I understand that PTI chief Imran Khan was furious, not just because of the Ramazan rage that overtakes so many, especially when driving home at iftar. He was said to be furious because Democrats in the US Congress had imitated him by staging a dharna. Actually, that sit-in was against the failure to pass gun control laws, and was part of the democratic tradition of protest which includes walkouts. Like the one that will take place when the opposition boycotts the Parliamentary Committee on the Terms of Reference for the enquiry commission on the Panama Leaks. The opposition will have to engage in a dharna, which should be a more respectable tactic, now that it has been sanctioned by the US Congress. Of course, it is merely a tactic, like the walkout, or what V.S. Naipaul described in his novel The Mystic Masseur, lying on the legislature’s table (there’s one just under the Speaker, where the officials sit). Another defect in the Congress dharna was that it didn’t demand the President resign.

Of course, not all Panama Leaks PMs are as soft a touch as Iceland’s, Sigmundur Gunlaugsson, who resigned after protests at his owning an offshore company. So was David Cameron, but he hung on. He’s still hanging on, saying he’ll leave office in October, after the defeat in the referendum which means the UK will leave the European Union. There was a lot of chatter about Brexit over the social media, but one comment was simply quite literally true: “What happens when you have a break-up? You lose a lot of pounds.” Over here, Mian Nawaz Sharif, though not named himself, had children named, and is also clinging to office for dear life, even though he should not only resign, but hand over to Imran, if the PTI had its way.

Mian Nawaz is busy recovering, from his bypass surgery in the UK, so he probably didn’t notice that the country received pretty heavy pre-monsoon rains. Indeed, they were so heavy that some thought the monsoon had arrived. Well, it hadn’t, but will this week. Well, the rain was wecome relief in Ramazan, though the Ramazan shows on TV weren’t. However, those shows are one reason to look forward to Eid. They’ll stop. The moving back of Ramazan has meant that the monsoon started last year over Eid congregations, while this year it’ll be in full swing for Eid.

Of course, one thing that has already stopped is Amjad Sabri’s voice. He was on his way to a TV studio to render a qawwali on a Ramzan transmission when he was gunned down. The TTP’s Hakimullah Mehsud Group has claimed responsibility. Personally, I think that was taking dislike for an artiste too far. I can think of many who are worse qawwals. I won’t mention their names, in case someone thinks they deserve to die because of that. I certainly don’t. I am reminded of the short scene in Julius Caesar, where the Roman mob is wandering the city, enraged after Caesar’s murder. They stop a man, and shout out they will kill him after he admits to being named Cinna. He hastens to clarify that he is the poet, not the conspirator. A member of the mob shouts, “Kill him for his bad verses!”

I suppose it was inevitable that this method of practical criticism should find imitators, which might be behind the attack by a gunman on a cineplex in Viernheim, Germany. There was a slip-up, and he wasn’t identified as an Islamic terrorist, but as a ‘troubled individual’. That was code for him being white. That didn’t stop the cops from killing him though. Nobody asked which film he would prefer they played either. Though it was a German cineplex, all three films were Hollywood kiddie productions, which might be explained by the American military base nearby.

I hope it isn’t that same spirit of criticism behind the kidnapping of Awais Ali Shah, the son of Chief ustice Sajjad Ali Shah of the Sindh High Court, not to be confused with Chief Justrice Sajjad Ali Shah of Pakistan, the one who was sacked as CJP by his own colleagues, after they invoked the seniority principle. That Sajjad Shah had been a Chief Justice of the Sindh High Court too, just as much as this Sajjad Shah, who will be elevated to the Supreme Court next December, when the present CJP, Mr Anwar Zaheer Jamali, himself a former Chief Justice of the Sindh High Court, retires. The first Sajjad Shah was pressurized through harassment of his son-in-law. Here, the son is being targeted.

Of course, the prime suspect would be the MQM. Blaming them for everything is easy enough. But why? Are they being denied any bails? Another suspect would be ex-President Asif Zardari, what with Asim Hussain arrested. Perhaps the best consolation for Chief Justice Shah is that Yousaf Reza Gilani’s and Salman Taseer’s sons both got back home. But what is the consolation for ordinary people? Who is safe if a Chief Justice’s son can be kidnapped? Or one of the country’s leading qawwals gunned down?