The strike call for 12th December in Karachi was a tough & a strategic call made by Chairman Imran Khan on 30th Nov, it was a bold move to tactically increase pressure on the PML govt to rethink its negotiation strategy viz-a-viz to proceeding with an independent investigation of alleged election rigging in 2013. If peaceful protests for 120 days is not enough of a pressure tactic, it seems the govt needs to be physically shown that this is injustice in acceptable and proof of this contagious movement has taken a bigger momentum resonating all across Pakistan — Faisalabad on the 8th, Karachi on the 12th and soon Lahore on the 15th – Shutdowns are Pressure tactics to push for justice in Pakistan. What does one have to do, to get an investigation started in Pakistan? — When Push comes to shove, it seems shoving is then the order of the day.
Many supporters have a strong disagreement as to why PTI choose to adopt this strike strategy in Karachi, which to them resembles so much like the MQM-thug style politics and to make matters worse, images of burning tires were not helping as it portrayed violence, seemingly on the same track with MQM’s 30-min barrle of the gun-based shutter down calls seen too often in Karachi. Each Karachiite knows very well that the was a fundamental difference between MQM calling a strike and PTI appealing to people to join in a ShutDownToRebuild movement – Everyone knows that MQM uses militants on bikes roaming the streets and that this display interspersed with aerial firing, simply serves as the threat to establish the “voluntarily closure” along with other unfortunate tactics, they need not have to “work hard” to convince people, the guns do the convincing part quite well. PTI on the other hand DOES NOT SUBSCRIBE TO MILITANCY.
To organize the lockdown one must know the grass root dynamics of planning and ensuring a strike and I give credit to the PTI Karachi leadership to have understood the dynamics, planned well and executed to near perfection.
Before the shutdown there was a long debate on choosing to adopt the need to use tire burning strategy, but after a long discussion & a majority vote PTI teams allowed limited use of this method only for the sake of visual optics, but strictly NO threatening militant / armed strategy — only peacefully block roads, lobby aggressively, campaign and convince the public to join Imran Khan’s call to rebuild Pakistan. On the tire burning issue, I’m aware of many valid objections, I personally was a silent 50-50 spectator, personally felt we need to create the “environment” to be successful. So in part I would say I agreed, and hence I stand by the judgment call and the reason to write this blog post to explain why it was needed
A strike call in Karachi should be understood on a number of critical stages