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Random thoughts

October 28, 2019

A modern-day Ibn Batuta

Opinion

October 28, 2019

We have heard of, and abundantly seen pictures and video recordings, the PM’s visits to Iran, Saudi Arabia, China and Karachi. His visit to Karachi was very similar to BB’s visit to ilaqa ghair, Punjab – no protocol, no official reception, etc.

Someone with ulterior motives wrote a statement in my name against Maulana Fazlur Rehman. How could I do something like that? He is my friend and one does not stab a friend in the back! During the rule of the previous government, the PTI held Islamabad hostage for six months – their workers attacked PTV, Parliament House, tried to enter PM House, etc. Businesses in Blue Area were deprived of their livelihood for full six months. The area had become so polluted with garbage that one avoided it, if at all possible.

The then government (ie Nawaz Sharif and his cronies) totally failed to enforce law and order and paid a heavy price for it, the consequences of which they are now facing. It was total lack of insight and action which led to that situation and, consequently, to the one we are now in. Nawaz Sharif acted very arrogantly and lacking in foresight. He listened only to what his sycophants were telling him and not reading the signs that reality was telling him. Now the FATF sword hangs over our heads; we missed being delegated to the black list by only one vote!

Enough about that never-ending saga of politics. I would like to introduce you to Azmat Ansari. His personality is what we call “hamagir” (all-encompassing). He has recently written his autobiography titled 'Yadoon ke Dareechey'. The front page has the following text: “Full with interesting and thrilling moments, this is the story of a straightforward, bold person who was never afraid of death. A very sensational story which you will never forget.” That says it all. The foreword was written by Mrs Farhat Azmat Ansari, his better half. Who could possibly be in a better position to do so than she? She has repaid him for the loving treatment that he always meted out to her.

There is an old saying: “Ghar ki murghi dal baraber.” Here is a very relevant story. There was once a man who was blessed by the Almighty with spiritual powers. He was always extremely helpful to people in distress, praying for them and giving them 'taveez' etc. His wife was always sarcastic about it and called him a hoax. One day when he arrived back home she told him that, whereas he was always claiming to be a “waliullah”, she had seen that day a man flying over her house. “That was me” he said. “I had to rush to help someone.” She pulled a face and said: “No wonder he was flying so erratically.” Mrs Farhat too, was in a position to do so and has covered all her husband’s qualities in the foreword.

When you go through his life sketch, you immediately realize that he is a man of many facets and many interests. He is a top-class photographer, a highly successful broadcaster (his program 'Beautiful Pakistan' was broadcast 52 times from Radio Pakistan and has been repeated many times since); he discovered a tourist attraction near Dadu (Gorakh Hill); his archaeological accomplishments led to the discovery of 4000-year-old artefacts. Azmat Ansari belongs to Ali Pur in Haryana and the proximity of Delhi and Lahore has turned him into an excellent Urdu scholar. He is a native Urdu speaker but his knowledge of English is such that he has translated many English books into Urdu.

In her foreword, Ms Ansari pointed out that, in his younger days, he was very charming for the ladies. In those days he joined the Pakistan Air Force as PRO, living a brave, adventurous life to the full. He was taken POW during the fall of Dhaka suffering, like so many others, at the hands of his captors. During his service as a Pakistani Air Force officer, he exposed Indian interference in Pakistani affairs – a blatant aggression. To his many abilities he also adds that of a teacher and educationist. He taught Business Administration, Commerce and Finance to 6000 BBA and MBA students at various universities in Karachi. He has also travelled widely and visited a large number of countries, which has made him not only knowledgeable, but also broadened his mind. He is almost like a modern-day Ibn Batuta.

Last but not least is the pleasant thing about Azmat Ansari – that he is always smiling. One look at him and your day seems more cheerful. That reminds me of a former class fellow at D J Science College in the mid-fifties and, much later, DG at KRL. He also always had a smile on his face. His eyes would smile and his face light up before he even spoke a single word. Such nice people to be around – no backbiting etc.

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