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Dr Qadri’s sit-in: a mixed bag

January 29, 2013

AS it is said hungry people are angry people. In Islamabad’s D square, the crowds were followers, not hungry. The phenomenon of revolution has never been systematic. If we read history, we will come to know that revolutions always are started by the poor class out of extreme poverty, and then taken over by other classes: the middle class in the French revolution and religious technocrats in the Iranian revolution.

In Islamabad, it was a classical manifestation of politics: the art of deceiving people; and their leader was clearly a master in that. He started with deadlines and ended with deadlines.

His agenda was ambiguous and so were the demands of the long march (the dissolution of assemblies and the election commission). The long march and sit-in remained peaceful.

This was an achievement, but was not according to the spirit of revolution.

In the end, it was resolved through peaceful dialogue, a win-win situation for both sides.

What was the outcome of all this? It was a victory for democratic forces, for negotiation and mediation, and to some extent for Dr Qadri, who will have a say in the nomination of the caretaker prime minister.

What of all those masses? They were deceived yet again. They returned with promises and some hopes. They will vote again and will hope again that one day they would be represented by their true representatives at the federal and provincial level.

And one day, democracy — the government of the people, by the people and for the people — will be established.


Declaration THIS refers to Dr Tahirul Qadri’s declaration signed by the government. It is quite clear that Dr Qadri and his team had not done their homework properly.

The absence of any commitment and undertaking to bar fraudsters and fake degree-holders from the parliament was easily noticeable.

But this is for sure that Dr Qadri and the public have been fooled again in the name of democracy.

Whether this ‘long march’ has achieved any of its goals, it has certainly given some respite to this gathering of people sitting in the parliament either on the treasury or on  ‘friendly’ opposition benches.

The other positive achievement certainly is that the poor governance of this government and opposition has received maximum publicity.

Besides, now at least every voter knows and understands these people extremely well.


Political drama WHY watch dubbed Turkish dramas when Pakistani political dramas are more entertaining? They are scripted by brilliant anonymous writers and the actors do not even need any dubbing.

Dr Tahirul Qadri hijacked Islamabad for five days. What was his hidden agenda nobody knows. He used poor people in the name of religion. He befooled thousands of people. The dramatic ending of the long march is nothing more than a live entertaining show on a beautiful location.

He made fun of the people suffering from power shortage and various other issues. The peaceful ending of the show was, however, a victory for the democratic system in Pakistan.


Blooper THE recently-concluded ‘container’ march left many questions unanswered. But one of them has been striking me for the last few days. After the signing of the so-called ‘Islamabad Long March Declaration’, some high-profile negotiators made brief comments to the long marchers.

Shujaat Hussain said: “After Fajr prayers I prayed to Allah for successful negotiations.”

As far as I remember, it was around noon Jan 17 when Dr Qadri gave yet another deadline to the government for negotiations on his demands.

How come Shujaat Hussain knew beforehand, i.e., before Fajr, that it was the day for negotiations. I believe there is, perhaps, more to the matter than meets the eye.

All actors performed brilliantly, maybe exactly, according to the script. Isn’t this a question worth asking?