Jamshed Dasti finds another cause to champion

Jamshed Dasti, a local version of a wannabe-Robin Hood from Muzaffargarh, is a born rebel.

Nusrat Javeed February 28, 2014

Jamshed Dasti, a local version of a wannabe-Robin Hood from Muzaffargarh, is a born rebel. His causes, however, seem to change all too often. Starting as a junior clerk at a lawyer’s office, he quickly learnt all the tricks in the book to survive if the police decided to chase you vigorously. Then he tried to make a career in journalism by conducting raids on multiple “dens of vice” in his area, spinning the kind of sensational stories that sell tabloids. Finally, he switched to organising transporters and their workers catering oil to the Kot Addu power plant and quickly turned them into a terms-dictating mafia. Thanks to the inherent strength of the same organisation, he eventually reached the National Assembly in 2008.

Our 24/7 channels were slightly late to notice this PPP backbencher, though, and only from 2010 began projecting him but as a prototype of “corrupt politicians.” We were made to believe that he had sneaked into the National Assembly with a “fake degree.” The Supreme Court eventually summoned him to prove his credentials. Instead, he resigned and returned to the house by contesting the re-election.

The degree-connected controversy and his surviving through it turned Dasti into a media star. He diligently milked his celebrity status to come closer to Asif Ali Zardari and to force PPP ministers to dance to his orders. Coming close to the general election of May 2013, however, he opted to go ‘independent.” His “degree” created some legitimacy problems when he submitted his nomination papers. Defending his reputation with a choked voice, he again succeeded to pull through this stage and won both the National Assembly seats from Muzaffargarh.

Throughout the five years of the previous assembly, Dasti would often lynch the PML of Nawaz Sharif by portraying it as a “ruthless representative of Takht-e-Lahore,” which did not want the Seraiki speakers of southern Punjab to thrive by carving out a separate province of their own. Minutes after winning both seats of the National Assembly on May 11, 2013, he established contact with the PML-N and soon reached Raiwind to express support for both the Sharif brothers, but without joining their political party.

He had to vacate one seat and when a by-election was called, he put his own brother to contest against the father of Hina Rabbani Khar, the former foreign minister. Noor Rabbani is the scion of the Khar family that remained formidable in local politics since the 1970s. Voters in Kot Addu rightly discovered that Dasti was now set to launch his own ‘dynasty’ after defying and briefly toppling the hold of the Khars.

After losing the said bye-election, Dasti has been trying hard to find a prominent position in Imran Khan’s PTI. Shah Mehmood Qureshi refused to trust him, though, and Jehangir Tareen did not feel comfortable either. Left to his own, Dasti surely needed a new ‘cause’ to stage a grand comeback in media.

This Thursday morning indeed proved to be his day in this context. When most people sitting in a half-deserted house were seen yawning for the lack of any engaging business, he took the microphonea on a point of order and stunned everyone around by claiming with a hurt heart that the officially provided and furnished residential quarters of our public representatives in Islamabad have been turned into impregnable “citadels of vice.”

Too audacious but confident he sounded while claiming that people living in parliamentary lodges spent 40 to 50 million rupees annually for the purchase of branded alcohol. “All corridors of these lodges reek of unbearably pungent smell of hash and women of dubious reputation frequently visit them.” He also claimed to be having a video with him clearly established that “dancing girls were regularly invited by many parliamentarians to host Mujra parties.”

After narrating a long list of vices, allegedly committed in parliamentary lodges, Dasti demanded from the chair that a special committee of the house should be established to verify charges levelled by him. He also wished that a team of qualified doctors be formed to conduct various tests of “all legislators” for weeding out the addicted types.

Ms Kishwar, a woman MNA from the JUI-F, was sitting in the presiding chair, when Dasti launched his diatribe. She didn’t feel motivated to check his rant. This compelled Sardar Ayaz Sadiq to send a chit to her from his chambers in panic. Only after reading it, she finally told Dasti that he should discuss “such in house stuff with the speaker in his chambers.” Later, the speaker also tried to do some damage control through passing some censoring remarks, but the media had already gone berserk for having a sensational story.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2014.


Hamid Hameed | 9 years ago | Reply

Is his B.A degree, no more fake?

moon | 9 years ago | Reply

we know about dasti but at the same time he is right. Mr nusrat look into your collar what i feel about u hahahaahah i hope u understand

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