The natural consequence of elections is taking place. Members are taking oath, and electing speakers and deputy speakers. Some things it is safe to say that the Assemblies are representative. The male-pattern baldness to be seen among the members, from the Press Gallery, is only to be expected of a gathering with so many middle-aged males in it. However, the view from the Press Gallery is an experience only for strong stomachs. See all those bald pates under one roof makes one understand why Pervez Musharraf brought back, indeed increased, the reserved seats for women. Mian Nawaz Sharif made it to National Assembly, and Mian Shahbaz to the Punjab Assembly. Both have had transplants to help cover their pates, but neither compares with the luxurious hairstyle of the man from the PTI, who didn’t make it to any Assembly. No, not Imran Khan, but Aleem Khan, whose flowing locks contrast with his uncompromising bald head when he was a minister in Ch Pervez Elahi’s Punjab Cabinet. Imran, by the way, though 60, poses as the youth leader because he still has enough on top to maintain a 1970s hairstyle. Huh! At his age, to have enough hair to maintain any sort of hairstyle is an achievement.

He should have come to the National Assembly to be sworn in, because this was the best opportunity to take oath from Dr Fehmida Mirza. Because now he will have to take oath from Ayaz Sadiq, who beat him in Lahore, his only personal defeat in this election. I don’t suppose this was much of a factor in the PML(N) decision to make Ayaz Sadiq Speaker, but I’m sure it didn’t go against him. Technically, if Mian Nawaz retained the Sargodha seat he was elected from, MNAs from Lahore would not hold both the Prime Ministership and the Speakership, but everyone knows that Mian Nawaz doesn’t own kinnow orchards, and is very much a Lahore lad, just like Ayaz Sadiq.

Speaking of Speakers, why does one have the impression that new Sindh Assembly Speaker, Agha Siraj Durrani, took possession of the office in the company of an unruly mob of friends, while all were firing in the air (such friends always fire in the air; weapons are used to hit people on the head with, with butts). I suppose it must be his build which is so misleading, for I am sure that he is every bit as civilized and polished a gentleman as his predecessor Nisar Khuro. That look of an all-in wrestler, of someone seen on TV in the ring, is most likely misleading. I’m sure he’s actually happiest among his books, particularly Eskine May’s Parliamentary Practice. It seems he won’t be able to get away from the MQM, for as Local Government Minister, he was the cause of the MQM’s anger at the government, over the local councils, and now as Speaker, he will have to deal with them as the Opposition. The MQM has been in the opposition before, but hasn’t been in the parliamentary opposition for some time. Let’s see how Speaker Durrani handles the situation.

Now it seems that Rana Iqbal will be retained as the Punjab Speaker. Now no one would mistake him for an all-in wrestler. He is of even slighter build than his late father, the famous Rana Phool Muhammad. Rana Phool was not noticeable for his slightness, and though he was famed for a command of the rules, he was not famed for being a big guy. The Punjab Assembly Speaker for his last years, Manzoor Wattoo, was a large man, but though physically imposing, did not look like a wrestler. Not only is Rana Iqbal much smaller, he has nothing of the wrestler about him. In fact, for wrestling, one would have to go to the National Assembly, where Khurram Dastagir has been re-elected on a PML(N) ticket. Not that Khurram is a wrestler, but his father, Ghulam Dastagir Khan, was, apart from having served in Ziaul Haq’s Cabinets. Khurram is scheduled to be appointed to the Cabinet, where he will probably meet Zia’s son Ijazul Haq.

However, the real Cabinet hot seat is not being reserved for Mr Bean, no matter what people say. He is not being appointed Interior Minister. That post, which carries the twin responsibilities of the succession of Rehman Malik and of being the USA’s Sole Warrior on Terror, is being reserved for Ch Nisar Ali. It does carry the privilege of turning off all mobiles, something that will be done as soon as Ch Nisar takes over. But I wonder if it carries any rights to the little crushed-velvet flat cap Rehman Malik was wont to wear. Ch Nisar would look …interesting… in a crushed-velvet cap. Especially with that hairdo. Only Aleem Khan and Imran Khan are trying to rival it. And by the way, remember the guy who seemed to have a monopoly over the Interior portfolio in previous Nawaz Cabinets, Ch Shujat? Not much of a hairstyle there, was there? He should contact Mian Nawaz. Or better, Aleem Khan.