You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of democracy, social justice and the equality of mankind in your own native soil. [Mohammed Ali Jinnah]

Saturday, December 15, 2007

By: Masood S Khan

There is someone (I think Ramsay Clark) who said ' A right is not something that is given to you but is something that cannot be taken away from '.

Well niether do we have any rights given to us and nor have we any rights that cannot be taken from us. This is the whole struggle. And the only thing/institution that can set this aspect right is an independent judiciary.

I beg to differ with you on the fact that we havent yet achieved anything. We, the civil society have achieved a lot. I feel sorry I was not there with you all then i.e. when the whole thing started with the Chief Justice standing up to the General in uniform and refusing to resign. Ever since, General Musharraf has been sliding down the pipe. The fact that he had climbed a whole lot in eight years indicates that it will take him sometime before he hits the bottom.

The fact that he, a man who would so boastfully say ' these rulers of the past i.e. Mian Nawaz Sharif and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto have no role left in Pakistan and will never be allowed into Pakistan ever again' had to eat a humble pie and let them both back into Pakistan is a manifestation of the fact that General Musharraf is not the same General Musharraf that he was before the civil society took him on.

These two leaders owe their coming back to Pakistan to the civil society and not to their respective Parties. It is a great pity that, on one flimsy pretext or another, they both decided to participate in these elections and thus make Musharraf stable again rather than siding with the people of Pakistan. And this is why I resigned from the PPP even though i knew I had a lot to gain personally (after 10 years of sufferings of sorts) if they were to come to power.

Had these former rulers been correct in their thinking and sided with the civil society then Pakistan would have been put on course already - and the credit would all have been owed to the civil society. I said all this so that we do not succumb to the pressures that failures, real or percieved, bring about causing the demise of a perfect movement. We must push on - success for Pakistan is not far off. It cannot be far away if Pakistan has to retain it's very integrity - ITS THAT SERIOUS NOW. Personalities do not matter at all. We, leaders and the led, are all just stage actors. The generations to come matter.

The civil society to my mind is the vanguard today in the effort to save Pakistan. They will succeed if Pakistan has to survive. A new wave of leadership that is answerable to the people of Pakistan and not to outside powers with whom each one of us want good and very amicable relations that are based on dignity and self respect. Why do they have to choose personalities for us. We are a progressive people. Each one of us should be acceptable to them - as long as that person is acceptable and chosen by the people of Pakistan themselves. No sane man is going to take Pakistan on the path of destruction.

As far as the leadership of the civil society under detention is concerned they should do what no political party has ever done. Develop a credible second and third line leadership to act at such times. No political Party has done this ever and nor are they likely to do so in the future.

We must move and go forward. The progress may be very slow but we, the civil society, are not people who want destruction and rowdism in our protests. We should make ourselves be heard in a thousand different ingenious ways. AND WE WILL WIN.INSHA ALLAH. WE WILL WIN BECAUSE ALLAH THE ALMIGHTY WILL HELP US TO SECURE PAKISTAN AND IT'S FUTURE GENERATIONS

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