People and their struggles! – by Dr Shazia Nawaz

It was years ago. I liked Musharraf. He was progressive. He gave media real freedom and he was good to women. And I do not mean to call him a womanizer by saying that. Women just seemed to have more freedom when he was in power. But my friends didn’t like my online support for Musharraf. My friends from APPNA, Association of Physicians of Pakistani descent of North America.

I was young and stupid. They were wiser and older. They told me that the worst democracy is better than the best dictatorship. They told me that no one has the right to claim presidency and power like this and not give it up. They told me that people have to elect their representatives. And that it would take several cycles of democracy to finally get it right.

Being the smart person I am, I understood quickly. And joined the struggle of “Go MUSHARRAF Go”

By struggle, I mean my cyber struggle. I never leave the comfort of my beautiful home.

Musharraf had to go. Elections were held. People chose PPP.

So, I had this physician friend. He was a lot older and a lot wiser. He called me beti and treated me like one. He was one of the most active activists who did whatever he could to make Musharraf go. Me and my husband were having lunch with him one day, only three months after PPP came in to power. I said to him, “Thank God, we have democracy now. And dictatorship ended”

He said, “Yes, but PPP came in power and I’m friends with Sharifs. We have to protest against PPP government and hopefully army will come and then elections will be held again and this time Sharifs will come in power.”
He added, “ I am thinking of starting a new import business in Pakistan and if Sharifs are in power, they would give me a business permit.”

I could not believe my ears. I thought may be I didn’t hear him correctly. My shock was probably visible on my face. How could he possibly want army to come again when he knew how bad the army rule was? When he had told me that army was responsible for all the evils in Pakistan? I realized it was not about democracy at all. It was about him. Broke my heart. Shattered my trust. Me and my husband moved away from him gradually.

I don’t say hello to him when I see him in a meeting now. I pretend I didn’t see him. Although it upsets me to do it, I remember how kind he was to me and my husband.

Several in Pakistan remind me of my friend. The ones who struggled for army to go away, now keep asking for army to come back. They have been trying to terminate PPP’s government from the very first day because they couldn’t wait for the next election. Now, seems like they can not wait for even two more months.

PPP’s government failed. And may be they are corrupt. But people said the same thing about Musharraf and they said the same thing about every other government before that. And they never gave PPP a chance to work first before calling them a failure. Not even for four months.

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