Pakistan set a new record in the last week, when the arrest was carried out of Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf. The really interesting thing was the surprise was not that a former President had been arrested, but that a former COAS had been. Well, it wasn’t a normal arrest, with a grabbing by the scruff of the neck, and kicks and cuffs delivered to the tender parts of the body, but was always kept in a position where he could enjoy the cigars and coffee that his lawyer said he did after the hearing which did not grant him an extension in the pre-arrest bail on which he had been enlarged after landing back in Pakistan. It was interesting that though previous ex-Presidents had not been arrested, that was not surprising, but that a retired general had been arrested, was. To use the two words ‘general’ and ‘arrested’ in the same sentence was neither possible not patriotic, but Pervez Musharraf’s liking for coffee made it possible.In one of his comments, his lawyer said he was no ‘Kala Gujjar’ to be arrested ordinarily, thus maligning a fine body of law-abiding citizens. Gujjars are no more prone to killing people than any other biradari, like, let’s say, Kasuri Pathans (to which the lawyer, Ahmad Raza Kasuri, belongs). However, now that he has not only been arrested, but has attempted to abscond, General Musharraf needs an alias very badly. More than him, the Army needs that he take one, if only to deny any knowledge of him. How about making his lawyer happy by adopting ‘Kalay Shah’ as his urf? Dare one say about a former COAS what cannot be said about a retired major? That he is dark? And we mustn’t forget that Kasuri Pathans (who are Alizai Durranis in origin) take pride in being fair in colour. However, the other option is ‘Peyja Shah’, so Kalay Shah is a good nickname to be tried under.General Musharraf should be ready to invest in several dhotis and long shirts, not to mention khussas, made in a village somewhere. He will wear these along with leg-irons, as he swaggers from one court to another. He should also prepare to grow his hair and his moustache longer. How long? Well, it depends on whether he patterns himself on the late Sultan Rahi or Mustafa Qureshi. If he thinks he can be as loud as Rahi, he is welcome to try. But if not, he can hiss like Mustafa Qureshi, and have shorter hair. Whatever he does, it mustn’t be forgotten that he is a commando who can do anything.I wonder why the police doesn’t want his physical remand, but are satisfied with mere judicial remand. Normally, physical remand is taken when the cops want to interrogate the accused, either to make him confess, or to make a recovery. Well, don’t they expect to recover a murder weapon? Or the corpse of democracy? Are they so willing to give up the chance of having a commando at their mercy?Well, I’m not that sure, not belonging to that strange nether world of arrests and bails (though I’m sure there’s something called machalkay involved), FIRs and policemen, which General Musharraf (known as Kalay Shah in his native village, one presumes) now inhabits. Well, being a commando should be good for at least one thing, climbing over the back wall (presumably having thrown away both cigar and coffee) to escape the police raiding party.Well, General Musharraf is probably experiencing how exciting life is even without catching measles. It is to be presumed that he has had measles, but nowadays it seems that that old childhood disease, virtually a rite of passage (along with nasties like chickenpox and mumps), can now be fatal. It seems that all the old familiars have suddenly turned fatal, like dengue and measles, and it seems familiar old remedies, like cough syrups, can no longer be trusted. And one isn’t just made ill. All of these things are potentially fatal. General Musharraf had better watch out. Next thing you know, either coffee or cigars could prove fatal. Come to think of it, though not like dengue or even measles, doctors rate both as causes of all sorts of illness, with heart disease being the leader.But what of the fact that General Musharraf, while once head of the Amy, is now the head of a political party? Does this arrest place him alongside the many politicians who have been jailbirds? Or does it merely mean that the virtue of his having been COAS no longer applies, and now he will be treated like any politician? While Kala Gujjar obtains the party ticket of his choice. Not the ANP or MQM ticket, because he wants to stay alive. That loadshedding has increased is undeniable; that General Musharraf has a solution is also undeniable. But isn’t he an ex-President? Wasn’t this a problem when he took (literally) office?Well, it seems as if the old saying is not true: Old soldiers don’t die, they just fade away. They do their best to avoid arrest. Or is that commandos? Or gunners. Because while General Musharraf has always mentioned he was a commando, we mustn’t forget he went to the SSG after being commissioned into the artillery. And we shouldn’t ignore the earthquakes all over the region, China, Iran, even Balochistan. That’s nature reacting to the arrest of a former Army chief.