(Manufactured) revolution mubarak

Published: January 15, 2013
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We were so close to having a democratic transition of power; now we will watch this game of shadows being played out.

Congratulations, Pakistan!

The ‘manufactured’ revolution just came to a country near you.

After the stunning success of People’s Power movements, Colour Revolutions and various Springs, we bring you the Pakistani Winter.

You can thank the best strategic minds in Pakistan and beyond for bringing you this stunning and beautifully coordinated production. We’ve been called paranoid, we’ve been called incurable conspiracy theorists and cynical naysayers but guess what? We were right all along.

It’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you.

But you know what? I actually find it quite sweet.

It’s unfolded with the coordination of a Bolshoi ballet, the choreography of Disney on ice, the farce of Monty Python. And let’s admit it: it was kind of beautiful in its sheer cynicism. No one can accuse the Dirty Tricks Brigade of not being able to learn new tricks. The electronic media brought the last dictator down?

No problem, lets just buy them with ads. Social media upsetting the status quo around the world? No problem, lets manufacture #Revolution hashtags and saturate.

Once again, black is white and up is down. The lack of water at Karbala is equated with a lack of diesel in Islamabad. Our former dictator Musharraf now calls his rule a democratic one. An imported cleric, like it or not, just managed to articulate the frustration of the masses where a domestic government could not.

Yes, we need to blame the establishment and the judiciary for once again supporting, enabling and coordinating an undemocratic change in this country. We must call them to account for cratering the runway when we were so close to the finish line.

But they aren’t the only ones to blame. Had the government delivered even the semblance of governance in the past four odd years, there would not have been even five thousand people on the streets right now.

Had the government any moral authority, or any authority at all, this man would not have been able to hold the country hostage. That they did not, that they squandered such a mandate, that they allowed the establishment – which has been at its lowest ebb in decades – to pull off something on this scale, is a true tragedy.

We were so close; so close to actually having a democratic transition of power; so close to cementing the democratic process in Pakistan. And now we are once again reduced to watching this surreal game of shadows being played out.

So what now?

Will we see some political parties (MQM, PTI and PML-Q, I’m thinking of you) and leaders now endorse this manufactured revolution and destroy their future for the sake of a temporary accommodation?

Will this turn out to be yet another martyrdom for the defeated and decrepit PPP to cash in on?

I don’t know. But one thing that’s sure is the forces that came up with this scenario have war-gamed and brainstormed it to near-perfection.

We’re just along for the ride. And yes, it will be a bumpy one.

Read more by Zarrar here or follow him on Twitter @ZarrarKhuhro

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Zarrar Khuhro

Is currently working at Dawn TV and was the editor of The Express Tribune weekly magazine.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.