Well, now that Eidul Azaha is over, the young men of the city, the bakras, those with the straggling beards and breaking voices, can breathe easier, for they have not been sacrificed, and instead goats have been. Cows and camels are recommended sacrifices, and young men are not, but while the mothers of cattle and camels are supposed not to mind, mother-goats do, as encapsulated in the saying, Bakray ki maan kab tak khair manaey (how long can the goat’s mother go on feeling that all is well.) Thi is very much an Eidul Azha saying, for this must be when the most goats get their comeuppance on a single day. I felt that the butcher problem got a little worse this year, while prices went up, not just of goats, but of all animals. It was the price factor that made me fear that young men were at risk, as kidnapping an adolescent is free, while buying a goat is expensive, as is buying a share in a cow or a camel.

However, this Eid too passed, and I believe it passed happily, even though mobile phones were not switched off. Frankly, Ch Nisar Ali is a disappointment as Interior Minister. The Punjab police said mobiles should be switched off, but they weren’t. And a bomb blast saw the Khaibar-Pakhtunkhwa Law Miniter saw him killed in his own home in Kulachi in Dera Ismail Khan. Why does the Punjab Law Minister, Rana Sanaullah, come to mind? Is it because of the commonality of portfolio or because Rana Sanaullah has also got a militant connection, and thus does not run the risk of a bomb blast in his drawing-room. At least that’s what his opponents say. Admittedly, to hear them talk, one would get the impression that Mullah Omar was the real occupant of CM House, not Mian Shahbaz. But that can’t be right, can it?

However, by not imposing a ban on mobile phones, the PML(N) government has shown that it is actually a pro-terrorist organization, because it doesn’t realize that we should be reduced to shouting, or else couriers, so that messages of Eid good wishes are delivered at some Eid in the future. Stopping mobiles would prove that we Third-World denizens do not deserve the benefits of civilisation, like mobile phones.

However, perhaps there was no misuse of mobile services, such as the authorities feared, because the militants noticed what so glaringly obvious: that there were were supposed to be three holidays, but the country seemed to close down for about 10 days, starting from Friday, 11 October, and oning only today, Octover 21, when there will be signs of a return after the Great Eid Exodus. Though there were official holidays only on April 16, 17 and 18, the country began to be unable to do much more than chug along, after the flight from town began, as bus- and trainloads left the Big Bad City and went winding along the country roads that take people home on the afternoon of Friday March 11. After the weekend, there was only Monday and Tuesday, then three days of Eid, and another weekend. I suppose there’s no point in sayings that we should eat moderately, not with agonized voices coming from bathrooms all over the Muslim world crying out, “Next year!”

Anyway, now that Eid is over, Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif has gone to the USA to ask the USA, nicely I suppose, to stop violating our sovereignty by carrying out drone attacks. I suppose it’s a coincidence that its Rapporteur on Human Rights has told the UN that the civilians killed by the drones are in the thousands, which might help explain why Mian Nawaz might object, because those civilians are Pakistanis. At the same time, I’m not sure Imran Khan would like the strikes to stop. Imran wants not only the credit for highlighting the drone strikes, but also stopping them.

But he should also look to the PPP, which marked the anniversary of the Karsaz blast in Karachi, with the speech of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Benazir survived the Karsaz blast, only to be killed at Liaquat Bagh. And while Bilawal might be young enough to wait until 2018, tours start circulating that the government is going.hat might not be the case for some jialas, who would like quicker results. Have the rumours of Mian Nawaz’s departure started? Or has it been decided that he too is to go his full term?

Someone should realize that democracy cannot be counted as stable in Pakistan if, as soon as elections are held, rumours start circulating that the government is about to go. The rumours used to be about the President going for a dissolution, but now he can’t, so now the rumours are about a military coup, straight off. Whether or not the President can dissolve, the rumours of departure are there. However, so far, Mian Nawaz’s only departure has been for the USA. Still, that should remind him of the last time he went to the USA s Prime Minister, July 1999, over the Kargil Affair, just before he was booted out. This time, Obama is the President. And last time, he had appointed the COAS. This visit comes before the appointment.

Well, if Mian Nawaz is meeting the US President, Malala is also blessed, for she was in London to see the Queen. She didn’t get the Nobel, but the audience should be compensation enough.