It has been over a month now and despite all the obstacles - natural and man-made – PTI (Tehreek-e-Insaf) and PAT’s (Pakistan Awami Tehreek) protests continue in the capital’s red zone area. There is still no sign of these sit-ins ending any time soon as Imran Khan’s demand for the prime minister’s resignation has not been met. He seems very determined as he has already said he would prefer to die than fail, vowing 'either it will be liberty or death'. Conversely the prime minster seems equally resilient and has repeatedly said that he is neither resigning nor going on holiday. He seems more confident, ostensibly strong but the challenges his government faces still remain.
Political Jirga is working hard to resolve this matter but it is difficult to say whether their endeavours will be fruitful or not. Even Joint parliament’s session has ended inconclusively. Although parliament has adopted a resolution to safeguard democracy and supremacy of the constitution, this is what people have been demanding for years, the only difference is that they want real democracy and full implementation of the constitution.
I wish parliamentarians had been sincere to the country and the pubic instead of supporting the prime minister in the name of democracy and constitution, and that they had earnestly spoken their minds.
The situation today could have been quite different and Islamabad’s road cleared of these filthy, terrorists, traitors, law breakers and rebel protesters. Sadly this is what they have been branded by the parliamentarians, but nobody has bothers to consider their problems sincerely.
Even the prime minister who claimed to be the leader of 180 million Pakistanis (which is not correct) had not bothered to speak about them. Instead he said it was not difficult for the government to clear Constitutional Avenue of the protesters but they had been avoiding any confrontation and had been very patient. This is again not true as we all know the government has failed miserably in dispersing the crowds even after using force and arresting thousands of people. It is not as easy as he thinks and as a result negotiations had come to a standstill.
This was the time for the government to build trust but instead it has appeared frustrated and chaotic. Its reaction also proves true Imran’s apprehensions that he could not trust Nawaz Sharif and his ministers.
I wish instead of long and fiery speeches parliamentarians had addressed the cause of these sit-ins and the country could have come out of uncertainty and further losses could have been avoided.
A lot has happened since the August 14 and several rumours and conspiracy theories about foreign agendas and the establishment’s support all have been proven wrong, and even the army has made its position clear on a number of occasions.
The protesters are particularly determined and I must appreciate them, especially the women and children, who despite the rain and storms, inappropriate facilities and arrangements of daily needs, and with some suffering from ill health still are standing strong and have a belief that change will happen. I wish all of their prayers and suffering do not go in vain.
Meanwhile all the beneficiaries of this corrupt system have joined hands together and are using the same rhetoric to protect each other and unfortunately this union is not to protect democracy or the constitution, but it is a union against the poor, marginalised and deprived factions of society. That is why go Nawaz, go’ slogans are gaining popularity.
However, the actual situation is worse than what we see in the news, and politicians have failed to understand this building political momentum. People are fed-up with the hollow slogans of democracy which only serve the elite and continuously enhance the common man’s suffering.
Parliamentarians have never been concerned about the Pakistani public, but instead for their children’s futures who are considered first and second in line to their thrones. Though they have united to safeguard democracy, they have never practiced democracy in their own parties and believe in creating a political dynasty. How can democracy be expected to flourish in a country whose government is becoming increasingly nepotistic and corrupt, this mindset has to be changed.
There is a growing fear of losing control of the parties and voters, as politicians can see that power is being shifted to the masses which means they can be held accountable.
People want to see an end to this corrupt system. Naya Pakistan is the need of the time and status quo forces cannot hold it back for much longer. It has been stated by participants of the sit-ins on multiple occasions that they are there for a better Pakistan for their children.
The ruling class must understand people’s emotions and let this change happen in a peaceful way, because, if for any reason this movement fails, then the inevitable change which is due in the country will come through bloodshed.
Government ministers and some parliamentarians have been using derision and contemptible language against the protestors and attacking them every day, but cannot gather the courage to accept the reality and to address the issues. I must appreciate Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan who has admitted these protesters are not wrong but have genuine demands.
Dr Qadri and Imran Khan are both equal believers of democracy, respect the constitution and supremacy of the parliament but they want true and honest public’s representatives in the parliament, real democracy and the full implementation of the constitution in its true spirit.
I don’t know how long these sit-ins will continue and what will the outcome will be, but one thing I do know is that people cannot be fooled anymore, their aspiration for change is evident and change is inevitable whether in peaceful way or otherwise – as seen in the Arab Spring.
Imran and Dr. Qadri’s Message has reached every home and aspiration of change has risen in every heart, it can be averted temporarily but cannot be suppressed forever.