CITY NOTES: The serial killer of Port Harcourt


The serial killer at large has been arrested. No, not in Chunian, but in Port Harcourt, where eight sex workers were strangled one after the other, creating a panic in the oil capital of Nigeria.

Port Harcourt is a livelier place than Chunian, but something is wrong out there in Kasur as well. Port Harcourt has a population of well over a million, Chunian of less than 50,000. After all, Port Harcourt is the capital of one of 36 Nigerian states, which means the city is somewhere between a provincial capital and divisional HQ. Chunian, on the other hand, is a tehsil HQ.

Well, if Port Harcourt was not safe for sex workers, Chunian is still not safe for little boys. I wonder if the gang (or rather killer) has moved to Lahore. A little boy has been missing from Johar Town. May the Almighty return him to his parents. But Chunian may have become too hot for him, especially after the protests there.

Chunian is not far from Lahore. Its district, Kasur, was until 1976, a tehsil of Lahore district. But since then, it has become possibly the porn capital of the country. Kasur was supplying material to the international porn industry, which was uncovered in 2016. The next year came the assault-cum-murder of little Zainab, who was the 12th little girl to be killed in five years.

Kasur used to be famed because it was the place where Bulleh Shah was buried. Now it is famous for all the wrong reasons. Incidentally, this is perhaps the wrong time to be in the Kasur police. Even worse than being in the Rshim Yar Khan police, these days under something of a cloud after the autopsy of Salahuddin, the mentally challenged man who died in its custody. The post-mortem report, evidently done by someone who hates our policemen, shows that he was tortured before being killed. The Punjab inspector general of police’s (IGP) solution: ban all smartphones from police stations. H’mmm. I heard of the police planting drugs on people they did not like, or recovering stolen buffaloes where they were told to get someone, but I suppose soon one will hear of an opposition figure being held for the crime of bringing a mobile into a police station. Cops. I hear, are the most upset. It seems that their videos of good police work got the most likes when uploaded on social media.

The only hope cops have is that Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar seems busier monitoring the Kashmir situation than running the province. Policemen are looking enviously at the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which has Syed Khusheed Shah in custody now. If the police had the chance, those few opposition politicians would end up dying of heart attacks in custody.

Would Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) people mind? Not if they were corrupt. The PTI could not make much progress in Israel, because the electorate there has not totally rejected Benjamin Netanyahu, even though he has been accused of corruption. Not only that, but it rejected for the second time the chance of electing a former army chief as the premier. Everyone knows the Israeli Defence Force does not have a supply of ex-cricketers to draw on, so its former chiefs have to fight elections themselves.

The Israeli failure to give Netanyahu a clear mandate for the second time running may have been disappointing for US President Trump, him being such a fervent Netanyahu fan, but I suspect he was focusing more on Ukraine. It seems he is twisting the arm of newly-elected Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky to provide him dirt on Democratic 2020 challenger, former Vice-President Joe Biden. How? By holding back on military and economic aid, which Ukraine needs to fight off Russia. I wonder what Imran (or for that matter Nawaz or Zardari) could do? Refuse to borrow?

Amazing the priorities other countries have. Everyone is after Justin Trudeau, the Canadian PM, for having donned blackface many years ago, which reflects racism. Well, what would be the equivalent here? Having a daughter out of wedlock? Doing cocaine? Imran thinks those are private matters, and there is no evidence of corruption against Trudeau, is there?

Imran’s old friend and dharna partner, Allama Dr Tairul Qadri, has announced his retirement from politics. Again. The last time was when he resigned from the National Assembly (NA) to go off to Canada. This retirement has come amidst growing calls for him to go off to engage in jihad in Kashmir.

I wonder why so many people had such touching faith in his warlike capabilities. There are other ulema Imran would prefer to see go off, like Maulana Fazlur Rehman, whose Azadi March he would prefer on the Line of Control (LoC) rather than in Islamabad.

But then, by coming to Islamabad rather than Muzaffarabad, the Maulana would better follow the admonition against private enterprise in Kashmir. Imran, who reached Muzaffarabad last Friday, but went abroad this week, said before leaving that only a government could order any combat in Kashmir. The US seemed particularly pleased at this declaration.

Anyway, there was Imran in Saudi Arabia, busy convincing Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman about Kashmir. Crown Prince Salman had problems of his own, like the missile attack on an oil refinery which threatened to drive up the world’s price of oil. Well, the Saudis have said they should return to full production by the end of the month, so unless there are more attacks, world oil prices should go back to normal. But it is funny, is it not? A refinery was attacked. And a refinery (in India) was behind the $15 billion Aramco investment in India’s Reliance. I wonder how much the repairs will cost? And these were attacks by drones. One Patriot missile, costing $1 million, is needed to take out one drone, costing $200. But if you do not, watch world oil prices go through the roof…