Politics of thugs in Pakistan

IK has fully exposed all the 'Thugs' and their backers. The battle lines are clearly drawn between those who steal and those who do not. The compromises of our sovereignty that started four years after independence in the lure of fast-track development have to be done away with.

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Thuggery entered the political arena after the 1985 party-less elections. Till that time, it was widely believed that there was no business-like show business but then politics took over. My late father, an entrepreneur, decided to venture into the film world in the decade of the sixties. He bought a running ‘Distributorship Business’ located right in the center of Lakshmi Chowk. I remember the words of my astute mother “you are dealing with actors, be careful.”

Yes, indeed it was a brilliant act that trapped my old man. Finally, the movies rotted in our stores; it was a total loss. Every business has its rules which the players have to understand and follow. Unfortunately, politics in our times has been taken over by the ‘Thugs’ whose sole aim in life is to grab power and then make money.

Read more: Pakistan Politics: Race to the bottom

Honesty and integrity do not exist anymore in this vital area

A ‘Thug’ is defined as a criminal who deprives people of their belongings through foul play. Till October 1958 Pakistan was debt free. People lived within their means, by and large simplicity and honesty prevailed. Then started the era of fast-track development based on ‘Loans and Loot’. Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi the founder of the ‘Chaudhry Dynasty’ was introduced in this period of plunder. Progressive Papers Limited (PPL) the leading print media group of its times was taken away from Mian Ifthikaruddin and handed over to the dismissed ‘Constable’ from Gujrat.

As Mian Sahib of Baghbanpura funded the publications from his own pocket, it was decided to hand over a running factory to the ‘Jewel of Gujrat’ to establish his political empire in Lahore. He built a house in the FCC scheme to launch his innings. Now at least half of the area is owned by the family, even the road has been named after him. Starting from the first ‘Sarkari League’ (PML-Con) to PML-N and then PML-Q they have always managed to be in power. Being an ‘Establishment Politician’ and Ayub Khan prodigy he was very vocal against Bhutto and his concept of ‘People’s Power’. He openly supported the ‘Judicial Murder’ of Bhutto and died in an ambush attack on the ‘Butcher Judge’ with whom he was riding in the car. Maulvi Mushtaq did survive the attempt on his life but perished later due to the injuries sustained.

Zia the third usurper then went looking for ‘Political Thugs’ to launch another ‘Sarkari League’. First, it was a nominated ‘Majlis-e-Shaura’ headed by Khawaja Safdar father of Khawaja Asif followed by the party-less elections in 1985. Bhutto’s People’s Party boycotted the electoral process which left the field open for the ‘Bounty Hunters. Since then, politics have not been the same. Bhutto launched his party in November 1967 and managed to get elected in 1970. Imran Khan (IK) launched his movement in April 1996 and had to struggle for 22 long years to gain power.

Read more: Senate Elections – Welcome to Pakistan Politics!

Both Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) are Lahore based parties neither launched nor conceived by the establishment like the various brands of Muslim Leagues. Yes, power transfer never takes place without the nod of powers behind but the original brands of political parties should not be confused (Lahore VS Rawalpindi).

After the death of the third dictator, Benazir came into power through the 1988 electoral contest. While she became the PM, Punjab was handed over to Nawaz Sharif to torment and contain her. It did not end here; a Vote of No Confidence (VONC) was moved against her. In order to face ‘Thuggery’, Benazir had to rely on them within her own fold. It was Changa Manga versus Swat, and large sums of money changed hands. She survived but ‘ Progressive Politics ‘ did not. Today it has become the most lucrative business in the land of the pure. Millions are invested in campaigns to earn billions. A second VONC was moved against IK in April this year which succeeded as money exchange took place on one side only while the other remained kosher. The ‘Thugs’ got active again. Even the ‘Thugs’ of PTI joined hands with them strengthening the saying; Birds of a feather flock together.

Read more: How politics has crippled Pakistan’s economy?

IK has fully exposed all the ‘Thugs’ and their backers. The battle lines are clearly drawn between those who steal and those who do not. The compromises of our sovereignty that started four years after independence in the lure of fast-track development have to be done away with. Our parents won us freedom, as the first-born free generation of the republic, it is our duty to hand over ‘Sovereign Land’ to our children where they could flourish and grow for all times to come. Today the land of the pure needs both internal and external security under a genuinely elected government.



The writer is Ex-Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation. He can be reached at The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.

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