This story is about the year that Dr Tahir ul Qadri was born, one year before Imran Khan’s birth.
Young Raza Shah Pehlavi’s Shahdom was still new in Iran.
In 1951, under public pressure, he arranged elections from which the nationalist leader Muhammad Musaddeq emerged as Prime Minister.
With two thirds of the parliament on his side, the first thing that Muhammad Musaddeq did was to take away from the Shah the power to appoint the Defense Minister and Chief of Army Staff.
He then made cuts in the royal family’s annual budget, and reduced and nationalized much of their lands.
In improving the state of agriculture, he wrenched ownership from the feudal landlords and began its distribution among the farmers. But most importantly, he brought an end to the iron grasp on Iranian oil that the Anglo Iranian Company had kept for 40 years.
Now in order to get rid of the dangerous Muhammad Musaddeq, Raza Shah made a triangle with the CIA and MI6, and the CIA took up the contract to depose Muhammad Musaddeq. They allocated a budget of $1,000,000 for the project, which was handed over to Tehran’s then CIA station chief, Kermit Roosevelt.
Aggressive criticism of Muhammad Musaddeq’s policies suddenly caught fire in the Iranian media. Small protests began to erupt in various cities of Iran. Even discarded politicians managed to convene overnight, ultimately issuing a national referendum.
As expected, 99% of the public expressed distrust in Musaddeq’s government. Some of the local papers gloated over this and sensationalized it until there was no justification left for Muhammad Musaddeq to remain in power. The prime minister’s reaction was to dismiss this sudden unrest, but the process was only catalyzed further by this.
Shaban Jafari, Tehran’s prominent thug, was tasked with networking and organizing the locals, while from outside the capital, the Rasheed Brothers banded together baton-wielding mobs and arranged for their accommodation and food. Rallies and angry sit-ins were rolled out in the capital, with participants numbering in the thousands. In the market places, pro-Musaddeq supporters’ shops were attacked and burned. Chaos ensued. And in 15 days of anarchy, an estimated 300 people were killed and the protestors had the government buildings besieged.
With government writ now completely ineffective, Raza Shah Pehlavi was forced to intervene to salvage the state. And so, on 16th August, 1953, General Fazlullah Zahidi was appointed transitionary Prime Minister, and the ousted Muhammad Musaddeq imprisoned.
The next day, Tehran was as normal as if no one had suffered even a nose bleed 24 hours ago.
Now you might wonder why I’m recounting this story of Muhammad Musaddeq, and what it has to with Pakistan at the moment. Do I want to prove that this political unrest has something to do with CIA and MI6? Absolutely not, by God.
In the world of conspiracy, there is no such thing as old or new. If the formula is tried and tested, then it will be effective even 60 years down the road. Regime changes aren’t exclusively the territory of CIA and MI6! Why, these formulas are like sadq-e-jariyah (charities whose benefits are reaped ever afterwards) – and any organization, at any time, with a little amendment if needed, can use them.
Now whatever happens next will happen.
But I would like to extend special thanks to PTI’s president, Javed Hashmi, for having eased the work of historians.
Yeh muhtasib, yeh adaalat, to aik bahaana hai,
jo tae-shuda hai, wohi faisla sunana hai
This jury and this court are merely a pretext,
That which is pre-decided will be the final verdict.
– This is an English translation of the original article, ساٹھ برس پرانی تازہ کہانی, by Wusatullah Khan, which appeared on the BBC Urdu website on 31st Aug, 2014.