City Notes

It should be noted that the MQM left the Sindh government over Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s remarks about Altaf Hussain, not over the robbery of philanthropist Maulana Abdul Sattar Edhi. And though Altaf did phone the Maulana, no one asked where he had got so much money from, and what was being done about the kind of politics where such robberies did not cause anyone to pull out of government.

Dr Tahirul Qadri has announced that his sit-in was over. I wonder why his opponents shouted, “Aa Bakri!” Anyhow, Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif has forbidden his ministers from saying negative things about Tahirul Qadri. Dr Qadri has followed the American policy of declaring victory and then going home. He has announced that the Revolution has come, and gone home. Mian Nawaz wished Imran would also declare that the country is free and go home, instead of insisting that the country needed to be freed of Mian Nawaz before it would be free of him. Another problem is that the PTI members are not appearing before the Speaker to confirm their resignations. The situation is complicated. The Speaker had the temerity to beat Imran last year, and the election has been challenged.

Somehow, I am reminded of the Mirasi boy, who asked his mother who would become Chaudhri of their village if the Chaudhri died. She answered, the Chaudhri’s eldest son. And if he died too? The other son. And if he died too? The Chaudhri’s brother. And him too? His son. And him too? The Chadhri’s uncle. Him too? The Mirasi’s mother lost patience and burst out, “Son, the whole village would die, but no one will make you the Chaudhri. Someone seems to have told Dr Qadri that no matter how many sit-ins he holds, no one is going to make him PM. So he has decamped with his followers, as well as the (already) Chaudhris of Gujrat. No one seems to have told Imran no one will make him a Chaudhri, so he is staying put with the Sheikh from Lal Haveli. However, if he thinks it right to imitate Dr Qadri in holding rallies all over the place, maybe he will think about following his example in Islamabad. He had better hurry, because the Ashura excuse will soon be useless, and it won’t be until November 9, the Allama’s birthday, that there will be another excuse for Imran.

In fact, Imran has got an excuse in Younis Khan’s records galore as Pakistan beat Australia in the First Test, instead of tamely turning over and dying, as in the One-dayers. More than the century-in-both-innings is making hundreds against all Test-playing countries. Imran should claim the credit for it, and should make sure that Mian Nawaz doesn’t get the credit. After all, everyone knows that Pakistan won the World Cup with Imran as captain, not when Nawaz was Prime Minister. Did anyone imagine that when Pakistan won the World Cup, that Imran Khan would parlay it into the (would-be) Prime Ministership. And one wonders which TV channel will Imran have suspended? ARY has been suspended, and it has not escaped notice that it was leading in covering PAT. Imran has already taken on Geo, so the other channels should watch out.

Dr Qadri was not the only reason Canada was in the news. There was firing in the Canadian Parliament, and the Canadian Prime Minister got thrown into a closet. I hope we won’t hear of this example of the wonders of Western democracy. And Malala Yousafzai’s Liberty Medal the same day was not because of this, even though Americans don’t like Canadians. She won the Nobel Peace Prize, and has nothing to do with the terrorists who are being blamed. The only reason there are no claims of Al-Qaeda involvement, is because ISIL is getting the blame. This is not the best time to be a head of government of a Western country, what with the vulnerability to intruders of the White House, which has led to the Secret Service chief resigning. The problem is, what if Al-Qaeda, ISIL or the Taliban actually got involved? Presumably Malala was not, or they wouldn’t have given her the Liberty Medal.

Of course, she was also not involved in any way on the attack on Maulana Fazlur Rehman in Quetta, from which he escaped at the cost of a damaged bullet-proof vehicle. That happened on the same day there was yet another attack on Hazaras there. The Maulana could have been attacked by Hazaras, militants, nationalists, or the agencies. It’s not a good position to be in, to have all the parties to a sectarian conflict have motives to off you. Yet the Maulana is in that position. Maybe he should carry out a D-Chowk sit-in in protest. But the Maulana is not the only one being shot at. So are villagers on the Sialkot Working Boundary. Presumably the firing was meant to make them celebrate Diwali along with Narendra Modi, India’s new Prime Minister and Mian Nawaz’s buddy, who was in Kashmir for Diwali. The Maulana was not just linked to the Hazaras through the militants, with whom he has sympathies, but also as Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir, he was linked to the Indian firing. The Council of Islamic Ideology is not being shot at, even though it is headed by Maulana Muhammad Khan Shirani of the same party as the Maulana, and even though it condemned the Pakistan Protection Ordinance as un-Islamic.