City Notes

It seems Nasir Mahmood Khosa is not fit to be PCB Chairman. Or else, he was used to break a record set by an Indian. Of course, the feelings of Nasir Mahmood Khosa were not consulted, but Imran Khan must have thought what the feelings of a former bureaucrat were, when a great national cause was at stake? As everyone knows, Imran has a great interest in cricket, while he does not want to see Pakistan left behind India.

The new caretaker PM, former Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk, must have been on pins and needles until he took oath. What if Imran had suddenly found he wasn’t suitable? Imran felt that there was an uproar against Khosa after he was named in the public. Now how does Imran define ‘the public’? The tweets that he gets? The chit passed to him by a major in civvies with a bad haircut? The nearest chaiwala to his Banigala residence?

Be that as it may, it perhaps percolated to him that Khosa would not do his patriotic duty and ensure Imran won. Also, it may have been conveyed to him that when Najam Sethi completed his term, Khosa would not take over as PCB chief. The PCB has been developing a relationship with the caretaker, it seems. In 2013, the caretaker Punjab CM became PCB chief. This time, a former PCB chief (Zaka Ashraf) was in the running for caretaker PM. Is Waqar Younis going to become caretaker PM? Not until he can promise positive results to Imran Khan.

Nasir Khosa is not the only person having difficulties with cricket. Cricket Sri Lanka has been hit by a double crisis. Al Jazeera has revealed that Sri Lankan cricketers have been involved in spot fixing and a groundsman has been involved in tampering with a pitch. And Cricket Sri Lanka has also missed an election. The Sri Lankan government has taken over, with the ICC poised to suspend Sri Lanka’s membership, and hold any money it owes it in escrow until elections are held. It was Sri Lanka which tested the ICC then, which forced the elections which led to the present set-up.

I suppose it could be claimed that Nasir Khosa has broken the record just set by the BJP’s Yedyurappa in Karnataka. After the elections in Karnataka, he was appointed CM on May 17, being the head of the single largest party. Problem was, he didn’t have an absolute majority. The second and third largest parties formed an alliance, which gave them an absolute majority, so Yedyurappa resigned on May 19. Well, he had been CM for two days. Khosa had been CM-designate for less time.

The PTI presented a new list of CM-candidates. Well, two lists: one in Banigala, and the other in Lahore. Both lists contained the name of Ayaz Amir, who has been a PML-N MNA. Now imagine if he accepts. And the chaiwala, or whoever else is ‘the public’, objects…

Of course, Imran has also got his own worries. Like about the situation in Spain. The PM, Mariano Rajoy, has been voted out over allegations of corruption, and all without a dharna. At the same time, Imran can’t seem to avoid Khosas, for while he was naming and then denaming one, he was including the head of the tribe, Sirdar Zulfiqar, into the PTI. He left out Sirdar Zulfikar’s son, though. He had once been briefly CM about 10 years back, while Mian Shehbaz sought a seat in the House.

Actually, it’s all Nasir Durrani’s fault. He was nominated as CM by the PTI, but withdrew his name. Instead of a Khosa, the PTI was putting forward a Durrani, but it was still keeping a Nasir. Now, no Nasirs are on the list. Unless you count Nasirul Mulk, but then he is caretaker PM.

Durranis don’t seem to be having a good time. While Nasir Durrani was having a hard time in Lahore, Lt Gen (retd) Asad Durrani was having a hard time in Rawalpindi, where GHQ heard about the book he had co-authored with an ex-RAW chief, and not just asked for him to be placed on the ECL, but also ordered a board of enquiry constituted against him, to be headed by a lieutenant general. That is a prelude to a court martial. It is bad enough for a general officer, an ex-DG ISI to boot, to be dragged before a board of enquiry, and a court martial would be simply unthinkable.

Apparently, the Venezuelan army is in the same case, with two generals among eight persons arrested for ‘treason against the fatherland, instigation of rebellion, mutiny and crimes against military decorum’. I suppose they forgot the high crime of ‘walking on the grass’. But something seems to be happening there. This coincided with the expulsion of the US chargéd’affaires and his deputy, not to forget the jailing of the Utah man who had married a Venezuelan girl, for having guns and planning to overthrow the government. Something is apparently happening out there.

Still, things are happening out here too, like the gunning down of Charanjit Singh, the Sikh and human rights activist in Peshawar, but motorcycle killers. Funny that election season should coincide with the killing of a Sikh in the capital of the only PTI-ruled province. Right here, another Sikh, an MPA and CM’s Adviser, Soaran Singh, was killed, and his successor as MPA, Baldev Kumar, had a shoe flung at him by a PTI colleague when he went to take oath. There were ugly rumours that he was behind the killing. Another Sikh killed. If it had been a large community, the killings could have been unrelated…