No rapping for Ch Pervez

Apart from the usual suspects (Imran, Ch Pervez, Shehbaz, Hamza Shehbaz and so on), the two men uppermost in my mind when the Lahore High Court issued a stay order till January 11 against Governor Balighur Rehman’s denotification of Ch Pervez as Chief Minister, were Chief Secretary Abdullah Khan Sumbal and minister Khayal Ahmed Kastro.

Sumbal is a dyed-in-the-wool bureaucrat, being the son of one and the nephew of a senior police officer. A former Commissioner of Lahore, his being CS was not exceptional, in the sense that officers like him have held the job in the past, and have not messed up. Yet after the LHC order, he will have to interact with the CM, even though the denotification notification was signed by hm. If he had become CS as a matter of routine, it wouldn’t have been so bad, but Ch Parvez had fought tooth and nail to get him posted, and he had only recently taken office. At the very least, like National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, he should have resigned rather than sign that notification. Or like the Roman Mucius Scaevola, who thrust his hand into a flame, and did not show any pain, before the Etruscan King, Lars Porsena. Scaevola had been caught while trying to assassinate Porsena. The PTI would probably have preferred it if Sumbal had burned down the Daftar Laat Saab (CS Office at Civil Secretariat) rather than sign such treason to the Cuptaan.

While the CS was only really affected by the restoration, the person affected most by the original dentification was Khayal Amad Kastro, who had been sworn in late, only last Wednesday. While the denotification said |Ch Pervez was to continue, Kastro was sacked too. He probably had not had time to move in to a residence, or get a car, when the axe dropped. The restoration of the Cabinet by the LHC was thus more than welcome.

He has got his moniker because he is a revolutionary like Castro of Cuba, but the change in spelling puts him in the company of two rappers, one of them from Albania. Maybe our Kastro doesn’t rap in Punjabi, but he was still given the Culture portfolio by both Ch Pervez and Usman Buzdar.

Other people were not as lucky as Kastro. Four policement were killed in an attack on a Lakki Marwat police station, while 25 militants were killed after an operation at the Bannu Counter-Terrorism Department,  which had been seized by militants, apparently after two militants got hold of an assault rifle,

That means it was possible for Dr Afia Siddiqui to have seized a weapon from her guards and attempted to kill them. I never believed it before, but now I think it’s possible.

Bannu and Lakki were not the only places with violent deaths. In Vaughan, Ontario, not too far from Toronto, there was a shooting spree, in which six people were killed, including the 70-year-old suspect. No, it wasn’t the cold, nor was he the standard mad Muslim, who was heard crying “Allahu Akbar”, but a white resident of the condominium where the incident occurred, who had problems for years with the condominium board. The really interesting thing was that this happened in Canada, despite their strict gun laws.

For a crime committed without guns, you had Harvey Weinstein convicted for rape. I heard Ali Zafar protested this, being as sure of Weinstein’s innocence as of his own.

Another kind of oppression of women, the Taliban ban on women in universities, provoked an odd reaction over here. A medical school student, which is a university-level course, remarked to her cousin, an O-level student, “Let’s go to Kabul”. Male students want to protest too, demanding that Pakistani authorities follow suit, with a nondiscriminatory ban.

But we need to be careful. The audio-clips of Imran Khan and some women have apparently made him stop naming recently retired COAS Qamar Javed Bajwa. The clips have served to remind everyone of the time, after he divorced his first wife, he almost married one of the Nawab of Kalabagh’s grand-daughters. The second wife he married instead, has got married again to a model and actor 13 years younger than her. Like Imran, she’s marrying for the third time.  Oh, the salt that is being sprinkled over his wound.


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