When her husband became addicted to Geo-watching, she didn't hesitate. She went to the thousand-year old shrine near the sea shore and spoke to the wise man there who knew everything. Such men are known as "pirs" and there are many of them in the country, most of whom are fake. 
"Master", she wailed, "my husband keeps watching Geo TV on his cell phone and laptop and tablet, our neighbors have stopped talking to us, my children have been expelled from their schools, our driver and maid have left us for good, and we can't find anyone willing to work for us". 
"Has anyone else in your family ever been affected by this dangerous disease?" asked the wise man.
"Thank God, no", the woman replied.
"Well, before the local mullah issues a fatwa to kill your husband, we have to cure him. We have good experience turning people into crocodiles or camels, which one would you like?"
"Crocodiles?", the woman shrieked.
"Yes, those crocodiles you see in the Manghopir shrine in the hills outside Karachi, they were all Geo-watchers once", said the master.
"Can't you give me some medicine or a talisman which can cure him?" the woman pleaded.
"No", said the wise one, "But if you agree, I'll give you some pills which you can put in his tea, he will fall asleep and we'll bring him here in an ambulance. After a couple of months of torture, he will be convinced watching Geo is a heinous sin, and he will spend the rest of his life persuading Geo-watchers they will burn in hell if they don't stop watching Geo TV".
The poor woman had no choice but to agree.

On April 4, 2018, some Chinese workers apparently went berserk and attacked policemen stationed there to provide security to the Chinese. Now that the workers have been deported, the incident will soon be forgotten. But somehow no one, not even our religious scholars noted this news item: “According to police officials, Chinese engineers and other officials wanted to leave their camp in Khanewal and visit a "red-light" area on Tuesday night. They resorted to agitation when denied permission to leave the camp without being accompanied by security officials…..” (https://www.dawn.com/news/1399531)

"Red-light" area?? In the Islamic Republic of Pakistan?? And in the very place where Maulana Tariq Jamil was born? We know what happens in such red light areas, we can say with certainty that the Chinese didn’t want to go there to play games like Scrabble or Ludo or Monopoly with women in that locality. And we also know that in almost all Pakistani cities such places exist where women practice what is called the oldest profession in the world. We also know that policemen pay huge sums to get posted to such localities to earn their fortunes. If the DPO and other police officers had ensured that there was no red light area in their jurisdiction, the Chinese would never have heard of the place and the scuffle would never have taken place. So the government of Shehbaz Sharif should sack the DPO and other police officers for this gross negligence. 

Malala and her admirers wonder why she is hated by so many in the country of her birth. Among the people who hate her are the ones who have been brainwashed into believing that Pakistan was created for Muslims only, that a woman's place is in the home, that a Muslim woman should not speak to foreigners, and a Muslim woman should never object if her husband wants her to bear at least fifteen children.

So, for these haters, any Muslim woman who speaks in the presence of male strangers should immediately be declared an infidel. The same goes for any Muslim woman who wants to vote in elections. And if a Muslim woman dares to ask her husband for a divorce, she should be made to march naked in public, and then shot.

One of Malala's "crimes" was that she was reporting to the BBC about the heinous activities of the Taleban in Swat, who were in those days called "stakeholders" in running the country. It was only after they had killed a hundred and forty school children that those in charge decided that a red line had been crossed and they should be stopped. Just yesterday the government surrendered to some Taleban-type mullahs led by the foul-mouthed Khadim Hussain Rizvi and agreed to their demands after they had paralyzed Lahore for three days.

The final blow was of course the Nobel Prize. This was enough to condemn the poor girl even among those who want a new Pakistan. So, it won't be long before Pakistani women are banned from using the internet or even answering telephone calls, because these Stone-Age people believe that if a male stranger talks to a Muslim woman, either she has to marry him (if she's unmarried) or she is automatically divorced (if married).

Tax amnesty
The government has announced another tax amnesty for those who indulge in tax evasion. Since these crooks know they will get the benefit of an amnesty every year, they refuse to stop their nefarious activities. But honest taxpayers, who pay up to 35% in income tax, have to suffer every year the harassment meted out by the tax hounds. The Chief Justice of Pakistan should take suo moto notice and order the government to cancel the amnesty scheme, or refund the amount of taxes paid for the past ten years by honest citizens. As for those who thought of this scheme and those who will approve it in the National Assembly and the Senate, “laanat” on them!
Shakir Lakhani,
The Friday Times, March 16, 2018

Speedy justice
This refers to the news report ‘Baba Rehmatay delivers relief to people, says CJP’ (Mar 10). With all due respect, I would like to draw the learned chief justice’s attention to media reports that suggest more than a million cases are pending in courts.
Many of these are cases where the aggrieved parties and their heirs have either died or become old. Before he retires, the CJP should try to ensure that all these cases are heard with immediate effect.
Shakir Lakhani
The News, March 13, 2018

By Shakir Lakhani Published March 12, 2018

When Benjamin Franklin said that nothing is certain in this world except for death and taxes, he should have added inflation to the list of certainties. But perhaps inflation wasn’t much of a problem in those days.
We should not be surprised at the high rate of inflation in Pakistan. For one thing, we are unable or unwilling to bring down the population rate. I can’t understand why the government insists that the birth rate is just above 2%. How can it be when almost everyone in our rural areas has at least six children? Naturally, with an exploding population, inflation has to be high, with demand exceeding supply and more mouths to feed with every passing year.
On the inflation front, the PML-N’s period (2013-18) was not quite as bad as that of the previous government. In fact, the rate of inflation has been much lower in the present government’s tenure whereas there was rampant inflation during the PPP government of 2008-13. According to a recently published news report, prices of all essential commodities increased substantially when the last PPP government was in power. Compared to this, during the present government’s tenure, the rate of inflation has not been so much (except for chicken meat), with prices of some essential items actually being less than when the last government handed over power to the present one. Daal (lentils), for instance, is now available for Rs90 per kg, compared to Rs135 per kg in 2013. The price of another essential commodity (sugar) rose in 2008-13 from Rs25/kg to Rs55/kg, but today it is still available for Rs55/kg. Again, ghee now costs 10% less than it used to in 2013. Similarly, electricity prices rose every year by 25% per month from 2008 to 2013, compared to 8% in the present government’s tenure.
They say that inflation has a lot to do with crude oil prices. But this does not explain why petrol prices in Pakistan increased substantially in the PPP’s reign, despite crude oil prices going down in the same period. When the cost of a barrel of crude oil was $145 (in July 2008) the price of petrol was Rs63 per litre, yet in 2013 it was Rs103 per litre (despite crude oil price being $93-94 per barrel).
Then there is the effect of the exchange rate on inflation. For some reason, during every PPP government, the value of the dollar has always increased against the rupee. The first thing Z A Bhutto did after assuming power in December 1970 was to lower the value of the rupee from Rs4.50 to Rs9.90 against the dollar, with disastrous effect on the economy. During the last government’s tenure, the rupee decreased from Rs68.80 to Rs98.30 to the dollar (a slide of 43%). The present government has been able to contain the slide of the rupee, allowing it to decrease by only 12% in five years (from Rs98.30 to Rs110.50 per dollar).
Of course, the PML-N government has been lucky in that crude oil prices have been lower during its present tenure. But the fact remains, despite high imports as well as low exports (compared to the previous government’s tenure), the rupee has remained stable against the dollar.
If you told the average voter in Punjab that the national debt has soared during the PML-N reign, he would simply shake his head. Even if he is told that every Pakistani now has a debt of Rs94,000 (it was Rs90,000 in 2013), it would not bother him. What he knows is that prices of eatables have not risen as much as they did when Nawaz was not in power.
So, unless something happens in the next few months to cause food prices to soar, the common man, particularly in Punjab, is unlikely to vote for any other party except the PML-N.
Published in the Express Tribune March 12, 2018