Thank you, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari
By Shakir Lakhani Published: October 17, 2016

Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari waves to his supporters during a party rally in Karachi on Sunday October 16, 2016. PHOTO: Rashid Ajmeri / EXPRESS

I don’t know what others may say, but I support Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for taking a rally out on Sunday and paralysing Karachi. We don’t spend Sundays at home; we spend it on frivolous activities like going to the beach, eating out and spending a few thousand rupees on indigestible food in one of the many restaurants which have sprung up over the past few years. 

This Sunday we stayed home and (besides saving a good amount of money), I found that my grandchildren have grown up without my noticing it. You see, every day they have already gone to school by the time I get out of bed, and when I return home at night they’re asleep. And on Sundays, as I said, we are usually out, my grandchildren with their parents, and the two of us on our own. So it was a pleasant surprise to find that both my grandchildren are fluent in two languages and are very good in mathematics (like I was at their age). This was a really good discovery which I would not have made if Bilawal Bhutto Zardari hadn’t decided to bring the city to a standstill.

Of course, staying at home meant that we went for a walk after a long time and came across a few of our neighbours for the first time and found out how nice and courteous they are. It was a pleasant surprise to find that there is a park nearby where (due to the rally) hundreds of people were enjoying the sea breeze for which Karachi is famous. After an hour-long walk, my wife and I were able to talk without shouting at each other, which is the norm whenever we return home late every Sunday evening.

Of course, some misguided people are complaining that due to the complete blockage of roads, a few were not able to get to the airport and missed their flights, while others who needed urgent medical attention couldn’t be taken to hospitals, and so had to die and couldn’t be buried until the next morning. Oh well, people miss their flights every now and then and some deaths do occur due to traffic jams, so why are they complaining? Anyone who isn’t comfortable with Bilawal Bhutto Zardari taking out rallies and making life pleasant for people like me is probably an enemy agent and shouldn’t be living in Pakistan anyway.

So I am with you, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari; go ahead, hold rallies every Sunday – it’ll make you very popular and win your party all the seats in Karachi in the next elections.

Engineer, former visiting lecturer at NED Engineering College, industrialist, associated with petroleum/chemical industries for many years. Loves writing, and (in the opinion of most of those who know him), mentally unbalanced. He tweets @shakirlakhani (

Need for an effective policy  
Sir: This is with reference to your editorial “Pakistan needs an effective foreign policy” (October 2, 2016), I am afraid Pakistan’s regional position at present is far worse than it was before. There was a time when the entire Islamic world supported our stance on the Kashmir dispute.
Now no Muslim country speaks out in favour of implementing the UN resolutions on resolving the issue. Even though there is no proof of Pakistan’s involvement, it is being held responsible for the militant attack in Uri. And instead of condemning India for its so-called “surgical strike” across the Line Of Control (which, if it had really happened, could have resulted in war), the entire world is silent.
You can be sure that if Pakistan had claimed to have crossed the LOC (without actually doing so), there would have been an uproar.
Surely there is something wrong that we are doing. Perhaps if we did more to stop extremist organisations from propagating their poisonous beliefs and brainwashing our youth to turn them into suicide bombers, we may change the perception others have of our country being a supporter of terrorism. And, as you say, a capable foreign minister should be in charge.
Printed in Daily Times, October 7, 2016