Originally written for Lex Solo`s Political Rantings.
J.F Kennedy said:
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
The people of Pakistan are on streets since June. This movement reached its peak in August when Dr.Qadri and Imran Khan took all the protesters to the state capital. The whole state got paralysed, government resorted to oppression and torture which resulted in the Islamabad Massacre on the night of 31st August.
By the time September began, it was crystal clear that the government is being backed not just by internal establishment but also by international establishment. Massive public mobilization, sadly failed to achieve the real purpose of bringing an immediate end to the corrupt set-up that prevails in Pakistan.
Islamabad protest ran out of its utility, at most the massive mobilization had triggered a wave of consciousness amongst the working class. The people became aware of their rights, of their power and strength. But the bottom line remained, thousands or perhaps millions of peaceful protesters did not have enough power to bring the change which they wanted.
Keeping this in perspective, both Dr.Qadri and Imran Khan decided to increase the sphere of protests by visiting other cities and organising huge public gatherings to hollow out whatever little public support the government had. During this phase, sadly Dr.Qadri who has a history of heart ailment, fell critically ill due to stress. The state run hospitals refused to treat him and therefore he had to leave immediately for U.S.A for his treatment. His angiography is due on Wednesday. Imran Khan in the meanwhile announced his “Plan C” to put the government under more pressure. According to this plan he claimed to strategically lockdown Faisalabad on 8th, Karachi on 12th, Lahore on 15th and entire Pakistan on 18th December.
There were speculations that the lock downs would result in violence and the peaceful movement would now turn violent. These fears came true on 8th when protesters of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf jammed all the major entry routes of Faisalabad. The hub of the city was indeed locked down and all businesses were closed. Around mid day, pro government protesters came out and clashed with Khans activists.
The clash turned violent which resulted in 3 deaths and later in the evening protesters came out in various other cities and blocked roads, temporarily grinding major cities to a halt. With the passage of day other political parties too came out in solidarity with the fallen. Dr.Qadri instructed his workers to participate fully in the day of mourning.
The government, as usual denied any sort of involvement and vowed to apprehend the perpetrators as soon as possible. They said the same 6 months ago at the time of Model Town Massacre
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere – had the perpetrators of Model Town Massacre been caught and punished, the life of 3 people in Faisalabad could have been saved. It seems that all the institutions of Pakistan have turned a blind eye towards the suffering and growing frustration of the people.
Military which is the single most powerful entity in Pakistan, has kept itself aloof from all the developments. Some say that military should stay away as it has no role in politics while others say that staying neutral while innocent people are being slaughtered by the government is tantamount silent approval.
Judiciary on the other hand is playing in the hands of government more explicitly. Both Dr.Qadri and Imran Khan have been declared as wanted criminals and today the apex court dismissed all petitions which were filed to call for the PM`s disqualification over corruption, tax and loan evasion scandals.
The coming few days will be full of chaos. Khan is all set to lockdown Karachi and Lahore. While the internal political dimensions of Karachi will prevent repetition of Faisalabad same cannot be said for Lahore. Furthermore Dr.Qadri has just announced that his political party along with their allies will hold nationwide protests and sit-ins including a possible closure of road network on 17th December to mark 6 months of utterly failed system of justice.
What will happen next? No one knows. This night of corruption and injustice in Pakistan is far from over.