Revolution in Pakistan? It’s the economy, stupid! – by Imran Qadir Butt

Related articles: Let’s agitate for regime change in Pakistan: Tunisia and Egypt style

Let’s have a revolution in Pakistan: Yeh, Yeh, Yeh! – by Razzak Memon

I once heard someone quoting someone from the past to explain revolution as a society pregnant with new one. It is pretty impressive quotation and I must admit its damn right.

According to Cambridge Dictionary revolution is” a change in the way a country is governed, usually to a different political system and often using violence or war.”

Before we move any further as far as Tunisia is concerned it could be a kind of revolution as we are in for a new wave of political freedom and political participation with association that were missing since Ben Ali imposed himself upon Tunisia. It is ‘a kind of revolution’ as no one questioned the legitimacy of capitalist economy in Tunisia. In Egypt it is a change in which Army is going to control the government, moving from direct control to indirect control through an elected parliament. So in Egypt Army will continue to play central role by granting some unprecedented changes in electoral process.

Now as far as Pakistan is concerned it is a society of impatient souls. Pregnancy needs time to get mature and then deliver. In Pakistan people do not have a habit to allow time to allow situation to fully develop into full fledge change. Every now and then they become impatient and start crying for change. In other words we normally have abortions in every ten years or so. And as we know abortion is both hurtful and undesirable in every case.

And for those hinging on events in Middle East to become a catalyst of change in Pakistan, they have to keep on waiting, especially those with right wing religious agendas. Watching their poor acting skills on various TV channels one can only feel sorry for them. They try their upmost to relate these events with situation in Pakistan with their twisted logics devoid of facts on ground in Tunisia and Egypt. They struggle to convince themselves, let alone their audience about how these events have any truck with their right wing religious agenda. No matter what they say or imply they were unable to deny two basic facts about upraising in Tunisia and Egypt.

First is the composition of participants in protests. It is mixed gather with women chanting slogans with their men folks and more importantly not wearing hijab from head to toe but wearing jeans and holding smart phones in their hands. Men we see are mostly clean shaven and whenever asked to comment they do not invoke any divine text to back their actions. So these set of people do not fit into their profile of agents of change.

Secondly no matter how hard they tried our right wing pseudo scholars could not find a single instance where protestors were using anti-USA or anti-Isreal slogans or banners during their marches. I have seen their faces hanging in shame for unable to find anti America feelings. For their tiny twisted mind it is ‘un-natural’, hence sooner or later they would term this genuine uprising for political and economic change as artificially manufactured by CIA.

This is of course not a revolution but people desperately agitating against corrupt regimes for their political and economic needs. In Pakistan though there are large scale problems but still people have various channels to vent their anger. The moment Pakistan will be able to over-come its debt to GDP ratio imbalance it has resources and potential to become an economic power house of South Asia.

We in Pakistan have to turn our attention towards our economy as it is the key element where future of Pakistan hinges on. Analysing events unfolding around us is not a bad thing, but objectivity should be our guiding principle in every scenario. Wishing something to happen the way we want it to happen is not going to achieve anything but despair and confusion. That is what we are suffering from thanks to our arm-chair right wing scholars.

Coming out every now and then, shutting down businesses and scaring foreign investors away are not going to help Pakistan. It would further damage our heavily haemorrhaging economy. It is time to channel all our efforts in the direction of economic recovery.

Both in Tunisia and Egypt people are up against growing chasm between have and have-nots. They are furious about joblessness and rising cost of living. Let us try to stem the flow of economic down-turn by doing our part responsibly. Let us try to avoid revolution because it demands blood and destruction. Let us create economic opportunities for our people as we all know that people can live without ideologies and faiths but people cannot survive without bread.



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