Diesel is a dirty fuel worldwide, it is being replaced by cleaner options. About two years back I visited Dublin, Ireland for a European Union (EU) funded project to replace all diesel trucks with CNG (Compressed Natural Gas). EU cargo arrives at the port in Dublin which is then transported all across the continent. Diesel is associated with dirt and is on its way out.

Unfortunately, in Pakistan it has been a part of our politics since 1988 when Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman got elected for the first time from a constituency in Dera Ismail Khan. Pakistan People’s Party under the leadership of Benazir Bhutto (BB) emerged as the single largest party in the National Assembly. Maulana issued a fatwa that a female cannot be the Prime Minister (PM) in an Islamic State. BB and her party had been struggling for over a decade against the third usurper, there were clear signs of fatigue. She was willing to compromise to come into power. It is alleged that she rewarded the Maulana with ‘Diesel Permits’ to gain his favours.

There was no turning back for the Maulana, the goodies started to flow. In October 2001 the Maulana challenged the government of Pervez Musharraf. He was arrested to be released in March 2002. In 2004 he managed to become the leader of opposition by 2007 he started to focus on the coveted position of the PM. He even lobbied with the US Ambassador to seek her support but did not succeed.

Maulana lost the elections in 1990, 1997 and 2018, he got elected in 1998, 1993, 2002, 2008, 2013. Once in the assembly he has been able to negotiate important positions and perks for himself and his party members. As President of MMA (Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal) he secured the government in KPK. Akram Khan Durrani remained Chief Minister for a full term (2002 – 2007). Currently he is under NAB investigation. MMA was an alliance of right wing religious parties cobbled together by the fourth dictator with several nomenclatures (Musharraf Mulla Alliance, Military Mulla Alliance etc).

After the 2008 elections the Maulana managed to occupy important position in the PPP government. Then came the PML-N administration after the 2013 elections, the Maulana continued as Chairman of the ‘Kashmir Committee’ with the rank of a Federal Minister. After thirty years (1988 – 2018) the journey of ‘Diesel’ came to an end with an unceremonious election defeat.

The Prime Minister (PM) is right; this is the first assembly since 1988 without ‘Diesel’. BB had the opportunity to end the Zia era after her election victory after the demise of the dictator. She opted for compromises with Ghulam Ishaq Khan as the President. Most comrades who had struggled for democracy were overlooked instead a new era of ‘Diesel Politics’ started which has continued since then. Now there is a ‘Diesel Alliance’ to retain status-quo and thwart efforts for ‘Naya Pakistan’.

Till the first Martial law in October 1958 most politicians were upright and honest. Ayub Khan introduced the politics of ‘Diesel’ and ‘Dirt’ which has continued unabated. People’s Party under the leadership of Bhutto able to empty the ‘Diesel Tanks’ in the 1970 elections. Zia re-introduced the ‘Dirt Tanks under PML(Pagara) to take on PPP. After his death a larger pool of dirt was created called IJI (Islami Jamhoori Ittehad). Asghar Khan the upright politician joined BB to challenge this onslaught on the democratic order. The Supreme Court has already ruled against this pool of dirty politicians who received funds from the establishment.

For democracy to gain strength the ‘Diesel Tanks’ have to emptied and then dismembered for all times to come to be replaced by an honest electoral process. The so called ‘Azadi March’ is in fact the Swan Song of the ‘Diesel Politics’. Maulana is just the figure head the fuel is being provided by the ‘Political Dirt Pools’ which are cash rich. There are no money trails for this ill gotten wealth.

Logistics play an important role in any march. A civilian ‘Militia’ has been organized by the Maulana under the name of ‘Ansar-e-Islam’, who are currently conducting drills to cross rivers and mountains to reach the capital. In 1971 a similar situation was created when Bhutto’s ‘People’s Guard’’ and Wali Khan’s ‘Pakhtun Zalme’ came to a standoff in KPK (NWFP). Better sense prevailed then and all civilian ‘Militias’ were banned under the 1973 constitution. While the RSS Zealots are giving guard of honour to Modi, the ‘Ansar-e-Islam’ uniformed guards are doing it for the Maulana. India is moving towards Fascism, Pakistan has to be saved. Peaceful protest is a part of democracy but without ‘Militias’ funded through ‘Diesel Politics’. In India BJP is the political face of RSS, while PML-N is in the RSS role to the Maulana by providing the funds and the backup support required for the march. To counter the PTI march a joint session of the parliament was called in 2014. Before the march all PTI legislators resigned from the assembly. Elected representatives from the mainstream parties should tender their resignations before participating in the march. Only then the year 2020 will be an election year either to fill in their vacant positions through by-elections or national elections if the PM decides to dissolve the parliament. In either case Pakistan has to be diesel free for our coming generations to breathe and prosper. Pakistan has to be cleansed.