OPINION | Can people set the direction of democracy in Pakistan?

It seems like yesterday when thousands of Turkish citizens armed with kitchen utensils came and successfully opposed the coup reinforcing civilian supremacy on July 15, 2016, in Turkey. They had one goal: safeguarding the country’s democracy, dignity, and sovereignty. 

Recently similar trends have been witnessed in Pakistan. The country saw unprecedented people power countrywide including the city like Islamabad, Peshawar, Karachi, and Lahore. Etc. The people from all walks of life came out to support Imran Khan against rising inflation yet again. Imran Khan addressed the nationwide protests from Bani Gala. The situation is complex and changing every minute; still, Imran Khan enjoys the uncompromised commitment of his followers.  

Pakistan’s political scenario has transformed in recent times. The opponents of the past have joined hands to achieve certain mutual gains. These parties have spent ages developing a narrative against each other. Their followers fail to transform their opinion overnight and embrace each other as the leadership wants. Perhaps this is one of the biggest hurdles they face in mobilizing the masses. Additionally, having no solution to the crippling economy, the sitting government’s goals are based on self-interest, failing to inspire the people. 

Surprisingly, the sitting government’s outlook and design have benefited Imran Khan more. One against all is a more courageous and inspiring stand. The forced regime removed the gray and presented the people with a black and white canvas. Ex-PM Imran Khan effectively convinced the people in his favor, being a more genuine and inspiring leader. His political stance against corruption played a critical role in actualizing the scenario’s full potential in his favor. Furthermore, it proves that his economic policies were more rewarding, putting the country in the right direction. 

The military establishment initially took a neutral stance during the current political crisis, intensifying the situation. History shows that the establishment never goes against the people. They maneuver their plans by mobilizing the masses but never confront them. Sadly this time, they failed to read the pulse of the nation. Even if they plan to take a side in the future, putting their weight against IK seems unlikely after the clear demonstration of people’s support for him. Moreover, the establishment can never stay neutral after witnessing the incompetencies of the forced regime on multiple fronts. 

The vote of the no-confidence motion has done wonders for Imran Khan. It has revitalized the people’s trust as he re-emerged as the only leader who could ensure a sustainable political future.   

The new government does not have any plans tabled to counter the problems faced by the economy, except the potential lavish economic relief from the USA, which is subject to certain prerequisites. Moreover, they plan to take foreign policy in a direction that is unpopular with the masses and contrary to the country’s larger interests. It is equally alarming for our allies and friends seeking mutual geo-economic gains.

Imran Khan has successfully revealed the weakness and flaws of our system. Additionally, we have presented ourselves as a nation unwilling to compromise on our dignity, honor, and sovereignty. 

It is an unprecedented spectacle that a leader calls for protest, and people come out on streets country-wide. They adhere to his call and respond to his words phenomenally. They prefer to come out and show solidarity, knowing they can listen to the same speech from the comfort of their homes. These crowds are highly charged and emotionally raged but peaceful. They believe the power hubs have deceived them and bluntly and fearlessly express their opinion. If their plea goes unheard and concerns are not addressed by the people with power, it can have bitter consequences. 

IK is the one unifying political force in Pakistan. He can shape and reshape National politics. Imran Khan controls the strings of this crowd. The sooner the power corridors reconcile with this political reality, the sooner they will take measures to set the nation in the right direction and call a free and fair election.  

History shows that the people pay its price whenever the international establishment imposes a direction on a country. Is asking for peace, equality, and mutual existence too much? Contrary to the past, the people of Pakistan have decided not to abandon the leader willing to take the stand for them and bear the consequences. They have risen for him, handed out a much-needed helping hand, and taken him out of the dead end. The people of Pakistan are undoubtedly ready to set democracy in the right direction. The direction of sovereignty, dignity, unity, and prosperity. 

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