CITY NOTES: Looking right to the judge

Fast bowler Naseem Shah is clearly an Indian agent. When India most needed the runs, he gave away crucial fours in the Asia Cup group match. All those looking at him to see whether he is fit to be brought on the same page or not, should stick with Imran. They should not think about a substitute. Theory should take a hint from the fate of Shaheen Shah Afridi, who has been sidelined with a knee injury. Of course, Imran came back from a spinal stress fracture which left him incapable of bowling. Even then, he showed determination not to give up the captaincy, with the result that for some time he played as a batsman.

A sportsman of that era, Manzoor Junior, has passed away. He was part of what was an unbelievable outfit, perhaps in any sport. Hanif Khan began the forward line at right-out, and then there was Manzoor Junior at right-in, Shehnaz Sheikh at centre forward, Islahuddin at left-in and Samiullah at left-out.Akhtar Rasool was centre-half, and Manzoor Senior one of the backs. That was a team you can’t believe. Imran was captain of a good, even great, team. But it was believable.

On the other hand, the news from politics is not that encouraging, with Mikhail Gorbachev dieing, and being denied a state funeral by Vladimir Putin. That might encourage Imran to hang on to office till death. I mean, if you die, as Gorbachev did, over three decades after having been President, one’s successor might decide to avoid what should be inevitable, which is a state funeral.

Gorbachev was a good 23 years older than Imran, but Manzoor Junior was actually five years younger. And he didn’t die of some untimely disease or in an accident, but of a heart attack. Imran has got to get the youth vote, even though he turns 70 next year.

He should work on revising his wardrobe now that he’s going to hit that patriarchal age. No, I don’t he should go for T-shirts and skinny jeans. He should also reconsider his garb in the light of his position as an accused contemner. The judges hearing his case are used to defendants appearing before them with a certain demeanour.

It should start with Shahbaz Gill. He’s been applying for bail all wrong. To get bail, you have to look the part. First, he must wear a long kameez, yellow with blue polka dots. A black lacha. Polished balck pumps, to be worn without benefit of socks. I don’t suppose the police would allow him a gandasa, but he must not forget the fright wig favoured by the late Rahi Sahib, not to forget the moka or wart on his cheek. A couple of wiry hairs curling out of it would be a nice touch.

And instead of ‘Dr Shehbaz Gill’, he should bribe the cxops to introduce himas ‘Sh’baaz Jat’. Imran would dress the same, and introduce himself as ‘ ‘Mraan Vehshi Pathan’. Even if the Islamabad High Court forgives him, a film of that name could probably be written and hit the studio floors within days.

Imran may have to deal with the IHC this week, but I hear he’s also angry with KP Finance Minister Taimur Jhagra and Punjab Finance Minister Mohsin Leghari, because they failed to stop the IMF giving the government its programme tranche. Jhagra wrote that KP would not stick to the IMF agreement, while Leghari should have too, but he bailed. (He must had had a sudden cramp is his hand.)

Well, things are happening all over. Like France, which has ordered the deportation of a 63-year-old imam for hate speech to Morocco, a country he hardly knows, though he’s a citizen. He was born there, but never got citizenship. I can see the avoidance of military service here, but what about later, when he was past the call-up age? Moral of the story: keep quiet when your citizenship status is wonky.

And then there was poor Ankita, who was burnt to death in her native Dumka, Jharkand, vIndia. Her killer was a Muslim, Shahrukh, whose marriage proposal had been turned down. IIt hasn’t been taken up by feminist groups, but by Hindu fundamentalists, protesting first that a Muslim boy dared to punish a Hindu girl, and second that the DSP Dumka, also a Muslim, was favouring the boy.

The BJP is gunning for him because it needs a distraction from suspended Jharkand BJP leader Seema Patra’s arrest for imprisoning a tribal woman to make her a maid.


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