City Notes

Somehow, I had got the impression that the monsoon had started on time. Yet Friday’s rain was monsoonal. You know, more than 60 mm of rain, house collapses, and a post-rain photo-op for Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s wellies. Mian Shahbaz has photo-ops even in winter, and during the driest of the dry weather, but his wellies only get a chance during the monsoon. That is probably the hardest part of working in WASA, keeping a straight face at Mian Shahbaz when he issues orders against flooding, knowing fully well that the monsoons will arrive next year, and these areas will be flooded once again.

But though we have only now had the traditional cloudburst in Lahore, when it seems that the heavens are pelting down, I don’t think this counts as a failure of the monsoon. After all, villages have been washed away, and people rendered homeless, while the military has engaged in the traditional rescue operations. However, I put this down to global warming. That seems to have upset all weather patterns, the monsoon among them. There’s also a shift going on, which should leave the area that is now Pakistan a desert. And it won’t take a few million years, but just a few thousand. Or is it a few hundred? Whichever, we all will be safely underground by the time it happens, but we will keep noticing signs all the time.

Anyhow, it does not seem as if there will be any climate change now that it has come out that child abuse is not limited to Hussainwala village in Kasur district, but is also happening in the Big Bad City. An owner of an academy confessed that he abused his students and made videos. Perhaps he should be punished for not exporting those videos. Obviously a sicko, unlike the gang in Kasur, which was religiously contributing to Pakistan’s exports through its videos. Meanwhile, in Kasur, the Human Rights Commission had to go and report that the event happened. Well, of course it happened. How else are our exports surviving? That land dispute thing is not just a cop-out by the cops, but also the way those who did not commit any abuse are trying to explain away their failure to do their patriotic duty by promoting exports.

Of course, another group of people trying to do their patriotic duty are those who tried to make sure leaders of the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference talk to PM’s National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz when he was scheduled to go over to Delhi to talk to his Indian counterpart. Well, he won’t be going over, so strong are the Indian objections to those talks that it has cancelled the talks. I know India is not supposed to be offended, but can it tell our government’s representatives which hotel they can stay at? That would be the next step. And not because they are serving some higher purpose of Indian diplomacy, but because RAW finds it easier to plant bugs there.

India is actually throwing its weight around. Not only have they told Sartaj Aziz who to meet or not, they have been firing at Sialkoti villagers, and have made us throw the Commonwealth Parliamentary Union meeting to New York, because we wouldn’t invite the puppet speaker of the puppet Jammu and Kashmir Assembly.

Apart from the loss of the CPU moot, the National Assembly not only kept its MQM members, but also its deputy parliamentary leader, Rashid Godil, who survived an assassination attempt which his driver didn’t. Godil is a Gujerati like MQM parliamentary leader Farooq Sattar. H’mmm. There must be something in the Gujerati diet, because in India, one of them has become Prime Minister.

And not just Prime Minister, but also one who got Abu Dhabi to build a Hindu temple there. Which would mean that idol worship would make a comeback to the Arabian Peninsula more than 14 centuries (Hijri; just under in Gregorian years) after the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) demolished the idols in the Ka’aba. Actually, the temple is already there, but now there will be land to build the temple. At present, there’s a temple dedicated to Shiva and his avatar Krishna.

I suppose I’d better mention the new Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr Justice Jawwad S. Khwaja, before he retires. He won’t have the shortest of tenures, because he will have held office for a month before he retires in September. That distinction still belongs to Mr Justice Bashir Jehangiri, who held office 24 days in January 2004. And unless the Almighty intervenes by calling someone to Him, the Chief Justices down to September 2023 are all on the Supreme Court already. All you need is the dates of births of the judges of the various courts before you, and a certain mathematical ability, to work out the order in which judges will become Chief Justices for years to come. Why you should do this if you’re not on the list, I don’t really know.

Anyway, one of the first things the new Chief Justice will have to decide is whether or not to let the Election Tribunal decision to unseat National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq stand. And the mover? Imran Khan, who has announced that the PTI will not contest the by-election unless the Election Commission commits hara-kiri.