Imran Fazalled!

CITY NOTES

Back in 1982, during the Pakistan tour of England, which was the first time Imran Khan captained his country, might remember that England won the First Test, even though Imran had taken seven wickets in one innings, and nine in the match. He had scored 50s in both innings, but that loss should have told him that he couldn’t win alone.

Any of the dwindling band who remember that series, almost 40 years ago, will remember that Pakistan lost 2-1, though that sole win was celebrated as historic, being the first by Pakistan in England since that dream win in 1954, at the Oval.

That win had been because Fazal Mehmood took 12 wickets, because of which he was always known as the Oval Hero. A newspaper headlined the report as simply ‘England Fazalled!’. An eerie coincidence that Imran was unseated by an opposition alliance led by Maulana Fazal Rehman?

That win, in the Lord’s Test, was made possible by a double hundred by Mosin Khan, which let Pakistan make 428 for 8, which let Imran enforce the follow-on. At that time it was normal, though now it seems to have fallen out of fashion.

You don’t want to be chasing even a small target on a wearing last-day pitch. Which is what Pakistan ended up doing, having to chase 75 with time running out. Well, it was done by the openers, who made the task appear easier than it was. Mindad had opened in place of Mudassar Nazar, who had covered himself with glory, not with the bat (he had scored 20 in the first innings), but the ball (he had taken 6-32 in the England second innings).

Well, Imran couldn’t find either a Mohsin or a Mudassar this time. National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser couldn’t save Imran by his resignation. I was reminded of what Mufti Mahmood once said about Pakistan: “At least we weren’t involved in the sin of creating Pakistan.”

The Mufti was a true Deobandi, being a graduate of the Darul Uloom there. He had been part, along with other Deobandi ulema,of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, which backed the Congress and opposed the partition of India.

It is not all that well known, but the Mufti began his career in Isakhel, Mianwali district. One of the leading political figures there was Maulana Abdus Sattar Niazi, who was an MLA from there at Partition. It was later to be the constituency which sent Imran Khan to the National Assembly. It was for the Mufti’s son, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, to lead the PDM, and thus spearhead the movement that ejected Imran.

But Asad Qaisar could say, as the Mufti did about Pakistan, that he was part of the sin of ousting Imran. To use a hoarier proverb, he had his cake and ate it too.  He not only played no part in the no-confidence motion, he delayed as long as possible. And he resigned just in time to avoid the Supreme Court finding him guilty of contempt. That means your political career is on hold for five years. Well, it seems he still has hopes.

Does anyone in Punjab still have hopes? Ch Pervez Elahi hoped to succeed Usman Buzdar, but couldn’t manage to persuade enough MPAs to vote for him. Ch Pervez is an iron man, because he is taking the fight against the Sharifs into the second generation. He tried to unseat Mian Nawaz Sharif as Punjab CM back in 1986, but failed. Now he’s to face Hamza Shahbaz in the race for CM. Hamza had been his son Moonis’s classmate at the American School back in 1986.

One person who’s probably not interested is Farah Khan, who came to prominence only recently, and is being accused of having taken money for every posting and transfer in Punjab, leaving Usman Buzdar powerless. So the famous foreign conspiracy was not meant just to get rid of Buzdar but to get rid of Farah Khan. Now what was her hold over Buzdar? Well, she was a friend of Mrs Imran. You can’t say a word against her, because Imran wouldn’t stand for it.

Now the money Farah is said to have made may have gone to Mrs Imran. Is it too much to believe that she didn’t proffer some to Imran? But then, how dare anyone believe that Imran was corrupt? He refused to have anything to do with corrupt people, didn’t he?

And not just the corrupt, but traitors. We knew that the opposition was corrupt, but will the presence of an Indian diplomat be needed at a PDM meeting be needed to prove that there is a conspiracy against Imran?

Let’s see who is involved in the conspiracy: the Supreme Court, the Army, especially the intelligence agencies which failed to find any evidence, half the Parliament and the Sindh Agriculture Department. What did the Sindh Agriculture Department do? Well, why not?

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