Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, the Ex-Speaker of the National Assembly (NA) is an old friend. He is a son of Lahore, and belongs to a very credible family. Mayo Road, now Allama Iqbal Road has two very important private properties, one is the dwelling of Allama Iqbal which has now been converted into a museum and the other Sardar House where Ayaz was born and raised. His un-seating by the election tribunal is a sad day for him, democracy and the country. Though the outcome was expected it was unusually delayed.

The election tribunal was stopped by the Lahore High Court (LHC), to probe the allegations of rigging. The stay lasted for 14 months till the judge was elevated to the Supreme Court. It was a case of blatant misuse of authority and nepotism. A complaint must be lodged with the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) to investigate. It has happened in the past and will happen again if not stopped. In both cases PML (N) and its ‘Mafia’ were behind it. In Benazir Bhutto’s case the then Chief Justice and a senior judge were involved in expediting her conviction. Rehman Malik presented the tapes as evidence and both were made to resign.

It is interesting that we the students of the sixties and seventies forced the first free and fair elections in 1970, and now as responsible adults we have a role in bringing back the electoral credibility. In 1970 Dr. Javed Iqbal (Farzand-e-Iqbal) resident of Iqbal Hose on Mayo Road, was unable to face the Bhutto wave and lost the elections hoplessly. In 2013, there was another wave of change which PML(N) was required to face.

Instead of playing by the rules in wider national interests, they resorted to foul play which they call ‘Election Day Dynamics”. My friend Ayaz fell into this trap, not realizing that status-quo is on its way out and ‘Naya Pakistan’ is emerging.

In the sixties we both played table tennis, regularly. At that time as I recall Ayaz was studying at St Anthony’s High School and had not joined Aitchison College. Lahore YMCA hall on the Mall was a venue where tournaments were regularly held, the other being Mayo Road across from the Sardar House. It was a ranking Table Tennis tournament at YMCA hall that I was scheduled to play against him he was the hot favorite to win the junior championship. Sajjad and Butt Sahib the organizers offered me an incentive as I was the underdog. St. Anthony’s and Cathedral School have a history of rivalry, so I was determined to fight it out. In case of my victory I was offered free entry in the next tournament. It was a hard fought three set match that I won, we shook hands and remained friends as we both played by the rules of game it was a clean victory.

Pakistan and its politics remained clean till the establishment intervened in 1958 and 1985. Giving, not taking was the norm at that time.

Honor and dignity were revered till Abba Ji introduced his ‘Price Theory’ which said; “everyone has a price, pay it and get your job done”. The theory has out lived its utility, honesty and integrity is finally making a comeback. Ayaz Sadiq has great lineage unlike the Sharif brothers. His grandfather Sheikh Sardar Muhammad and father Sheikh Muhammad Sadiq have left a great legacy that Ayaz his inherited. It is time for review and reflection for my friend.

It is a great tragedy for Pakistan that we have not been able to pass on the values to our children for which our fore fathers struggled. Concepts like “success at all costs” or ‘Everything is fair in love and war’ have hurt us badly.

The Muslim League that my father joined in 1940 is not the same party that my friend Ayaz Sadiq joined in 2001, after leaving PTI. PML (N) and MQM are political mafias, that have no future once free and fair elections are introduced in the country.

The Khakis under Raheel Sharif have realized their past mistakes in fermenting these political Mafias. Now the country is on the road to amend. The era of the ‘Dinosaurs’ is over. Instead of empire building, the focus has shifted to nation building. The first Muslim Girls School was established by the Sardar family which also runs the charitable Sardar Trust Eye Hospital. With these kinds of credentials Ayaz Sadiq should return to the ‘Asli Pakistan’ of his fore fathers instead of hunting with the hounds let loose by Zia-ul-Haq and his followers.

Democracy cannot survive without an honest ballot. With ten manipulated electoral exercise between 1977 to 2013, politics have become the game of scoundrels some of whom have started calling themselves electable. Manipulation is not electability. Common good is the essence of a democratic order. There can be no meeting point between the forces of evil and righteousness. Truth eventually prevails. The table tennis match at YMCA hall in the sixties ended with two winners, while the match in NA-122 in 2013 ended with losers only. The un-seating of Ayaz Sadiq should be a turning point for clean politics in the county, this a message for all my friends with whom I have played and struggled as we have grown old. Naya Pakistan is finally emerging. There is no going back.