Ha! Ha! Ha!

Every society has its idiosyncrasies that fascinate outsiders. But when these come in quick succession, it is amusing. That was my reaction on the four news items coming in quick succession in Pakistan’s daily Dawn:

● Dawn, February 16, 2021: The Islamabad High Court orders razing of “illegally constructed” lawyers chambers in Islamabad.

The Court in a unanimous verdict ruled that the offices built for lawyers on a sports ground in Islamabad were “illegally constructed” and therefore should be razed by the relevant authorities. The verdict was announced by a four-judge bench headed by the chief justice himself.

The verdict said lawyers who allowed the building of the chambers “forcefully [took] the law in their hands…” and added, “The facts of this case are disturbing because the conduct of a few lawyers has caused reputational damage to the entire legal fraternity.”

● Dawn, February 18, 2021: “Three injured after fight breaks out between two groups of doctors in a hospital.”

This happened in the city of Gujrat in the Sindh Province in Pakistan. Three people were injured after a fight broke out between two groups of doctors at the Aziz Bhatti Shaheed Hospital. A police official said four people were arrested and two weapons seized from them.

A former president of the Pakistan Medical Association told the media, “We were attacked by [one] Dr Usama Talat and his companions, [who] tortured our doctors.” Making matters worse, he alleged that the police official at the scene, “instead of sorting [out] the matter, inflamed it further” by facilitating the escape of the other group from the scene.

● Dawn, February 19, 2021: “Politician in custody claims a cobra was deliberately left in his jail cell to kill him.”

The Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh claimed that a 4’-long black cobra was in the lock-up room, deliberately left in his cell to kill him on the directives of Pakistan People’s Party chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah. Mr. Sheikh was in custody for violence, firing guns, attempted murder and causing terror during by-elections in Karachi.

One commentator wondered whether the snake was also afraid of Mr. Sheikh in the prison cell.

The grand finale in this thread was this: Dawn, March 9, 2021: “Five courts [were] illegally built on private land, Supreme Court [was] told”

Pakistan’s Supreme Court was informed that as many as five courts have been built illegally in Islamabad on private land. This was disclosed in response to the apex court’s directives in a case related to privately owned lands for a soccer field.

— By K S Venkataraman END


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