I recently went to the protest at D-Chowk, and I feel motivated to write this impassioned plea to all Pakistanis. For once I am going overcome the Garfieldian instinct of lying down until the urge to do something constructive wanes away.
Like I indicate in the title I am not going to focus on PTI’s legitimacy to stage this protest, I am going to focus on what I took away by participating in the protest. Like many of us ‘educated’ Pakistanis I live completely disconnected from the larger context I find myself in. I do not care about anything that does not directly impact my life, and to be honest the political situation of this country does not. I had no intentions of going on the protest until a childhood friend – who is the personification of the disinterested Pakistani, completely alienated, and unperturbed – messaged me pleading for action from ordinary citizens against injustice. He had had enough. I was shocked, and the realisation that even I had been accustomed to the Zombie like existence which is the norm here.
I traveled to Islamabad, and returned after a day. I came back realising that the events of the larger context may not directly impact me, but that does not absolve me of my responsibility to this country. All of us should be active members of this society, and be ready to make this known. Even when the political party is in the wrong we should have the courage to hold them accountable. If Imran Khan had rigged elections, and irrespective of my vote to his party, I would stand with other parties against him. So even if you voted for other parties, and it is clear to you that the elections were not fair, you should join the protest. A party is not important, fair systems are!