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It really is a crazy world

Shaukat Qadir
In the last Senate elections, things didn’t go quite as well as expected. The PML-N was expected to win a far greater number of seats than it did and, while it has the largest representation in the upper house, it does not have what it was jockeying for; enough seats to be the ‘spoiler’ in the upper house; the party with enough votes to single-handedly, shoot down any legislation.
But, there’s far worse, every party is accusing the other of ‘horse-trading’. Accusations were traded so freely that the SC was forced to take notice and has summoned the principal accusers to provide evidence. What a horrible state of affairs. How low will this nation be forced to stoop by those in charge?
And, just how far is the SC prepared to pursue this course? Public political statements, even if made by highly placed and, supposedly, responsible people, even if proven false, can hardly be subjected to judicial accountability; or can they?
Raza Rabbani, all said and done, has been a pretty balanced Chairman of the upper house. He has not hesitated to take his own party to task. Obviously, that wins him no points from the most unsavoury de facto leader of his party — none other than Asif Ali Zardari himself.
On the face of it, the PML-N’s offer of supporting PPP’s Rabbani for another term as Chairman Senate should be lauded. But, the mistrust is so deep at this point that even people like me are not sure that there isn’t some hidden motive to this move. Perhaps the Sharif brethren were certain that Zardari would find the extension unacceptable and, therefore, while ‘looking good’ from a moral standpoint, the party would be free to jostle for another.
On the other hand, it is the PPP which has nominated and elected the first low caste Hindu woman to our Senate, Krishna Kumari Kohli. Whatever his hidden motives in doing so, and I am sure they exist; at best, a political gesture to gain points in the coming elections, it deserves to be lauded. Even if such gestures are for ulterior motives, they continue to ignite hope among the hopeless.
In any case, Zardari, as expected, rejected Rabbani out of hand. His excuse? That Rabbani was not sufficiently vindictive towards the Sharifs. I think he has his own handpicked man lined up. Rabbani’s nomination would actually have simplified a convoluted situation; one that lends itself to another phase of horse trading.
In the meantime, the other party is chasing its own tail (or perhaps its own tale), PTI, has found another politically moral (maybe politically rewarding in the forthcoming elections) gesture. It has placed its seats at the disposal of the Balochistan Chief Minister. I wonder; can this also be labelled horse trading; albeit, of another kind?
He’s an amazing fellow Imran Khan. When he was at Oxford, Khan was commonly known as ‘Im’ the Dim’; in a rather unsubtle reference to his intellect. He was first roaming around Zardari, but now seems to have found a home for his senators; in the Balochistan CM’s pocket. ‘Im’ has one publicly stated precondition to his campaign for chairman and deputy to the upper house, which is that he or she not be from the PML-N. Why am I not surprised? Im’s hate seems stronger than his love.
The consequence of all this is that, the PML-N is seeking the support of MQM, JI and the JUI-F. PPP is seeking out MQM, PTI; and PTI has joined. No one has any idea which crass fool will chair the upper house. If people gather, they are called a group of people, a flock of birds and other such terms. But a parliament is of baboons (also troop). Is this what the upper house is going to be equated to?
Maryam Nawaz has assumed the role of standard bearer of her father’s campaign. She leads the anti-judiciary and anti-military campaign. Her tirade is relentless. From time to time, serving ministers and other PML-N stalwarts join her on the dais to hurl invectives. Among these stalwarts was another dithering cretin, Nehal Hashmi.
He ended his month long guest-hood in the judicial guest house for those contemptuous of the judiciary and was again inspired by the garlanded reception he received. Inspired thus, he managed to reignite his ire with the judiciary. This judiciary, too, has decided to be unforgiving. The result is that Hashmi is back in the docks. But the classical joke is Hashmi’s reason for again hurling invectives. Hashmi says that, he was ‘acting’; re-enacting the prisoners. Any believers? Pity really. If a man lacks the courage to face his just desserts, he should learn to keep his mouth shut and not have pretensions of courage. Finally, I have just been reminded that recently we celebrated the International Women’s Day. Google tells me that is to ‘celebrate’ the achievement of women; which is alright. But, what I hear in Pakistan is talk of ‘the importance’ of women and their rights.
Rights of women are the sole object that must be driven home to such a misbegotten patriarchal society as ours. Their achievements are ours; just as ours are theirs. But which idiot needs to be told the “importance” of women? Humankind, nor animal-kind for that matter, can ‘be’ but for the female. Does that need telling?



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