Who is a terrorist? A leader like Mohtarma Shaheed Benazir Bhutto who blocked the Punjab-Sindh border at Kamoo Shaheed many years back, for three hours against the Kalabagh Dam project, and then had to face the wrath of dictatorial forces via false criminal cases? Or a parliamentarian who blocked the same spot for 22 hours on March 23, 2011 for the implementation of Supreme Court orders of minimum wage and regularisation for the frontline MDG force of lady health workers (LHW)? Or those VIPs who actually block Supreme Court orders?
The point is, do bureaucrats being used by the corrupt in power not realise they will face God’s wrath for spreading false cases, and that soon these corrupt forces will be out of their ruling palaces?
I blocked the border at the invitation of, and alongside, thousands of LHWs at two in the morning on March 23 after having failed to get implemented Supreme Court orders and government promises with regard to the salaries of Lady Health Workers, made to the Assembly in June 2010. And for that, I am now a terrorist and so are these vaccinators who keep our mothers and children safe from all lethal diseases.
It has been alleged that as a result of the protest, two individuals died. These accusations are far from the truth. All emergency cases were given safe passage by the lady health workers’ special driver team assigned for this purpose. And I am a witness to that. When the media demanded to see the bodies of the two people allegedly killed, the bodies could not be produced and this has been duly reported. Ambulances intercepted in the blockade by the media clearly showed pillows stuffed under white sheets, made to look like dead bodies.
The real terrorists are, in fact, those who deny poor professionals their salaries whilst they themselves are enjoying the good life with the stolen wealth of taxpayers. The real terrorists are those who loot the country’s wealth via development funds. They are those who appease extremists for fear of losing their government seats; who misuse international donations meant for the health of Pakistanis; who live VIP lives off taxpayers’ funds; and who looted, beat up and tear-gassed women fighting for their constitutional rights that day in Kamoo Shaheed. Perhaps one day, there will be laws in Pakistan which will declare all such people terrorists and then the police will not waste its time chasing innocent women instead of hardened criminals.
The so-called democratic government is so knee-deep in minting money that it ends up subjecting all peaceful protesters on the roads of Pakistan, such as teachers, doctors, nurses and LHWs, to terrorism. It is high time the wrath of the common man reaches the palaces of the looters rather than the huts of the victims.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th, 2011.
More in OpinionAnother extension for the ISI Chief