So far, Tehrik Labbaik ya Rasoolullah chief Maulana Khadim Hussain Rizvi has not been arrested, though the Supreme Court had ordered it. But it had Rao Anwaar surrender to it. The Court was headed towards another clash with the institutions, by refusing to include military representatives in the JIT that it set up to prove the death of Naqibullah Mahsud, the aspiring model whom Rao Anwaar killed in a police encounter, allegedly because he was a terrorist.

It should be remembered that Rao Anwaar is said to have run an operation in Karachi whereby the agencies sent suspects from the tribal areas whom he then offed in alleged encounters. So if those agencies had anyone on the JIT, they could get him off. If that is true, then not having them on the JIT would lead to another ‘clash of institutions’. Another sign the Supreme Court is almost looking for a clash is the Chief Justice’s saying that there would be no ‘judicial martial law’. That sounds like a promise not to provide the sort of validation to a military takeover that previous coups got.

That should not have been said on Pakistan Day, when there is a great parade held to mark the passage of the Pakistan Resolution. Like the November 7 parade in the USSR on anniversaries of the revolution. But the real rivalry is with India’s Republic Day parade on January 26. We need to compare guest lists, for the competition is not just about the weaponry on show. India had the ASEAN heads, no less than two presidents, six PMs, a Sultan and a state counsellor. We had Sri Lankan President Maithripala Srisena.

Of course, a lot of people treated Pakistan Day as the start of a long weekend. However, by the time it happened, Lahore had already undergone the complete shutdown necessary to a PSL match in Lahore. Well, the final was in Karachi, so even though the Karachi Kings were knocked out, the city still knew the hardship of the match, and what we Lahoris go through to bring cricket back to Pakistan. I wonder where they get traffic cops in Karachi from. Here, we get them from Multan, in their own transport, duly labelled “Multan Traffic Police.”

It’s a little disconcerting to be told by a traffic cop, in the middle of a horrible traffic snafu, “I’m from Multan.” That’s the reply you’d have got if you had asked the way to Data Sahib or the Ferozepur Road. Of course, if you had asked how to get to the Mazar of Bahauddin Zakariya or to the Vehari Road, you would have a prompt reply.

Next year it’ll be worse. PCB chief Najam Sethi has threatened to have more PSL matches in Pakistan. Well, anywhere but Lahore. Why not Multan instead? Save the traffic cops a trip. Like NA-207 has been saved a by-election, even though its member, Ayaz Soomro, died. He had the good taste to wait until the period when the Constitution mandates a seat must remain vacant till the general election if it falls vacant.

There was one recently in Russia, where Vladimir Putin was re-elected President with 77 percent of the vote. There is an air of inevitability developing around Putin. He’s an example of how term limits can be overcome. The Russian constitution doesn’t have a vice-president, but a prime minister, who becomes president if there’s a vacancy. That’s how Putin became President back in 1999. And when he was barred from running again for President, he had his PM elected, and was his PM. In 2012, he ran again. So this is his fourth term, and this time, he got his highest vote share. Still some way to the 90-percent-plus results seen in the old USSR, or Arab countries. Let’s see how Sisi of Egypt does in Sunday’s election. One person not paying much attention to the Karachi match.

Another person probably not paying attention is former President Zardari, who fears being a target. Not of militants, but anticorruption crusaders, who recently dragged down three more Presidents, including the sitting President of Peru, Pedro Pablo Kaczinski, who resigned, rather than be impeached. Then there was the ex-President of South Korea, Lee Myung-bak, who was sentenced for something he did during his 2008-2013 term. Of course, Zardari has not recovered from the arrest of French ex-President Nicholas Sarkozy, supposed to have taken a suitcase of money from the late Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi. That caused him the most anger, for what is the point of being President if you can’t keep any random briefcase of cash you might be offered?

Imran Khan might have noted that the corruption efforts of Peru and South Korea were incomplete without a dharna from him, but he was busy at home, handling Amir Liaquat Hussain joining the party. Then he also had aboard actor Abid Ali, leading to rumours that he was going back to his fundraising days, when he had an extensive acquaintance in Bollywood.

He has not done anything to Donald Trump, because there are no corruption allegations against him. On the contrary, he was busy entertaining Saudi Arabia’s corruption-buster, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, who bought US weaponry in the billions, helping Trump make America great again.

Of course, not all were trying. Taxi company Uber, killed a pedestrian, in Phoenix, Arizona, with a driverless truck during a test. It’s the first death due to a driverless vehicle, but you can bet it won’t be the last.