STRAIGHT TALK by Hafeez Khan

In early sixties my uncle Dr. Abdul Rasheed Khan had a medical practice in Baghbanpura, Lahore. It was located in an old Hindu house. The clinic was on the ground floor and upstairs were living quarters. During the summer holidays our family would come together to be close to our grandparents. Our house was close to the tomb of a well known Sufi saint Madho Lal Hussain.

In pre-Indus Water Treaty days Ravi would flow as full bodied vibrant river. As Kashmir’s snow melted in summer it caused floods downstream causing widespread damageand misery to inhabitants along the riverbanks. For youngsters like me and my cousins they were adventurous times. Generous folks in Lahore would donate food and  supplies for the affectees. The saint’s tomb was the collection center. Uncle Rasheed, a man of God, participated generously and would deploy his tractor and trolley to deliver these goods. We would ride along to the relief sites. The pulsating waters spilling over the river banks in huge waves washed everything in its way. It was both scary and exciting. Army Jawans deployed would bravely risk their lives reaching out to victims to evacuate them to safety, leading to impromptu slogans fromonlookers “Pak Fauj Zindabad.”

It is the sight of gushing flood waters and their intimidating sheer might that is embedded in my memory. These visions came to the fore on 8th February watching the flood of voters that turned out on electionday to cast their votes. Pakistanis have given a clear and overwhelming verdict rejecting this autocratic regime and their corrupt political allies. They have voted for IK/PTI giving them an absolute majority in the Centre, KP and Punjab and a very credible presence in Sind and Baluchistan. My salute to the youth, women and patriotic voters. Their verdict was loud and clear but unfortunately we have deaf and dumb running the affairs of the Government.

The strategic maturity of voters and their heightened loyalty to change the system is nothing short of a complete revolution using legal means. The pretender to the throne backed by the generals, Nawaz Sharif has been completely wiped out. We had an election on 8th February that was immediately followed by a selection in the wee hours of 9th morning. People’s decision was overturned shamefully; the perpetuators of this disdainful act goofed up in a major way. They have emerged looking stupid likepetty thieves who don’t even know how to steal. The whole world has denounced this homicide of democracy.

Many versions of what happened between 11pm and 4am on 8/9th night are making the rounds. From credible sources I found out that the Army Chief was woken and briefed about IK emerging victory by his favorite generals. His judgment, fazed by holy water, was in line with the temperament he has always displayed. Abrupt and harsh without considering the consequences. He halted the vote count and ordered ECP to rig the results. What happened next has made Pakistan the laughing stock all around the world. Form 45, the source document used to tabulate results, was thrown in the dust bin and fictitious results were announced via Form 47.

Time has come to call a spade a spade. This nation of nearly 250 million has been taken hostage by a gang of approximately 50 criminals. Rather than blaming all the national institutions we have to pinpoint the usurpers of people’s right to self govern. Army is a disciplined force that has earned the ire of the nation for the crimes committed by five or six generals in command. The justice system has lost all credibility at the hands five or six judges led by CJ Qazi. In his latest adventure he is finding fault with army being involved in business; you are looking at the wrong premises your honor. Army is at fault for dabbling in politics, you are duty bound to address that.

The future of Pakistan is being handed over in a platter to cannibals aka the house of Sharifs. Add another five or six to the total. Vultures of Pakistani politics, Zardari and Co and mafia bosses of MQM have descended onto the dead carcass of democracy to get their pound of flesh. Add another ten towards the total. Let’s move onto the election commission, the lead actors in this national tragedy. Including ECP, this adds another five or six.

Next on the hit list are man-eaters labeled as media. In better days they were considered as the 5th pillar of state. Their disgraceful role has decimated the credibility of this institution dominated by ten to fifteen key players. The balance is made up by corrupt and unprincipled bureaucrats heading police and civil services. They are looked down upon as errand boys of the generals.

This gang has to be uprooted if Pakistanis seek any respite. This process has started through the verdict of the people. It needs to be taken to its logical conclusion. The people of Baluchistan and KP have come out in large numbers to register their protest. Lagging behind is Punjab despite the stunning slap given by Punjabis while voting. There is a widening gap between what IK stands for in jail and those running the party on the outside. PTI leadershiphas to man up and emerge from their hideouts. We cannot drop the ball at this critical juncture. Saturday’s turnout will determine the future course of events.      




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