In June, I write about my own journey as it is the month of my entry into this world. Most of my workdays start in the study at home. I proudly look at my father’s Tehreek-e-Pakistan Gold Medal every morning and also go through some of his do’s and don’ts in life that hang on the wall. On the top of his list of don’ts it says; “No compromises, do not fear confrontation”. This is perhaps today the most difficult advice to follow in the land of the pure where, unfortunately, ‘Toadies’ rule over us.
The day starts with telephone calls to several concerned government departments. Invariably no one answers the calls before 11 am. If I get lucky in leaving a message, there is never a callback. I then try their mobile numbers which are either switched off or on silent. With the spirit of confrontation, I then message using both SMS and WhatsApp.
Read more: Pakistan: The land ruled by ‘Toadies’
When nothing works, I draft a letter to be delivered by hand. In most cases, the letters are not received, after which I exercise the option of mailing them with proof of mail. After waiting for a reply for 14 days, I exercised the option of going to the Information Commission in both Lahore and Islamabad.
If I am able to get access to protected pieces of government records, I then exercise my right to either knocking on the doors of the Ombudsman or the Court of law.
Cornered by ‘Toadies’
Being a pragmatic member of a born-free generation, I decided to let go of some of the pending litigation. As one involved taking possession of the property, I pursued it wholeheartedly.
In his lifetime, my father wanted to set up a family trust in one of his properties in Anarkali where I was born and raised. The tenant was erratic in paying rent so my old man decided to file an eviction lawsuit against him which was decided in his favor. Being an influential individual, the tenant hired the services of leading lawyer A.K. Brohi filed an application for the right to appeal in the Lahore High Court (LHC).
The case was not heard for 18 long years despite requests for an early hearing. Finally, my father went to the Chief Justice who ordered hearing dates every two weeks till a decision on merit.
I was lucky to have been born free in the land of the pure but today I find myself cornered by the Toadies, leeches, parasites, sponge, sycophants, flatters, lotas, electables, etc who rule over us. Despite best efforts, an upright existence in a crooked environment has not been easy, combined with the spirit of confrontation it makes life even more difficult.
We were born in a world that believed in black and white. Merit prevailed by and large, though there were reserved seats to accommodate the few privileged. Like Mian Nawaz Shari’s admission to Government College Lahore was based on a wrestling seat otherwise he could not get in on academics.
I remember once jokingly, the then principal of the college in a private conversation told me that one day I would be standing outside his office asking for admission, I said no sir I will make it on merit and I did with a talent scholarship.
We continue to fight ‘Toadistan’ but with values of Pakistan that were imbibed into us by the founding fathers. Will we overcome these ‘Toadies’ before our time is over? Only time will tell but our struggle continues unabated.
As a metallurgical engineer, I have been involved in all the major mining projects of the country. We could not save the Saindak Copper-Gold project, played an effective role in up-gradation of the Kalabagh iron deposit, efforts on the development of the Chiniot Iron resource continue, Reko Diq is now finally close to settlement but the biggest feather in the cap has been the mining at Thar Coal to be followed by the production of energy and synthetic natural gas to replace the imported Liquified Natural Gas.
The high point is that despite being born abroad, all three of my children desire to live here and serve their motherland. Pakistan will finally emerge from the ashes of ‘Toadies’ together with the elimination of the dreaded leeches, parasites, sponge, sycophants, flatters, lotas, and electables who rule over us today.
The writer is Ex-Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The article was first published in the Nation and has been republished with the writer’s permission. The article has been republished with the author’s permission. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.