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The best news of the week came with the campaign launch of Tehreek-e-Tahaffuz Pakistan, a party founded by none other than the father of our Atomic bomb, Dr. Qadeer Khan himself. Coincidentally the initials of the party are TTP – which, apart from bestowing the party sacred blessings right from its birth, assure the good intentions of the party leader and founding members.

A few PTI people had hinted that the great doctor was about to officially join PTI, but I think his great stature more than justifies being his own man; in fact the nation would not have settled for anything less. Democratically speaking, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with his calling himself a party, and once it gets registered, considering all options available to him including an alliance with PTI à la Sheikh Rasheed. And the TTP couldn’t have hoped to have a more auspicious start either, for the first person the doctor sahab met after establishing his party was Mirza Aslam Baig. To be brutally honest however, I was a little disappointed the second person wasn’t Younus Habib, but hey, if this was an ideal world who would have needed the Hereafter!

The party think-tank is focusing on the youth of the country, hence this ingenious Facebook campaign. According to a news report two days ago the party had 21 members till last count. From what we know of the founder however, it is only a matter of time before all patriots gather around this majestic tower of patriotism. For, although the doctor sahab has countless other charming qualities as well, what really sets him apart from ordinary mortals is his never-say-die resilience.  No wonder then that after all sorts of calamities that befell his person, and by extension the nation – for example when he couldn’t wear the Presidential shervani after (as it turned out) promise to the effect remained unfulfilled, or the thanklessness on the part of this nation despite his rendering heroic services for making Pakistan the impenetrable Fortress of Islam – the good doctor is as determined as ever to provide his vision and leadership to this country. If you ask me, if he can deliver the bomb, he can deliver anything.

On this happy occasion, it will be unfair not to mention the services of Ali Masood Syed, for it was he who is responsible for the now manifest shady TTP tree, so to speak, sowing its seeds months earlier. In fact Ali is to Dr. Khan what Iqbal was to Jinnah, albeit in a slightly more complex way. Although Ali’s relationship with the doctor is a bit of a mystery, it is rumoured that it was he who convinced the doctor to join Jung instead of Nawa-e-Waqt as columnist.

Immediately thereafter, Ali too became a weekly columnist, and for years his columns used to start with “Mohsin-e-Pakistan” and end with “Mohsin-e-Pakistan” and with precious little in between. The two allegedly planned a TV show as well but to our loss it never materialised. A very determined fellow himself, Ali then proposed a resistance movement that was to be followed by the founding of a party. He threw this idea in his column and must have gotten a weak response because he had to write another article giving his credentials. The thing that sealed the deal and qualified him for leading a Mao-like movement was that he had started a blood bank in his university days, and on one occasion had donated his own blood twice in one day.

Doctor Khan, in his own column, had promptly given his blessings to Ali, asking his followers, particularly the youth, to follow the youngster as Ali and doctor sahab were, for all practical purposes, one and the same. In his third column of the series, Ali announced that it was going to be a hunger strike on September 10, 2011 at Minar-e-Pakistan. When the big day came there weren’t more than a dozen people and two or three cats, although there were hopes of herds joining in later. Initially they sat down on the ground and nobody bothered; later, in the evening, policemen approached them sensing mischief but when they were shown the permission letter for their hunger strike, the police never bothered them again. The expected herds failed to turn up the next three days either, prompting Ali to complain to the people in the media that they neither joined his cause nor reported the big event. Some friends in the media asked him to end his strike as he had made his statement and it was not bad for a first step. Ali obliged, but never one to be defeated easily, and with a firm grasp of sub-continent history, he wrote in his next column that the people who labeled his strike as a failure were out of their minds. This was, Ali insisted, only “Mehmood Ghaznawi's first srtike.” There were “16 more to follow.”

Not very long after that there was a rift between Ali and the doctor sahab, and the latter, in his column, asked his followers to stop following Ali. Doctor sahab must have his reasons for doing so, and now, months later, he is himself rightfully at the helm of a political party. But in my opinion, that doesn’t detract from Ali’s contribution toward sowing the first seeds of TTP in doctor sahab’s fertile mind. Thanks in no small part to Ali, we can now benefit from doctor sahab’s political leadership, in addition to his enlightening scientific views on subjects ranging from backache to the feasibility of the water-kit. With his own political party alive and kicking, we are no more dependent on merely his weekly columns; we will get to hear and read more from him by way of solutions to the many problems staring this nation in the face. With Shafiqur Rehman and Patras Bukhari dead and Yusfi sahab retired, we definitely need more output from the likes of the good doctor.

 


The author is a journalist, director/producer, actor, documentary maker, blogger/columnist, managing director of a theatre company called Mishermayl and a struggling musician.

 


The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.