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Quetta carnage and governor’s rule

January 19, 2013

WHILE mourning and protest by Hazaras was good news, it was yet another sad day in the constitutional history of Pakistan. It is a depiction of the fact that our politicians are inept to run a government. Although the law and order situation in Balochistan was in an extremely bad conditions, former chief minister Aslam Raisani was not even present in Quetta. This speaks volumes about who runs the government in the province.

Will the dismissal of the political government in the province bring a positive change in the province, especially as regards protection to the persecuted Hazara community? Let us hope for the best.

However, this appears to be a cosmetic change. One needs not make a hard research in order to establish as to who has the writ in that province. It is a sad fact that democratically elected governments in Pakistan lack the moral authority. The dismissal of an inept and toothless political government in Balochistan has removed the difference in de facto and de jure authority. This will send a strong signal to those who are bent upon challenging the writ of the state in Balochistan.

However, let this emergency measure of the governor’s rule be temporary. A roadmap should be prepared in order to have a transformation to a representative political setup.

We do not want representatives who can best protect their interests. We have had many benevolent rulers. No more please.

It is lamentable that Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf took this decision on the advice of MQM chief Altaf Hussain, ANP chief Asfandyar Wali and PML-Q leader Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain.

Let our politicians remember that in our history an imposition of the governor’s rule in one province has almost always led to an imposition of the military rule in the country sooner or later.

It is politicians, not the military, who can solve our political problems and ensure a smooth working of the democratic system in Pakistan.


Govt’s apathy

THOUSANDS of grieving family members, braving subzero temperature, waited for a sign of justice for 92 hours with dozens of bodies in a state of decay and rigor mortis, but our president failed to make one decision.

Are we humans? Who did we elect as our leaders? Even the wild beasts leave the dead decaying prey. Even animals follow the law of the jungle.

It took two days for the government to wake up. Are Hazaras and Shias not humans? What is wrong with our leaders? Do they have hearts?

If they do, they are made of stone. They are enjoying weddings and sport, desert rallies, while their countrymen perish. My heart goes out to the people of Quetta who braved every second of this ordeal. As if one tragedy was not enough for them. These brave souls took a stand. They have exposed the true face of our leaders. So what if they asked the army to take control of Balochistan. They deserve safety and protection of their lives. And the elected representatives failed to give it.

No responsible leader stepped up to share the grief, except a few brave ones we all know, who always do. The president should have come out and faced the people. He should have said he was sorry for the state of affairs. He should have said something at least.

Even President Obama, the most powerful individual in office, broke down as he responsibly addressed his countrymen about the recent killings of schoolchildren. But our leaders do not have the moral courage to join in the grief of the people. It is time for a change.

Any change is better than the present scenario.


People’s protest

THE carnage in Quetta and the dignified but forceful response by the families, in particular, and the people from all walks of life throughout the country has been, in general, inspirational and poignant, to say the least.

This is for the first time in my memory that a peaceful protest has compelled an unfeeling government to wake up from its deep slumber and respond in the manner elected representatives should.

I hope that in future too we Pakistanis will continue to adopt such peaceful and effective methods of protest wherein citizens, irrespective of age and gender, are not fearful of registering their sentiments and reaction.

The confession of the Balochistan governor that the government, which includes him, has failed and someone else will have to govern is a candid admission that we are unaccustomed to.

However, it would have reflected well on his being a nawab from Balochistan if he had really showed the courage to tender his resignation, but I guess that is expecting too much from some whose only claim to fame is clinging to power for reasons best known to him.

As for the victims’ families, I offer my heartfelt sympathies and sincere gratitude for showing the rest of Pakistanis that a peaceful protest, no matter what the sacrifice, will bring a change.

I assure you that we will never be able to repay your debt and I am ashamed that we did not wake up from our slumber earlier. Please forgive us.