It was in 1980s when a frail, short stature, old man entered my OPD in PIMS. He was supported by a colleague and friend who introduced him. ‘This is Qudratullah Shahab Sahib, the author of ‘Shahab Nama’. I gently held his shaky hands and slowly made him sit. That was my first meeting with the man who put Islamabad on the map of Pakistan as its capital. He remained my patient for some times.
One day during conversation, he pointed in the direction of Bari Imam shrine and said ‘Islamabad is the Dera of Bari Imam’ Then he went into details as to how he played instrumental role in choosing that specific part of Potohar the capital of Pakistan saying it was his intuition that guided him in that decision. His talks were full of spiritual warmth.
According to him Pakistan was going to play important role in global politics and Islamabad being the capital was going to be a catalytic capital in that game. Being a leading Islamic country it had to follow the principles passed on by prophet Mohammad (PBUH). It was for this reason the constitution was built on those principles.
Over the years, the corrupt legislators made those principles ineffective by repeatedly violating them through corruption-filled electioneering where cheating, dishonesty, and bullying replaced righteousness, uprightness and nobility. In the end, the parliaments became sale houses for those who could afford to buy seats through their ill gotten money. Soon the assemblies and the senate became stinking gutters filled with filth drowning the voices of the occasional honest legislators. Major chunks of developmental funds were spent on their unending personal greed.
Pakistan which was considered as one of the fastest growing economy in 1960s was thrown in the gutter by the corrupt and powerful politicians making it one of the most corrupt states in the world. The embedded corrupt practices in electoral process became so strong that nobody could challenge them. From time to time the politico-religious players gave lip service to bring a change. It never happened. The frustrating tempo amongst the public kept rising. They started looking for a messiah. Imran Khan was the first messiah who spoke of a change. People gathered around him in thousands wishing for a speedy change. When they saw his speed was not according to their wishes they started looking for someone else. That someone else landed from Canada on December 21st. His name was Dr Allama Tahir-ul-Qadri-a knowledgeable firebrand Islamic scholar. Three days later he gathered millions of people at Minar-e-Pakistan and showed his uniqueness for he;
Represented tolerant Sufi Islam
Identified correctable major faults in elections.
Promised to cleanse electioneering.
Gave three weeks to the government to come up with solid correcting plan.
Announced a long march towards Islamabad on January the 13th.
He was precise in his timing and that’s what people wanted-a quick change.
Three weeks later he landed in Islamabad with a bang. Deep down he knew the number didn’t matter any more. Cameras were there to do the arithmetic. For him it was the number of people at homes glued to TVs which mattered. The camera showed us the main 8 lanes double road of Blue Area was filled with people looking like a straight line. It was this line which was going to make the difference as it reflected public sentiments against the corrupt politicians. And it was this line which,for some, divided ‘Haq’ from ‘Batil’. On one side of the line was TUQ and on the other side the government, the opposition, and religious groups which for decades have been playing with sentiments of the public. Ironically, Imran Khan, the promoter of the change could not be seen on either side.
TUQ must have felt very lonely. Being an Islamic scholar, it was at this point he must have thought of Imam Hussain standing alone in Karbala. It was then the philosophy of Hussainiat against the philosophy of Yazidiat must have hit him hard. Being a thorough bread Sufi the philosophy must have strengthened his resolve.
I am told by a reliable source that when he offered his chest for the bullets, he meant it. According to information, he decided to come out of the tanker after prayers and lead the procession offering his head as Imam Hussain did in Karbala. AAZ being Shia himself understood the consequences and ordered Rehman Malik not to attack and told the PM to send a team immediately. It was the wisest decision AAZ ever made and the historians will praise him for it.
People ask if TUQ was talking of ‘Hussainiat’ why did he make agreement with ‘Yazidiat’? They forget that TUQ is an Islamic scholar. He knows the first chapter of Karbala was written by Hassan when he signed an agreement with Muawiya. Had there been proper implementation of Hassani agreement there would have been no Karbala. Hassan and Hussain were the two sides of one coin. TUQ knows that, and he intelligently planned ‘Hussainiat’ but executed ‘Hassaniat’.
He came to Pakistan to cleanse the corrupt practices (he called it ‘Yazidiat) in elections. Within a short span of four weeks he compelled the most corrupt government to sign the agreement while the rest of world was watching. With this agreement he broke the myth that the corrupt practices in elections cannot be eliminated. He did it single handedly.
In a way he can be compared with Hassan Nasrullah of Lebanon. Before 2006, Israel was considered to be a wild bull of Middle East which could crush any neighbouring Muslim country. It was Nasrullah of Lebanon who broke the myth. Israel with all the American might could not defeat him and his NGO Hizbullah. Before the invasion, Israel promised America that within ten days it would destroy Hizbullah, kill Nasrullah and release the two Israeli soldiers held by Hizbullah. Despite of six weeks ferocious attack Israel failed in achieving its targets. The release of the two soldiers which was the main reason of attack remained captive. The non-victory of Israel became the victory for Nasrullah. In doing so he broke the myth of Israel been the bull of Middle East. Similarly, TUQ all alone had shown the Pakistanis that the unconquerable corrupt electoral practices can be conquered.
He knows that if the agreement based on the philosophy of ‘Hassaniat’ has failed, the philosophy of ‘Hussainiat’ is still at hand. He showed his zeal, vigour, determination and commitment in those five days when he held the corrupt government from its neck but yet acted on the philosophy of ‘Hassaniat’. He can very well repeat it and act this time on the philosophy of ‘Hussainiat’