The Flag-bearer of Democracy as Featured on BBC
I was the youngest political prisoner (4 years old) in Asia and perhaps in the world as I lead the Movement for Restoration of Democracy (MRD) in Pakistan in the 80s as the flag-bearer and child activist against one of the most evil and repressive military dictatorships.
MRD was one of world's most massive non-violent movements since the time of Gandhi. Its objectives were to force military regime to suspend martial law, and to restore democracy and civil rights. It was an outcry by people for a government which is "of the people, by the people and for the people.”
It was early 80's and it had just been few years since a democratic government had been toppled, marshal law imposed, and a civilian Prime Minister hanged.
The Soviets had invaded Afghanistan which meant that the evil General's rule coincided with the war in Afghanistan, in which he was helping the US. Despite the human rights situation in Pakistan being assessed as "very grim", US continued to support the dark rule- effectively legitimising it.
My father Mr MS Wahlah a human rights lawyer and president of People's Party (PPP), was a central MRD figure. He made the unusual decision to have me - his only child - lead the protests, against a ruthless dictator, on the front line as the flag-bearer when I was just 3-4 years old.
This was as an unprecedented act of courage and symbolism in an era when people were tear-gassed, imprisoned, and publicly lashed and hanged. My father did that to give the message that democracy and civil rights were the only way forward for Pakistan.
I was first arrested at the age of 4 leading a protest whilst holding the PPP flag - making the youngest leader of MRD the youngest political prisoner. I had become the face of democratic Pakistan.
I led the historic movement until 1988 when it finally achieved its democratic objectives. During all those years my father and I were imprisoned several times.
As I grew up I continued this legacy as a student leader and struggled for democracy against another dictator Musharaf. I adopted my father's legal profession to work for civil rights. I made my name as a leading international lawyer and was featured as one on some of the world's most prestigious publications such as CIO Magazine in US, Norway, Pakistan and Germany. In 2010 I also won the world's ICT Oscar for Pakistan.
In view of my distinguished career I was offered to come to the UK as a Highly Skilled Migrant. I had a natural affinity with UK as my grandfather and his brother were in British Indian Army and had defended the UK in Second World War. This made me want to migrate to the UK and make it my home.
In 2011 I started "1st Citizen" in London, a law firm that ensures peoples' rights are respected and upheld irrespective of their caste, colour or creed.
In 2013 BBC uncovered the historic photos of me leading the movement as a flag-bearer. It published and broadcast them with my featured interview as the “Flag-bearer of MRD”.