Well, not only has Shahid Khaqan Abbasi become PM, but we have also been vouchsafed a glimpse of Naya Pakistan, in the shape of the Ayesha Gulalai affair. Abbasi will be PM only until Mian Shehbaz Sharif finds a seat in the National Assembly, but the massive Cabinet he swore in to replace the outgoing one had better be for Shehbaz too.

An interesting appointment was of Kh Asif as Foreign Minister. Will he too, like predecessor Khurshid Kasuri, fall asleep in public to promote the Kashmir Cause? Will his replacement at Defence, Khurram Dastagir, do the same, in emulation of a predecessor, Syed Naveed Qamar? Naveed Qamar also contested, on the PPP’s behalf, for PM. He got 47 votes to Abbasi’s 221.

While falling asleep in public might not be the best foreign or defence policy option available, it might be best for all concerned in the Ayesha Gulalai affair. I’m not saying a word about who’s telling the truth and who’s not. All I know is that Ayesha Gulalai has not resigned from the National Assembly, and though it has set up a committee to investigate the affair, and that Imran Khan won the World Cup. Ayesha Gulalai on the other hand, didn’t even build a cancer hospital. If her allegations are correct, Imran would be relying on the wink-wink nudge-nudge culture that prevails to get away with it.

Of course, the PTI has counterattacked with another Ayesha, PML(N) Ex-MPA Ahad Malik’s daughter, who revived her accusations against Hamza Shehbaz Sharif. Still, the PTI shouldn’t up the ante. I’m not sure Imran could stand the heat. I don’t know if the PTI realises that Imran’s personal life wouldn’t let him last in politics in the very countries he wants followed in matters of electoral and financial probity. This might well be hypocritical, but there it is.

I also see that Ch Nisar has not joined the Abbasi Cabinet. There has been a peculiarly fine balance maintained to ensure that he can, but if he doesn’t, no harm done. His portfolio, Interior, has been assigned to Ahsan Iqbal. But Ahsan’s, Planning and Development, has been retained by the PM. Everyone thinks Ch Nisar has stayed away because he was not made PM, but joining the Abbasi Cabinet would mean joining one formed by his former colleague’s son. Yes, Abbasi’s father, Khaqan Abbasi, had been Production Minister in the Junejo Cabinet, where Ch Nisar had been Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, which Shahid also kept, as if for himself, when he returns to the Cabinet as an ordinary member, as he probably will in a Shehbaz Cabinet.

Coming back to the Ayesha Gulalai affair, the one who probably got the most mileage was Naeemul Haque. Not only was he associated with the same lady as his leader, but he also came across as someone with a social media presence, whose account was hacked. And I don’t suppose the dancing at the PTI rally to celebrate Nawaz’s ouster had anything to do with it.

Naeem might still want Electronic Voting Machines in place, even though the hack might show how unreliable they are. What we need is an EVM that yields ‘positive results’, which is that Our Guy Wins. Of course, the PTI probably opposes things like the murder of Chris Msando, the communications, information and technology chief of the Kenya Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. The murder occurred about a week before the presidential poll tomorrow. It would set off a dharna by Imran if it happened here.

EVMs are not really reliable. Look at the USA, where President Donald Trump is facing an investigation into the ‘Russian connection’, which included it trying to get him elected. There are no allegations of any actual vote reversals, but the turmoil at the White House has seen one chief of staff resign, as well as a communications director. Then the new chief of staff, John Kelly, the retired Marine general who was Homeland Security Secretary, fired the replacement communications director, who thus lasted just 10 days in the job.

I assume that the White House staff will not be forced to pick the general’s toenail clippings off the floor. South Korean soldiers found this part of their duties when they were assigned to serve with a general. The general’s wife flung a pancake into the face of one soldier when her son refused to eat it. Mighty unpatriotic to complain when faced with a North Korean ICBM threat. You won’t catch any of our soldiers complaining about what they might have to do as batmen, do you?

These wives can be the ruin of a man, or his salvation. I mean, the JIT has apparently moved to Israel, to probe Benjamin Netanyahu for corruption. No Qatari Prince has written (the wells have oil, not ink), but Mrs Netanyahu is appearing to testify.

The real power of the courts was shown with the cut in fuel prices, which was first held back because the ‘competent authority’ didn’t exist. Maybe the government wanted the price to stay unchanged, and thus to avert the payments it had to make. But perhaps some bright spark reminded someone that the Supreme Court had given a verdict that the pump prices were to follow the international. So though the government changed, the only difference is that the cut was held back six days.