Was Indian Prime Minister in Lahore because of the PTI win in the Lodhran by-election? Was he so impressed with Imran Khan when they met recently in New Delhi that he tried to meet him when returning from Afghanistan? Well, he was in Lahore for Mian Nawaz Sharif’s granddaughter’s wedding. Well, not exactly wedding, just the mehndi. But surely Modi knew better than to come uninvited to a wedding function? The wedding was just proof that time has passed, for in Mian Nawaz’s first tenure, the bride’s parents got married.

Modi might be set thinking furiously by this. Look, if Mian Nawaz had never become Prime Minister again after his first tenure, he would have still had grandchildren playing at his knee. Modi, on the other hand, has only the embers of a failed marriage behind him.

Imran seems more his speed. He has not just one, but two failed marriages behind him. Unlike Modi, he has children, two sons. We can stop counting his stepchildren, which is presently a sort of ‘Situation Vacant’ for the time being. Is there any comparison between Modi and Imran? Well, yes, and Mian Nawaz too. They’re all over 60. Modi, for all his silver hair, is only two years older than Imran, at 64. Mian Nawaz is 67, quite old enough for his granddaughter to marry. He might not look his age, but he does not seek the youth vote, as Imran does. However, it should be mentioned that Modi is actually younger than Mian Nawaz. The white hair may have come because he lived in a hotter climate, with more sun. I suppose The Sharifs got some notice of Modi’s coming I mean, Modi himself couldn’t risk a beef dish on the mehndi menu, could he?

Presumably, the youth vote is what ensured that the PTI would win the Lodhran by-election, as it did. Now Jahangir Tareen is an MNA. He was Mian Shehbaz Sharif’s Adviser in his very first tenure as Punjab CM They say that Tareen spent a lot of money ensuring he would win. First that assumes that the upright voters of NA-154 are for sale. Second, that assumes the loser, Siddique Baloch was broke. It should be remembered that he had won in the general election as an independent, beating both the PTI and PML(N) candidates. Naturally, afterwards, he went into the PML(N). That was his old party, for he had fought in 1990 and onwards as an MPA, and had been elected MNA on the PML(N) ticket in 2008. He was the son of Haji Jind Wada, who was also an MPA in his time, but who passed away between the 1988 dissolution in May, and the election in November. Siddique Baloch made it to the Punjab Assembly then.

However, the logical result of the Lodhran by-election was not just that Jehangir Tareen went to the National Assembly, but that Mian Nawaz should have immediately abandoned power, and handed it over to Imran Khan. For some reason, that didn’t happen. The general election was rigged, according to the PTI, though why the rigging should also work against the PML (N) candidate, and in favour of an independent one, the PTI has no explanation. All credit is given to the Army, which supervised the by-election. The federal government could be seen as trying to curry favour by extending the Rangers’ powers in Karachi while rejecting the Sindh government’s recommendation for a curtailment of powers.

Still, that extension, with full powers, did not stop poor Bisma from reaching the Civil Hospital Karachi dead, after she was stuck with her father in traffic which had jammed because it had been stopped to let PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto pass. Bilawal adopted a stony silence on the issue at first, though jiyalas hope he is torn inside, and wets his pillow at night. And even after his apology, the dead babe will not return.

Perhaps, now that his mother is no longer here (her 8th death anniversary was on Sunday), maybe he would do better to learn how to inaugurate medical facilities from Mian Shehbaz Sharif. Look, Mian Shehbaz inaugurated a whole hospital, not a new wing as Bilawal did, on Bedian Road, without any casualties. No, not even injuries, let alone deaths. Maybe Bilawal should give Sindh CM Qaim Ali Shah a good talking-to. Note that Mian Shehbaz inaugurated the hospital alone. Now Qaim Ali Shah could have done the inauguration, and if Bisma had died, on his head the blame would lie. Though it would slip off, considering the smooth surface. If ever anyone needed a hair transplant, it was Qaim Ali Shah, though his potential teachers, like Mian Shehbaz or Aleem Khan, are in opposing parties.

But maybe Qaim Ali Shah should ask them. After all, if the notorious jailbird, matchfixer, and fast bowler, Muhammad Amir can be eligible for national selection, and Narendra Modi can talk to Mian Nawaz. Why can’t he talk to political opponents?