The world of comedy has indeed suffered a serious loss, in the passing of Moin Akhtar, who had become an institution because he had grown larger than any play, any show, any cast, and who was such a picture of quiet desperation that he entirely captured the grim reality of the Pakistan we know. He was not just a heart patient, but had recently had a bypass operation. He was certainly not lucky to have heart disease, but he was still more fortunate than those about whom it is said (in their obituaries), Too often, the first symptom of heart disease is a fatal heart attack. Be that as it may, it is not a good time to be a comedian. It all started in Karachi, when Liaquat Soldier died during the Pakistan-India World Cup semifinal. I dont believe that was the reason, but it was dramatic enough a death, being onscreen. But then it was Lahores turn, as first Mastana died, in Bahwalpur, and then Babu Baral. Both were master comedians, with Mastana seeming so knowing as to be criminal, while Babu Baral was an expert fool. And now Moin Akhtar, so many funny men? Its no longer funny. Im sure the gentlemen mentioned would agree that the joke has gone too far. But it was after Moin Akhtars death that I heard a discussion of who would be next if the joke was carried on even further. The consensus was on Omar Sharif, though Sohail Ahmad ran second. Not a close second, but definitely second. Omar Sharif, of course, is a true comedian and satirist, while Sohail Ahmad is actually a very good dramatic actor gone wrong. I suppose both would react in their own different but hilarious fashions to this rating, but they would prefer to remain with us and go on making us all laugh. And we need them all the more now that we no longer have Moin Akhtar. However, though quite a few bad jokes are being cracked about what might be happening in the Afterlife, the truth is that all will taste death, comedian and tragedian alike, and nobody will be able to excuse himself for his sins by saying that he made people laugh. But Im sure that those who made people laugh have made a lot of people happy, and that must count for something in the final weighing of deeds. But while were still with Moin Akhtar, maybe we should look at his city, where some out-of-work labourers had approached the Jamia at Banori Town for a fatwa permitting them to carry out dacoities or commit suicides. That sounds like either very desperate men or those very desperate to satisfy a political party. They didnt get a fatwa, but they did get work, as employees of the Jamia. They were probably lucky to go to a Jamia which could employ them, and didnt have to do anything illegal in Islam (and the law of the land). However, it seems that until we will all go down this path, they wont be happy or declare victory in the War on Terror. But the declarations of the Americans about their War on Terror are now being made in Washington after the visits by our top men. It seems we arent doing enough, which is why whether it is our Foreign Secretary in Washington, or their Chairman Joint Chiefs in Islamabad, we arent doing enough. And the USA must be made safe for democracy by killing more Pakistanis in a Drone attack. And preferably, those killed should be women and children, so that the USA can be that much safer. The War on Terror wont be won until the groans of dying Muslims drown out the noise of the moans of the ordinary American. Anyhow, one boon of the War, and of the peoples government, has been the loadshedding during the heat wave. Its not just that temperatures are going up, as they are, but also the demand for electricity, at a time when our dams are not filling, and cant produce hydel. But the real purpose of the current loadshedding is to show us what the coming hot weather will be like. It has been an exceptionally mild April, and though the weather is heating up, it still is not as hot as it usually is at this time of year. As is being said in every home where there are small children, what will happen when the fans go off? Kids are already sensitive. But the suffering of little children is what will tell the Americans that the War on Terror is being won. Another battle crucial to the War is being only slowly won, and that is the winning of PML(Q) support for the PPP, never mind that PML(Q) chief Ch Shujats father Ch Zahoor Elahi, also Punjab PML(Q) chief Ch Pervez Elahis uncle and father-in-law, bought the pen with which Lahore High Court Chief Justice Mulvi Mushtaq signed Zulfikar Ali Bhuttos death sentence. That must have been why the PPP is doing its best to make sure that Ch Moonis Elahi, Ch Zahoors grandson, was not investigated for the insurance scam he was involved in. The PPP found itself trying to bail out Maulana Fazlur Rehman, son of another inveterate PPP opponent, Mufti Mahmud. Now if the PPP could locate a descendant of someone who helped Bhutto hang, like Masood Mahmud, and work out how he could help in getting parliamentary support for the Budget, its cup of happiness would run over. After all, there can be no higher purpose than keeping Rehman Malik in office as Interior Minister and thus as the Sole Warrior on Terror. He should have been used to answer Mike Mullen, but he wasnt. Obviously a conspiracy against the country.