Now that the garbage has been swept off the streets of Islamabad, lets try and figure out what the devil was Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri’s Long March and INKELAB all about?

The Doctor appeared on Pakistan’s political stage out of the blue, like a bolt of lightening on 23rd December last year and mesmerized a 180 million audience with his electrifying, Oscar winning performance.

Like Julius Caesar, He came, He spoke, but failed to conquer and like the great orators of Hollywood, he held his audience spellbound with his powerful and passionate oration for almost twenty days. Leading TV channels and our gullible citizens could not get enough of him. He was the main topic of discussion in their Talk Shows and his long addresses to the nation were covered without the interruptions of advertisements on almost all leading TV channels.

Dr. TQ played with people’s sentiments, using religion, politics, threats, ultimatums and deadlines with great skill, to give his demand for CHANGE in our corrupt and decadent political structure. In a short time, Dr. Tariq-ul-Qadri over shadowed and achieved what seasoned politicians have not been able to accomplish in their lifetime. He succeeded in mobilizing his supporters and a large number of citizens from all walks of life, to join his Kafila and march to Islamabad with him.

The Kafila started its journey from Lahore at 2 pm on 14th January and reached Islamabad 36 hours later, where Dr. TQ, in his short speech, once again challenged the government and gave it a 24-hour ultimatum to pack its bags and hand over the reigns of government to an Awami Parliament.

Then on Thursday 17th January, after a three hour address, Doctor Tariq-ul-Qadri presented his four point Charter of Demands, giving the government forty five minutes to comply, failing which, he and his supporters would storm Parliament House.

But fortunately, better sense had prevailed and both, the government and Dr. TQ, realizing that a confrontation would lead to a serious law and order situation, capitulated. What happened after that has been widely reported in all our print and electronic media and is now history.

If rain had not stopped play and the march called off, the situation would have turned ugly and the peaceful streets of Islamabad would have become a battlefield between innocent men, women and children and our law enforcing agencies, as had been the case in the Lawyer’s Long March to restore the CJ of Pakistan, with the whole world watching in amazement.

And now that the tragedy of errors is over, what still remains a mystery is, what was the objective of the march, what did it achieve and  who really financed the whole charade?

According to Charley, my singing canary, the entire five day High-Noon drama was a litmus test, hatched by the notorious Hidden Hands, to check if Dr. TQ and his followers could trigger an Arab Spring type revolution in Pakistan, marching to the tune of ‘When the saints come marching in’ and whistling ‘Yankee Doodle’.   

And when it became obvious to ‘Them’ that Dr. TQ had over estimated his powers of persuasion and popularity and the forty-million march had dwindled down to below forty-thousand, he was ordered by the Master Puppeteer to stand-down and make a face saving exit.

And that is why the good Doctor took a sudden U-turn and all derogative remarks, insults, threats, ultimatums, etc., were forgotten and in a jovial, Buddy-Buddy atmosphere, the Islamabad Long March Declaration was signed, in the best interest of the country and to save democracy of course. And as always, yesterday’s foe, once again, became today’s friends and it was business as usual. What a joke.

Fact or fiction, only time will tell, but unfortunately, even the ILMD has become questionable, as the opposition has disowned it and stated that is not even an agreement and is being referred to as just a piece of paper, which is not worth the paper it has been written on.

Whether saint or sinner, is for the political analysts to figure out, but the five-day dharna cost the country billions of rupees and shares fell by 450 points in a single day, wiping billions of rupees off the stock market. It also made us look like fools on the world stage.

However some good has come out of the Long March, as the government, ECP and our parliamentarians have been put on notice.

If we wish to avoid a ‘Hard Revolution’ of the Egyptian type, then ECP will have to take decisive action and clean out the stables, ensuring that only candidates who are sagacious, righteous, non-profligate, honest and ameen, are allowed to participate in the coming election.

To stress this point, a group of ‘Citizens for Fair Elections’ have written to Chairman, ECP, demanding that the Election Commission put an end to the eternal recycling of defaulters and tax evaders, by taking the following bold steps:

DISQUALIFY ALL FAKE DEGREE HOLDERS: ECP should order HEC to provide exact details of all parliamentarians who, either have fake degrees or have concealed their degrees, to prevent verification by HEC. Those Parliamentarians who are found to have bogus degrees, should be disqualified for their fraudulent and dishonest actions.

DISQUALIFY ALL DUAL NATIONALS:  ECP should ask for affidavit and verify from other sources the dual nationality status of each legislator. Those with dual nationality or those who do not provide an affidavit confirming that they are not dual nationals, should be disqualified.

DISQUALIFY LOAN DEFAULTERS. (Details may be obtained from SBP and all banks).

DISQUALIFY TAX EVADERS:  (Details may be obtained from FBR for the last five years).

DISQUALIFY DEFAULTERS OF UTILITY BILLS. (Details may be obtained from all utility service providers for the last five years).

ECP should get the exact details from SBP, FDR and Utility service providers and disqualify all those legislators who fall under article 63 of the Constitution.

If ECP fails to do the needful, then it will be another betrayal and even if we do have transparent, fair and free elections, it will not prevent Ali Baba and his Forty Thieves, who have robbed this nation blind, to be reelected and return to our Assemblies and Senate, continuing where they had left off and it will be business as usual.

(email:

trust@helplinetrust.org).