From Gabon to Attock via Ranipur

Somebody had better do something fast. Even in Gabon they are showing more patriotism than in Pakistan. Men of vision and saturated with love for their country, dedicated to the defence of every sacred inch of the motherland, they will not allow it to be averted from its glorious destiny of taking its rightful place in the comity of nations, and bringing glory to the Gabonese people.

The Gabonese military took a forthright stand against dynasticism in politics, overthrowing A;i Bongo, who was the son of Omar Bongo, who was President for 42 years. He had converted to Islam in 1973, and being in OPEC probably had nothing to do with it. His son, Ali Bongo, was 14 then, and also converted. Omar was originally Albert-Bernard, and Ali Alain-Bernard.

But patriotism is not restricted to Gabon, it seems. Before it, there was a coup in Niger, where the courageous and devoted armed forces overthrew the corrupt, useless and scoundrelly regime that had helped betray the legitimate demands of the Nigerien people in the border dispute with Benin.

Niger is an example of what true patriots do where the national interest is involved. There was even a takeover by a major, who assassinated the President and took over. That involved the airport, because the President was apparently taking off in a helicopter on his way out of the country.

It’s interesting for Pakistanis, for one martial law (that of Ziaul Haq) ended with a plane explosion, and the next one started with an alleged hijacking. Neither the Ayub nor Yahya Martial Laws involved the air at either imposition or lifting, unless you count the Ganga staged hijacking, which India used as an excuse to stop Pakistani overflights from West to East.

It might thus be a good sign that Imran Khan was not released after his bail, but merely re-arrested in another case. So there was no flight back to Lahore. It seems he’s going to get the sort of treatment that so many PTI leaders did, who were merely re-arrested at the gates of the jail after release on bail. That cycle can only be brought by a press conference, in which you announce your love for the Pakistan Army, condemn the actions of May 9, abjure the PTI and all his works, and announce that you will take a break from politics. And then go off and join the Istehkam Pakistan Party. If Imran was to do that, he would avoid not just re-arrest but the fate being suffered by Ch Pervez Elahi, who is given bail by the Lahore High Court, but was still arrested by the Islamabad police under MPO.

He has been sent to Attock Jail, where Imran is. I suppose neither has yet realized the importance of the polka dots on the kurta, and why the whole ensemble must be accessorized by white shoes and a garish green chaddar. Unless the judge has his eyes assaulted, he won’t give bail.

Maybe they can work out some sort of compromise, something along the lines of what Pir Syed Asad Shah Jilani is said to have managed in the case of the murder of Fatima Furiro, whose body was found in his haveli in Ranipur, Khairpur District. She was only 10. And of course, there was no one to get angry, to ensure that he would be rearrested.

The pir, his wife and his father-in-law have been accused of beating the girl. She and her father have feld. Why didn’t Pir Asad flee? Perhaps because he had to go on meeting his mureeds, who havwe been facilitated by the SHO. One of the mureeds, who has warned of consequences if the Pir Sahib was not released, is a dacoit. I am not suggesting that Pir Asad was a patharidar (someone operating a pathari, or refuge, where the dacoit could keep people until their ransom was paid) or even an a meen (someone with whom dacoits deposit their proceeds), but these are both tasks dacoits prefer pirs to undertake.

And you know what was the really frightening part of the story? That at least two other girls  continued to work at the haveli afterwards (among the three women and three children recovered), even when the post mortem showed that poor Fatima had not only been tortured, but criminally assaulted, even unnaturally.

Meanwhile, everyone may have been disappointed at how the India-Pakistan match literally fizzled out, but it seems that India treachery to Imran Khan has not stopped. Or else why did Shaheem Afridi take four wickets? Why are the batsmen of the world bent on putting Shaheen on the same page?



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