I do not know about you but when I visit Pakistan, in addition to friends and relatives, I try and see politicians, civil servants, journalists and you know who. This fills in my blanks and also gives a cross-sectional view of life in Pakistan. I am fortunate to be one of those who get paid to talk or listen to others. Over the years, I have gotten used to this privileged position; therefore, seeking appointments does not come naturally to me. Since this usually happens in Pakistan, friends in high places come to my rescue and let me stay in my comfort zone. Politics is broken in Pakistan. Half the population believes the last elections were prejudicial; the other half believe they were not worse than those in the past. It may well be a case of expectations, which only flourish over time. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is stuck though, because of its bad governance related to lack of experience and a case of very bad economy. The opposition on the other hand is top-heavy with dark clouds of corruption allegations and associated prison sentences looming large. Under the circumstances, the only sources of entertainment are PTI government’s Minister of Information; Mr. Gundapur trying hard though to join their ranks. The first lady, Bushra Bibi, used to chip in from time to time but seems to have gone into a maraqba of late. Two individuals are always on my list of people to see in Pakistan: Bilawal and Ch. Nisar. It is in their best interest to meet me as soon as possible because their lives will not be the same afterwards. Fatefully, I have never seen them, either because of logistics or the quality of middle-men at our disposal. I do not mind, because it is their loss not mine. A new name has, however, cropped up on my list this time, and it is a female. Politics is broken in Pakistan. Half the population believes the last elections were prejudicial; the other half believe they were not worse than those in the past. It may well be a case of expectations, which only flourish over time. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is stuck though, because of its bad governance related to lack of experience and a case of very bad economy Despite his personal and circumstantial limitations, Bilawal remains the most talented politician on the scene. He has everything – talent, pedigree, and charisma. He needs to realise though, that a man is known (and groomed) by the company he keeps. A way forward needs to be found where he is more spontaneous, and can disentangle cleverly from his perceived paternal legacy. The storm heading towards the Zardari clan is so severe that it is going to sweep away everything unless suitable contingency plans are in place. And unlike the ill-fated Maryam Nawaz, luck is on Bilawal’s side. Punjab is turning out to be our Prime Minister’s worst nightmare. Chief Minister Punjab, despite regular coaching from Dr. Shahbaz Gill of Lyallpur/Faisalabad, is simply dead from his feet upwards. The odds of improving things are, therefore, stacked against the Prime Minister (PM) because he has no suitable person who could deliver his agenda in his own party or among his allies. As predicted six months ago, his government could fall around the end of the year if economy remains dingy and governance does not improve drastically. As advised earlier, only one man, despite being perceived as unemployed and divisive at the moment, can unlock everything for the PM. He would deliver on the PTI agenda, establish good governance, satisfy all the stakeholders, and also dismantle the heavy opposition. PTI could actually win the next elections just because of this intervention. The name of this one-man-army is, as you rightly guessed, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan of Chakri. I am told that cracking jokes about civil servants can be costly because they can be neither servants nor civil. I am looking forward to catching up with some of them because even WhatsApp calls cannot be trusted beyond a point. They are often accused of being the masters of short-term solutions, but the wise ones have left the arena before the storm started gathering pace for undoing of the last government. They are now slowly moving into premier postings because the system has been at a standstill. Most are still in hiding though for being accused of sleeping with the previous regime. Only a couple of them had survived due to their personal influence; the one who had tried to slug it out so far has just been surrendered to the federal government. For lack of other entertainment, politics has turned into show business in Pakistan. I am really disappointed that after her initial foray into political and social milieu, Bushra Bibi has receded into the shadows. I feel guilty because I was one of those who had advised that this would be in her husband’s best interest. How desperately we miss her homilies regarding her husband’s greatness, formulae for the national progress, and of course the spiritual halo. No real or concocted new stories have surfaced either about her lack of reflection in the mirror, meat-seeking jinns on the rooftop, and a detailed attention to appearance despite donning a veil of modesty. I have asked for an audience with her through my aamils. Wish me luck! The writer is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Visiting Professor Published in Daily Times, February 17th 2019.