By **Brigadier Samson Simon Sharaf
They were flanked by motorcyclists, rickshaws and cyclists flying the bicolor. Like a filled kaleidoscope, all roads choked with traffic and pedestrians led to Minar-e-Pakistan. Lahore had never looked the same since 1940. These were the new political activists with aspirations of a new paradigm; the satirically dubbed ‘mummy daddy generation’ taking to roads in Land Cruisers, BMWs, Hondas, trolleys, and rickety buses.
They endured weather, police batons, tear gas and bullets to become the most effective genre of Pakistan’s diehard, fearless and motivated tigers. They learned street tactics as they grew. Dharna 2 proved them adept in the fieldcraft of infiltration, evading barricades and turning up in huge numbers with an element of surprise. A relentless generation was taking shape. Moving in this highly charged sea of emotions; my mind went back seven decades. Yes, it must have been similar emotions and desires. A new party under Qaid e Azam was storming India and Lahore; the heart of Punjab was the testing ground.
As my father Lal Din Sharaf’s diary records, it was a mammoth crowd, perhaps even bigger than the one I saw. They came on trains, buses, carts, bicycles, tongas and on foot from all over British India; from as far as Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Mysore, Junagadh, Kashmir, Gilgit, Karachi, and Balochistan. A day later, the Lahore Resolution spitefully called the Pakistan Resolution was resolved. Seven years later Pakistan was carved out of India leading to the worst migration genocide of history.
Many in those hapless caravans repeatedly attacked by activists of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and their ilk maimed and devoid of blood kept asking, ‘has Pakistan come?’ Seven years in 1940-1947 and 2011-2018 are similar. Some say it is the lucky number. To me it is an ordained miracle. Yes, Pakistan has come! At the park, the early birds poured and sank like a whirlpool around the historic minaret, coloring the huge public park with patches of red. Those who could not find space turned on their laptops connected to flat screens and watched the hysteria on jam-packed roads. Shopkeepers put their televisions on the roadside for public display.
Imran is now the undisputed Khan having won his spurs from every nook and corner of Pakistan. It is now time for him to lead Pakistan through the parched land of immense promise. The dreamland is the biggest fertile valley of the world with the world’s loftiest mountains, gushing streams and raging rivers. The parched land is hungry for water to fill granaries. The virgin high mountains are like a mother ready to suckle its children. The milk flows with precious metals, minerals, jewels, emeralds and energetic elixirs of life.
Beneath our inhospitable desert lie the world’s oldest civilizations, lost river beds, black gold and treasures. The juggler artery is laden with gold, antimony, copper, emeralds and diamonds. Thermal reservoirs and hydrocarbons remain untouched. There is a Moses for every Pharaoh. The Khan has arrived with his staff. He will devour every serpent and python that wrap around the treasures.
Pakistan gradually became a neo-imperialist colony. It became a rental state to the chagrin of its own interests. The only homegrown commodities were corruption, jobbery, nepotism and lust. Pakistan’s must follow the leader through the parched land and rainbows to the fountains of life. Pakistan must not be left waiting for another multiple of seven. Imran Khan’s biggest test will be to fight and defeat these opportunist forces of greed, deceit, treachery and intrigue. His only option is but to seize the moment and who knows it better than him.
**Brigadier Samson Simon Sharaf is a retired officer in the Pakistan Army and a military scientist. He is a news columnist, businessman, and former military college administrator. His article was first published at Global Village Space