ABBOTTABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) seems to be coming out of slumber in Hazara division after the fateful decision of July 28 of Supreme Court of Pakistan in which its leader and prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, was disqualified.
Not a single protest procession worth mentioning against this decision was witnessed in the region which is considered a stronghold of the PML-N.Murtaza Javed Abbasi, deputy speaker of the National Assembly, was appointed provincial secretary general of the party (against the wishes of Sardar Mahtab Ahmad Khan). He failed to muster support of the PML-N workers or to energise them to rally behind Nawaz Sharif by coming out on the streets in large number.
Young PML-N Member National Assembly from Haripur’s NA-19, Babar Nawaz Khan, took the initiative to mobilise the party workers and voters by holding a “PML-N Youth Wing Convention” in his native Khalabat Town in Haripur district on the Independence Day. He invited Capt (Retd) Muhammad Safdar, the son-in-law of disqualified premier, to address the convention as a chief guest.
Raja Faisal Zaman, PML-N MPA from PK-49 and Qazi Muhammad Asad, a former minister and a new entrant to PML-N fold, attended the convention. Muhammad Safdar heads the PML-N Youth Wing at the central level. Conspicuous by their absence were Amir Muqam, and Murtaza Javed Abbasi, president and general secretary of the PML-N, KP, respectively.
Despising Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and dubbing them as agents of the Jewish lobby, Safdar, in his speech, eulogised Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his sacrifice for the democracy and declared publicly, “Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is the real martyr and I see him at the high pedestals in Jannah.”
Capt Safdar sounded more like a sufi historian to the media corps and his large audience than a politician to whom a very big crowd came and wanted to hear something against his father-in-law’s arch rival Imran Khan.
Except on a couple of occasions when he blasted Imran Khan’s rallies by dubbing them as “immoral activities” Safdar disappointed this huge crowd by narrating the sacrifices of his own forefathers in which everyone seemed least interested.
He tried his best to make a good case against the unseen forces which did not treat well prime ministers from Liquat Ali Khan to Nawaz Sharif. But at the same time he forgot to mention the one who helped depose Benazir Bhutto or Yousaf Raza Gilani in the recent past.
Khalabat Township show of people power was indeed an encouraging factor but it also sent vibes that it was basically show of power of a clan of Khalabat — Babar Nawaz, his uncle MPA Gohar Nawaz and his cousin Samiullah Khan who is tehsil naib nazim.
Capt Safdar’s advisors could be well advised to suggest to him that if and when he faces such a good crowd to address, he must feel the pulse of the crowd and engage it with his good oratory instincts not by taking them to pre-partition sacrifices of his own elders but to stick with contemporary political narrative that is to hit your political opponents where it hurts the most.