It must be a relief to know that doctors have called off their strike, but I’m not sure that their demand for medical ethics to be included in courses is all that urgent. Medical education, in all cultures and periods, has been practical. So after what happened at the Gujranwala District Headquarters Hospital, where a delegation of doctors beat up the medical superintendent, it seems boxing lessons should form part of the medical curriculum. That should give hope to all of those fathers fretting about boxing-mad sons: it’s a medical career for them! Maybe, now that the search committee is looking for a VC for KEMU, they should extend an invitation to Muhammad Ali. I know he’s brain-damaged, but he still knows more about boxing than other boxers. And if that’s an insurmountable objection, there’s Mike Tyson, whose biting off of Evandr Hollifield’s ear peculiarly qualifies him to teach the rising generation of medicos how to care for suffering humanity.

Well, I suppose those of with little children now have something else to scare the little ones. Not just the injection, which a visit to the doctors entails, especially a visit brought on by bad behaviour, but the threat of the doctor beating them up. I don’t suppose the climate of Gujranwala has anything to do with it, a city famous for its wrestling tradition, so much so that it was represented in the National Assembly by an ex-wrestler, Ghulam Dastagir Khan, which makes the current MNA, an ex-wrestler’s son.

I would imagine that prescriptions would change a little: instead of two aspirins, a punch on the nose thrice day. Instead of a multivitamin pill, a right hook. But Khurram Dastagir is probably worried about other things these days, what with his constituency being in the line of march of Tahirul Qadri. I suppose doctors will be involved, in providing medical care to the marchers, not in making them need medical care. However, there is still no certainty about the march. Have you noticed how every government gets nervous as soon as anybody announces a march on Islamabad? Let’s assume that the requisite changes are made. Will that stop the long march? Or will that ensure that Dr Qadri will get the government? And how can he get the government? He has not proved his fitness to rule by having cake rubbed into his hair, as PPP leaders did as recently as this birthday of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

It was worth noting that the Prime Minister reached out to the opposition over the long march, as if touching base with those he felt were fellow beneficiaries of the system. One view would be that the conspirators were coming together. Well, we are headed towards the next election, with all sides committed to helping the USA fight the War on Terror, and it is important that the doctors at Gujranwala fight the War, for the Americans? Or against them? They don’t mind, so long as they are fighting.

By the way, it seems that the priorities of the War on Terror prevailed over the needs of both the Mumbai bookies and the advertisers. So we won the ODI series, after the T20 series had set it up. I’m not sure why the ODI series didn’t go down to the wire, thus making it attractive for the advertisers selling their pesky fizzy dinks and pestiferous mobile services. I know Pakistan won, but that would only help keep up advertisers’ interest. They alone are enough to ensure that the matches are pre-determined, with the Mumbai bookies coming after, and with their own interest in the matter. But it was the bookies who must have cleaned up on the last match.

Still, as it was of interest to the War on Terror, Rehman Malik was involved. And true to form, he used the chehlum of Imam Hussain, and the urs of Data Sahib, to shut off mobile phones. It is said that the players were cut off from the bookies during the match. Anyhow, it was poignant watching Mahendra Singh Dhoni during the last match. It was funny watching the ex-captain of India doing a bit of caretaking. If he doesn’t lose the captaincy, then the Indian selectors should lose their jobs. I mean, it isn’t just Pakistan. India has been losing all season under his leadership.

All they’ve managed to do is kill a gangrape victim. There have been massive protests. After she was safely dead. Just as there were protests against Shahzeb Khan’s killing in Karachi last month. One of the accused has been arrested, Siraj Talpur, but the other, Shahrukh Jatoi, has not. And it took the Supreme Court’s intervention to make the arrest happen. That is something in which the President could intervene, but he isn’t. Perhaps his son Bilawal could use his good offices, just as his sister did when she went to see Malala Yousufzai. Note, Shahzeb Khan was no drone victim. He was killed in the heart of Karachi. There is no fight against terrorists. Is that why the government doesn’t seem bothered? Is it right that it takes the Supreme Court’s intervention not to get justice, but to get the accused arrested? If that happens when a DSP’s son is murdered, what chance do ordinary citizens have?

While we were watching all this, we were freezing here in Lahore. While things were happening everywhere else, the biggest problem here was the fog. I hope we will survive, just as much as we should survive the improvements going on to the city’s roads.