terrible killing of Begum Bhutto.
Ah! Now I remember. Very well. Show him in. Oh, and while I think of it, run down to paan-wallah and get something for Inspector and myself. And two coffees.
A tall man enters, wearing a belted gaberdine coat and a soft trilby. He seems of vaguely Indian origin, but his speech is clipped and very British.
Good afternoon, Mr President!
President Musharraf rises to greet him.
Inspector Ghoti! You are very welcome to Pakistan.
Why, thank you, Mr President, replies Ghoti. I’m honoured to be invited.
No, no, no, no. Not at all. Not at all. I am wanting this thing solved pronto. No fucking around here, Yaar! Now, straight down to business. Let us decide what your findings will be.
My findings, Mr President?
Of course. Let us decide here and now what your report will conclude and who you would like to blame. I will have them arrested and shot this afternoon.
Ghoti shifts, perhaps a trifle uncomfortably. If I may suggest, Mr President, following Scotland Yard procedures with this matter.
Well, I thought perhaps I should interview witnesses, examine the scene of the crime, review the forensic reports, post-mortem results. That sort of thing?
Oh, procedures procedures procedures! If I wanted procedures I could have called in our own police. I want results. Anyway, I am afraid there is no forensic as fire brigade has washed down accident scene straight away much to my annoyance. And Begum Bhutto is buried and there is no post mortem. But we know what is cause of demise anyway.
Yes. Cause of Begum Bhutto’s death is sun-roof that had nothing whatever to do with our government and anyway was only accident and not in any sense deliberate assassination in spite of presence of shooter and bomber. And home video. And camera phone. And bullet hole in neck.
Ghoti breathes deeply and raises his eyebrows. I see. And the witnesses?
Oh, Ghoti-ji, there is no need to bother with PPP gangsters. You will hear pack of lies. All is most elaborate suicide by Benazir to create martyr. I am not wishing to cast disparagement but undoubtedly all was Begum Bhutto’s own fault.
I see, says Inspector Ghoti. So the whole thing was a plot between Benazir Bhutto and the Islamists?
Oh, without question. Extremists have gone very extreme. Now where the hell has Malhotra gone with our paan? I am starving!