On advice of counsel


Every time there’s loadshedding, I start wondering which of the neighbours has been enterprising enough to wriggle out of paying their electricity bills. Is that the world this new policy of what is called revenue-based loadshedding, giving the impression that people are falling over each other to pay for the privilege of having their power cut?

Are we now supposed to spy on our neighbours to find out if they’ve paid their power bill? I’m not even sure I know when any of my neighbours’ bill is due.

As for the neighbour with whom we share a backwall, I don’t know if we’re on the same feeder or not. And with the weather playing up, we had a lot of loadshedding recently., so I’m afraid I may have used some intemperate words about my neighbours, for which I unreservedly apologise.

Though my neighbours are not criminals, I’m afraid the same can’t be said about Donald Trump. He’s been convicted of falsifying documents to cover up the hush money paid to Stormy Daniels, a porn star, to stop her talking about their affair in 2016, the year he was elected President.

You’ve got to hand it to Trump. He says he wasn’t allowed to raise the defence that he acted on advice of counsel. He says he had nothing to do with Ms Daniels, but he authorised his lawyer to pay her a large sum, after his lawyer said it was OK.

He’s still awaiting sentencing, which should happen around the end of the month. He can still run for President if jailed, and even serve if elected. He is not immediately disqualified and stopped from holding any office. It would be a turn-up for the books if he had to go to jail, but his inability to turn up at campaign events would probably cost him, and the disadvantage of having Black, Latino, Araba and other minority voters refusing to vote for Biden because of Palestine was overcome, and Trump became President again. But in jail.

It would be a triumph for Imran Khan, who would say the USA was so desperate that it elected a jailbird President. Trump and Imran are buddies, only Modi is also a Trump buddy. Modi has been re-elected, which means that the old gang is back. Well, almost.

Most recently, the poet Ahmed Farhad has turned up in the custody of the Dhirkot police in AJK, where he has been accused of misbehaving with the policemen at Kohala Bridge when he was arrested. I doubt that a Dhirkot police party would have an opinion about Urdu poetry, so if the SHO is willing to take the burden of his arrest, it probably isn’t because of any strong feelings about Ahmed Farjad’s opus.

I recall that when last a poet was jailed, Oscar Wilde, he produced The Ballad of Reading Gaol, which is not the acme of English Literature, or even of his work. His novel The Portrait of Dorian Gray and his plays The Importance of Being Earnest are better remembered. Wilde was not imprisoned for fighting with the cops, but interfering with Lord Alred Douglas.

I see there’s a lot of rage at Pakistan’s loss to the USA in the T20 World Cup in the Super-over. Wasn’t the match in the book? I mean, hadn’t the Mumbai Matchfixers decided that was going to happen?

But then, what else to expect at a tournament where Papua New Guinea found 77 almost a winning total, which Uganda overtook only after losing six wickets, and in the penultimate over? South Africa almost went down to The Netherlands. And I don’t agree with comic writer Anwar Maqsood that losing to the USA was an IMF conditionality. I think that was a piece of bilateral diplomacy. The real diplomacy will be losing to India.

We’re set for Eid on 17 June. But the in-charge of Makkah and Madinah, Abdur Rehman As-Sudais has called for shorter sermons on Fridays (and presumably on Eid) and recitations during prayers, because of the heat. He’s taking all of the fun about being a khateeb, because what’s the point of having a captive audience if you can’t spread yourself and show the world what you have in you.


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