Protests Are Banned – II


Ok I am going to keep this short because I’m feeling really lazy right now, but I just have to write this. Can’t delay it any more. It is a follow up of my last blog post Protests Are Banned. Needless to say, the urge of writing on this topic came from the ongoing ‘dharney’ in the country. It’s not about whether these certain protests are right or wrong, but it is the reaction of our politicians and sections of public to the idea of demonstrations in the country.

All our ‘leaders’ claim that Pakistan is a democratic country but these protests are a threat to this system. Now, even those who don’t hold a degree in political science, know that in a democratic society, all citizens have the right to protest. It doesn’t matter if you agree with their point of view or not, as long as they are peaceful, you cannot stop them from registering their protest. If I am facing a problem in the country I live in and the government is not taking notice despite my complaints, I will go out on streets and make my problem public. I don’t have to justify my cause because I it’s my right.

I don’t even have to make sure that I have a lot of people support so I can make a stronger case. As a citizen, I am entitled to all the privileges and rights and the government is bound to make sure they fulfill my demands. So even if I am out protesting alone, it is not a reason for the government to ignore my complaint or ridicule me because I have no support. By protesting, I am not destroying my country’s image. I am merely demanding the government to take notice of the problems I am facing as a citizen. If my demands are unjustified, it is the leaders’ responsibility to make that clear. But telling me to get off just because the protest makes them uncomfortable…not justified. That will only make me more stubborn and I’ll take a more rigid stance.

This is exactly the reason of PTI and PAT’s prolonged sit-ins. Had the government been a bit humane and treated them with a bit more respect, things wouldn’t have been this messy.


Protests Are Banned – I

The havoc wreaked in the capital last night was saddening but definitely not unexpected. Both government and protesters are to blame for the violence that ensued. I won’t go on about who was right and who was wrong because the debate is very exhausting and I already am very washed out by following every minute of this mess. But I do want to clarify that as I write this, I’m doing so without bias. But I just want to express my opinion about what I have read and heard since yesterday.

Whenever protesters are beaten up, killed, tortured or arrested, their leaders are blamed for telling them to leave their homes. But while we blame the leaders what we forget is that the people who come out aren’t idiots. If they leave their homes to protest, they must believe in the cause otherwise why would anyone bother to leave the comfort of their homes?

As for leaders being protected while protesters walk unprotected; well it’s the same everywhere. Let’s just have look at our history. People respect and look up to Jinnah as a true leader and I completely agree with that. But was he with the people who migrated to Pakistan by trains in 1947? The bloodshed that took place is historic. Thousands died and people who managed to escape the massacre on both sides still shudder at the memory but do they curse Jinnah for not being there to die with them? And should they curse him? I don’t think so.

Similarly, when Jinnah called for Direct Action Day, riots ensued and many Muslims were killed. Both Hindus and Muslims were violent but Muslim casualties were much higher than the former. So should we blame our leaders, who were fighting for this state that we live in, for the violence? And should we hate them for not being among those who were killed? Once again: I don’t think so.

Let’s go back. I don’t want to bring up religion in my debates but since we are debating on the issue I will just mention an example. During the time of Prophet Mohammad (p.b.u.h), Muslims had to fight many wars. But being a symbol of peace, our Holy Prophet never fought in anyone of them. He was with his army at all times, but the warriors protected him and fought for him. In all those wars, Muslims died. So…do I need to say it?

The debate about whether these protests are justified or not, is also hot. But this blog is too long aready. So I’ll be writing a second part on that one.



5 reasons why Imran Khan is a failure


Azadi March and Inqilab March have been hogging the news media for the past week. The attention and the excitement encircling the two ‘biggest’ marches of the year was anticipated. Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri certainly knows how to pull media attention despite the fact that he spends most of the time in Canada and his fiery statements come once in a while, and his party has zero representation in Parliament. He haunted headlines last year but back then he attracted the media with his own tactics. This year the government was kind enough to save him the effort by killing his supporters in Model Town, Lahore, turning the direction of his plane and then, to top it all off, besieging Model Town for a week.

As for PTI, well…when you have Imran Khan as party chairman all you have to do is announce he is planning to set out and viola! The media will shove everything aside in a jiffy. But the charm isn’t enough. To ‘topple the government’ you need more than looks and charisma. Even the so-called junoon doesn’t do the trick. Here are five reasons that will lead to his failure.

- Unreal Demands

I mean seriously? You expect an elected prime minister to resign because you think, no, you believe you should be in his shoes, or in this case, his ‘kursi’? Yeah sure, you can try to cover it up by declaring the elections were rigged but honestly, you can’t just stand up and bring the entire capital to a stand still because you want reelections. The end doesn’t always justify the means Khan sahib, especially when you don’t even have a clear end in sight.

- Stark contrast in words and actions

When I started writing this blog I’d thought I will start with you running of to home every now and then while your supporters wander here and there but now you have gone much farther. You are inviting people to join you in Civil Disobedience because you want to ‘save the country’. #OhTheIrony. As if that wasn’t enough, today you’ll be marching towards the Red Zone, once again to ‘save the country’ and have threatened to turn violent if security tries to do their job by stopping you because you want them to do their job. I mean…you should be exempted of all rules because you want everyone else to follow them? #Irony #Irony #Irony

On one hand you tell people that all you care about is them. On the other hand, people in Peshawar, the capital of the province that YOUR party rules, were dying because it rained too hard (says a lot about management) and you didn’t even care enough to mention them once let alone send the CM to deal with the situation!

While you tell people in your rally to celebrate independence each night, people of North Waziristan are being driven out of their homes. Apparently they aren’t important either. There was an attack on Balochistan airport on the night of 14th of August (the real Independence Day) and you didn’t care enough to mention that. Nope it’s all about you and elections.

And then the biggest threat that you keep giving out: Army Interference. After all the poison you spewed against Musharraf, now you seem OK with threatening the govt that they will be overthrown by the institution he belonged to. Wow Khan sahib. Wow.

- Misled Supporters

I would have taken the ‘Civil Disobedience’ call seriously had PAT issued it. Why? Because PAT’s supporters are much more disciplined, more aware and more mature than your wide-eyed dancing puppets. They don’t know what they want and you take advantage of that by dictating them and charm them by giving out constant cricket references. You do seem to have something in common with your supporters though; both can’t take criticism.

- Same old, same old

Every time you start your speech, I start reading along. Literally. Everything you say, your demands, rhetoric, even your examples are so repetitive that it’s turned stale. All your addresses are Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V = boring. The only reasons I watch you speak on stage is a) it’s my job and b) well you are still charming :p.

- Obvious hunger for power

And it was pretty transparent even before you said, ‘Prime minister Imran Khan ap se kabhi jhoot nahi boley ga.’ This statement removed every doubt anyone had about your intentions and future plans. I don’t think I need to go on about it.

At this moment you are about to barge into Red Zone along with Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri and his supporters. And God knows what’s up for the Pakistani nation next. We can only hope that the outcome of your madness isn’t as terrible as we fear it will be. Then again, it is Nawaz Sharif on the other side, so even if you go what they call ‘full retard’, you might emerge victorious.