On the mammoth opposition Gujranwala jalsa, even after sleeping over it for some hours, the discussion is mainly confined to the hard hitting speech by the three time former PM Nawaz Sharif. But mostly political activists and a few journalists are taking part. Many others, 1/11
still in disbelief, are waiting for the response of the “ other side” for taking a “ sustainable “ position. Opposition to and resistance against the army’s meddling in politics has been a taboo subject in Pakistan without much much substantive debate on it in public space. 2/11
For example factors such as the youth bulge, growing urbanisation, expansion in middle classes, the social media revolution, contraction of civil liberties under hybrid system, and anger at the enforced disappearances at thousands of the country’s citizens 3/11
at the hands of intel agencies haven’t been discussed in the context of growing opposition to the hegemonic control of the state power by the generals in total violation of the Constitution. Even before the recent speeches by MNS, the harsh words in the conviction 4/11
order of the Special Tribunal against Gen Pervez Musharraf in High Treason Case also represent the pent up feelings against Bonapartist arrogance of the ruling juntas. Similarly any possibility of the power struggle within the de facto power centre hasn’t been part of 5/11
public political analysis for obvious reasons, although private conversations on the subject have been full of long and juicy stories. In past, political leaders from the population wise smaller ethnic groups have attracted allegations of treason even for hinting at 6/11
the army’s interference in politics.The courage of the young leaders of the PTM needs to be recognised in breaking silence on this subject in recent time and for paying the price for it. It’s for the first time that an established and experienced Punjabi political leader 7/11
has stated the problem in clear terms. It sounds dramatic because the problem has remained a taboo subject for too long. It won’t be easy to discuss the subject rationally and dispassionately for two reasons. One, there are lots of pent up feelings among the general public 8/11
and political parties against the prolonged and brutal repression of all kinds.Two, it’s not possible to know the thinking and debate among the top echelon of khakis on the democratic stand taken by all important pol parties of the country. It’s the duty of political 9/11
parties to chart a course for struggle against Bonapartist dictatorship and study internal and international experience of transition from martial law to a strong democratic system. But entrenched vested interest aren’t expected to give up power without resistance. 10/11
MRD’s charter and Charter of Democracy provide models for studying successes and failures of the experience. Turkey, Indonesia, South Korea and many other countries can be studied for exploring ways and means of a successful transition to democracy.11/11

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More from @a_siab

8 Sep
The brutal repression in Shaktoi , Waziristan, during the last few days is a stark reminder of the fact that the era of colonial violence for Pashtuns of former FATA is far from over.This area was kept as “a no man’s land” by British Raj since 19th century for their 1/14
strategic designs against Russian empire. Like a few other pockets in British India, the area was “excluded “ from regular state system. It was exclusively ruled by the executive branch with no role for legislature & judiciary. Punitive military actions, draconian laws, 2/14
and buying local elites were the main means to lord over the area. Pakistani state kept status quo for more than seven decades. The seven districts of former FATA have been the main launching pad for war in Afghanistan during the last four decades. In 2002 Pakistan Army 3/14
Read 14 tweets
31 Jul
Under the “war on terror “ of the last few decades & the recent hybrid martial law in Pakistan, military has replaced civilian executive in dealing with population along the 2000 km Durand Line,which is redefining the relations of Pashtuns with the state. They know the state 1/7
only by its coercive part. Three Ds, Death, Destruction & Displacement seems to be the main features of state policy. Handing over the area to terrorists for more than a decade ( for facilitating Taliban’s war in Afg) and then using F-16s, tanks & long range guns on a large 2/7
scale has played havoc with the lives & livelihood of the locals. A full new generation grew up in IDP camps totally marginalized & disempowered. Even after the merger of the area in Pakhtunkhwa, it remains a black hole & no go area as Taliban sanctuaries are still intact.3/7
Read 7 tweets

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