Some things, I suppose, never change. An angered Afghan kills another. A Pakistani cricketer is caught spot-fixing. So what’s new? I suppose there was a depressing sense of the usual when the second secretary at the Afghan consulate in Karachi was gunned down by a security guard. The natural question is why Afghanistan has a consulate in Karachi. Well, that’s easy. It’s not just that Karachi is the country’s biggest city and its only port. Nor that Karachi is the world’s most populous Pashtun city. But it was once Pakistan’s capital, and a lot of countries simply converted their former embassies to consulates when their embassies moved to the new capital, Islamabad.

And now the inevitable question. Who was the thinker-out-of-the-box who posted together someone with a blood feud with the person he had it against? An incorrigible optimist or some bright spark in the Afghan Foreign Ministry who hoped airily that things would sort themselves out? Of course, in defence of said bright spark, the Afghan Foreign Service is probably the only one where one needs to find out before making a posting is whether the official being posted has an undying enmity with anyone already posted there.

If that argument was applied to Pakistani cricketers, then we wouldn’t have any tournaments. Things like the Pakistan Super League would be impossible, especially in Dubai, which is where it is said that betting was invented (or rather re-invented, cricket’s betting antecedents going back to the 18th century at least). I don’t suppose the offending lads, Sharjeel and Khalid Lateef, would say so in their defence, but they were merely ensuring that the glorious traditions of Dubai were maintained.

That the bookies have come down to spot-fixing is tragic, or rather a sign of how effective have been anti-fixing measures. There was a time when they fixed results. Now they fix whether particular balls are scored off or not. I wonder what happens to bets which are revealed to have been on ‘fixed’ subjects. Presumably, the fixing bookie will not be penalized. But what about anyone who carries out a fix to beat the book? Is he banned from betting, with bookies shaking their heads and loudly proclaiming that they run a good clean book, and won’t tolerate any attempt to besmirch their reputation?

A pity, though. Just think about it. The 2020 format is almost designed to rival, indeed replace, horse-racing. While betting is illegal here, in the We1st it is legal. Indeed, betting on sports is as much a symbol of the West as alcoholic beverages, underdressed women and Islamophobia. So if we could make cricket a go-to game for bettors (like the gee-gees), the earning potential is tremendous. It should also be noted that making betting legal would bring the bookies into the tax net. And that is a benefit no one can deny.

Meannwhile, I don’t know if the suspended pair will take any lesson from previous culprits. True, Asif and Salman Butt are out of cricket, but Amir was playing alongside the match-fixing pair. They won’t do any jail time, as he did. Danish Kaneria also did jail time, for match-fixing in the English 2020 league, the T20 Blast. These days, he graces the TV screens, pontificating about the PSL. I don’t think he can advise Khalid Latif or Sharjeel Khan about much, what with them being openers and him a legspinner. His knowledge about jails would also be redundant, for their offence is in the UAE, and his knowledge is about British jails.

That puts me in mind of the sex offence convicts of Pakistani origin, who are to be stripped of their British citizenship and sent back to Pakistan. It seems the UK government doesn’t care about sex offences being committed in Pakistan.

The test case is murder. Altaf Hussain is wanted in a murder case over here, not for a sex offence, and an Interpol Red Warrant for his arrest has been issued. But he’s a British citizen. Will the warrant be honoured?

Courts these days are cautious. Look at the San Francisco Court of Appeals. It upheld the decision of a lower court granting a stay against Donald Trump’s order prohibiting visas being given to citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, and thus preventing them from entering the USA even if they had already been given a visa by the US mission in their country. Well, the missions exercise discretion. The case may go to the Supreme Court, and even if it upholds the decision, there’s nothing to stop those missions holding back on the visas. Already, it seems that Pakistan is not on the list because the missions already don’t give visas unless they can’t help it. And now they’ll clamp down even harder. Someone should tell the Supreme Courts (ours as well as the USA’s) that governments can do a lot. Trump knows, that’s why he’s issuing a new order. Like here, despite Imran Khan telling it that the Panama Leaks prove Mian Nawaz Sharif is corrupt, it still demands evidence. Even though, as Imran Khan says, the Court’s own decision about the rezoning of sugar mills shows how shifty a character Mian Nawaz is. And Mian Shehbaz too, just in case anyone forgets him.