An Ode to the Great Khan By Saad Saeed

khan
It was 18th September 2014. We waited for the time when Khan would speak at the protest camp. As usual he started around 9.30. There were all those anecdotes, historical references and incidents, achievements and struggles from his own life but there was something unusual about his speech that night. There was something unusual in his eyes and something new in his speech. With somewhat misty eyes he narrated the famous ending moments of the last sermon by the greatest leader of Humanity, our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) where he asked the listeners whether they would testify to God that he, Muhammad (PBUH), conveyed His message to them lucidly and forcefully. The respectful audience replied in affirmative and then they started weeping because it was evident that Prophet’s mission was complete and the time was perhaps near when, physically, he would no longer be within them.

But why did Imran quote this. Perhaps he wanted his Pakistanis to “listen” to his unspoken words that he has nothing more to say or to reveal to them. Perhaps he wanted his audience to realize that all he could do was to show them the unity in the lines of the oppressors and the disarray in those of the oppressed. That he has been left with nothing more to offer to them except his “life”. He has given away his personal comfort and ruined away his marital life, has resigned from the seats won by sheer hard work and against all odds and all forces. His work is over. Now the battle has to be fought by those whose rights are being trampled underfoot by the ruling elite.

You may agree with it or not. But this is my comprehension of his speech.

People ask us will your leader succeed in getting someone Big’s resignation. We don’t reply anymore. We have reconciled with the fact that we are different from them. There is a gap of eons between us and them which we have accepted.

All day long we wait for Khan’s main speech at the protest camp but for what? Is there any new thing he would say? Any new steps or strategy, he would announce? Nothing. People can’t understand why we wait for Khan. They can’t understand why we listen to his speeches when we know beforehand there will be nothing new.

They won’t understand that we want to see him because through his eyes we see a better future. We listen to him because in him speaks the combined voice of the youth. We see him on the container and we become aware of our own existence. The newspapers, newsmen, anchors, our opponents and to some extent our elders, all of them, they can’t understand that we “the believers of Khan” and “the believers in Khan” interact with him and connect with him on that transcendent plain which is out of reach for the mundane skeptics. We hear the echoes of his voice deep down in the realms our hearts where nothing except truth and love reign. Right or Wrong, Success or Failure, Dharna No Dharna: Nothing matters to us anymore.

The biggest news for us is: “Khan is there”.

In the eyes of Khan and through the eyes of Khan we see a dream: A dream of a better Pakistan, a resilient Pakistan and a flamboyant Pakistan. We see a respectable Pakistan and a respectable future for its coming generations.

For us IK is not only an agent of change. He is an agent of “Hope”: something which is on the verge of extinction here in Pakistan. He gave us hope on October 30th 2011 with his message of change, he gave us hope on the eve of last year’s general election with his message of a better future through ballot box and he gave us hope in the postelection dark days with his message of confidence in Pakistan’s judicial system.

Now when all the doors seemed closed and we were fast becoming pessimists and had started reconciling with the established order of the day, there came Khan, exuding confidence, energy, will power and personifying struggle determination and perseverance.

Today, he has again given us hope with his message of resilience and resistance against the injustices of a stinking despicable loathsome dark and rigid staus quo. After braving forty hard days and tormenting nights of struggle, rainstorms, humidity, gales, baton charges, police actions, teargasing, ridicules from outside and betrayals from within, the seed Khan had sown on a sweltering day of the 14th August, is fast blossoming into a beautiful flower whose fragrance is seeping through each strata of our society. A movement of struggle and resistance against a system of oppression is in the offing which can no more be smothered. The solitary and weak whispers for change have transformed into ONE voice for change and it cannot be stifled anymore. From now onwards we will never allow a usurper of any shade, be it Khaki or civilian, to deny us our rights and muffle our voices. We will shout for our rights. We will fight for our rights. (And on lighter note: We will dance for our rights)

The day is not far off when the biggest news for the world outside will not be that “Khan is there”. It would be “Yes, Pakistani Nation is there and is alive”

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usman hashmi

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