Pakistan Must Decide

Since the start of the protests in Islamabad, whispers have been heard that the Army is the chief script writer in this the entire drama. The media has tried to link former President Musharraf to the PTI and PAT on numerous occasions, as well as “social media pundits” suggesting that this is all in an effort to free Musharraf from the treason charges that the PML-N government has framed against him. I would be stupid not to note that Nawaz Sharif himself is guilty as an collaborator with General Zia as Finance Minister Punjab and then Chief Minister Punjab, but that is a conversation for another day.

The other day, after the attack on PTV headquarters, the sections of the Pakistani electronic media have swung for the fences and are out and out blaming the Pakistan Army for not defending the state institutions from the protestors. Shame on you! Why shame on you?

This is a so-called democratically elected government, a demand of the people after Musharraf’s “dictatorship.” While forgetting that it is the responsibility of the CIVILIAN institutions to protect the state institutions, some sections of the media have decided that the Army should be made the target. So what is the point of democracy when the organs of a civilian government are unable to provide basic security? Is it so that the Army can always be the protector of the state institutions rather than focusing on the protection of the borders and the fight against terrorism?

I should point out that Article 245 was enacted in Islamabad to protect against potential terrorist acts in the capital due to Operation Zarb-e-Azb, not to protect it from the peaceful protestors that marched on the capital much later.

While you listen to these sections of the media and the special politicians that have found their political birth in the laps of the military, please remember that:

  • had the civilian, democratically elected government of Pakistan made serious efforts to negotiate with Imran Khan on the election rigging issue anytime during the last 14 months, we would not be standing here today.
  • had the civilian, democratically elected government of Punjab had shown any seriousness in filing the First Information Report (FIR) in 17 June for the Model Town massacre, we would not be standing here today.
  • had the civilian, democratically elected government of Pakistan shown seriousness when the protestors reached Islamabad and negotiated from the first day, rather than waiting until the 13th day, we would not be standing here.

Are we absolving Imran Khan and Tahir ul Qadri? NEVER! But the onus of responsibility lies with the government to solve the grievances of the people they claim to govern, not mock them, insult them and challenge them. You will not find this behavior in any other government around the world, except Pakistan.

And to the media, I have a special distaste for you. In the Lal Masjid affair, you were all screaming that the government take action against the terrorists, miscreants and other colorful terms you coined for those who were challenging the writ of the state in the nation’s capital. Only to turn them into martyrs and heroes when they fired on the Army. To this day, you refuse to report the truth of what happened there choosing to support the government line that they were innocent victims. When will you realize that the truth is not just out there, but caught in your camera lens. It’s history that you reported, not just watched.

Today, is a day of decisions for Pakistan.

Decide if democracy, in it’s current form, is what you want for this country, understanding fully that it has repeatedly and massively failed to deliver.

Decide if you are willing to stand up for your rights and accept that none of the current political parties will honor your request if it impedes on their right to rule and steal from this country.

Decide if you want accountability not just for the financial crimes, but for the criminal acts that have been carried out by EVERY government, not just this one.

Decide if the entire Constitution that everyone celebrates MUST be implemented and followed in letter and spirit.

Decide if you really need to bribe the police officer or government official to “help you out.”

Change comes from a change in the mindset of the people. It never comes from a change in government. When we refuse to follow the status quo, continue to do things that we have always done, then Pakistan will change.

This is your country. This is my country. This is our country.

Decide Pakistan.

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