Islamabad,: Was an adventurous monkey that strayed into Pakistan from India "an Indian-Zionist-US plot against the Islamic republic?", a leading Pakistani daily asks tongue-in-cheek after authorities captured the simian and handed it over to a zoo.
The Dawn, in a humorous editorial, says the monkey should be sent back home as a zoo official feels that it "is not a trained spy and couldn`t have been sent across the border for espionage purposes".
Taking a dig at "eagle-eyed" security forces at the border, it says: "Vigilance is the key when it comes to patrolling borders and our eagle-eyed Rangers did not let us down last month when, showing valour in the face of grave danger, they cunningly nabbed a monkey that had strayed across into Pakistan from Indian territory."
The monkey was apparently found strolling in the desert area of Rahimyar Khan, where it was captured and handed over to the Bahawalpur zoo.
"So was this an Indian-Zionist-US plot against the Islamic republic?," the editorial asked.
It continued: "The zoo`s curator, in a point scored for sanity, doesn`t seem to think so.
"He feels that this `common monkey` is not a trained spy and couldn`t have been sent across the border for espionage purposes. But he also hastens to add that such monkeys cannot be released because they are `usually naughty and can harm the civilian population` - as opposed to men in uniform, one presumes. He has a point though. "
The editorial noted that "naughty monkeys are the last thing this country needs in these times of trouble on almost every conceivable front".
"The visa-less primate is now locked up with several other monkeys, including a brother-in-arms who earlier also wandered across the border in the pursuit of possibly nefarious ends that would rock humanity," it said in jest.
The editorial went on to say that monkeys do not recognise international borders and the search for food can take them into territory that has been demarcated and carved out by men, not the forces of nature.
"In this latest case, an Indian animal rights group has asked that the monkey in question be released back into the wild. That is not an unreasonable request and to oblige would be the right thing to do. This monkey needs to go home, the sooner the better," it added.