Countrymen, patriots and the rest of Pakistanis! Time and tide have brought on your doorstep two joyous bundles of news after a very long time. It is unfortunate that some good-for-nothing carpers, hair-splitters and nitpickers don’t seem appreciate the magnificence of these seminal events. Rest assured such vile toils shall fail decisively and truth shall prevail unequivocally. After all, we have the media on our side.
Let’s unpack the twin-pack of happy news. The first good news is the wrapping up from the scene of national politics monopoly of the Sharif family. This project has been in the works for years but now it is coming to fruition. The second is the arrival in the mainstream of politics of the Milli Muslim League (MML) and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a truly welcome addition.
By the grace of the Almighty and the tireless efforts of dedicated souls, both events have been made possible without much fuss. These are now set to change the course of this country. Only the mentally-blocked, or whose hearts have been blackened by bias and animus against this great country, are unable to see and appreciate this irreversible march of new history taking place right in front of our eyes.
The Sharifs think they are soaring titans but in reality they have been turned into a sinking Titanic. NAB, under direct orders, has the elder Sharif and his three problem children by the gullet. There is nothing they can do about the references they are facing. These references are bound to either push them all to jail or keep them out of the country’s political hair forever. What a lovely sight it is to see NAB pin property freezing notices on Jati Umra gates and raid the house of the finance minister. Where is that chit of a woman who was misled by a miniscule victory in NA-120 and was speaking, challenging, threatening as if she had conquered the universe? Or that Dar fellow who sat on important files for months and pretended as if he ran the whole show? Hiding in London, unable to do anything about their reputations being trashed and their fortunes being sealed.
To make sure that they remain nailed to the ground there is, in addition to NAB references, the Hudaibia Paper Mills case, which is also a warning shot for Shehbaz Sharif and his son. The younger Sharif will have to quickly decide which path to tread. Compliance may get him a chance to survive a bit longer than the family of the elder Sharif in politics. Dithering and defiance will make him, like his elder brother, carded wool to be tossed to the winds of change. Remember, the Model Town report may not have much legal weight but it has the potential to create public outcry for justice, whose buck will stop at the chief minister. So hopefully, Shehbaz Sharif, ably advised by Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, will heed the call of reason and not hearken to the nonsense of his brother staging a comeback.
Countrymen, these details together give you the tiding of the demise of the Sharif family’s hold over politics. You may ask: what about their government? It is in still in power. Yes, it is, but it does not matter a whit. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and his cabinet, like the cabinet and assembly members of the N-League in Punjab, are mere helpless witnesses to the evaporation of the Sharifs’ influence right from their midst. They may not admit it, but it is happening. This is delightful and augurs well for national political stability!
But the real gem is the arrival of the MML and TLP. What an entry! What success. The public’s endorsement of their candidates (Alhamdulillah) has been most reassuring. The by-election was a good opportunity to get them to display their zeal and fervour, their organisational skills and their commitment to the causes espoused by late Mumtaz Qadri and Mohtaram Hafiz Saeed. It was heart-warming to see the pictures of both these new-generation leaders on posters, alongside that of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, pasted all over the constituency.
Countrymen, we seem set to settle the age-old question about which way Pakistan has to go politically. We have tried pseudo-liberalism, decrepit constitutionalism, half-hearted military rules and diarchy in which power was co-shared by civilian and military rulers, but all have failed to harness the true potential of this great nation.
Now with the MML and TLP in the field, the country finally has some solid hope to cling to. With all sects neatly arranged in the new political order and given their share of power according to their numerical weight, we will create a balance of political and religious interest in the system. Any disruption can be managed, so worry not about the institutionalisation of sectarianism. If it can be managed in NA-120, it can be managed at a national scale as well. Also it is purely democratic to allow all parties to contest and claim space. These parties are particularly special. They are pious, zealous, totally patriotic and God-fearing. They fulfil all the requirements of Articles 62 and 63. They are well-funded and therefore not interested in public money. With them getting a toehold in the mainstream, we may be on the verge of finding a breakthrough in tackling the chronic problems plaguing our system of decision-making and policy formulation.
Enthused by their expanding numbers, these parties will be able to influence several policy issues. With their able support we will be able to take a firm stand against India. With these groups on our back (or in the front) we will be able to create a robust framework for our Kashmir policy. With regard to the US, these groups will be the ultimate support in case war is brought to Pakistan’s soil. These real mujahids will turn Pakistan into the graveyard of Washington in case the latter brings nefarious designs on our territory.
Afghanistan too will behave. With these parties in control of public emotion, with their political popularity growing and all issues of the civil-military divide sorted out because of the patriotism of these parties, our western borders will also become secure. The Taliban in Afghanistan are already doing a great job holding back the influence of Daesh and India. These parties’ rise will add another layer of strategic defence in the north-west and absorb the overly radicalised youth returning from the Middle East and Yemen.
Internally, these parties will bring a firm ideological orientation for a society that is dealing with the devastating effects of Westernisation, modernisation, the social media onslaught and declining moral values. They will hold the ship of national ideology steady and take the country back to the central ideas of great men like General Ziaul Haq. Quaid-e-Azam, Allama Iqbal, and Sir Syed Ahmad Khan too will be considered in the light of a new look of our history as narrated by these parties. With so much good riding on the success of these parties in politics, countrymen, you should all work for their success and growth. They are a gift, a precious thing.
Most immediately, they will do the admirable job of cutting the N-League down to size: there are 26 National Assembly seats for instance where the N League has won with a margin of less than 10,000 votes. Such provincial assembly seats are twice as many. This will help the PTI stabilise itself.
In the next phase, these parties will make their presence felt as an unstoppable force sweeping across this land. That’s when Pakistan will walk on sunshine. This is a great prospect and those who have engendered it deserve the highest medal. Countrymen, the dawn we have all been yearning for all this time is on the verge of breaking. Hold your breath. Behold the sight. Thank the Lord. Praise me-lords and those who made them click. Bow. Pray. Celebrate. Deliverance is before you. No nation could have asked for more.
The writer is former executive editor of The News and a senior journalist with Geo TV.
Twitter: @TalatHussain12Syed Talat Hussain, "Let’s celebrate, countrymen," The News. 2017-09-25.
Keywords: Political science , Political issues , Civil-military divide , National Assembly , Political system , Democracy , Monopoly , Politics , Gen Zia , Sir Syed Ahmad Khan , Pakistan , NAB , TLP