Blog: Ayesha Gulalai and the nation

Web Desk & Asna Nusrat
August 08,2017

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By Asna Nusrat

The political uproar in the aftermath of the ousting of the former premier Nawaz Sharif began with Ayesha Gulalai’s press conference on 1st August 2017.In this media talk, the MNA leveled serious allegations on the character of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s chairperson Imran Khan.

While this news made a cover story of its own for many local papers, it is speculated that it was created in the first place to distract attention from the highly popular Panamagate revelations about the Sharif family.

PTI immersed in a celebratory mood long enough to let Ayesha Gulalai come forth with charges that would not let the victors walk out of the scene unscathed.

Irrespective of what the motives were behind this scandal that shook the bones of the accused party’s structure, various insights into the mechanism of politics in Pakistan were revealed.

The first and foremost concern that leaves a neutral observer perplexed is how fast Pakistan’s political system can stoop down from a national level concern to throwing spears on each other on a personal level.

The problem with bringing national and political leaders to trials with such transparency is that it gives the masses a way to become self-appointed advocates who can pass their ruling on the issue no matter how ill-informed it may be.

This gradually changes the mindset of the nation at large about how much trust they invest in the state institutions or the amount of respect they show towards their leaders.

My argument is not aimed towards the Panama case verdict in any way because that was a much needed investigation to protect the country’s coffers from depleting.

Instead it is concerned with the fact that how easily and publicly party leaders are accusing one another with allegations about things that have more to do with their private lives than the lives they rule.

The casual nature of such serious concerns put forth in an informal way in a public domain leaves the matter open for discussion and debate by the public which is already led on by the media.

This delays a formal investigation into the matter and wastes time in letting the issue shift from public to political domain.

The second concern which results from the first is that because of releasing such news in the common public, the impulsive responses given by the people are fueled by uncontained passion and misdirected anger.

Comments like bold threats to the life and well-being of public figures, specifically a woman, display a sickening mentality that runs behind such bitter words.

A nation whose identity is grounded upon honour that is derived from the women of the nation fails to stand true to these values.

Irrespective of the veracity of allegations put forward, the kind of response that Ayesha Gulalai received is testimony to the fact why women are considered weak and worthy of suppression.

Not to defend the unprofessional approach that the MNA took in showcasing her concerns, but the way her concerns (legitimate or not) were addressed showed signs of a nation moving towards regression.

It is fair to hence conclude from this issue that it is unsafe to expose this politically and emotionally charged people to uncensored information about things that matter most to them such as the political leadership of their choice and notions of honour.


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