CITY NOTES: Protesting on video about crops

Getting the youth vote in your 60s

The conspiracy against the Kaptaan is obvious. There is no other explanation of the way that government employees ran amok in Islamabad last week, forcing the local administration to take strict measures. Obviously, the protesters were corrupt, as corrupt as wicket keepers.

The change was obvious, and as the wicketkeeper was stripped of the captaincy, the Pakistan team won, beating South Africa comprehensively in the tests. However, corrupt elements showed that they were still around. Did you see how Shaheen Shah Afridi took four wickets in the final South African innings? That was a clear attempt to win the future youth vote, and an attempt to knock Imran off his pedestal.

True, Shaheen has got a long way to go before he will be in a position to replace Imran. Not only has he got to take more international wickets (Imran took 544 test and ODI wickets; Shaheen has got 117 until Saturday in tests, ODIs and T20Is), but he’s also got to win a World Cup for Pakistan, and has to build a hospital. Having only organic food, fathering a daughter out of wedlock and undergoing multiple marriages are optional, but preferred. Otherwise, he will not get the youth vote while late in his sixties.

Another bunch of conspirators are those Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) MPAs who sold their votes for the 2018 Senate elections, and whose video turned up recently. It shows so vividly that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is the only party whose members are compelled to record everything on video. Try to find a video of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) members selling their votes. Not necessarily because they are more honest, but because somewhere they learned that you must hide your traces. Catch either Sarfraz Haider or Muhammad Rizwan making a video recording of their receiving money from Nawaz Sharif, which is why they led Pakistan to losses as captain.

But then, you could not turn to some other sports, could you? In mountaineering, you had the desperate but ultimately fruitless search for Mohammad Ali Sadpara and two other climbers, in their attempt on K2, in what was to have been the first-ever winter ascent of the second-highest mountain in the world.

Why do it? I am reminded of the reply made by Edmund Hillary when asked why he had climbed Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, back in 1053: “Because it’s there.” I wonder how many people understand a sport (and make no mistake, mountaineering demands supreme fitness and immense athleticism) where the opponent is not another team, but a lump of inanimate rock? Actually, we should, since we received a reminder that we are in a mountainous zone from the earthquake on Friday night, which reminded us that the mountains are still moving, the tectonic plates still bumping up against each other. The movement of the plates is what serves to create the Himalayas, in whose foothills or on whose alluvial plain we all live.

Living is what Indian farmers are not sure they will be doing after the new laws governing their sector, which is probably why they are besieging the capital, even though it means spending these cold winter nights in the cold. The weather seems to be getting better, which means the protests have probably turned the corner and can go on.

The protests have both become international and turned nasty. Environmental activist Greta Thurnberg and pop star Rihanna have both tweeted in favour of the protesting farmers, prompting a crackdown against the New Delhi police against the farmers.

I suppose we should count ourselves lucky that they’re not protesting over here. It might not be that far off, not to forget that RAW is seeking opportunities to do down the PTI. And just as the farmers’ protests are a conspiracy against Narendra Modi, so too are the protests against Imran. The PDM is merely trying to ruin the standing of Pakistan in the comity of nations.

I hope we do not see any protests as in Myanmar, where unpatriotic elements (which is probably the same thing as corrupt elements) are protesting against the boons of military rule, and in favour of those who had rigged the election, and prevented the pro-Army parties from winning.

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