New Age Islam Edit Desk
January 17, 2013
Tahirul Qadri’s long march that ended in Islamabad on Wednesday has added to the woes of the present PPP government and the country is in the throes of a deep crisis. The Supreme Court added insult to the injury of the Raja Pervez Ashraf government by issuing arrest orders against him and other 16 accomplices in Rental power project scam and ordered the National Accountability Bureau to submit a compliance report by January 17.
Tahirul Qadri’s march has evoked overwhelming response from the general masses who have been pushed to the wall by the multiple problems they have been facing from corruption, lack of basic facilities and sectarian and terrorist violence. That Tahirul Qadri’s demand of reforms before the elections and not after elections has got the approval of the masses is evident from the huge and spontaneous public response.
A couple of days ago, the Quetta government was dissolved and governor’s rule was imposed after Hazara Shias protested with 87 dead bodies of their people killed by the sectarian forces led by the Taliban. The emotionally charged people were all the more angered at the government’s attempt at gagging the media by shutting down the cable TV network in order to prevent the general masses from getting the news of the long march. It sparked angry tweets on twitter and facebook against the gagging of democracy by the corrupt rulers.
Tahirul Qadri’s USP is his jihad to ensure the basic amenities to the people like electricity, jobs, peace, law and order, and end to sectarian and terrorist activities and the removal of corrupt political leaders from the leadership of the country. He categorically said that those who are corrupt cannot have the right to rule the country; those who loot the wealth of the country would not be allowed to run the government; those who do not pay taxes cannot be law makers. He further said that those who should have been in jail were sitting pretty in the parliament while the common people suffer. Corruption has taken very deep roots in the country which is evident from the story of a lady teacher of Gujranwala who says she did not get her salary for the last two years because she refused to give bribe to the officials who have been demanding bribe to release her salary. She has hopes in Tahirul Qadri’s leadership that he will clean up the dirt of corruption from the country.
The long march was not only participated by young men and students but also by women carrying children. It speaks of their disappointment at the current government who receives funding from the US and the UK for fighting terrorists but shows willingness to have dialogue with them instead of fighting them.
Tahirul Qadri also said in his speech that the ruling government was denying that the SC had issued arresting orders against the PM and sixteen bureaucrats and ministers as the law minister said that the SC did not issue such orders. However, as the SC has set January 17 as the deadline for their arrests, it would become clear after Thursday in which direction the country would be heading.
The long march which Mr Qadri claims attracted 4 million people from across the country who braved the chilled and foggy weather and said that it was the case of now or never. Though MQM leader Altaf Hussain was said to have supported the march initially, he has reportedly backed out. On the other hand Tehreek-e-Insaf party despite showing solidarity with Tahirul Qadri’s agenda of change and revolution has not joined the movement. Imran Khan is reported to have said that he will not join the movement now but he will consider his next step after the caretaker government takes over. This has caused disappointment among the masses who think that Imran Khan should have extended his support in this critical juncture. Tahirul Qadri today openly invited him to join the movement for change and even said that if he was not a part of the solution (movement) he was a part of the problem.
Tahirul Qadri has demanded that the government should resign as they have lost the credibility and the trust of the masses and have failed to fulfil their duties as the leaders of the nation. He said, ‘the judiciary and the army did not disturb you for the last five years but you failed to deliver.’ Therefore, they had no right to continue in office as their PM is involved in corruption.
On the other hand, a section of the intellectuals see Tahirul Qadri’s move as an attempt to derail the democracy and suspect that some invisible power is supporting him. They have questioned the source of the funding for his political adventure. Someone called him a pied piper who has come to Pakistan to make a mockery of democracy while some others have opined that he is an agent of the army whose aim is to postpone the elections and felicitate the army takeover.
Meanwhile, some reports have also said that President Asif Ali Zardari’s chartered plane has been kept ready to face any eventuality. On the other hand the SC has told the NAB that if any of the accused fled the country, they would be held responsible.
All said and done, the general masses seem to be in no mood to tolerate the corrupt system anymore and they want to get rid of the current government even at the cost of the army rule as they consider them a lesser evil. It’s time for the corrupt political leaders and the ruling elite to do some introspection instead of seeing the ghost of some foreign hand in whatever is happening in Pakistan.