Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Democracy is the greatest revenge

Public flogging in Zia's era
It was one of the greatest moments of Pakistani politics; a young woman entered one of the strongest and powerful houses of public representatives in the country with the biggest democracy. The house was full of members, all them stood up in praise and appreciation for the efforts she did for the revival of democracy in Pakistan. It was her first offfical visit of USA in 1989, She started her address amid continuous clapping and closed her speech on these words

“We set as our focus reconciliation not retribution some claimed to fear revenge, revenge against the murderers and the torturers revenge against those who subverted constitution but ladies and gentlemen there was no revenge for them and the dictators across the world "the democracy is the greatest revenge".

These were the words of one of the most influential women of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto; those who know her can never deny her contribution towards the restoration of democracy and civil rights in country after a long and terrible period of dictatorship.. She fought a long battle after her father's hanging by fascist elements of our society, lost her brother, faced bitter imprisonment during dictatorship, was forced to leave the country but all these could not stop her from fulfilling her promise to the people of Pakistan. She became the first ever women prime minister of Pakistan at an age of 35, she faced opposition from all corner of our country. Our military did not like to salute her as she was a woman, our politicians hatched shameful conspiracies against her, she was mistreated by bureaucracy but she denied bowing against the evil forces.

I loved her, liked her for not being the prime minister but for her courage and the struggle she did for the betterment of Pakistani society. But she failed miserably, so strong women, a graduate of Harvard, who single handedly defeated the strongest dictator of Pakistan, could not defy the forces of evil? What a shame for democracy and what a joy for the dictators across the world? Her failure became the failure of democracy in our country. Today her husband once a cinema owner addressed the third annual session of national assembly; TV channels are analyzing his failures, failures and failures. He looks miserable as a party leader, as a president, as a husband of the most influential woman of our country but is he so bad? He would be as, he is alleged to be the main reason behind the failure of Benazir Bhutto.

Aerial view of destroyed Jamia Hafsa
But what lays ahead is worse than this, another coup, again promises for rebuilding, a long and unending military dictatorship and the end result more misery and failure. The democracy has become the greatest revenge for the poor people of Pakistan but it is time to think about what has the long military rule given to our beloved country? Killing of our Muslim brothers and sisters in Bengal, The breakup of East Pakistan, killing of thousands of soldiers at the hands of Indian forces, brutal and inhumane rule in the name of Islam, division of Pakistan on ethnic basis, Bomb blasts, Talbanization, Target killing, suicide attacks. If I kept adding the list would get longer and longer, what not have the military rules bestowed on us?

Can anyone tell if the democratic forces have ever done with our country what the military rulers did? God forbid they are again getting ready for another coup to serve our homeland, let us say no to them and strengthen the hands of democratic forces as I personally believe in the idea that “worst democracy is better than best dictatorship”.

Ab mere dosray bazoo pe wo shamsheer hai jo
Is se pehle bhi mera nisf badan kaat chuki
Usi bandook ki goli hai meri samt ke jo
Is se pehle bhi meri shahrag ka lahu chaat chuki
Phir wohi aag dhar aye hai meri galyuun mein
Phir mere shehr mein barood ki boo pheli hai
Phir se tu kaun hai mein kaun hoon aapas mein sawal
Phir wo takraar mayan e man o tu pheli hai
Is se pehle bhi to aisi hee garhi aye thee
Subh e wehshat ki tarah shaam e gharibaa’n ki tarah
Is se pehle bhi to paimaan e wafa tootay thay
Sheesha dil ki tarah aina e jaa’n ki tarah
Ab magar aisa nahee aisa nahee honay dena
Aye mere sokhta jaano mere dard ke maray logo
Kisi zaalim, kisi jaabir kisi hakim ke liye
Khud ko taqseem na karna mere saray logo

Ahmed Faraz

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Davis Saga: An Inevitable End

Since his arrest by Pakistani police for killing two persons in Lahore, Raymond Davis is the centre of attention not only in Pakistan but also in foreign media. He was treated in such a sensational manner that it seemed as we have got a key to get out of US slavery and to start living like free nations. But the drop scene may be more disgusting to those who were playing ugly politics with poor people. Talking realistically, from the first day I supported the idea that he should be pardoned in return of a diyyat so that the victims could get at least some compensation of the loss they have suffered. What could be the compensation of taking someone’s life? The answer is nothing but something is better than nothing.

In a country where hundreds of people are daily killed just to show the power to rivals, hundreds commit suicide due to inflations and unemployment and thousands get deprived of their valuables daily what is the value of two dead people. People would argue we have lost self pride, respect, honor and dignity as a nation by handing Davis over to US but ask them what could have been done? Should we stand against the country which has blood stains of millions of people on its hands? Can a country where hundreds of people have been killed in drone attacks without any opposition or resistance risk its alliance with the only super power for just two killings? Are we gone mad? The answer of these entire questions is no, we can not stand against the super power as we have ourselves strengthened their hand at many occasions in history. In fact we should be proud of the role we played to make US the only king in the world. Our media has created a story out of nothing; our political parties have been using the issue to strengthen their own positions. This is just one of the events taking place in our cities daily.

Media is playing repeatedly the statement of one victim’s wife (before committing suicide) asking for justice, if she needed justice why did she commit suicide, did she not believe in God. And what does our media wants from us by running this statement regularly. Do we have no other issue left in Pakistan to get bothered with? No one in Pakistan has any concern over killing of innocent people. I guess only in Karachi hundreds of people have been brutally killing in between 27th January and March 16th for no reason, most of them would have been innocent citizens who had nothing to do with politics etc. Have the media the courage to uncover the killers of these innocent people. Our so-called religious parties are playing their usual part in the drama, protesting against the government over the issue. Did the people who are protesting against the Davis release not help USA in setting hegemony in world?

It is a painful reality that we are no more a nation thus we can not demand for any pride or dignity as a nation. We are the groups of power hungry people who do not respect any law, relation or ethics. We do not tolerate people of other races, ethnicities and sects. We want to rule, rule with full power and control, no matter how much it costs our country. Davis was a criminal who killed innocent people but the heirs of the victims have pardoned him in return of Diyyat purely according to Islamic Shariah. USA paid 20 crore rupees to the heirs in return which can at least heal their wounds to some extent. Let’s not burn our blood over useless debates whether it was right or wrong. I fear for the safety of the victims heirs as the people may hurt them for showing their true love with Pakistan. Stay safe and happy for being still alive. God bless all of us with safety and justice.