It must be something of a record, but the Balochistan Liberation Army’s claim of responsibility for the blast in the Rawalpindi Sabzi Mandi was rejected by the Interior Ministry. Makes one wonder if one can trust all of those claims by the Tehreek Taliban Pakistan. It seems that the Interior Ministry, unable to stop the blasts, is now setting itself up as the authority to adjudicate claims of responsibility. It seems a conspiracy to make life difficult for the TTP, BLA and any other organization which likes blowing up people. It will start with filling out a form, and move on to paying the Interior Ministry an official processing fee, as well as an unofficial extra, to ensure that the claim is accepted. There is the danger that the Ministry might take it to the next level, and claim that no explosion took place. Then what will the organization claiming responsibility do?

And what has been done by the government to avoid terror? It sent the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance through the National Assembly. That is the law through which the military combats terrorism. It’s another matter that the law violates constitutional rights like nobody’s business. All the blame the USA is getting, with the PPO being equated to the Patriot Act, only highlights the belief that terrorism cannot be combatted without abandoning the supremacy of the Constitution.

Maybe that is why there has been a statement by COAS Gen Raheel Sharif, followed by the Defence Minister’s statement. Though neither mentions it, both statements are supposed to be about General Pervez Musharraf’s trial for high treason. The whole affair is bound to gladden the heart of Musharraf’s lawyer, Ahmed Reza Kasuri, who has always claimed that his client’s trial has been resented by the valiant defenders of Pakistan. General Sharif thus made a statement at the SSG base in Tarbela, a place as symbolic of Musharraf as any, because it consisted of an audience of commandos, of which Musharraf was one. However, General Raheel should have been careful, which he was, because he came back safely, because he was addressing an audience consisting, if Mr Kasuri is to be believed of men resentful of the fact that one of their own was being tried for high treason. Considering how much effort was expended by Mr Kasuri on the name of the offence, the symbolism of General Raheel telling so many commandos that the Army knew how much to defend the institution cannot be missed, especially since commandoes, as General Musharraf has told us, can do anything. Musharraf was speaking earlier, before his current trial unveiled him as a septuagenarian with heart disease and joint pains. Not to forget an ailing mother. Can commandoes have heart disease? Or ailing mothers? And do commandoes ever retire? Chiefs do, but Musharraf is the first COAS to be on trial.

All this has been obscured, as much as the achievement of the Pakistani street children’s football team, who have returned from Rio de Janeiro with a bronze medal, but more importantly, after beating India 13-0. India should be ashamed, what with the infinitely greater resources it has in Mumbai and Kolkata alone. And while the street children should be forgiven for their ignorance of the niceties of diplomacy, which required that they lose to India, they must also be persuaded to teach the cricket team something. No, not their footballing skills, but their mental toughness, their will to win.

Another winner, the new Jamaat Islami Amir, Sirajul Haq, took oath at Mansoorah. No drone strike was launched there, nor was any candlelight vigil held by outgoing Amir Syed Munawar Hassan, which might indicate that the new Amir is likely to have as smooth a tenure as before.

Syed Munawar has another chance at a candlelight vigil, the flinging of a shoe at former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Las Vegas. An example of the saying that “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?” And this is the first time that a woman has had a shoe flung at her, or done the flinging: the woman behind the shoe former Sindh Chief Minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim experienced, beat him with it, so doesn’t count.

However, one man who should take that shoe to heart is the BJP flagbearer Narendra Modi, who gave the name of a wife in his form filed for the Lok Sabha seat he is contesting. Well, behind every successful man is a woman, they say, and Modi proves he is no exception. True, he has claimed to be a bachelor all these years, including those he spent as Gujerat Chief Minister. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has come down hard on Modi for being a hypocrite. It’s quite the fashion in the BJP to be a bachelor. It has something to do with the Hindu tradition of brahmachar. It’s not really fashion in Congress, even though Rahul too, though 40, is still one. However, he should remember that his grandmother, Indira Nehru, was so desperate to get married, that she chose a Parsi, Feroze Gandhi.