Surrounded only by evil and deception, puny men with high sounding titles and ill begotten wealth, small and craven minds, devoid of class or culture like scum floating on a cess pool, I seem to have recoiled into an inner quiet where even when the mind wants to scream no sound comes out. I always believed in speaking out. I always believed that if a falsehood is not rebutted it will become the truth. And now I find myself wondering is there is any point.
I was flipping through a copy of Newsweek and came across an interview of Air Marshal (Retd) Asghar Khan, immortalized as “Aloo”. The interview is titled “Bhutto was right”. I would not have spared it time but I saw a reference to the name Bhutto and I could not help but read. Just as the reference to the Aloo arouses disdain in me the reference to the name Bhutto arouses, yes even to this day, light and hope. I ask myself this Aloo who has nothing to account for in this lifetime other than an illusion of glory prepped up by other inglorious creatures like himself, what is it with him that even at the fag end of his life he cannot hide his visceral hatred for a man who stood far above him and who may have under some mistaken belief approached him to join hands with him to oust a dictatorial regime. What drives a miserable old failed man who lives but is almost as good as a dead horse to lie about and berate a man who is no longer in this world but lives on. Can one really hate someone so much?
I suppose one can. Speaking in the Supreme Court as amicus during the course of proceedings of the mala fide attempt by the devil’s advocate to re-open the infamous murder case against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, S.M Zafar, Mr. Bhutto’s colleague in the Ayub cabinet was quoted as saying words to the effect “Bhutto is a relic of the past …like the ruins of Moenjo Daro”. My dear friend Jamil Abassi who spent seven years of his youth in jail under Zia exclaimed “That is something-Coming from the khandarat of Harappa.” The irony is that while S. M Zafar who was law minister when Mr. Bhutto was minister of foreign affairs and carved for himself a lasting name as a statesman of international repute, went into total political oblivion until the protégés of another military dictator and a vile one at that, the infamous Chaudhrys of the house of the alleged cattle runner Zahoor resuscitated him and placed him in the Senate, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto whom he chooses to call a relic of the past dominates this country even after death. Point for the Aloo to ponder. He whom he accuses of fooling the people has fooled them twenty years and beyond and what does that make us, the fooled?
What then do the Aloo and S.M Zafar have in common? visceral hatred stemming from the fires of envy and jealousy evoked so long ago but so all consuming that the fires will just not die down. Should I be getting angry at them or should I pity them. Actually, I am not even angry-they do not merit anger. I am just trying to understand.
Why is there no visceral hatred against the venal Generals who have colonized this country and have turned this land of hope into a land of utter despair? When the British colonized the sub continent they at least left behind viable infra structure, hospitals, educational institutions, a legal system. What has this institution that breeds the Generals and whom they control and which eats up the lion’s share of the resources and not content with what is allocated to them from the national kitty go beyond and appropriate and misappropriate a share in every revenue generation venture possible, given to the nation in return? I really would like to know what have they given us-Taliban and a brand of Islam that would shake any humane well meaning and good Muslim’s faith in himself, Afghan refugees, heroin and guns, suicide bombers, the IJI, the PNA, the MMA the MQM, a bleeding Balochistan ? I can tell what they have taken from us-our culture, our decency, our sense of values, our identity, they have turned us from a hospitable, open and liberal people of the Indo-Pak sub continent to an unrecognizable hybrid breed garbed in a fake Arab cloak. I ask myself did I ever hear “Allah Hafiz” when I was growing up and I really cannot recall. It was always “Khuda Hafiz”. Of course God was always Allah but so was Khuda always Allah. Whence the difference and why? But coming back to the visceral hatred, why is there no visceral hatred for Zia, for Altaf, for Musharraf. I suppose the answer is that there was nothing there to envy and be jealous about. Who would want to be them?