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Economy

CITY NOTES-Sweets Something

Now that Prime Minister Imran Khan has had the time, he is getting used to the idea of Hammad Azhar as finance minister. Hammad has not yet been awarded the title of Waseem Akram Soyem, but it is only a matter of time. Speaking of Waseem, how goes Waseem Akram Sani?

Yes, Usman Buzdar. Now one can only imagine the ‘feast of reason and flow of soul’, as Alexander Pope once put it, when that trio gets together.

Of course, to complete the atmosphere, it would only need that distinguished geo-economist, who lectured the country’s business community some months back, General Qamar Javed Bajwa. Or do they still need Shaukat Tarin?

He is not related to Jahangir Tareen, the sugar baron, and the face of the sugar lobby, which is supposed to be all powerful. Something has gone wrong somewhere. Imran has said that last year’s sugar crisis was the result of mafias conspiring against his government. The mafias managed, it seems, to get him to decide on exporting sugar, which is why there was the shortage which led to the price hike.

Wait. Did Dr Hafeez Shaikh not carry the can for inflation? So, why are the cases against Tareen being ramped up? Is the public supposed to forgive PM Imran the price of medicine, electricity and fuel (which have all gone up, none of which saw Tareen have anything to do with them) because of any action that is being taken against Tareen?

Tareen should realise that the problem is not that he made money, but that he made PM Imran look bad. Even if you think that he likes grinding the faces of the poor, you cannot help feeling some sympathy for him, considering the violence with which he has been thrown under the bus.

Somebody noted that Imran has been used to throwing people under the bus. Like when he abandoned his cousin Majid Khan and ended his career, even though he had played a key role in making him the captain.

Well, it seems that Tareen is doing all sorts of things, like getting MNAs and MPAs to go along with him to the appearances he is having to make in various courts because of the various charges being slapped on him. Are these MNAs and MPAs he has given rides in his airplane?

The airplane is supposed to have been key in his position in the party, and the influence he had over Imran. Though apparently it was not just the airplane, but his willingness to act as Imran’s ATM. He had made his entry as Shehbaz Sharif’s adviser on agriculture, but he is not supposed to have given him any plane rides, or acted as his ATM.

He is supposed to have been approached by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Why? Does Asif Ali Zardari feel he needs a plane ride? Or does Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari need an ATM? But at the same time, it must be frustrating to be one of those determining

who Tareen will give a plane ride to, and never getting a ride yourself. And Tareen has always been on the right side of you-know-who.

You-know-who will be one circumlocution after the new Section 500A of the PPC is passed, in which you cannot criticise a certain institution (note how careful I am being even before passage). One thing I saw on the internet said that the new law meant you could not let Askari Cement bags lie on the ground but would have to pick them up and put them in a high place. But of course, you cannot believe everything you see on the internet.

One thing that is not on the internet is that Prince Philip has died. He missed turning 100, and he also missed his 74th wedding anniversary. He had a peculiar connection to Pakistan, with the engagement announced in July 1947, before he got married in

November, his father-in-law was no longer Emperor of India, but Philip went ahead.

He has been outed as the royal who wanted to know the colour of his great-grandson Archie, born to Prince Harry and his mixed-race wife, Meghan Merkel. Well, I do not really blame him. After all, Harry is the grandson resembling him the most, so he would obviously be concerned whether his genes were being passed on.

Footnote to these notes: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) won the Daska by-election. Buzdar might refuse to do the honorable thing, but he should before he is thrown under the bus.

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