One wonders if Begum Zarin Musharraf’s arrival in Karachi will be as much of a false alarm as that of Cyclone Nilofer. The cyclone didn’t hit, but Begum Musharraf went off to meet her son Pervez, her eldest boy, who is supposed to be on trial for his life, though he is in Karachi, and the trial in Rawalpindi. Still, the General wanted to visit his mother in hospital, but since he couldn’t go, she came. And from the medical report submitted to the trial court, she was right to do so. He is in pretty poor shape for an ex-commando. And as anyone will attest, nothing will keep away a mother from an ailing son. It may have slipped Begum Musharraf’s mind that she was his prime excuse to get out of the country, and thus outside the purview of this court.
But she was not the only person taking a flight. So did PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri, who winged his way to Canada after the government refused to fall despite his and Imran Khan’s sit-in in Islamabad. Dr Qadri only comes to Pakistan for sit-ins, it seems, and goes back because he couldn’t succeed in getting what he wanted. One hopes he finds some sort of peace in Canada, for flying didn’t seem to bring Bilawal Bhutto any peace. He tried a bit of spontaneity by dropping on a rally for Kashmir, where he was ambushed by the PTI. Trust Imran’s nephew Hissan to be arrested. Bilawal is lucky, by the way, because Niazis usually get arrested in murder cases. Not over bad eggs or rotten tomatoes. One might say with some justice that the courts have taken centre stage. Imran saw the dismissal by the Supreme Court of the petitions of the 2013 elections. Then Gullu Butt got it in the neck for 11 years. (And he only smashed car windows. The trial of those who killed people hasn’t started. In fact, no one has been charged.) In fact, if Gullu Butt is not tried for the killings, he should be tried for his moustaches. Maybe we should be sending him to represent Pakistan in the World Moustache Championship. But the country’s reputation could end up in the mud. After all, there are cars where the Championships take place. Gullu Butt might not have disgraced the country. But because of him, a fine upstanding body of citizens has been put needlessly on the defensive. I wonder if his ancestors came from Amritsar. Because the typical Lahori, since 1947, has been an Amritsari Kashmiri. Meanwhile, the Bangladeshi courts are not behindhand, with the Jamaat Islami chief Motiur Rehman getting the death sentence for being the head of Ashams in 1971. One hopes that the victims of the Modeltown carnage don’t have to wait 43 years too. Or else Sirajul Haq has better watch out. The Iranian courts that passed the death sentence on Reyhane Jabbari must also be mentioned, though they led to her execution. It seems the Iranian courts have the right idea. She claimed to have committed the murder in self-defense, a claim that suffers from two defects. First, she was making an unfair and unwarranted accusation against an intelligence officer. Second, even if it was true, did she imagine anyone was going to let her get away with offing an intelligence man? I mean, Is anything too good for intelligence men? If this case had happened in Pakistan, would she have got off? However, Imran perhaps might not look too kindly on intelligence people, not after the letdown he and Dr Qadri got after all of their hard work. But he dare not say anything against the ISI, as that would mean being against a national institution.
The passing of Ashura this week not just represents the murder of the Imam and his family, but also the last excuse of the PTI to go home. Now the sitters-in will have to wait. However, everyone is supposed to be back for the end of the month. And then if the Sharif brothers don’t resign… Well, Imran has never had to think further than five days while a cricketer, like Misbahul Haq did in Dubai, planning the match against the Aussies, though it would be better if he scored more hundreds even if he planned less. Incidentally, does he hold the record for being the oldest ever Test centurion. I mean, we already have the one for the oldest Test debutant, Miran Bux, the offspinner who was over 47 when he first got a chance, in Jaunary 1955, against India.
However, Imran had to concentrate on the drama of the PTI resignations. The Speakr doesn’t know if the PTI members have resigned or not. The PTI insists on appearing as a group. Neither seems to be trusting the signature. The same attention is not paid to their signatures on TA/DA bills. Nobody asks for personal verificatory appearance. If they did, would the concerned MNA insist on bringing along his friends? All of them?
The PTI shouldn’t take the credit for the petrol price fall. The fall is because of the fall in the world price. If the price had gone up, would the government have lowered the price, sit-in or no sit-in? The PTI shouldn’t claim credit. Nor should the government. It should remember that what goes down, always goes up.