Sunday, 28 November 2010

White Lies


By Ess Aich | Published: November 27, 2010

It seems that it is easier to manage a foe than to manage a friend, as Punjab’s top honcho may have found to his discomfort. One can always get a Rana Sanaullah to deal with the guv who has mastered the art of anti-Sharif one-liners but how does one handle a friend who was once Punjab’s top mandarin but was put aside after a hit and run incident in which his involvement could not be denied. The dilemma persists that this is a grade 22 friend and there are no other grade 22 jobs to be handed out in the province. The man has to be surrendered to the centre if he is to maintain a grade 22 status but who knows how the centre will treat a bureaucrat from the enemy camp. So an OSD he remains with the role of an unofficial advisor and the perks of a linchpin. Never mind the army of minions, the column of cars and the generous gas and fuel bills. This is a friend of a different kind, a grade 22 friend in need.

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Two VVIP weddings and a mighty traffic jam is how commuters described Thursday night’s road blocks in Lahore. Defence Minister, Ahmed Mukhtar’s daughter tied the knot at a five star hotel with the son of a police officer who once provided the biggest photo op to the media and may just have kicked off the lawyer’s movement when he pushed Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry into a car. The Defence Minister had a guest list as long as his arm and the traffic jam on the road leading to the five star venue. Same day, same time, same city, the Prime Minister was celebrating his son’s walima. However, he was kind enough to choose a farm house away from the maddening crowd and wise enough to keep his guest list more exclusive. The Defence Minister was included and was seen taking time off from the daughter’s wedding to join the walima celebrations but there was no sighting of the Prime Minister putting in an appearance at the minister’s do. Just as well because his motorcade would have created havoc on The Mall and it could have been two weddings and a few funerals.