Oct 5, 2007

Peoples' Right to Self Rule by Peoples' Mobilization alone

Dawn - Oct 6 : I. A . Rehman, of HRCP, sum it up so beautifully, "Quite a few people believe that on the fourth of October, in the year 2007, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s party was stabbed in the back by none other than his daughter and that the injury may prove fatal. Did the 40-year-old party that had begun by holding up the promise of people’s empowerment deserve to spend its adult years as the bonded maid of a praetorian consul?"

He further writes, PPP had three concerns on the top of its agenda: the people’s right to democracy, the party’s prospects in the coming general election, and the possibility of its chairperson’s rehabilitation in active politics — in that order.

The chairperson seems to have chosen to read the priorities upside down. As she bargained for reprieve for herself, she rendered the party more vulnerable than before and the prospect for democratic revival bleaker.

He warns rightly, "Benazir Bhutto was right when she identified quasi-religious militancy as the most serious threat to Pakistan and argued that the country could be saved only by the people, backed by civilian democratic government. But the regime with which she has pawned her soul is capable neither of preventing Pakistan’s Talibanisation nor of establishing a popular democracy. The threat to the state has increased."

He writes that the lawyers’ courage out in the open helped them win people’s support and by July 20 the regime seemed to have been routed. But then the streets were emptied of the democrats and the gendarmes moved in. They had a dry run on September 10 when Nawaz Sharif was cheated out of his birthright, contrary to everything contained in the Constitution, laws and rules of decency, and the people watched passively while their half-baked leaders sulked under detention.

He concludes beautifully, "All this constitutional and legal quibble apart, the essential fact is that the battle for the people’s right to self-rule will be won neither in courts nor in assemblies of doubtful origins; this battle will be won by people’s mobilisation alone." full article

BBC archive of pictures of lawyers' movement click here

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