Violence begets violence

August 13, 2014

 riz(Rizwan Haider)

 

Political uncertainty is on the rise, speculations are the center of talks regarding the ongoing political turmoil and its outcome. What would be the climax of Azadi March of Pakistan Tehree-e-Insaf and Revolution March of Pakistan Awami Tehreek. Either the government would show some flexibility over the harsh demands of protesters or it would end up tightening the screws of oppositions. Would the government crumble or survive? In the sacred month of August, Pakistan came into being, is passing through a chaos all around. Mishandling the reservations of other political parties by the incumbent government provided the reasons to the small waves of protests to become very high tides which could sweep away the elected government.

More than a year has passed, but demand of PTI for the recounting and verification of thumb impression of four constituencies was not met; now they are on the streets with bigger demands. Putting a glance in the political history of the country, we would end up that Nawaz Sharif was one of the trend settlers of long marches, on the death anniversary of dictator Zia-ul-Haq on 17th August, 1989; he headed towards the capital with at least 1000 buses of participants to reach at the grave of Zia-ul-Haq, with hidden agenda of political point scoring. Premier of the time, late Benazir Bhutto after negotiations passed the order to let the Nawaz Sharif and his followers enter into the capital and no hurdles were placed on the way of the long march. In 2009, Nawaz Sharif cleverly took over the leadership of the lawyers’ movement, and started the long march from Lahore, threatening PPP government in the center. His long march hardly crossed the Lahore, when he was delivered the message that his demands were met and he called off the march. Considering the historic facts, incumbent government should also show some flexibility and should confer the green signal to the participants of Azadi March and Revolution March to enter into the capital. Situation could be worst if the option of using force applied, incident of killing a dozen workers of PAT in Lahore added fuel to the fires being lighted by the opposition parties. The Model Town carnage provided the real strength to PAT Chief. It was a national tragedy which could have been avoided. The real culprits behind the carnage have not been brought to justice till now thus leaving more excuses for the PAT to continue their protests. Extreme statements have been issued by the Chief of PAT and PTI. Dr Qadri revealed that the government has issued orders of his assassination calling already angry activists not to spare Sharif family and ministers in case if he got killed. Similar statements were issued by Chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf that if he would be eliminated by any means by the government then his activists must not spare the Shareef brothers.

Considering the facts any further aggression by the authorities would be a disaster for the government, democracy and ultimately for the stability of the country. Cities are being brought to a standstill because of the threat of demonstrations, containers placed on entry and exit points, fuel shortages created to ensure people could not travel. On the one hand, pictures are being floated that women and old people were fled like mice and scuttled out from under containers, on the other, scuffles between the protesters and law enforcement agencies. A democratic government must not take away the right of freedom of speech and expression, right of peaceful demonstration. Democratic government should not feel that they can act as they please and that there is no one to curtail them? How do they believe that they have the right to use state power to curtail the freedom of association and the peaceful right to protest? Present government should follow the footsteps of PPP government, the way they handled the sit-in of PAT in the winter of 2013, they were allowed to protest in the capital and a stage came Qadri was anxiously looking for the safe passage to end the sit-in.