It was reported by Daily Jang (15 July 2019) that a fake pir (jaali pir) who had been giving threats to his own followers (murid) was booked by police, upon which he went fugitive. He is alleged to have defrauded one complainant to the tune of around Rs. 2 crore (20 million), after which he threatened him so as to dissuade him from going to the police.
The Fast Lane
Gambling on motorcycle races and one-wheeling stunts continued unabated in “posh” areas of Lahore, according to Daily Jang (15 July 2019). Despite authorities’ efforts to prevent them from doing so, young men on motorcycles reportedly “took over” major streets and bets were laid on a 2-km motorcycle race.
Vawda vs Snakes
The PTI’s Faisal Vawda, according to Daily Jang (16 July 2019), vowed that the ruling party would continue its accountability drive even if it loses the government in the process. He further stated that the necks of political snakes were already in the grip and now the heads of the snakes would be crushed (inn siyasi saanpon ki gardan pakri hai, sirr bhee kuchal kar dikhaein ge).
CM in action
Daily Express (17 July 2019) reported that CM Punjab Usman Buzdar himself drove his car out to check on the situation in Lahore after torrential rains. He offered a ride to women and children through the flooded streets and asked citizens what they thought of the administration’s steps to manage the situation.
According to Daily Jang (17 July 2019), the Lahore Metropolitan Corporation (LMC) has recommended to the Punjab government that a tax on new graves, at the rate of Rs. 1,500 per burial. If approved, the tax would add to the existing burial cost to families of around Rs. 10,000 for a grave.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan, according to Daily Jang (17 July 2019), accepted the challenge of PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on the issue of him filing a defamation suit against PM Imran Khan. She noted that the trail of theft went all the way to Britain (chori ka khurra Bartania ja raha hai) and would also lead to other countries and newer revelations.
PM Imran Khan was quoted by Daily Dunya (20 July 2019) as saying that there was no vengeful policy of accountability, but that the institutions of accountability had been given a free hand by the government. He said that there had been vengeful action against him in the aftermath of the Panama Leaks, but he had provided a money trail while the Sharif family provided a Qatari letter. The PM further claimed that the accountability institutions were free to catch anyone, including people associated with the current government (jisko chahein pakrein, hamara banda bhee na chorein).
Banking on the Shrimp
After its schemes to encourage the raising of poultry and cattle (murghi aur katta paal scheme), the Punjab government was now looking to encourage the production of fish and shrimps. Funds are being released, according to the report, to turn barren lands into ponds that produce shrimps.
Siraj-ul-Haq of the Jamaat-e-Islami, according to Daily Dunya (21 July 2019), expressed his view that the current government had not come to power, but had been brought to power (Imran Khan ki hakoomat aai nahin, balke laai gaii hai). He went on to claim that those who had brought the government were themselves worried now – since in one year even an infant can learn to walk but the current government seems incapable of managing on its own.
More screams ahead
Federal Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed was quoted by Daily Dunya (21 July 2019) as saying that the game had only yet begun and people could already be heard screaming (abhi tou khel shuru hua hai tou loogon ki cheekhein sunai de rahi hein). He promised more to come, claiming that the broom had been brought to the last corner in the process of sweeping (jharu phirtay phirtay aakhri konay tak aa gya hai).