If the basis of PML-N’s unwavering support is blind devotion, would reason even matter at all?
Every day here is better than your average soap opera and provides fodder for your next gossip session. Don’t get me wrong. I am highly sensitive to the ‘delicate junction in history our beloved country currently stands at’. However, I cannot help but question how much we needed to sacrifice in order to get here and if it could have been done any other way.
Why do some nations only need the fall of confederate statues to trigger a movement, whereas others have human bodies falling every day but fail to make an impact?
Nawaz Sharif’s recent homecoming rally was targeted to move the masses living alongside GT road. In a nation where the bar of success is based on the ‘citizen turn-out’ on rally days, which perhaps is even more significant than the one on voting days, Nawaz may have been successful in proving that Punjab is still his stronghold.
However, Pakistan is a country where literacy rates ride low, voter pressure runs high and national television broadcasts Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) members distributing banknotes to gain crowd saturation. This makes us question whether all the political activities are staged. How many people in the crowd would have actually read the entire decision released by the Supreme Court (SC) that resulted in Nawaz’s impeachment?
One wonders how long fiery sentiments and frivolous shows of power will sell for. Will Nawaz’s refusal to accept the decision of the judiciary alter the hierarchy between the institutions of the country? This is the same judiciary that Nawaz fought for in 2007 during the lawyers’ movement.
If Nawaz’s voters cannot see the corruption charges against him, can they at least see his disloyalty to the movement for the restoration of the judiciary? The level to which these voters are stooping to is beyond belief and questions of morality kick in.
Recently, I witnessed a passionate PML-N female supporter crying on television. She gave no rationale and asked for nothing but to meet her hero Nawaz, who had been mistreated by the judiciary of Pakistan. If the basis of PML-N’s unwavering support is blind devotion, would reason even matter at all? If Nawaz’s plan is to turn a nation against its highest power, the judiciary of Pakistan, how can one expect any logic from him?
It won’t be wrong to say that PML-N is a one-man show. How else do you explain the complete disarray that has befallen the party due to charges placed on a single party member? What is even more incredulous is the lack of confusion about the next of kin in the party, which was obviously going to be one of the Sharif family members. Even though democracy calls for equal opportunity, PML-N’s presidential seat has always been filled by a member of the Sharif family, not on the basis of merit but blood.
Perhaps it is this addiction to self-glorification and desire for power that took the life of a nine-year-old boy and caused his father to suffer from a cardiac arrest. Nawaz’s son-in-law, Captain Muhammad Safdar, termed the loss as a ‘sacrifice for Pakistan’ but did a nine-year-old boy really need to bear the brunt of this sacrifice? How could you even conceive a minor to be a part of a movement against the judiciary of Pakistan?
The failure of PML-N lies in not acknowledging that the motorcade of an impeached prime minister led to an innocent child’s murder. When Heather Heyer, a Charlottesville victim was killed in a similar manner, US citizens mourned her loss. Their first reaction was to see whether citizens are complying with the requirements of a peaceful demonstration. It was not a celebration.
Reasonable people would ask how Nawaz moved on and continued his rally to Lahore after the loss of an innocent life. How was it not catastrophic enough to bring him to a stand-still? If our leaders do not value a life, how will we ever improve the mortality number?
One can appreciate Raza Rabbani’s intentions which reflected on how he wanted to bring the judiciary and military to the Parliament. But this will set the wrong precedent, since it doubts a decision given by five SC judges. If we need all our institutions to function properly, we need to allow them to do their job and not let a one-man show diminish their role. Nothing can give citizens immunity from the law, and today Pakistan needs to decide whether this includes the people’s mandate or not.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.