STRAIGHT TALK by Hafeez Khan

The American civil war took four years to come full cycle from 1861 to 1865. It was bloody and brutal, destroying everything that came its way. The outcome was the end of slavery and USA consolidated as a single entity. Theconfederates seeking to secede from the Union were defeated. Within five years after the war three landmark constitutional amendments institutionalized these changes; 13th, 14th and 15th. These amendments ended slavery, gave equal status and voting rights to all citizens. However, freedom did not give equality. Suppression and racism towards African Americans continued through white supremist groups like Klu Klux Klan and through other forms of segregation. All this was challenged by the Civil Rights Movement a century later.

This movement’s most charismatic leader was Martin Luther King. He was an extremely determined freedom fighter who did his best to prevent the movement from degenerating into violence. Through the force of his powerful personality, he achieved tangible results culminating in the freedom march of a quarter million Americans in Washington in 1963. The will of the peopleprevailed despite all forms of violence by the most powerful Establishment in the world.

The quote “violence begets violence” is attributed to Jesus in Christian faith. In the Gospel of Mathew, it is stated that when a disciple drew his sword to prevent Jesus’s arrest, he said “all those who draw the sword will die by the sword”. Mr. King gave it a new life in the sixties by stating “hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets greater toughness.” This inspirational thought process highlights the ultimate weakness of violence; it is a downwards spiral. It does not diminish opponents; it only multiplies them. The rulers can murder their opponent but they cannot murder an idea whose time has come. The returning violence spreads darkness; it can only be overcome by the light of dawn.

Unfortunately, our mentally challenged Junta has no vision and are devoid of ability to learn from history. They have one weapon in their arsenal – use of violence. We saw this manifested in their cowardly attack on my friend Raoof Hassan, Secretary Information PTI. From the evidence available it was an attempt to slit his throat. How far have our intelligence agencies degenerated, they are now impersonating as transgenders to execute their nefarious designs. It makes our Generals in their fancy attires appear as eunuchs!            

Our power drunk Generals fail to recognize that like Martin Luther King, it is Imran Khan who has prevented Pakistan from degenerating into violence and utter chaos. More than 70 percent Pakistanis, including our valiant Pathans,are available at IK’s beck and call. It doesn’t require millions to come out; it will take only few hundred to disrupt and make the country ungovernable. Despite that,our “one trick ponies” are pushing ahead with their violentpath adopted two years ago.

I have known Raoof Hassan since late seventies when he along with my buddy Hassan Nisar and Syed Munsoor Abbas (younger brother of stars Santosh Kumar and Darpan) started an advertising agency. Raoof is a thorough professional, a straight shooter and a loving person. We went our own ways till we got together in ‘96 after formation of PTI. Working together, we bonded and developed a lifelong friendship; whether we met or not. He impressed me with his strong level of commitment and loyalty to a cause. We both believed then, and continue to do so now that Imran Khan is best suited to lead our nation out of this quagmire caused by ambitious generals and corrupt politicians.

I spoke to Raoof a day before this dastardly attack during a zoom call organized by PTI Canada’s Saif Pannu. Hence this extreme sense of shock and outrage. I have spoken to him since and found him in high spirits, more committed and ready to face all consequences. May Allah keep him safe.

Destiny of nations are carved by the determination and commitment of its leaders. History is full of such examples; be it Mao Zedong of China, Nelson Mandela of South Africa or Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia. Their struggles were demanding and prolonged, which endeared them to their masses.

No one can stand upto a Tsunami generated through the will of the people. I believe we may have rendezvoused with destiny in Pakistan through IK. He can lead us to break the shackles of bondage forced on us by military rule directly or through proxies. In the two years of unwavering struggle, IK has established his credentials and earned his spurs. Now it upto the Pakistanis to turn out like the August 28th 1963 freedom march in Washington to breakout of the clutches of these usurpers.

PTI must be preparing their reforms package when the will of people prevails. I urge them to make agenda item 1 an amendment to the Constitution that bans army generals and intelligence agencies from interfering in politics within Pakistan. We have always loved our forces and appreciated their sacrifices for the motherland. It is a handful Generals who have sullied the Institution’s good name to achieve their selfish goals. They need to be tried for treason. It is divine intervention that has guided our Judges to stand upto bullying by ISI. I salute our judiciary for coming out so boldly in defense of our Constitution.

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