Pakistan is made up of people living on different fault lines: ethnic, sectarian and linguistic. The minute these fault lines are tested, there is pandemonium. Do we need this at a time our population is hungry, insecure, and in darkness? Surely not!
It is unbelievable how history keeps testing these fault lines. These tests are a result of wrong decisions, the most recent one being the name change for NWFP, which has opened an unnecessary Pandora’s Box.
It seems the fashionable thing these days is to make new administrative units. Please remember this has military connotations: the objective is to have smaller, more manageable units to wash out the country’s various nationalities.
If the target is efficient governance, that comes neither by constitutional amendments nor administrative units. It comes by integrity and discipline. When new units are suggested there will be those willing to die for the cause, and those willing to die to maintain the status quo.
This means more bloodshed, chaos and deterioration of quality of life. Quality of life is only possible when the government is not corrupt otherwise people will protest. The government needs to zoom into and resolve core issues so that it doesn’t encircle itself with a tide of protests. Yes, the Pakistani people have a right to peaceful protest. No, they don’t need to be tear gassed, shot at and baton charged.
We have seen protests for employment, loadshedding and price hikes — to name the top ones in the Pareto chart. Historically, protests have turned ugly for the government when they have used violence against peaceful protestors. It’s a lesson they don’t learn from: all it takes is one death and an uncontrollable movement starts.
I have talked to many organisations whose attempts to negotiate with the government for their rights have proved fruitless. They had expectations from the current government but two years of broken promises have resulted into acute frustration.
I have diligently been informing the government about each issue so that they can resolve them before they reach a boiling point. But it has been a fruitless journey for me as well. Traditionally, opposition MNAs don’t warn governments, they sit back and watch them crumble. I pleaded with documents, facts and figures but faced deaf ears.
These groups will be on the road soon, protesting against inflation and unemployment. I have no choice but to honour my commitments and not let them be alone as they face the ‘bullets’. My struggle in parliament is far from over. We will be fighting for the quality of life as enshrined in the same constitution we so joyfully amended.
Will the government be oblivious to the frustrations and make the same mistake all previous governments have made?
Their decisions will shape the destiny of all Pakistanis. Let them win for all and not fail for all.