Friday, March 16, 2007

Citizens Rising - Disruption to come, and then glory

The aftermath of the suspension of the Chief Justice of Pakistan is getting complicated. It's a free-for-all for the police, the government, the bar councils of the country, media, politicians and anyone's aunt.

Current situation:

1. Fighting on the streets of Islamabad; tear-gassing, shelling by police, and stone-pelting by people
2. Police attack on the Islamabad office of Geo News a couple of hours ago - prompting strong reaction from the Minister of Information, politicians, people, and of course the press
3. Exploitation of the situation by those who do nothing for Pakistan given a chance

It is TIME. It begins, as many say.

To me, it's not about one pillar of the state against another - the pillar being legislative, executive, judiciary, and media.

To me, it's about the Citizens vs. Everything Wrong with Pakistan. It's about the fact that the citizens of Pakistan have always been brushed aside by whoever had power - law, government, feudal lords, media, academia, the educated people, the wealthy, the resource-owners.

It's about have's and have-not's. And now, the people have a voice, and an emotional bank account in the red.

In the next few days, Pakistan will witness an un-stoppable rising of the unpolitical Citizens, rising only for Citizens' Fundamental Rights. Only time will show what will happen - we all have ideas which are better not expressed.

In a recent Q&A session after futurist Rohit Talwar's talk on Pakistan's Vision for the year 202o, I gave my opinion that within 30 years, Pakistan will be one of the few leading powers of the world. The conference was attended by business leaders and managers of Pakistan, and some expressed surprise at the idea.

I gave my anxious opinion only in private to those who prodded: my belief is that in thirty years, a new Pakistan, led by the youth of today, will have emerged on the map of earth. The IDEA of Pakistan will be stronger, and we will be on our way to great glory - which was always the fate of Pakistan. However, the anxiety was about the disruptive change that will have to occur before we reach that stage. Pakistan, as it is now, is not what the idea of Pakistan is. It is so far removed, that we will need to uproot ourselves from the current situation, and create a new world of our ideas.

My opinion is only of the doctor who sees a patient with advanced cancer, and must tell the truth. The recovery will require drastic therapy, followed by a lifestyle of rigorous health and responsibility.

I believe in Pakistan's future, though Pakistan's present is fraught with discord, and more will come. That is why, I wear a White Band, and not a black one to mark my feelings about the present.

E-mail: nextbyramla AT

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