I begin with the name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Merciful.
Islamic Republic of Pakistan is witnessing an impetuous moment in its 65 year history. Religious scholar, Tahir ul Qadri has organized a massive protest in the Capital, Islamabad. The huge demonstration he is leading has announced that they won’t leave until their demands and grievances are addressed. The sit in has brought the country to a standstill and its magnitude and intensity is becoming unpredictable every second of the hour.
Sad but true; the ruling elite, Pakistan People’s party and their allies have done nothing for the country in their five years of tenure. Massive and prodigious acts of corruption in every department has crippled the country. The example of Rental Power Project (RPP), headed by Pervez Ashraf, not just deprived the masses from electricity but billed them for its absence by pricing it on the highest rate. History witnessed the poor holding the bills in their hands standing in line to get it rectified. Repeatedly humiliated, they watched helplessly the demise of morality in the society. The expressions on their faces and tears in their eyes narrated the story of their poverty. The extravagant lifestyle of the elite poked fun at their misery. Even the commercial sector didn’t get spared. Industries like textiles took the brunt of the hit. They started laying people off and shifted their operations to Bangladesh, UAE and Malaysia. That gave birth to a new wave of impoverished and sufferers of destitution who were desperate to find a way to provide bread and butter for their families.
To add insult to the injury, a program like “Benazir Income Support” was started. Even here, the needy and impecunious suffered the wrath of aristocracy. They are given Rs. 1000 (about USD 10) a month; an amount barely enough to buy basic necessities of life. Rather than ensconcing the poverty to honor their dignity, this “visionary project” has characterized and portrayed the country as a nation of beggars on national television. Zardari is shown distributing checks among the poor shamelessly to glorify himself as a people’s person. Distressed and depressed as they are, they compromise their self respect by accepting the money on camera. Not to mention, the number of times, it gets played on television. It’s a bargain offer, just so they could feed their hungry children. Imagine the sentiments if the same is done to Bilawal, Asifa and Bakht Awar.
Our rulers are also making us witness anarchy in the cities. Karachi, a cosmopolitan City of Lights has plunged into darkness, thanks to the incompetence of PPP, ANP and MQM. Their militant wings have contributed in the demise of thousands of innocent people. Turf war, extortion, and target killing have made the lives of citizens vulnerable. Terrorists impersonating Urdu Speaking, Pushto Speaking, Balochi Speaking and Sindhi Speaking, go on a killing spree resulting in the creation of an ambience of hatred among different communities. To top it off, all parties claim victimization by others to gain sympathies and political mileage in the city. In Baluchistan, hundreds of people from Hazara community have lost their lives to sectarian violence. Recently the act was repeated when Nawab Ra’esani was on a joy trip to Britain. This irresponsible and negligent act on his part resulted in dismissal of the entire government and realm of affairs was given to the military.
The disparaging act of our politicians doesn’t end there. They have done everything in their power to humiliate, disgrace and degrade our Armed Forces and didn’t leave any stone unturned in denigrating their character. This vilifying act has created an outrage and resentment in the army. Thanks to General Kayani, no action has been taken against those who make preposterous and nonsensical statements against them. I am of the view that the military has decided not to intervene so no party could claim “political martyrdom”. They have chosen to witness the current infected democracy collapse on its own rather than getting blamed for it. Nevertheless, it came at the cost of tumbled economy, bankrupted steel mill, ruined railway system and sinking aviation industry.
Invincible stubbornness and indomitable defiant behavior have also been shown to the judiciary. From delaying in writing a letter to Swiss Courts to re-open the corruption cases of Asif Zardari to issuing arrest warrants for Raja Pervez Ashraf for his involvement in corruption, our leaders showed no respect for the justice system. PPP even used Faisal Raza Abidi and Malik Riaz to malign the Chief Justice but to no vail. His decision to sack Jamshed Dasti for having a fake degree was considered unworthy of notice. Even MQM criticized the decision of correcting the voting system in Karachi. Although, its leader apologized unconditionally, it will have to bear the scar of derision.
As hopeless and weary as the people were of the current political system, they started looking towards Imran Khan as a last hope. But Tahir ul Qadri proved his tactic to be fruitful by leading a procession towards Islamabad. That, and the orders of the arrest of the Prime Minister, Yusuf Raza Gilani, lead to the crash of the stock market. The ruling elite and all coalition partners are huddling to find a way to invalidate and damage his efforts. They have been slandering the name of Dr. Qadri and defaming his mission of changing the electoral process. He has invited Imran Khan and his party, Pakistan Movement for Justice (Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf, PTI) to join forces and put an end to the infected, diseased and contaminated dictatorial democracy. That may lead to bloodshed and massacare in the country but to the people, change demands sacrifice and freedom isnt free. They are prepared to die for the cause.
P.S. I wrote this piece January 6, 2013 during the tenure of Pakistan Peoples Party. Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhary was the Chief Justice who enjoyed nationwide respect but lost it because of incompetency.