The Quaid dedicated his life to a “land of the pure,” Pakistan. A land marked by effective constitutional machinery, well-intentioned leaders, freedom of expression, economic reforms and most importantly protection against oppressors. Although Pakistan became a reality, Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s dream was shattered long ago. God works in mysterious ways. Running away from potential oppressors in a Hindu majority, we merely presented ourselves to the elite of this country.
Fundamentalism began to dominate nationalism, peaceful protests evolved into fascist movements introducing the very violence Muslims eagerly fled. Strained foreign relations, a persistent trade deficit, persecution of minorities, bombings, kidnappings, murder, and rape characterise Pakistan in the world today. This shift in the operational framework of the country left cracks that have been cemented by inhumane behavior, bribery, and a spike in the crime rates.
Power-hungry individuals exploit the welfare of the country as an ulterior motive to make fortunes for their generations to come. The common man has been rendered helpless by leaders who radiate arrogance and abuse their power while they can. Streets that once brimmed with vibrant hues of celebration and happiness are now covered in blood and agony. Money made the mayor go, however, our country set a new precedent: Money buys souls. The fate of 220 million people is up for bidding with two main contenders who would play the blame game till the end of time. For democrats, this country seems to be a power struggle, but what they seem to undermine is that it houses a large population who strives to make ends meet every day.
Peaceful protest is a constitutional right. People all over the world exercise this amenity to voice their concerns, demonstrate their suppressions, and in extreme cases topple governments. Politicians blurred by their rapacity tend to ignore the fact that the people are the country, and if there is no country, there will be no government.
Our country has undergone political turmoil since its inception. However, the year 2022 has been challenging for citizens. Inflation has skyrocketed due to a lack of political and economic stability, and the establishments seem to have turned their backs on this whole situation. Under-the-table deals with former politicians have backfired despite the strategic attempts of the military and judiciary combined. After a tiring day at work, people sleep in their beds worrying about tomorrow while the “pillars” of the government stay up planning coups against the welfare of the common people. In the face of constant exogenous pressures, some Pakistanis rejected an “imported” Prime Minister and stood with Imran Khan in protest. The Azadi March seemed to be war. When did protests become bloody? Owing to the insecurities of the current government, people were stripped of their right to protest.
Dozens of women and children were injured, cities welcoming people with terrorizing sounds and clouds of smoke. To discourage protest the current politicians just proved how they place power over people. They might have scared people away for now, but what they seem to have turned a blind eye to is the fact that the common man despises them! Politicians have become goons, loitering about the streets, threatening the very people who they are responsible for.
Bombings, terrorist attacks, natural calamities, and economic recessions have agitated Pakistanis in the past, but the fear in their eyes is different this time. They are terrified. Would they have a job the morning they wake up? How will they send their kids to school? Will they starve in the days to come? A large segment of the population fights these questions off every day and strives to survive another day. People are miserable. People are helpless. People are disappointed. It is unfortunate to see a country we opened our eyes to moving towards an inevitable downfall.
It is crucial to shed light on the heinous role of media in this power struggle. News channels operate with profit maximisation being their one true mantra. Media is the backbone of a country because it provides the masses with everyday information about events happening in the country. If a channel is biased and steers the citizens towards a particular political point of view. What good is it?
Petrol prices have hit an all-time high. The basic basket of goods is unaffordable for most of the population. The IMF continues to exploit us by making us bow down to its endless conditions. Where is this country heading? Where is this country’s knight in shining armour? When will this end?