In order to advance, both individuals and nations must learn from history; but unfortunately they don’t know that power and prestige leads to blindness which then leads to failure. During his speech in the joint session of the parliament Comrade Aitzaz Ahsan talked about the Elephants of Raja Porus. After taking over Ambh State the advancing troops of Alexander the Great were stopped on the banks of River Jhelum in June 326 BC. The Raja positioned 30,000 infantry solders, 4000 cavalry, 300 war chariots and 200 war elephants across the banks of the river. There was a stand off. Alexander wanted to cross the river and capture the territory while Porus desired to defend his state and prolong his rule.

When the Elephants trumpeted, Alexander’s horses and soldiers were terrified and ran away. He kept trying and waited for the opportune moment. One night when lightening flashed and thunder crashed it scared the elephants, at this moment Alexander attached. Elephants of Porus trampled his own army, the solders, cavalry and chariots were run over and the handsome Raja was captured, his Elephants proved disastrous.

In 526 AD Abraha, the King of Yemen decided to capture Mecca with the help of his Elephants. The entire episode is revealed in Surat Al-Fil. Kankar (small stones) bombardment by Ababeel (Nightingale or small birds) caused panic and the king had to retreat with his Elephants. It seems he was not aware of historic stamped by the Elephants of Porus on the banks of River Jhelum about a thousand years before. Aitzaz Ahsan is a battle hardened comrade of change. His reference of Elephants of Porus should carry some weight.

According to Aitzaz Ahsan, Khawaja Asif behaved like Porus’s Elephant in the assembly. On one hand his trumpeting scared his own party member while on the other Kaptaan’s elephants watched hoping for flash of lighting to taken place. Unfortunately Elephants of both sides were either from Zia or Musharraf pens and Comrade Aitzaz Ahsan could easily recognize there political efficacy. In the 21st century elephants can neither charge nor defend, their size advantage has been lost.

PML (N) is a party of status-quo it can continue to rely on the elephants. But once the thunder of change crashes on them they will panic and cause a stampede as they have done twice already. It seems no lessons have been learnt either from either experience nor history –  proof of the lowest level of intelligence. It is widely believed that fools commit mistakes while wise men learn from them. When there is no learning it indicates total intellectual bankruptcy. It seems the party’s only interest is in buildup of finances not intellect.

On the other hand PTI is a party of change, what role can the elephants play for it? As a child growing up on the Mall near the Lahore Zoo I enjoyed the elephant ride – who was called Rani. She was a darling of our generation, good only for rides once on top it felt good but the journey was short. One outer round of the Zoo and it was over. Porus was proud of his Elephants and relied on them to save his kingdom but instead they trampled his own army. Elephants of the wild may still have some residual spirit or character but what can be expected from the Zia and Musharaf elephant Pens? As living species the Elephants are getting extinct but some how they have managed to survive in our parliament.

Humans have exploited and misused these large mammals. In Africa they are killed for their tusks. They do have circus appeal and that too only for children. Though they are vegetarians but they consume too much and are very fragile. Even ants can trouble them. Lightening and thunder scares them. Perhaps they can be kept and preserved only in the Zoo and Circus otherwise their era is over.

Elephants of Zia/Musharraf Pens can no longer be relied on. If an honest ballot returns, their weight and bulges will be of no consequence. PTI as a party of change relies on a credible electoral process it does not need high consumption beats to boost its chances of gaining power. In fact it too faces a risk of trampling by its own scared elephants. The Kaptaan can prevail with his spirited foot soldiers that are untainted and driven by spirit of change. Hopefully the stampede on the banks of river Jhelum in 320 BC will not be repeated in the 21st century. Kaptaan can certainly do better than Raja Porus and be remembered as a victorious leader who was not made to surrender by his own elephants.