A religious leader
By Nadia Khan
He has started his political career as the President of a student wing of a religious party that holds partial majority in Baluchistan and NWFP provinces. After the death of his renowned father he has set up his own faction of the party and laid down the foundation of "political inheritance" by disregarding many of his teachers and seniors.
He claims that he is the only religious force who interacted with secular political parties under the Alliance for Restoration of Democracy (ARD) movement to build up moderate culture in 80s and fight against the then dictatorial rule. However after 20 years he has been termed as an all-time-ally of establishment who sticks to powerbase only!
During 90s he was indicted in diesel permit scandal case, which refers to corruption in export of diesel (which Pakistan seldom does) but he survived due to volatile political environment and weak print media, however common men term him as "Mullah Diesel."
He became short tempered while answering a famous TV anchor to a question about his earnings & finances; he replied that, "I beg to people for pennies and paisas, Zakat & donations (Khayrat)!" Being a poor and needy, along with his armed commandos he has setup 1500 religious seminaries in NWFP, Baluchistan and Southern Punjab provinces that later turned to be the "foundation houses" for the formation of Taliban forces initially in Afghanistan and now in Pakistan. His critics say that he has served as the Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee of National Assembly under the Premiership of late Benazir Bhutto's govt. In that capacity he has built up an extensive followers network in the Middle East to gather both moral and financial support for his "Pro Taliban" cause. He also travelled to the United States and met senior officials.
He claims himself as champion of democracy but instituted 17th amendment in 1973 constitution that had barred major political leaders from mainstream politics and given extra powers to the President of Pakistan who was a serving Army Chief also. Once the dictator relinquishes the office due to impeachment pressure, he quickly turned his face towards the new "Lords" of democracy and became a strong voice to revoke this amendment. His political opponents say that initially he was fierce opponent of Musharraf regime over US intervention of Afghanistan but later turned himself into a "friendly opposition" who has helped the re election of Musharraf in army uniform by delaying the dissolution of NWFP assembly.
In October 2001, President Musharraf had placed him under house arrest & charged him with sedition for inciting the people against the armed forces and for trying to overthrow the government. In a strange move, after 4 months only, he was set free in March 2002 and all the cases against him were withdrawn. When exposed, he has refuted all the land corruption charges against him while terming the newspapers and journalist as agents of Jews who published this story. Once the journalist filed the case in the court he has made an off the record deal with the said journalist outside the court and taken back his own words. Likewise after prime minister, Senate committee members and people of Pakistan pressure his brother has made an unconditional compromise with his junior and returned back the Prado car which his arm commands has snatched from his sub ordinate.
He claims himself as "Voice of Poorest" but instituted his four out of five brothers in politics; two each in national and provincial assemblies. Unfortunately fifth is a government servant. He has sidelined any one including his long-time lieutenant Hafiz Hussain Ahmed, who has raised his voice for formal elections within the party and continued the politics of inheritance. He paid no attention to common men complaints that his party local leadership in Tank (Maulana Sharifuddin and Maulana Asamuddin) in last five years in government of NWFP made the record bribe and even for transfer of PTC teachers they received Rs.20,000 per candidate from the poors.
He has opposed deposed Chief Justice Ifthikhar Chaudhry and said that, "he had given a verdict against the Hasba Bill which was aimed at promulgating Islamic laws in the NWFP." However his views about Chief Justice Chaudhry (especially during the All Parties Conference) were seen as part of his efforts to become prime minister of Pakistan after reaching some understanding with the then President Gen Pervaiz Musharraf.
While a coalition partner with present govt, he didn't raise his voice for independent judiciary when only People's Party workers and those rejected in elections got inducted as judges in highest judiciary.
He claims himself as part of Opposition but remain in the corridors of power since last 15 years by enjoying as National Assembly Committee Chairman for Foreign Affairs, Opposition Leader in National Assembly and currently enjoying the status of hidden federal minister.
Now he is very much instrumental to arrange peace deal between two confronting leaders for reconciliation however his former close colleagues warn both parties about his shady character in politics for personal gains only.
His honest & sincere father must be turning in his grave violently about his & other son's activities!!!!