There was as much of a frenzy here as when a sirloin steak, or a live rat, is thrown into a tank full of piranhas. You see, the IG Police Punjab was transferred, and replaced by another officer. The IG had only been posted a month ago, when the new government replaced the officer appointed by the caretaker government. This officer was reinstated by the Election Commission for the by-elections on Sunday. After that, presumably, he will be transferred.

It seems that he was not honouring Prime Minister Imran Khan’s order to transfer out all those police officers who were in any way involved in the Model Town incident, in which eight Pakistan Awami Tehrik protesters were killed by police firing on 17 June 2014. That incident led PAT chief Tahirul Qadri to join Imran for the dharna that year. Mufti Dr Qadri had waged a long legal battle which saw several police officers arrested. However, now that Imran was in office, at least those officers could be transferred.

The IG, it seems, didn’t think so. But then, unlike previous IGs, who felt that orders were orders, he thought that being IG meant he wasn’t a rubberstamp. His transfer orders were soon followed by the resignation of Nasir Durrani, who had reformed the KP Police, and had been announced by the Prime Minister as heading a commission to reform the Punjab police. It seems he too was running into resistance, with the sentiment among the CM, MPAs and policemen that there were no reforms needed. Except that cops needed to know that the boss was now the local PTI legislator. The first test was to have been the by-elections, which had the ECP so concerned. It should know that by-elections are a life-and-death matter for CMs, and if the ruling party loses a single seat, he isn’t supposed just to resign, but fall on his sword.

The CM should look after such things. However, Usman Buzdar, it seems, was busy supervising development in South Punjab. In his constituency as a matter of fact. I am reminded of when Lt Gen Sawar Khan was Punjab Governor at the beginning of the Zia Martial Law, and ordered the building of a road to his native village in Rawalpindi district. Civil servants patiently explained that no road to it was planned on any priority. General Sarwar asked whether there had been a Punjab Governor from that village for the last 5000 years, and if there would be another in the next 5000. Being answered in the negative to both questions, he said that the only time the road would be built was right then. So the only way Buzdar’s constituency will be developed is right now.

The funds will be available, because the country is going to the IMF for a bailout. It seems that people have not been donating enough, despite the PM's appeals, and the sale of the PM House buffaloes has not been enough to keep Pakistan out of the hands of the IMF. The good thing is that Imran doesn’t have to do the begging. It has been left to Finance Minister Asad Umar to shake hands obsequiously with IMF Director Christine Lagarde. Of course, it’s Nawaz Sharif’s fault.

Just as much as it was his fault that the rupee has been devalued and the stock market has lost value. As for the request, which has been duly filed by Asad Umar, the USA will examine it to make sure that it renders the deals with China on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor transparent, and that US taxpayers’ money is not used to service Chinese debt. And there you have the PMML(N) saying those CPEC repayments don’t start until 2022. We will all be happy that the PM won’t have to beg. It was different when he begged Indians years ago. That was when he was a private citizen, and he was not building dams, but a cancer hospital.

A more immediate event is the Brazilian election’s second round on October 28. The first round was won by Jair Bolsonaro, the conservative who has been compared to Donald Trump. Like Imran, he has a thing for the Army. The big difference is that he actually served in it. He has an admiration for the years Brazil’s military ruled the country (1964-1985), but the daughter he said he ‘produced in a moment of weakness’ (he has two sons) is legitimate, unlike Imran’s ‘moment of weakness’. I don’t know what Bolsonaro’s daughter thinks of that comment.

Another development that Imran probably has seen is how Turkey released an American pastor it had arrested for involvement in the coup. Look, if Turkey can release the pastor, surely we can ask the USA to help us with the IMF.

On the other hand, Turkey has been spouting a lot of nonsense about how Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi went into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and never came out. The stories about Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman having him killed are an attempt to blacken the reputation of a man who gave Imran a proper reception when he visited. Or else they are a demonstration of how the press should be treated. Saudi Arabia has not provided Pakistan any free oil the usual handout, forcing it to go to the IMF, but it remains an important US ally. So any attack on the Crown Prince is also one on the USA. Mr Khashoggi supported the Ikhwanul Muslimeen in his writings, so he probably deserved his fate, whatever it is.

In the midst of all this, the Supreme Judicial Council was busy with the judges of the Islamabad High Court, first removing one and then acquitting another. It removed Mr Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui from office, while acquitting Chief Justice Anwar Kasi, who had appointed a relative as deputy registrar, and whose appointments in the IHC had to be reversed by the Supreme Court. Justice Siddiqui’s sin was telling the Rawalpindi Bar Association that the ISI was interfering in the course of justice. The moral of the story is that bad things happen to anyone who takes on the ISI. You can allege corruption, bribe-taking or anything else against a judge of the superior judiciary, as the files of the Supreme Judicial Council will show, but nothing will happen. But say a word against the ISI, and even the superior judiciary is made to feel the consequences of being unpatriotic.