Original Articles

Revolution in Pakistan? It’s the economy, stupid! – by Imran Qadir Butt

Related articles: Let’s agitate for regime change in Pakistan: Tunisia and Egypt style

Let’s have a revolution in Pakistan: Yeh, Yeh, Yeh! – by Razzak Memon

I once heard someone quoting someone from the past to explain revolution as a society pregnant with new one. It is pretty impressive quotation and I must admit its damn right.

According to Cambridge Dictionary revolution is” a change in the way a country is governed, usually to a different political system and often using violence or war.”

Before we move any further as far as Tunisia is concerned it could be a kind of revolution as we are in for a new wave of political freedom and political participation with association that were missing since Ben Ali imposed himself upon Tunisia. It is ‘a kind of revolution’ as no one questioned the legitimacy of capitalist economy in Tunisia. In Egypt it is a change in which Army is going to control the government, moving from direct control to indirect control through an elected parliament. So in Egypt Army will continue to play central role by granting some unprecedented changes in electoral process.

Now as far as Pakistan is concerned it is a society of impatient souls. Pregnancy needs time to get mature and then deliver. In Pakistan people do not have a habit to allow time to allow situation to fully develop into full fledge change. Every now and then they become impatient and start crying for change. In other words we normally have abortions in every ten years or so. And as we know abortion is both hurtful and undesirable in every case.

And for those hinging on events in Middle East to become a catalyst of change in Pakistan, they have to keep on waiting, especially those with right wing religious agendas. Watching their poor acting skills on various TV channels one can only feel sorry for them. They try their upmost to relate these events with situation in Pakistan with their twisted logics devoid of facts on ground in Tunisia and Egypt. They struggle to convince themselves, let alone their audience about how these events have any truck with their right wing religious agenda. No matter what they say or imply they were unable to deny two basic facts about upraising in Tunisia and Egypt.

First is the composition of participants in protests. It is mixed gather with women chanting slogans with their men folks and more importantly not wearing hijab from head to toe but wearing jeans and holding smart phones in their hands. Men we see are mostly clean shaven and whenever asked to comment they do not invoke any divine text to back their actions. So these set of people do not fit into their profile of agents of change.

Secondly no matter how hard they tried our right wing pseudo scholars could not find a single instance where protestors were using anti-USA or anti-Isreal slogans or banners during their marches. I have seen their faces hanging in shame for unable to find anti America feelings. For their tiny twisted mind it is ‘un-natural’, hence sooner or later they would term this genuine uprising for political and economic change as artificially manufactured by CIA.

This is of course not a revolution but people desperately agitating against corrupt regimes for their political and economic needs. In Pakistan though there are large scale problems but still people have various channels to vent their anger. The moment Pakistan will be able to over-come its debt to GDP ratio imbalance it has resources and potential to become an economic power house of South Asia.

We in Pakistan have to turn our attention towards our economy as it is the key element where future of Pakistan hinges on. Analysing events unfolding around us is not a bad thing, but objectivity should be our guiding principle in every scenario. Wishing something to happen the way we want it to happen is not going to achieve anything but despair and confusion. That is what we are suffering from thanks to our arm-chair right wing scholars.

Coming out every now and then, shutting down businesses and scaring foreign investors away are not going to help Pakistan. It would further damage our heavily haemorrhaging economy. It is time to channel all our efforts in the direction of economic recovery.

Both in Tunisia and Egypt people are up against growing chasm between have and have-nots. They are furious about joblessness and rising cost of living. Let us try to stem the flow of economic down-turn by doing our part responsibly. Let us try to avoid revolution because it demands blood and destruction. Let us create economic opportunities for our people as we all know that people can live without ideologies and faiths but people cannot survive without bread.

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Abdul Nishapuri

8 Comments

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  • yes. vet correct, but revolution is imminent in other sense which is that country could face our silent liberal majority’s
    revolt against religious fanaticism. Our country has been witnessing
    hide and seek game of powerful military establishment since the
    creation of Pakistan. Mighty military establishment is the sole
    architect of this religious fanaticism. Every action has got equal and
    opposite reaction, Salman taseer’s brutal assassination has stirred up
    Pakistan’s civil society and left wing groups, as these groups have
    remained the victims of unjust, unequal and biased version of
    establishment. Current government is also appeasing its real
    masters(Military establishment). Military establishment is happy with
    this set-up but Price hike, growing food insecurity and unemployment
    could lead to uprising of oppressed people. And this surge of people
    would result byzanitine state for which our great Quaid Jinnah had
    founded Pakistan and it would be the first ever clash between liberal
    forces and religious extremists. Wave of change is on, let us see when
    it enters in Pakistan. but Pakistan could not be compared to turmoil-ridden
    Egypt and Tunisia as Pakistan has democracy and fully functional
    institutions. Pkistan’s main issue are mullaism, terrorism and ailing economy.

  • Pakistan’s single largest party PPP must give tough time to extremist wing of military establishment. PPP should make the most of current wave of change. Still military establishment is playing game with political parties(specially PPP) and again mullah military sponsored dramas and theatre have been played on streets since proposed amendment in blasphemy law.PPP must understand this fact that this honey moon between PPP and establishment is just for transient and temporary phase.because in current scenario establishment cannot face international community due to its past draconian track record, so it seeks help from PPP. And PPP is the only party which has always done the best for Pakistani oppressed people, it is the symbol of strong federation and represents the liberal patriots of Pakistan.Hence PPP must dictate establishment in terms of liberalizing this country. It should be the master of establishment. Dominant silent majority is with PPP.

  • PPP should get the leading role, and It deserves too. because PPP has given countless sacrifices for nation, while other parties and institutions including military are lagging behind PPP.

  • PPP is the heart of millions of people. PPP has got inalienable right to dictate military establishment of Pakistan.

  • What is on the card of future, only Allah knows well, what we can do and are doing is to calculate and assess. In my humble opinion, the causes that catalyzed revolution that in Tunisia and the same being translated in Egypt may be corruption, nepotism, tyranny and manipulations in elections. They may be small reasons, but the big big reason is long period of ruling the government by hook and crook.

    When Bourguiba became invalid and resigned,Zyn Al Abedein Ben Ali, won the election (1987) on the popular slogan of abolishing one party rule. Thereafter, a reign of terror, suppression of media, arrests of opposition leaders, police state, and what not that suits a dictator to perpetuate his rule – 23 years of tyranny.

    Hosnie Mobarak, after assassination of Anwar Sadaat, ruled Egypt and to perpetuate his reign he used the similar dirty tactics – 30 years reign of tyranny.

    You will observe the protestors were not stopping unless Ben Ali flew away. Protestors are not leaving the streets unless Hosnie Mubarak steps down, all other solutions tried by him fizzled out.

    As the events are turning out, Egypt is the focus of American interests. One front (south) was safe and sound for Israel (Camp David) and they could focus on north (Syria) and East (Hammas and Iran). Now they have to worry about the south also meaning thereby more deployment of forces. Looks like there would another Hosnie Mubarak after exit of the senior.

    Tunisia is the point of interest for European Union, as billion of dollars had been invested in this country and the investors (mostly French) had been enjoying the returns with profit.

    Now this tsunami revolution, is it going to hit Pakistan? I think not. Media is free (for all), judiciary is independent. Secondly, revolution does not need any propaganda stunt like our media is doing. It comes when it has to come and nobody can stop it. Secondly, there is no dynamic leader that can lead the revolution from front. All the popular leaders are lions in their limited regions (Nawaz Sharif – North Punjab, Altaf Hussain – South Sind). And revolution by people that voted for this government only three years back looks illogical.

    Having said this much, and given sympathetic consideration to the logics of those that want revolution in Pakistan, No Sir, I do not foresee this.

  • Demonstrators from religious parties Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan and the banned terrorist-linked charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa held banners in support of Mumtaz Qadri — the police guard who killed Taseer last month because the governor had supported changes to Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy laws. Opposition party leaders from more mainstream parties also lined up to assure the protesters they would never support changes to the blasphemy law and would quit the National Assembly should the government attempt to amend them. Protesters chanted slogans such as “Free Mumtaz Qadri” while demanding the harshest penalty for Raymond Davis, a US consular official who was arrested for double murder on Friday after shooting two armed motorcyclists he feared were about to rob him.