Mohammad Aslam, thin, dark and intense, escapes the cruel midday sun with his farmer neighbors in a cool, mud-walled shop that sells vegetables and Coca Cola here.
Aslam, 35, is better about Pakistan's 10-month-old army rule, for his landlord has driven him from the two acres he and his father before him had sharecropped for 30 years.
"In Bhutto's time," he says through an interpreter, "the landlord could not have done this. No. I don't complain, though. Nobody would listen now; I would be locked up in jail. The landlord is a big man. He would have made trouble for me."
The big landlord in this Punjabi village of terraced, stone houses is Zulfiquar Afzal, 28, who owns 400 acres. His spacious, high-walled villa and garden overshadown the small houses of those who work his land.
"Aslam is telling you a pack of lies," he says through his English-speaking sister-in-law, Sadia, a pretty new bride of 20.
Aslam was evicted because he neglected his two acres to work in the nearby government arms plant, the landlord said.
Sadia, married to a captain and daughter of a brigadier, is delighted with the coup that overthrew Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
"The peasants wouldn't listen to us," she said. "They wouldn't give us respect. Now they don't have the same feelings. They were so rude.
"In the ordnance factory, if they didn't want too listen to an officer [foreman], OK, they don't. Once they slapped an officer. Nothing like that happens now.
"They all listened to Bhutto's speeches. Hundreds of radios would be on. Bhutto was giving them false promises. He told them they would even live in this house."
Whatever the rights and wrongs of this incident, it illustrates two crucial facts of life here. The oldest and continuing class war in Asia is between landlords and tenants or landless laborers, a model Marx all but ignored. Secondly, for all his crimes, alleged and proven, Bhutto is still regarded by tens of millions of Pakistani peasants as their man; conversely the new government of Gen. Mohammed Ziaul-Haq is seen by large landowners as their savior.
Aslam's eviction is harsh but not a total disaster. He still earns $40 a month as a laborer in the arms plant. But this must feed him, his wife and three small childeren. From his half share of the wheat and barley he grew on the two acres, he drew another $200 a year. Together that gave his family a yearly income close to the national average of about $150 perhead.
Here and in other nearby villages, about 30 miles northwest of Rawalpindi, small farmers tell more stories like Aslam's. Sher Mohammed, about 50, farms six Kanals , or three-quarters of an acre, in Wah.
"Nobody was ever driven from the land under Bhutto," he says. "But it is happening now. There were no land taxes in Bhutto's time. Now we pay. With Bhutto, I paid 25 rupees (about $2.50) for each kanal ; now my rent is 40 rupees, but there is nobody we can complain to."
This last point is crucial. Before, an aggrieved tenant could compain to the local politician from Bhutto's Peoples Party. Now that politician is either jailed or lying low.
Sher continues his litany of grief.
"It used to be that if a man was picked up by the police, he was let off without paying anything. Now we must pay the police 500 rupees ($50). My son was arrested four days ago. He had done nothing. But he had to pay the police 250 rupees."
Other officials are following the police line, the peasants say. Unlike 90 percent of Pakistani villages, the settlements around here are electrified. The small farmers contend that they are now being billed five times the proper amount and must pay [WORD ILLEGIBLE] bribes of 20 rupees to get their accounts straight.
The dominant landlord in Wah is Hyat Ghairat, 45, educated moderate and cool. In his view, the "tenants were lawless," inflamed by Bhutto's demagoguery. Whatever they did, "it would have been next to impossible to throw them out."
Instead of the half share the tenants on his 3,000 acres were supposed to pay. "We accepted whatever they gave us" and it was often as little as one-tenth. But under Zia, "There is more respect, you feel that harmony is there and love is there. I think we shall now get what share we are due, Inshallah [God willing].
Ghairat has no doubt that the peasants of the populous Punjab and Sind regions "love Bhutto because he gave them liberty" and would still vote for him overwhelmingly if a free election were held.
But if Zia hangs him - and Sadia Afzal, the bride the general's daughter passionately hopes he will - the peasants appear to be powerless to protest. Some say they work in government factories and so cannot demonstrate. The franker ones admit they are afraid.
Only Mirdad, a two-acre tenant in Wah, says that a hanging will bring out powerful demonstrations everywhere.
"We will face the guns, we will not retreat," he says, his white hairs quivering with anger at the thought. But Mirdad is an old man of 60 or more and his words sound more like wishes than conviction.