Fawad ‘Nelson’ Chaudhry has changed his name after arrest. He has renamed himself after Nelson Mandela. Fawad, or rather Nelson, is also struggling against racism and apartheid. It seems that bad times have come for the Jats of Punjab. First one of them retired as COAS, and then another dissolved the Punjab Assembly and thus lost the Chief Ministership.
And though both parties, the PTI-PML(Q) and the PML(N) had recommended a total of three Jat bureaucrats as caretaker CM, the ECP chose Mohsin Naqvi. The government had recommended Cabinet Secretary Ahmad NawazSukhera and former Chief Secretary Naveed Akram Cheema, both Jats and civil servants, while the PML(N) had also recommended Ahad Cheema, another Jat civil servant, previously under NAB custody, now PM’s Adviser.
Jat rule is not new to Punjab. Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and his sons Kharak Sindh and Duleep Singh, were Sindhu Jats
Then there is a long gap, as the Raj then took over. The succeeding Governors were all Brits, and ICS officers. I wonder if any ‘natives’ would have become Governors that way if the Raj had lasted until 1990, say. Be that as it may, Ch Nelson is struggling for Jat rights. His uncle, the late Ch Altaf Hussain, was the last Jat Governor I can think of, and possibly the only since Partition. Ch Parvez was not the first Jat to become CM, Sardar Arif Nakai was.
However, Mohsin Naqvi is not a Jat. He might be related to Jats, being married to Ch Shujaat Hussain’s niece, but he himself isn’t one. And being a journalist, he’s obviously far from being a bureaucrat. There’s no reason why Jats can’t be bureaucrats. They’ve been lawyers, with one being the current federal Law Minister, and another the President (after also having been a Supreme Court judge), not to forget Fawad’s own uncle, who was Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court.
However, while Nelson Mandela was a lawyer, he wasn’t a Jat. He struggled against apartheid, not for Jat rights. Bhgwant Singh Mann, the Indian Punjab CM, and Manohar Lal Khattar, the HaryanaCM, are the only Jat chief executives left. A Jat, Jagmeet Singh Ghaliwal, does lead Canada’s New Democratic Party, but he’s unlikely ever to become PM. The PTI mistake was not to put up a Syed candidate. The last caretaker Punjab CM was Hassan Askari Rizvi, so Mohsin Naqvi does fit the pattern. As the only Syed on both sides, he was a shoo-in.
He named fast bowler Wahab Riaz to be his Sports Minister and journalist Amir Mir to be Information Minister. I hope he doesn’t pick an ‘expert’ for Livestock and Dairy Development.
I don’t know if he would like to pick Ishaq Dr for Finance Minister, what with the complete collapse of the rupee after he stopped trying to prop it up.
Ishaq Dar got a ringing endorsement from Maryam Nawaz when she came back. I wonder how many took comfort from this, and how many came away feeling she didn’t know enough economics to lead the party No prizes for Mian Nawaz, though, who sent Dar back home to fix the economy.
Instead of fixing it, it seems that we’re being prepared for the consequences of a default. When the light went for 17 hours, everyone thought that’s what had happened. Well, some people thought India had attacked. But it seems that it was because India had hacked our system. At least that’s what Khurram Dastagir, our very own Prince of Darkness, or rather Energy Minister, said.
Well, at least it stayed peaceful. That’s not what happened during celebrations for the Chinese New Year, when Hu Can Tranh, 72, went on a shooting spree in Monterey Park, California, and killed 11 people. Within days, Chunli Zhao also went on a shooting spree in California, killing seven. He was 66. What is making decrepit Asians spray bullets? Maybe they should set up a JIT, like they keep doing for Imran Khan’s assassination attempt. The Punjab JIT has gone down in flames after its head quarreled with the members, and the PTI doesn’t trust the one set up by the Centre.
Maybe they should set up one to investigate the Quran burning in Sweden. It’s being defended by free speech, but it’s clearly a provocation. A bizarre twist has come in Copenhagen, where the Quran has been burnt in front of the Turkish Embassy. The arsonists have threatened to burn one every week until the Turkish government withdraws its objections to Sweden joining NATO. So it isn’t really about free speech, and it’s because they know that Muslims get offended.