White Lies

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There is a Pakistani delegation to World Economic Forum at Davos every year. Their events aren’t too well attended, unfortunately; many times the few attendees in the hall include the chauffeurs who have driven the delegation there.

But this time, it was a lacklustre event all around. Trump couldn’t make it because he was busy with the whole shutdown business. Teresa May couldn’t make it because of her own exceedingly precarious political situation. Even Modi couldn’t make it because of the rising heat back home; the ruling party is licking its wounds in the aftermath of Congress making a remarkable comeback in three provinces; and this is a federal election year.

Even our prime minister decided not to go this time, what with him not being interested in going anywhere where they won’t give an immediate loan.

But there were some notable entries from Pakistan. Former PM (and current absconder) Shaukat Aziz, for instance. Also present was the man who wrote up the former’s warrants, so to speak: the recently retired Baba Rehmata. Also, curiously, former ISPR chief Bajwa, currently serving as the Quetta Corps Commander.

Former Citibanker Aziz is a regular there but why were the others there? And who foot the bill?

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Every government has the usual suspects vying to become mandarins and apparatchiks on matters economic.

They keep writing op-eds on the economy that are devoid of substance and come across as nothing more than poorly-written job applications.

During the last government, they were in awe of ‘Dar-nomics’ and would pick fights with those of us sceptical of the League’s economic policies. And in this government, they are defending the former fertiliser executive’s fertiliser-smelling fiscal policies.