BY: |Hamid Mir|
Nowadays U-turn is being discussed a lot in Pakistani politics. A lot of politicians do take U-turns but Imran Khans U-turns are deemed bothersome perhaps due to the fact that he is a Prime Minister who does not shy away from claiming that a good leader is one who saves the nation from tragedies rather than banging his head in the wall. Today I too want to request Imran Khan that he takes a U-turn on a matter, I do believe that many in Pakistan will agree with my request rather than disagreeing. I thought about making the request to the PM after listening to an interview he gave.
During his recent visit to Turkey he gave an interview to the channel TRTs Imran Garda in which he said, America has used Pakistan as a hired gun for far too long and now we will no longer be exploited. He also mentioned the ills that took place during the regimes of General Musharraf and Zia Ul Haq. Before this in an interview to Washington Post last year he said that we will not become a hired gun for America again.
Washington Post ran a headline Not your hired gun anymore, Pakistans Leader tells America. Washingtons Loly Weymouths conducted interview resounded with all the Pakistanis back home. Further into the interview he claimed that Pakistan was an exemplary country in terms of progress during the sixties. Imran has on more than one occasion labeled the 60s as an era of progress and prosperity.
Whenever he mentions the sixties an image of General Ayub starts to appear in the imagination who remained the leader of Pakistan from 1958 to 1969. Ayub was the first military dictator of the country who in 1956 dissolved parliamentary constitution and imposed a presidential constitution in 1962. General Ayub Khans era and laws weakened the bond between East and West Pakistan. Some people say that the Tarbela and Mangla dams were built in that era hence it was a progressive period. The truth is that in 1960, Ayub Khan relegated the rivers Ravi, Sutlej and Beas by signing the Indus Waters Treaty.
With the control of these rivers water handed over to India, Pakistan was facing acute water shortage and plans were hatched to conserve water from Rivers Indus and Jehlum which included dams like Tarbela and Mangla.
With India disrespecting and failing to live up to the promises made in the Indus Waters Treaty and depriving Pakistan from waters of Jehlum and Chenab. The era which is being hailed as the best economically, if progress is meant to be seen in that era then rivers Ravi, Sutlej and Beas need revisiting which are now dirty cesspools. Whenever Imran Khan likens the sixties with progress it implies that he is in favor of a presidential form of government. The reason for this doubt is the discussion which is overheard in private gatherings from Imrans close friends and confidants, also the talk against Parliamentary system and hue and cry over the 18th amendment.
One more reason of this disbelief was that I’ve heard with my sinful ears Ahmed Shuja Pasha, former ISI chief saying Pakistan and parliamentary system cannot run together. He also said that he will never let the nation become the slave of Hamza Shehbaz and Bilawal and he gone through severe results for maintaining contradiction against them. It’s my request to Imran Khan that he should review his stance regarding the 1960’s era because praising that era means he is praising General Ayub Khan and parsing Ayub Khan means the admiration of presidential system and according to my opinion to praise presidential system means making Pakistan weak.
If the 60’s era was an era of development than the development should have been done in east Pakistan also which is now Bangladesh. General Ayub Khan on one hand deprived Bengalis from their basic rights and on the other side he launched an operation in Balochistan. He made treason case against Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and put him behind bars. Ayub khan made former Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), justice Muneer as federal minister of law. Justice Muneer in his book titled ‘From Jinnah to Zia’ has written that in 1962 with the support of Ayub Khan he started talks with Bengali members of National Assembly to make confederation or to leave Pakistan. So, Bengal Leader Ramizuddin said that we are in majority and we are Pakistani, if you want to separate someone you should separate yourself from Pakistan.
Imran Khan should read Justice Munir’s book and if this book is not available in the PM house library so i will provide him. So many people which claim that Sheikh Mujeeb ur Rehman was making plan with India and he wanted to split Pakistan, why they are silent on the book of Justice Munir? Did this book not reveal that the then president whose era was called an “Era of development” was making conspiracy to split Pakistan?
People declaring 60’s era as an era of development why they forget that in that period one presidential election took place. Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah contested against Ayub Khan in 1965 presidential elections and everyone knows the reality that traitors like Sheikh Mujeeb ur Rehman, Abul A’la Maududi, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan was supporting Quaid’s sister. But, general Ayub defeated Fatima Jinnah with the help of rigging.
The 60’s era on the name of Accountability supported America on the cause of revenge, rigging and corruption union. They provided military base to America at Badh bir, near Peshawar. Yes! at that time Pakistan’s treasury was full of money, because General Ayub had made Pakistan as hired gun of America. Today, Imran said that Pakistan will not become someone’s hired gun again and i want to salute him for the stance and words, but General Ayub Khan made Pakistan hired gun, so now he should stop saying that period as an era of Development and should take U-turn because this U-turn will become beneficial for him.