The MQM continues to have a hard time, what with Raza Haroon joining Mustafa Kamal. Party supremo Altaf Hussain showed at the Foundation Day commemoration in London that reports of his death were greatly exaggerated, as Mark Twain once said, denying reports about himself. However, the accusation of taking RAW money wouldn’t go away, and Mustafa Kamal was due to be interviewed by the FIA about this.

It seems that Altaf was not the only one to take RAW money. I mean, what about the Pakistan T20 team? One view is that it’s worse than the Indian team. Another is that it could only lose if it took money from RAW. And you can bet that RAW wants the credit of that victory. True, the Pakistan men’s team did what was required by our foreign policy, unlike the women’s team, who showed their ignorance of diplomatic niceties by winning.

It seems that the militant hand would be behind this too, just as it was behind the honour killing in Tirupur, Tamil Nadu, where a Thevar girl who married a Dalit boy was killed by her father, mother, uncle and cousins. The two were engineering students. It should be noted that Thevars are categorized officially as a Most Backward Caste, but still think themselves, apparently, as outranking Dalits. Of course, we in Pakistan don’t have any of this caste business. So long as neither girl nor boy goes outside the biradari.

Well, biradari is not the only thing. A girl was killed in Shahdara by her father for marrying a boy of her choice, rather than his. It seems that the Oscar to Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy did not have an effect, for honour killings happen nonetheless. Apart from the need for honour killings to be committed by close relatives, it is murder. And as the Indian example showed, education might not be the answer. The Thevar father was enlightened enough to send his daughter to engineering college, but not enough to let her marry a Dalit classfellow.

One can blame the militants for the attack on the hotel in Ivory Coast, which was a reminder of how there was an attack on a hotel in Mali. Militants seem to be active in Francophone Africa, it seems. Militants could not be blamed in the Ankara car bombing, which killed 28, for a Kurdish group claimed responsibility. There was another blast in Diyarbakir, in which a policeman was killed. This is something of an embarrassment for the USA, which wants the Kurds as their ‘boots on the ground’ against Syria and Daesh. There are talks in Geneva, where matters have changed after Russia, which had been pounding the militants, suddenly called its forces home.

One wonders how militants can be blamed for the maiming of a police horse in Uttarkhand, India. The horse had to have a leg amputated, and fitted with a prosthetic. The Uttarkhand government, which belongs to the Congress, has had BJP leader Ganesh Joshi arrested for the crime. One had heard of Shivaji’s horse sacrifice, or ashvamedha, which was apparently part of the rituals meant to purify him and restore him to his Barhminical status. It’s apparently a modern version.

It isn’t as bad as what happened in Rajkot, in Modi’s home state of Gujerat, where no less than eight gau bhakts drank pesticide in protection of the cow, one dying. It’s become a strange place, has Modi’s India, where two Kashmiri students escaped with their lives, because they were suspected of cooking beef in their college hostel rooms. However, beef traders in a Jharkand village didn’t escape being strung up on a tree. Jharkand, it seems, is a bad place for animals.

I presume beef was not on the menu in Nepal, where there were a lot of pious wishes expressed at the SAARC Summit, but the real business took place on the sidelines, at the meeting of Pakistani PM’s Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz and Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. That meeting couldn’t quite get past the Pathankot attack, and there was certainly no progress on Kashmir, but all devotees of that ill-starred land will be happy to know that Modi has been duly invited to Pakistan for the SAARC Summit this year.

Meanwhile, what of the USA? From the leadership of the coalition against fascism, to the leadership of the Free World, and now the leadership of the War on Terror, it might well become the country ruled by Donald Trump. At least, that’s if he’s as successful at winning the election as he is at getting the Republican nomination. I wonder what he will have to say about General Pervez Musharraf going to the USA, which he will now that he has at last left the country. The man was an embarrassment to the entire commando community, for leaving on health reasons. And Interior Minister proved that his resemblance to Mr Bean is not merely facial, when he believed General Musharraf, who promised to be back for the trials he is supposed to face. But then, Ch Nisar believes soldiers, both serving and retired, whatever they say. But how many military men does Ch Nisar know who are on trial for their lives?