We may be poor but we know how to treat foreigners who come bearing gifts. Apparently the British government has pledged a billion-pound grant for Pakistan. The British Minister for Overseas Development was here in that connection and did we give him a run for his money. He asked for an appointment with the finance minister to which Naveed Qamar replied "I am too busy". His deputy, the travel-happy Hina Rabbani too responded with a "Sorry I'm off to New York". When finally the miracle meeting did materialize (finance secretary and governor SBP included) Naveed Qamar knew when to tell the nosy minister to get off. British minister: can you give me Pakistan's macro economic picture. Our minister: Don't worry about Pakistan's macro economic picture. Just enjoy your lunch. The visitor persisted which provoked our venerable secretary finance to say Ai saday pichey he pai gaya hai. Now we may be poor but we know how to treat our guests. * * * * * * * * * * * * It seems there is one ghost that continues to haunt the PPP and it is not one of the dearly departed among the Bhutto clan. The ghost is also singularly responsible for the PPP's choice of presidential candidate. The ghost is that of Farooq Leghari who incidentally is still alive and kicking but dead to the PPP. Whenever a PPP insider is asked "Why Zardari for President," the reply is always "There is no one else we can trust. After all Leghari once ran along the late BB's car. He even took a whipping in her honour. But look how he changed once he became President." In fact they do not trust even a covering candidate for President. That is why they chose AZ's own sister for the slot. * * * * * * * * * * * * The FBR lot are banging their heads against the wall once again. The 12 or so stock brokers (also known as power brokers) have been saved from the dreaded capital value tax in this budget once again. In the past, department gossips loved talking about "commission" being paid to a VVIP finance wizard in Islamabad. But now that their favourite punching bag is based in London, there is another VVIP whose name is doing the FBR rounds. Guess who?