Friday, January 11, 2008

Thoughts in the aftermath..

Misha Rehman

In the aftermath of the bomb blast in Lahore, where do we stand in our own country?

For some like Marx, history is a linear progression-from feudalism to capitalism and so on. For the colonizers and now imperialists, man evolved from savages to barbarians to the civilized. Darwin spoke of mankind as ‘survival of the fittest’. Man, the superior of all beings in the universe, adapted and transformed the climate to suit his needs. With the advent of industrialization and the likes, we had technology to mold and change the world. From belief in a supreme being and divine law, the world moved to secularism and modern values. Thus, man has always progressed, to grow to something better, to something bigger than before-so history demonstrates, and so great thinkers tell us.

Have we really progressed, or with the passing of each day are we truly digressing to a world where law of the jungle prevails? Using new tactics and new technologies, which apparently seem to be the constructs of a modern world, our men are destroying our own social fabric, and crippling our own polity. This is the state of Pakistan. This is the day of morbidity where evil has risen. The men are standing translucent; we can see the ironies of life, of politics and statehood in a third world country, which is being dragged by the whims and fancies of everyone in the national and/or international arena, everyone but the people of Pakistan. These evil mongers rise to fill their pockets and cling on to their power. They rise to commit atrocities. They rise to curtail freedom. They rise to end Pakistan.

Let us trace back Pakistan’s steps to August 2006, just a year and five months ago. From the hue and cry regarding cases of the missing people, to the American imposed Islamic fundamentalism and Musharaf’s inception of enlightened moderation; from the killing of the prominent Balochi leader Bugti by the security forces, to the unaccounted raid that killed up to 80 people in Bajaur; from the radical Lal Masjid breathing right under the nose of the government, to the numerous bombings in cities like Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar and Rawalpindi; from Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudry’s unconstitutional suspension by the Dictator-President, to the killings of many Pakistani’s by foreign militants in Waziristan; from the treacherous killings in Karachi during rival protests against CJP’s dismissal, to the shameful deportation of Nawaz Sharif under the orders of the President against the decision of the Supreme Court; from the audacity of the President in wanting to stand in elections as an army chief after eight years of military rule, to the curtailment of media amid growing challenge to this very rule; from the belligerent breach of constitutional provisions by the imposition of a state of emergency, to the unlawful arrests and FIR reports against prominent lawyers, judges, civil servants, and politicians; from the assassination of PPP Chairperson and ex-Prime Minister Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, to the very obvious and shameful cover-up by the army, time and again we have been targeted as a nation. On the 10 of January 2008, we are once again left bruised and battered: "Twenty people have been killed and 60 wounded. Most of the victims are policemen. It was a suicide attack,'' said senior city government official Mian Ejaz after a bomb blast outside the Lahore High Court.

We can not let this go unnoticed, like the parrot that shuts its eyes when he sees a cat, hoping that the cat won’t see him. For if now we can not decide what has to be done, then only darkness prevails. We can not sit idle and wait for the monster to grow. We can not wait for it to engulf us all, for the cat to gulp the parrot down, for the powder keg to explode, for the citizens of a nation to forfeit it all. Not money, not land, no, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about fundamental human rights, I’m talking about freedom, I’m talking about existence in its very basic sense, and I’m talking about life…

“Pakistan”, a term coined by Chawdhry Rehmat Ali, “the land of the pure”.

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