By: Shahzada Ahsan Ashraf
For nine months I have watched in anguish how the gathering of wolves howled and barked in the wilderness, prodding him, teasing him, insulting him. He smiled his contagious grin and let them blow Hot. He was egged on by his zealous supporters to take the battle to their Zone.
He cautioned patience. Of course he wasn’t a Super human nor a Messiah but he told his boys to show restraint .Get the country back on trail. There will be another Season of Attack. He worked the midnight lamp often till past midnight. Took no holidays. Spent no time with his doting kids.
He was a man with a frenzy. A man with a mission and he had spent 22 years of his life! He had waited for the message to ring across a land that was hostage to the Mafias. The two party system in the country had taken hold. The 50 odd feudal families that held the key to the Assembly had mocked him as a tea party. A Tonga party. Like Michelangelo he was possessed with The Last Dinner .
They used threats, intimidation vulgar undertones. They sullied his family. He kept a low profile it wasn’t in his DNA to stoop as low as they had fallen.
He went around half the world trying desperately to explain the Changes he would bring about. But he told them that Time was running out. He borrowed money not for his own treasure trove but for the empty coffers of his country. World leaders heard him in awe. His body chemistry was so different from previous rulers of the impoverished country. They could feel a palpitation in their heart– this was no Con Man. He was a possessed Man. A Mission: A Dream.
They opened their vaults and hearts. “Consider me your Ambassador, Imran Khan,’ quipped Prince Salman.
The UAE Crown Prince drove him everywhere on his visit. They fulfilled his wish too. China helped. Mahathir told him, “don’t worry about the corruption lower down. Go for the top crooks.
He came back with enough to steer through the initial crisis. A Sovereign Default.
They mocked him. He is begging for his life they said. He stayed like a sentinel guarding his fort. The barking was becoming unbearable. The Warrior in the cricket field had handled booing, cat calls but maintained his seductive grin. Here it was different. The more he reached out to his Opponents, the more furious did the call of the hyenas get.
They were sure that they would succeed in getting their way as they always had. Was he more powerful than a Military Dictator they said. Yesterday the reply came. His voice choking with patriotism he held back his tears. His moment had arrived.
Mark my words: this speech was for the Soul of Pakistan– I said this before Elections and today I am repeating it — The Battle lines have been drawn. Chose your position.
In my political life that started in 1989 I have never felt so Optimistic about my strife torn , plundered wasteland as I do now. He has challenged the same people who Quaid e Azam had called ‘ khotay sikkay” counterfeit coins. I will stand by my (Army) in this hour of reckoning. It’s either a life of Dignity and Pride or a return of the Old Order..!!
The writer is former federal minister and chairman PIA