Mr Imran Khan the Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has gone on hunger strike for the restoration of the judiciary in Pakistan. He is in under arrest in D G Khan prison and has been charged with treason and terrorism, an offence which can be tried under a military court and he can be sentenced to death. With this, the struggle in Pakistan is entering a very significant stage.
Going on hunger strike is the most effective non-violent political strategy used in the world where a confined individual, can do no more but challenge the status quo by putting his own life at stake. The most celebrated hunger strike was that of the prisoners of the Irish Republican Army led by Bobby Sands. They went on a no-food no-water hunger strike and died after 59 to 73 days. They had willed that their family will not agree to drip feeding also even after they became unconscious. Although ten men died during the course of the hunger strike, thirteen others were taken off hunger strike, either due to medical reasons or after intervention by their families. Many of them still suffer from the effects of the strike, with problems including digestive, visual, physical and neurological disabilities. Mahatma Gandhi frequently went on hunger strikes but he never went beyond 21 days. He
drank water and fluids during this period and used it as an effective tool for independence of India along with Jinnah’s legal battles.