Sometime people dealing, handling or heading organisations of certain products or materials acquire a nickname that forever sticks to them. Iraq had its Chemical Ali during Saddam Husain’s rule who was known to have gassed Kurds. Close to home, we had Raja Parvez Ashraf – the erstwhile minister for water and power who initiated the rental power projects – who is infamously known as Raja Rental. Similarly, we now have our own ‘Chemical Ali’ who has been named in the high-profile ephedrine case. Incidentally, he happens to be one of the sons of the prime minister. His elder brother was allegedly involved in the Haj scam. Now the PM’s younger son’s name has hit the headlines. Conclusive proof in the matter is yet to emerge but as they say where there is smoke there is likelihood of fire. We are told that the PM is visibly perturbed over the involvement of his son in the drug case, which he thinks is a conspiracy to malign the good name of his family. Our saintly prime minister is already contesting a court battle, ably assisted by Aitzaz Ahsan, for not writing to the Swiss authorities to reopen the president’s money laundering cases. Now he faces the alleged scandal of import of a banned drug by his son. I am however confident that Aitzaz Ahsan will bail the prime minister and sons out of trouble, given his propensity for prolonging the arguments like the legendary Alf Laila stories. By the time, Aitzaz completes his arguments the present judges would have tired and retired.

 Major (r) Syed Zahid Salam