Pakistani politicians’ relationship with the armed forces is similar to Laila Majnu’s love story, in a way that both have disastrous endings! Obviously, there are major differences as well. If we assume Pakistan Army to be Laila, then it represents the girl who is out of Majnu’s (Politicians, obviously) league who the latter simply can’t get enough of until they realize she was just a gold digger. So, we thought why not compile a list featuring the toxic relationships between our various Lailas and Majnus.
Iskander Mirza & General Ayub Khan
It started with Pakistan’s first president Iskander Mirza, who had a dream to be more noticeable than his future replacement Mamnoon Hussain. He saw that dream being accomplished in General Ayub Khan’s kingship. Mirza abrogated the constitution of Pakistan and declared martial law on Oct 7. Unfortunately, General Sahib didn’t see it the same way, dismissing him on Oct 27 and ordering him a life of exile in London. That was quite a short-lived affair.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto & General Ayub Khan
Yes, that is Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, one of the biggest opponents of dictatorship who in a letter to his daughter once wrote: “Dictator is the one animal who needs to be caged. He betrays his profession and his constitution. He betrays the people and destroys human values.” He supposedly greatly admired Ayub Khan and was also a member of his cabinet. Ayub Khan also has a big role in giving Bhutto political stardom.
Nawaz Sharif and General Zia-Ul-Haq
Zia-ul-Haq, if not the worst, is definitely one of the most hated dictators to have assumed power in Pakistan. And just like every other tyrant he had to himself a civilian groupie. This time it was Nawaz Sharif who held his first official title as a finance minister under Zia-ul-Haq. Our ex-prime minister was simply in love with him.
Just take a look at Nawaz Sharif’s election slogan after Zia-ul-Haq’s death:
Musharraf and almost everyone!
Unlike other tyrants, Musharraf was a people’s person. Plus, the narrative with which he came already gave him due credence. Much of the proclaimed progress in his time was a facade, which later on came to bite us in the… oh well you know. But our men have a knack of forgetting the ill-doings of previous kings. Most of our politicians went gaga over Musharraf and surprisingly they don’t deny it much either.
See, it was love at first sight:
That smile got Musharraf like “Martial me Imran”
Yup that’s Sheikh Rasheed. Are you really surprised though?!
Probably the first and the last time these boys got into power!
Zardari and General Kiyani
Zardari extended General Kiyani’s term by 3 years! Making it a total of 5 years; basically one whole democratic term. State within a state?
And Kiyani was like:
They be hatin’, I be rollin’.
But wait there is a shift!!!
Wait is that the spirit of courage I see?!
NAH, it’s just courage the cowardly dog(’s)
Somethings never change I guess
By the way just a short blast from the past; when there was the unsuccessful coup attempt in Turkey, this is what Imran had to say “People will celebrate a military takeover in Pakistan. The democracy here is threatened by Nawaz Sharif’s monarchy, not military.”
Is this a new love story in the making?
Anyways that’s all folks!
Also before I forget