Fazlullah Shah. PHOTO: EXPRESS/ HYDER ALI
KARACHI: “I have never met Imran Khan in my life, but I am his supporter, his comrade, his party’s candidate. His ideology and manifesto, I am convinced, can save Pakistan. Just, please, could he meet me once? It will help motivate me in my struggle. And it will re-energise the people of Thatta,” says an earnest looking Fazlullah, a tad bit nervous as he talks to The Express Tribune.
The deteriorating situation of Thatta brought him to a point where he felt he must wage a fight, if nothing else. “The whole of Thatta is like the ruins of Thatta,” says this candidate of the NA 237 constituency. Fazlullah shares his sadness over how, in the wake of the devastating floods, normally self-sufficient people were forced to beg in the streets of Thatta, with no help in sight.
Like many Pakistanis who choose to stay back in Pakistan in this era of mayhem and do something to improve the status quo, Syed Fazlullah Shah, aka Nasir Shah, made a choice not to go abroad although he has visited Europe many times for business and had other options. “I can speak five languages, including German,” he says proudly.
To Fazlullah, solutions to the building frustration came in the form of all what the PTI manifesto offers. “I am no political analyst but I do know that PTI has a fair chance since political space has been generated because of the previous government’s dismal performance and the people being disillusioned,” he says, adding that PTI is a great attempt at stabilising and reviving Pakistan.
“The feudal and the powerful don’t have patent rights over this country! The average man can get up and take charge, like me,” he says.
In a community where power is passed on as a legacy and new faces are not welcome, especially those from non-political average backgrounds like Fazlullah, he has taken a big chance and invested everything into the election campaign. His direct opponents include Marvi Memon of PML-N, Syed Riaz Hussain Shah Shirazi (Shirazi group) and Sadiq Memon of PPP. Incidentally, President Zardari’s foster brother is contesting from the same area for a provincial assembly seat.
“My mother is old and was initially very concerned that I may land into trouble,” says Fazlullah, adding, “But even she has understood that for improving future of Pakistan, the common man has to stand up and support those leaders, like Imran Khan, who genuinely want to change this country for the better. Now, my mother’s prayers are with me.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2013.