No Al-Tahrir for Pakistan
The yawning gap between the elite and the disempowered, job-less and oppressed Egyptians has finally forced the downtrodden to caste all their fears aside and change their destiny. The Egyptians are following footsteps of Tunisians who successfully ousted president Zain El Abidin Ben Ali who had ruled the country for more than two decades with an iron fist. It all started on December 17 last year, when an unemployed post-graduate, Muhammad Al Bouazizi burnt himself in fire after being disallowed to set up a vegetable stall. This fire did not consume Al Bouazizi alone, it took the core of the corrupt politicians and the so-called ruling elite was eventually consumed in this fire as a country of ten million people stood united to hunt and kill anyone related with Zain El Abdin’s regime in a French revolution style. Zain El Abidin, the promoter of western interest in his own country was denied asylum every where he tried until Saudi Arabia opened its gates for him as he rushed out of Tunisia to save his life.
Overthrow of a dictator through mostly peaceful protests is a rare incident in human history, let alone the Middle East which has been marked by autocratic rulers whether in the form of Kings or Presidents. In the current scenario, where news of importance spreads like wildfire, this incident of unprecedented nature has excited Muslims all over the world as the Tahrir Square has been truly converted to Liberation Square and jumped straight into our living rooms through a magic box called TV. Even when all communication media were blocked, Egyptians used social networks and showed their strength as the trending topic on twitter became #altahrir. This peaceful revolution has stirred hidden anger and energized millions of Muslims across the globe, but the Muslims of the Middle East feel they are already part of the revolution as unrest in Algeria, Jordan & especially Yemen has been seen. King Abdullah of Jordan moved quickly to dissolve the government and appoint a new prime minister, whereas Yemen’s premier ensured he will not be running for elections again. Unrest across the Middle East was, in a way confirming US Vice President’s comment “a lot…going on across…from Tunisia to all the way to Pakistan”.
But, is it really coming to the land of four seasons … Pakistan?? Yes, this revolution is being termed as Jasmine revolution… & incidentally Jasmine is our national flower. Yes, the people of Pakistan have utmost sympathy with Tunisians and Egyptians and some want to be like them and see a revolution knocking the door. A discontent among general public is also quite obvious here as rulers, whether elected or military seem to bow down & follow every direction of their western counterparts, serving their interest like they have no relation with Pakistan. People are fed up of corruption and being treated as cattle in their very own country, they can understand that now apart from drones, any person trying to do an American version of 007 can kill a couple of youngsters and his colleagues can run over another biker and show a get-out-of-jai-free card and fly away safely … Educated but unemployed citizens are committing suicides on daily basis but there is none in the ruling class who has time to spare a thought to the deceased…. but even then … can this revolution some how find its way from Egypt, bypass Saudi Arabia, Iran and trickle down to Pakistan … or can it seep down the Arabian gulf to change the lives of Pakistanis forever ..??
I don’t know who, but some analysts are talking about the Islamic connection between Tunisia, Egypt & Pakistan, trying to make us believe that a similar uprising is soon to be started in Pakistan, the Egyptians are not calling for an Islamic revolution, and they are fighting for their basic rights, food, shelter and jobs, not religion! Even then, we all hope for a revolution, but what will you change? You have a Government which you elected in a general election, if you chose to oust it, what next? A new election or another dictator seizing power? A dictator will pile more misery and a new election will see the current parliament juggle their roles, some of these will be the ruling coalition and others will be neutral or the so-called opposition, but the overall constitution of the elected representatives will remain the same.
Pakistan has never been part of the Middle East, an Islamic revolution in neighboring Iran could not stir even a mini revolution here, a revolution in a country like Egypt or Tunisia is no closer to us than Iran’s dramatic episode. Protestors in Egypt and Tunisia had one common goal, they are driven by a single ideology, to drive out the tyrant rulers and seek a fresh start to change the system from inside out. In Pakistan, the biggest problem faced by us is that we are not united, we are not a nation, we are divided into Punjabi, Sindhi, Baloch, Pathan & then sub-divided into Deo-bandi, Barelvi, Shia, Sunni, Wahabi … etcetera, we have not ever demonstrated our unity except in the 1965 war and we cannot change our destiny till we forget our differences and demonstrate the fact that we are, in fact, united.
So, no Jasmine revolution & domino effect for Pakistan….
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