CITY NOTES: The Order of the Boot | Pakistan Today

CITY NOTES: The Order of the Boot

The first thing I want to know is Mian Nawaz Sharif’s doctor’s name. Any doctor who can recommend a walk that ends in a restaurant is the doctor I want to go to, in my book.

My own experience so far has been of doctors telling me that anything I eat is bad for my heart, my blood pressure, and my kidneys. I’m waiting for the day a doctor who tells me to stop breathing because the air is too polluted for health. That day can’t be too far off, because the rain we’ve been having hasn’t cleared the air, though it did increase the cold. So not only is it as bitterly cold as ever, but the smog is back.

I think that I won’t want Dr Imran Khan at my bedside. He’s the one who diagnosed Mian Nawaz as being healthy from a picture of the back of his head in the restaurant. I’m sure he was prescribing and operating and treating patients while in Azad Kashmir, where he went after the avalanches and landslides there killed more than 100 people. Despite his phenomenal diagnostic skills, honed on his years in the cricket field.

What does the cricket field have to do with practicing medicine? You ask. Well, let me remind you of the four Grace brothers, of whom the most famous was W.G., who turned out for so many years for Gloucestershire in the last half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, and who were all doctors or medical students. And none of them ever won a World Cup or built a cancer hospital. So anyone objecting to him treating patients should know where they can get off.

I wonder whether he will wear a white coat next, or take a stethoscope to his next TV appearance. That might upset doctors, not that he would mind. After all, he’s on the same page with someone else. That someone else was less than amused with Water Resources Minister Faisal Vawda, who found himself better known than any time before in his entire life by the simple act of bringing a boot to a TV show. And never, I think, has anyone found he has put his foot further into his mouth than him. And instead of a ban on appearing in talk shows, surely he should get the Order of the Boot from the Cabinet.

Of course, what he did was in bad taste, but it didn’t harm anyone. Well, it did insult all our brave men in uniform, but it didn’t hurt them the way Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry hurt a TV host when he slapped him recently. Mr Vawda hasn’t apologised for his deed, but he hasn’t justified it either, as Ch Fawad did, who said that he had done so because the host had insulted him on Youtube.

A layman might nod, but Ch Fawad is a lawyer, and a nephew of a former Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court, as well as of Ch Altaf, the Punjab Governor, a prominent lawyer alongside a long political career. Ch Fawad would know that he couldn’t offer that as a defence in any court. There are quite a few remedies, but a slap isn’t one of them. As a matter of fact, a slap is not even allowed to be part of a sentence. The Penal Code allows a man to be hanged, and the Jail Manual prescribes how, but neither allows a prisoner, even one over whose head the noose dangles, to be slapped.

While Imran ignores Ch Fawad’s pugilistic proclivities, he gave Mr Vawda a two-week ban from appearing on talk shows. While that must be disappointing for his family, all it means is that TV anchors will be lining up to have him appear after a fortnight. So what will he do for an encore? Slap the anchor? Well, maybe he should appear barefoot.

I’m not so sure Vawda knows what party he’s in. I mean, the PTI expressing disdain for national institutions? He should watch the Musharraf case more carefully. The General appealed his death sentence to the Lahore High Court, which proved that its patriotism was aboveboard, and declared that Musharraf was not guilty of high treason by firing Iftikhar Chaudhry as Chief Justice. In other words, no blame attaches to whatever you do to the Constitution. That message will be popular among those who were so upset over the death sentence.

Between you and me, I think it’s unfair that NAB isn’t allowed to offer rewards, and has just to pursue cases. I mean, while it closed the inquiry against Zulfi Bokhari, it wasn’t allowed to order that he receive a hero’s welcome in Lahore, or be accorded a triumph in Karachi. Or that he be allowed to bind Nawaz Sharif, Yousaf Reza Gilani and Asif Zardari to his chariot wheels on entry to Islamabad. Those three had been caught at the door of the Toshakhana, redhanded in the act of sneaking out valuables from there. It is still not clear whether they did so separately, or together.

Imran was getting other good news. Like the US-China trade deal, which means that Pakistan’s diplomacy bringing them together has worked. Then there was the recall for Shoaib Malik to the T20 team against Bangladesh. Who also agreed to a split Test series. This must be the first time a 2-test series has been split. I wonder when they’ll come up with split days. Y’ know, up to lunch against one team, the lunch-tea session against another, and tea-close against a third. And if they can recall Shoaib. Why not Imran?