The treason of twinkletoes

I can’t help sympathizing with the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr Justice Umar Ata Bandial. Of course, a lowly journalist like me has no business sympathizing with the Chief Justice of Pakistan, but then, the CJP is merely trying to protect his mother-in-law. If he didn’t do that, he would probably not live all that much longer.

Mr Justice Bandial heads a bench which has stayed proceedings of the enquiry commission headed by  Mr Justice Qazi Faez Isa which was appointed to look into the leaked audio recordings bringing the judiciary into disrepute.

One of the recordings involved the CJP’s mother-in-law, in which she allegedly spoke to a friend, the wife of one of Imran Khan’s lawyers. She had been summoned by the commission, presumably to confirm or deny the recording. The stay meant that she was saved the trouble.

Chief Justice Bandial has been busy saving an in-law before. His brother-in-law, formerly the head of Lahore’s Solid Waste Management Company was accused of having defrauded it of billions. He got basil from the Lahore High Court. The bail was appealed to the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Bandial has marked the case to himself, and done nothing.

Now try and imagine what would happen if the learned Chief Justice had allowed his brother-in-law to go into the slammer, or leave his mother-in-law to have to answer that notice. Well, he would have found himself forced to sleep on a sofa in the drawing-room, would have got nothing to eat and be forced to mooch sandwiches off his brother judges, not to mention being forced to turn up in court with grimy shirt-collars and cuffs. And that’s a bare minimum.

I’m not sure Imran sympathizes, or is even aware of the CJP’s dilemma. He’s probably more concerned about the treason committed by the PTI women in jail, who have denied that they have been assaulted. Imran has said that that is happening, so it must  be. And by the way, I’m not sure the real reason is known for the calling off of the staged attack on a PTI leader’s house, and the staged rape of a PTI woman, both to be filmed. It’s not because of Rana Sanaullah’s late-night press conference, but because Imran couldn’t settle who was to star as the aggressor. He would have made this ultimate sacrifice himself, but was persuaded by the remaining members of his party not to risk arrest by going out in public.

The party seems particularly unlucky with people named Pervez. Pervez Khattak has resigned as KP President, prior to leaving the party entirely. And though Ch Pervaiz Elahi hasn’t resigned, he has not only been arrested, but then re-arrested after he got bail. Ch Pervaiz will remember how his uncle and father-in-law, the late Ch Zhoor Elahi, once had a buffalo-theft case registered against him. It says something about the progress of the country. Ch Pervaiz is wanted for billions in corruption. I don’t think it would lower him in the esteem of the people in his village, but I don’t think it will enhance respect for him as much as buffalo theft would.

Ch Pervaiz is unfazed, and has said he won’t be holding any press conferences soon. Instead, we had a press conference from, of all people, Usman Buzdar. With only Mehmood Khan left as a PTI provincial chief executive who has not committed treason, we’re likely to see Imran revise his means of selecting CMs next time, if of course there is one.

If Pervez Khattak leaves the party, it will be a serious blow. I mean, elections are upon us, and with no Pervez Khattak to dance at PTI rallies in a reprise of his dharna performance in 2014, what will Imran do. He’s already lost the composer of a party anthem in Imran Ismail, and a potent singer in Ibrarul Haque. The PTI has regressed to the musical level of the JUI. All we need now is Imran to play bongo drums at a rally.





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