STRAIGHT TALK by Hafeez Khan
I was not even a teenager when I learnt one of the most important lessons in life. It became a part of my value system. Abbottabad was popular as a “hill station”, a legacy term from the British raj. Summers were mild as compared to the heat in southern plains. It was a family routine on weekends that my father would take an afternoon nap on the family lawn, while we kids would play on the other side.
One such day, my elder sister Azra Khayal, me and others were playing soccer. Being competitive in sports when Baji Azra missed a goal shot, I got angry. I picked a slipper and threw it at her without realizing that Abi Jan was watching us. I heard my name being called firmly by my father, who was generally soft spoken. I walked up to him. He got up from the charpoy and slapped me firmly across my face. His words cut right through me. “If you cannot respect the ladies in my household, you cannot be a part of it”. I apologized profusely; he ordered me to beg forgiveness from Baji. That was the only slap I got from him throughout his lifetime.
Showing respect to ladies became a part of my DNA; a value I have attempted to instill in my kids. Thus I have been totally outraged in the past few weeks witnessing the inhuman treatment being meted out to women, girls and kids participating in PTI events. The atrocities of Punjab Police are notorious; their mercenary behavior is condemnable. It was mostly confined to police stations; unfortunately these days these truly traumatizing events are on full display on social media.
First a handicapped girl, with paralyzed legs was lifted like a sack of potatoes by the arm of a big bellied, fat arsed policeman and spun around like a top before dumping her into a waiting prison van. Woe on this devil.
In another incident, a lady threw her dupatta at the feet of a uniformed monster. It is the ultimate gesture to jolt the honor of any self-respecting human. But our police are totally dehumanized and de-sensitized. They are devoid of any respect of our traditions and the teachings of Holy Prophet (PBUH). Muhammad ibn Al-Qasim, a commander of Umayyad Caliphate crossed the high seas in the 7thCentury, responding to cry for help by brutalized ladies of Sind. He conquered, captured and ultimately decapitated the Brahman ruler Raja Dahir, creating the first Muslim rule in Sind. That is how Muslims treat their woman.
Another gruesome video is circulating on social media that captured the screams and torture of a PTI woman worker in custody. Her earth shattering cries will feed into the anger of Pakistani electorate waiting to get even at polls. It also exposes the lengths these “badmashes” are willing to go to subdue and silence dissent.
My involvement in politics goes back nearly a half century. Even under the worst dictators, we have never seen such mayhem, torture and brutality. Police and intelligence agencies are raiding households, harassing women and destroying everything like the thugs who raided Usman Dar’s house. Such heavy handed suppression is alien to our society.
Imran Riaz Khan is by far the most watched journalist in Pakistan. It has been nearly ten days since he was abducted by men in uniforms. Despite clear orders from High Court, Lahore, he is not being produced. It is causing grave concern amongst Pakistanis at home and abroad. Our mindless rulers are on a warpath that can only lead to widespread destruction, turning us into a lawless society.
We witnessed one such event in front of Supreme Court. A handful of goons gathered outside in an attempt to intimidate the Honorable Judges. Constitution Avenue is centre point of the red zone. It was turned into a fortress when PTI sought to demonstrate in November 2022. This time around, Fazal’s thugs were facilitated by administration. The ruling Junta has been lashing out at the superior judiciary for months in the parliament, on media in every which way. This time this motley crowd was addressed by Maryam, Fazal and other knuckleheads, yelling obscenities at the judges. This rented crowd of hoodlums was carted in police vans to bus-stand in Rawalpindi. It is a huge scar on the already blemished faces of PDM.
We witnessed many firsts under this regime of rogues in the past 13 months. It has stooped to its lowest levels in history by blatantly defying and disobeying decisions of the Superior Judiciary. In their mindless defiance, they forget that this lawlessness will come back to bite them big time. God bless Justice Khosa for calling them Sicilian Mafia. PDM has acted it out to the last T.
Power drunk with devilish egos and flush with ill gotten wealth; PDM’s actions have nothing to do with welfare of the people nor the nation. They are haunted by IK even in their dreams. Every time their dirty tricks get deflected their anger is further fueled by bruised egos. Unfortunately the Establishment, once a forward thinking organization, has fallen into the same trap. We have no one left to separate these conflicting parties since the Courts have been rendered toothless to play an umpire’s role. Does anybody care about Pakistan? Maybe our foreign well-wishers can knock some sense to end this bare fisted brawl.