Pakistan does not need a revolution

Published: February 24, 2011
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Protesters chant anti-government slogans in a square in Benghazi city, Libya. PHOTO: REUTERS

This spirit of revolt witnessed in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain and Libya is being termed a new era of democracy, liberalisation and freedom. It is spreading like wildfire. Some people are asking whether this fire will ever reach Pakistan. One can only wonder what they are talking about.

The conditions that provoked the uprising in Tunisia are not at all identical to Pakistan. People here are discontented due to unemployment, poverty, inflation and widespread corruption. But in Pakistan we have a free press – the most free media in the Islamic world, a democratic government that works in fits and starts – but still works, and a country where everyone seems to have the chance to abuse our leaders on a daily basis.

The general public is of the opinion that instead of resolving public issues the elected representatives are busy securing their seats or making deals with their coalition partners in order to remain in power. But at least they can say it. In countries like Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, they would be picked up soon after and nothing would be heard about them after that.

That is why, possibly with all the repression in these states, a single incident triggered an uproar, pushing people off the edge and on to the streets. In Pakistan we are a more happy-go-lucky bunch.

Take Pakistan’s cricket team for instance. They are known to be unpredictable and have many a time won a match against all odds. The same can be said about the people of Pakistan.

We do not need the same level of protests to achieve the same results as in Tunisia. We have suffered a lot at the hands of our rulers, especially our dictators. The young men and women we see in Pakistan today were born in the Zia years. They have seen the good and the bad.

Libya is in a state of complete dictatorship and had no outlet for expression.  That is why it exploded. We do not need a revolution in Pakistan. Here changes are coming gradually, but we are far ahead than most Muslim states.

Saba Musheer

Saba Musheer

A Karachi based journalist who manages the Sunday pages of The Express Tribune.

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

  • http://syedaabidabokhari.wordpress.com The Only Normal Person Here.

    Revolutions always work fine for a while and then they end up in a complete mess. All revolutions have proven to be a big FLOP.Recommend

  • http://www.6la8.com Confused

    @The Only Normal Person Here.: Agreed. Post-revolution dictatorship is possible too, there is management hell when starting from scratchRecommend

  • http://dinopak.wordpress.com Hasan

    What Pakistan needs is EducationRecommend

  • Talha Masood

    I can’t agree more with this. This is what my opinion is already.Recommend

  • Nadeem Muazzmy

    No one can stop ………… INSHAALLAH inqalab will come through ballet and big giants will finish and real leadership will comeRecommend

  • Revolutionary Soldier

    @The Only Normal Person Here:
    All Revolutions were Flopped because of their poor Ideological thoughts but We have seen a Revolution in 70’s which is more firm and powerful and that is The Islamic Revolution of Iran,we are seeing the growth of this Revolution because of their Spiritual leadership,All the awakening we are observing in Mid-East is on the name of Islam,All systems and revolutions would collapse but Islamic Ideology and system will survive.Recommend

  • Ish

    Absolutely Correct & Agreed Recommend

  • AHR

    Very true Saba. We need evolution more than revolution. Once the euphoria subsides after a revolution, discontentment starts settling in. No matter how inefficient our systems are, we atleast have systems in place. Everyone can organzie any protest rally anytime at any place in Pakistan. We can make all the fun we want to and say anything about our politicians on national TV. Not that I condone the political mismanagement but nonetheless this is freedom to an extent. What we need to focus is on spreading of education, efficient working of the state machinery, justice and improvement of people’s lives. Recommend

  • simple

    Revolution will not work 4 pakistan if peoples came on road against govt: then army will again take over what will u do after that again u will talk abt revolution.Recommend

  • Mubasher

    I fully agree with the writer. We Pakistanis are much ahead than the people of these Arab countries. The best point in our favour is that we as a nation are gradually improving although its taking time and with lot of suffering but still we are improving especially in respect of thinking and mindset. And what I observe about Pakistani youth is that they are very sensitive about their plight in Pakistan and they really want do something for their homeland. For this reason they have choose to educate themselves. I think to educate oneself to fight against at all odds is the biggest revolution itself.Recommend

  • Hussain

    @The Only Normal Person Here.:
    correction …..Iran is a successful revolution story ,.Recommend

  • http://habloid.wordpress.com Habiba Younis

    @husaain, really? what makes u think Iran is a success story?Recommend

  • murassa sanaullah

    we pakistani are a free natin, we have a free media who like to generateright or wrong news and like to be biased ,can make zero a hero, a free judiciary which likes to see the political cases but ignore comman mans wows, parliment, which loves corruption, and last but not the least free nation, that is our population who dont like to obey law so we are a very free nation.Recommend

  • http://none illegaltender

    What a pointless, nonsense article . “we dont have a dictatorship in pakistan”…well do we have corruption? do we have self-serving politicians? The rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer? Drone attacks daily? violation of sovereignty? Increasing presence of foreign private security firms wreaking all sorts of havoc? Kerry Lugar Bill? Handouts from the US? ridiculously low amounts of tax collection, any tax that is collected is spent on mps, and giving them bulletproof cars..

    oh, we have a free media? so what? Is the media going to put food on the table for the average pakistani. Is the media going to solve the problems of the state.

    The media is a great way of spreading disinformation, baseless arguments from elitist columnists who live comfortable lives, in secluded private residences in islamabad,lahore and karachi.

    Its okay to sit in your ivory tower, and say this. But once the existing government has absolutely torn apart every last bit of pakistan and left it to the dogs…they, like the elite, will run to london, dubai..etc and live a life of luxury elsewhere.

    Mark my words. And to those who say “revolutions don’t work”, what has worked for pakistan under the years of zardari, sharif et al….

    Actually you will find revolutions have worked, first of all go and learn the definition of revolution.

    The politicians are there to serve the people, the people are not there to serve politicians.

    Education? what education, the govt is too busy buying bombs to kill our own people with?

    When has there ever been education during war time?

    These traitors who have sold out pakistan must be jailed or kicked out of the country, their assets frozen and confiscated.

    Pakistan needs a revolution based on the principles of qaids vision, only then will we see a change.Recommend

  • fired from a coffee shop

    In Pakistan we are a more happy-go-lucky bunch

    A really well reasoned and intelligent argument – or maybe not.Recommend

  • Naveeed Iqbal

    @illegaltender…totally agree.
    The problem with we people is that we think Someday Someone will bring change and improvement, waiting for that time rather then doing it.Recommend

  • bilal

    Revolution can not come in a place where most of the people do not know what exactly revolution is and what exactly it is for.Recommend

  • Noumaan Shamsi

    @bilal:
    you took the words right out of my mouth, brother.
    precisely!Recommend

  • bilal

    @Noumaan Shamsi:
    we need to educate people,make them aware of things going on in country.Our most of the population depends upon rural areas the place where education level needs to be enhanced.I think after that we do not need any revolution,change comes automatically in our country. Recommend

  • Omar

    Revolution could come. But what will Pakistan achieve?
    Zardari will flee like Ben Ali(Tunisia), and Hosni Mubarak(Egypt).
    Who will be left to deal woth country?
    ARMY.
    But Army is going to come in anyway. Pakistan will soon see a military coup. So why go out and wreck the country when you know that the end result is that army will rule the country.
    It will be pointless to see a revolution in Pakistan, becuase everyone knows end result.
    We will not acehieve anything.
    We should work hard, everyone and educate. Media is working hard on revelaing the doings of politicans and should continue.
    Most important thing is economy. Why destroy economy like Tuinisia and Egypt. They acheived something, though, Pakistan will not!!
    Pakistan first, always! Pakistan Zindabad!!
    YOU, ONLY YOU(PUBLIC) CAN BRING A CHANGE THROUGH UNITY,FAITH,DISCILPLINE!!Recommend

  • umair

    Pls. Do Not Try to Change Faces. Demand to Change the System. Learn and spread the word: http://www.PakRevolution.org
    (Also pls.. Like us on Facebook)Recommend

  • sheikh

    What Pakistan needs is education???

    Ya and after getting educated, they should join a huge list of jobless people… I personally know Engineers and Toppers of universities jobless for more than 4, 5 years and committing suicide …. What you expect from them?Recommend

  • Shazia

    This is my ultimate statement & explanation for not leaving pakistan and Loving this country …..Pakistan can be changed ….. We need to get out and boycott ….we already are doing that ….we need social Organisation ..Recommend