I can't understand why Pakistani Muslims are such extremists. A girl in a restaurant in Lahore was almost killed yesterday by a mob because her clothes had Arabic words printed on them. The mob thought anything written in Arabic has to be a verse from the Koran. Fortunately, some shopkeepers and a lady police officer rescued the girl. They explained to the charged mob that such clothes were commonly used in Arab countries and the words were not from the holy book.

I was reminded of how, many years ago, we were cheated by an Indian in Dubai, who sent us a whole container of Arabic newspapers instead of English ones. When we tried to sell the stuff in the market, no one bought it, even though we pointed out pictures of girls in swim suits in the papers. Eventually, we had to burn the lot. In those days a man had been arrested by the cops for selling such newspapers and was released only after bribing them with a hefty amount.

How long will it take before our people become educated in the real sense? I'm sure there were some graduates in the mob but Pakistani degrees don't mean anything. I know many persons who've never read a book after graduating.


 


 Mine and no others

February 24, 2024

I have decided to set fire to my house, because a jirga has ruled that my siblings are the real owners. So, if I cannot have it, I believe that no one else should have it. Do you think I’m crazy?

Shakir Lakhani

Karachi

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/1160802-mine-and-no-others

 


Just when you thought Imran Khan would now change himself into a patriotic Pakistani, he has come up with another step to damage the country. He's tried everything to hurt the country's interests after being routed in the recent elections. His powerful social media team has successfully got foreign governments (including the US) asking Pakistan to investigate the alleged rigging in the elections. He got a serving district commissioner to say that he (the commissioner) arranged massive rigging in eleven Rawalpindi constituencies (the commissioner has now retracted, saying that he did so after being promised a lucrative post after retirement by a prominent PTI politician).

His social media team has also targeted the Chief Justice of Pakistan after the latter freed on bail an Ahmedi from jail. The man had been arrested in 2019 for publishing and distributing a proscribed book linked to the Ahmadiyya faith, even though there was no law at the time preventing him from doing so (the law came into effect two years later, in 2021). The man had already served thirteen months in jail. The Chief Justice (Qazi Faez Issa) is being targeted because he had infuriated Imran Khan by refusing to allot his party the "cricket bat" symbol in the recent elections.

But the latest attempt by Imran Khan to subvert the country is a letter to the IMF, requesting it not to give any loans to the new Pakistan government. He had earlier done so as well, after being removed as prime minister in 2022, when two of his ministers had told the IMF that their government in two provinces would not repay any loan.

This is one thing that Indians would never do. Even though they know that their government is indulging in massacring Muslims and Christians, they will never criticize it in the presence of foreigners. They would never think of asking foreigners to interfere in their country's affairs. But of course Imran Khan is different. I'm amazed that his advisors didn't tell him to refrain from further damaging the country. But then, they love him so much they can't see that the man is a serious security risk for the country.

It looks like Imran Khan's party (PTI) has gone too far. They appear to have persuaded the Rawalpindi Commissioner to confess being involved in rigging the recent elections. The man suddenly alleged that he had been about to kill himself in the morning, but decided to reveal everything to appease his conscience. He even accused the Chief Justice of involvement in the rigging process.

There are a number of holes in his statement. A District Commissioner is not involved in any way in conducting elections. He only has to provide security and transport to the election staff, besides doing any other task assigned to him. So there is no truth in his allegation that he arranged massive rigging in Rawalpindi. All the Returning Officers and others in counting votes have denied that he pressurized them to do the rigging.

Then there are other facts which have come to light. He was denied promotion last week to the next higher grade (a month before his retirement). He is known to be close to PTI politicians, in fact one of his cousins was a candidate in the recent elections. He's also reported to have obtained a US visa recently. So it's possible that Imran Khan's cronies told him he would be given a safe passage after they get to form the next government.

As for accusing the Chief Justice of Pakistan, it may be due to the fact that the PTI was not allowed to use its election symbol ("cricket bat") by the apex court bench which was headed by the CJP. PTI is known to be annoyed with this decision and may have wanted to take revenge. In fact, the party has demanded that both the Chief Election Commissioner and the Chief Justice should immediately resign.

But the most damning thing is that the Rawalpindi Commissioner admitted that he was going to commit suicide. This proves that he's mentally challenged and cannot be trusted.

 


 

Sweet tooth

Friday, Feb 16, 2024

Even though diabetes is running rampant throughout the country, many Pakistanis continue to consume sugar in obscene amounts. Whenever you tell someone about something good that has happened to you, they immediately demand ‘mithai’. Then there is this custom of giving cakes to relatives and friends every now and then.

It’s mostly the rich and upper-middle class who do this, as the poor cannot afford to buy cakes that often. This excessive consumption of sugar by affluent Pakistanis is also responsible for the high prices of sugar and should be stopped.

Shakir Lakhani

Karachi

https://e.thenews.com.pk/detail?id=281500

It's always been a mystery to me. Every time I go to any restaurant in Karachi, the place is full and there is a long line of customers waiting for their turn (even on week days). Since it's been obvious that the economy has been going downhill and people are getting poorer and poorer, why do even lower middle-class people spend so much on expensive food? Outside the restaurants, motor cycles tend to outnumber cars and SUVs by a ratio of five to one. So it looks like even those who earn fifty thousand rupees a month eat at such restaurants.

I read that there is such a thing called the "lipstick" effect. It seems that during times of economic crisis (as in those months during which Covid had rendered many people unable to earn as much as they used to), people tend to spend on small luxuries like lipsticks and restaurants. I suppose a woman likes to say to her neighbor, "Look, I bought this lipstick for a thousand rupees, do you like it?" Or a schoolboy telling his friend, "We had dinner at Nandos last night, delicious food, you should ask your parents to eat there". 

Then there is the obscene amount spent on weddings. The filthy super rich people can easily afford to spend two million on renting a wedding hall and feeding more than a thousand relatives and friends, but why do the poor do it? I've heard that they beg and borrow to get their sons and daughters married so expensively just so their families can say to their relatives, "We are richer than you are!" There were less than a hundred guests at my marriage dinner fifty years ago and we didn't need a wedding hall, we just set up tables and chairs on the street and served the guests. But then, we didn't have to show off to our friends and relatives. Those were the good old days.


 

 I'm shocked by the unprecedented number of seats (over ninety) won by candidates belonging to Imran Khan's party (PTI). Despite all the evidence that the man is a big crook and mentally unstable, his party managed to secure almost all the seats in his home province (KP) and almost half the seats in Punjab. This is a major blow for the country, even though he won't be able to become the prime minister right now.

It seems that I wasn't aware of how popular he is among women and the youth. I always thought his popularity was confined to the posh areas of the country where westernized Pakistanis live. But he seems to have gained the sympathy of even those who probably can't read or write. 

Another shocking result is the almost total rout of the religious parties. One conclusion that can be drawn from this is that Pakistanis are turning away from religion.

Of course I'm assuming that the elections were not massively rigged (as in 2018). But there is some evidence of the results being doctored in favour of Nawaz Sharif and a couple of his cronies. 

The next government will not be able to last long, as the PTI (along with the religious parties) will stage massive protests throughout the country to destabilize the government. God help Pakistan!

After being convicted for ten years and fourteen years in two cases, Imran Khan and his wife have each been convicted to seven years in their "illegal" marriage case. The word "iddat" or "iddah" is defined as the waiting period for a widow or divorced woman before she can marry again. For a widow, this period is four months and ten days, for a divorced woman it's less (about three months). This was for the woman to determine whether she was pregnant or not at the time of her divorce or her husband's death. Nowadays of course a woman can easily find out if she's pregnant or not within a few days after having sex. 

The waiting period is torturous for any woman. Even if she is past the age where she cannot bear children (after menopause), she has to observe it. I remember reading about a woman who was exempted from the waiting period as her husband had died a couple of days before she gave birth. This happened in the early days of Islam.

Imran Khan married his third wife on January1, 2018 because she had been advised in her dream that she should divorce her husband and marry Imran Khan on that date. This would ensure that Imran Khan would win the 2018 elections and become the prime minister of Pakistan. Unfortunately, she had not completed her "iddat", and when she realized this, they went through another marriage a month or so later (with the same mullah presiding over it).

The Tableeghi Jamat head Taqi Usmani incredibly determined that the waiting period can be as small as thirty nine days. I wonder how a woman can have three periods in thirty nine days.

Their conviction of course will be overturned because even if a woman marries before her waiting period is over, she can't be punished for it (according to Pakistan's penal code) and after this case, any divorced or widowed woman can claim that she has undergone three menstrual cycles in a month or so.

But at least most people are now aware that neither Imran Khan nor his "holy" wife know much about Islam. 

The Establishment has bungled in the conviction of Imran Khan and his wife in the Tosha Khana case, even though it's evident that he cheated the government of billions.

Briefly, Imran Khan is alleged to have sold the gifts he received from the Saudi prince and others for six billion rupees. He declared that he sold them for a ridiculously low amount (a few million) and deposited a third of this amount in the government treasury. He produced fake receipts from a shop in Islamabad as evidence, but the shop owner denied that he gave the receipt. This of course is enough to convict Imran Khan to many years in jail.

The judge who convicted him to fourteen years in jail had earlier requested that he should be allowed to go on leave due to ill health. This is the same judge (Mohammed Bashir), who had earlier convicted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in 2018 (earning much praise from Imran Khan and his cronies). This time, the government didn't accept his leave application but ordered him to go ahead with the trial. The judge acted with undue haste and concluded the trial, even though Imran Khan's lawyers were not present. The High Court will definitely overturn the verdict on appeal because of this, even though it's an open and shut case of highway robbery.

Finally both Imran Khan and his sidekick (Shah Mahmood Qureishi) have been sentenced to serve ten years in jail. I must admit that I'm surprised, I was expecting them to be sentenced for life (if not death).

For the past few days, rumours had been circulating that they would both get capital punishment, so that their party workers would come out and disrupt the country, leading to the postponement of elections.  But now that danger has passed. 

Imran Khan's sister said the other day that he's lost his mental balance. Any psychologist could have told her that years ago. I'm amazed that his supporters think that he's perfectly normal, despite his lies and turnarounds these past four years. He'll go completely berserk and attack someone physically if he's made to serve another year in prison. Ten years of course would wreck him physically as well. 

There's something called karma. I didn't believe in it until now. But what has happened to Imran Khan has turned me into a believer. He used to be so arrogant that he thought he would live forever. When in power, he devoted almost all his energy into putting his political opponents in jail. Despite being advised to hold talks, he refused. Now, after five months in jail, he says he'll talk to anyone to get himself released. He should have taken up the Establishment's offer to go into exile in Saudi Arabia, but he thought he is so popular that the public will come out in his support. Now he knows his so-called popularity was engineered by those who selected him.