Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience


Change we can believe in?


Your Name:

Recipient Email:

I have always been the kind to disapprove of protests, marches, vigils and the likes. I always thought they served no purpose other than getting easy publicity. However, I have no shame in admitting that the long march has proved me wrong and has forced me to believe otherwise.

The restoration of judiciary may not have been the direct outcome of the long march or the lawyers’ movement; it may have been brought into enforcement by a ‘foreign hand’ (one that was most hopeful of a peaceful outcome); there may have been a ‘deal’ behind closed doors too; but the fact remains that the power of the people has been proved. Political activists, lawyers, members of the civil society or students, whoever they were, they had all come together for a mission and were not to be let down by imposition of the jalsa rule (section 144) or threats of terror strikes.

It seems as if the establishment was taken aback by the sheer determination of the hundreds and thousands of people who had vowed to surge on and lodge their protest in the form of a sit-in. I have never really supported any political party. And this time around too, it was the presence of non-political alliances such as the Concerned Citizens of Pakistan, Students Action Committee that opened my eyes to the power of unity. It was the true demonstration of ‘sit up and take notice.’ Most importantly, it has given me inspiration. Inspiration to believe in this crazy, terrorist-haven labelled, corrupt-at-all-level land of ours. Inspiration to prove it otherwise. On March 16, 2009, at 6 a.m., the clichéd morning of inspiration and hope dawned upon me, an apathetic citizen and the 17 million lot of us. It was an umeed-e-sahar indeed.

DAWN_VIDEO - /1029551/DAWN-RM-1x1

LARGE_RECTANGLE_BOTTOM - /1029551/Dawn_ASA_Unit_670x280

Comments (24) Closed

Aariz Abbasi
Mar 20, 2009 06:19pm
What a glorious day we have experianced. In all of their infinite wisdom, the lawyers movement, the politicians who supported it it, and the poeple of Pakistan have succeeded in replacing one PCO judge with the ORIGINAL PCO judge. And like brain washed idiots who are spoon fed their talking points, you people cheer. You deserve what you get, learn to think for yourselves. Learn a little about history.
Mar 18, 2009 03:10pm
like anyother movements in Pakistan, it eventually goes under the helm of few privlidge elites. until the justice wont go at he doorsteps of the common man of pakistan, justice iftikhar chaudry and the lawyers movement will remain simply a symbolic nature in Pakistans history.
Nafijah Khan
Mar 18, 2009 02:02pm
I totally agree....I was least bothered about the lawyers and civil societies protests, thinking they are as corrput and power-driven as the acting judiciary, but I agree it does prove that citizens rights are above any individual's agenda. I hope our nation has learnt a lesson to come together to prosper and get rid of all the corruption and power struggle in the country. We still need people with strong personalities and morals to come together to be able to think for ourselves and get rid of the labels of a Terrorist nation or a third-world country :)
Mar 18, 2009 02:24pm
Salman Taseer this business tycoon-cum-politician has shown little signs of remorse. On the contrary, and believing my hunches, he seems willing to drag his feet. He might stay a little longer if his boss wishes him to, but at the expense of a great blow to the party that I voted for in the Feb 18 elections. Tauseef. Lahore.
Mar 18, 2009 04:42pm
Today all Pakistanis who supported this movement can be proud because we have have made a difference. I remember before the Iraq war I went on many marches in London (including one with 2 million people) asking the UK govt not to take part in an illegal war. That didn't work out. But on Sunday we saw 100,000 people came out onto the streets and force the govt to fulfuil promises that THEY had made. The govt was held accountable and they had no choice. Some media is talking about role of foreign hand, Army, etc....but those factions would not even be getting involved if the people had not come out. Looking at these two examples, I would say that in this case pakistani democracy worked better then western democracy!
Nadia Khan
Mar 18, 2009 07:05pm
We need much bigger change too
Abu Adnan
Mar 18, 2009 08:25pm
I think Pakistani Nation has at last shown the courage to defend their rights by forcing the our 'head to toe' corrupt government to reinstate the judiciary prior to Nov 3, 2007. I admire all judjes and espacially the chief Justice in taking stand against Musharaf not to resign and fight for the just cause. I hope that now the judiciary would make efforts to tackle issues such as missing person, corruption and black sheeps within their ranks
Mar 18, 2009 08:27pm
WE WILL BRING THE CHANGE. I'm in process of creating an Organization called "CHANGE PAKISTAN" I need your support though. Please email me if you would like to change Pakistan for better. We won't need any money, just your support. If we put our minds together, I'm talking all the Pakistanis in the World not just in Pakistan. I specially urge Pakistani in U S, GB and Canada to respond with you suggetions on how to change Pakistan to " Thanks for your support. FM
Naveesh Oad
Mar 18, 2009 11:43pm
By the way,I am not agree with your notions....wait & see what is agenda of our reinstated CJ?
Mar 19, 2009 01:37am
Zardari is not sincere with our nation. He should leave the Presidency. People should stand up for thier rights and do not compromise at any cost. People Party should pick another adult Chairperson for the Party. There are lot of good people in PPP who can lead the party like Aitzaz Ahsan and they should be picked by party vote. Pakistani leaders should learn a lesson form our neighbor India,their leaders are Sincere with the democracy. Shame on Corrupt leaders.
Mar 19, 2009 10:27am
The new PPP is a party of feudal lords, wealthy industrialists, businessmen and corrupt politicians. This party is dividing the nation culturally, provincially, regionally, linguistically and destroying Pakistans political stability with the sole objective of extending Bhutto dynastic rule. It has ruined country's economy, encouraged unprecedented corruption, nepotism, despotism and made Pakistan a sick joke of the world. Asif Ali Zradari has surrounded himself with cronies headed by the interior minister, Rehman Malik, a man of dubious past. He is acting and behaving like a dictator without a uniform and intimidating his own party, opposition parties as well as endangering democracy. Democracy can not work in Pakistan unless and until the country gets rid itself from the culture of dynastic rulers, feudal lords, capricious, greedy rich politicians and military generals who have monopolized and manipulated Pakistan for the last sixty one years for their personal interests. These corrupt politicians have now the last chance to save Pakistan from collapsing if their intentions are honest and patriotic but if as always in the past, they are only interested in the thickness of their wallets; the country is doomed as it is surrounded by enemies within and around its borders. Pakistan is sinking into a deep hole dug by the corrupt politicians who quarrel incessantly about anything and everything and can never agree on anything, and that is the biggest tragedy of Pakistan. The Pakistanis are sick and tired of politicians never ending squabbling, reminiscing their past, each other failures, and never discussing what they could for the country in the future. They are stuck in the past and ignoring the fact that each one of them is responsible for the gradual fragmentation of their country. Pakistan does not need to be told by the foreigners what to do with their internal and external affairs and all they need is to resolve their political disputes, petty squabbles and to stand united to faces internal and external threats. Pakistani politicians must grow up to be men if they wished to save their country from breaking up into many pieces. They must look at Iraq and learn a lesson that their kitchen politics is leading them into a quagmire and sinking our country to no return.
Mar 19, 2009 10:30am
If Pakistan is to be saved and survive, it is imperative that it should eradicate for ever dynastic, feudal and military rule of the corrupt, dishonest, greedy and wretched politicians and generals. It is also imperative that President Asif Zardari should resign from his office because he has made a mockery of Pakistans integrity and reputation abroad. He is a man of criminal past and history and has dubious and duplicitous credentials and does not deserve to hold the highest office of Pakistan. It is also imperative that Salman Taseer, the crony of Asif Ali zaradri and governor of Punjab must be sacked from his office without any delay. He is the most arrogant, conceited, obnoxious, devious and highly vindictive man and is a dark stain on his office. It is also imperative that Rehman Malik, the interior minister, must also be sacked from his office because of his malicious and incompetent handling of Pakistan internal affairs. He is also a crony of Asif Ali Zardari and most untrustworthy to hold his post. Pakistan needs to elect a leader who is not interested to extend his dynastic rule and has personal interests foremost in mind.
Mar 19, 2009 10:35am
I completely agree with all the commentators that we should look ata the brighter side and think as to why foreign pressure was exerted to such an extent? It was ultimately the people's voice and their reaction which they had feared would get out of hand. It sure has been a dawn of hope for all of us but, we need to stay focussed and now that we know that we are capable of bringing change we should always be on our toes. The govenrments should not be allowed to do whatever they do freely and we as public will make sure they are watched otherwise "we know what to do"...:) I also really appreciate that there student organizations which were non-political. However, my suggestion would be to all who realize the issues but stay committed to be non political to please revisit their strategy. I think to bring change you have to get on top anc come into politics. You can not expect changes to happen just by social work. Social work is important but if you want change on a grander scale then you need to have authority to implement. I would therefore request all organizations who care for the country to either form a political party or they should start aligning thmeselves with someone who they feel can bring about change. We need to be unified in our stance to take pakistan to great heights. For this purpose we need to be strongly behind a strong headed and a meaningful leader. remember we, the youth are the asset of this nation and had it not been for this youth we would not have seen this "umeed e seher". We have to play a much more defined role and not let the status quo ruin this country. I am sure we are on the road to change inshallah and we will succeed from here on.
Mar 20, 2009 06:17am
The entire world knows that none can overcome the People's power. The Iranian revolution proved that and exactly on the same line the people's power threw out President Marcos of Philippine. While Iran's revolution proved to be beneficial for their country, Philippines could not gain much. We have to watch how much Pakistan is going to gain from this? If Pakistanis are willing to get themselves free from the shackles of the corrupt politicians and Army Generals, they must come out and protest. Lucky for the Corrupt Administration that only a few per cent of the population was out, others are still sleeping. What is surprising is that every human being fights for the rights of their children even the animals do that. But a vast majority of Pakistanis are fighting and laying their lives for the benefits of the children of the most corrupt army and the politicians at the cost of their own children.
Hassan Zaib Abbasi
Mar 22, 2009 07:31am
I have never been prouder of pakistan and its reisntated chief justice. lol @ aariz abbasi ..Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was ayub khan's right hand man but he left ayub khan when he made the wrong descision and is thus forgiven for his past siding with the millitary leader who rigged the elections against fatima jinnah...hardi har har....dont get me wrong but i hold ZAB in the highest esteem..and i also hold chief justice iftikhar muhamed chaudry in the highest esteem too. with your own logic...Dogar is double galore...
Salman Latif
Mar 22, 2009 08:43am
You are right!! It was indeed an umeed-e-sehar. Amid cynics and and skeptics of all sorts, describing our nation's trail down a slope, this was a ray of hope, reaffirming the faith of a person like me back in the nation, and dispelling the effects of those sentences I hear umpteen times at university campus, plans of escaping this land. I am happy for my nation for I see a stir in it's bosom - a silent, subtle, progressing and increasingly conscientious life is resuming to it - social activism is witnessing a rise and masses are taking maturer approach towards things. Let's hope this nation can and will really rise!! (:
Masood Haider
Mar 22, 2009 02:40pm
Here we go again. Our 'civic society' swept up in a wave of cheap sentimentality. Cowasjee, who is unquestionably the most distinguished, measured and sensible columnist in the entire country provides a masterful analysis in his latest op-ed. Would the CJ intoxicated by the wine of resurrection from the dead act sensibly and not seek to destablize the country by ignoring ground realities? Probably not. Stay tuned till the other shoe falls and hold the celebrations.
Danesh F Khambatta
Mar 22, 2009 11:14am
We won a free judiciary but lost Swat.What are our priorities.Should not the media be making our masses aware of the facts rather than trumpeting their own agendas. Yes we are now proud that we have a political judicial victory .We have had a judge reinstated.Tell me what good does that do for me.I pay all my taxes and have no electricity or water.Not get blown up by a suicide bomber seems a miracle. Our people are lesser and lesser educated and these people will be electing our leaders.Wow we feel proud that we have a democracy-but what good does that do .Are we all blind or are like the three monkeys hear no evil see no evil and talk no evil.We have no food and our ghazal maestro has no funds to foot his hospital bill .Swat is gone to the fanatics and Punjab will be next.But we are rejoicing that we have reinstated a chief justice. Viva Pakistan-please wake up from your slumber before its too late
Danesh F Khambatta
Mar 22, 2009 11:27am
We have a CJ who will replace another CJ - yay .Thats great.But did anyone know we also need dams to be built so that there is power for our inductries.Did anyone know our people need education so that they can work in the industries .We need health policies so that the people remain productive Did anyone know if we have industries we get our economy rolling and the best economies rule the world -but we don't need to do that .After all half the country is given away to the fanatics and they'll be taking over the rest while we sit and watch so who cares -even the so called mighty army is helpless .God help us.
Ali Khan
Mar 23, 2009 07:24am
Justice shall prevail! InshAllah
kumruddin hilawal shiekh
Mar 23, 2009 11:49pm
We should adopt sharia and leave all our problems to almighty. Purdah and beard should be made compulsary. Inshallah good days are coming
Mar 24, 2009 10:50am
I greatly commend and am proud of what the lawyer's movement and the participation of other pakistani citizens stood for, and has achieved. As for all the people who think we are creating a fuss over nothing while everything else in the country is going from bad to worse, I ask them all, what do they propose as a cure for corruption and cronyism if not a free judiciary? who can give a poor farmer his rights when they are exploited by the feudals, if not a court of justice? who will take to charge a case of corruption if not a court of justice? And what creates men who take rule into their own hands if not the absence of rule of law? Not only the fact that it is the most important pillar of society that was fought for, but also that it WAS fought for.. and the nation did not just sit and give free passage to the wrong act.
Fakhar Shah
Mar 24, 2009 12:33pm
We always believe in change but no one among us becomes a part to bring a revolution in this country and who will bring a real change in this country. You might have read the old proverb "LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON" and when this proverb is applied to our nation then it would be like this "Like nation, Like leaders." means as the type of nation we are is the same the case with the leaders who are ruling us.
Mar 25, 2009 12:01am
We all want change but no one is responding to my previous post???? WE WILL BRING THE CHANGE. I