A night to remember: Tale of a Governor, a tonga driver, and a warden

In June 1951, a young man was traveling from Lahore to Okara, dressed in simple pants and a shirt, carrying a modest bag. It was 11:30 pm, and the night was growing darker. Desperately seeking transport, he found nothing but a tonga with four passengers already aboard.

This tonga was likely the last ride heading towards the city from the bus station, so he hurried over and pleaded for a lift. However, the tonga driver, citing a ban on carrying more than four passengers, refused. The young man insisted, as did the four passengers, but the driver was adamant, fearing a fine from the traffic warden. The young man reassured him, promising to cover any fine.

Eventually, the tonga set off. As they reached a railway crossing, a traffic warden on duty flagged them down for exceeding the passenger limit. The driver grew anxious, but the young man swiftly handed him five rupees, a substantial amount back then, suggesting he offer it as a bribe to avoid the fine. The warden, however, was incensed by the bribe and refused, stating that accepting a bribe was a sin. He issued the fine and allowed them to continue.

Upon reaching his destination, a government guest house, the young man gave the driver his card, instructing him to visit his office the next day to resolve the fine. The next morning, the tonga driver went to the address, stunned to find himself at a Police Headquarters, bustling with officers.

When he asked to see the young man, the same person emerged to receive him, greeted him warmly, and summoned the DPO (District Police Officer). The night-duty warden from the railway crossing was called in. 

The tonga driver, and the warden elated with surprise to find out that the young man was none other than Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, the Governor of Punjab. 

He praised the warden for his integrity and immediately promoted him to the post of ASI (Assistant Sub-Inspector) for his honesty.

He then assured the tonga driver that his fine had been taken care of and sent him on his way, free of any further worry.

From this story, we learn the profound impact of integrity and merit. If leaders like Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, who believe in rewarding honesty and punishing wrongdoing, were more prevalent in today’s politics, Pakistan could indeed soar to great heights. 

Likewise, if we, as a nation, emulate the respect for law shown by the tonga driver and the unwavering principles of the warden, Pakistan can achieve remarkable success and fly higher to touch the skies of success. 

Qaiser Ellahi Jaffery, with over 40 years of experience in the travel trade business, is considered to be a "guru" in the travel-trade circle of Pakistan. Currently serving as the Regional Marketing Director at Six Sigma Travel Group, his extensive career spans various roles in operations and marketing, showcasing his adaptability and deep industry knowledge.

Beyond his professional accomplishments, Qaiser is also a poet, whose work delves into human emotions and experiences, reflecting his thoughtful and creative nature.

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