One of the most interesting thoughts stimulated this week was one of the peaks of Ch Pervaiz Elahi’s career, his elevation to Deputy Prime Minister. True, it was as Deputy to Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, but it was Deputy still the same. Raja Pervaiz comes from Gujjar Khan, but he was born in Sanghar, and his graduation is from there. It was only then that he came to Gujjar Khan, where he has been fighting elections for quite some time, losing quite a few, which means that while he is a perfectly decent human being, and very much prime ministerial material, his seat isn’t safe. At least Yousaf Raza’s Multan seat was safe. Speaking of Yousaf Raza, does he spend his time in Multan, or in his rooms at the Presidency? Well, Ch Pervaiz Elahi was his Senior Minister, along with Makhdoom Amin Faheem. Sh Rasheed was Pakistan’s first senior minister, to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Well, they are both no more, and it’s a safe bet that the day will come when Raja Pervaiz, Gilani, and all their deputies, will all be no more.
Ch Pervaiz’ uncle and father-in-law, Ch Zahoor Elahi, also cropped up in my mind because Julian Assange (of Wikileaks fame) tried to get asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, as he doesn’t want to be extradited to Sweden, from where he fears he will be extradited to the USA. Well, Ch Zahoor never sought asylum anywhere, least of all in Ecuador, but he did get charged with buffalo theft, which is a little like the rape charge Assange faces in Sweden, in that it is not going to get him particularly defamed in the village. Back in Ch Zahoor’s day, filching a buffalo was not considered particularly reprehensible. But something tells me that the Ecuadorian police understand buffalo theft better than rape, and so would have preferred Assange to be on a more traditional charge. True, Ecuadorians are near the Argentinian pampas, with their vast cattle herds, but they are also (as the name of the country says) athwart the Equator, so there would be buffalo there, and where there are buffalo, there will be buffalo theft.
Going back to Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, it seems that he moved back to Gujjar Khan for two reasons. One is to fight elections, and the second was to make his pile. Which he did. In real estate. Well, though he has made money in real estate, he has not shown the necessary characteristics which prove him to be a true real-estate man. I mean, where is the cloth over the shoulder? The white shoes? Why isn’t he called “Haji Pervaiz”? Most important, why was there no picture of Riaz Malik doing a bhangra on his elevation, complete with white shoes and parna on shoulder? Maybe Malik Riaz isn’t one, while Babar Awan was happy. Maybe now there will be interference in the DHA Islamabad scheme. And there’s a slump in the market nowadays.
It’s interesting that while Yousaf Reza Gilani and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf are as different as can be, they have some things in common. For a start, they are both dedicated jialas. They are also close to the President, or else he wouldn’t have bothered making them PM, not while Rehman Malik was around, not with Babar Awn hoping against hope. In fact, when next there is a vacancy, maybe they (or at least one) will get a chance. And as the Supreme Court is looking again at whether that letter is being written to the Swiss, and as Raja Pervaiz has said very clearly that he won’t be writing any letter, it seems that Babar Awan has a chance after all.
In fact, Babar Awan would be a good choice. If Egyptians chose Muhammad Morsi as their first elected President, a man with a doctorate, and that too in engineering. Rehman Malik does have a doctorate, but an honorary one, while Babar Awan has one in law, like engineering a technical field. Egyptians are not a very aware people. Instead of picking Morsi, they should have picked somebody from the Bhutto family, they picked somebody from the ‘B’ team.
What of all this does it matter to us? We’ve still got no reason to call Raja Pervaiz anything but Raja Rental. That raises the odd prospect of people campaigning for PM with the argument they’ve never been Minister for Water and Power. Well, the monsoon has been predicted as above average, and while the heat has changed from the searing blast of May and June to one brining pre-monsoonal stickiness of July, it’s still very hot, as we realize during times of loadshedding.