Whenever there is a blast in Rawalpindi, can Lahore be far behind? This time there were two in the twin cities, so there had to be atleast one in Lahore. Of course, the blasts in Rawalpindi had been against military targets, one of them being against a Friday congregation as well. But the blast in Moon Market was not against a military target. Of course, of all the messages it sent, the loudest and clearest was that the Lahore police chief was in danger of his life, for while security remained normal elsewhere in the City, it was heightened outside his office, to the extent that all polluting vehicles were not allowed to move outside his office. Everyone knows that militants not only blow themselves up, but also drive around in polluting vehicles. Now I dont know whether it is because they get polluting vehicles cheap, or because there is some spiritual merit in polluting the atmosphere, but one result of the militant threat is that the Lahore police chief gets to stop all the polluting vehicles from entering the road outside his office, which has already reduced Queens Road by half, down to having traffic travel to Qadri Chowk after it turns from the Mall, down what had been one way for many, many years. After the blast levelling the '15 office, and the closing of Lawrence Road outside the local ISI office due to construction material, every time there is a blast in Lahore, some cop or the other remembers to shut traffic down outside the Lahore police chiefs office. The unfortunate part is about to come, when those holding elected office realize the danger they are in (from the people), and demand the same kind of security. Lahore is not yet inured to blasts, especially those that happen in a marketplace where crowds throng. One can only imagine a misogynist among the militants, someone who wishes to come between them and their shopping. One can only hope that that particular militant wont be with us too long, but will very soon translate himself to a better place. But what if he leaves a tendency among the militants, who are not very pro-woman (as witness what they are doing to girls schools in NWFP), with the more farsighted among them wondering what they will do after there are no more girls schools? People in Rawalpindi or Peshawar are probably more used to blasts, though the fear is probably more, and everyday things like shopping, going to school or even Friday prayers are that much more likely to be fatal than normal. Some days I wonder if there is not some element of the small town taking revenge on the big, bad city. I mean, you never hear of blasts in Sahiwal or Okara, do you? Even though the people carrying out the blasts come from them. Very few, if any at all, are natives of Rawalpindi, let alone of Lahore. No, I suppose the bombers are inspired by hopes of Heaven, not rage at the Big City. This Big City was noticeable for the positives, as well as the negatives, with the Lahore leg of the National Finance Commission proving to be the final one, the one that produced an Award. Balochistan got the most out of this Award, which might go to show that theres something in this rebellion business after all. After all, what has the Punjab got for being the elder brother, and making all those sacrifices? A trimming of its share by 1.27 percent, thats what. And Balochistan has got its share enhanced by nearly 2 percent, and well probably hear grumblings nonetheless. However, perhaps the point has been made, as it should be, that the provinces are kept poor, including the elder brother, so that the Centre can continue in poverty, and fight the War on Terror, as one central minister is doing singlehandedly, Rehman Malik. No wonder his Ministry is going to pot, as the PM told it, only more politely, because he knows that he cant fight the War as singlehandedly as Rehman Malik. Incidentally, the money that is being put aside for the War in the NFC Award, must go to the NWFP, and Mr Maliks claims that he, or failing him his parties, should get the money, must be overcome. But what happens when the provinces realise that they will still be, after all, in the Third World?