The National Assembly’s lower house session on November 11, 2013, started at around 5pm. As our esteemed parliamentarians find it hard to wake up early so our sessions are usually held in the evening and even then there are many delays. The jewel of the evening was Sheikh Rasheed, President AML’s speech. He stirred up the sleeping masses and onlookers in the galleries. A broadcast from a suspense thriller cannot have stirred the crowd like Sheikh Rasheed did.

Sheikh Rasheed started his speech around 6.45pm and chose to follow after PTI, Imran Khan had ended his drones fervor and criticized the government for failing the negotiation deal! In his excitement, Mr Rashid called upon the media to make a note of the price of tomatoes which are soaring at Rs 200 per kg and at the same time sent a clear message to the government to be empathetic towards the economic needs of the common man. With the current issue of “to be a martyr or not” – he added that the common man who is buying Rs 200 per kg tomato does not care “who is who.”

He also reflected upon the recent Nawaz-Obama meeting and said that the country does not want ‘Dialogue with Dollar’ but the people demand solution to all the political, economic and social problems they are facing everyday! He concluded his speech by announcing his support for Imran Khan’s long march to block the Nato supplies.

Both the leaders dispersed from the National Assembly Hall at the same time after conclusion of their speeches. Around 10 to 15 other MNA’s followed them and while walking down in the lobby Imran Khan said “Well done Sheikh Sahaab – zabardast.”

On one side we are debating on the definition of a martyr in the light of religious aspect, social aspect and “army clan” aspect – whereas, on the other end, the Taliban are gaining more strength by the hour, courtesy the leaders who think them to be the faithful who become martyrs once they die.

KANWAL ABIDI,

Islamabad, November 12.