Sunday, 11 December 2011

Prof. Aftab Lodhi


Prof. Aftab Lodhi is the chairman of Pakistan Awami TehreekeInqilab. Pakistan Awami Tehreek-e-Inqilab, is a political party with a difference.The party came in to being on 14 August 1993 under the leadership of Prof Aftab Lodhi, a revolutionary scholar, thinker, politician and an iconoclast.. The party name translated in English implies the Pakistan Peoples' Revolutionary Movement."
Aftab Lodhi played a dynamic role in convincing all who mattered to conduct “Nuclear Explosion” before sanctions were clamped upon Pakistan. He was vocal in “The All Parties Conference” which gave an ultimatum to conduct the tests before 30th May 1998 and which forced the government to the 28th May 1998 Nuclear Explosions.
Aftab Lodhi continued his political struggle single handed trying to bring the rightist and religious forces of the country together. He received popularity amongst the masses as well as the intelligentsia acting as a bridge between the political and religious parties as well as the minorities.
In late 1996 he met Imran Khan, the Chairman of “ Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf.”In his few meetings with him, Aftab Lodhi found in him a dynamic and sincere person with similar revolutionary ideas and came close to him. The PTI chief Imran Khan was quite impressed by Aftab Lodhi’s personality particularly after his address to a “Jalsa” of the Christian community organized by PTI which was also addressed by Imran Khan himself. After the “Jalsa”, Imran Khan remarked that he had never been so impressed by someone in such a short time as by Aftab Lodhi.
Later, he added that he would like to discuss with Aftab Lodhi in greater detail after his meeting with then President Farooq Leghari. Somehow, the meeting was delayed by some staff personnel of the PTI who felt that Aftab Lodhi would outshine the others if both the leaders joined hands. Lodhi was however welcomed by Dr.Parvez Hasan , the PTI Secretary General and Mr.Hamid Khan , the Senior Vice President who organized a detailed tete’a tete meeting between Imran Khan and Aftab Lodhi . Upon Imran Khan’s invitation , Lodhi joined hands with him as the “ Pakistan Tehreek-e-Inqilab” and “Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf” merged into one entity.
The PTI Chief showed great respect for Lodhi’s ideas particularly as he advised an alliance with "some" rightist and religious forces since PTI was new and pitched "against ruling giants".. However the idea of an alliance was spurned by some stalwarts of PTI who prevailed upon Imran Khan “to go solo” in the election campaign.
With PTI Senior Vice President Hamid Khan, and Dr. Parvez Hasan supporting Aftab Lodhi for the National Assembly seat in PTI Parliamentary Board, Aftab Lodhi met stubborn resistance from some stalwarts who ultimately prevailed.
The PTI Chief Imran Khan was too busy and was not accessible and the non cooperative attitude of the to stalwarts pushed Aftab Lodhi into opting out of the alliance.
From December, 1996 to October, 1998, Prof. Aftab Lodhi again resumed his single handed struggle against the forces of tyranny, oppression and dictatorship. He filed his nomination papers for National Assembly NA-93 and PP-119 but realizing that the so called election was only a contest of material resources, he resigned and withdrew from the polls.
Yet, he never faltered in his unstinting efforts to denounce ill governance and political extravaganza leading to high inflation and currency devaluation. As a strong supporter of Kalabagh Dam, he minced no words in condemning the enemies of KBD. He flayed the Pakhtoonistan issue and demanded the demobilization of “Private armies of political waderas”. His efforts in highlighting the “Kashmir Cause”, promoting Pak China Friendship, increasing reliance upon own resources, enhancing Nuclear and Ballistic capability, forcing all who mattered not to sign the CTBT and the FMCT treaties deserve particular mention. He was loud in exposing the conspiracies being hatched against Pakistan and emphasised strengthening ties with our time-tested friend “The People’s Republic of China.” He kept demanding “Realignment of National Foreign Policy” to Look East before it was too late!
Recognizing his political struggle and the goal congruence of “Tehreek-e-Inqilab” and “Pakistan Awami Tehreek”, the Chairman PAT Prof. Dr. Tahir ul Qadri invited Prof. Aftab Lodhi to join hands with him.
On 28th October 1998 at a historic conventions of “The Tehreek-e-Inqilab”,Dr.Tahir ul Qadri addressing the conventions openly invited Prof. Aftab Lodhi to join “ The Pakistan Awami Tehreek” as his Deputy and Chief Organizer. Thus began a dynamic era of “ The Pakistan Awami Tehreek” as the Media and the masses fond a leader who not only provided scintillating leadership to his party but also  became the focus of  Media’s attention. In weeks and months Aftab Lodhi led PAT in a democratic sruggle as a Central Leader of “The Pakistan Awami Ittehad” alongside Dr. Tahir ul Qadri, Mohterma Benazir Bhutto, Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan and PTI Chief, Imran Khan. Soon Aftab Lodhi was allover Pakistan leadind dozens of rallies against the government and addressing four to five press conferences in twenty four hours time. His tireless efforts and devotion to his party bought PTA in the limelight as a political force capable of defying all adversaries such that Media critics started commenting about the prospects of PAI claiming an important share in the next government. A journal commented that if Pakistan had a Presidential system of Government, Dr. Tahir ul Qadri could be President and Aftab Lodhi an ideal Prime Minister.
However, as a PAT Chairman looked towards USA seeking support in an anti PML(N) Movement, Aftab Lodhi was apprehensive about US designs. He had strongly condemned the Indo-Israeli US nexus expoing the consipiracies of the “US Stranton Research Report of 1998” and “The Rhode Island US Naval Base Think Tank Plan of 1999” which was led to the 9/11 debacle aftermath and “The plight of Pakistan” in the so called “War on Terror”.
Lodhi was vehemently opposed to the US designs forcing Pakistan to sign the CTBT. His historic address in the “All Parties” most hosted by ANP at Rawalpindi was landed by the “Pakistan Awami Ittehad” President Nawabzada Nasrulleh Khan. PTI Chief, Imran Khan was the only political leader other than Nawabzada Nasrullah , who supported Aftab Lodhi, whose forceful arguments resulted up his being convener of National CTBT Committee. Strikingly all other parties had supported the signing of CTBT but none dared to oppose him  ever.
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