My Appeal To Nawaz Sharif – And Its Impact
In the Autumn of 2017, I was invited to a ‘vote
ko izzat do’ convention of the PMLN. During my speech, I addressed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directly, asking him to bring all nationalities under his umbrella for a unified struggle for democracy; I reminded him that he was the prime
minister of the entire country, and not just of Punjab; that we Punjabis were now crying because our votes had been stolen, but from the Baloch, Pashtun, and Sindhis, their homes, lives, and futures were stolen by the same oppressor.
Yet, one did not find any mention of the PTM, which was facing the most fierce crackdown at the time, in his speeches thereafter. But the increasing fascism of the Junta has today resulted in:
speaking in support of Mohsin Dawar, a PTM member of parliament
(ii) Maryam Nawaz repeatedly speaking up for the rights of the abducted, and staring down the generals
Bhutto effecting the inclusion of Dawar in the PDM
These are all unheard of collateral benefits of the Junta’s brazenly making one mistake after another.
What The Naked Victimisation Of Nawaz Sharif Laid Bare
There are many other examples, but I will end with
a very heartening tabdeeli.
And the ‘electable’
politicians that would change loyalties and jump parties at the behest of the army, were one key tool used to weaken or overthrow democratic governments. These ‘electables’ would traditionally take their voter base, beholden to them because of
the politics of patronage, and throw them into the lap of the Army’s favoured party of the day.
But the naked victimisation of Sharif, and the success of his “Mujhe kyon nikala” and “vote
ko izzat do” narratives, laid bare the Army’s meddling like never before, and caused a realisation across Punjab that Punjabis’ rights would only be restored traveling down the “vote ko izzat do” road,
and not by sticking with the so-called ‘electables’.
A Profoundly Positive Change For Pakistani Politics & Democracy
Ahead of the general elections of 2018, I came across biradari after biradari (family blocks or tribes) in Punjab, who decided to vote for the local electable
only if he stayed with the party, and to vote for anybody, even a nobody, if he jumped ship and PMLN awarded the election ticket to the ‘nobody’.
This unintended change bodes quite ill for the future of the Army meddling in politics, and the imposition of puppets on the people, because this means they have destroyed one more of their own tools with their own hands.
The way I see all these unintended positive changes coming out of the destruction and suffering that citizens have endured now for over two years is best expressed by a popular Punjabi lyric of unknown origin, “rul
te gaye aan, par chass badi ayee aye”
12 Nov 20/Thursday
Source: The Quint