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  • Imran Khan
    Imran Khan
“To the order Facite Ammuina, all those in the bow go aft
And those at the stern go to the bow;
those on the right go to the left
And those on the left go to the right;
all those below deck go up,
and those on deck go down,
all passing through the same hatchway (hole);
those who have nothing to do, get busy here and there”

(Kingdom of the Two Sicilies - Regulations of the Royal Navy -1841)

“Facite ammuina” is a sentence in Naples' slang and can not be really translated into english (or into good italian). The closest meaning I can find is 'create a tamasha'. It is one of many disparaging anecdotes about the Bourbon armed forces packaged for propaganda purposes by the Piedmontese to discredit the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the Bourbon dynasty at the time of the war to unite Italy. Is a so called 'historical fake', but a very effective one. And it comes to mind quite often when you think of Pakistani politics. 'Facite ammuina' seems in fact to be the supreme guide line of the ruling class of the country, first of all Imran Khan. Who seems to have learned quite well from his Masters/Puppetteers the strategy of chaos. Three shots in the leg are in fact enough to throw the country, more than it already was, in a chaos of voices, whispers and fear. And to create a legend. Yet another one, actually, featuring Pakistani ex-premier Imran Khan. He seamlessly went from sportsman to international playboy, to philanthropic hospital builder, and then became a champion of the rights of the oppressed, an Islamic fundamentalist (they call him Taliban Khan), and finally, thanks to the above three shots, has became a martyr for freedom. All of Pakistan conjures up the ghost of the late Benazir Bhutto, who had suffered a similar attack upon her return from exile, and thus rightfully places Imran in the very peculiar local pantheon of political martyrs. With one difference: the martyr in question is alive and kicking and truly getting yet another handful of pebbles off his shoe through the mouths of his followers. By naming names and surnames of the likely instigators of the (un)likely attempt on his life, just as the late Benazir had done on the same occasion. Ousted from office months ago, Khan has since been crying out for an international conspiracy aimed at removing him from the leadership of the country. And, when he was shot, he was leading a 'long march' from Lahore to Islamabad to demand 'freedom and rights'. 'Through the ballot box” he said “Or trough a bloodbath". At the moment, above all, through confusion and chaos. Confusion, first of all, about the 'murder attempt': there are speculations about the killers, the shots, the reason why somebody, hit by bullets, drives to an hospital hundred plus kilometers far away instead then to the nearest one. Imran-the-martyr was then addressing the nation from his hospital room, while his aids were blaming the premier Shahbaz Sharif, the Interior minister Rana Sanaullah and the Isi Major General Faisal Naseer for plotting the murder attempt. He clarified also that these consipirators are not the same that conspired against him in April: conspiracy theories are blooming, people is in the streets because the Martyr-in-Chief said so, and nobody knows what comes next. At the question: “Who benefits more from the attack?” a wide part of the country replies “Imran himself”. Having switched to attacking the army (or, at least, parts of it) after being put in charge of the country by the army itself, Imran is playing a complex and quite dangerous game with generals and colonels, the real government of Pakistan. He turned out to be the worst Frankenstein's creature they ever managed to assemble or, maybe, it is all part of the craziest strategy of chaos ever imagined in the country. Pakistani politics proved to be many times far beyond any imagination or any fiction plot. Imran's rethoric stepped further sfter this: the three shots, according to many, are likely to get him the desired new elections, which, this being the situation, he is bound to win once again after being cleared, by some other wizard trick, by the charges of corruption against him. The arm-wrestling with the Army is not going to be pleasant: Imran gained score points from the shooting, but he perfectly knows that to monetize them, and force the Army and the Government he needs the bloodbath he was evoking during the march. On the other hand, the Army is not going to give up so easily to his demands because this would sign the end of their domain on the country. Everything can potentially happen, from another military coup to further chaos or civil war in a country with nuclear weapons. The loser, as always, is the people of Pakistan. And the rest of the world, who will have to deal with a problem always thrown under the carpet: the fact that Pakistan was and is the most dangerous country in the world. By the way: Bourbon's 'ammuina', after a while, did not end well.
Francesca Marino