It's more than a month now that the anti government protests continue in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad. Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) are the two parties who continue their sit-ins against the corrupt practices of the government.
The major outcry of the two groups is against the elections of May 2013 which allegedly have been rigged.
With a series of negotiations from members of opposition as well as the ruling government, all have fizzled out thus far. The chieftains of PTI and PAT, Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri have failed to reach any unanimous conclusion, leading to the current stalemate.
The government on the other hand has agreed to accept five out of six demands of the marchers but that does not satisfy the leaders of these protests. Is it more a game of individualism over politics?
Khan and his counterpart in protesting, Qadri, demands the elected Premier Nawaz Sharif to resign. The former cricketer turned politician, Khan is adamant that Sharif won through a rigged election but all the allegations need to be proven. Until and unless Sharif is tried and proved guilty then only can the Prime Minister step down.
If Khan had so many grievances against the elections, why did he wait for 14 months after the elections of May '13 to take to the streets? Wasn't it the results of the same elections that allowed his party to form his own government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP)? If the results were unacceptable then why did the PTI formulate a government in KP? If the results of the other three provinces were objectionable why formulate a government in the fourth?
On the other hand, Qadri, a Canadian citizen alleges the Chief Minister of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif, and members of his party, the PML-N to be behind the Model Town tragedy which led to almost a dozen civilian deaths.
Qadri, who also happens to be a cleric and expounder of democracy demands the CM to resign.
True supporters of democracy know the de facto proceedings which need to be undertaken in order to demand the resignation of PM or CM. After the First Information Report (FIR) has been filed, the investigation is carried out, then only can one be declared guilty or not. It is for the court to decide who is the convict.
What sort of democracy allows protestors to demand an elected PM to resign that too forcefully? Isn't the term 'democracy' being moulded according to one's own set of preferences?
The government itself continues to make mistakes. If the FIR against the Model Town tragedy had been registered immediately, the marchers might not have been this irked. Things worsened even more when the state police fired rubber bullets and opened tear gas at the protestors when they entered the Red Zone -- an area where the country's most important infrastructure is located including the PM and President's house, Pakistan Secretariat and a number of foreign embassies.
At this crucial time when the nation and its populace wait for major shifts in the political scenario, the country which is undergoing climate change has massive flooding in the provinces of Punjab and Sindh. The deluge has swiped away villages, killing people, destroying their properties and disrupting their lifestyle.
Instead of prioritizing the needs of the flood affected, a major chunk of the population anticipates 'democratic' change.
The basic purpose of the government and its bureaucracy is to fulfill the needs of the people they govern. The champions of democracy who are carrying out sit-ins in Islamabad, are they really giving the people their right?
If the current elected government is overthrown in the upcoming days, it won't be long that another group of 20,000-30,000 people would march towards the capital to oust the government and steer the vehicle of the nation according to their own set of rules. Khan and Qadri need to understand the precedent they are setting for it may have appalling consequences in the years ahead.