Shiffa Z. Yousafzai |
The residents of Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan were already worried and disturbed about the possibility of dealing with the smog that has plagued Lahore and other parts of Punjab, now they are also suffering from IPS – Islamabad Paralysis Syndrome. Everyone is so agitated about the paralyzed state of their capital city that they don’t know how to react and keep themselves composed especially when you’re stuck in traffic due to barricades for hours.
I was buying fruit from a local street vendor (mobile-stall) and I had bought some apples and bananas but while I was paying him I asked the vendor if the apples were fresh since they didn’t look fresh. The man started yelling at me right away, however, what he said gave me an idea of how frustrated he is. He said, “You don’t even know how the hell I got here to sell fruits and you don’t know how difficult it is for us to get back home.
The government has agreed to make the recommendations of Raja Zafar ul Haq’s committee public. We still have to wait and see how it goes but one thing that seems certain is that these people aren’t going anywhere.
I have to look for a place to park my trolley safely because the police didn’t allow me to go and park this trolley where I usually do. I don’t know if I will be able to eat tonight and if I will be able to reach back home crossing these barricades. You have a car, you have money. Things don’t affect you the way they affect us.”
For a moment I got furious and was almost about to explode like a volcano but then it suddenly occurred to me that he’s not mad at me, he’s mad at the police, the protestors, the government, and his poverty but not me. He’s not the only one on the road that was all set to resort to violence. I asked a man on a bike if the road ahead is blocked and if he knows any alternate route to get to F-7 from Murree Road, Rawalpindi.
What he said amazed me yet made me feel really guilty. He said, “You’re a woman, you’re in a car, these people will let you go but they won’t let a man on a bike pass through these barricades, so its people like me looking for alternate routes not people like you.” – and of course, he did not answer my question. Almost everyone driving and covering his or her usual distance to work and back home in twice as much time, as usual, would react the same way.
Where did it all start?
The finality of Prophethood – it was a settled issue. What made the government feel that they needed to make any kind of amendment in this provision? And what made them feel that after doing so they could get away with it?
The Government didn’t take this sit-in seriously and they thought these people would soon disperse. There are people blaming the protestors for paralyzing the city at the time when the country cannot afford instability.
Actually what I assume is that they knew they won’t be able to get away with it and they needed a chaotic situation to turn the attention away from the NAB references and proceedings against the House of Sharifs. Or it could be just another attempt of the eldest Sharif to please the masters abroad – as several political analysts have said in the last couple of days in various talk shows.
The government now after reverting the amendments, is trying very hard to sort this issue out with the clerics of Tehreek e Labaik Ya Rasoolullah – at least they claim to be doing their best but they certainly haven’t tried hard enough. Chief Minister Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif, could go and breathe in some fresh air in the mountains and address a public gathering in Abbottabad but he couldn’t come and meet Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the leader of TLYR, and convince him to call it off.
Since the beginning of their protest, they have been treated as if they are children of a lesser god. Nobody paid attention towards them, nobody went to talk to them and nobody tried to know what their demands are, this is also a reason for them being aggrieved.
Read more: Faizabad Dharna: A view of both sides
At first, the Government didn’t take this sit-in seriously and they thought these people would soon disperse. There are people blaming the protestors for paralyzing the city at the time when the country cannot afford instability. But if we think long and hard about it, then we will all get to a conclusion that the government is equally responsible for this paralyzed stated of living in the capital for more than two weeks now.
The government now after reverting the amendments, is trying very hard to sort this issue out with the clerics of Tehreek e Labaik Ya Rasoolullah – at least they claim to be doing their best but they certainly haven’t tried hard enough.
But what got me confused is that there are other religious political parties who have been involved in politics for decades, winning elections in the name of religion? Do they not find any religious or political implications of what the government just tried to do? Why did they not join this sit-in? Let’s hope that these people protesting do not have any vested interests here.
The government has asked the protestors to move to another location and clear the roads but they have denied the offer giving out the reason that if they move and everything gets back to normal, they won’t be able to pressurise the government for resignation of the person behind this amendment – who, for now at least, is believed to be Law Minister Zahid Hamid.
Many have started to surmise that the government wants to ask Zahid Hamid for his resignation but they cannot ask him fearing that he would break his silence and disclose the name of the actual person who tried to make the amendment.
For a moment I got furious and was almost about to explode like a volcano but then it suddenly occurred to me that he’s not mad at me, he’s mad at the police, the protestors, the government, and his poverty but not me.
Syed Shah Abdul Haq Gillani of Golra Sharif said that Government has played dirty politics and conspired against this clause of Finality of Prophethood, thus people should not vote for such conspirators.
Meanwhile, the government has agreed to make the recommendations of Raja Zafar ul Haq’s committee public. We still have to wait and see how it goes but one thing that seems certain is that these people aren’t going anywhere. They are going to stay there as long as they get the resignation of the person responsible.
We could just hope that the government sorts this out soon and peacefully, for we as humans also feel for those on the roads in these chilly days and nights. And if sorting out this problem is just a resignation or two away, then government must go for it.
Shiffa Yousafzai is a freelance writer; She is an International Alumni Ambassador for Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, where she studied Multimedia Journalism. Earlier, she graduated with business and marketing at Air University, Islamabad. She had been vice-president Air University Cultural Society; She is a singer and has performed in cultural events. Shiffa could be followed on twitter @Shiffa_ZY and on facebook @Shiffa Z. Yousafzai. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.