As a Muslim league child, I am appealing to the Prime Minister (PM) to ban all factions of the Pakistan Muslim League for repeatedly derailing democracy in the republic. The All-India Muslim League (AIML) was the founding party of Pakistan. On August 14, 1947, after the partition of the Indian Subcontinent, AIML ceased to exist as a unified party under the leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the father of the new nation.
After taking oath as Governor General, Jinnah wanted to steer the Pakistan faction of AIML under a new constitutional arrangement. When his efforts were thwarted, he walked away and dissociated himself from his old party. Chaudhry Khaliq-uz-Zaman was elected President to replace Jinnah. Under the new leadership, Pakistan Muslim League (PML) emerged.
Emergence of ‘Sarkari Leagues’
After the first Martial Law in October 1958, Ayub Khan created the first ‘Sarkari League’ or King’s Party called Pakistan Muslim League (Convention) with its headquarters on 33 Davis Road, Lahore. Those who did not join him were organised under Pakistan Muslim League (Council). Ayub’s Muslim League has been the incubator of all democracy-hounding leagues that followed, including PML-N. Currently, the Muslim League house is in control of the Chaudhray’s of Gujrat who call themselves PML-Q. All of them claim to be the founding party of Pakistan. It is time to clear this confusion based on their false claims.
Ghulam Haider Wyne, the first Chief Minister (CM) of Punjab from PML-N used to reside in the Muslim League House on 33 Davis Road. As an old worker of the Muslim League, he used to visit my father’s office on his bicycle. The Chaudhrys of Gujrat, Khawajas of Sialkot, Dastagirs of Gujranwala, Wattoos of Okara, Sharifs of Lahore, Qureshis of Multan etc were all launched from this headquarter of the Muslim League which then came under the use of Zia and Musharraf.
Wyne Sahib was an honest political worker; as CM he obeyed his benefactors the Sharifs whose offices were located not too far from the Muslim League House. After the party lost power, he was gunned down in revenge in September 1993 during an election campaign in his hometown Mian Channu. His wife Begum Majeeda Wyne tried to carry on his legacy but very soon Wyne Sahib was forgotten. There was limited room in PML-N for a ‘Darwesh Politician’ like him who was an exception in a political outfit that thrives on making money.
Restoring ‘Vote Ki Izzat’, but how?
Now that the mandate stealers have realised its importance and have come around to demand respect for the vote (Vote Ki Izzat), they should be taken seriously. But bulls cannot be let into the China shop for the fourth time. Political cleansing or culling has to take place.
Cosmetic changes cannot produce long term results. Structural reforms are needed which require dismantling the Muslim Leagues together with the Muslim League House on Davis Road. As a brand, Pakistan Muslim League has been exploited over and over again by vested personal interests. The entire campaign against Madr-e-Millat Fatima Jinnah in the 1965 Presidential elections was launched from this very place. She was defamed and called a traitor by the so-called members of the founding party of Pakistan. The Dastagirs of Gujranwala crossed all limits of decency against her.
In the seventies the elected government of Bhutto, shut down the Freemasons Movement in the country and took control of their lodge on Mall Road. As children, we were intrigued by the secrecy of the building and made several unsuccessful attempts to break in. Factions of PML are the ‘Freemasons of Democracy’ that need to be culled and the Muslim League House on Davis Road taken over for the democratic order to remain on track.
Banning PML-N alone will not serve the purpose, this phenomena of the ‘King’s Party’ must come to an end. If a leader desires to do politics using the Muslim League name, it should be named after the leader e.g. Ayub’s Muslim League, Zia’s Muslim League, Nawaz’s Muslim League, Pagara Muslim League etc. No party after the creation of the republic can claim to be the founding party of the country.
Muslim League House on Davis Road has been the den of evil which needs to be cleansed. Once PML ceases to exist the building can be converted into an academy of practical politics where future change leaders could be trained. Like the Administrative Staff College across the street, it could function as a Political Staff College. With this approach a new page could be turned in both democracy and politics that has been long denied to the people of Pakistan.
Dr. Farid A.Malik is the Ex-Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation. (Fr. General Manager PITAC, Process Engineering Manager Intel Corporation Engineering and Management Consultant). He was a Shadow Minister PTI and Co-Ordinator of the PTI Think Tank where the framework of the Welfare State was developed. The article was first published in The Nation and has been republished here after making certain changes for which prior permission from the author was taken. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.