There was so much happening that it seemed that there was just too much pressure around the place. After all, which other province went through a change of government without any election, its second in less than a month? And at the same time underwent a terrorist attack, not on the ordinary citizens, but on the police, which is supposed to guard against such attacks? And all of this was happening in the same city, and the timing of the attack and the restoration of the Shehbaz government was such that it seemed as if the two were cause-and-effect. After all, the attacks happened in the morning, and the notification lifting Governors Rule was issued in the afternoon, even before the Manawan attackers had blown themselves up, or been captured, or come to whatever end they were fated to have. So it is to the credit of Mian Shahbaz Sharif that the events in Swat, of which a videotape has been issued, unfolded there, not here. Because the Swat incidents show what will happen if we are deprived for too long of the blessings of PPP rule, which Governors rule was supposed to bring us. All that has been seen in the Punjab has been the emergence of a Forward Bloc in the PML-Q, it seems with Ata Muhammad Maneka at its head. It is still not clear which ministry Maneka is to have, but ministry he must have. Without the ministry, there is little point in switching loyalties to the extent that his seat might be at stake. It is also visible from the episode of the ouster of Shahbaz Sharif that all of the provisions brought into the Constitution by Pervez Musharraf were meant only to keep out enemies of the regime, and thus of Pakistan, and thus of the War on Terror. Without him around, the provisions dont mean much. So the question Ata Maneka should be asking himself is not whether he will lose his seat, but whether the Supreme Court will see that he is no floor crosser. Especially since all are agreed that Ata Maneka had no role in the Swat videotape, and the whipping of the girl it shows. While a lot of people think that the whipping showed Pakistan in a poor light, and presented the image of a country where women are treated badly, there are also a lot of people who dont care what image is presented abroad. The USA doesnt care, not the way that someone offed so many people in New York, which happens so much in American schools that its one of the risks of studying there. That incident is enough, apart from its invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, to ensure that America would be better off without an image abroad. The Swat videotape has divided our society into those who believe that it shows what the Taliban are really up to, and those who dont believe that it is real. However, it seems that all agree that our religion does not sanction these kinds of punishment. Those who dont believe in the truth of the video dont believe that a Pathan woman would go to her punishment so brazenly. Whatever the truth, the video has led to lines being created of those condemning the incident. Apart from the question of Pakistans image, which was obviously uppermost in the minds of those conducting the incident, the video comes at a very bad time for Pakistan, with US Special Representative Holbrooke due, at the time that a substantial aid request is going up before Congress. Yes, we are finally getting the dollars we deserve, and if our image is spoilt, then the dollars could conceivably be stopped. Its not just funny, but also interesting, that nothing happens to the national image because of Manawan, but only because of Swat. And while Manawan is to be condemned, it only provides an opportunity to ask for more dollars. For our under-equipped police, of course. Or more equipment, with the mandatory commissions. But Swat does not allow what our rulers do best, ask for what matters to them most. No wonder that the PPP assembled in Larkana around Zulfikar Ali Bhuttos grave have nothing to celebrate, even though the party has both the Presidency and the Federal and two provincial governments. There are still two provincial governments which the party does not have, and the attempt to get the Punjab government has ended in a fiasco. Maybe the video will allow an attempt to be made on the ANP instead. Meanwhile, anybody who is anybody in the PPP made an extra effort to be seen in Larkana, where the real purpose of the party was revealed: to be camp followers of the Bhutto clan. Because the last time the jiyalas were over there was to attend the first anniversary of Benazir Bhutto. Now they are attending Zulfikar Alis 30th. Sooner or later, there will be other anniversaries to attend, and more graves to pay respects to. Those attending now should work out when there will be too many. Not just those attending, but those not attending, because they will visit the graves of others. And it never rains, but it pours, what with the container of bodies in Quetta, and the bomb blasts in Islamabad. But both terrorism and the migrant dream are well known in Lahore, too well known for comfort. But then, we arent here for comfort, are we?