Mian Nawaz has taken the jump, and crossed the Rubicon. Not only has he appointed a new Chairman JCSC, but he has also appointed a new COAS. Yes, Gen Ashfaque Pervez Kiyani is no longer COAS, but just another retired General like Mirza Aslam Beg.

Somehow, and it may be because the Phrase is now hackneyed, this time around, I have heard only one person use the phrase ‘thorough professional’ only once about the new COAS. That talismanic phrase has been used about every COAS ever appointed, and presumably about the Commanders-in-Chief before that. I am sure it was used about Gen Ayub, as well as Gen Yahya. It might be carped by some that Gen Raheel Sharif will be the first COAS not to be a war veteran, but then he is also the younger brother of Major Shabbir Sharif, the 1971 War Nishan-i-Haider. And though he was killed as a major, it is General Raheel who is already known as his brother, not the other way around. Everyone seems to hope for something from General Raheel, not so much that he will not do what his predecessor didn’t do, rather than do what his predecessor’s predecessor did, and impose Martial Law. I know that is very important, but surely there’s more to the assignment? I only hope that the country remains safe during his tenure, and also that he leaves it to be run by civilians. He should leave them to run it into the ground. After all, that’s what other departments do. I mean, I’ve never heard of an Irrigation Secretary deciding to save the country, though I’ve known of Irrigation Secretaries whose hearts bleed as much for the nation as any COAS.

In a strange shift of circumstances, general Raheel is an Old Ravian. Musharraf is an Old Formanite. True, both are graduates of the Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul, but when Musharraf was picked by Mian Nawaz, also an Old Ravian, we were obviously heading towards a clash. It is not necessary that bad things happen to Mian Nawaz when he picks Army chiefs, but when he picks Formanites, he faces problems.

By that token, Mr Justice Tassaduq Huaain Jilani does not really seem good news for Mian Nawaz, because he is not just an Old Formanite like Musharraf, who only spent the two years of his Intermediate there, but a dyed-in-the-wool Old Formanite, who did his masters there too, and that too in political science, before going on to the University Law College for his LlB.

Such a Lahore lad, like Mian Nawaz, that he not only served here as Advocate General, but was elevated to its High Court. And then took oath as Acting Chief Election Commissioner here, when Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim resigned.

As acting CEC, he only conducted one major election, that of the President. That presumably meant the end of civilisation as we know it, and of democracy, because after it was over, no relative of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto held either of the two great offices of state he had held.

The local body election seems ill-fated. Mr Justice (retd) Fakhruddin didn’t hold them. Nor has Mr Justice Jilani. However, the new acting CEC, Mr Justice Nasirul Mulk will have to really hurry if he wants to hold the local body polls on time. Governments of all party affiliations are trying to oil out, but the Supreme Court is trying to hold them to what is written in the Constitution.

It seems that those who do not believe in the Constitution, do believe in Sachin Tendulkar. The Tehrik Taliban Pakistan has got into the business of the national pastime, cricket. It might not lead to fair commentary, or even fair play. I mean, what decision on a dismissal will be given by an umpire who has been assured that if it does not go in a certain way, and that any other decision will elicit him a hug from someone wearing a suicide vest.

Are the Taliban trying to get into the same game as their two biggest supporters, PTI chief Imran Khan, and Mian Nawaz. While everybody knew that Imran Khan (not the country, it seems, or even the team) won the 1992 World Cup, not everyone knows that Mian Nawaz was once a batsman, who personally opened against the West Indians for a Chief Minister’s XI. And even Mian Nawaz would like it kept quite that he was out fourth ball for a duck. Well, the Tehrik Taliban Pakistan are now commenting on Tendulkar’s retirement. The main question has to be whether anyone is willing to disagree with this commentary. You never know, it could lead to an embrace. And we all know where those lead to, don’t we? And with the Afghan team in the World Cup, we all know that umpiring will be a high-risk job.

The PTI KPK government is coming under flak for telling the doctors of Peshawar that they can carry guns. That might be reassuring for the doctors, but what will that do to patients? I mean, if I go to a doctor, it’s because something is wrong, not because I want to get shot. When I tell my doctor that the medicine he’s giving me isn’t relieving the pain, I want him either to increase the dose or prescribe a new medicine, not pull out a revolver and place its muzzle at my temple.

And especially in this weather, which is actually a biting dry cold. I suppose at this stage we can talk of the onset of winter, and motorcyclists have not only got out their mufflers, but also their jackets, woolen gloves and bobble hats. Oh yes, and everyone getting the sniffles is another sign of winter.