There are some who say he will not come back. I say he will. I just feel a bit lost now that he has left. It makes me sad. After all the talk of a revolution, Dr Sahab suddenly decided to leave and go back to his country of choice.
At a time when I was seeing dreams of a change in Pakistan, I was rudely awoken. A few days before he left, Dr Qadri had spelt out a 10-point agenda for a post-revolution Pakistan. It was too good to be true.
It included dividing Punjab into seven to nine provinces. Of appointing district CM’s. Of tehsil assemblies and UC assemblies. He envisioned Pakistan as a leader in Asia. His slogan being: “No Asia without Pakistan.” He promised we would make the country so strong that all other Asian countries will be dependent on it.
He dreamed of “roti, kapra aur makan” for all. “Everybody will get a house. Everybody will get bread and clothing. Everyone will get a job. The poor will get kitchen items at half prices. Those earning less than Rs15,000 a month will pay half of their utility bills. Similarly, medical treatment and education will be free for the poor.” A modern-day utopia.
Then came the bad news. I read that Dr Qadri had called off the Islamabad dharna. The revolution was being devolved. Dr told his followers that the dharna had turned into a revolution and now there will be sit-ins across the country.
Participants were advised to pack their bags and return to their homes. Somehow as I listened to this announcement, I recalled Gil Scott-Heron poem and song “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.”
Social media later showed me pictures of Dr Qadri spotted at a subway restaurant in the West. In the meantime, the messages I would receive on my Twitter account disappeared as suddenly as they had started. The kingdom had folded. Incidentally, he also left on an Emirates flight. This dispels all rumours about him being banned by the airline. So much for that.
I am told, and my sources are the media, that there are three reasons why Dr Qadri has left for the West. First, that he would fly out to the United States, Canada and Britain in an effort to raise funds for his party. But he would not spend too much time in London “because of Shahbaz Sharif.” The Punjab CM, always a killjoy, seems to have been visiting on those dates too.
The second reason was to re-organize the party. Much needed because till a couple of years back, I had not even heard of the PAT. After all, PAT will participate in the general elections that will be held soon.
Much has to be done. Till recently, most people did not know the good doctor other than the man who first rose to prominence at a Sharif-funded mosque in the 80’s.
Dr Qadri also helped resurrect many faces. I saw “Sher-e-Punjab” Ghulam Mustafa Khar and “Sher-e-Central Asia” Sardar Assef. Christian community leader Julius Salik, also the best showman ever. And the representatives of the MWM and the Sunni Ittehad Council side by side.
The third reason we are told courtesy of PAT Karachi’s media coordinator Rao Ishtiaq. He informed the media that a movie on the life Dr Qadri is being filmed in Hollywood. He added that after the Father of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, “the PAT chief is the only Pakistani politician on whom a Hollywood movie is being made.” Ishtiaq also stated that “theses were being written on Dr Qadri in many universities in the world.” Must make for compelling reading.
Before leaving, Dr Qadri did tell us that his party will not hold rallies in the month of Muharram. But not when they will resume. No deal had been struck and that he is still adamant that the PM and CM should resign. He also clarified that he had informed his political cousins, the PTI, of his decision.
Justice for the families of the 14 people who were killed in Model Town in June. Dr Qadri has assured he will not accept Diyat for any of martyrs “Our demand is only Qisas [Life for life].” The show must go on.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 10th, 2014.