These notes come after a gap of a week, because last week we had no newspaper on Monday. Not only was Kashmir Solidarity Day on Sunday, but so was Eid Miladun Nabi. It was the first time that the two had coincided, and perhaps the coinciding held significance with special meaning. Maybe the Kashmiris, who yield nothing to anyone in their love of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), will achieve freedom before the next Eid Milad.

Eid Milad? Since when did the Miladun Nabi, which is without doubt a great event for all Muslims, become an Eid? Well, not since Ziaul Haq, who tried to have it replace people’s unaccountable preference for elections, but ever since the Mughal Emperor Jehangir upgraded it to cover his abolition of Nauroze, the Persian New Year the Iranians still celebrate.

Anyhow, Eid Milad was followed by an appeal to the Supreme Court against a decision in a contempt case, which was turned down. That meant that Ch Aitzaz Ahsan lost a case. The Prime Minister will have to go before the Supreme Court today, and it is to be hoped that he won’t leave court a convict. It seems that appearing before the Supreme Court is one of the parts of the job description of Prime Minister of Pakistan, and not really one of the hazards. One of the hazards would include being convicted.

At this moment, while I’m writing, he hasn’t been convicted, but if you read these notes late enough in the day, the country may well be being run from a jail cell, because the President will insist that he is President even when he is not. And insist that the man he has appointed Prime Minister holds the office even if he is behind bars. And he will be encouraged in all of this by the jialas. The President will insist that he has immunity even when he no longer holds office. The fact that the money in the accounts should come back to the Pakistani people is about as relevant to the President as whether or not the person he names PM is a contemner or not. We should not forget the President’s love for the poor people of Pakistan, which is why he goes abroad so much. But it seems he doesn’t much care about the money in Switzerland, which is there for the asking.

At the same time, neither the President nor the Prime Minister can be blamed for the veterinary drugs factory blast, in which 20 people were killed.  Their deaths have resulted in departments saying that it was some other department’s responsibility to check factories, not theirs. Well, somebody should determine who is responsible for factories operating in residential areas. Maybe it should be made a separate department with a separate minister, a separate secretary and extensive training abroad (provided they pay the customary 10 percent of all the lovely foreign exchange they will get as TA/DA to the Presidency, where there resides a lover of foreign exchange).

Somehow, no one has noticed that in the effort to keep animals healthy, people have died. It has also shown that veterinary medicines is an industry, and interested parties should get down to taxing it, or get a cut, preferably a cut.

It seems churlish to mention it, but the Memogate commission has directed the Foreign Office to ensure the recording of Mansoor Ijaz’s evidence in the Memogate Affair. It must be a relief to know that Ijaz is an American citizen, which means that the Foreign Office will accept that he exists. If he had been a Pakistani citizen, it wouldn’t have acknowledged that he was anywhere in the country, leave alone in the embassy. Now Mansoor Ijaz’s eagerness can be gauged from the fact that he didn’t make it a condition of testifying in an embassy that the diplomats there be polite. Now that would have been placing an impossible condition. As it is, Mansoor Ijaz’s wishes have not been extravagant. Like wanting to leave the country after his visit is over, and not being detained at the President’s (or anyone’s) pleasure. Nor winding up as the subject of a funeral. These are wishes that one can understand, and cannot understand Mr Gilani’s referring to them as a ‘viceroy’s protocol.’ At the same time, obviously his evidence was important, because the video link privilege has not been provided to other witnesses, especially not one involving a foreign call, and government facilities were not provided to anyone for this.

Of course, while all of this is going on, winter seems to be dragging itself too. Syed Naveed Qamar seems to have announced that loadshedding has ended, and gone back to a sleep I hope is refreshing, but these notes are being written without artificial light. And if Naveed Qamar was to wake up long enough, he would find out that people are not exactly grateful when they get electricity, which they have come to expect as a matter of right, even though they shouldn’t, being denizens of the Third World. In fact, the War on Terror is being fought to teach them that.