After decades of introspection, the government of Pakistan has reportedly recognized the importance of “whatever” and is willing to do “whatever” it takes to have this included in all official communication.
When a small group of protestors, who couldn’t freeze their butts anymore, decided to enter the warm townhouse occupied by the government of Pakistan on 65th street to convey their demands, the Pakistani Deputy Consul General was gracious enough to tolerate their presence. The Pakistani representative told the crowd:
“I am happy to receive you and listen to whatever you have to say.”
Several members of the group stated their concerns and conveyed their demands for approximately 10 minutes. Everyone reiterated the same demand; arrest terrorists and those who incite and preach violence in the name of religion. The name of a demented cleric, Abdul Aziz, was mentioned at least eighteen times by five speakers, all of whom unequivocally demanded his immediate arrest.
After patiently listening to everyone, the diplomat confirmed that he would relay the demands, “whatever” they are, to his government in Islamabad.
His response irked the protestors, who had assumed that Consul General was taking mental note and will be able to recap the demand.
Some felt disgusted at his repeated use of the term “whatever.”
They wondered if he meant, “whatever you say” or “I don’t care what you say.”
Having raised teenagers, I have learned that “whatever” is a lot more complex than your regular dictionary would have you believe. Parents and teachers will tell you:
Any attempt at conversation can be simply blocked by the retort of “whatever”.
It is, indeed a complete and profound sentence. Whatever can be used
“to dismiss the previous statement,” or express “indifference” or “partial agreement.”
My fellow protestors must have thought the government representative was
being offensive and impolite; that he was using “whatever” as a passive-aggressive conversational blocking tool.
My sources tell me that the representative is an extremely congenial fellow and he was just following his government’s instructions.
I am told that Pakistan’s Foreign Office is making a concerted effort to get “whatever” included in the official diplomatic parlance.
Next time when a Foreign Office representative is asked why the government failed to capture Osama bin Laden, who was hiding so close to the capital, the one-word response will be “whatever.” That may mean;
We did whatever we could but since OBL was in a house with high walls we couldn’t tell that he was hiding. Or
We are good but we not God. We don’t know where anyone is hiding
The crazy cleric Abdul Aziz, who is running a terror camp at a stone’s throw distance from ISI’s headquarters, is not hiding. Everyone knows where he lives. He leaves his terror camp to go to TV studios, to meet with Saudi diplomats and former heads of ISI (the Pakistani CIA) .
If you ask, “why doesn’t your government arrest Abdul Aziz?” You will get a “whatever.” And this will be the dismissive “whatever:”
We just don’t give a damn.
By IBRAHIM SAJID MALICK: Whatever Works
You have captured the environment so well this much better than news report. I am sure that guy didn’t mean any harm that is just the way he speaks
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