CITY NOTES: War and terror in the pandemic | Pakistan Today

CITY NOTES: War and terror in the pandemic

LAHORE: One would have thought that the sacking of Judge Arshad Malik by the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) administrative committee would have won the applause (raucous, no doubt) of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

After all, a corrupt element was biting the dust, getting due comeuppance for his association with the head of the Sicilian Mafia, Don Nawaz himself.

The only problem is that the finding means that the LHC does not believe the good judge’s claim that the videos of him were a concoction. Which means that it believes that somebody had videos which did indeed force him to give a guilty verdict in the Al-Azizia reference. Now the committee should pay attention to what happened to Justice Qazi Faez Isa, and is still happening to his family, before criticising, even by implication, any national institutions that might happen to have incriminating tapes.

Shehbaz Sharif was showing a misplaced joy, by asking Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) workers to offer thanks to the Almighty for the decision. Why is it being assumed that this was a put-up job meant to embarrass certain national institutions by reversing their decisions? And only if Nawaz Sharif’s conviction is quashed will it be possible to argue that national institutions are being made to face embarrassment by Indian agents.

India must be pulling out all stops now because of the embarrassment it faced in Ladakh at the hands of China.

Perhaps India has learnt enough from that episode to decide that it will not fight with China. The United States has been beefing up India to counter China, but it seems that India has not given up a 58-year-old habit. If anyone remembers the 1962 Indo-China War, it ended with India getting a pasting and turning to the US for help in getting it out.

Besides, at the time of the 1962 war, there was no pandemic. The Ladakh battleground is inaccessible enough without any attempts at social distancing. About two centuries ago, it was expected to have more casualties caused by illness than by enemy action. Of course, that changed with the discovery of antibiotics. But it seems we are going back to that era. You might see a victorious division laid low by the coronavirus. Can you bring enough firepower to bear on the enemy while maintaining social distancing?

Well, apart from China and India giving a demonstration of combat in the pandemic, we have also had a demonstration of terrorism under conditions of social distancing, but it was not the usual militants, but people from the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA). There have been no new infections reported from the attack they carried out at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), but I cannot imagine that the attacks were not accompanied by a crowd murmuring “kya hua?’” and jostling the others as they edged forward for a closer look. I would not be surprised if they did not take selfies, just to prove they were at the scene.

I wonder why the BLA chose the PSX. I mean, militants belonging a certain religion might be expected to, because they believe that joint stock companies are un-Islamic, and trading their shares is prohibited. Of course, they might prefer going after a bank, what with so many banks having headquarters in Karachi. These militants, as a matter of fact, are against modern capitalism, which rests on the banking system as well as joint stock companies. I did not know that the BLA was particularly anti-capitalist. In fact, since there’s a soft spot for it in the US Congress, I assumed that it was pro-capitalism. Unless its Indian trainer and sponsor, RAW, retains a streak of the Nehruvian socialism that I had thought it had abandoned with the advent of the BJP, which is very pro-capitalist in its ideology.

The monsoon is not breaking. There has been a little rain, but the Met Office said that it was pre-monsoonal. The weather is muggy enough though. You mean it will get worse in the monsoon itself? Can it get any worse?
We are apparently trying to get #BlackLivesMatter to take in Kashmiris. I wonder how Kashmiris like being described as Black.