Dr. Tahir ul Qadri in an interview with a television channel expressed his admiration for American brand Bed Bath & Beyond and decided that his next protest movement should be branded as Dharna & Beyond. I am not joking this is exactly what he said in the interview. Keeping his old tradition, he also said that this is the final movement and he is confident that they will achieve the objective of overthrowing the government in Punjab and center. I don’t blame Dr. Qadri for his confidence because if few hundred protestors in Faizabad can get resignation of a law minister then few thousand should be able to achieve the overthrow of the whole parliament. His confidence also emanates from the fact that if a deal can be made for the cohesion of the country then it is also possible to make a deal for saving the state from corrupt politicians and struggling democracy.
While Dr. Qadri was promoting his Dharna & Beyond a very experienced journalist and famous anchor Arshad Sharif declared that politicians are dogs. He can’t be blamed because some of his seniors like Haroon Rasheed and Ayaz Amir have been actively promoting installation of a technocrat government to get rid of incapable politicians. So far, their wish has not been granted but Dr. Qadri announcement and Kasur protests have once again given them new hope. But that is not all Hassan Nisar is so disgusted with the Pakistani nation that only importing a new nation could meet his expectations and make Pakistan great again.
All these journalists-cum-politicians forget that only a politician has the temperament to bear derogatory and undignified labels. It is not because politicians do not have dignity but because it is an occupational hazard. No politician can claim to have support or approval of 100% of the voters so all those that oppose them engage in name calling. This is further augmented by their failure to deliver on promises. Anyone that is not comfortable with handling derogatory labels is unfit for politics. But politicians that serve people also earn a lot of respect and love of people which is much more satisfying than few derogatory comments. As a small-time politician, I have already earned a lot of derogatory labels. Why? Because I have dared to disagree with the only honest and Sadiq / Ameen politician in Pakistan Imran Khan. Since I disagree with Imran Khan that surely means I support corruption so I must be corrupt myself. This clearly justifies that it is fair to use derogatory and abusive words using my mother, sisters, and wife in their expletives by supporters of Imran Khan. These journalist-cum-politicians always reminds the nation that only two institutions are left in the country that needs respect and protection from attack by the corrupt politicians which are Military and Judiciary.
I don’t know whether it is a coincidence or by design that videos and posts have started appearing on social media suggesting that Pakistan was a much more respected and stable country when Ayub Khan, Gen Zia and Gen Musharraf ruled the country. These messages also suggest that Pakistan was supportive of USA but they always ditched us once their interest was served. I am afraid to make General and Judges angry by stating that it is the unfortunate fact that most problems faced by this country have an origin in the unconstitutional acts of military and doctrine of the necessity of judiciary. This doctrine is still alive but now has a constitutional cover in the form of article 184 (3). The reality is that both these institutions are very weak in terms of discharging in their constitutionally mandated function but very strong to protect their institutional interests.
I am not at all suggesting that politicians have lived up to the expectations but rather support that they are very much a problem. The three civilian dictators Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan and Asif Ali Zardari are willing to do anything for their personal political interests. Nawaz Sharif is angry about mujhe kyun nikala (why I was thrown out) and wants a revenge from the system about it. Imran Khan is eager and a willing partner to join Dharna & Beyond so that he can get a chance to wear his sherwani. He was never a politician but always a celebrity that was ready to be bought for a promise. Now he has converted himself to be the unofficial spokesman and protector of establishment and judiciary. Asif Ali Zardari in 2008 believed democracy is the best revenge because the environment was conducive to form a PPP government. But now in 2018 when PPP chances of success are small he believes Dharna & Beyond is the best revenge. Around these civilian dictators is a circle of loyalists that will do anything for their dictators as that also allows their own control of the constituencies and political power.
What is the bottom line? The bottom line is that ruling elite of the country is greedy and does not want to work with each other. They refuse to comply with any rule, principle or ideology and are in naked pursuit of power. The country cannot remain united, stable or progress until this ruling elite continues fighting.
I am hopeful that the activists of two national democratic parties PTI and PPP will liberate their parties from the dictators and convert them into institutions that provide a platform for the emergence of new leadership. Judges and Generals should allow the emergence of this grassroots leadership rather than engage in political engineering or derail the system. They need to be patient and keep their focus to ensure free and fair elections in 2018.
By Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi