The power of global thinking

Admittedly, the Sahiwal massacre didn’t look good. But more designed to build the image of the country and its Prime Minister was the decision by the USA’s Foreign Affairs magazine to include Imran Khan on its list of Global Thinkers. True, it is an American magazine, and thus easily fooled, but its forthright stance on an issue that others have tried to duck, that Imran can actually think, does it credit. Of course, there is no comment on the quality of the thought.

I assume that Mian Nawaz’s heart pains were not caused by this award. After all, Mian Nawaz is hardly a contender, who would go into a corner and weep silent tears at the pain of being passed over. However, Mian Nawaz must wonder. Just as he was a comedown from Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was not just brilliant, but terrifyingly well-read, so Imran is a comedown from him.

Mian Nawaz should thank his stars that Imran hasn’t used his global thinking powers to decide that he was behind the Sahiwal massacre. That massacre’s highlight was that there was an in-camera briefing for the press. I’m not sure how that is supposed to work. In-camera sessions of assemblies are supposed to be kept secret. But how can pressmen keep quiet about anything? If they did, shouldn’t they be in a different line of work?

Be that as it may, the insistence by the police that the head of the family that was killed was a terrorist is admirable for its persistence, even as one asks why. After all, even if he was a terrorist, did he deserve to be gunned down in cold blood? Did his wife and children? Somehow, I suspect the deaths of these four people had less to do with terrorism than with the Punjab Police. And I wonder why Nawaz, Shehbaz, Hamza, Captain Safdar, Mariam, Kh Saad, his brother Kh Salman and other PML (N) stalwarts have not been named. Obviously, someone in the government is sleeping on the job.

The Sahiwal incident should not distract us from events at home and abroad. There was the tanker-bus collision near Hub in which 27 people were killed. True, there was no police involvement, or at least not until it was too late, and the traffic police was involved, not the counter-terrorism department.

And we need to be aware of the net being weaved across the border for Pakistan to be trapped in. The USA is looking at a Hindu candidate for the Presidency, in 2020. After Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana Governor, ran (spectacularly unsuccessfully) for the Republican nomination in 2016, it seems it’s now the turn of the Democrats to have candidates planted by India. There’s too much made of Russian interference. You don’t need to interfere if you’ve got a candidate. From his name, Bobby Jindal sounds like a Punjabi Hindu, though he’s long converted to Christianity.

Tulsi Gabbard, the Congresswoman from Hawaii, has not. In fact, she doesn’t have any direct connection to India, for she’s a Hindu because her mother, an American white, is. Her father, an American Samoan, is Roman Catholic.

You think that’s mixed up? Well, wait until you hear the story of Kamala Harris, the Democratic Senator from California, who’s also running for President. She’s the daughter of a Jamaican and a Tamil. They divorced when she was seven. Her mother might be a Hindu, and her maternal grandfather a retired diplomat she was close to, but she chose to be a Baptist like her father rather than a Hindu. As the former Attorney General of California, she is naturally in favour of legalising weed. Is that a gesture towards her father, who may not be a Rastafarian himself (he’s a Stanford economist), but surely knew some back in the day.

Ideally, someone from Gujerat, preferably named Patel, should run. That would probably make him or her more typical. And it would also make him or her more in sync with Narendra Modi. It’s not necessary that a Hindu, or someone of Indian origin, win. Just running is enough. I mean, Jindal came nowhere near winning, but the winner, Donald Trump, who also won the White House, had to pay attention to the Indian vote, which led to his bromance with Modi. And the government should remember that the Indian diaspora in the USA is as devoted to the BJP as the Pakistani is to the PTI.

Well, the PTI had a minibudget, and though it provided little relief, it provided good news to China, which is springing for Pakistan. Or was this minibudget meant to convince the IMF of anything?