RANDOM THOUGHTS: Past and Future - BY: Dr. A.Q. Khan


Past and Future
Dr. A.Q. Khan


One more year, like thousands before it, has gone by. People are hoping against hope that the next year might be a better one. We have all heard (or seen) the negative things that have been happening to this country since its inception. Whenever there seemed to be a ray of hope, something negative happened soon after.

The advent of every New Year reminds me of a good friend, the late Khalid Hassan, former Information Secretary to Mr. Bhutto. He moved to London after the military coup. I met him years later at function organized by famous poetess, Ms. Kistwar Naheed. One New Year he sent me a verse by Ghalib: “Dekhiye pa’te hen ishshaq buton se kia faiz; Ek Brahman ne kaha he key eh sa’l acha he.” I responded with: “Logau dua karo keh guzar jaey khair sey; Aasar keh rahe hen bura yey bhi saal he.” Even today I feel we need many, prayers to salvage this sinking ship we call Pakistan – a rather doubtful cause.

Once a Pathan told me the following: A Hindu asked him if he would pardon even him if he said something nasty about him. The Pathat quipped: “Lalaji, I will send you to Allah who alone has the power to pardon.”

Our famous poet, Murtaza Berlas, was Commissioner of Bahawalpur in 1991 when I went there as Chief Guest at an International Conference on Pathology at Quiad-e-Azam Medical College. Mr. Berlas expressed his views on the passing year as follows: “Saal yeh beet gaya, ranj ka a’lam ka saal; ||Amne a’lam ki jot hi khwahish ka n’am ka saal. Jis me kheli gae bas khoon ki holi har soo; Aaj guzrahe karb ka kuhram ka saal.” Faiz Ahmed Faiz had this to say: “Ae naey saal bata tujh men naya pan kia he? Har taraf khalq ne keun shaur macha rakha he? Roshni din ki, wahi tarun bhari raat wahi; Aaj ham ko nazar aati he har ek baat wahi. Aasma’n badla he, afsaus na badli he zamin. Ek hindse ka badalna koe jiddat to nahin; Agley barson ki tarah honge qarine terey. Kise maloom nahin barah mahiney terey; Tau naya he to dikha subha nae, sham nae. Werna in ain khuin ney dekhey hen naey saal keyee.”

If we look at the events of the past year, we see nothing but violence, atrocities, political dirty language, etc. The wounds of the murders of the APS Peshawar children, the 1971 surrender at Dacca, the Faizabad sit-in and the killing of so many civilians and law enforcing personnel, etc. have still not healed. To me the 16th December, 1971 surrender is still as fresh in my mind as when I saw it on TV. It was that scene which prompted me to return to Pakistan to do my bit for the country’s security and rehabilitation. In trying to save them from further disgrace, my colleagues and I became victims of humiliation and vilification. The situation today is bad and the future does not look bright. We have corrupt, incompetent rulers without exception. When one compares our leaders to those of China, one cannot but feel ashamed to be a Pakistani.

The Model Town and Faizabad events have literally shaken the very roots of the country. We all saw the painful and tragic scenes on TV while our rulers resorted to “wise” explanations and remarks. It is always due to the incompetence of the administration that the army, rangers and/or FC personnel have to be called in to save the situation. Nawaz Sharif’s beneficiaries are all vying with each other in rhetoric and Miriam has become the forerunner. The other day she tried to convince (fool) us into believing that the Work Permit (Iqama) was to save them from visa requirements. Do we believe that? Or was it for purchasing property, operating bank accounts and, if the occasion arose, money laundering? Had it only been a question of visas, Gen. Shaikh Muhamad would have exempted them.

Our well-known and respected journalist, Mr. Sohail Waraich, wrote a nice piece in the daily Jang on 28th December last in which he pointed out all Nawaz Sharif’s follies. He criticized – rightly so – the handling of the Musharraf case. It could have been finalized in a matter of a few weeks, but let us not forget that the responsible Law Minister was none other than Musharraf’s blue-eyed former Law Minister. Could we then expect anything different in this country of inefficiency and sycophants? Barrister Akram Shaikh had said that the case should not last more than 15 days or so. Instead of bringing him to justice, a compromise was reached with Gen. Raheel Sharif, his own hand-picked COAS. If Nawaz Sharif wanted to do so, he could have allowed Musharraf to leave the country after his conviction, but he did not permit the law to take its natural course. Musharraf could have easily been lawfully convicted while confined to his home.

Nawaz Sharif’s followers forget that quite a few of his critics do feel sorry for his plight – only someone inhuman would rejoice at it. To point out mistakes or to criticize irrational behaviour is not enmity. However, those who speak the truth are always considered enemies while sychophants are considered to be dear friends. Mian Sb. should learn from Mr. Zardari. Despite accusation and proof of ill gotten wealth, he still has a clean sheet thanks to his subtle (read cunning) behaviour, respect for the judiciary, controlling his tone, etc. He passed the last 5 years calmly without any scandals, even though he played stooge to the USA.

One wonders if Mr. Nawaz Sharif and his overly vocal daughter are aware of recent events in Australia where the Deputy Prime Minister was sent home by the court for still keeping his childhood New Zealand nationality. There was no fuss, no refusal to accept the situation, no questions on why am I being ousted, etc. Everyone behaved in a civilized manner.

We are in trouble but are behaving like ostriches – keeping our heads in the sand and believing that by doing so all our troubles will go away.

Posted on Jan 09, 18 | 4:23 am