The Long March is over, at least the Sunday part, but it has not yet shown any result, so it is not yet over. Most importantly, SCBA Bar President Ali Ahmed Kurd has been arrested, but not had his head shaven. So there is one lawyer more in search of a decent haircut and not just an empty bathroom. Islamabad the Beautiful has been renamed Islamabad the Smelly. In anticipation. But what could the government do? Has anyone ever noticed that Islamabad is even more short of public toilets than other cities? Not that any other city in Pakistan is particularly well endowed, unless you count the ones attached to mosques. Would lawyers use those? In a pinch, I suppose they would. The long march has had such a build-up, that it needs some result to achieve closure. But the federal government is still in place, with PM's House and the Foreign Ministry floors still covered with good Multani you-know-what. Oh yes, and Asif Ali Zardari is still President of Pakistan. So the structure of the state is still complete. If any more evidence of this is still needed, then Rehman Malik is still PM's Interior Adviser. Still more evidence is that Nawaz Sharif is still nowhere, despite the teargas. Or the violation of Section 144. If even Ch Aitzaz Ahsan gets to defy it, then the structure of the state is definitely beginning to tremble, and needs Rehman Malik to keep it in place. And stay in place it will, no matter what. True, there has been the odd resignation from the Cabinet, and some lawyer, but that only creates much-needed vacancies which will be filled by any of a long line of applicants belonging to the PPP parliamentary parties in the National Assembly and Senate. For a start, these ministries can be given to the PML(Q), with two easily converted into twenty, or whatever number the PML-Q wants, which will want central ministries as well as the Punjab chief ministry. The Punjab chief ministry will go to the PML(Q), well at least they are asking for it for Ch Moonis Elahi, who wants to carry on the good work done by his father Ch Pervaiz in making the Punjab parha likha. The Punjab obviously needs that, because it is here mostly that the long march is taking place. This is proof that the lawyers of the Punjab are not as educated as they should be, because if they were really educated, they would be strengthening the hands of the President, and of Rehman Malik. Instead of calling for the restoration of the Chief Justice, they should be calling for roti, kapra aur makaan. Not because it will be given, but because that is the party line. And if they don't belong to the party, they should at least remember what is in the interest of Pakistan. And of the War On Terror. And while a deal has apparently been made at the last minute, the PML(Q) seems to have been left out of the equation, and all the efforts that Salman Taseer's dark glasses have made to arrange a forward bloc in the PML(Q) Forward Bloc. It was the War On Terror that caused all of the foreign ambassadors to intervene so publicly. True, the COAS was intervening along with them, but this was the first time that the COAS was publicly associated with all of those Warriors on Terror. Well, he had been associated before, but this time he was shown to be on the same side in the War, which it seems is being fought out in Islamabad, though the first battle took place in Lahore. But there has been made a brave effort to make the War be fought in Lahore in a different way, with Basant being held this weekend. We are now slowly getting used to Basant being delayed until March, though previously it used to be Imam Hussain's chehlum which used to be the excuse. But perhaps this was what we had Governor's Rule for, so that we could have Basant. And the Governor's House roof is as good a place to celebrate as any. So while the media, short a channel and a minister, concentrate on the long march, the Governor (or rather his dark glasses) can host all presidents, serving and former, who might enjoy Basant celebrations. If any of the poor are this way deprived of any children by chemically-coated twine, tough luck, and too bad for them. Really important people enjoyed the occasion, and that's what matters. The teargas didn't. Not to mention that the long march might be seen to clash with Basant, and the lawyers are proved to be spoilsports of the first water, and deserved whatever teargas they might get. So what happens when Ali Ahmad Kurd wants to fly a kite? Well, some people (aspirants for ministerial office) feel that he should be satisfied with the long march, which might be taking its place on our annual calendar, and gradually will replace Basant, which keeps on being banned. But that will only happen when the dark glasses are cracked. Because it seems that the real purpose of the War is to make sure that Basant keeps on being celebrated, and foreign exchange earned from across the border. That is what the Pakistanis are fighting for, even if lawyers aren't. And anyway, Basant is meant to stop Lahoris from feeling deprived. Look, if Pindiwals have a long march, at least Lahoris have Basant, even after what happened at GPO Chowk, where there was a lot flying around, and none of it kites. And for the Lahoris it didn't make happy, there was teargas.