STRAIGHT TALK by Hafeez Khan

How do you get the right to decide who can or cannot rule Pakistan?” would have been my question if I had participated in the “frank discussion” with our respected all powerful Army Chief. Such impertinence may not have been permitted in this orchestrated and tightly controlled event. This PR exercise was to give a soft image to the most tyrannical rule in Pakistan since East Pakistan was truncated. Chief Sb is petrified by what he cannot control, thus he lashed out at social media, especially the overseas ones. Sir Ji it is 21st century. Rules of the game have changed. You are relying on an outmoded army bureaucratic axis built since 1955, facilitated by rogue Chief Justice Munir.

Intoxication of unchecked power of army chief has led to follies, one after the other since Ayub Khan. The sapling of army intervention in politics planted by Ayub has now grown into full fledged tree. The rush created by unfettered control over every pillar of governance provides a sense of infallibility. One feels all powerful and conveniently forgetsthat these attributes are only reserved for God.

Chief Sb enjoy your ride while it lasts; however please be mindful of the fate of your predecessors. Ayub Khan died a lonely and bitter man confined to his residence in Islamabad. Yahya Khan spent his final days as a broken man, forgotten by the world, wallowing in a drunken stupor. Zia Ul Haq had a fiery ending; his body was torn to shreds spread all over the place, only indentified by dental remnants. Musharraf fled the country to return in a body bag; convicted of treason after his death. The subsequent Chiefs dodged the bullet by operating behind the scenes.

Even General Bajwa operated behind a veil of deceit till he implemented the devious plan of ousting PTI Government. His real intent came out in his rambling anti IK speeches in Lahore Garrison addressing ex-servicemen. He lives incognito after fleeing the country, hounded by jeers from angry crowds whenever he appears in public. The repression unleashed by our present Chief is unprecedented against freedom seeking Pakistanis. History will record this callous suppression indiscriminately carried out against women, children and political workers seeking to express their opinion. His recent declarationshave brought him out of the closet; is he toying with Article 6 on a future date?

We belong to a generation that grew up adoring the army. Their discipline, willingness to lay down their lives defending their motherland gave them glamour and respect from within. This feeling started to erode when defenders became property dealers. However the diffidence and an element of respectability prevailed for those in uniform. General Bajwa’s blatant dismantling of PTI Government and induction of looters as rulers accelerated this process of erosion of the bond between masses and their armed forces. Our present Chief picked up the baton and took brutality and repression to heights never seen before in Pakistan.

Many condemnable steps continue on a daily basis. While democratic process is in ruins, the subjugation of judiciary and bureaucracy has led to decisions that have driven a sharp wedge between the masses and our institutions. It is a stab at the heart of our nationhood. Our forces and institutions have lost all prestige. It is a real disaster akin to uncontrolled internal bleeding within a body.

The unfortunate part is our present rulers seem to suffer an intolerable deficit of imagination or rational thinking. General Asim may have fared better if he had stepped in as a ruler himself. Instead he has become a party to worst possible solution conjured up through the London Plan. The entire government machinery is geared up to install the ultimate corruption personified, Nawaz Sharif and his daughter as future rulers of this unfortunate nation. The masses have rejected this Machiavellian scheme. All the surveys conducted by credible forums or media persons have highlighted the fact that PML(N) is a totally lost cause.

Many people fancy different insects. Froglegs are a delicacy for some, eating monkey brain is relished by others. It appears our Chief has fallen in love with cockroaches. These creatures of filth soil everything they touch. Yet he has thrown his weight behind a dishonorable cockroach, Akbar S. Babar, through our Honorable Chief Justice. In his short order CJ murdered democracy by taking the “bat” away as election symbol of PTI. In his detailed judgment he is glorifying PTI rejects attempting to steal PTI as a party.

All these shenanigans will come to a naught in the face of popular will. An overwhelming commitment of voters to end this farcical manipulation of elections will be demonstrated on 8th February. They have to come in huge numbers to cast their votes and stand guard over theirpolling stations. They must resist any efforts to stuff the ballot boxes or announce fictitious results. Unless the electoral process is transparent these elections will be rejected leading to extended political instability and chaos.

IK has called for a massive turnout of supporters on 28thJanuary to show their solidarity with PTI candidates. Pakistanis, especially Punjabis have to overcome fear. They have to assert and seek oaths of loyalty from PTI candidates. This is the time to stand up and extract a payback of all the silent suffering of two years. Voters mustbe willing to offer sacrifices to break the shackles of slavery. The survival of this nation depends on it.    


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