By Asad Ullah Khan
Sep 3, 2014
The political situation in Pakistan has been under duress for the last month because of the ongoing opposition long marches. The two long marches, one headed by Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri’s PAT (Pakistan Aawami Tehreek) and the other led by Imran Khan and his PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) have been the source of constant headache for the government. The two parties have presented different demands, but the common point in their agenda has been the resignation of the current Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. The government seems paralysed in dealing with these events. The government’s incapability to deal with the current crisis became more apparent when PTI’s chief Imran Khan first called for a ‘civil-disobedience movement’ which is not a wise move as PTI is currently exercising power in one province.
Declaration of this movement was highlighted by the international media which has the potential of creating a hurdle for the government insofar as its’ international dealings are concerned. The states deal with each other in the international environment on the basis of mutual trust. It would not be wrong to say that it is an attempt to create a vacuum by Imran Khan as the international stake holders are very much concerned about the political stability of the country. This move by Imran Khan’s party will isolate the government’s international dealings which would be a strategic setback for the government. Aftershocks of this blind move can be observed as two leaders of foreign countries cancelled their scheduled visits to Pakistan.
In European societies, the movement of civil disobedience is the most legitimate and organised way to get rid of the governments that are not performing well or not delivering to the people. In the Subcontinent, the only call for Civil disobedience was given by Gandhi way back in 1930.
The examples of the call for civil disobedience also include the one given by Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, and they worked very effectively. In a developing country like Pakistan, people are more concerned about ‘roti, kapra aur makaan ‘(food, clothing and shelter) rather than the political stunts. It has only been fourteen months since Nawaz Sharif took office for the third time. What made this government unique was the fact that it was the first government which achieved a successful democratic transition in the history of Pakistan.
Pakistan is currently in the midst of a severe political crisis. The government has been incapable to defuse this crisis. A crisis never happens suddenly, there is always a series of incidents behind it. These political marches and sit-ins are not sudden, and a lot has been cooking behind the scene for these events. Imran Khan’s demand of recounting of votes in four constituencies was never taken seriously by the government. Then, the introduction of Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri on the political scene and the Model Town incident in Lahore resulting in the death of several persons, further added fire to this crisis, and soon things got out of control. It can be observed that the government was reluctant at every forum, whether to resolve this political issue or to accept any kind of liability in the form of characters like the murderous Gullu Butt in Gujranwala.
Now, when the crisis escalated, after both the opposition and the government took extreme stands, the army was called upon to resolve this issue. Some people term it a conspiracy as to who called army to intervene and moderate talks in this triangle. Whosoever is behind this, it has been proved that democracy is a mere concept if the boots are there to moderate and control the issues between political parties. All the struggles and sacrifices by different forces in the previous years will go in vain if this intervention prolongs.