This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sweeping Reforms for Pakistan ... ?

"This president and prime minister ... they are now ex-presidents and prime ministers. Their time is over. Dissolve the national and provincial assemblies by the morning. I am giving you until 11 a.m. to step down or else the people will start making their own decisions.
"These millions of supporters have spoken. They have rejected your so-called mandate. You are no longer their representatives."
Tahir ul Qadri, Pakistani cleric
  • Pakistani-Canadian cleric-politician Tahir-ul Qadri addresses his supporters behind a bullet-proof glass, at a rally in Islamabad, early Tuesday morning. Photo: AP
    Pakistani-Canadian cleric-politician Tahir-ul Qadri addresses his supporters behind a bullet-proof glass, at a rally in Islamabad, early Tuesday morning. Photo: AP
Too bad the security intelligence agents who were supposed to ensure the safety and security of former Pakistani President Benazir Bhutto didn't place her behind bullet-proof glass; her life might have been spared to rule another day, and possibly work diligently, as she had passionately promised, for the advance into modernity and true democracy of her Islamist country.

It is a man who has returned to Pakistan a mere month ago from a seven-year interregnum in Canada, holding Canadian citizenship, who stands now behind a bullet-proof glass, thundering against the deceased Benazir Bhutto's husband, President Asif Ali Zardari, his Prime Minister and other elite government officials at the federal and provincial levels, to resign in disgrace.

The country's Supreme Court got there before him, but Mr. Qadri is taking up the political cudgel with a vengeance. His sojourn in Canada with his family may have emboldened him to use his reputation as an Islamic scholar and lawyer, whose charisma could inspire the masses to follow him toard the goal of delegitimizing a government that he claims has done so to itself through its endemic corruption.

He leads tens of thousands of chanting followers in what he terms his "million man" march to unseat the corrupt and bring a new Pakistan into reality. Many suspect that he is funded by opponents of the government and/or by the military generals who oppose the direction the government has taken.

Mr. Qadri had written a fatwa, a 600-page religious decree while in Canada, denouncing suicide bombings as un-Islamic.

He had ealrier founded the Minhaj-ulQuran organization, aiming to promote "religious moderation, effective and sound education, inter-faith dialogue and harmony", with offices and chapters in over 80 countries. A statement of aspirations that can only be applauded, but representing an ideal that appears far from the reality of present-day Pakistan.

Those who follow him appear to be motivated more by anger against the government's inability to restore stability, to fix the country's energy shortages, to root out corruption. The devastating floods that had made internally displaced refugees of countless Pakistanis has not resulted in a rescue of the unfortunates. Pakistan's endemic violent altercations with India have not been resolved.

"I just want to put true democracy on track. It is an absolute lie to say that I want to derail democracy. We have a Parliament of defaulters, tax evaders and other criminals. These lawbreakers are the law-makers", fulminated Mr. ul Qadri in an interview with Britain's Independent newspaper.

"I have responded to the call of our leader for a revolution. The country's leaders usually ignore the voice of the poor, but I think this event may change that", said Mohammed Aslam, a 52-year-old farmer from the Pakistani city of Sargodha.

Hope springs eternal in the human beast.

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