After a nasty media trial and being locked behind bars for 15 months for crimes that are yet to be proven, Axact and Bol Network CEO Shoaib Shaikh made his first public appearance this week, and addressed his x-employees at BOL HQ with revelations that have already made headlines across Pakistan.

The auditorium, which was packed to the brim and beyond, erupted into cheer as soon as he came on stage. He was received with fervour and enthusiasm fit for a cult leader. The overwhelming welcome went on for a minute, before Shaikh Sahb called for silence, and started his address with a hard-hitting prose.

He recapped the nightmare he and 13 other Axactians had lived for past 15 months, calling it an unrivalled case of injustice and atrocities. “Within six hours, offices were sealed, accounts frozen and people randomly selected for interrogation,” he recalled. Families and distant relatives were also harassed to make sure that no financial support could reach him, he added.

When Axact was sealed and BOL was pushed under attack, the following disaster enveloped all of companies’ employees and their families. Many couldn’t find a job soon enough, while others were left to deal with staggering medical bills that were previously covered by Axact.

Despite the tragedy and  a tough hand that he was dealt with, it was truly heartening to witness Shaikh Sahb’s humour and commitment intact. He cracked jokes, invited questions and made his plans clear for all to know.

“We will avenge these atrocities, and unveil the real culprits,” he resolved in front of an enthralled audience. He promised that Axact will make up for last 15 months, and disperse a certain percentage of  salary to all its employees for the time the company was forced to shut down.

Furthermore, the company will build houses for those who spent last 15 months in jail; it will be company maintained, and will be delivered within next two and a half years.

He has aggressive plans for near future – and if you have worked with him, it wouldn’t surprise you. Higher salaries, more products, new sales and export records, further improvement in facilities, new bonus structure to increase individual earnings, and a lifestyle that will leave the best in the world biting dust.

When asked what about Axactians who are already working elsewhere, he said “we thank the companies who offered Axactians shelter, but they were only their guests. And guests don’t stay forever, do they?”

He has predicted a celebrity status for all those who spent time in jail, and said that they might get selfie requests soon. “All of Pakistan will acknowledge our efforts, and we love Pakistan – even more now than before.”

Axact will announce it’s opening soon, and will be operational within record time. Infrastructure at BOL Network is already at par with international media house’s standards; coming days will see Axact offices refitted and damage to property by FIA reversed.

I don’t doubt Shaikh Sahb’s ability to rebuild the empire that crumbled some during his absence; however, I do wonder how many of his employees are going to join him and his cause again. I spoke to a few friends and got a mixed response. Some were excited to be back, while others couldn’t get past the nightmare they lived at the hands of government officials, and were not too keen to be back in the same boat any time soon.

Guess we’d have to wait and watch – until then, all the more power to Shoaib Shaikh and his ambitions.

Image courtesy – Main Baghi Hoon