The Chicago Summit is over, and one of the most interesting sights was UK Prime Minister David Cameron murmuring, in a very British attempt at a thick Italian accent, of ‘Don Barack’ just before kissing Barack Obama’s hand. Perhaps a more interesting sight was that of Don Asif–sorry, President Asif Zardari– doing the same. Now it should be noted that none of the three Dons, sorry, heads of government and state, has an Italian ethnic background, so perhaps they aren’t Mafiosi, but they were in Al Capone’s town. And I’m sure there was talk by some of those attending about how to deal with the Pakistani President: “Make him an offer he can’t refuse.” And all of the talk about bringing peace to Afghanistan: wasn’t it like a Mafia meeting on how to bring peace to New York during the middle of a gang war there.

With the NATO supply lines not reopened, it was clear that there had not yet been an offer that our President couldn’t refuse, even though he didn’t yet sleep with the fishes. There’s some confusion about whether the container offer includes the compulsory Ten Percent, and what, if any, arrangements for payment (in used bills of small denomination) have been made. Then there has been the bad impression of Pakistan created by the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Teyyip Erdogan, who must have carried away an entirely false impression of Pakistan, because it was Zardari-free during most of his visit. His support for the Pakistani demand for the USA to apologise for the Salala massacre was designed to make Pakistan appear unreasonable in the comity of nations, and jeopardize crucial financial negotiations.

It would have been better if Mr Erdogan had American nationality, like Farahnaz Ispahani, the PPP MNA. She is the wife of former Ambassador Hussain Haqqani, and it is worth noting how the couple is being cleaned out from the American system. It’s almost as if the purpose of the petition on MNAs with dual nationality wasn’t meant to target Rehman Malik’s British nationality, so much as Ms Ispahani’s American. The Chief Justice expressed concerns about what would happen if someone with foreign nationality became Prime Minister. That forces one to think about what would happen if the Sole Warrior on Terror became Prime Minister. Not much, I suppose. But would Dr Shakil Afridi still get it in the neck for spying for the USA? Well, if he did it for free, he was working to improve Pak-American relations, and if he was paid, he was earning valuable foreign exchange. In fact, his only crime would be not having paid Ten Percent to You-know-who. Is that Ten Percent statutory? Well, if it isn’t, they should make it so in the next Budget.

Besides, there shouldn’t be so much worry about MNAs with a foreign nationality. After all, if one did become Prime Minister, he couldn’t very well subordinate us to the USA any further. And besides, it’s not as if Farahnaz Ispahani could tell her new country any secrets they haven’t been told already, by people who have undoubted Pakistani nationality. It would be good to have as many votes in the US election in the House, what with its being an American election year.

One of the positive signs emanating from the National Assembly was how Speaker Fehmida Mirza gave a ruling on the reference against Prime Minister Yousaf Reza Gilani so much in his favour that he decided not to appeal the contempt conviction that led to his membership being challenged. As Speaker Mirza seems to have decided that she wants her deeds inscribed in letters of gold in a history of the PPP, rather than of the National Assembly, it will be recorded not how she bailed out a former Speaker, but how she defended democracy by creating a precedent allowing members to commit contempt with impunity.

Another person who feels that there should be contempt of the Supreme Court is probably Makhdum Amin Fahim. He probably feels that being dragged into the NICL case is the last straw, and he probably blames Ch Pervaiz Elahi for what has happened. Look, Makhdum Amin Fahim first did not become Pervez Mushrraf’s PM. Then he didn’t become this government’s. He settled for becoming Senior Minister, but then had to share this lonely eminence with Ch Pervaiz Elahi. And now he’s been dragged into a case brought to the public eye by the arrest in it of Ch Pervaiz’s son Moonis. No wonder the Makhdum, it is said, is alternating praises of Ch Pervaiz with those of the Supreme Court. The latter, if made in public, would have had him hauled up for contempt, but not any more.

The Makhdum, whose personal freedom has been threatened, had his seat threatened, as the rally in Karachi over the Sindh provincial division killed so many people. One of the reasons for the threat is, the Mohajir province against which the rally was held, where so many people were killed, is supposed to include the Makhdum’s own Hyderabad. Now Hyderabad is not only the alternative capital of Sindh, it also includes the Makhdum’s seat.