It seems as if the Paris attacks would not be over. Don’t tell me the hostage-taking by militants in Bamako was unrelated. After all, Bamako had been the capital of a French colony Mali. Still, Daesh seemed unsatisfied, perhaps because they couldn’t find any Shias in either Paris or Bamako. And it was only in Bangladesh that they found some. It mustn’t be forgotten that they were most prominent in Pakistan when they attacked Ismailis in Karachi. They’ve got the Lashkars and the Sipahs all excited.

In Bangladesh, it seems, Muslims are having a hard time. I mean, if you’re a Shia, the Daesh is after you, and if you’re in the Jamaat Islami, the government wants to hang you for 1971 war crimes. South Africa had a Truth and reconciliation Commission about 20 years ago. The late Benazir Bhutto suggested one for Pakistan. Well, it seems to me that Bangladesh badly needs one, and has for the last 44 years. It’s not going to bring closure to hang people. That seems too much like present-day revenge. I wonder where the Army officers who assassinated Sh Mujib and his family are? They’re next, once Sh Hasina has duly culled the Jamaat.

Well, Pakistan still seems to be ahead because of the death of one of its first woman PAF pilots in a training flight mishap. Nobody has blamed militants, which indicates that somebody must be slipping. I mean, the UAE had a woman pilot bomb Daesh targets recently. And everyone knows of how Rashid Minhas won the Nishan-i-Haider, by crashing his plane, which his East Pakistani instructor wanted to take over and fly to India So via Bangladesh, there is a militant angle too.

However, while the death of Plt Offr Maryam Mukhtar was tragic enough an event, it didn’t take Pakistan to the brink of World War III, as did the downing of a Russian Su24. Admittedly, that Su24 had been shot down by a Turkish F16 for border violations. Though the world didn’t go to war over the incident, it still was uncomfortable. I suppose that incident shows the perils of the USA cooperating with Russia in a military enterprise. Both have allies whose sensibilities need looking after. The USA and Russia do not share a land border, but Russia and Turkey do. Not to mention the maritime cooperation (or rivalry) inherent in the two having such extensive Black Sea coastlines.

The Maryam Mukhtar tragedy was not the only one Pakistan had to suffer. Jamiluddin Aali also passed away. Apart from having written some of the most memorable patriotic songs of all time (including some songs which will always play in the heads of all Pakistanis, he was also one of the last representatives of an aristocratic culture which has passed into history. He was a son the the Nawab of Loharu, and thus a grandson of a pupil of Ghalib himself. He was married to a grand-daughter of Mir Dard. Though he became a taxman, as prosaic a profession as one can think of, he seemed destined to become a poet. I know Parveen Shakir too was a Customs officer. English poetry has not got that link to the taxation services. But there developed a financial aspect among American poets. Wallace Stevens spent his life in an insurance company, becoming a vice president, and T.S. Eliot worked in a bank.

It seems that India will not play Pakistan at cricket in Dubai, Sharjah or anywhere in the UAE, but will play us in Sri Lanka. I assume that somebody asked Jayasuriya about that before making the offer. It would be a turn-up for the books if Sri Lanka said Pakistan wasn’t welcome. Of course, India has to play in front of a home audience, and must hope that Sri Lankan Tamils will provide that.

Of course, after what happened to the Argentine hokey team, which had its bus trashed by irate Indian fans, after the Indians went down in a pool match, I don’t know for sure that Pakistan should risk playing India anywhere. Even in the UAE, the Shiv Sena can send activists over, all ready to get into action whenever the team doesn’t.

The Shiv Sena may not be paying as much attention to cricket, because it’s more interested in getting actor Amir Khan slapped. He’s in trouble because he mentioned that his wife wants to move from India, because of the atmosphere of intolerance that’s building up. Amir married a Hindu girl, so if she wants to move, that means that India has become constricting for Hindus too. Or does Amir need to eat beef so badly that he wants to move out? Y’know, I pity him. He tried so hard to fit in, even marrying a Hindu girl. And has anyone spared her a thought? She married a minority, presumably because she thought India was a secular state. Only the BJP is ruling, and it’s a Hindu state.

But Amir Khan should thank his lucky stars he’s still alive, unlike O’Neill Bell, the former world cruiserweight boxing champion, who was killed during a robbery in Atlanta. Even eerier was the killing of three by a gunman at a family planning clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. During his TV series, Amir had done a programme on one of Shining India’s dirty little secrets: the aborting f female fetuses after identifying them by ultrasound. Well, that’s the spirit that brought Modi to power: either accept the Hindu supremacists. Or die.