Fearing incarceration

For two days continuously, Zaman Park Lahore and its inhabitants faced the worst tear gas shelling in the wake of an attempt to arrest the Chairman PTI Imran Khan; thanks to the Honourable Lahore High court for bringing a sigh of relief to the residents of the affected area in particular, and to the citizens of Lahore, in general, suspending the operation to arrest for the time being. The arrest of Khan was needed by Islamabad Police in compliance with an arrest warrant issued by Session Court Islamabad that could only be executed with the help of Punjab police having its territorial jurisdiction. Though it was legally required to execute the warrant in order to establish the writ of the state, the justification put by Imran Khan for resistance to surrender is quite serious and cannot be oversighted as he says he has genuine life threats from his political opponents.
Historically speaking, it is interesting to know that during the British Raj Leaders, both congress and the Muslim League were always ready to surrender for arrest leading from the front, and the 2nd line leadership graced themselves along with other followers to initiate ‘Jail Baro Tehreek’ placing themselves in jail to show solidarity with their leaders. If the jail has been a fearless place for political leadership in the past, then why feel fear of jail now? Unfortunately, the power politics dominated by the ruling elite consisting of feudal, and industrial gentry skimmed the space for politics of argument that had travelled since long passing through the period of British rule. Our later political gentry in Pakistan preferred to curb every dissenting voice instead of engagement in a result thereof political rivalry of arguments was converted into enmity resulting in the registration of false cases leading to the fear of torture and sending alarming waves within the political circles.
Politics of serious confrontation between the PTI and PDM spreading across the country is inviting nothing but political turmoil besides ignominy by the foreign media. Especially our eastern neighbouring country has gone much ahead to make us a laughingstock in the wake of the present furious tussle yet despite all the above, still, no room for rationality is insight from those who are driving politics only for their petty self-interests at the cost of the country. To steer the ship of the country through a sea of troubles, vision and sacrifice of personal interests are foremost required which is essentially lacking in a present lot of leadership dominated by feudal and tribal mindset who is projecting nothing but Maula Jatt culture.
During the turbulent times of politics, the voice for sanity is much more needed to strengthen the state to establish the trust of its citizens. We did experience this foresightedness in the past in the backdrop of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the ‘Model Town Massacre’ whereby in the former case PPP leadership chanted ‘Pakistan Khappey’, while in the latter, Sheikh-ul-Islam Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri resolved to observe peace leaving the matter to the courts.
However, the absence of sanity in the present political confrontation is likely to aggravate political uncertainty nevertheless despite all odds, there must not be any deadlock in the political process in any manner as a continuation of the political process is the basis for social harmony. Even during dismal periods of history such as facing calamities, and even wars, a country’s political process needs to be continued to overcome political crises, failing which confusion and chaos deepen with each passing day creating administrative and economic Hugger-Mugger for the state and its people.
Is it a failure of our democracy? The national leadership is not sensing the gravity of the situation to set the home in order. The torture shall beget torture and will only endanger productivity and development restricting economic activity, and thus, further putting the burden on the middle classes pushing them to the wall to leave in the lurch. Imposing an emergency is no solution if the government is thinking as its reaction may give birth to a movement for revolution march which at present shall bring nothing but anarchy and instability to the state of Pakistan which is already under deep waters of conflicts and tensions on the landscape of world politics torn among America, China, and Russia.
If politics to remain in the field to run the affairs of the state nevertheless there is no other substitute for it then why to rise temperature of enmity to such an extreme level where jail from the distant eye appears as a place for torture or death so as to avoid at any cost paving the way for chaos.

The writer is an advocate of the Supreme Court 
of Pakistan and can be reached 
at ishtiakch@gmail.com.

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