City Notes

The celebration of the 68th anniversary of our independence led to the death of five motorcyclists while executing wheelies. It is almost as if a blood sacrifice is required. Or else it seems that until 1947, it wasn’t the British who ruled us, but silencers, with motorcyclists marking this day by taking off those silencers and riding around town. Independence Day is timeless, but this year there were more people wearing green and white. However, for a lot of people, the highlight was the long weekend.

Among those not celebrating Independence were the children of Husainwala in Kasur district, who had been victims in the child abuse scandal, as there were more revelations throughout the week, which only had the effect of discouraging Pakistan’s exports. I heard a lot about the bestiality of the average person, even though I did not hear about the importers from the West. I suppose it’s like that with drugs. Look, making heroin or cocaine is immoral, but without demand, drug barons wouldn’t bother.

So if there was no demand in the West for kiddie porn CDs, they wouldn’t have been made. And cops naturally side where there is money. There must be money, for with it they could afford not just cops, but also local influentials. Remember when drug dealers used to spend their way into the Assemblies? Remember the justification given for heroin? That Westerners demanded it? Even then, local addicts were spreading like wildfire. The same with kiddie porn. The CDs are flooding our video markets, and though at present the focus is on the childish actors whose lives have been destroyed, others will be harmed. Those who watch the CDs right here.

While the MQM is doubtless saddened by the child abuse scandal, that is not their reason for resigning from the Senate, National Assembly and Sindh Assembly. The government has been caught on a cleft stick. On the one hand, it bent over backwards to prevent any resignation being accepted from the PTI members, but now it seemed readier to have MQM resignations accepted. The MQM had resigned after party worker Mohammad Hashim was killed extrajudicially, and after the Sindh Assembly passed a resolution against MQM supremo Altaf Hussain. The MQM MPAs had even tried an attack on Qaim Ali Shah, but the resolution still went through, so after the rumpuses weren’t worth their while. Resignations thus made sense.

However, the PML(N) also had to handle the crisis created by Mushahidullah Khan, the Climate Change Minister, who first said that former ISI chief Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam Abbasi was behind the PTI’s sit-in and then said that General Abbasi was a great Pakistani when the military said that it minded. It might be worth noting that Imran Khan was ready to hold forth about the MQM and its resignations, but not about whether anyone had backed the sit-in or not. It seems that not only the wrong message was gathered from the recent conviction of two generals in the NLC scam, that it was open season on retired officers. It seems that the real message is that only military men have the right to criticize other military men. Civilians must not say anything. So there was no controversy over whether Mushahidulllah had resigned or not. He had.

However, if one former ISI chief was saved from Mushahidullah’s barbs, he was reminded that he could not avoid the common fate by the passing of perhaps the most famous DG ISI, Lt Gen (retd) Hamid Gul.

He passed away from old age, but another old soldier who died was Col (retd) Shuja Khanzada, the Punjab Home Minister, who was killed in a militant attack in his native Attock. Any minister being killed is a jolt, let alone the one whose department is to make all others safe. And the irony is that in Punjab, the portfolio is normally held by the Chief Minister. It has been said that this killing was a response to Malik Ishaq’s killing in an encounter. Well. Malik Ishaq isn’t back.

Well, one person who didn’t celebrate Independence Day was the newborn girl who was buried alive near Pir Mahal, in Toba Tek Singh district. It is almost the symbol of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) that he forbade the practice of the Age of Ignorance, the killing of baby girls, usually by burial. It does not reflect well upon our nation that this should have happened.

It is even worse than something that might happen in India, where finding out the sex of children before their birth by ultrasound, and then aborting female fetuses, has reached epidemic proportions. That’s a modern form of burying daughters alive, but it seems that in Pir Mahal they prefer to do things the traditional way.

One place where it seems they don’t have a proper regard for tradition is Arlington, Texas, where Brad Miller, a rookie policeman, was sacked because he killed Christian Taylor, a college footballer, whom he suspected of committing a burglary. Yes, the cop was white, and the suspect was black. This was part of the glorious American tradition of white cops shooting and killing black suspects.

One wonders why blacks aren’t suspected of the Kasur case. Well, for starters, it might be difficult to find any blacks down Kasur side. The next best thing would be militants. Speaking of that case, why are police encounters only reserved for militants, not child abusers. Encounters are plain old-fashioned murder, and neither militants nor child abusers deserve to be offed except if a court determines they are guilty, and that they should.