City Notes

The heart attack which got Mr Justice Azmat Saeed admitted to hospital led to an adjournment to Monday (today) at least, perhaps longer if his recovery takes time, and probably not any time this week, of the Panamagate case that the Supreme Court is hearing. Is it a coincidence that the Supreme Court heard the stent case as well? True, Mr Justice Saeed did not have a stent placed in his heart, but still, there’s no harm in making sure.

The adjournment was welcome to supporters of Mian Nawaz Sharif, presumably also to the PML(N) Workers’ Convention, which made it clear that it supported Mian Nawaz, and which probably felt that if he had committed any corruption, that was what he was elected for. The PTI probably regarded the heart attack as a conspiracy against it, and further proof that the Sharifs had bribed almost everyone.

While we were worrying about judges’ heart attacks and stents, in India, or rather in East Punjab, they keep on bribing voters with drugs. Hmmm… Are the bribers sure that such voters know who to vote for, assuming they turn up at the polling booth, because their natural instinct after a dose would be to curl up in a corner somewhere? Though the normal phrase is high as a kite, they tend to want to lie down a little.

The junkies in East Punjab probably don’t care that Modi is Prime Minister of India, or Trump is President of the USA, because junkies usually don’t care about anything. Though they might well be impressed by the mess that the travel ban on Muslims is creating. Modi probably definitely approves, and Trump seems to be showing him how to deal with Muslims. What he wants now is a method of getting junkies to vote for him.

In a certain way, the arrest of Hafiz Saeed should have made him happy, but that happiness might not have had that much strength in it, at least not until he was placed on the ECL, which is probably too light, now that model Ayyan Ali has been taken off it. Hafiz Saeed is wanted for the Mumbai Attacks of 2007, though India wants him handed over without providing any evidence. India finds itself in the same position as Imran Khan. Just as much as he finds the Supreme Court refusing to believe him when he says Mian Nawaz is corrupt, and has the temerity to demand that he provide evidence, India is also confronted with a Pakistan refusing to hand over its citizens whenever it says so, instead rudely demanding evidence.

Hafiz Saeed has not been, to my knowledge, accused of the mosque attack in Quebec City. I wonder why not. Either a militant like him committed it, or it didn’t happen. I think that’s the difference between the USA and Canada. The USA elects Trump President, Canada attacks people praying Maghrib. Actually, Trump is the greater affliction if you ask us. Look, we’ve had mosque attacks, but not elected Trump President. We’ve got Mamnoon Hussain. We had Saeeduz Zaman Siddiqui as Sind Governor, but now we don’t. Instead we’ve got Zubair Umar. May he live long. If he can.

I don’t know if Karachi is a good place these days. I mean, apart from Governor Siddiqui, Baba Ladla was also shot dead. Funny, but while Governor Siddiqui was a former Chief Justice, Baba Ladla, apart from his unusual moniker, could well have been tried. He was a well-known gangster in Lyari, where you have to be a really hard man if you want to rise to his eminence I was reminded of Hanif Baba, known better as Nifa Baba, another hard man who was offed by the law enforcing agencies, but in Lahore. The Neefa Baba gang was tops in Lahore in its day.

Anyway, Baba Ladla’s death didn’t move Modi as much as the loss of the Indian blind cricket team to Pakistan in the Blind Cricket World Cup. I don’t think we should be too hard on our team. I mean, if they’re blind to the needs of diplomacy, which demand that India win all its matches against Pakistan, we can’t blame them, can we? They’re blind after all, aren’t they?

Indeed, this need of India, which has deepened since Modi won office, is probably what explains the PCB’s puzzlement at Indian duplicity. PCB chief Shehryar Khan shouldn’t be surprised at this, being a former diplomat. It seems the ICB inveigled the PCB into supporting its bid to become one of the Big Three with the offer of a number of bilateral series. Well, they welshed. Because they were afraid of getting beaten. Or rather, because Modi didn’t trust them. Well, even the blind team couldn’t win.

Closer to home, it seems the lawyers, who have been riding high ever since they had Mr Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry restored as Chief Justice in 2009, have come to earth. Well, at least started. One lawyer killed two others in Jia Musa over a property dispute. Did the killer object to the new law about settlement of disputes by a panchayat or jirga? Or was he marking Kashmir Solidarity Day? The government marked it by keeping all offices closed. What’s that, you say? It was a Sunday, so the offices were closed anyway? Ah, that’s the beauty of it.