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Aladdin’s Lamp and Mullah Saifuddin (Political satire)

By Musa Zafar 

Mullah Saifuddin lives in Kabul. Although his expertise lies in bomb-making, the sluggish explosive market means he has been tasked with maintaining peace in Kabul and providing security for the Kabul Museum. He is tired of this peaceful life and has tried several times to end his life with his own suicide vest. 

Last Friday, Mullah Saifuddin saw two women walking on the street. Since he is not accustomed to seeing women, he became depressed and again wanted to commit suicide. Saifuddin took his suicide vest and went to the basement of the museum to take revenge on his eyes that had seen women. As soon as he put on his vest and adjusted the battery, his eyes fell on an old lamp covered with dust and dirt that had been hidden in a corner. 

Saifuddin, who had never had a good relationship with lamps, wanted to break one more lamp and then end his life. He picked up the lamp and, with all his strength, smashed it against the wall. Contrary to his expectations, a faint plume of smoke rose from the lamp, and then Genie appeared. Genie, who had never seen such a fierce being in his magical life, said, with fear and trembling, “Sir, I am Genie. Whoever frees me from the lamp, I will grant them three wishes. Now that you are the ruler of Afghanistan, ask me what to do.” 

Mullah Saifuddin didn’t trust the apparition. He asked, “What kind of things can you do, for example?” 

Genie said, “For example, I can make your country prosperous. Improve your relations with the international community. Turn this museum into gold. Give you wings to fly. Make your policies towards women humane. Make the people of Afghanistan happy. In short, whatever you want, I will do it.” 

Among the Taliban, if there was one intelligent and wise person, it was Mullah Saifuddin. He couldn’t be easily deceived. This was why he wanted to test the first wish. He asked Genie for a blanket. 

Genie brought a blanket in the blink of an eye and asked, “What is your second wish?” 

Mullah Saifuddin, who was delighted to see the blanket, asked Genie to go to the second floor and tell his bodyguard to come to the basement. This was like drinking water for Genie. In an instant, the guard arrived at the basement. 

Genie turned to Mullah Saifuddin and said, “Now tell me, what is your third wish? You should know that this is your last wish, and your chance is running out.” 

Mullah Saifuddin replied to Genie, “Now you go away! Disappear! Close the door on your way out. Don’t ruin our romance now.” 

And so, Afghanistan again missed a golden opportunity for prosperity. 

* Musa Zafar is a satirist and journalist.