A lot has happened in the Land of the Pure since last week, but before I venture into affairs political, let me linger a moment on the tragic demise of Punjab’s Interior Minister Colonel (retired) Shuja Khanzada. This courageous ‘soldier turned politician’ fell victim to a suicide bombing, when men like him were sorely needed. His worth as a fearless honest and respected human being was acknowledged by both friends and political adversaries alike. Even his party’s most virulent critic – the Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf had the grace (and sense) to announce that his party would not contest the vacant seat.

One of my favorite foods is known around the globe as the ‘Stew’. Ideally consumed without bread, the passion for this dish stems from boyhood days in the early 1950s. Our old cook, ably supervised by my mother (bless her) created this fulfilling and healthy meal in a large metal pot over a wood burning stove. Large chunks of assorted root vegetables, pieces of good lean lamb and spices were tossed together and then left to simmer for a good length of time. Hence the term ‘to stew in one’s own juices’ - something quite apt because of our tendency to land in one mess or the other. Pakistan’s political scene is like this stew pot of old, a much blackened utensil that was given a fresh coat of ‘qalai’ every two months and an additional coating of wet clay on its bottom.

Politics appeared to be returning to normal with the release of the Judicial Commission’s report on Election 2013 and its acceptance (albeit reluctantly) by the PTI, which suffered a considerable dent in credibility. I wish Imran Khan had the sense not to surround himself with people, whose inputs were devoid of vision and wisdom. Khan Sahib’s honesty and upfront idealism (which are assets except in the games that politicians play), when fueled by short sighted and hawkish advice, has on many occasions led PTI to the verge of committing political hara-kiri.

The debut of Chairman PTI’s better half into Pakistan’s murky and ‘no holds barred’ political arena was an interesting, yet short lived development. Reham Khan is smart and articulate. In addition, she has the advantage of speaking fluent Urdu, Punjabi, Hindko and Pushto, which is a winning combination for getting through to people, especially in KPK. I am told that the lady is mature and level headed, a quality that should serve Imran Khan well, in view of the latter’s impetuous and aggressive nature. The couple probably decided that it would be good for Ms. Khan to silence wagging tongues, because of Khan Sahib’s repeated tirades against dynastic politics.

The resignations by MQM legislators from the National and Provincial houses created a situation, where the government had no option, but to make all out attempts to negotiate. The mutually acceptable negotiator turned out to be none other than the Head of JUI, who has the knack (and the luck) to hit the news and stay relevant to media. The PML-N compulsion to seek withdrawal of MQM resignations was perhaps a direct result of PTI resignations submitted during the ‘dharna’. Decision on these resignation was first pended by the Speaker followed by withdrawal of motions by JUI and MQM to de-seat PTI legislators - thanks to some deft politicking by the PM.

Maulana Fazalur Rehman’s bid to find a solution to the MQM issue was cleverly sabotaged by an attack on MQM leader and legislator Rasheed Godil, who was very lucky to survive the hit. The timing and professional manner in which the attack was conducted, provided ample evidence that our enemies tolerate a stable and prosperous Pakistan. These quarters are in a state of panic on the possibilities that the Pak-China economic corridor has to offer and will leave no stone unturned to see it abandoned. Luckily for us, there is cognizance of this conspiracy amongst everyone, who has a role to play in ensuring the successful completion of the project.

And now to the bye election in Haripur, where a biometric verification system were deployed for the first time to ensure clean polls. One expected a neck to neck race between the PML N and PTI candidates, but the former won by a considerable margin. More importantly, it proved the point that we must use technology in all future general elections to prevent allegations of rigging. This technology must not restrict itself to thumb verification, but should encompass electronic voting in order to avoid manual counting. We will then rid ourselves of post-election accusations and allegations that make bad press.