Such Tou Yeh Hai - BOOK Review - By: Zafar Iqbal Rawana

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The political history of Pakistan is replete with colourful narratives, political events, movements and ideas yet turbulent , characterized by martial laws, inefficient and corrupt civil governments.Pakistan movement , as it came to be known , based on the basic principle of two-nation theory and aimed at establishing a separate homeland for the muslims of sub-continent. This was a movement against the oppression, that the muslims of India felt in the face of increasingly politicized hindu majority.Pakistan emerged as a separate state and a dream of life time came true but unfortunately the suppressive attitude remained in tact, however, the hindus were replaced by feudal lords, waderas, tugs, black mailers, land grabbers and tax evaders.This gang of bandits only changed faces but the fiber remained as suspected by Sir Winston Churchill at the time of partition.The chequered political history oscillated between so called democracy and martial law but both prone to crisis.It included dismissal of six prime ministers, four military coups and four dissolutions of parliamentary governments (using presidental constitutional powers).

According to Samuel P Huntington( clash of civilization fame), "a budding democracy goes through two stages to become a mature democracy i.e the power transition and a consolidation phase".Pakistani democracy can be categorized somewhere between transitioning and substantive democracy. Power transition has been smooth , however the consolidation phase remained bumpy.Because the consolidation phase requires functional institutions , competent bureaucracy ,strong and robust opposition ,political choice ,a vibrant society , educational background and better socio-economic conditions.

Much has been written in this context over the period of time in the shape of memoirs and reminiscence. "Such Tou Yeh Hai" by Ch Shujaat Hussain, a veteran politician, is a timely and interesting addition. It has 20 chapters spreading over 326 pages. The first chapter deals with the family background , growth and development from a rural village located on the bank of River Chinab to industrial tycoons. However the successive chapters spell out the role of family during Ayub era, ZAB's vengeance, PNA movement against massive rigging in 1977 elections, Gen Zia's martial law, BB and NS governments.Gen Pervez Musharrif's take over, the rise of PML(Q), the event of mar 2007, when Iftikhar Mohammad Ch was deposed and gave way to lawyers movement. The book has also been supplemented with some good black and white and coloured photographs. Ch Shujaat Hussain , has presented the reminiscence but not the issues in detail. It also lacks critical analysis on the policies, challenges encountered and weak decision making process of Nawaz Sharif governments he remained privy to. The innermost thoughts related to the issues like how PNA leadership was outsmarted by Gen Zia ul Haq, the differences leading to disintegration of PNA, the remarkable role of Air Marshal Asghar Khan on various issues,division of Muslim League, the formation of government of Mohammad Khan Junejo and factors leading to its subsequent dissolution in May 1988,pros and cons of the decision of Pakistan in joining hands with United States in post 9/11 pursuits have not been addressed appropriately.The book(Such Tou Yeh Hai) high lights some events, intrigues,lay plans and collusion with foreigners but with lack of some credible evidences.It covers the gruesome incident of 25 september 1981, when Ch Zahoor Elahi was assassinated in Lahore.In fact Justice Maulvi Mushtaq was ambushed in Model Town Lahore and Ch Zahoor Elahi sitting next to him died on spot.It may consider prudent to apprise that Ch Zahoor Elahi requested Justice Mushtaq for the pen he used whilst writing death sentence of Mr Z.A.Bhutto). It encompasses political journey of Ch Shujaat spanning over four dacades,gives startling revelation about 2008 elections that Unites States was obsessed with the idea of seeing Benazir Bhutto in power.He also disclosed that Gen Pervez Musharraf used to say that Zafar Ullah Jamali (then Prime minister) was extremely lazy as he used to wake up at mid day so i advised him to step down. Ch Shujaat alleged Nawaz Sharif for betraying him eight times during his political carrer on different occasions. However, it remains a mystery that why he alongwith his seasoned and hardened cousin Pervez Elahi, were betrayed or deceived so frequently and could not accurately perceive formal and informal influence shaping decision making process. Overall a good read, if some one intends a flash back to overview the important developments.To conclude one can say, it is different angle to look at the same prism.

Posted on May 11, 18 | 5:17 am