Well, it will be official after the Senate passes the 22nd Amendment, but now the Chief Election Commissioner (as well as the members of the Election Commission nominated by the provinces) can be a bureaucrat. I wonder if the post is only meant for civilian officers, or whether military officials can be named. Perhaps some people are thinking about India, where the first ex-bureaucrat to be named was the legendary T.N. Seshan, who presided over the 1991 election, and which he described as “Like the curate’s egg, good in parts.” At the customary post-election press conference, he flung a bundle of ballot papers, which he said he had received, showing that rigging was taking place.

But what has been the result of those squeaky clean elections? Narendra Modi. The CEC post should now become a place to park an inconvenient bureaucrat. Or ex-general. Let the DMG fight it out with the Navy over who is to have control over the posting. Or else, just have a CEC who will hand over to Imran Khan without the useless and expensive ritual of an election. Maybe the Baluchistan Finance Secretary, the one with bags of cash at home, is the man for the job.

In fact, that is probably the main objection of the PTI to Mian Nawaz Sharif’s speech in the National Assembly. True, they had had to go as far as boycotting (along with the other opposition parties) both Houses of Parliament to force Mian Nawaz into doing something he was not all that inclined to do, which was appear in Parliament. Especially since he had to make yet another speech denying any wrongdoing in the Panama Leaks controversy. But he didn’t do what the PTI wanted him to do, which was admit every single one of its charges, and hand over power to Imran Khan. True, the opposition ended its boycott, but the PTI said that the seven questions had become 70. Actually, it had become 71, with the unmentioned question being the most urgent: When will he hand over to Imran?

One person who thought the Panama Leaks had led to a change was the DPO Bahawalnagar, Sharik Kamal Siddiqui,who thought that he could arrest Imran Sindhu, the local MNA’s manager, who had beaten up one of the DPO’s ‘boys, after being stopped at a police picket, and then taken refuge at the the MNA’s dera. Actually, it was the MNA, Alam Dad Laleka. He might have had the DPO transferred anyway, but his late father, Abdus Sattar Laleka, had back in the 1980s hosted Mian Nawaz’s hunting expeditions. He had also served in his Cabinet, and though he had joined the PML(Q) before he died, his son had gone into the PML(N), and thus put himself in a position to make demands. Another old friend of the MNA’s father was Ch Nisar, who started out as a young Minister of State along with the late Laleka in the Junejo Cabinet. Of course, Alam Dad did something wrong, but one wonders if he would have had the DPO transferred if some other local landowner’s manager had been arrested. Or if the DPO would have been so adamant about the arrest if an ordinary citizen had beaten up a constable. Silly question really, because no one would tangle with the police unless he was backed by the local MNA.

While everything in Pakistan is about the Panama Leaks, no one has blamed them for the Egyptair plane crash, in which so many have died. IS has claimed responsibility, thus making the Egyptian Air Minister seem justified in his initial reaction, that a ‘technical fault’ could be ruled out, leaving terrorism. Initially, one suspects that there was an explosion onboard, followed by a crash. The most important dimension is that people are dead. But there’s something about terrorism and planes… Once, there used to be hijackings. Of course, that was a long time ago. Back in the 1970s, by Palestinians trying to end the Israeli occupation of their land, or by Kashmiris trying to end the Indian of theirs. The hijackings have stopped, but the occupations continue.

The militants prefer crashes, which are more dramatic, more final, than any hijacking, when you only blew up the plane after letting all the passengers go. For example, the event that started the War on Terror, 9/11 and the World Trade Centre crashes, showed that airliners were to be used, and not just as housing for passengers held hostage.

Another aspect is the recent riskiness of Egyptian skies, what with this crash coming after the crash of the Russian chartered flight in the Sinai, claimed by IS, which kept quiet about the next air disaster, the hijacking of a domestic flight to Cyprus. It was not a political hijacking, just a disconsolate husband trying to see his estranged wife.

However, all we can do is thank our stars that there are no aviation disasters over here, because it’s too hot for that. I mean, there’re records being set in India, and nearly set here. May is the heart of the heat, because in June, the monsoon may not come but its arrival can be sensed. And we are right slap bang in May.