Well, Malala Yousafzai didn’t win the Nobel Peace Prize, but nor did the Nigerian gynaecologist who was also nominated. Instead, the Organization for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was given it. That should indicate the importance the West gives to the Syrian crisis, which was mentioned by the Nobel Foundation as one of the reasons for giving it the Nobel.
The Peace Prize is the only one that can be given to organisations. I can see that the Literature Prize can only go to a writer. I mean, you can’t give a Literature Prize to an organization for drafting good press releases, can you? Though it is perhaps worth noting that Sir Winston Churchill won a Literature Prize, not the Peace Prize, given to US President Barack Obama at the beginning of his first term. Considering that Prize, which must be up there with the rest of them as a desperate hope, it is perhaps a good thing Malala did not get the Prize. She, like J. Salik, must remain, at least for this time, just as a nominee. J. Salik was in politics, and was in the federal cabinet over 20 years ago. But now is working for world peace in Islamabad.
It’s interesting, that the Nobel nomination and Pakistani politics seem to go together. Imran Khan should probably learn, and work to get nominated. With Malala in politics, he might find his Khyber Pakhtunkhwa stronghold under threat. But PTI supporters could argue that Malala has not won any World Cups, so she should not come into politics. Why not Shahid Afridi? After all, he is also a Pakhtun, and a cricketer to boot. It would be interesting if Afghanistan won the Cricket World Cup now that it has qualified, because the political benefit in Pakistan would be greater for whom, Malala or Shahid. Assuming it is not for Imran. And has Malala started eating organic food?
Imran should take heart from the fact that he also set up a cancer hospital before Malala got involved with female education. He may have been distracted because he seemed unsure as to what he was to create the most fuss over. The fact that voters’ thumbprints could not be verified in Karachi, or that a new NAB chief had been agreed on by the PPP and the PML(N).
The first thing that seemed to happen when he took over was the revival of certain corruption cases against outgoing President Asif Zardari. Probably a reminder that the coming Eid will be the first without democracy in the country, which is defined as having a Bhutto relative as either Prime Minister or President. And though he has not said anything, Asif must be silent because he has taken to heart the conviction of Laloo Prasad Yadav in a fodder scam when he was Chief Minister of Bihar. Laloo Prasad visited Pakistan and was welcomed generously, but his corruption conviction rankles, not least with the President, who agrees with Laloo Prasad that it must be a conspiracy. Presumably against the good people of Bihar, because it couldn’t be a conspiracy against the Muhajir people. That is being carried on in Karachi, where target killers are being arrested at last. Biharis live in Karachi too, where they are counted with the MQM. They have usually undergone two migrations, in 1947 to East Pakistan, and then in 1971 to West. So perhaps the case against Laloo Prasad is a case against all Biharis, wherever they may be. Like in the refugee camps of East Pakistan, where Biharis make up the stranded Pakistanis there, now approaching their 42nd anniversary as refugees, rejected by what for many is the land of their birth. Many? Well, even for those who have entered middle and are themselves parents of growing families. Meanwhile, there is pressure on Bangladesh to accept Rohingyas, Burmese Muslims that the Buddhist majority refuses to accept. Instead of accepting them, they are not satisfied with refusing them citizenship, but is killing them.
However, even if Laloo Prasad does not prove it, the charges against Zardari show that the charges are made to bring a bad name to politicians, and meant to make it easier to impose martial law. Politicians should be given immunity, especially if they are related to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
Imran Khan might be claiming re-elections in Karachi because voters’ thumbprints were not verified, but isn’t that how all elections are held? Including the seats his party won? There has not been the horror or fury over how the votes were cast improperly, because there was no surprise. That implies the experience of people countrywide is that election results were much like those of Karachi. That is why the PPP believes that its purpose is to ensure that a Bhutto becomes PM or at least President. Well, this is the first Eid without democracy in the country. Though stomach aplenty were upset last Eid, more will be this time.
So eat moderately. Though we’re heading towards cooler weather, the rains are not making things even autumnal, let alone cold. The renotification by NEPRA of the power tariff was no surprise, even if it was a hard enough blow. An even more pointed.