KARACHI: Inspired by the impact of social networking websites on the revolution in Egypt, young people in Karachi claim that they are ready for a revolution.
But Facebook isn’t as effective here as it has been in other countries. While nearly 9,686 people had confirmed online that they were attending, only a few hundred showed up for the Facebook event ‘Unity, Faith and Discipline for Pakistan’, a protest organised at the Expo Centre by the Youth Force.
The Youth Force is the brainchild of Inam ur Rehman, a trainer from the School of Leadership. He explained that the violent and depressing situation in the city made him want to show the youth that there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
With the national anthem and Ali Azmat’s patriotic songs blaring in the background, young women and men clad in jeans and the Pakistan cricket team t-shirts and holding the national flag started to gather on the road in front of the centre. “I want the older generation to know that they should take the youth seriously,” said Talha Shabbir, a Karachi University student. “If we do not take a step right now then the next generation will curse us.” He added that we would not have been in this position if the earlier generations had made an effort.
The speeches started amid Nara-e-takbeer slogans. Farah Sameer — who appeared pumped up with patriotic spirit — asked everyone to link their hands to show their determination to bring about a change. Talking about the volatile situation in the city and the protest, Mansoor Ahmed of the Whistleblowers theatre group, claimed that revolutions did not happen overnight and sometimes it could take centuries. “Revolution is not a button that you can press on and off,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2011.