In the days of my youth we were taught good manners and religious values. The behaviour of the young generation today is different and one wonders whether it is still part and parcel of school syllabi. Even at my age, whenever an indecent word or wrong action comes to mind, the old training immediately puts on the breaks.
In the past even caliphs were considered answerable to the Almighty. The Caliph Umar (RA) was reported to have said that even if a dog died of thirst on the banks of the Euphrates, he would be held accountable by the Almighty. Now look what is happening today. Nothing and no one is safe. There is no law and order and kidnappings for ransom, targeted killings, unlawful occupation of land, dacoities, etc., are the order of the day. The police and other law enforcing agencies have totally failed to control crime.
The chief justice has often spoken of the worsening law-and-order situation, murders and missing persons in Balochistan. He has issued orders many times and visited the province regularly, but still there is no improvement in the situation. It has been reported that the chief minister is making merry in Islamabad while all this goes on in his province. Government officials, when called upon to do so, fail to appear in court. If ever given the opportunity, I would ensure that contempt of court be treated with an iron hand. If an officer fails to comply with court orders, he/she should not only be dismissed immediately but should also be liable for at least 3 years rigorous imprisonment. The same lack of law and order prevails in Karachi and Peshawar. Some leaders are even reported to be drug addicts. Last week I visited Karachi and heard an interesting story from a well-reputed, influential person.
He told me that a very senior official of the government had gone to the interior of Sindh by plane and had to drive back by car with accompanying security. His friends ensured that a thermos of milk laced with “bhang” (hemp) was available, which the gentleman in question sipped from repeatedly. This soon took its effect. All of a sudden grabbed he his colleague’s arm and said: “Brother, we must get out of here quickly, the police is chasing us.” He could no longer distinguish between his own security and “being chased.”
Despite all the tall claims made, there is no visible change in the law and order situation. Criminals have become so bold that they are now attacking the army, the FC and the police with impudence and are shaking the very foundations of the country. Unfortunately, Imran Khan seems to have aimed his guns only at Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif. One doesn’t hear a word from him about Zardari, Qaim Ali Shah or Hoti. Any damage done to Nawaz Sharif and his party will only ensure five more years of Zardari rule. Dr Farooq Sattar should refrain from interfering in southern Punjab affairs. He has nothing to do with them. He is simply trying to be more loyal than the king. He should worry about Karachi instead. The city is literally burning, many innocent people are being murdered, banks and private citizens are being robbed, people are being abducted for ransom.
Last week I went to Karachi to attend some engagements. I stayed with my younger sister at Mohammad Ali Housing Society, as I have been doing for decades. We have been very close since childhood and whenever my family and I used to visit from Holland, we always stayed with her. My wife gets on well with her, and our two daughters and her two were great friends. My sister cooks excellent food and many of my friends join me in enjoying this when I am visiting and there are always a wide variety of dishes on her table. In Bhopal we prepared dishes from Hyderabad and Mughal style. Before the Mughals came, Bhopal was under the control of the Nizam of Deccan, hence the Hyderabadi influence.
While in Karachi I had a very busy but pleasant schedule. My good friend, industrialist and columnist Mirza Ishtiaq Baig hosted a dinner for me to which many eminent industrialists and notables had been invited. After his welcome speech, Mr Baig requested me to throw some light on the philosophy of our Movement. I explained why I thought it was necessary (total failure of government writ, loadshedding, unemployment, suicide bombings, extortions, maladministration, violation of our sovereignty, corruption, etc.) and that if everyone just sat around as mere spectators allowing the same rulers to come back again and again, this country would go totally to the dogs. The president of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries, Mr Tariq Saeed, Mr S M Munir, Sardar Yasin Malik, Mian Zahid and other eminent industrialists, all appreciated my efforts and promised their all-out support. So too did some writers, scholars, etc. Mufti Naeem, head of Binnoria School, also promised his support and invited me to come again soon, at which time he would invite ulema to meet me and pledge their support in this noble endeavour.
The next day I attended a dinner hosted by Mrs Sadia Rashid, the new chancellor of Hamdard University, for the outgoing chancellor and dear friend, Mr S M Zafar. A large number of intellectuals were present. I had been asked to give a speech and everyone lauded my efforts and promised full support.
On the third day I went to call on the new Pir Sahib of Pagaro, who turned out to be a fine, intelligent, witty person. He came out to receive me and told everyone that I was his late father’s good friend. I had not been able to condole with him at the time of his father’s death. After fateha for the departed soul I congratulated him on assuming the gaddi and wished him good luck. He also promised full support for my Movement. He graciously feasted us and invited me to visit Pir Jo Goth, which invitation I accepted, promising him that I would visit in October.
That same night my dear Bhopali friend Senator Haseeb Khan hosted a dinner. All our old friends were there and they also extended their full support to my efforts for the country. Since neither life nor property is safe at the moment, I would again like to request all patriotic Pakistanis, at home and abroad, to come forward to help save the country. Everyone should be made aware of the importance and sanctity of their vote and should select and elect honest people with integrity to represent them in the next parliament. Together we can bring about the necessary change.