Perhaps my friend Comrade Ahsan Rashid was the last honest investor in PTI before the invasion of the Hoods and Hashmids in 2011. After the mammoth Lahore Jalsa of October 30, 2011, the next challenge was the show of strength at ‘Mazar-e-Quaid’on December 25, 2011. By this time investors had arrived some to increase their wealth while the others to protect it.

When Javed Hashmi (Hashmid) emerged on the stage in Karachi, there were chants of ‘Baghi’. The environment was charged; almost everyone was elated to see him in the party fold. It was another great gathering after the ‘Lahore Jalsa’. From ‘Minar-e-Pakistan’ to the ‘Mazar-e-Quaid’, ‘Naya Pakistan’ was visible. When Azam Swati (Robin Hood) spoke to the Pushton crowd in their own language they danced with frenzy. After the Jalsa was over, some of us drove with Comrade Ahsan to the Sheraton Hotel where he had arranged a dinner. On the way, praises were being showered on the ‘Baghi’ to impress Ahsan Sahib of his political credentials. Initially I kept silent but when I couldn’t take it anymore, I intervened with a question. Why did ‘Baghi’ join Zia’s cabinet? Instead of an answer it was brushed aside as being irrelevant but the damage had been done. Being a founder member and an honest investor the comrade got the message, Hashmids within the party were exposed.

Like, Imran khan, Ahsan Sahib was also an honest and straight forward person. He believed what he was told. As a professional oil man he rose to be the President for a major company in the Middle East, earned his wealth abroad and wanted to spend it here for the common good of his countrymen. It was because of his untiring efforts that the party was organized with a spirit of giving not taking. He was the man behind the success of the October and December 2011 Jalsas that launched the party.

By contrast Robin Hood’s rise to fame was different. He was a legendary figure who lived around late fifteenth or early sixteenth century in Nottingham. Robbing from the rich and giving to the poor was his forte. He was termed as a heroic outlaw. Our Robin Hoods are different (their source of wealth should be probed) as they have been robbing the poor and then giving them back the crumbs of their own wealth. Loot and plunder of the national exchequer deprives the poor of their legitimate rights like food, education, health, infra structure etc. such individuals indeed hurt the legacy of Robin Hood who targeted the individual rich for the poor.

Hashmids were different; they targeted the aspirants of party tickets for the General Elections (GE) 2013. There were widespread claims that the tickets were auctioned to the highest bidder. A lot of money changed hands. Even Comrade Ahsan Rashid was not spared. He was made to lose the election of President Punjab in the Inter Party Elections (IPE) which was manipulated and then in the GE he was hit by the PML-N Mafia. At the later end of his life he was disappointed with Hoods and Hashmids of PTI and the Mafias of PML-N. His only solace was that he had tried his best and played by the rules of decency and morality in the morbid political arena of his motherland.

In the end truth always prevails. Hoods and Hashmids meet the end they deserve but cause a lot of damage in the process. Now that political cleansing has started in the country it is only a matter of time that it nets them. Status-quo is on its way out so are its proponents and beneficiaries no matter where they take refuge. The rules of the game are changing and moving in the direction of rationality.

Manipulation and rigging is being exposed together with corruption and misdeeds of the past. Three wickets have already fallen (NA-125, NA-122, NA-154) more will follow. Corrupt politicians have now lost the support of the Khakis and Qazis only their subservient Baboos remain in their fold.

It goes to the credit of Kaptaan that electoral reforms are being implemented. Democracy cannot function without a free and fair ballot. With ten manipulated elections through evil alliance of corrupt politicians, Khakis, Qazis and Baboos have pushed the country to the brink of disaster. Institutional damage is very deep and requires concentrated efforts to reverse the trend.

PTI was launched as a party of change in April 1996. Like-minded people kept joining the movement at various stages. The lawyer’s movement divided the establishment. Khakis under the leaderships of Pervez Musharraf and the Qazis led by Iftikhar Chaudhry stood face to face. The civil society sided with the rule of law. The Khaki credibility hit rock bottom. Musharraf had to resign in disgrace. Deposed judges were restored for the first time in the history of the country. People expected expedition’s justice not politics from them. The restored Chief Justice proved to be a big disappointment. No society can survive without ‘Insaf’ the very basis on which Kaptaan started his movement.

Only honest investors should have been included in the struggle for ‘Naya Pakistan’. Robin Hoods and their ill-gotten wealth and their resources were not required. Despite his ailment Comrade Ahsan Rashid travelled by road on his own car to attend the Central Executive Committee meetings in Islamabad. For the ‘Karachi Jalsa’ everyone bought his own ticket despite the generous offer of the Comrade. To run the Punjab secretariat contributions were sought. Path to freedom and change requires struggle and sacrifice, money cannot buy it. Aid always comes with strings, in life there are no free lunches. Dishonest investors have their own agendas. Kaptaan and his party have to decide whose agenda to follow. The Hashmids have lost their leader; the Hoods are under scrutiny while the party rank and file is looking at the leader for direction. These are indeed testing times, will our children be able to directly enjoy the fruits of our struggle or Robin Hoods will steal and then distribute what they desire. Kaptaan has to lead not follow. The eyes of the nation are focused on him.