I had a discussion through email with Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy, the eminent Pakistani scientist who holds a Ph.D in nuclear physics from MIT, USA and is known for his opposition to religious extremism and advocacy of scientific thinking and freedom of speech in Pakistan, for which he has made personal sacrifices. For this I have admired him. However, he is strongly opposed to Imran Khan who is presently bravely leading a struggle for democracy and free and fair elections in Pakistan against the fascist reign of terror unleashed by the Pakistan Establishment against the people of Pakistan.
A short while back I sent an email to Dr Hoodbhoy, saying that I have been supporting Imran Khan because he is bravely leading the democratic forces in Pakistan against the fascist reign of terror
He sent this reply :
Dear Justice Katju: Yes, Pakistan has a fascist military establishment but Imran Khan would happily go along with it if it agreed to support him again. At your leisure please read:
IK’s outlook is no less fascistic than that of our generals. Regards Pervez Hoodbhoy
I then wrote to him that no doubt Imran Khan has made mistakes in the past, for which I too severely criticised him then, but we have to see the present when a tyranny has been imposed in Pakistan, against which Imran Khan is bravely fighting, even when many of his close colleagues in the PTI have deserted him (out of fear or some inducement ) or have gone underground, and most Pakistanis have been silenced.
Dr Hoodbhoy responded :
The present is no different from the past. I dread IK more than the generals because he is a certified Islamic fanatic whereas there are at least 10-20% sane soldiers.
To this I replied :
What were these 10-20% ‘sane’ soldiers doing when thousands of people in Pakistan were arrested, their houses broken into, women dragged by their hair, journalists like Imran Riaz Khan ‘disappeared’, court orders flagrantly flouted, and a reign of terror unleashed in Pakistan ?
To this he responded :
Condemnable as these actions of the military are, I will not shed tears for a man who has turned Pakistan’s ordinary schools into madarsas through the Single National Curriculum, supported the TTP, celebrated the takeover of Kabul by the Taliban, and attended rallies of the fanatical Khatm-e-Nabuwat.
I then wrote to him:
I too have condemned this for all this, but can you deny that Imran Khan is basically honest, while the PDM leaders are a gang of dacoits who have looted Pakistan (as the Panama Papers and other irrefutable evidence discloses)? Do you want army rule in Pakistan? Imran Khan is not inherently an Islamic fanatic, as you contend, but he made compromises for election purposes in 2018 (which I too say he should not have done).
But presently he is bravely leading a struggle against widespread violation of human rights in Pakistan. We have to see the present, while you see the past
Please reconsider your view
Dr Hoodbhoy then wrote :
Imran Khan is presently charged in multiple cases, each of which is solidly base
1. He stole massively from the Toshakhana.
2. He and his wife accepted billions as bribe from the notorious Riaz Malik.
3. He did not declare his illegitimate daughter (who Jemima Goldsmith now looks after) 4. as per law.
5. He pays taxes for a house he declared in his tax returns that is 20 times lower than the market value.
6. He surrounded himself with every thug and thief in town so that he could get to the top.
To which I replied :
Dear Dr Hoodbhoy
I have read your email.
As regards the Toshakhana matter, this is trivial (whatever be its truth) compared to the huge loot by PDM leaders ( of which u mention nothing )
As regards the alleged billions of bribes he received from Riaz Malik, what is the proof ? After all, this much money cannot possibly be in cash. Has anyone referred to any bank account where it is kept ? If not, how do u say the allegation is ‘solidly’ based ?
As regards his alleged daughter, this is surely a personal matter, and has nothing to do with his public life.
As regards the taxes he paid, that is a matter which will be looked into by the income tax authorities.
As regards surrounding himself with ‘every thug and thief in town’, this is surely an exaggeration. Yes, he gave PTI tickets to dubious ‘electables’ in the 2018 national elections as a compromise (which I too have said earlier he should not have done).
It seems to me you are making a mountain out of a molehill.
Moreover, you must see the present situation, in which Imran Khan is bravely leading the democratic forces against fascist tyranny which has been unleashed in Pakistan. Why are the overwhelming number of Pakistanis supporting him (even the overseas Pakistanis)? Have they all gone mad? And do you, or do you not support Imran Khan’s call for free and fair elections?
You seem to shy away from all these questions
Dr Hoodbhoy responded :
Sir: You seem willing and happy to whitewash every one of Imran Khan’s heinous crimes. It is best that we end this conversation.
Regards, Pervez Hoodbhoy
I responded :
And you in your blind hatred for Imran Khan see nothing in him but evil, ignoring the brave fight he is waging against the fascist tyranny of Pakistan’s Establishment which has violated all human rights.
I had replied one by one to all the 5 points you raised, but you have not responded to anything except alluding to Imran Khan’s alleged ‘heinous crimes’ (whatever you mean by that).
I too have no desire to continue this conversation with a person with a closed mind, who it seems to me does not want to displease the Pakistan Establishment, fearing some adverse consequences