Greatness Lies in Sacrifice
Recent wave of protests have shown that a large segment of society which was previously aloof to politics has woken up. The middle class, which was largely seen as a sleeping majority has not only broken its silence but is also asserting itself over the political landscape of this country. Both PTI and PAT, irrespective of what their demands are have done a great job in brining those with in the political ambit of Pakistan, which were its erstwhile critics. The agenda of Dr. TaherulQadri and Imran Khan resonates with the demands of deprived class and the adamancy shown by government is one reason why people are increasingly turning against status quo. Stats quo exit not only exists in Pakistan but also in the developed world, and in some cases it is more powerful there. Tracing back the history of United States of America, it can be seen that the great revolutionary war was in fact a reaction to the forces of British-aligned status quo and in the years that follow, various movements from the Progressive movement to the Occupy Wall street movement, the dissatisfied lot has challenged the powerful elite. However, unlike the situation in Pakistan, the voice of a common man was not only heard but answered by those in power. This voice of a common man gradually transformed societies from autocratic to democratic.
Not long ago, this phenomenon was seen in the Arab states where the most feared dictators were brought to their knees by the same people who had borne the brunt of the forces of status quo. Now the concerns of the people out there in the streets of Islamabad and other cities are genuine and are even recognized as legitimate by the ruling party. But the ruling party is bent upon insisting that their presence in the echelons of power is mandatory to ameliorate the grievances of the masses, which is not true. The incumbent PML-N is far from being a party of the oppressed, for the oppressed and by the oppressed. While on the other hand, the ranks of Pakistan AwamiTehreek(PAT) and Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf(PTI) , are swelling day by day with the wretched of Pakistan. The dissatisfaction is pervasive and even if the ruling-elite rejects it, it is going to grow in the coming years, if the voice of a common man is ignored.
So what is the way out? Army has repeatedly clarified its position that it is no mood for another miscalculated adventure.The government and the forces of status quo are hand in glove to protect democracy and the brutal use of force by the government was another failed attempt to silence those challenging their rule. The sit-ins and demonstrations against government are spreading and the two leaders Dr. TaherulQadri and Imran Khan are still with their people on the roads, and do not seem to ditch the cause of the people. The best way to avoid confrontation is to listen to the voice of a common man, as was done in Runnymede by King John when he signed the great charter of Magna Carta in 1215.History is a very good teacher for those who wish to learn, and now is the time for the ruling parties to learn from King John. The government’s claim that a few hundred people are protesting there in Islamabad, even if accepted true, is wronged by the fact that there are thousands and thousands of people in their homes supporting the stance taken by the protesters. And if they think that the protesters don’t represent the will of the people why not have a referendum? It might be the right time to make use of the seventh amendment of the constitution of Pakistan. Actions need to be taken to assuage the aggrieved; simple statements and deceptive promises won’t be enough this time.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is on the verge of being remembered as a champion of democracy. He can resign, let the investigation of alleged electoral rigging happen and can come back again gloriously if allegations are found baseless. This would consolidate his stature as a national leader and the coming generations would remember him as a great man who relinquished power for the sake of his country. But the path to greatness isn’t smooth. Had Nelson Mandela not jailed for 27 years, he would not have achieved greatness. Mandela’s greatness comes out of his firm belief in the cause of the people. The same cause which led the then South African President F.W de Klerk to abandon his position of power for South African people and be remembered in history as a great man. Can Nawaz Sharif do that? Can he sacrifice his premiership for the people?