Saturday June 10, 2023

Leading by example, a soldier is fighting a war of wars for ‘Pak Pakistan’

LAHORE: The year 2015 will go down in history with a new calendar, marking the beginning of an era that will catapult Pakistan to the forefront as one of the modern states. Rising from the abyss of an almost a pariah state - a den of terrorists of all denominations,

By MAK Lodhi
August 31, 2015
LAHORE: The year 2015 will go down in history with a new calendar, marking the beginning of an era that will catapult Pakistan to the forefront as one of the modern states.
Rising from the abyss of an almost a pariah state - a den of terrorists of all denominations, a haven of corruption, political and religious mafias and a land of the lawless - it is going to be a country where the ordinary citizens will be on the center stage after a long, painful and checkered history. The lesser mortals will now enjoy equal rights vis-à-vis the privileged, the anointed and chosen.
It is going to be a country where the rule of law will, at long last, prevail; where law will be the same for all; where the spirit of the first state of Madina will be invoked and infused. Pakistan will now be a name that will stand for the exploited, the humiliated, the ill-treated, the deprived, the have-nots and the whole big lot of people, suffering and living in sub-human conditions only for the political legacies to thrive, only for the ideologues, who wore religion on the sleeve and made it their profession, who divided the nation into schisms and sects, into castes and ‘baradaris’ to become taller.
Pakistan will now be a country where all will have equal opportunities to progress; where nobody will become rich overnight by foul means, by misusing the political office; where the rich will not get richer and the poor poorer; where suckers and parasites of society will be taken to task; where looters and plunderers will be brought to book; where everyone will be answerable.
From now onward, it will be another Pakistan where taxpayers’ money will be considered sacred; it will not be swindled, nor misused for glorification; it will be spent on education and health as top priorities.
Henceforth, deals and deeds of the government, how powerful it may be, will be open to debate in public; where politics will not be the name of the game to build a fortune; where politics

will not be for profit, and perks will not be for self-aggrandizement; where an office will be a trust.
Pakistan will henceforth be a country where the honest officer will be respected (till now the most corrupt is respected); where the judge will write judgment holding the pendulum of justice high and above, without tipping the scales; where the journalist will be esteemed by adhering to the forte of truth; where the holder of public office will be answerable to national institutions; where the soldier will lay his life a thousand times but only to safeguard the motherland from internal and external threats both.
From now onwards, only those will now flourish who have been laying real sacrifices, who will work hard, who will not pilfer tax and pinch at public funds.
People of Pakistan have been living with the hope that one day a savior will come and help them get rid of all the scoundrels committing crimes in the guise as leaders of the nation; in turban and beard as leaders of Islam. Their messiah has come. Now nobody can keep a whole community enslaved by blackmailing and exploiting them for their language, for their ethnicity, caste and creed or their birthplace.
Yes, the new Pakistan is going to become a reality; a dream come true; a land where noble values of life will be cherished; where the human spirit will enkindle and bloom; where personal character will matter; where Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution will be the sole criterion.
This year, a beginning has been made. Anybody can see the mighty ones crumbling like walls of sand. Those who slaughtered humans, shamed predators and became sirens of terror are on the run; the savages who destroyed the edifice of society will have no place to hide; the mafias who swelled their political clout and sucked blood of the nation like vampires are being smashed; those who excelled in butchery in the name of sects and a different shade of religion will meet their doomsday.
Those who fought bravely at the borders to defend the motherland - the Shabbir Sharifs and Aziz Bhattis - were decorated with the highest medal, Nishan-e-Haider. The martyrs who nourished this land with their blood were NOT generals and chiefs. They were soldiers and ordinary officers who led them.
Now a soldier with such rare blood running in his veins is fighting another war - a much bigger war. It is a war with an enemy who is within the borders and whose tentacles are widespread. This enemy has seeped into the whole body politic. This enemy is far more powerful. It has left the whole nation seething in pain.
A soil throws up many sons but he is a true son of the soil. He hasn’t removed the government elected by whatever democratic means it had and found the space within the system, a unique blending in the power web to influence and push to the correct path. To borrow the term of a medical procedure, his team is performing a surgery on the beating heart without giving anesthesia to the body. He has neither brought army rule nor imposed any martial law. It’s a rare “amalgam of strength, reputation and commitment to ethical principles.”
But he is only setting the precedent. His act will be an example, and a lofty one and his followers in the office will be his flag bearers. He is determined to kill the monsters in Pakistan and cut off their umbilical cords. He will change nothing but let a change come within the system. He will open the mythical inner eye and provide a chance for everyone to mend ways.
Can people, who are at the helm of affairs, see the change coming within? Can they read the invisible message in between the lines? The lower judiciary has made decisions without any influence of the ruling government. People are coming out with truth. Some insiders of an ethno-political party have divulged big truth. More people are likely to cough out more. Bureaucrats are mending their ways. Anyone who doesn’t will repent. The political class must know how to avoid any further missteps.
They must open their eyes. They must deliver and deliver it quick, be it hydropower, resuscitation of industry or push in the education sector instead of wasting public money on picturesque landscaping. The ruling class must appoint honest and competent professionals as heads of institutions instead of appointing advisers of dubious fame. The number of officers and professionals of sterling repute has already become thin. They will be the harbingers of a new Pakistan.
And the intrepid solider who is leading the campaign for a “Pak Pakistan” will go home when his term ends, empty-handed.
But he should go with something on his chest for having fought the war of wars against a multi-pronged demon. Will the family deserve another Nishan-e-Haider? This time it might go to a living legend.