Well, loadshedding has ended up killing someone, though it’s not immediately clear how burning down a petrol pump is supposed to have brought the lights back. Some things are noticeable. First, the heat hasn’t really begun. We’re still sleeping not just without fans, but under covers. True, the covers are not the ones used at the height of winter, but there’s still some distance to the summer, or rather the hot weather. And we’re not keeping the fans off because we can’t afford the electricity bills, but because it’s not hot enough. But we mustn’t worry, because even if we could afford the bills, which we can’t, there would be no electricity. WAPDA, the GENCOs, or the DISCOs, or the government, or whoever’s in charge, should note that the current wave of protests was caused by the powerful combination of high bills (for winter months) combined with long hours of loadshedding.

Perhaps we don’t really need fans right now, but we still know that the bills will probably be worse in summer, and the loadshedding too shall increase. We should also notice that the administration too noticed that people protest everything by burning tires. So the tires have been removed. I suspect the petrol pump in Shadbagh wouldn’t have been burnt if the crowd had found tires. Petrol pumps usually have tire shops attached, so they would be the logical place for protesters to go to. But if the protesters hadn’t tried it on, there wouldn’t have been a security guard firing at the protesters. I don’t see the arson protests working any more than vest protests. You know, where the protesters take off their shirts, revealing dingy vests, drape a necklace of rotis on themselves, and then lie down on some main road. Have their demands ever been granted?

We must understand the nature of electricity, as the symbol of the War on Terror. This has become even more important for the USA now that the joint sitting discussing the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, hasn’t yet behaved like good little boys and recommended the restoration of NATO supplies, as they are supposed to, but instead has been distracted by the power issue, and would like to discuss that. As if anyone cares about all those Third World citizens sweltering in the heat.

It is evident that even though we look like Third World citizens, we don’t smell enough like them. Even though we should all have turned off our geysers this winter, it seems we didn’t. With the result that we didn’t give off enough of a whiff of the Third World as we should have.

Parliament, which was supposed to have recommended that the NATO supplies be restored, didn’t, even it didn’t have the benefit of the presence of the Prime Minister, who was in Seoul having his picture taken with the American President. The American President was supposed to be concerned about the supply route, even though he probably has been briefed that the Prime Minister doesn’t run the country, but Pakistan’s Sole Warrior on Terror, Dr Rehman Malik himself, does. Or at least behaves as if he does. No wonder President Asif Zardari goes abroad, to see how badly runs a country that lacks a Dr Malik.

So anxious are the Americans to re-open the supply routes that they sent not one, but two four-star generals to meet the COAS and the Joint Chiefs Chairman. They failed to get the route re-opened, which was because they didn’t meet the right person, the Sole Warrior. Did I mention that at the last Pakistan Day, a grateful nation, in the shape of a grateful President, bestowed on him the Hilal-i-Imtiaz? It should have been the Nishan-i-Imtiaz, but there must be jealousy in high places. Maybe at the next Honours…

Before those next Honours, where will the price of petrol be? It has already reached over Rs 100 a litre, so should we expect Rs 1000? I am glad to see that we don’t have many donkeycarts, for if we did, you can bet your boots that the government would find some way of jacking up animal feed prices, presumably through an organization called SHATALA. Healthy people are supposed to walk. And Third World people are not supposed to use fuel, not when there is a War on Terror going on.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif seems to think that Third World citizens deserve laptop computers. He will find he is wrong, and they don’t even deserve pencils. The laptops don’t have a screensaver saying ‘Vote for Shehbaz’, which means they shouldn’t work against Imran Khan in this election. In the good old days, laptops would have brought criticism for Shahbaz was raising electricity bills. Now they bring criticism for giving out something that can only run on electricity that isn’t there, or for attempting to build the party image among the younger voters that Imran Khan is looking forward to getting.

And meanwhile, we hope that the ambitious overhead bridge which puts Ichhra underneath will help solve some of the area’s traffic problems. What with the Kalima Chowk flyover and the Ichhra Bridge, my traveling time will come down considerably, but I’ll have to balance that against the dust I’ve imbibed.

But I am no match for Hussain Haqqani, who will only depose before the Memogate Commission via videolink from the London Embassy like Mansoor Ijaz did. Is he trying to establish equality or save the fare to Pakistan? He’s claiming there are dangers to his life in Pakistan. Like Dr Malik? Well, though he has an (honorary) doctorate, it’s not an MBBS, like Dr Zulfikar Mirza has. So maybe the danger is from him? Only Haqqani knows.