Today i.e. 25 June 2016, my wife and I went for an Iftar dinner in Islamabad. It was a farewell for a Spanish diplomat I know from gym. I was unaware of who the organizers were. There I was introduced to four “boys” (these were 30somes and 40somes) who were all standing together awkwardly. One of them introduced himself as the Minister of Education in KPK. When they found out I was from Lahore, they volunteered that all of them had gone to Aitchison College and were quite familiar with Lahore.
As we sat down for dinner, the wife being the feminist that she is, asked about women’s empowerment in KPK especially in the education ministry. At this point the minister turned to his cousin and began recounting how much the women in PTI like Mallika Bukhari and others bother them on feminist issues. “Aj hum miley thay, tau khatoon farmati hai ke auraton ko yeh chahiye aur wo chahiye, tau meine tau keh diya key app ki zaban qainchi se kaat deni chahiye aur app ko jharoo pakra dena chahiye – kaam kaj ke liye”. Then the Minister volunteered that the women sitting in Islamabad had no clue what was going on there on ground. “Just the other day a woman in our party took me for a meeting with the mullahs on women empowerment, aur mein tau maulvion kee taraf ho giya. Woh kehti rahi ke hum tau app ko progressive samajhtay thay pur mein to progressive nahin hoon. Ha ha ha“. I was quiet till this point primarily because I have known these types of flunkies all my life – rich kids who have never worked a day in their life but somehow manage to become ministers etc at a young age. Discussing politics or a serious issue with them is usually pointless.
Yet there was something about the condescending tone in Atif Khan’s voice, that forced me to ask in an equally condescending tone about why his ministry was funding Darul Hukoom Haqqania – the University of Jihad? His reply was that they needed funding and that if I had such a problem with Darul Hukoom Haqqania I should ask the government to close it down. I pressed the point and said that the said Madrassah is called University of Jihad because so many of the Taliban leaders were created there. (One of his cousins replied that Darul Uloom Haqqania is the Aitchison for the Maulanas.) At this point the Minister got a little serious and said “Look the problem is that there are extremists on both sides – you are an extremist too”. I protested and asked how I was an extremist when the real extremists were blowing up people. He said : “Tumhara bus nahin chalta nahin tau tum bhee hamay ura detay” to which I said “kash aisa hota“. I told him that this means he is enabling the other side by funding them. One of his other cousins at this point interjected “you are our guest here. We would not like to upset you by asking you to leave- woh minister hai tumhara naukar nahin“. (Obviously the cousin nor the minister is aware that in a democracy ministers are the servants of the people and not their masters.) At this point my wife and I got up and left the table.
The point of recounting this story is not to single out PTI. This is usually true of all parties in Pakistan. You’ve got ambitious little stay at home sons who have nothing better to do then enter politics and when they do, they make an absolute mess of the governance of the country, thus proving that civilians are incompetent. PTI claimed to be the party of change but we can now see it is the same old crap in a new package. Truth is that just because you label shit as halwa it doesn’t taste sweet suddenly.