[Note: This is from a few months back. I had intended to post it but never got around to it. But seeing Choti in the news reminded me of it and thought I’d put it up as it does shed light on what you have to become to become a leader in this country. Though this piece does focus on one MPA from Choti, it is pretty much true of every politician (though this one is among the more “decent” ones)]
Watch (it begins about the middle of part 3):
News Beat with Meher Bokhari Oct 26, 2009 SAMAA TV 3/5
News Beat with Meher Bokhari Oct 26, 2009 SAMAA TV 4/5
I was pleasantly surprised watching this MPA from Southern Punjab. I think he did an excellent job taking on Ayesha Siddiqa and knocking out her claims. I especially loved it when he challenged her that she had never been to the tribal area that she is pretending to be so aware of and was sitting in Islamabad claiming to be an expert on the area, all she had to offer was “I visited Bahawalpur two weeks ago.” Now Bahawalpur hardly comes to mind when you think “tribal area”! (Interestingly, being asked again and again to go visit the place, both the host and Ayesha just would not agree.)
But I want to focus on two similar things said by both : “I am a son of the soil!” and “I am daughter of the soil”.
Well, we know a lot about Ayesha Siddiqa already so I would just raise this one point: Here she is going all crazy arguing for a military operation against her “motherland” — Isn’t that like a daughter asking strangers to come rape her mother?
Now let’s look at the other fella, the “son of the soil”. Strange isn’t it that not only did not raise a voice against theft of land by the Chaudhrys of Gujrat in his mother’s home town (she is from Distt Rahim Yar Khan) but went all-out to defend it one more than one occassion, even staging a walk-out (the land in question is Robert’s Farm and it’s 1,600 acres). Isn’t that like a son defending the strangers who raped his mother?
What makes this defense by Leghari even more bizarre is that only days earlier, the Chaudhrys had pissed on him by stealing the PAC-I chairmanship that was his (Just before the vote for which he was the party nominee, Moonis got him out of the room saying he wanted to have a word. As he went out, the rest of his party-mates quickly nominated Ch. Zaheer and voted for him. When Mohsin came back to the room, it was already too late).
FLASHBACK: This reminds be of another much older case. As luck would have it, due to some quirk, “an honest” — not my word but the party in question’s — person got appointed as DCO, Dera Ghazi Khan. Now by coincidence, the Nazim at the time was none other than (now Senator) Jamal Leghari, the elder son of Farooq Leghari. Of course this was a problem because you see Jamal doesn’t have an honest bone in his body and there was a hurdle in the way of his stealing the district funds. So Jamal runs to daddy and asks him to get rid of the DCO. Daddy — oh, so honest daddy — immediately runs to the Chaudhrys (remember Pervaiz Elahi was the CM those days) and demands they transfer him out. Pervaiz asks for alternate names and Farooq provides three. But would you believe it that seeing the names even Pervaiz Elahi, one of the most corrupt people on earth, is shocked as the three names given by Farooq are maha-corrupt even according to Pervaiz. So seeing it might open them up to future trouble, the Chaudhrys refuse. So Farooq then runs to Islamabad and meets Musharraf and gets the honest DCO transferred and installing one of most corrupt ones in his place. This is a true story — honest!
And how did our “son of the soil” act? Did he take the side of the “honest” DCO or the “maha-corrupt” one? Well, read it and weep:
Just One More:
Don’t want to pile it on but this too needs to be mentioned. In Southern Punjab, one of the major curses is private moneylenders who give money to the poor people at VERY HIGH interest rates (300% to 1,500% and even higher). I am glad that the issue was taken up by the Punjab Assembly and a committee formed to look into the matter with our Mohsin Leghari appointed the convener. Question I have is how far will it get when I can state it for a fact that most of these moneylenders in a certain area happen to be relatives of Mr Leghari?
The sad thing is I know Mohsin Leghari is one of the best lawmakers. He is educated (Aitchison, US), from a good, well-to-do family (and Farooq, son Jamal, etc. are amongst the elite). But if this is what the best are doing, can you imagine what the worst are up to?
And no surprise is there that events transpired in Choti the way they did? I am curious though who are the backers of SDPO Iqbal Chandia and SHO Noor Muhammad, Abdullah Chandia and Naeem Abbas are. They don’t/did not act in a vacuum but under the ‘sur-parasti’ of those named. Of course no fingers will be pointed towards the ‘sur-prasts’ — except mine 😉
P.S. Do see this as well.