The debate currently raging is whether the current rains are monsoonal or premonsoonal. Whichever the case, they have been a great relief, and brought down the temperatures. Though the temperatures did not break any records, they were about to. One other effect of all this rain has been that there has been less loadshedding, because of all the hydel that is being generated. It means that all of the water running down to the sea has not played enough part in generating electricity. That Bhasha Dam is being built is some relief, but not only is the Kalabagh Dam not being built, there is no sign of movement on this issue.

Well, it almost seems as if the elections were held so that Ishaq Dar could present the Budget, which he did. He had to pretend it was something he had dreamt up during the election campaign (though he wasn’t a candidate, a lot of his friends and leaders were). However, when he conceded that Pakistan would have to ask the IMF for yet another loan, he let slip the real organisation for which the Budget had been prepared: the IMF. No, folks, the Budget was not meant to provide us relief; it was meant to convince the IMF that it would be a good idea to lend Pakistan more money. The alternative is default. In other words, we’re putting a pistol to the IMF’s head. If they don’t lend us the money, we’ll default on our previous loan.

That, we must keep in mind, is unacceptable. So now that Pakistan has decided to overcome its prejudice against IMF conditions, it has decided to implement them in the Budget, because unless we do, how will the IMF know we have changed?

Its as if we have as a nation, our sports teams in particular, seem to have developed a different habit,that of losing against India. Before thelatest match started, I heard a child blame the ‘Bombay Bookies’ for their defeat even before it came. It was a dead match anyway, for even if we won, it would have not taken us into the semi-final. For that , all the West Indian team’s grandmothers would have to have died, and then the South African team’s grandfathers would have to be arrested for possessing durgs, and then Pakistan would have to beat India by 200 or more runs, and that too within 35 overs, and only then would we go through to the semifinal on the runrate. It didn’t happen.

What did happen was terrible. It almost seemed as if Balochistan went up in flames. There was a blast in a Women’s University van in Quetta, then at the Bolan Medical Complex where the victims were taken. It was in the second blast that the DC Quetta was among the killed. Among the 14 killed were the women’s university students, who were thus the future of not just the province, but the country. As if this attack on the future was not enough, there was an attack by the Baloch Liberation Army on the Quaid-e-Azam’s last residence, the Ziarat Residency. It was the symbolism that was important, and it was reassuring to see that the citizens of Ziarat themselves protested this attempt at desecration. The attackers should know that they can destroy bricks and mortar, but they cannot tear out of the hearts of people the hopes and aspirations which led to the founding of a nation.

The Ziarat attackers should not forget that the Ziarat attack was carried out on the same day that Pakistan was beaten by anIndian team without even the token Muslim or Sikh. This proved that, despite its claims, the Congress is as much a Hindu supremacist party as the BJP, and the creation of Pakistan merely preserved an existence that was under threat.

We can perhaps find some normality among the peaceful transition of power we have just witnessed, but what happened in Quetta was perhaps too much, though one hopes that the new government there, the one headed by Dr Abdul Malik Baluch, will prove more equipped for the task than previous governments, of which there have been three this year, to tackle this problem. The Raisani government was sent home, and was the only one of those elected in 2008 not to complete its tenure, with the resultant Governor’s Rule being run by Governor Zulfiqar Magsi. Then came the Barozai caretaker government. All were faced with the challenge of terrorism. And it should be remembered that the Barozai government faced militants attacking election rallies in the hope of sabotaging the elections. Dr Malik’s party, the National Party, was also a victim, and that should provide an additional incentive to stopping the bloodshed. And Dr Malik himself is a BMC graduate.

And no, Ch Nisar has hardly covered himself in glory in this whole sad episode. He has hardly taken office before being faced with the sorts of challenges that Rehman Malik used to deal with so expertly. They didn’t get solved, but the whole nation saw Rehman Malik in action. But Ch Nisar has a secret weapon up his sleeve: he can turn off the country’s mobiles.