|Master of all!|
His two sons are MNAs from Jhelum. Raja Afzal shares all the vices of politicians of a third world country, but he is invincible in elections. I have been monitoring his way of politics for the last one year. I have met him thrice on various occasions.
He has an elephant’s memory. You meet him once and he remembers it forever. He knows the ancestors, relatives, traits of his voters and opponents. He is not a graduate but his general knowledge is not less than anyone.
Raja can start conversation with anyone on any topic. He knows about universities, education and grading systems like an education consultant. I have seen him talking about nervous system, to a person whose brother recently underwent the spinal cord surgery.
He has a large public contact. Such is his appetite to remain public that his voter can meet him at any time, but his family members have to seek an appointment from him before meeting. You will find all sort of people at his house from 12pm to 2am. There is no receptionist, no waiting queue and no protocol. A person who comes on a brand new land cruiser sits on the same couch where a poor mechanic with dirty clothes is sitting.
The meeting room in his house is nothing but Raja Muhammad Afzal’s bedroom. You just go and find a place on the couch. He sees you and nods a hello, while he is busy on telephone. Raja Afzal’s longtime driver is also his personal assistant now.
When I reached his place it was around 9pm on January 3. People were leaving and entering his house. There was no contingent of AK-47 totting guards, no don’t disturb signs and no receptionist to stop you from meeting him.
We went straight to his bedroom and found him sitting on a chair and talking to someone on telephone. The people of his constituency had brought their problems to him. One of the person sitting on his bed had a monitory dispute in Italy. He wanted Raja Afzal’s intervention in the matter. The person was uneducated and was talking in a high pitched voice. Raja Afzal remained cool and listened to his problem while taping his fingers at the end of the arm rest. The ex-MNA instructed his assistant about the man’s problem. The man left, praying for him. Next came a high ranking district government employee. He had some transfer and posting issue, which was promised to be resolved. Similarly, people came with their problems and went with a solution or surety that their Raja Afzal will take personal interest to solve their problem.
I was impressed with his amazing stamina to bear all sorts of people. His face rarely expressed anger, but you find him thumping his fingers rapidly on the arm rest of the chair in situations where he is expected to loose his temper.
His driver was telling someone that today they had attended two weddings and offered condolences at three far off places of the district. With an ageing body and ailing health, it needs a lot of guts to travel that much.
Raja Afzal does not seek any monetary consideration from the people whose issues he has resolved. All he wants a favour in return. The person with an Italian money dispute was expected to elect him again. The government employee was expected to favour Raja Afzal’s supporters who is return were expected to elect him again.
His two MNA sons had left for Islamabad to attend a session of the National Assembly. He also telephoned them a couple of times, instructing them to solve the problems of the voters.
Our family has never voted for him. My father has had remained his staunch opponent. I casually showed my admiration for a columnist/politician of the PML-N and Raja Afzal offered me an interview with him. Raja Afzal never misses an opportunity to win people and that is the reason behind his political invincibility.
PS: Raja has not spoken on any significant issue during his three tenures in the National Assembly nor he has any private bill on his credit. He may be delivering to his voters but miserably failed to deliver to his constituency.