Hit and run by Shakir Husain
Published in The News
Pakistan is lucky enough to have a visionary leader in the form of`Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain whose family has sacrificed so much for the people of Pakistan. So when this great leader’s younger brother Wajahat Hussain and three nephews were detained under the anti-terrorist law at Gatwick Airport in London for several hours upon their arrival from Barcelona I felt insulted. I was then taken on an emotional roller coaster when they were deported from London for Pakistan without even being given an opportunity to shop at duty free. Here are the blood relatives of one of the greatest politicians the world has ever seen, and they are treated in this terrible manner and deported without even being allowed to pick up their favourite Marks & Spencer sweaters. Oh the cruelty.
Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain for those of you who need an introduction is the president of the PML-Q, and had a brief stint as prime minister as well. His cousin Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi served selflessly as the Chief Minister of Punjab and the family has given up so much to serve the people of Pakistan. But Chaudhry Shujaat will go down in the annals of history as one of the finest orators that this country has ever produced. Had Chaudhry Shujaat gone to Oxford, he would surely have been the president of the Oxford Union – I hear that Oxford is planning to give the veteran politician an honorary degree. What most people don’t know is that Chaudhry Shujaat is the honorary Consul General for South Korea, and as always he has underplayed his role in creating thousands of jobs created by the famed yellow cab scheme during the Nawaz years. The humble Chaudhry Shujaat and how he has served selflessly, yet the British Government treats his relatives like suspected terrorists? How low can Her Majesty’s security forces stoop?
On Friday the foreign office summoned Britain’s Acting High Commissioner Ray Kyles and conveyed their “concern” and “displeasure” over the way, Chaudhry Shujaat’s brother and little nephews were treated by British anti-terror police. What they should have communicated to the acting high commissioner was that Chaudhry Shujaat was actually our very own Winston Churchill and the high regard that the people of Pakistan have for him. The foreign office should also demand that the transcript of the interrogation should also be made public so that the people of Pakistan know that the Chaudhry brothers and their family are as clean as the driven snow. And that no attempt to tarnish their impeccable reputation will succeed, as the people of Pakistan know that all their dealings are above board.
In the same vein, President Musharraf should feel for his political ally and best friend. Here he is, the world’s most renowned anti-terrorist president who fought on the front line in the “War on Terror” for almost a decade, and his best friend’s younger brother is being detained and deported? I’m surprised that the president hasn’t found time from his lectures at Davos (the President is also an economist when he’s not fighting terror, lawyers, and judges) to call Gordon Brown and give him a military style dressing down. I’m also surprised that President Musharraf has not ordered that a commission be set up with the help of Scotland Yard to find out what exactly happened and why these friends of his were detained. After all they were in Barcelona to mobilize the Pakistani community there on his behalf. In essence they were presidential diplomats travelling on state business – no doubt on the expense of the state (and us lowly taxpayers of course) and since the state being General (r) Musharraf he should step up to the plate immediately.
While student groups across the country are planning vigils to mark this great disrespect to the Chaudhries of Gujrat, I believe that Moonis Elahi, who is well known in Lahore as one of the greatest young entrepreneurs this country has ever produced, is planning on abandoning all ventures in Great Britain. Not only that the son of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, whose business acumen far outstrips his youth is also planning on liquidating the family’s assets in Great Britain as a sign of protest. Reportedly the British High Commission is quaking in their boots at this huge loss of investment. According to sources in the financial community, Marks & Spencer’s stock price is going to take a nosedive on the FTSE on Monday as the Gujrati clan has announced a boycott of all M&S products.
Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, a man of many talents is also reportedly extremely upset at the detention of his younger brother (and little nephews), and is said to be in a state of emotional distress. Insiders believe that this event may impact the fiery speeches the elder statesman was to give in the PML-Q’s election campaign, which in turn may be a blow to South Asian democracy. Had the British government thought about the far-reaching implications of their actions?
As a Pakistani I think it is the government’s duty to make the facts around the detention of Wajahat Hussain absolutely clear to the public, and he British government should also ensure that all the details are released to the press. Pakistan cannot afford to ignore the plight of one of its greatest politicians, linguist, orator, and most of all a visionary who has not gained an iota since he became a public servant.