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Where is Pakistan’s revolution?

The world is changing, as we see people in many of Middle eastern countries assemble to demand their rights from the repressive regimes that have held its grips on their nations for past many decades. People in those countries are for the first time this vocal in demanding whats rightfully theirs. They want a democracy and they want it now. First Tunisia then Egypt and the domino effect continues onto many other nations.

Meanwhile as the chattering classes inside Pakistan watch this – sitting in front of their TVs in their comfortable air conditioned homes and offices – without blinking suggest the idea of a “Pakistani Revolution.” Most of whom have never stepped outside of their homes to protest or for that matter even vote in any one of the rare elections Pakistan has experienced.

Little that these – chattering classes of Pakistan – might know, what they are seeing on the TV is nothing new to Pakistan. The revolution they are so unfamiliar with, due to their social standing, actually started in Pakistan 44 years ago. It was an idea of a visionary leader – Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto – who formed Pakistan Peoples Party, the largest political entity existing till today.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s revolution was not only against the then dictator General Ayub Khan, but also against the status-quo and the elite / military establishment’s control over Pakistan’s resources. The revolution was to realize the social and economic justice and the emancipation of the disenfranchised and economically poor classes of Pakistan.

Ever since its creation the Pakistan Peoples Party has fought many battles on the street, protesting against dictators and unjust governments. Its leaders have faced many years of jail, torture, and even sacrificed their lives in the process. If you were to give a name to the revolution of Pakistan, it will be the Pakistan Peoples Party.

Even if the people demanding revolution in Pakistan are supporting any of the alternative parties such as Pakistan Muslim League (N / Q), Muttahida Qaumi Movement, or Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, then they are not sincere about revolution. Those parties are known to be the pro-establishment and pro-status-quo parties. They are not revolutionaries. Leaders like Imran Khan, has never seen the inside of a police station, while Nawaz Sharif would never die for his principles, and Altaf Hussain will not step on Pakistan’s soil. Revolutions are not ethnic or area based, like these parties are. They are fought with fervor, struggle, and discipline which all of these parties lack.

Pakistan Peoples Party is the true revolutionary party, and it is better that we understand this sooner than later, and join the party (or at-least go out and vote for it). That is if we truly believe in a revolution. Otherwise watching revolutions on TV screens and social networking websites are not too bad of an idea, at least you get to enjoy your popcorns.

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  • Thank you Anas for pouring out these wise words for the chattering class. Hopefully one or two of them might start thinking!

    “Pakistan Peoples Party is the true revolutionary party, and it is better that we understand this sooner than later, and join the party (or at-least go out and vote for it). That is if we truly believe in a revolution. Otherwise watching revolutions on TV screens and social networking websites are not too bad of an idea, at least you get to enjoy your popcorns.”

  • I fail to understand how ZAB brought about a revolution. That too against Ayub Khan. Firstly, I would like to know why the author chose to refuse in acknowledging that ZAB was a cabinet member of a military dictator. Secondly, ZAB himself was an elite feudal lord. So it is hard to fathom that ZAB was able to bring about a revolution against the very class he represented. Thirdly, the PPP if anything has always assisted or worked behind closed doors with military dictators. ZAB worked with Yahya Khan. ZAB was the first and only civilian martial law administrator. As far as Musharraf is concerned, BB worked with Musharraf in order to secure her husbands release, pass the NRO and cement an oral agreement to become Pakistan’s Prime Minister for the third time even before the elections took place.

    I do however agree that the PPP is the largest grassroot party currently in Pakistan. But even being labeled a secular, progressive party is dubious after the disgusting blind eye Zardari and his government showed when the PPP’s own Governor in Punjab was brutally assassinated.

    So to merrily state that the PPP is a revolutionary party or has always sided with the people of Pakistan, I suggest you read my latest article http://wp.me/pAKte-9g

  • so i know LUBP is always rah-rah PPP. it’s your job. and that’s fine. and to be honest, i actually think it’s really great that there are rah-rah voices out there to maintain some semblance of hope (oh, and to stop us from crying ourselves to sleep every night).

    but this post is just absurd. the delusions of grandeur are terrifying. and the inability of the writer to recognize the irony is well… ironic.

    the kind of language used here to describe the PPP as “the true revolutionary party” and other parties as “not sincere,” sounds eerily similar to the rhetoric used by mubarak, ghaddafi, and the likes to savagely maintain power for decades. they too dismissed other parties. they too told the masses that “democracy” and “revolution” could only be found under them. and let’s not forget, mubarak’s party was called the National Democratic Party. so warning, just because “people” is in the party’s name, it should not be assumed that the party is the people’s party.

    with all this said, i am not suggesting that the PPP is aiming for mubarak-like power. obviously that’s not the case here nor will it ever be. however what i am saying is that this party (and every single party around the world) should think carefully in making these assumptions about itself. the glories of its past does not give it a free ride into the present. and to say that the people of pakistan should just “understand this sooner than later, and join the party (or at-least go out and vote for it)” is just offensive. pakistanis are worth way more than this article gives them credit for. any party or politician who thinks otherwise, is just sitting in their very own Titanic. it may be a long movie but (spoiler alert) that boat does eventually sink.

  • The so-called political leaders only know the word “Revolution”, they are leading the parties supported by the establishment, the pro-establishment parties have no history of revolution in the world because they safeguard the status quo. Only the people can bring revolution. Pakistan is the example where people brought revolution in 1947 under Jinnah and in 1970 under Bhutto by popular will through election.

  • @Zerkha, unlike the de-politisized,elitest Urban NGO profiteers this is not our job! And it is bizzare that you compare a simple passionate blog post to the rhetoric of Mubarak and Qaddafi. But then again, was it not a group of elitist urbanites who made that disgusting and perverted picture of Benazir sitting in Zia’s lap as part of our “identity” (Shanakht Festival)!

    Really, it is your comments that are both deluded and spiteful, not this post.

  • @AHR, your rhetoric is so tired and so irrelevant. Was ZAB a part of Ayub’c cabinet when he launched the PPP! After our army and its Jamaat Islami proxies disgraced itself in 1971, what was ZAB supposed to do. Did he not come into power by the ballot box. These attempts at revisionism are getting pathetic now.

    The “feudal” tag is a favourite back-handed weapon used by those urban elites who have nothing but contempt for the way they treat their own servants and who lack the moral integrity to acknowledge that “feudalism” as defined by them is a very flawed concept. For one, it does not acknowledge the greatest feudal entity in the country, the army, with whom their interests are tied. Secondly, the holdings of traditional feudals has significantly declined and in the case of the late Benazir and Sanam Bhutto, it is establishment toadies like Mumtaz Bhutto, Ghinwa and the new engenue of the ISI, Fatima Bhutto who have the feudal power.
    You guys simply cannot get over the fact that ZAB and BB loved the masses and they were loved in return; yep the very masses whom you urbanites have so much contempt for.

  • @Mai Kolachi
    So in your answer, I wasn’t able to catch whether you associate ZAB’s family as feudal or not. But what I was able to see was that PPP-P political rivals (Ghinwa, Fatima, Mumtaz etc) were all associated as feudal’s.

    Precisely my point. ZAB thought it was okay – at one point in time- to be part of a military dictator’s cabinet. It was only when things did not go his way did he leave it and form his own. So to say the Bhutto clan fights against Dictators is not true. Ballot box? Did Musharraf not hold a referendum aka ballot box?

    Its not a question about ZAB or Bhutto being loved. They may or not be. I don’t agree with your analysis. I don’t think the PPP is a revolutionary party. Nor is it true that they have always fought against dictators. Nor are they currently a responsive government

  • AHR:

    Are you talking about the same phoney Referendum that Zia held which Musharaff repeated? You are calling that the “ballot box”?

    I was there for the first one. The turn-out was about 2% in Islamabad. My daughter and I wandered around to the other “booths” (government-declared holiday). The people there were over-joyed to see us. Offered us tea and cakes and the two of us voted (secretely) many times: “NO”.

    Obviously it did not help. I think he got Mubarik-style 98% “YES” votes. 98% of 2%. Do the math.

    I was thankfully not there for Musharaff’s “Referendum”. How could someone be so blatant and insulting?

    Back on the subject, the PPP is the biggest party with the widest appeal. But they have lost their way.

  • Where is Pakistan’s revolution?

    It has gone with the wind (may be Raiwand!) The military establishment realized: lenay kay deynay na pad jaye 🙂

    Let’s read this poem by a Pakistani poet about the Middle East:

    The Hawker Revolution — Arab world sings for democracy

    (for Muhammad Bouazizi, a Tunisian street-hawker, whose tragic death acted as a catalyst for change)

    By Habib Sulemani

    In solitary confinement,
    I can hear the song of liberty
    amid gunshots from the Arab world:

    “We want freedom
    We want democracy”

    Freedom is the music
    Freedom is the cry
    Don’t ask me: why!

    The melodious voices from the
    desert’re intoxicating…
    It’s compelling everybody—even the
    thundering guns’re dancing!

    Azizi’s red blood has made the desert green
    This—history had never ever seen
    Trembling dynasties’re crumbling…
    Hurray! Democracy is coming!

    Generals and mullahs: stay away!
    You’ve shed enough blood
    Lower your guns and loudspeakers…
    Let’s dance to the tune of democracy!

    Let’s sing the song of liberty
    Let’s dance for democracy

    Arabs want their lost dignity back…
    For ages they’ve been out of track…
    Now the helpless people’ve a ray of hope
    The oppressors can’t cut the divine rope!

    It’s not the Arabian Nights’ Entertainment era
    Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Algeria—
    Everyone seeks freedom in the Arabian Peninsula
    Not only Libya and Syria
    Liberty is the right of entire Asia and Africa!

    Freedom is the music
    Freedom is the cry
    Don’t ask me: why!

    Tired of the despot, corrupt and aged rulers
    The youth bade farewell to recruiters of bombers
    Ay! Cyber Generation, don’t act like people after Saddam…
    Do not separate peace from Islam!

    The tyrants’re fleeing to the new palace of the old king…
    The last refuge of any disgraced barbaric regime!

    “My motherland’ll vomit the fascist with big ego”
    I can hear the song of a Libyan shepherd
    Remove the unholy rulers from the Holly Land
    The world hears the chanting sand
    Kings, amirs, presidents and prime ministers
    Every chameleon and despot’ll evaporate into air!

    Freedom is the music
    Freedom is the cry
    Don’t ask me: why!

    People seek peace and prosperity
    A corruption-free country
    Citizens want to live with good grace
    Not like beasts—but as a human race!

    The song of liberty is deafening the oppressors around
    “Music is forbidden,” declares the king’s trusted cleric
    “Oppression is forbidden,” shouts the Arabian crowd
    “We want freedom. We want grace
    We want to live like a human race!”

    Behold, global players!
    Do you hear the music?
    The whirlwind of change has taken away people’s fear
    Men and women’re seeking no less than liberty
    Stop the pirates from hijacking the ship of dignity
    Right in the middle of the Arabian Sea!

    Abandon the theocratic, secular
    and military dictators everywhere!
    They’re sucking your blood like hookworms
    They’re making a hole in your soul
    And injured souls can’t be healed by crude oil!

    Let nightingales sing in the oasis freely
    Let rusted musical instruments come to life again
    Let arms go to hellfire not human beings
    Let peace triumph in the Middle East
    The Holly Land needs a graceful feast!

    Listen to the music
    Hay, hay, listen to…

    “We want freedom
    We want democracy”

    Freedom is the music
    Freedom is the cry
    Don’t ask me: why!


    THE TERRORLAND: http://theterrorland.blogspot.com