Think twice before joining the long march..
Hundreds and thousands of followers have reached Islamabad on the call of PTI Chairman Imran Khan despite every attempt by government machinery to stop them. Revolutionary songs can be heard all over Islamabad, supporters are waiting anxiously for Imran Khan to guide them their next move. Imran Khan arrives on the stage, his supporters surround him to provide security; suddenly a suicide bomber is noticed among the supporters. “Bomb” someone yells. Before any one can do anything the bomb goes off. Hundreds of thousands of people are in shock; they try to hear about if their leader is safe. Rumour circulates that he is not. Young, passionate youngsters who had been told that government and police are killers, Imran Khan is last hope and revolution will change their lives feel disappointed and angry. Some miscreants start burning property and beating security officials present. Soon, thousands of people are doing it. The mob is too big to control. In minutes, TV channels show to the world that people are trying to enter the parliament and supreme court. Police is unable to stop them. Government panics and calls army for help. Army finds it impossible to scatter hundreds of thousands of angry people without firing shots. They fire in the air but are pelted stones (remember what happened to Islamabad police when TUQ arrived) and some soldiers retaliate by firing back. The crowd gets more violent; parliament is ransacked, VIP’s are beaten, some murdered in the name of revolution.
Soon, in every city youngsters can be seen torching banks, cars, government buildings. Policemen are kidnapped and killed, leaders and workers of other parties attacked. They retaliate and a civil war like situation emerges in the country.
After hundreds of deaths, a long battle and appeals by PTI leaders, people calm down and army finally takes control. Army Chief is forced to declare martial law due to volatile situation in Pakistan. PML N, PPP and even PTI don’t accept the martial law and the tussle for power continues for years and years, weakening Pakistan in the process while the war on terrorism still keeps eating us from inside. Pakistan loses a leader among hundreds of lives, democracy, stability and terrorists who wanted to burn cities of Pakistan win.
Can we take this risk? Is long march really justifiable when we are at war? With terrorists on the run after our brave army has launched operation, do we want to provide terrorists the opportunity to destabilize Pakistan? Can the long march achieve anything but chaos and anarchy?
Pundits say that even if government is toppled, the chances of Imran Khan coming to power are meagre. Even if Imran Khan miraculously comes to power, will the Pakistan Muslim League let him complete 5 years after what the former would have done to them? If every year one party or the other leaves for Islamabad in the name of revolution, how will we fight against the war of terror? How will we improve our economy? How will we solve the electricity crisis? How will the parties be properly judged on their performance when they don’t get enough time in power to make it count?
Pakistan has to chose. Do we want to have stability and progress like India, Malaysia and Turkey etc. or do we want to become another Iraq? Slogans of revolution easily become popular in developing countries. People are poor and want a change. But when we read history and see the countries in our surroundings, change hasn’t come through revolutions and long marches, but through stable governments and economic development. Whether its Imran Khan, Tahir Ul Qadri, Sheikh Rashid , the latest revolutionary Pervez Ilahi or any other namesake revolutionary, his ultimate goal is to rule Pakistan. We as a nation have to stop choosing worse to get rid of bad and take a break and think: Is further chaos what we want when we are already fighting a war?