I know a secret: Loyalties and limousines

Shahbaz Bhatti may have survived the attempt on his life last weekend, had his pleas for better security been heeded.

Khadim Hussain March 01, 2011
Federal Minister Shahbaz Bhatti may have survived the attempt on his life last weekend, had his pleas for better security, in particular a bullet proof car and a house in the Ministers’ Enclave been heeded.

While some cronies of the man on the hill have been given bullet proof cars, without holding any cabinet portfolio.


Elections to the Lahore High Court Bar, the biggest associations of lawyers in the country in terms of membership, were held on the last Saturday of February.  The contest was between Muhammad Asghar Gill and Rai Bashir.  Gill won by over 1,562 votes polling 4,172 votes. He was supported by the Professional Group.

His opponent was alleged to be sympathetic to those demanding death for those accused of blasphemy as well as those wanting to reform the law, and to whom Mumtaz Qadri is a hero.  What shocked many was that this man was supported by the sitting president of the highest bar association, the federal law minister and some prominent lawyers from his party.


One of the casualties of the culture where money talks and nonsense walks is the history of the freedom movement led by men like Quaid-i-Azam, Allama Iqbal and Maulana Fazalul Haq. Commercial media managers have made it possible to make heroes out of zeros and vice versa. To the shock of many, the man chosen to be appointed as Majlis-i-Iqbal chairman is none other than the scion of a Unioinist loyalist from Gujrat, whose family opposed the poet philosopher and Quaid-i-Azam. Another such self-styled custodian of Quaid’s ideology, is the group nicknamed as Gorkanan-i-Tehreek-i-Pakistan.


A former minister for religious affairs is said to have been a lower division clerk in the Taxation Department, Multan, in 1980s. Rumour has it, his services were terminated on charges of irregularities.

His father migrated from Amroha in 1935 to Multan and was a well-respected man. The former minister is said to have a weakness for fast, expensive cars.

Finally, the Lahore Ring Road Plan has been finalised, but a shortage of funds is delaying the project. When Pervaiz Elahi was chief minister, no plan existed even on paper. A former close associate of the House of Gujrat stated that the plan was “not on paper, but in the mind of the CM” and his talented son, now accused of irregularities in the NICL Scam.


It could only have happened in Pakistan. The son of a VVIP got cleared by a premier investigation agency, who wanted to know how the whiz-kid managed to buy a limousine worth over Rs10 million, when he had not paid any substantial income tax over the years. This also explains the sympathy wave for Rahat Fateh Ali Khan among the members of establishment and leader of Lahore-based event managers. What intrigued the unfortunate tax-paying public and Pakistani expats who send their earnings back to Pakistan, is the promptness of our embassy, foreign office and the interior ministry in helping the non-tax payers. There seems to be an unwritten law that offerings by devotees to the pirs, or their successors and entertainers’ earnings are tax-free. Of late a certain gaddi nasheen from Multan has been offered all sorts of gifts, ranging from houses to expensive cars by his new found devotees.

Khadim Hussain A Lahore based columnist for The Express Tribune who contributes to Five Rivers Running.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


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