Another person who doesn’t know what he’s talking about is Mansoor Ijaz, the Pakistani-American businessman jialas love to hate. They hate him for the reason that his evidence showed. That put Bhutto’s son-in-law inside the crosshairs as trying to get the Americans to take over Pakistan, to get a national security team of their liking, and a return to the national security model first put forward by General Jehangir Karamat, for which he had to resign, and implemented by both India and Pervez Musharraf as the National Security Council. India followed the USA because the NSC was, it felt, needed now it had gone nuclear, and Pakistan because it gave the military a forum at which it could tell the civilians to pull their socks up. It was supposed to prevent Martial Law. Well, there was a nuclear dimension to the famous memo, in which Pakistan committed to handing its arsenal over to the USA. No one has come up with the argument that Bhutto gave the nuclear programme, so his son-in-law could give it away. No jiala has even come up with the national interest argument, that giving the USA our arsenal was in the national interest. How? Well, I don’t know, but perhaps (Senator) Aitzaz can think of something. He might have to, if he has to speak on the subject in the Senate.
However, jialas have pointed out that Mansoor Ijaz is not the most credible person in the universe. In fact, in jiala circles, he is called something much stronger. In short, jiala lawyers would not call him to give the time of day. Of course, if his evidence had been favourable to a member of the Bhutto or Zardari families (excluding Mumtaz, Ghinwa or anyone admitting knowing them), tales would be told of Mansoor Ijaz and the cherry tree.
Another thing that is only grudgingly acknowledged by jialas is that Naveed Qamar has woken up. Loadshedding is not just back, but with a jiala vengeance. My younger son is already making paper fans in preparation for the summer, when he expects a lot of loadshedding. It seems that he too has learnt that Naveed Qamar is awake. It’s almost as if it isn’t Naveed Qamar, but the Kraken. However, did the Kraken bring loadshedding with it? I know, it was a sea-monster, and Naveed Qamar is a distinguished gentleman with a luxuriant handlebar moustache, that was known as a soup strainer once upon a time, but he seems to have grasped the need for loadshedding, for teaching Pakistanis from an early age (like my younger boy) that they don’t deserve uninterrupted electricity. Now if only they learnt the same thing about nuclear weapons… Then the President would not need a Mansoor Ijaz.
We need to decide whether we need Naveed Qamar awake, or Mansoor Ijaz. As far as I know, though, Mansoor has no problem staying awake. Naveed Qamar does. So did Khurshid Kasuri, though as Foreign Minister he was asleep on stage to protest over Kashmir. Or at least that’s what his apologists said. Not that Naveed Qamar was protesting over Kashmir. Or even over loadshedding. He was just out of ‘the zone’. And if the PTI has acquired an ex-minister who likes to sleep, the PPP also has one. Wonder who the PML(N) has? Well, it once had Kasuri, but as he was not in its Cabinet, not having won a seat in Parliament, he reserved his feats of sleeping for the next party he joined, the PML(Q). In this time, Naveed Qamar remained in the PPP. You know, the two were once colleagues, in the PDA when Kasuri was still in the Tehrik-i-Istiqlal, and before he began his journeys, which have taken him now to the PTI. I don’t have anything against sleeping, mind you, done at the right time and place. Wasn’t it Shakespeare who had Julius Caesar say, “Let me have men about me who are fat; Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep at nights…” thus indicating at least the right time. If the right place was to be mentioned, it should be one’s own bed, and not someone else’s, and certainly not on a stage where photographers are prowling around snapping the speakers, but hoping for just such an opportunity on the off-chance. Caesar thought that ‘Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look’, of which neither Kasuri nor Naveed Qamar could be accused. And no, we won’t go into which luminary of which party looks lean and hungry.