One of the benefits of the Trilateral Summit is, I suppose, seeing Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s robe. Though it looks like a dressing gown, it is actually a highly formal dress, and only afforded by Afghan notables. Well, I suppose that beats Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s scruffy jacket. Well, I suppose that jacket has sentimental value for him. It was a relief to see that he didn’t inflict that jacket on the Pakistani people.

Him not wearing that jacket made me wonder about another certainty about the Summit, that our President charged a fee for being the host. Maybe he didn’t charge anything. After all, he takes 10 percent, but 10 percent of what? Their hotel bill? Or air fare? Of only them or their entire delegation? No wonder he was looking puzzled, and didn’t even borrow Shahbaz Sharif’s Jinnah cap, let alone his sherwani. And it should be remembered that he only takes foreign exchange. I know that Iranian riyals and Afghan afghanis are foreign exchange, but Mr Ten Percent wasn’t born yesterday, and takes no funny money. Or was he charging any President who wanted to wear a jacket? Does that explain why Ahmadinejad didn’t wear that jacket? Because he didn’t have the money to pay the requisite fee?

Even without the jacket, this was a learning experience for Ahmadinejad. I mean, where else would he be able to pick up tips on obedience to the USA, and that too at a time when he had taken his country to the point of conflict with the USA? And only Karzai makes Zardari look independent, for Zardari was not put in office by the USA as Karzai was. Though Karzai probably made the trip because he wanted to meet Yousaf Reza Gilani to find out how it feels to be a contempt accused.

Somehow, when I think of Gilani, I think of the people who meet a lawyer, burst into tears and tell him their younger brother is going to hang. The lawyer asks them who his lawyer was. They tell him, and he says that they should have engaged him. One of them then asks whether he could have saved the younger brother. He says he couldn’t, but he would have charged a lower fee, and their younger brother would have hanged much more cheaply. Now Aitzaz may have only charged a rupee for taking the case, but he did get a Senate ticket. Now it can be argued that such a veteran PPP man, who had joined the party back in 1974, almost 40 years ago, and been a provincial minister when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had been Chairman of the party, deserved a Senate ticket. But since when have the deserving got anything in the PPP? Is the Senate ticket worth fighting the case for free? And there is the talk doing the rounds that Aitzaz might become PM. Well, Aitzaz has given in to the temptation of the case, and appeared before Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, even though he had said he wouldn’t. He is presumably lawyer enough to explain why he would be justified to assume the office vacated by a client. And the client only had to vacate it because he lost a case.

But Ahmadinejad and Karzai would only be asking if they faced contempt charges themselves, which they don’t, because their courts are obedient, and know what’s what. Unlike our courts, which insist on the rule of law.

Even when it applies to militants, like those who were brought to court the same day as the Prime Minister, with the mother of two dying the next day. Everyone thinks it was the sight of her sons that killed her, but I think that her time was written, and so was the fact that she would see her sons in this world. It provided a contrast between the prisoners, and the Prime Minister who was supposed to be behind their imprisonment. It was also worth noting that they were all in front of the same Court, proving once again that Justice is blind. But the Chief Justice was reported as saying that the fear of God had descended on him. I cannot emphasise how major that is for the Chief Justice to say. After all, the Chief Justice is head of a court that can unseat a Prime Minister. And I don’t suppose the coincidence of the court appearances was anything but a coincidence. After all, the last time the PM appeared, there were no other appearances like those of the interned persons. It should have become clear to those others who appeared, that being acquitted is no guarantee against the state. After all, when military intelligence, or the ISI, knows that they are guilty, a civilian court shouldn’t have the temerity to release them. And no one should dare to ask how they are being treated. No one should go against the Prime Minister, for he has just not written the odd letter, not tried to blow up GHQ. But maybe he does deserve jail, for not extending the tenure of the DG ISI. Yet again. But then, he has ensured that the ISI is not left without a DG, which would be a bigger tragedy than Pakistan being without a PM.