White Lies

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What can one do when one when one is lucky enough to be showered with generous friends who in turn shower you with expensive gifts? Thank God, of course. We hear that in November a VVIP celebrated the valima of a son. Lo and behold, the prized invitations inspired many of his friends to give not just lafafas but many four wheelers as well. In fact some 22 cars, give or take a few. It is said that these considerate friends felt that the newlyweds would be in need of their own transport, thus the choice of gift. However the generosity landed the family with a problem many of us would love to have. What to do with so many cars when there was a line of official vehicles already available for domestic use. It was too late to return the gifts and doing so might even rub friends the wrong way. We hear that a decision was made to keep these gifts of love and since they were obviously superfluous they were to be packed off to dealers to be sold. Rumour has it that many are now standing in car show rooms and buyers are told the car history to fetch the right price. Unfortunately for the VVIP, the fire sale of so many cars has affected car prices. Well, at least some one is taking steps to check inflation.

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A VVIP or even the Finance Minister may think he is boss of the Finance Ministry but guess who is taking all the decisions. We hear that a super VVIP has taken the ministry matters in his own business savvy hands. All key appointments in this area are now made by this leading light of Islamabad and should the lesser VVIP exercise his prerogative and dare to take a decision, he is promptly put in his place. Recently, the lesser VVIP actually appointed an upright business consultant as Chairman SECP but the man was asked to resign and in his place came another who was the nominee of a fat cat stock-broker in Karachi who in turn had the blessing of the super VVIP. Rumour has it that the change of Finance Secretary was also the mans choice not the Finance Ministers or the VVIPs as one would expect. Apparently this super VVIP thinks he knows more about money matters than the whole of Islamabad put together. Maybe he does!

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The other elitist club in Lahore, not the Gymkhana, has a ruling mafia that could put the Italian Cosa Nostra to shame. The members of this mafia are so bent on keeping their hold on the club management that they will do just about anything, even look the other way when bungling is seen going on in the club finances. Recently, the club held its annual election for the managing committee. The natural choice for chairman would have been a pharmaceutical businessman who gained the highest votes. Instead, the mafia preferred its own man; one who had been caught earlier on with his hands in the till and had been pardoned on the humanitarian grounds that he suffered from cancer. In protest, the more eligible pharmaceutical boss has now resigned from the managing committee. Not surprising, since honesty is not considered a virtue among this clubs mafia. Being one of the boys, geriatric boys at that, is what really counts.

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