STRAIGHT TALK by Hafeez Khan
I am not a big fan of drama serials. Occasionally I watch an episode or two to maintain congeniality at home. However a Pakistani serial “Jhok Sarkar” has caught my fancy. I look forward to watching every episode. It revolves around a feudal lord and his family in a remote setting. The underlying theme is really thought provoking. It is based on forcible separation of two poverty ridden love birds. The boy is murdered and his beloved is coerced to marry the Feudal. The premise is to marry first and love for “Sain” will follow.
To my politically fertile mind, there is great similarity between this feudal’s behavior and the role of Pindi Feudals. Forcibly install Nawaz Sharif first, and peoples’love will follow. It can go either way in the drama but in the real world it is a ticking time bomb. The ruling Junta has a mechanical approach. Replace those who do not fall in line and install those who will be subservient.
Unfortunately this nuts and bolts approach arises from either the lack of brain power or the Junta is totally blinded by hatred of IK. They have totally failed to comprehend human behavior. You can use the stick to silence the masses; but you cannot control their emotions. Their hearts and minds have accepted IK as their leader. Forcible separation will only invigorate these emotions.
Pindi Feudals have sown the seeds of this discord themselves. First they engineered IK’s downfall and replaced PTI with PDM; a bunch of crooks who have no desire to safeguard Pakistan’s interests. The list of their disastrous acts is long thus I will follow my economist’s instincts. I am sharing some numbers released by Economic Survey of Pakistan. Numbers don’t lie. Here is a comparison between where we stood under PTI (2022) and the debacle under PDM (2023). GDP 6.1% vs. 0.29%. Industrial growth 7.19% vs. –2.94%. Large scale manufacturing 10.61% vs. –8.11%. Exports $28.83 billion vs. $21.20 billion. Remittances $26.10 billion vs. $20.50 billion. Food inflation 12% vs. 38%. Perishable food inflation 4.1% vs. 47%.
With economic growth at 0.3% and inflation at 38%, Pindi Feudals have caused this economic disaster through their partners in crime led by Nawaz Sharif. And now they want to thrust him down our throats for yet another term of 5 years as 4th time Prime Minister. It reminds me of a narrative shared by Shamshad Sb, a former Foreign Secretary. He had introduced Nawaz to Daewoo as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Korea. It led to the much heralded logistic achievement, Lahore Islamabad Motorway. Some years later he checked up with his contact in Daewoo. He was informed that the executive who dealt with Sharifs was in jail for bribing them. On the other hand Pakistanis honored these crooks by making Nawaz the Prime Minister. Nawaz also rewarded himself by using these ill-gotten proceeds to acquire the Avonfield Apartments.
No wonder the Sharifs have yet to provide the source of funds for this acquisition. A bigger atrocity is about to be committed by none other than the illustrious Chief Justice
Islamabad High Court. From all indications, the CJ is poised to whitewash this crime by accepting Nawaz’s appeal against his conviction for this blatant case of bribery and money laundering.
Nawaz Sharif is thrilled and cooing in the hills of Murree. He is greatly influenced by Indian cinema and projects himself as the jilted lover of Pakistanis like late Raj Kapoor. In fact he is a cold blooded extortionist who wants to milk the exchequer for the 4th time.
I may not agree with celebrated journalist Hamid Mir most of the time; however his sense of timing is immaculate and he has put his finger on the pulse of what ails Pakistan. I am not discussing his person, rather the contents of his recent vlog. He has laid bare the origin and source of all ills that have haunted our political landscape for decades; the role of ISI, MI and IB in engineering our elections. The beauty is that he has based his narration on two Supreme Court judgments, with limited content from himself.
He refers to decisions rendered in Air Marshall Asghar Khan case and Liaqatabad Dharna case. The earlier decision captures how these agencies, upon the bidding of the army chiefs, doled out tons of cash in 1990 to install Nawaz Sharif as PM. Then again in 1993 to victimize Benazir. The 2019 Dharna case recognizes the essence of the earlier judgment and captures similar mischief by the same actors. Both these judgments had sought punishment for the errant intelligence officers and their superiors. Had these decisions been implemented, it would have paved the path to put an end to political maneuvering by agencies.
Over decades Army and its enforcers have grown bolder and much more assertive. It has peaked since April 2022. Now they are practically running everything in Pakistan. Many commentators have written off present Chief Justice as compromised. However if he pushes ahead with the implementation of 2019 Dharna decision, it could miraculously give all political parties a level playing field. Without agencies, especially ISI, manipulating the elections we could actually have free and fair elections. Justice Isa this is your opportunity to permanently etch your name in history as the savior of democracy in Pakistan; only if you can get past your grievances that have no substance in greater national interest.