There is a mystery in the case of Kulbhushan Jhadav, the RAW agent who has been sentenced to death for spying in Balochistan. Not whether Pakistan went into the case ill-prepared, or even whether this was deliberate. The real mystery is why there was penny-pinching when the money really needed to be spent. I mean, if the Indians could bribe the judges, why couldn’t the Pakistanis?

Don’t tell me the decision had anything to do with the merits of the case. What we really needed to know was where the readers sat. And that is probably the Indian case: that the Indian ambassador wasn’t given a chance to approach the court martial chairman and make him an offer he could refuse, but wouldn’t.

India is really taking the Jhadav case seriously. I mean, when last did they bother about a convicted spy? If nothing else, the Jhadav affair has been taken to the ICJ, no less. Or are Indians inspired by how the USA made sure Raymond Davis got away with murder? Jhadav might have been as much a spy, but he didn’t kill anybody. Not with his own hands, though he may have been behind some killings in Balochistan.

Of course, India shouldn’t really be talking. Look at Kerala, where a guru had to be rushed to hospital with his naughty bits cut off by a woman in his house who responded with a knife when he tried to criminally assault her. I expect the BJP to accuse the woman of being maddened by beef, and go off to kill a few Muslims, but the fact is that she is as Hindu as Modi.

Mian Nawaz Sharif is being unfairly blamed for throwing the case. I mean, he was in China during the hearing, holding a roadshow to encourage Chinese investors to come to Pakistan. There he was, after attending the One Belt One Road Summit in Beijing. Of course, one of the reasons for going to the Summit was the chance to meet his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi. But Modi didn’t come. Instead, Mian Nawaz got the Indian line from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin, and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, worked over Mian Nawaz on the sidelines of the Summit to express their concerns about Indo-Pak relations, which have been parlous recently, what with sustained Indian firing on the LoC causing deaths of those on the Pakistani side.

One of the high points of the visit was the trip to Alibaba Group headquarters, which saw an MoU signed which would lead to ecommerce in Pakistan simply exploding with export orders. Neither Putin nor Xi was there, leaving Mian Nawaz to deal with Group chief (and founder) Jack Ma.

Not only was Mian Nawaz left to deal with Ma alone, but he was also left to travel on a PIA plane. He was safe enough because the pilots were from the PAF, and thus not likely to be found in First-Class, sneaking a quick snooze, or sneaking anyone unauthorized into the cockpit, but the cabin crew came with the plane, and there could have been heroin on board. Well, there wasn’t any found in China, but there was enough found on the plane that went to London, giving one a new angle to the PIA slogan of ‘Great People To Fly With’. Maybe it should be ‘High People To Fly With’. True, airlines are supposed to be about getting high, but I’m not sure you’re supposed to smoke your way there, not even if any duty-free smokes are sold.

Hopefully, the Interior Ministry will not get to decide about whether we want to get the Heathrow crew back. After all, it doesn’t want back Kamran Kiyani, one of those accused in the DHA Lahore land scam. Is it because he retired as a major, and the Ministry doesn’t want to disturb the civil-military equation? Or is it because he was a brother of the retired COAS, Gen (retd) Parvez Kiyani?

Mian Nawaz was out of it abroad, and because he was abroad, the FATA reforms were also pulled out of Parliament until he got back. One hopes the FATA reforms are not sacrificed because of the federal budget and Ramazan. And someone should remember that FATA reforms may be because of the War on Terror, but they should be carried out because the people of FATA deserve to be part of the national mainstream because it’s a good thing.

And it’s a good thing that Hassan Rouhani has been re-elected President of Iran. That follows the French election, where the moderate won. Actually, extremists have generally not won. Except Trump He’s gone to Saudi Arabia for the Arab-US summit. Which is being attended by Mian Nawaz too. I presume he still has influence in Kabul, and Mian Nawaz would have taken up the beating by the Afghan RAW, the NDS, of two Embassy staffers. I mean, if India can go to the ICJ for its RAW man, isn’t the US President less than any ICJ for Pakistan? I mean, look, he can do things. Like he disclosed highly sensitive intelligence of the Russian Foreign Minister. It was unprecedented in itself, and came on the heels of the Russian scandal which the FBI was investigating, and his sacking of Director Comey. And his excuse? He could.

While cricket was still going through the throes of Misbah’s and Yunus’ retirements, tennis was going through its own throes. Yes, match-fixing has reached it, and a Japanese player, Junn Itsuhashi, was not just banned for life from even attending a tennis match, but also fined $50,000. This happened around the same time as the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit had testified to the PCB tribunal investigated the PSL, and Nasir Jamshed, one of the main accused, said he was being railroaded. Yeah, right. A future political leader.