It’s 4.30 AM in the morning and I feel utterly exhausted. I am trying not to feel disappointed, dejected but once every while I feel this surge of contempt washing over me and I am overcome with this anger making me numb, vacant and lost.
Let’s rewind to the day it was. We woke up to a bright sunny morning- the birds unusually chirpy, and it felt that even the crisp morning air around us was swishing by in hurried anticipation, craving for the day to unravel. Living so far away from our motherland, we could but only wait… with bated breath and unreasonable hope!
A friend of mine quite nicely put it on her Facebook status… ‘Hoping against hope’… at first I mused at the quaint statement about the Elections that were held in Pakistan. A day that was to be the beginning of an End… an End to all things vile, corrupt and so grievously wrong.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not an idealist… or maybe I am… I may be a practical idealist or something of the sort. I knew the task ahead wasn’t easy. I knew things are just too good to be true. But still….
Coming to the facts.
Karachi – the business hub of Pakistan; also the most terrorized zone of the country. People were up and about 7.00 O clock in the morning in feverish excitement to cast their vote. The nationalistic feelings emanating from Pakistanis was something never seen before. Amid the threats, the pressures, intimidations and warnings of terrorists at large… amid all the bombings, kidnappings, firing and what have you, Karachiites came out to have their say… to cast their vote.
Yes there was rigging. Local channels talked about it. Several political parties even boycotted the ongoing event. The hullabaloo was overwhelming and deafening. Political parties playing the blame game, allegations flying to and fro.
In the midst of it all… something happened. While we were so preoccupied with all that was happening in Karachi. There were incidents happening in other provinces. I may be a conspiracy theorist… but what I fail to understand is hoards and hoards of people came out to vote on a single appeal. Not just in Karachi, but elsewhere – in Lahore, Rawalpindi, and where have you. It all culminated to a result which is just not digestible. Sure people might come to me and say sour grapes. But it is just too hard for me to swallow that we as a nation just gave in to the same vicious circle all over again.
Why do I have this creepy feeling that we as a nation were not only fooled but also distracted by putting focus on a single most predictably volatile area, only to covertly achieve gains in other areas.
At the moment I can neither make heads nor tails of the situation… it is the Pakistani predicament. Or it’s most likely that I am in denial.
All I can say is not all has been lost. Yes the initial shock has now turned into something of a disillusionment. But it is still too early for feelings.
One thing is for sure… things have been set in motion. On May 10, 2013, Mosharraf Zaidi wrote: “Remember back when so many of the educated city-folk in Pakistan used to turn their noses at the very mention of politics and politicians? It wasn’t very long ago. Turn on the radio, look at the streets, read the status updates on Facebook, and watch the talk shows. There is a magical connection people have developed with politics. If there’s one man who can take credit for this, it is Imran Khan.
Khan Sahib is the Pakistani Superman. He evokes such raw and deep emotions that it is hard to fully grasp just how deeply embedded he is – as an image, and an idea, and an ideal within the Pakistani psyche.”
May be the time is not right. We can wallow in misery for what we have lost. But can we not take solace in the fact that ALL is NOT lost! There is a good time coming. Change is not about winning, it is about setting things in motion. It is about annihilating a lethargic frame of mind on the grassroots level. It is about altering the nation’s mindset. It is about CHANGE!
I take my leave with a powerful thought inked by Mr. Zaidi: “But there is a more important reason why I don’t think it is time yet for Pakistan to have a PTI-led government. When the PTI does come to power, unlike the PML-N or the PPP, or the PML-Q, or the MQM, or the ANP, the PTI cannot afford to fail. The rest of them have failed before. That’s why Pakistan needs the PTI. So when the PTI comes to power, it actually has to deliver on every promise it has made, not because we must hold the party to a higher standard, but because the future political infrastructure of Pakistan, can ill-afford the disenchantment of the young PTI supporter…
Traditional political power in Pakistan is under threat of a wave of youthful energy and integrity in Pakistan. Today’s PTI is ill-equipped to deliver on the rhetorical promises it has made. Pakistan cannot afford to alienate this youthful energy. A little time in opposition will help weed out some of the traditional hangers-on in the PTI. A cleansed and more experienced PTI will be a much better candidate for future national and provincial government than the compelling but flawed PTI of 2013.?