Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Questions to ask as a Pakistani..

Hard times for our country, still harder ahead. Existential questions need to be addressed more than ever now, and honestly, by all of us, if we are to ever dream of salvaging the dream called Pakistan. How much are we willing to stake for in this fight? More than ever, the country needs contribution from the privileged classes that have a duty to give back now, or else face extinction as a proud nation and the indifference of history. The concerted efforts of the students, lawyers and media is heartening, brings a heady rush to the numbed senses. Despite systematic efforts by the state and establishment to prevent the people to become a dynamic civil polity, the people have proven them wrong. The people of Pakistan are the wild card here, we have the power to make or break the situation and we must always remember that. However, carrying out street demonstrations is not enough, the movement has to sustain and become a force of its own. That should be the goal and the guiding light, and to get there, hard questions need to be asked, ground realities need to be addressed. Is it enough to vilify and blame a single person for this tragic episode in our troubled history? Should hopes be pinned on a single person or party to bring justice and good times? Can we evade the reality that the sovereignty of the country is compromised greatly by foreign policy imperatives? So much so that the General addresses his first press conference since imposition of martial law in English, and the leader of the biggest political party addresses foreign audiences more than the people of her own country? Should we also brush away the fact that Pakistani flag has been taken off in parts of Swat? Not to forget, the heinous Army Act that has been imposed is here to stay even after the so called emergency will be lifted, making the freedom of expression nothing more than a farce. The nexus of domestic and foreign policies has become so entangled that the ruling clique has become nothing more than a chessboard of generals and power drunk politicians. What can we do? What is to be done? Holding demonstrations and expressing our abhorrence to the power games that rob us of our basic right to live as a respectable citizen of the state is the first step. This we owe to the poor people of Pakistan, the ordinary soldier, the farmer, the sweeper, the labourer. The second step is to not get duped by the deceptive promises of politicians and civil-military establishment and be on guard. For that we need to support a free media and conscientious voices amongst us all, learn to go beyond the superficial, and strive to find ways to beat the players at their own game. We need to come up with ways to keep up the momentum of this historical movement that has woken us from our cynical apathy. And that brings one to the basic question of how far each of us is willing to go?


iffat said...

an interesting n inspiring article

Pakistan Affairs Desk said...

I have started a blog to help find answers to exactly those questions, in the upcoming weeks and days.

BTW, Where can I read up on the Army Act?