One would suspect that the PTI’s machinery is breaking down. I mean, the PML(N) won not just the Gilgit-Baltistan polls. But also the by-election in Mandi Bahauddin, and it not only failed to sit in anywhere, but it did not claim the polls were rigged. Well, it seems the PTI realizes that the ruling party wins, just as it won in the KPK local body polls. It trotted out its next favourite thing at the All-Parties Conference in Peshawar about the rigging charges that have been made: a judicial commission. It seems an awfully complicated way of doing an awfully simple thing: Mian Nawaz Sharif should simply step aside and let Imran Khan take over. For some odd reason, the present judicial commission has not declared that the 2013 elections were rigged, and that Imran actually won; and there is the danger that the new judicial commission will not declare that the KPK local body polls were incredibly fair, even though the Election Commission was responsible for law and order. That judicial commission is not supposed to say only that the KPK local body elections were absolutely peaceful and a shining example of fairness, but that as a result Imran should be immediately administered oath as Prime Minister.

One would think that Mian Nawaz was preparing to counter this, but he couldn’t stop blind protesters shut down the Metro, and that too after the police had lathi-charged a previous protest. Next thing you know, the blind will hold a sit-in, and then where will Mian Nawaz be? It’s a pity the blind are protesting, for they were needed desperately for the presentation of the Punjab Budget. Sure, Finance Minister Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha can see, but can the bureaucrats who drafted the Budget?

And the blind would have been helpful in replying to India, whose politicians seem to think the in-thing is to say bad things about Pakistan. There seemed a desire to have our PM reply as violently as their PM. The unfortunate thing is that India can boast about 1971, and has done so. Our politicians can’t boast about anything. Unless it’s about military takeovers.

Still, we’ve got a military. As well as a fit set of service chiefs. The Saudi air force chief just died of a heart attack recently. The pressure of the Houthi campaign I expect, which did not deliver the results that had been promised. It’s virtually an Arab thing. Remember the Egyptian field commander who died in the middle of the main tank battle in the Suez during the 1973 War? None died in the Six Day War of 1967, perhaps because there wasn’t enough time.

Pakistani service chiefs do not die in office, except Vice Admiral H.H. Ahmad, who died of heart disease, not suddenly, but at some length, back in 1975. And then there was Gen Ziaul Haq, not naturally. I suppose Gen Akhtar Abdul Rehman, who was then JCSC Chairman, and who was with Zia on that ill-fated journey, would also probably count.

One man who didn’t hold any sort of office when he died was Christopher Lee. He was best known to the generation that watched horror films in the 1960s and 1970s as Dracula, and to Pakistanis as the eponymous hero of Jinnah. For Bond fans, he was arguably the greatest villain of them all that 007 ever faced, as Scaramanga in The Man With The Golden Gun. After Jinnah, it seems he fell in with Ridley Scott, for he ended his career playing Saruman in The Hobbit trilogy.

But then, while Christopher Lee died in the fullness of age, the ‘left-behind’ kids who killed themselves in China were between 5 and 14. The mother had run off, the father was working somewhere else. Ultimately, the kids drank pesticide. Someone should have stopped them, for this way they brought a bad name to China. Speaking of a bad name, the killing of three little brothers by their uncle in Lahore would have brought a bad name to Pakistan. It not only showed our son fetish, but also our propensity for black magic, what with the accusations of black magic swirling around. The murderous uncle was issueless, while his brother had three sons.

The killings might well have bought a bad name to Pakistan, but the acquittal of Dominique Strauss-Kahn on pimping charges didn’t bring France a bad name. Strauss-Kahn had been accused of rape by a New York hotel maid in 2012, forcing him to resign as MAD of the IMF and stopping him from fighting the French presidential election that saw Nicholas Hollande become President. Rape might well be the Western version of buffalo theft; an offence that would compel the courts to take action, and which would be easily slapped on by the police. While Strauss-Kahn has been acquitted, the Saudi blogger, Rafi Badawi, sentenced to a whipping that has been carried out yet, is being given fast-track emigration to Canada, where his family already is. One wonders why the Saudi police didn’t stick him with a camel-theft charge.

The really surprising thing is that none of the national authorities has blamed terrorism. Well, maybe they’re leaving that to Nigeria, which had the Boko Haram kill 43 as it conducted its most recent atrocity the burning down of three villages in Borno state. Is terrorism the new buffalo theft?

But then there have been suicides in Lahore which can’t be blamed on terrorism. One of them was by a cop. He was the second cop in a week to have committed suicide. The first cop had his marriage proposal rejected. The second had contracted two marriages. I would say cops couldn’t be satisfied, but I’m not. I don’t want to be accused of buffalo theft.