Guest Blog by Omar Javaid
The Parade on 23rd march was canceled by the prime minister out of austerity. The cancellation was announced a couple of week back. Then 23rd march came and went without the grand event which was considered the hallmark of this day. It was astonishing to see the legacy getting broken and the reason that was cited, but most startling was the inaction, it didn’t bothered anybody, never sparked any uproar, never ignited any heated debate, there wasn’t any criticism, it almost went unnoticed.
The parade of 23rd March use to be morale booster, a blatant exhibit of Pakistan’s military strength, cultural diversity, and national integrity; for the masses it was an annual dose of self esteem and a sense of identity. This dose went missing this time, and didn’t bother anybody. It is unlikely that masses are stuffed or overdosed with self respect, confidence and esteem, rather the contrary seems more true, they are starved, their energies evaporated by continuous bombardment of negativity (there is hardly a good news in media), they are exhausted, disappointed, frustrated, contempt on present state of affair, politics, judiciary (though just been revitalized … ?), role of military in northern areas, extremism, and most importantly the threat of unemployment for employed, torture of unemployment for unemployed, and all of this multiplied by crippling inflation.
From another perspective the earth shattering long march for the restoration of judiciary, seem to contradict my views expressed above. I think otherwise. This long march was probably the last outburst of the residue of energy. So narrow in focus, so fantasized with the slogans of justice, so desperate in approach, so much like the last outcry of a man before drowning. And so much in contradiction to the perception of the common man who has been bitten viciously by the corruption of judiciary in Pakistan. In a survey of 4000 respondents conducted in 2006 by www.trasparency.org judiciary was ranked 3rd most corrupt institution, more than 70% declared judiciary as corrupt. According to some senior judges, the number of pending cases are more than 1.5 million, according to others it could be double.
What a treat would it be for the vultures eyeing on the natural resources of Pakistan, The nuclear assets, the gold and copper mines, the oil and gas fields, the coal reserves, the diamonds underneath, various other minerals and finally to my horror, the starving women willing to sell their bodies to keep themselves and their children alive … (checkout how Thailand’s prostitution industry developed). But vultures approaches when they are sure the prey is dead! Not when there is still a spark of life remaining. The vultures are flying over, waiting, hence a spark of life (hope) remains.
Human civilization die off only when wrath of the Creator is unleashed after their condition become hopeless; if bestowed with mercy by the Creator, they bounce back. Looking at the present state, it seems like we are standing at crossroads, the grand finale is nearing, either we are at the verge of bouncing back, or at the threshold of a major catastrophe.
The silence over 23rd missing hallmark is deafening, but I hope I am wrong on my hopelessness. The man might be drowning, but there could still be some breaths left, there could be a way out, judicial reform might not bring justice to a common man still (for example), if so there could be another uproar or standing against the judiciary (or any other excruciating issue), if so then the propensity of bouncing back will increase, if not, vultures will close on and do what they do best.