Last week we left it at the whodunit part. Where I left it I think was at ‘in the words of a PML-N rookie, “there are internal party dynamics (read factions) you know”’.

In the intervening time between then and now, a story was printed in The Daily Times newspaper. What a pretty coniferous it was. These are evergreen by nature. These plants, I mean. If you know what I mean. Let me find it and quote a little bit from it. Found it finally!

Published on the October 19, and taken from ‘Online’, this is how it went: ‘a report, currently under discussion in the power corridors – has disclosed that the Federal Minister Information Pervaiz Rashid allegedly contacted one of the country’s most creditable media groups and tried to get published a sensitive news item, which was later published in an English daily. According to the report the minister personally contacted the lower staff of the media group for the publication of this news, but they refused and told him that it was a highly sensitive matter.’ Wait, before I go on, chew on that for a bit. Junior staff of a media group informs the Federal Interior Minister that what he was telling them was ‘a highly sensitive matter’, not fit for printing. Hahahahaha. This was just the start of the story, but this is also the first marker of a plant. And this is where you start pouring the proverbial truckload of salt into your consumption of the story.

But to move forward, this story went on thus: ‘After refusal from the lower level, the minister contacted the owner of the group for the publication of the “leaked story” regarding the top-level meeting on security, which was held at the Prime Minister’s house… the owner…replied that they were already out of the “good books of some influential authorities” and advised the minister to get the news item published in Dawn.’ Wah! So Geo hands the scoop to Dawn. Just like that. Because Geo is by now suitably chastised, having learnt its lesson. Except, I know Geo would never have passed this up. Second marker.

The story, written in typical grammar with bad usage goes on and on finally pinning it on Rashid giving it to Umber Sehgal, who handed it to Cyril, with the editor and resident editor of Dawn not being fully informed on the matter. Given, Azhar Abbas’s unflinching support of the Dawn scoop and Cyril, this is where the Daily Times/Online story hits the ‘lulz’ moment. And then, it degenerates into ‘rumours are circulating the government circles that PM Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz were the real directors of this whole episode’. Errr… okay.

After this the Daily Times story descends into a labyrinthine maze of Wanis and Mushahidullahs and Rashids in an attempt to demonstrate a well established pattern of intrigues and leaks and scripted outcomes and scapegoats and devilry.

So. After I stopped laughing, I managed to comment that this story was obviously a plant. A friend and colleague also helpfully pointed out that it was by ‘Online’, which is you-know-who’s mouthpiece.

But there was one thing very, very valuable in the story I was otherwise rubbishing, and I pronounced it there and then: it is identifying the man the military wants the head of. Nothing more, nothing less.

Yesterday, within ten days, my fear became reality. Pervaiz Rashid was sacked till further notice. They wanted his head, they got his head. Just like Husain Haqani’s a few years ago. This may not end here because the courts have yet to rule on Panama Gate, and one of the most compromised men will be sitting on judgment. But of the future later, because we must come back to this story. One last thing about it and what it does not tell you: whodunit. It only tells you whose-head-they-wanted. The whodunit goes back to where this column started, ‘‘in the words of a PMLN rooki, “there are internal party dynamics (read factions) you know”’. He got away. Again. No wait, he didn’t just get away, he was entirely successful. For now.