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A solid lapse in leadership


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I strongly condemn the public gathering that took place at Teen Talwar on May 12 initiated by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf not because I think rigging did not happen but because I feel the PTI put hundreds of lives at risk, and because one cannot claim to be for the democratic process while disrespecting the systems that are already in place.

From evidence being circulated on the internet including both newspaper articles and video clips, it seems that rigging has taken place on an extremely large scale all over Pakistan. Owing to ECP shortfalls, whoever that could rig, rigged, regardless of political affiliation. In such cases, there are protocols in place to resolve issues with electoral results.

All that needs to be done is that evidence needs to be gathered and then taken to court, leaving it to the judiciary to make the final decision as far as reelections altogether or from specific polling stations is concerned.

It is important to mention here also that this protocol was even tried and tested because re-polling had already been declared with regard to NA-250 polling stations that witnessed unfair and unforeseen circumstances.

There is absolutely no need for a public display of numbers or any sort of political gesture because that would have no bearing on whether or not reelections of any sort take place.

There is especially no need to have a large number of your supporters (including a large number of women and children and even senior citizens) rallying in public space when you are blatantly blaming another political party, which has its own tainted history of political violence. Chaos is bound to ensue when such a confrontation is taking place.

If the violence that took place leading up to the elections was not sufficient, what took place exactly 6 years ago from May 12 should be testament enough to how unsafe political conflicts can be in Karachi. The vile speech that was made by MQM Chief Altaf Hussain as a retort to the Teen Talwar gathering further proves this point.

These public protests are dangerous and risk a lot of lives. The costs clearly outweigh the benefits of such political statements and logic needs to be given precedence over emotion. How did PTI not take this into account? Everyone definitely has the right to peaceful assembly and protest but if those protests risk the safety of its participants and a judicial alternative and route is available, there is no need for any such public gathering.

It was no surprise that as the night progressed, aerial gunshots were heard, probably fired by the same individuals who shut down Karachi in broad daylight and still somehow fail to be identified or reprimanded.

If the potential danger from such unknown assailants was not enough, riot police was also on scene and ready to disperse the crowd which was still present at Teen Talwar without any clear leadership using batons or even water cannons and teargas.

The imposition of Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in Karachi banning any gathering of more than four people at one place for rallies and protests adds to how grave a situation could have been created.

It is also important though to mention that it would have been a far more welcome step if it was the civic society and their political leadership that had ascertained the dangers and discouraged public sit-ins. The government’s attempt to curb the citizen’s right to public assembly and protest will do far more negative damage than good and further fuel this need for public political gestures.

It was later brought to attention that PTI leadership had actually left including Dr. Arif Alvi (Candidate NA-250) and Mr. Samar Ali Khan (Candidate PS-113) without declaring that the protest had been recorded and over. Did they expect their supporters to continue without them? Did they expect their supporters to blindly sit in at a roundabout while they were not even present?

If it was not for Mr. Jibran Nasir, an independent NA-250/PS-113 candidate, who returned to the scene to make sure supporters went home once he heard reports that the situation was about to deteriorate, one can only imagine what might have happened. Jibran had earlier also joined the call to protest and had left after recording his objections.

Listen to Jibran summarising his experience here.

Even if this protest was necessary, the crowd should have been dispersed after the protest was recorded or if the protest was to continue, key leaders should have been constantly present.

To conclude, I would like to urge all political parties, not just PTI, to take serious notice of what happened day before yesterday and to act responsibly in the future before it might be too late. When political parties expect supporters and workers to show up during these grand political gestures, it is them who are responsible for their security and wellbeing as well.

Also, the idea of standing up to injustice might sound novel and heroic but is pointless until all avenues seeking justice have been exhausted.


The writer is a student at Ohio Wesleyan University, currently on sabbatical back home in Karachi.



The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

DAWN_VIDEO - /1029551/DAWN-RM-1x1

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The writer is a student at Ohio Wesleyan University, currently on sabbatical back home in Karachi.

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (128) Closed

noorilhuda May 14, 2013 01:01pm
Being afraid means allowing the status quo to run things the way they have been - and in the case of MQM, things have been wrong for a long time. It is wrong to let a single party depict itself as the 'representative' party of all urdu-speakers in Karachi - that is what the fuss is about. MQM doesn't want to admit it or face it.
Truth May 14, 2013 02:03pm
I believe you are nothing but a stooge of the MQM, and a pretty pathetic one at that !!! Go back to Ohio !!! May 14, 2013 02:02pm
"disrespecting the systems that are already in place."....what are these "systems" you are referring to? I would really like to know. Thanks in advance.
Ahmed May 14, 2013 01:54pm
dawn is too liberal for that
imran May 14, 2013 01:51pm
Deap Author! I gave your point of view, which is fine but doesnt necessarily mean it is correct. Just to sum it up, it is every citizen's democratic/moral right to protest, object against something wrong or immoral. Also it is Islamic right of every muslim to protect against every cruelty. Our religion says, when you see sin/cruelty happening, try stop it with your hands (Highest degree of a good act), if you dont have thepower to do that, stop it with your tongue (2nd degree of a good act), if you cant do that then say it wrong in your heart (least degree of good act). So if people find something wrong and they are protesting against it, i dont see anything wrong with that. You cant just go home and sit and expect things would change just after registering your protest, after knowing Pakistan so well, you got to follow it up until it reaches it conculsion. I salute the people who are standing for this cause, because of these few people, many more have picked up the courage to stand up for their right. I am not saying because I am a PTI supporter, I am saying because i am a Human and have rights and would like my rights to be respected same way as the others. May we all find justice for our efforts Ameen!
Maryam May 16, 2013 04:44am
if you are from NA250 then can you really tell me why are you protesting with ECP announced re polls the same day! stop it, act mature , spare the roads and go home !
Khan May 14, 2013 01:22pm
Do it in Pujab where PTI tsunami was rotten by ethnic mentality "Jaag punjabi Jaag too neih PTI ko lagaa dia hai daag"
Naveed Glasgow, UK May 14, 2013 01:02pm
wow pti factor seems like a change factor wish i was in my country. Wish Imran Khan builds a pakistan where no one leaves homeland for economic reasons. Its hard to live a life away from your loved ones. Inshallah we will suppoert PTI in every possible way
arwa karbalai May 15, 2013 05:49pm
for your information PTI didnot gather the was via social network where youngsters decided to gather for the protest by their wish and nobody forced them. And as you mentioned women and children in the article...its every individual's right to protest..You are not supposed to blame a party for it without proper information.
Xulf May 14, 2013 02:35pm
Why putting up peaceful protest is putting "hundred of live" at risk, unless of course you are the follower of Altaf Hussain who reminded every body about his power to unleash violence onto them!!
Safi Ahmed May 16, 2013 03:52am
I would disagree to you Muhammad. But one thing is sure that the author has not straightened up his claim that PTI had initiated the protest.
faiza May 15, 2013 10:24am
I honestly could not agree more. This really diminishes Dawn news' credibility.
Noman Ansari May 15, 2013 03:02am
Jibran is such an opportunist, picking on the fears of PTI supporters.
waqasu May 15, 2013 02:56am
Could not agree more!! Complete leadership lapse and no recovery! Nothing against PTI, just a fact...
Faruq May 15, 2013 02:52am
I think people are reacting far too viciously to this article. Just because he studies in the States doesn't mean he can't express his opinion. Some of you are a DISGRACE to the PTI. And he quite possibly does make a valid point about the protest not being called effectively, until Jibran Nasir came and ended it. btw, it says he's currently in Karachi, if that changes any of your opinions about the matter.
zafar May 15, 2013 02:50am
The writer may beoverseas but he makes a good pont. PTI supporters are basically proving that losing is not a position that Pakistanis accept gracefully. So Naya Pakistan is very much like the old Pakistan.
Fahad May 15, 2013 02:44am
Can u give us in written that judiciary will do justice with rigging suffers if yes than protest can get over soon its better to fight for our rights than to spent rest of five year in fear of being killed innocently
adnan May 15, 2013 02:43am
What has happened to the quality and content of Dawn articles? This writer probably has spent only his holidays in Pakistan and he is clearly unable to relate with the desperation and anguish of those agitating in Karachi. What due process the writer is talking about, if there was any due process in Pakistan this naked and mass poll rigging would not have happened. Those who have been protesting out in Karachi are peaceful and brave individuals who want to protect their kids lives. The life that would be taken by a mobile snatcher or a target killer if they don't do that. God Bless Pakistan.
NASAH (USA) May 16, 2013 12:15am
This article is wrongly emphasizing a non issue. Since when in a democracy peaceful protesting became an irresponsible act? Even though it is time for the PTI to quit crying like a bunch of sore losers over their lost tsunami -- quit wailing about the 'rigging' -- instead show the quality of your cabinet building in Peshawar and the skill of opposition building in Islamabad. We are actually holding our breath to see how Khyber Pukhtunkhawa under PTI and JI -- becomes the Shangri La of peace and tranquility with no corruption in 9 days.
asim May 14, 2013 06:13pm
Sharyar. There was shooting in Ohio. Also, three woman were abducted and raped for ten years and no one knew about it. There have been many similar incidents before. So stay at home. There is risk in going out.
UlHaq May 14, 2013 08:48pm
Because well educated and mature people do not always post comments on internet articles or maintain facebook profiles or tweet doesn't mean that they are absent from cyberspace. Regards
M Hamid May 14, 2013 08:46pm
People risked their lives to go vote. I thinks risking violence to protest actions that essentially make a mockery of their committment to vote is what these people were willing to do. I dont think you should question the need for the protest - questioning the organization of the protest is fine.
Waseem Abbas May 15, 2013 02:45pm
i believe no one has right to say anything to PTI because people are there at own will, not on call of PTI. Clear your perceptions
Omair May 16, 2013 09:36am
@Sara and you mean to keep us waiting for another 5 years. Here are we today and here we are standing against the injustice.
Zack Khan May 14, 2013 08:35pm
No sire I beg to differ, Dawn has become biased!
IRUM May 14, 2013 08:24pm
Zack Khan May 14, 2013 08:16pm
Zehra, I am proud of you. I wish I could be part of this.
Raheel May 14, 2013 08:14pm
People like you in the reason we are scared to ask for justice. If you cannot encourage yourself to think about your country then better not give these advices to people.
Ed May 14, 2013 08:15pm
Shahzad, how modest of you to be so discreet about the quality of school that you went to.
Zack Khan May 14, 2013 08:13pm
Shaharyar Khan from Ohio, shame on you. This is very biased article. What are Pakistanis suppose to do when their votes are not counted?
Raheel May 14, 2013 08:10pm
I salute the people that came out to record there peaceful demonstration. When is the last time a protocol was followed and people got what they wanted. Your article clearly shows that you are not affected with the state of the country.
junaid May 14, 2013 07:54pm
The writer of the article seems to forget that he is not in Ohio. Things are not so cut and dry as they maybe in US elections. "Rules, Protocols" are nice words but they dont work in a lawless country like Pakistan untill you push your way through. What cour are you talking about? Most judges are in involved in bribery themselves. So please don't tell people what works in Ohio also works in Pakistan where elections are about buying and selling of the candidates, atleast sofar.
Abid Rizavi May 14, 2013 07:23pm
Mr. Sharyar, you are very naiev and ill informed. Its the peoples turn, our turn and its now!
Ahmer May 14, 2013 06:54pm
The author is right in stating that rigging had taken place on extremely large scale all over Pakistan but it is not in national interest to talk about it at this late stage.
Bollo Such May 15, 2013 12:10am
So you saying,in that fear these people shouldn't even come outside for voting and after rigging, they should just accept it as it is for last 25 years,what you trying to imply here?
Ali May 15, 2013 12:01am
If you don't speak-up then, at the end of the day, heavier price will have to be paid. Maybe not by you but your future generations. Look at Syria and all over middle east.... it took them half a century.... still the price has to be paid and with interest.
Zahrah May 14, 2013 12:50pm
I was concerned for the safety of these young people also. But then again, I believe they are mature enough to know the consequences because they are the pioneers of NAYA Pakistan. I am proud of you .. take care and stay safe!
Akil Akhtar May 14, 2013 11:51pm
Correct, he can get you knocked off even there....
Akil Akhtar May 14, 2013 11:43pm
If any other leader in any other part of the world had made such a statement as Altaf did that would have been end of his political career and his own supporters would have deserted him but not in this country. We become even more fanatic supporters.......go figure
MM May 14, 2013 11:19pm
I agree with AK...Instead of supporting the rights and peacefulness of this protest, we are discouraging it. We have seen much of violence (terror) being used as a weapon and now with PTI we are seeing a major change. We all had hope in this election, but....
Sam May 14, 2013 10:51pm
honestly sir you need to better research. people went out on their own accord Altaf's threats made it more of a reason for them to step out. Revolutions are brought when the masses step out. Countless people are murdered in Karachi every week if people are not safe leading their daily lives do you really think a mass protest is putting them in more endangerment. What you failed to address in this article is that the police are incompetent at what they do other wise there wouldn't have been threats during the protests or rigging in elections in the first place. And if you have been following social media you would have noticed that a lot of people non-pti supporters stepped out as just being pakistani's. So for you to say that it was PTI's wrong doing is exceptionally biased and a hindrance to those who actually gained the courage to speak out against injustice maybe if nothing substantial comes out of it. People in Pakistan have realized that they physically need to do something to change pakistan and not sit on a computer and rant about it. I respect that this is your view point but you should have atleast mentioned our govts failing of controlling the MQM for so many year and the short comings of the Karachi police who just look on as by stander.
I am Khan May 14, 2013 10:02pm
Shahryar Khan how old are you again?If you are a child, then I'm sorry to tell you this that once you grow up the reality is a lot more different than you think it is. The judicial system in Pakistan is not FAIR. And if you are an adult, then seriously what part of Pakistan do you come from? Please let me know, because I would like to move there too since it seems the judicial system you are talking about is fairly just and efficient. In my part of Pakistan, it is not. And this is the only channel we have to raise our voice. And kindly check your facts. The protest was not by PTI. It was by individuals who had their voting rights stolen in front of their eyes. That includes my 68 year old aunt, who has arthritis and is not capable of standing for too long.
Usman Lakhani May 14, 2013 09:46pm
So we the people of Pakistan shouldn't fight for our rights? Sounds like your life in the US is very comfortable!
Kdspirited May 14, 2013 09:29pm
The job of the state and its representatives is to protect its citizens and provide them with security. A state apparatus that fails to do so should not discourage its citizens from coming out on the streets in protest against clear violations of their civic laws. People who came out were the ones who sat in lines all day to exercise their basic right as a citizen which was taken away by goons and the state stood by and watched just as they do today. These brave citizans were well aware of the threat to their lives but the threat to their liberty is far greater. I salute them. If anything they came out to vote against all odds just like the came out to protest against all odds. So I am sorry but I disagree with your POV.
Yasir Khan May 15, 2013 11:17pm
It actually pains me to see people who have no idea about the political situation in Pakistan writing articles for Dawn. I personally think the writer is extremely naive and lacks any understanding of what is happening in Pakistan these days. Yes, rigging happened on a massive scale, Yes it is the people's right to congregate and object and NO they are not being disrespectful of the electoral process. Maybe if the writer lived in Pakistan permanently and not just on sabbatical, he would have more knowledge (and sense) of the issues..
Imran May 16, 2013 06:26am
Get your facts right. PTI WAS NOT PROTESTING ITS THE PEOPLE WHO ARE whole family was dere...the whole gathering was done through sms and social media and it had no hand of PTI. Just because you see people holding PTI Flags does not mean all of them were supporting is and always be my right as a pakistani to protests against anything wrong. Sad the realization didnt come in our older generations but atleast let us wake up and do something for future generations to come. The educated class has finally woken up from their slumber....this is the time to make sure that these politicians all of them including PTI, KNOWS dat they work for the people and not for their parties.
Anum May 15, 2013 03:28pm
If the judicial process of our country had been quick and efficient, I would agree whole-heartedly with your viewpoint. However, we live in a country where the most heinous of crimes are allowed to slide by, where it is so easy to do wrong because there is no fear of consequences, where the victims have to wait endless periods of time to get justice, and often that waiting is to no avail. In this country, you need to scream to be heard. These protests were a means of putting pressure on the institutions of our country and to draw serious and immediate attention to the situation. We cannot underestimate the power of the collective voice of people.
NavazN May 16, 2013 05:39am
Dear Shahryar Khan, I read your previous blog on why you wouldn't vote for IK and then this. You seem to be on a mission here. If you are anti PTI, which you clearly seem to be, you can just come out with it.. why the whole mature, politics savvy facade!!! The protests at Lahore or Khi were not called by the PTI. YES the PTI supporters may constitute most of the numbers... because as it seems, they are probably the most affected by the rigging that took place. PTI has only owned the protests now seeing huge support from the people. So please get your facts straight before pointing fingers on any political party on a credible forum. Frankly i'm disappointed in Dawn to publish such material..
TAM May 14, 2013 09:58am
Sharyar Khan, how come I never heard any condemnation from guys like you about the dozens of people who are killed in Karachi almost daily by terrorists. If people do not come out in the streets and make strong protests, nothing will happen. Time has gone past the point when people like you simply accepted things in resignation by saying "So what". Things are desperately wrong and out of hand in Pakistan. Wake up.
Rabid1 May 14, 2013 09:59am
I wholeheartedly agree they put the people on risk. When was the last time you saw the so-called
Shah May 14, 2013 10:01am
Skewed logic, if a system can't rid itself off corruption then there's no point in respecting it. Systems are not there to be "respected" or hallowed in the first place, their entire purpose is to serve diligently.
Rabid1 May 14, 2013 10:02am
And I am going to agree with TAM here . The perspective written here is surprisingly one-dimensional. Guess I expected more from someone attaining affluent education from outside Pakistan.
Murad Iqbal May 14, 2013 10:02am
Spot On
Omair May 14, 2013 10:06am
Jo dar gaya woh mar gaya (The won who got afraid is dead). If people done rise for their rights then you leave them oppressed at the hands of the oppressor. The May 12 rising was worth the risk.
S M Musa May 14, 2013 10:07am
I would disagree with you, what you are suggesting is; to go by the so called LAW in Pakistan. What LAW are you talking about buddy, the LAW put in place by the corrupt system? How many investigations teams have been formed? how many clear cut cases have be closed? how many have had justice? you see! to correct the system you need to break it. dont forget that the ROs were from judiciary and POs were designated by the caretaking government so that is your so called LAW for you. youhave said not to put lives in danger? what is happening in karachi over last five years? and who is doing it? dont we all know this. our lilves are in danger thats why the people stood up against the THUGS because if we were to think like you we know what is coming our way in Karachi so keep your views to yourself. It is time for change time for NAYA PAKISTAN!
Khan May 14, 2013 10:13am
PTI has provided us the platform, an alternate. We need to do our part by registering our protest. This is the time other wise people will be fooled for yet another 5 years. It is now or never.
AR May 14, 2013 10:13am
How about putting the people in jail who threat these peaceful protesters?
Sara Khan May 14, 2013 10:18am
@ TAM: Please think before you speak and READ before you think. The author is not saying that we should not protest or we should resign. He is saying that peaceful protests should be conducted after the proper protocols of complain filing has been exhausted. Karachi has been rigged in all previous elections. Where were you to protest earlier elections and where were you for the past five years? I hope you were not waiting for things to be "desperately wrong" and "out of hand" in Pakistan. We are awake!
Saira May 14, 2013 10:23am
We have a right to vote and when our rights are taken away by force or by tricks of others no one can remain silent and patient for long time. People of Pakistan have worked hard and hoped to get rid of all old double faced political parties and their agendas. What MQM leader said in his speech made it very clear that now is the time to standup and face them to show all these so called representatives that they cant control our fate now we want a change if not then for next 5 years target killing and random killings are not going to be stopped
Khan May 14, 2013 10:28am
Agreed 110% Bro...
Osman Siddiqi May 14, 2013 10:33am
" cannot claim to be for the democratic process while disrespecting the systems that are already in place." Sorry what? A) There's a difference between disrespecting and challenging B) The populace challenging existing systems is very much integral to the democratic process
Blister May 14, 2013 10:36am
Its a shame that just because somebody threatens the populace of Karachi, they should not have the right of protest as and when they want. Life is at risk everyday in this city. If only for a short period, people felt they had had enough, they felt free enough, they felt that Karachi belonged to them as well. A strike call by other parties smashes the lives of common man almost once every 2-3 weeks. This was the most peaceful collection Karachi has witnessed in a long time. Was any public transport or public property damaged? Was any private property burnt or damaged? You come to Karachi on a sabbatical and you want the people of Karachi to send there freedom and free expression on a sabbatical? I agree that responsible people should have been incharge right till the end of the protest gathering but if people want to gather they should not have any hinderance. May I remind you that there is no Section 144 in Lahore. I dont think there was any need for this. We all need to be confident of ourselves and the person next to us not to harm us just because I have a different opinion. Karachi knows now. Things can be done differently.
Tahir May 14, 2013 10:37am
Khan you are sounding like the poll results in Punjab!!!
N. Burki May 14, 2013 10:39am
This protest and more are absolutely necessary to get any reforms and re-voting done at many locations in Pakistan ASAP. It is naive to think otherwise. The writer is doing a big dis-service to the country by trying to stop such protests.
Zubaida Bilal May 14, 2013 10:41am
I salute them they challenge MQM,which even dearest PML N can not do?they are ordinary people,and protest against rigging,Though you are right to some extent bt which thing PPP and PML N can not do,they did.Should karachi citicizens handover their country to Altaf
Arsalan May 14, 2013 10:45am
Sorry to say but God forbid can u imagine had some bloody violence broke out at teen talwar that day, it would have increased the sacrifices of PTI by manifolds. Moreover, they could also have enjoyed the Shaheeds like many other parties do. Having said that no matter what, the sit in did prove that people are prepared for change and have courage to ome out on roads to demonstrate their feelings rather than sitting in drawing rooms. Only time will prove whether the change turn out to be positive or stereotypical. we will have a case study of PTI's performance in KP and their opposition in NA to reaffirm our stance.
gangadin May 14, 2013 10:48am
Sorry to blow your bubble but Imran lost the election. Move on. Learn to lose gracefully.
Sydney May 14, 2013 10:49am
I am hearing this argument of unfair election for the last 50 years. For us fair elections are the ones when "the outcome is what we want". Otherwise they are unfair. Grow up people, and I expected Mr. Imran Khan to be more magnanimous than the others. But .
Tahir May 14, 2013 10:57am
Since when peaceful protesting has become undemocratic.
SK May 14, 2013 11:05am
Everyone is aware of the lack of security/and vulnerability faced by the people of Karachi, thus if the people of Karachi chose to to assemble and protest. I am certain they were aware of the possible implications and safety issues. Your attempts to discourage and trivialze their particpation as well as to blame the PTI leadership as opposed to condeming the states inability to protect its citizens is baffeling.
Zulfqar May 14, 2013 11:09am
Rigging Take Place All over Pakistan our CJP and CEC still Sleeping?
Parvin May 14, 2013 11:10am
In fact, we need to all come out in the streets and condemn the fact that the nation at large has once again "chosen" to elect a failed PM who is going to run the country for the third time. What a farce. Your essay title "A solid lapse in leadership" is apt and that's what it is going to happen.
Asim Khan May 14, 2013 11:15am
We all know rigging took place at a massive level and you suggest that it should be accepted because it is the part of our corrupt system. In my opinion tolerating Injustice is a bigger crime than doing injustice. We as a nation always tolerated injustice but for how long. And what's wrong with a peaceful protest. They are fighting for their rights. Why it is such a pain for many
Syed May 14, 2013 11:17am
This is the democratic right of PTI to register their protest in peaceful way.
Parvez May 14, 2013 11:17am
You come across as an apoligist for the existing corrupt, unjust system that presently exists. An apoligist normally is one who benefits from the system and does his best to confuse the issue. There are times when one has to stand up for what is right...........and that is what these brave youth were doing.
irfan May 14, 2013 11:18am
these are peaceful protests, puts no ones life at risk. If this is the logic we are supposed to follow, then the 11th May election put the lives of Millions at risk, didn't it?
Mushtaq May 14, 2013 11:21am
And for you to imply that PTI put its followers at risk is a misguided statement. This, along with other sit ins across the country, were all spontaneous, self-initiated reactions of the public....not engineered by PTI management. The people have woken up.
rizwan siddiqui May 14, 2013 11:29am
PTI has lost, their leader didnt ask for the protest. Its the losers like Arif Alwi that are taking these non democratic illegal activities and protests on the streets, facebook and twitter. language used by PTI people may also portray the teachings of their leader.
Ahsen Wali Mohammad May 14, 2013 11:34am
Personal attack once again. Protest was staged by the disgruntled population of Pakistan, not PTI. DAWN should show some responsibility in hiring writers who are impartial and do not have any political affiliations.
Atif May 14, 2013 11:35am
People. note that the writer himself seems sick of the violent tactics of a certain party. i am not writing the name of that party otherwise my comment may not even be published, such is their stranglehold over media based in Karachi. His condemnation of PTI actually stems out of the fear of this overtly violent party which claims to represent democracy and middle class. One thing I am confused about: you see a lot of educated people in that party's rallies and if that's the case then they should also be active over internet and social media. However, that's not the case. So what is the real story?
Hassan (@hassan14_pk) May 14, 2013 11:41am
a peaceful demonstration is a right of every citizen
Syed May 14, 2013 11:41am
Useless article, one-dimensional.
El Cid May 14, 2013 11:43am
The System, or rather its verified failure, authenticates that rigging did take place. 100% votes at any polling booth is 100% proof of that. Other places are hard to prove but can be deduced that it happen in a significant manner. Further statitical sampling would likely prove that.
Umer Habib May 14, 2013 12:04pm
I think what people fail to see about these protests are the intangibles being created. You are right that these protests do put the lives of many in danger, but its because of this sort of unity, created by the PTI, that people like Asad Umar left the private sector, to serve Pakistan through the political sphere. It creates an energy that brings people like him into politics, and its this energy which will, through due process, be refined.
Naveed Glasgow, UK May 14, 2013 12:11pm
I can see change coming already. No rigging no gangster power can block it now. We need a system that works delivers all rigging culprits either these are parties or individuals should be brought to Justice We are looking towards ECP and Judiciary to help get this country on to right track
Cav. May 14, 2013 12:17pm
Agree, and there was nothing "hostile" about that sit in!
UlHaq May 14, 2013 12:28pm
Because those educated people get their backs out on election day and make sure they vote. Rather than just posting vile and disgusting comments on the internet against their opponents!!
Farah May 14, 2013 12:32pm
thank you for the article. needed to be said. Youth supporting PTI seems to have no idea what they are dealing with, which is very surprising. They think peaceful protests are going to bring them their 'right to vote' in a country where law of jungle prevails. As if the world was waiting for them to cast the vote to hand over all powers to them. Politics has always been a bloody affair in Pakistan and it cannot be anything else, because to confront the people in power, you need to match them on their front. If you cant, you should sit home, which everybody should.
moas May 14, 2013 12:36pm
carrying out peaceful protests is a part of democracy ! don't make democracy what you think it is !
Safi Ahmed May 16, 2013 03:49am
Moreover, PTI leadership has repeatedly said that the protests in Karachi were NOT initiated by PTI. It were the people of Karachi who realized that their votes weren't counted (owing to the massive amount of rigging videos, majority of which were of Karachi halqas) and therefore organized peaceful protests which started at 5:30 p.m. I agree that majority of the protesters were voters of PTI but how does that account for the allegation that PTI leadership had initiated the protests? I respectfully invite the esteemed author to support his statement, "public gathering that took place at Teen Talwar on May 12 initiated by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf " :) Best regards, A Karachitte.
Keep it real May 14, 2013 02:14pm
What else can you expect from some one who attends Ohio Wesleyan. You obviously cite MQM being the reason behind the risk. So don't you think writing about their antics and modus operandi in Karachi a bigger issue to discourse? Are we even safe leaving the house to buy groceries let alone protesting at prominent landmarks?
Anonymous May 14, 2013 02:50pm
I laughed when I realised that this article is coming from a person who does not actually live in Pakistan...
Sabih Shad May 15, 2013 04:16am
The point they make is that the reign of terror is over
naeem May 14, 2013 03:18pm
sharyar you are right .safety of life is #1 priority. politician come and get ahead in life you have to be smart and hard and good health is a gift from GOD so try to preserve it.ZINDAGI na millay dobara. dont blame any party any single individual could have created disaster then blame goes on parties.
Saad May 14, 2013 03:18pm
Bro, you are out of touch...its time we stopped living in fear...I think the people all knew what they were getting can only hold down and suppress people so much..
Zehra May 14, 2013 03:20pm
I attended this protest as a Pakistani. It was organized by Karachiites under the slogan "stop stealing our right to vote". Other party supporters were also present but PTI supporters were larger in number. I was proud that it was peaceful and polite and that people are ready to stand up for the greater good. Please dont say you think we should all stay home and let thugs win, we have been doing that for most of our lives.
Aamir May 14, 2013 03:28pm
System is there if you follow. Otherwise it is a joke with the people and the voting system.
saqib May 14, 2013 03:30pm
I fully support this protest, more people should protest, No MQM and No PML(n) if these people did not win fairly. Imran Khan deserves at least 60-80 more seats even more, otherwise this election needs to be declared null and void.
Tughral May 14, 2013 03:39pm
The larger issue is the rigging of election and its ramifications. I do not really know if it was organized by PTI but the response from people is natural. However, I will say that all protests should be peaceful and should not cuase disruption to an already disrupted economy of this country. Has the writer written about the disrution cuased by MQM in terms of strikes and lawlessness initaited by MQM over the past two decades? Does the writer feel strongly about MQM vs pathan fights(three major episodes), MQM vs Sindhi, MQM vs Punjabi, MQM vs Baloch, MQMQ vs other MQM? What does the writer think about Altaf Hussains's blatant threat to use swords againts the people? I would expect him to be furious at his statements even more so than what he stated in this blog? If not, then he is not be taken seriously.
Riaz Ahmad May 14, 2013 03:41pm
There are thousands of useless pen pushers, yet leaders of calibre are extremely rare. Who could imagine a man can doggedly and single handedly inspire the young, energetically motivate them towards change, full of zest and complete faith in what they are doing. What makes this task even more difficult, it all happened in an incorrigibly corrupt and inept country. He did it at a grave risk to his life every hour of the day. What Imran has done is close to a miracle, single handed, he is changing the fate of an entire country. Your article is akin to a third rate donkey finding faults in a pedigree race horse.
Omar May 14, 2013 04:01pm
Be careful, you don't live too far from the apartment in London that controls Karachi !!
shahzad May 14, 2013 04:07pm
This writer is a student at Ohio Wesleyan? Clearly, he has learnt nothing. If this comment is a personal attack, then so be it. He is studying in a country where voting is a democratic process, and which has elected an African American President, in the past 2 elections, and he still does not get the concept of freedom and the right of expression. It is the duty of the Government to ensure safety of its citizens, it is the right of the citizens to demonstrate, if you agree with this writer, there would be no Arab Spring, no Tahrir Square. I would propose to the writer that he needs more quality education, there are better universities located north of where he currently studies. Shahzad Ann Arbor, MI
Usman May 14, 2013 04:09pm
Farah, if you cannot stand against justice please don't advise people to not stand-by it. If you are saying that the "law of jungle prevails" than people cannot be quite anymore. This is exactly the reason why we are in this position at the first place. No matter what stand-up again st justice.
Ali May 14, 2013 04:24pm
lol @ student at ohio of the worst schools in ohio and pretty apparent from the quality of your article!!
AK May 14, 2013 04:36pm
These unarmed citizens are more courageous than our beloved leaders; some of who vote by mail, some have not stepped in the country for years, some stand behind private armies and bullet proof shields, and others who appease terrorists. The politicians know the political cost of turning the innocent into martyrs. Let us salute their courage and encourage more legal, civilized, protest not discourage it.
riffatr May 14, 2013 04:53pm
wasn't held by PTI.
Atif May 14, 2013 04:55pm
The educated people also fill the cyber space. To me the absence on cyber space of a specific votebank which also represents educated votebank, suggests something graver, that is, such a vote bank does not exist as much as it is claimed.
irshadahmad May 15, 2013 05:07am
the views expressed by the writer are commendable.12th May has a very dark image in our history.only who has lost a loved-one can have this feelin. its very easy to sit on the ring side and shout.
Maria Ahmed May 15, 2013 05:09am
This wasnt called up by PTI. People got courageous enough to demand their rights, to ask where their vote has gone, with this kind of rigging who is gonna vote again. and these ECP and stuff dont listen and care the silent system thing. So i totally encourage a peaceful protest and because of that people came to know that PTI has genuine followers and not just the paid ones who want a better Pakistan and an educated one.
Shahid Latif May 15, 2013 05:15am
Lives were at risk from whom?
JBN May 15, 2013 05:22am
brother you are making comments as if you are living in a western civilization of far that matter in a civilization.. pakistan justice system if it is that strong their would have been no protest..seriously who are you people who write really un necessary could not have voiced your opinions about rigging...really who are you people?
ballofwire May 15, 2013 05:27am
I think you've been away from Pakistan for way too long my friend. we've seen how swiftly and effectively justice is served in Pakistan.
Zahid May 15, 2013 05:57am
Yes right...I think the blogger needs to study law
Muhammad May 15, 2013 10:07am
Shameful for the writer. Rather than coming from top to condemn the mqm threat, he started to lash PTI. This is mentality trap.
Akhtar May 15, 2013 06:27am
Oh just be quiet.
moeez hasan May 15, 2013 06:46am
Dont write something just for the sake of it,have some perspective and knowledge social and cultural dynamics that govern our society an are more potent then any form of democracy.If ECP has how do you trust any other protocol.
Saad May 15, 2013 06:59am
What makes you say it was held by the PTI? I am from NA 250, and this protest is all because of our anger at our contitutional right being snatched! This article is bogus, biased and immature. Period.
M Rafique May 15, 2013 07:24am
encouraging response
Tanzeel May 15, 2013 10:00am
Very good and mature write up. Hope it gives wisdom to Youthiaas!
Faz May 15, 2013 07:25am
This is as disappointing of a blog post as it is naive. If you want to sit at home and do nothing than don't complain about the thugs ruining your city and a government that cares only to line it's own pockets next time that topic comes up. The people that went to protest knew of the danger and took the risk they took to fight for their rights. They wanted it known that their rights matter and perhaps they simply may not have the option of escaping to Ohio when things get bad.
Riyaz ahmad (kashmir) May 15, 2013 07:38am
unnecessary write up
Faraz May 15, 2013 07:50am
I emphasize it was a peaceful protest by ordinary citizens. Peaceful protests are perfectly legal and safe unless you happen to be a supporter of you who know. What systems are you exactly talking about here? This is Karachi, Pakistan, not Ohio, you are clearly not in touch with ground realities here. If anything you should criticised the speech targeting the integrity of Pakistan, not a harmless peaceful protest by ordinary citizens, men, women, young and old demanding their right. You need to speak up to get your rights here, going to court can only come second.
Faraz May 15, 2013 07:53am
we say no to this reign of terror and ethnic politics. Being heard is the only way. Otherwise the boss will continue to rule over us from London and we will be kept hostage. I am proud of my fellow citizens that they have managed to upset the boss. Karachi is not a property of a certain someone who does not even live here.
Mariya May 15, 2013 08:09am
The writer probably needs to live in Pakistan longer than a sabbatical to experience the anguish, frustration and injustice a resident Pakistani faces EVERYDAY. The protest was simply an expression to let the frustration out at being wronged by the political mobs. If no one goes on protests, the country will continue to be ruled by the chaudrys, waderas, bhais, altaf hussains and the likes. ..... So seriously dude, THINK next time before you write!
ZR May 15, 2013 08:10am
Isn't this a democratic right of the people? When people stand in lines for hours, fly back from abroad just to cast their vote...emotions have to come out! This is their love for the country! Highly commendable effort by everyone at the protests. Being an expat, I have been closely following things on the Social Media & somewhat on the mainframe media (Somewhat as they haven't been giving stuff due coverage). My heart bleeds because of what is happening, more so because I am not part of these protests! P.S. The writer had a similar anti PTI blog on Tribune. Biased opinion without knowing full facts. My friend, you are perfect for GEO ;)
Tahir May 15, 2013 08:28am
You seem to be totally out of sync with reality, in any democratic process people have a right to demonstrate against oppression and blatant cheating, this is the first time when Mr. Khan has inspired people to go out and VOTE and given us another option, prior to that it was lesser of the two evils... Face the fact! only way to get the right team to lead Pakistan out of the quagmire is to stand up for our rights and not let the thughs push us around!
Muhammad May 15, 2013 08:28am
Unnecessary write up! This devalues DAWN :(
ali malik May 15, 2013 08:47am
Protesting is the our right, no one can stop one from assembling masses and protesting whats UNJUST. Its far better and organized then the protests of any political party in the country's history where protesters don't know why they have assembled for. Protests by political parties have typically been formed by mob not by peaceful citizens. This is not a political protest but a citizens protest.