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Khawaja Asif

HIGH NOON AT MIDNIGHT

The Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri show, or as my friend Ejaz Haider puts it, the “Lucky Irani Circus”, finally made it to where they wanted to be in the first place and where the Mian Nawaz Sharif regime did not want them at any time, at the “D Square” in front of Parliament. While it was a massive crowd, the numbers do not matter. The emotions of the men, women and children who braved both the artificial and natural odds to follow their leaders to their date with destiny did. Contrary to the govt-fed propaganda most of our more renowned TV anchors were parrotting ad nauseam, the PTI followers remained true and faithful. Not politically extensive nationwide as Imran Khan’s, Tahirul Qadri’s flock in Islamabad numbered far more. Their remarkable capacity to remain resolute and with resilience, all with remarkable discipline, belies political reckoning. Make no mistake, the Sharifs under-estimated Tahirul Qadri’s political nuisance value. Alongside Imran, he may well bring down their govt.

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CHINESE HIGHWAY TO ENERGY HEAVEN

Flanked by his Minister of State Abid Sher Ali and the Federal Secretary, Ms Nargis Sethi, Khawaja Asif, the Federal Minister for Water and Power, and of Defence, claimed that load-shedding was necessitated because of the rapid accumulation of circular debt to Rs280 – Rs300 billion. Some private power plants had shut down, reducing the power supply by 1500 MW and taking the overall shortfall to 7,000 MW. Forced into unannounced power outages to “save the system”, he said that the govt had framed short, medium and long-term plans to end load-shedding in the country. Strangely enough he contradicted himself at the same time by admitting his govt’s inability to remove deficiencies in the system.

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