The Qadri madness

And so while the long march was impressive the numbers, for the most part, remained static. It was a huge crowd and the Allama’s followers stayed put despite the bad weather. But Jinnah Avenue did not turn into Tahrir Square. And so the dream had to come to an end.

Pakistan - A people’s democracy? Egalitarianism? What nonsense. Pakistan was created for the triumph of the upper classes, and its democracy fashioned to keep this arrangement in place.

If the present regime has made bad governance into an art, what did others do before it? This democracy only functions to fulfill the needs and greed of the rulers and their functionaries. This stood out as an stark reality during the recent Balochistan crisis when no one of any consequence visited the Shia protestors, a majority of them women and children braving the cold for several days and nights, beside the dead bodies of their loved ones. The provincial government was dismissed by only when it became apparent that the crisis could possibly derail the federal government itself. Asif Zardari was helped along in his decision when a large group of Shia protesters, somehow evading the strict security cordon in Clifton, gathered to stage a dharna near Bilawal House in Karachi.

If the Shia protesters could sit out the freezing cold of Quetta till the Balochistan government was shunted out, Qadri’s supporters can brave Islamabad’s freezing rain. Certainly there is need for elections to sustain democracy but what if this democracy continues to sustain corruption? Do not confuse SC’s orders for Raja Pervaiz Ashraf’s arrest as an attack on democracy. A coincidence perhaps, but orders for his arrest for corruption as an individual coincided with him being Prime Minister. Let another PPP stalwart become prime minister or simply announce general elections! The country cannot afford a constitutional crisis because of the likely confrontation between the government and the Supreme Court.

2210 hours
Saturday 19 January 2013

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