City Notes

The arrest of Punjab Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan made perfect sense. I mean, you can’t expect to walk into NAB’s local offices, and expect to leave unscathed, not if you’ve had a hair transplant. I mean, Mian Shehbaz Sharif has also been arrested, and his only crime so far seems to have been flaunting his new hairline in the face of the NAB investigators. It might be mentioned that Mian Shehbaz’s elder brother, Mian Nawaz, also got arrested and flung in jail after visiting NAB. He too has had a hair transplant done.

Has NAB unwittingly unveiled a deep dark secret behind Kh Saad Rafiq’s hairline? He has the modest hairline of someone who has not gone bald as a young man, but who has now reached old age, or rather late middle age as we like to call it when actually faced by it. His younger brother Salman has a mop of white hair (Saad’s is still black, though that may the miracle wrought by a tube rather than good genes), and doesn’t look like he had a transplant done.

But what price Kamran Michael, who was arrested by NAB? His hair, carefully in place, was jet black. Mian Nawaz’s sons have also appeared before NAB, and neither seems to have had a hair transplant done, judging by the male-pattern balding (and then some!), which has happened to them. While neither has reached the heights to which their father and uncle reached in their pre-transplant avatars, neither has escaped the family tradition, which goes back at least to the late Mian Sharif, whose dome was remarkable mainly for being bereft of hair.

Maybe that is why Asif Zardari has so far escaped arrest. Maybe the investigators in Karachi have noticed that, while his forehead is broad, his hairline is consistent with a man of his age who has kept his hair. Well, not all of it, but certainly more than his late father-in-law. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. He not only went bald early, but what was left of his hair went white. He didn’t try any transplants. Well at that time they were not as common as now. (And the horror story of actor Sajid Hasan tells us, among other things, that hair transplants can go horribly wrong; maybe that’s what persuaded the PPP to give him a ticket at the last election). Bilawal too is still free, maybe because he too is suitably hirsute. He’s at an age when you need to flaunt it before you lose it.

I wonder how much the fact that the present Chairman NAB has a full head of hair, even though he is 72. He hasn’t gone for a whole head dye-job, leaving a front lock white. He has more hair than his predecessor Qamar Zaman Chaudhry. But less than Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has eschewed any transplants, and still gets the youth vote with his flowing locks.

Imran’s locks were not in evidence on Kashmir Solidarity Day, which unfortunately has become just another holiday. This year, all it needed was to take Monday off, and the weekend was extended by two days. Imran seems to have followed this principle, because he wasn’t otherwise visible at Kashmir Day events, where he should have been a leading light.

Maybe he was too happy, for the men’s team had not only beaten South Africa in the final T20, but the women’s team had also beaten West Indies. For some odd reason, the PCB named Sarfraz Ahmed captain for the World Cup. If he continues his losing ways, he will make sure that the only challenger for Imran will be Shahid Afridi, who won a T20 World Cup. Afridi has yet to make a hospital, so obviously he still has far to go on the road to the Prime Ministership.

It should be interesting to see the reception that Sarfraz will get from the South African team. Sarfraz might be wondering what is the problem with him calling a South African black. Well, he’d better be careful around the West Indians and the Sri Lankans. At least he didn’t put on blackface to pretend to be Michael Jackson, or wear a Ku Klux Klan outfit, as Virginia Governor Johan Northam is alleged to have done a long time ago, when he was in the University of Virginia Medical School. However, Northam says he is not the guy in the yearbook photos which have been produced as evidence.

The evidence of Jeff Bezos’ dalliance with a woman friend, has not been published by The National Enquirer, though it has threatened to do so. Bezos has objected to this blackmail, and it has been noted that he was, by virtue of owning The Washington Post, a critic of US President Donald Trump, and has alleged that Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman was behind the murder of Post writer Jamal Khashoggi.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Homeland Security has arrested 129 Indians, who had enrolled at a fake University in Michigan in a pay-to-stay scam. The Indian Embassy wants no one deported. This is after a previous sting had led to 21 arrests, of students from India and China. No Pakistanis were involved. I wonder what effect this has on our standing in the comity of nations.

Footnote to these notes: Journalist Rizwan ur Rehman Razi has been picked up by the FIA Cybercrimes Wing, for uploading blasphemy against the military and judiciary. I’ve known Razi for a long time now, and he’s always been unprotected up top. And he should be aware that while Imran only uses good offices for planned blasphemy against the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), the PTI government makes sure that blasphemers against the military or judiciary get it in the neck.