It might be very noble of Muhammad Hafeez to resign the 2020 captaincy, but a lot of Pakistanis would have preferred a little less nobility, a little more victory. And we had to lose to the West Indies, who lost their own semifinal to India. Now if India had lost, there would have been some purpose in losing. We must not forget that the purpose of Pakistan playing is not so much to win, as to prevent India winning. This year, that was directly against the wishes of the Bombay bookies, who had decided that a Sri Lankan victory was necessary this year. But the best explanation I have heard so far of Pakistan’s ouster from the 2020 World Cup is that it was the Punjab government’s fault. That brings a reminder that Najam Sethi was first caretaker Punjab Chief Minister for the election which saw the Shehbaz government re-elected, and then was appointed PCB chairman, and even though his predecessor Zaka Ashraf was restored by the Islamabad High Court, the federal government swiftly acted to bring him back. As neither Zaka nor Sethi are expected to play, it does seem as if he was brought back only for the defeat.

Contrary to expectation, Syed Munawwar Hassan did not hold a candlelight vigil at Mansoora to express regret at the exit from the 2020 World Cup. In fact, the one he did hold, for Egypt’s Muhammad Morsi, seems to have backfired, because it apparently led to his becoming the first sitting Jamaat Islami Amir to lose an election. KPK Senior Minister Sirajul Haq was elected instead, and one hopes he has quickly shelved the proposal that he hold a candlelight vigil to highlight drone attack victims. Candlelight vigils are not good for Jamaat Amirs, so Sirajul Haq needs to shake off the effect of being Imran Khan’s junior coalition partner. Imran has also received shock in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, what with Siraj’s election being greeted by the formation of a Forward Block in the PTI. The Forward Block apparently has withdrawn its demand for a chief minister who does not suffer from TB. Imran Khan must learn to take the rough with the smooth, but the exit from the T20 World Cup, and the KP crisis was a double whammy for him. It’s lucky the Tehrik Taliban Pakistan extended its ceasefire, otherwise he would have had to make do only with bad news.

One of the wonders of this year so far has been the spring rain, of which we had another spell on Wednesday. I suppose the rainy weather should have meant that Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf should have been allowed to join his mother in Dubai. She is very old, and should be, considering that her older son is now 70, but she is still proving herself a blessing to him, because she is providing the excuse for his going abroad. However, I’m not entirely sure of the security of our borders when its gallant defenders find out that not only do commandos grow old and develop heart disease, but also have old mothers. Of course, when Mian Sharif died in Saudi Arabia, neither of his sons was allowed back to bury him, and I suppose Musharraf was the one who never knew that he would want to go and see his mother. Mian Nawaz should remember that his own father never saw his vindication by history, which is implicit in his being re-elected. Now Musharraf is the one facing the decision. And we all must remember that Americans have a becoming regard for the flag, Mom and apple pie. I don’t know what Musharraf thinks of apple pie, but he has a high regard for Mom, and for Americans, as his book tells us. Apart from his promotions, I wonder how much Musharraf’s mother must have felt worried about her boy, what with his being in a plane when he became President, and his not just being on trial for his life, but on a charge of high treason, with all its sleazy undertones of handing over secret files to the Indians. The poor woman must be sick with worry, even though she shouldn’t be, because her boy is a commando, and can do anything.

At least he’s not in the police, which is being shown up by the women who are being driven to suicide by its refusal to register rape cases. Well, they’re being driven to suicide by a combination, really, of rapists and the police. Imagine a girl who has been raped, and who turns to the police for redress, only to be told that there would be no arrests, and that the rape didn’t take place.

Of course she shouldn’t burn herself, because despair is a sin. But the victims do, as happened recently in Muzaffargarh district, and on Friday outside Assembly Hall, where a girl from Sheikhupura attempted suicide after failing to get justice. Maybe the Sheikhupura police is a particularly hard lot. They were involved in a rape themselves last year. However, no one considers the police so bad that they would attempt a very public and painful suicide just to get the police into trouble.

But then what do you expect when the police thought fit to register a charge of attempted murder against a nine-month-old infant when they went to disconnect the gas. It is wrong not to pay one’s gas bills, but it only leads to one’s gas being cut off, not having police cases registered against babes in arms. One wonders if the child has a mother abroad he can use as an excuse to flee the country.