Let’s get things straight. The PTI lost the Lodhran by-election. That could only happen if there was rigging, which was what Jahangir Tareen, whose unseating caused the by-election, said. There was a theory that Imran Khan deliberately threw the election because otherwise the hereditary principle, in the shape of Tareen’s son Ali, would have entered the National Assembly. The winner, Iqbal Shah of the PML-N, was not a son (well, he is, of course, but not of anyone either currently contesting elections or before a court), but a father, of an MPA. The PML-N has a headache from this seat, because apart from the local MPA’s father, was the son of the MPA, who had been unseated. Wonder why the Supreme Court will unseat Iqbal Shah. Unseat him it should, because that’s what it seems to be doing to anyone elected from this seat. It had better hurry, because this year there has to be a general election. Indeed, there can’t be any by-elections now, and any vacancies are to be left unfilled.
Meanwhile, one man who doesn’t trust the court system was Rao Anwar, who didn’t turn up before the Supreme Court despite being summoned, and not only had his pre-arrest bail cancelled, but got slapped with contempt. I’ve not heard them say so, but this should prompt Dr Talal Chaudhry and Ch Daniyal Aziz to say that they will defend themselves on their contempt notices alongside Rao Anwar.
I don’t know where Rao Anwar is, though I hope he’s not in Florida, where he may have had a role in the Parkland high school shooting, where 17 kids were offed by an ex-student. Donald Trump said it was a mental health issue, and didn’t mention guns, not least how a high school student could afford an assault rifle. Nor did he seem to mention that the kid was named Cruz, which sounds as if he came from Mexico. There seems to be gross FBI negligence, not just because it didn’t notice the kid was a white supremacist, but didn’t say he was a mad Muslim.
The kid had been expelled, but that seems a rather extreme reaction. Just like the Charsadda principal who was killed by a student for asking about his absence because he was at the Faizabad sit-in. There might not be a student tie-in to the killing of GCU Botany associate professor Tanzeem Akbar Cheema, who was gunned down at Kalima Chowk. His conversation with his killers was caught on Safe City CCTV there. That may well have been the lalkara so dearly beloved of the police, where the accused is supposed to give a detailed explanation of why he is committing the murder. The police is investigating the possibility of an old enmity, the most common motive for murders. While Dr Cheema did not belong to a criminal caste, the Cheemas are a Jat tribe which are well known in police stations in Gujranwala division, as both accused and complainants, not as botany teachers.
Staying with academics, a nine-year-old in Kuwait was killed by his Arabic teacher. I’m sure the kid did something, but I’m also sure it didn’t merit him being killed. Even then, I don’t think kids should be allowed to keep guns. As the Florida shooting spree showed, kids can’t be trusted with guns. The Army Public School massacre showed that militants are a threat to kids here, but the USA is showing us that there, other kids are too.
I wonder how the fashions set by Trump are going to be replicated. When his wife was having his youngest, he went on some sort of spree, hooking up with a porn star as well as a former Playboy playmate. One was paid by his lawyer out of his own funds, the other was paid off by the National Enquirer, getting money for a story that wasn’t run. I would suspect that if Mamnoon Hussain has got any ideas, he’ll keep very, very quiet about them. Or else his missus will see to him.
One subject on which she will allow him to get ideas is the resignation of Jacob Zuma as President of South Africa. Zuma was made to resign by his party, the ANC, which thought he had committed too much corruption. Catch a Pakistani party doing that. Not only has the PML-N not done anything about Mian Nawaz, but the PPP is still headed by Asif Zardari. Imran Khan, of course, is aghast that Zuma left without any dharna being organized against him, with him being asked to give his expert advice. How does anyone expect him to get married if he isn’t allowed to lead a dharna?
He also wasn’t at Asma Jahangir’s funeral prayers, which were led by Maulana Maudoodi’s son Haider Farooq, who had a rather unflattering portrait of him painted in The Convert, by Maryam Jameelah, another woman of substance. Ms Jahangir was no more, but her spirit lived on, as female relatives and friends joined in the congregation. That reminded me that the late Asma Jahangir once performed a nikah. Let alone lead any prayers, I don’t think she joined any. But come to think of it, just as women can attend congregational prayers, they can attend funerals. It isn’t usual, though. But then, she wasn’t a very usual woman.