Former President Asif Zardari was in town in search of toadies. After reducing Bhutto’s national progressive party to a provincial retrogressive and corrupt political entity, he now seeks its revival. Punjab is the land of the ‘Toadies’. They not only drove out the Quaid-e-Azam from the Muslim League but also played a pivotal role in the fall of Quaid-e-Azam.
The term ‘Toady’ was used for the influentials of the province who sided with the Colonists against their own people. A ‘Toad’ is an amphibian that comes out crossing in the rainy weather, also called a barsati maindak (monsoon frog) in the local language. After enjoying the environment, it then recedes, waiting for the next opportunity.
Bhutto called Lahore the Leningrad (St Petersburg) of Pakistan. In November 1967, he launched his party from here which then rose to be the largest national political party of the country. He gathered the progressives, cornered, and then defeated the traditional “electables” in the 1970 free and fair election.
First he himself fell into the “Toady Trap” in 1977 and now Zardari is desperate to seek their support as his political demise seems imminent. Now that the corrupt politicians are being cornered, Zardari is trying to create space for himself leaving the Sharifs behind.
Pakistan moving towards “Toadistan”
“Toadies” are recognized by several other terms like; leeches, parasites, sponges, sycophants, flatterers, lotas, electables, but no good can be expected from them as they have no love for the land or its people. Unfortunately, only after a few years of independence, Pakistan started drifting towards “Toadistan.”
With the connivance of the establishment, the founding fathers of the country were driven out of the political arena to be replaced with leeches and parasites. After the first Martial Law was imposed in October 1958, the dictator introduced a dismissed police sub-inspector into the political arena. Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi then founded the ‘Toady Dynasty’ of Gujrat that continues to sponge on the nation till today.
Then emerged the ‘Sharif Dynasty’, the ‘Akhtar Dynasty’ in the 1980s, followed by the ‘Tarins’ in the 1990s while the evergreen ‘Qureshis’ of Multan were always there, all ‘Toadies’ to the core. Unless these electables are weeded out of the political arena, Pakistan has no future. Change will always be stalled by them.
In the national elections of 1937, the All India Muslim League (AIML) could only manage to win one seat in Punjab which was under the rule of ‘Toadies’ like Sir Sikander Hayat and Khizar Hayat Tiwana, who called themselves ‘Unionists’. After the Lahore resolution of March 1940, they joined the Muslim League in droves to save their estates as Congress was committed to land reforms.
In the 1946 elections, the AIML did manage to gain a majority in Punjab but the ‘toady influence’ continued. First, it was Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) that took them on, followed by Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). In the fear of being left behind, the ‘Toadies’ joined the PTI in groups. They sold themselves as electables who understood the system well but a change was not their forte.
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Despite the persistent efforts of the Prime Minister, the march forward has been slow mainly because of these ‘Toady Influences’. The province of Sindh also suffers from this menace, but the land of the five rivers continues to be the nucleus of ‘Toadism’.
“Toadies” continue to “Toad” away
Lack of ownership at all levels has hurt us badly. No one seems to be interested in the common good. Everyone is in a survival mode as if there is no tomorrow. While most of us are linked with the land, the influentials have interests abroad. In the words of President Vladimir Putin, Pakistanis’ only interest in their motherland is to be buried there.
Instead of building 21st-century universities, the Sharifs decided to build a state-of-the-art graveyard in Lahore which they called ‘Shehar-e-Khamoshian’ (Silent City). I do not know what happened to this project after the Sharif’s were voted out but the Orange Train liability continues to haunt the nation.
For treatment, they go to Harley Street in London, though there is a dilapidated road by this name in Rawalpindi not too far from the GHQ from where they were launched by Zia, the third dictator.
When the great Muslim General Tariq bin Zayyed landed in Spain, he burnt his boats to clearly send a message that there was no going back. Most Pakistani influentials from all fields own expensive properties in London which have been identified and marked yet they shamelessly go about doing business as usual without providing money trails.
First, the Colonists used the ‘Toadies’ to strengthen and extend their rule; now through them, they continue to extract our meager resources. Unless we get rid of them the ‘Toadies’ will continue to ‘Toad’ away change, and always be on the lookout for merry weather. After all, they are nothing but ‘Barsati Maindak’.
Read more: Pakistan needs leaders, not social movements
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.