The shadows are lifting | Pakistan Today

The shadows are lifting

  • Detractors may conspire as they may, Khan is here to stay

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear”.

–Nelson Mandela

It is a season of weaving conspiracies. There is one every week, nay every day, predicting the fall of the government. Time span is outlined, dates are projected, a rationale concocted, reasons counted and the finale enacted on way to the promised hour. And when one set of rumours is quashed, out comes another with even greater alacrity, and almost the same set of predictions– that the Prime Minister and his government are on the verge.

We have been hearing this for as long as Imran Khan has been in power. There has not been a time when a new doomsday scenario was not enacted, either by the set of politicians who have been left out of the loop, or their minions engaged in the trade of selling their written and spoken word for a price. Every day this government survives brings them incalculable pain and suffering. Their desperation is literally immeasurable.

The reason is not difficult to fathom. This government is not like any other government that ruled this country in the past. And Khan is not like any other leader. He has come with a mission– that the networks of corruption and crime have to be busted and their perpetrators brought to justice. When the work started in earnest, it dawned that the links in the chain of corruption and crime were really widespread, in and outside the country. Be it the ignominy of receiving illicit commissions on government contracts, laundering funds by opening fake accounts, running crime cells, abductions, murder of opponents and those carrying their damning secrets, letting loose a reign of terror– all these heinous acts were orchestrated by the politicians, their crony beneficiary elite and a network of aiders and abettors.

Notwithstanding the conspiracy theories that these political charlatans and their wicked cronies, paid bootleggers and the bunch of despicable merchants of the written and the spoken word may keep weaving, Khan is not going anywhere. He is not only here to complete his tenure, he is here to accomplish a mission– a mission that is pivotal to the survival, security and progress of Pakistan

So, the task turned out to be even more daunting than anticipated. The choice was simple to either face challenges in carrying out the job of cleaning the decks with courage and fortitude, or compromise with the mafias for an easy sailing through five years of constitutional tenure. All projections favoured the latter. Obviously, those contriving them were not aware of the mettle that Khan is made of: a person consumed with a passion to remove all impediments in the way of Pakistan getting on course to genuine progress.

Making a choice was not a difficult task. What was harrowing was that the criminal syndicates had penetrated all institutions of the state. So, it was not just dealing with a few criminals alone. Their cronies, toadies, bootleggers and agents were present in all branches of the government as guardians of their sordid indulgences. They were there in the bureaucracy and The financial institutions. They were present in the accountability bureau, in the judiciary and in the business communities. They had put together cartels and were running terror outfits and death squads, operating with the patronage and financial support of the gangs patronised by political leaders and their accomplices.

So mammoth was the challenge that anyone else in Khan’s place would have given up. But he is unique. He is fearless with indomitable courage. No one from among the politicians comes even close to matching his credentials. They all hail from the tribe of predators who exploited a decrepit system to their personal advantage, and that of the crony beneficiary elite they patronised. This led to the making of an unjust and inequitable society breeding poverty, discontent and disaffection. Nobody paid any attention to this because it was all part of the larger game plan to foster a few to rule the rest. Khan had entered politics to break this stranglehold and give space to the impoverished people to be able to breathe.

The motivations of this clan can be gauged from the fact that they had started accusing the government even before it had assumed office, saying that it had been planted by ‘Khalai Makhlooq’ (read Army). But they were so devoid of character that, when asked, they would not garner the courage to name the institution. This accusation becomes even more grotesque when one looks at the background of these political fabrications, be it the PPP, PML(N) or others. They forget that they were literally born in the laps of dictators whom they referred to as ‘daddy’ and mentors, rating them even ahead of the Quaid-e-Azam.

The battle lines have long been drawn and there is no backing off for the Prime Minister. As a matter of fact, having been frustrated by the inefficiency and culpability of most of the state institutions and their functionaries, it is expected that he will resort to more stringent methods and mechanisms to weed out the crime cells from the country.

His recent speeches from the floor of the Parliament reflected an unflinching resolve and determination in combating the scourge. Now that the budget has sailed through the Parliament, he would be playing more on the front foot which is going to make things extremely uncomfortable for the gangs of thugs who come wearing the apparel of political leaders. A cursory glance will tell the story. The Sharifs have run away. Virtually all members of the family have been declared absconders, but they neither have the character, nor the shame to submit before the law. The ones who are here have retreated to their illicit mansions amidst deafening silence for fear of accountability. Asif Zardari, on bail, has virtually vanished from the scene. This comes as a consequence of lavish indulgence in corruption and crime. In spite of complicity of the judicial arm of the state with criminals, there is still no escaping the dragnet of justice in the end. They must all be punished for their misdemeanours.

While there are some whose presence may be undesirable, Khan has a group of loyalists who are irrevocably committed to his agenda of freeing the country from the tentacles of corruption and crime. They are willing to go the distance in realising the dream which was their leader’s prime objective for entering politics. There is going to be neither any dilution of this objective, nor forfeiture.

Khan is one man standing in the way of these gangs of criminals trying to take over the country again and plunge it back into the deep pit of crime. Dithering or showing weakness in the face of vicious onslaughts is not an option. As a matter of fact, I expect this determination to be further strengthened in direct proportion to the level and intensity of hostility thrown his way.

Notwithstanding the conspiracy theories that these political charlatans and their wicked cronies, paid bootleggers and the bunch of despicable merchants of the written and the spoken word may keep weaving, Khan is not going anywhere. He is not only here to complete his tenure, he is here to accomplish a mission– a mission that is pivotal to the survival, security and progress of Pakistan.

The spectre of gloom and doom shall give way to the advent of hope. The shadows have started lifting. Having passed through a cauldron of fire, it will be a chastening sight to behold the dawn of a glorious morning – for Pakistan, and those who keep their faith.

The writer is a political analyst and the Executive Director of the Regional Peace Institute. He can be reached at: [email protected]; Twitter: @RaoofHasan.