The shops on Lawrence Road, mostly motor workshops, opposite the ever-so-secret provincial ISI headquarters, are shut up, and dont disturb the purdah of the operatives. However, the road has reopened, and the traffic is as polluting as ever. The pollution is not just a conspiracy against the ISI and its purdah, but also against the police chief of Lahore, who was supposed to be dead from a terrorist attack within minutes of the road being reopened. However, the Lahore High Court decided to risk it, and ordered the free movement of traffic along not just Queens Road but Lawrence Road as well. Surprisingly to all in the law enforcement establishment, not only is the police chief of Lahore alive, but there has been no attempt on him, leaving him free to supervise the Lahore polices end of the presidential security during his visit to the province. Of course, if anything was to happen to the President, it would not be the fault of the Lahore police chief, but of the high court which ordered the road opened. No one, not even the Lahore police chief, knows how crucial that closure is to the Presidents security. However, the President has been told by the Americans that he will not only live forever, but will remain President forever, so that they can keep on prosecuting the War on Terror by Drone missile attacks on Pakistani soil, each of which kills the Al-Qaeda Number Three, of which that organisation apparently has an inexhaustible supply. Anyhow, we are supposed to forget the War on Terror, and just enjoy the fact that we are blessed by having the President among us. Of course, we mustnt get too excited and try to visit him at Governors House, just because he is PPP Chairman, otherwise we will be treated as a group of jiyalas was on the first day of the visit. In other words, roughly, and on the grounds of security, in order to achieve a goal that must be dear to every PPP heart, that of keeping the Chairman alive forever. So far, of the two people to have held the undivided chairmanship of the PPP, both died violently, one by hanging, the other by an assassins bullet. The only other person to have held the chairmanship, though it was shared, was the widow of the first chairman, and the mother of the second. Asif Zardari is one up on Begum Nusrat Bhutto, because he holds a government position while his partner in the chairmanship, Bilawal, holds none. Still, he could learn from her on how one holds a co-chairmanship. For once, the country was being run from Lahore, for Asif didnt just inherit the PPP from Benazir, but also the country, and thus the presidency, with the power of appointing the PM from among the PPPs high and mighty (that is, those who dont get beaten up at the Governors House, but have a valid invitation). One sign of how the country was run was the visit by Richard Holbrooke, who came down from Islamabad to see the President. Of course, his anxiety to see the President was only because of the War on Terror, in which the Americans may have eliminated Hakimullah Mahsud. And the ever-present Al-Qaeda Number Three. Or maybe they havent. For which they will blame us, as usual. The crucial nature of Pakistan probably doesnt lie in providing a travel or supply route, or anything else but the willingness to say that we are to blame for anything that goes wrong. Well, the President has also promised (or threatened?) to hold a durbar here every month. This is actually a conspiracy against jialas, who will now be beaten up at Governors House every month instead of just on the so far rare presidential visits. This would be like the weekly (weekend) visits of the PM and Rehman Malik to Lahore, on the way respectively to Multan and Sialkot, respectively to visit the constituency and to fight the War singlehanded. In fact, if you were to check, both would be coming back today, one from the constituency and the other from singlehandedly fighting the War. In fact, Rehman Malik is probably upset because Holbrooke met the President even though the latter has nothing to do with the War. Only he does. There should also be concern about the Haiti earthquake, at least the fifth in historical times, and the President may have come to Lahore earlier, but he really needs the special services of his Governor here (for which he was appointed), to overcome the distress provoked at the idea of so many dollars which could have come to Pakistan going to Haiti. And that is perhaps what will be the abiding memory of Lahore.