Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Fabric of Society

Today I had the opportunity to speak with a notable journalist of Pakistan. I wanted to share with him some directions to overseas Pakistanis who are outraged at the imposition of Martial Law and wish to do something to help the country.

After deliberating my views with him (which I will share in a separate blog), I asked whether something could be done within Pakistan. His answer came as a shock to me. This is what he had to say:

"My suggestion is that overseas Pakistanis should just concentrate on raising support outside of Pakistan. Do not worry about what should be done within Pakistan. There is a lot happening and a lot being planned. The authorities are not letting us report much of the activity but I can tell you that things are moving towards a clash.

In one incident, students from a few Universities in Islamabad were trying to make a peaceful demonstration when they were brutally attacked by the police. These 16/17 year old students were completely outraged at this despicable treatment and vowed to react with full force, only this time not with placards and banners, but with Guns!"

The journalist told me that he is receiving constant phone calls from young people asking him that they wish to go to the tribal areas to join the rebels to fight against Musharraf regime. In his opinion, suppression of freedom by a ruthless dictator will result in a disproportionate increase in extremism which will come to haunt the regime.

When I asked him about the mood within the army (quoting a story from New York Times which claimed that the US is contacting some senior army Generals, including Gen Kiyani), he said that he has absolutely nothing to do with the army and he does not even like to answer their phone calls.

After speaking with this senior and well-respected journalist, it was clear to me that the somber mood in Pakistan (after 4 days of Martial Law) is now changing to a mood of defiance and action.

Can Musharraf, along with the army top brass and the turncoats in his government realize the damage they are doing to Pakistan? The suppression of freedom and civil liberties is playing havoc with the fabric of the society. This brutal repression is pushing the already fed up common man up against the wall.

The regime needs to wake up and take immediate steps to put the country back on rails. To begin with, the Judiciary needs to be reinstated while media curbs need to be abolished. Without these steps the emotions will continue to steam up and will result in an explosion capable of causing much damage.

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