I was at a BBQ last weekend. A bright young Pakistani entrepreneur, Mujtaba Hameed came up to me for a chat. He said “Uncle I learn from your analysis based on substantive arguments. However, what I really enjoy is the blend with events from your memory lane. Please keep doing it. I love the mix.” Such feedback from friends and readers is rejuvenating. Thank you all; it gives me a reason to indulge in nostalgia. I have so much to share. The present events leading up to 17th July take me to another Punjabi folklore. “Dhadian da sat we be saw hunda aiy.” Translating at times loses the essence. Yet I will try for non-Punjabi readers. Here is a bit of background. It captures transactions between the powerful and the weak. In days gone by, money count was based on multiples of twenty. Correct arithmetic is five twenties add up to to a hundred. However, the translation goes “when the powerful extract money from the poor, it takes seven twenties to add up to a hundred.” Summation: the powerful play by their own rules defying realities. That is unfolding daily in the upcoming by-elections in Punjab. On one side we have the powerful. Who are they? This imported regime in the Centre was rammed down our throats by the US with their local enablers and their illegally installed government in Punjab. Jointly they control the police, the civil administration and the polling staff deployed for conducting polls. Include all the intelligence agencies under civilian control. There is compelling evidence that the Election Commissioner is in cahoots, pandering to the demands of the Sharifs. Add to that the corrupt Mafias and crime syndicates. IK’s message is loud and clear. Pakistanis have to stand guard to ensure the elections are fair and free. Thrown into the mix are confounding variables of “Mr X” in Lahore and “Mr Y” in Multan. In this age of social media, they will soon be revealed. I hope and pray that the colour of their uniforms is not khaki. All my life I admired and adored khakis. In this rough and tumble of conspiracy; a typhoon originated in the West and landed on our shores. It has blurred all lines. The conduct leading up to 9th April and subsequent positioning further poisoned the well. A free and fair election will go a long way to resurrect a tarnished image. The nation needs it; khakis are our bulwark against the enemies. The other side is the underdogs – the awam. 75 years ago Muslims of the subcontinent united as an impregnable wall leading to the creation of Pakistan. It was re-ignited for a short while when India attacked Pakistan in 1965. History repeated itself on 10th April 2022 when the whole nation came out in every city, big or small, protesting the manipulated removal of PM IK. This movement has been gaining strength with every passing day, despite certain setbacks. Allah is the greatest Planner of all. The vacancies created by unseating the shameless “lotas” were meant to consolidate PML (N) and provide them with a majority in Punjab. It has blown up in the face of these earthly planners. It has provided an opportunity for PTI to reach out and mobilize the masses. IK has held historical meetings all over Punjab, especially in rural areas with record turnouts. No “qeemay walay naans” or public transport was provided. Hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children turned up on their own. They braved the hot weather and torrential rains in numbers that I have never seen throughout my 50 years of involvement in politics. IK’s message is loud and clear. Pakistanis have to stand guard to ensure the elections are fair and free. They have to protect their polling stations, and voting records and resist all attempts at rigging. I have discussed this with friends who have experience in conducting polls. Pre-poll rigging has been done by Election Commission by tampering with voters’ lists by moving them away from their polling stations. On election day, PTI supporters have to remain extremely vigilant; especially against the following tactics to prevent the stuffing of ballot boxes: Fights are created to disrupt voting. This opportunity is used to cast fraudulent votes. Women’s polling stations are most vulnerable. At the end of polling, everyone relaxes and takes a break. Polling agents stand guard and don’t take your eyes off the ballot boxes. PTI reps should not move after count till they obtain their final results duly signed and stamped by officials. Immediately take a picture and send it to PTI election control centres. The fight is with the most devious fraudsters backed by corrupt umpires. July 17th will decide the future direction of Pakistan. Will we have the true will of the people prevail or are we headed towards a corrupt fascist rule for decades? The present mood and motivation of the voters will not accept any nonsense. Will 18th July be a day of rejoicing people’s victory or the start of protests never witnessed before? Everyone keeps referring to Sri Lanka. There are tons of other examples of people’s revolt. Look at Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt. Lebanon rebellion, Indonesian overthrow of Suharto and revolutions in Africa and South America. Mao’s long march, Bolsheviks in Russia and French revolutions are beacons of light. It is IK’s call to make. The fascists will be unable to suppress or withstand nationwide protests. The army will not fire on its people. The writer is the director of CERF, a non-profit, charitable organisation in Canada.