TORONTO: Want to see politics of Pakistani style, go to Mississauga? You will get the taste of both---Pind (Village) and Chaudhary (Head of the village)--- I happened to witness one recently. The environment was such and the audience so charged that I forgot I was in Canada. It was Balle Balle (Good) of pure Pakistani touch with the same emotional speeches, expressions, arguments and altercations. Thanks to the good Canadian society, system and effective rules and regulations, only the scuffle part was missing. Fortunately, those living here are mostly highly educated and act responsibly.

      Matanat Khan of Sunshine Radio and Adnan Hashmi of Sunday Times invited selected persons at the Shahnawaz restaurant on August 21, 2006. Over 90 percent were Adnan Hashmi’s guests. The Powerful Chaudharies of the community, who gathered there, had worked hard to remove the differences and misunderstanding between the two leaders and unite them in the interest of the people. Through `tremendous pressure and persuasion’, they succeeded and as a result this meeting organized to announce the outcome. They showed that not only in Pakistan, the Chaudharies are very influential and powerful in Canada as well.

      NEW STRATEGY: The Powerful Chaudharies claimed: We succeeded in bringing Muslims---Arabs, South Asians and other origins---on a common platform to ensure victory of Omar Alghabra, MP, despite open opposition by Carrolyn Parrish, who is also contesting for city councillor. This time too we are making a strategy to ensure certain victories of Matanat Khan and Adnan Hashmi, candidates for city councillors.”

“They would win with support of all people because both of them are competent, talented and capable of fulfilling promises and contributing tremendously. They are committed to serve not only Muslims but also all people of their respective areas,” the Powerful Chaudharies said confidently.

Both Matanat Khan and Adnan Hashmi were contesting from Ward 10. Now Matanat is contesting from Ward 6 and Adnan Hashmi from Ward 10. This understanding and change of ward took place keeping in view of Adnan’s keen interest in Ward 10 and to avoid clash of Pakistanis. Now both of them would contest separately instead of suffering loss with division of votes and community. A mishap has been avoided. Adnan had filed papers first in Ward 10 then Matanat Khan entered the race. Now the issue has been resolved.

SUPPORTERS HAPPY: Both of them demonstrated unity, shook hands and announced full support for each other. They announced: “We would support and work for each other to ensure our win. Our supporters too are happy and have agreed to help us in all ways including moral and financial.” This positive move and understanding was welcomed and appreciated by almost all present on the occasion.     

They said: “We are contesting to win and are fully confident of victory and support of the people. We need to remain united till the end. We need these positions for our future generations.”

The Powerful Chaudharies said: “The community had suffered a lot in the past. We kept giving votes but never dared asked what the leaders are going to do for us. Those who got our votes usually worked against us. This is most unfortunate. Now is the time to choose leaders who work for us and protect and promote our interests. Our leaders can only do this job best. We must have trust and confidence in them.”

TAKE INTEREST: They said: “Take full interest and active part in the campaign to make them successful. Their success depends on our help and support. We must not disappoint them. Along with unity, we must have trust and confidence in each other. This is badly lacking in our community. It’s time now to create better understanding and promote love and brotherhood. We must follow the principle of live and work together. We must join the system and mainstream as true Canadians.”

They said: “We must pool our resources. We need the resources badly in Mississauga. We can help solve the problems of Mississauga and make progress.”

BETTER POSITION: They stated: “In Ward 6 there are about 47 percent Pakistanis alone and their support along with other Muslims can turn the table and ensure victory. We would make sure that majority of them turn out for votes. Matanat Khan is in a much better position than Adnan Hashmi, who will be facing tough challenges in Ward 10 from many candidates.”

Matanat is facing a powerful lady, Carrolyn Parrish, in Ward 6. Carrolyn had helped the Muslim and Pakistani communities a lot. This is on record.  Most of the people, particularly the Powerful Chaudharies, are suggesting that she help Matanat in the councillor election and him get elected. They will then support her in other elections. This formula is good and helpful for both. They said: “We need Matanat to solve our problems. He understands our issues and problems and can deliver better for us.”

It is alleged that Carrolyn Parrish opposed openly Omar Alghabra in favour of her favourite. This backfired and Muslims, particularly the Powerful Chaudharies, fully supported Omar Alghabra and got him elected. Now the Muslim votes are not likely to go in her favour and, therefore, Matanat has a good edge and better advantage.

NO ENMITY: This is just a tough competition and there is no element of enmity or hatred in this move. From any other ward, Muslims would have fully supported and got her elected. They acknowledge her tremendous contributions.

Both Matanat Khan and Adnan Hashmi agreed to support each other by going door to door in each other’s wards as well. This way they can help each other. Before changing wards, both had done work in their respective wards and would make sure that the efforts do not go waste and are fully utilized.

INDIAN MUSLIM: Hameeduddin Ahmed, editor and publisher of Awaz, a bilingual journal published from Toronto, extended his full support and said: “I am an Indian Muslim and support you people. That is why I am here, in the meeting of Pakistanis, to show unity of Muslims.  I will knock at the doors of Indian Muslims to get support and votes for them.”

He said: “I will work in Ward 6 for Matanat Khan but ask the Indian Muslims in Ward 10 to help Adnan Hashmi. We must end all differences and remove misunderstandings and work together in the interest of the community and all people. We are living in Canada and are Canadians first and then Indian or Pakistani. This we must never forget.”

BE CANADIAN: Hameeduddin said: “Don’t depend only on community votes. I don’t agree with Adnan Hashmi in this connection. We need to approach all communities and take them along. We need votes and support of all people. We must adopt Canadian ways.”

He said: “Matanat Khan has shown greatness by giving way to Adnan Hashmi and treating him as his younger brother. This was not an easy job for Matanat and I salute him for this. He wins election or not but he has already won hearts, trust and confidence of the people. We need people like him as leader. I congratulate both of them for showing unity, brotherhood and greatness. This is the spirit need. Let’s promote such spirit.”

MEDIA SUPPORT: Shaheen Khan, wife of Matanat Khan, stole the show by her very good speech and handling of the situation.  She said: “We must mobilize support of the media, which plays a decisive and important role in the elections. Fortunately, support of the media is with us.”

Matanat Khan delivered a very powerful and impressive speech on the occasion. He said: “We are here today to promote understanding, unity and brotherhood. I always respected and followed the principle---To live and work together---and today I have stepped forward to take this important decision of changing ward on this basis.”

He said: “Adnan Hashmi, who is contesting from Ward 10, is like my younger brother and in the greater interest of the Muslim community I am duty bound to support and promote him. With this in view and with mutual understanding of all, I am withdrawing from Ward 10 in his favour and would now contest from Ward 6. Adnan Hashmi feels that Ward 10 is more suitable for contest for him and I respected his feelings and request you all too to understand and help him.”

“We must all support, promote and get him elected so that he can serve all residents of Ward 10 in the best possible manner. We need people who understand our issues and can promote and get them implemented properly,” he added.

CONFIDENT: He said: “I am confident of support of the people of Ward 6. It was not easy for me to leave the people of Ward 10 but sacrifices are made in the best interest of the people and community. This is why I have chosen Ward 6. My decision is based on the respect, love and support of the people. I am very fortunate and thank all the people for this honour and recognition. Encouraged by you people, I have accepted the challenges of Ward 6 and today assure you that I will always try to meet the expectations of all with your support.”

               Matanat Khan said: “I can openly declare that without your love, support and encouragement,

 I am nothing. So I need your support, both moral and financial, to run the campaign properly and get elected. Let’s demonstrate unity for achievement of our common objectives. It is you who have made us leaders and it is you who can take us to the top. You are our force and strength. We want to become your voice and power.”

               EXAMPLE SET: He said: “I have set an example for the community of unity and brotherhood. I have shown that we all are united and we have to work together and assist each other as a member of the family. The great challenge before me is how do I advance myself in ward 6. The competition is really very tough and could only be won with your

 practical support and valuable vote. Each and every vote is very important.”

               GOOD TURNOUT: Matanat Khan said: “Efforts must be made to achieve a good turnout of voters. This could be achieved only through proper understanding and awareness. I am confident and firmly believe that you can make this happen. You can get me elected for your representation. Because of your support I am not worried, disturbed or shaken. I appeal to you all to join me in this campaign to face the tough challenges and achieve success.                        

               Matanat said: “When the competition is really tough then you have to be very alert and active. No challenge should be taken lightly and always met with full preparations. We need this preparation now. I hope you will convey my messages and appeals to all the members of Ward 6. In the end I thank you once again for your love, support and encouragement and request you to make sure that no voter is missed and the turn out becomes memorable and historic. I request you to join my campaign in all possible ways and

 donate generously.”

               ADNAN HASHMI: Adnan Hashmi, Editor of Sunday Times, spoke in detail and explained the reasons for changing the ward. He thanked Matanat Khan for showing greatness by moving to Ward 6. His speech too was very impressive.


Javed Zaheer (Masters in International Relations), Canadian of Pakistani Origin (CPO), Professional Freelance Journalist, Veteran Active Member  (VAM) of Toronto Press Club, Member of The Ontario Club, Member of National Ethnic Press & Media Council of Canada (NEPMCC), Council Member of Karachi Press Club (Pakistan), served as Senior Sub-Editor of Pakistan’s leading English Daily DAWN (1986-1999).  Associated with Journalism Profession since 1974 and believes in fierce and free expression.

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