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Sunday September 25, 2022

Rising intolerance

April 30, 2022

It took the Pakistani nation 26 years after independence to reach a common and unified constitution by 1973, which was signed by all the political parties then in parliament.

In 1973, it seemed that political parties would now strengthen parliament. But then a few years later, in the immediate aftermath of the 1977 elections, political parties started playing the same game that had been going on since the formation of Pakistan, which resulted in the assassination of an elected and popular prime minister.

After this, the worst martial law was imposed in the country while restrictions were imposed on personal liberties. Realizing this, political parties started a movement against dictatorship from the platform of the MRD. Soon after the judicial murder of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, political parties realized that it was not possible to get the country out of the clutches of dictatorship without showing political maturity.

Ziaul Haq continued pursuing divisive politics and used every tactic to cool off the resistance. Political activists were hanged to death by declaring them thieves, robbers and murderers. But the political parties, instead of remaining silent, continued to resist. After Zia’s death, there was a glimmer of hope that political parties would now cultivate democratic traditions, but this did not happen. The PML-N used every tactic to suppress dissent by PPP workers, including torture.

Then came Musharraf whose era is very similar to that of Imran Khan. Journalists were killed, judges had to face character assassination. In such a situation, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif signed the Charter of Democracy. After Musharraf was ousted, the PPP and PML-N started working together, but then a few years later, Nawaz Sharif was seen wearing a black court and appearing in the Supreme Court to prove Asif Ali Zardari and the PPP traitors.

Nawaz Sharif became prime minister in 2013 and the process of making cases against Asif Ali Zardari started again. Politics, however, remained polite. Sporadic incidents occurred individually which affected moral values, but the politics of filth as a whole was avoided. Despite allegations of corruption against each other, the PML-N and the PPP were seen sharing each other's sorrows and were together in moments of grief.

When Imran Khan became prime minister in 2018, the nation was sure that the promise of the state of Madinah would be fulfilled. But Imran Khan's past testifies that he has always deviated from the principles of the state of Madinah.

Standing on the container, shouting at his opponents with inverted names, calling them thieves, disgracing their character, Imran Khan did not shy away from imprisoning even women when he became prime minister.

Imran Khan did not forgive his opponents at all, and like Ziaul Haq, he did not forgive journalists as well. What Imran Khan did with senior journalists, even media owners could not have been done by even Ziaul Haq.

Imran Khan left no stone unturned in polluting the minds of the youth. The effects of this have started showing on the streets of Pakistan. Anyone who does not believe in Imran Khan is being called a traitor. The judiciary is being insulted not only in Pakistan but also abroad. Military officers are being accused of supporting traitors. The judiciary is being threatened; homes of senior journalists who refuse to accept Imran Khan's conspiracy theory are being besieged.

Imran Khan has not only slammed the youth against the judiciary and the army. He has nurtured a generation and made them believe that anyone who disagrees with them is a traitor.

Imran Khan has become the name of anarchy. No matter how transparent the upcoming elections may be, if he is defeated, he will never accept it. Imran Khan is credited with mobilizing the youth in politics, but planting the seeds of hatred in the minds of the youth is also his major achievement. In the coming days, they may be seen throwing dirt on opponents not only on the internet but also on the streets.

Because Imran Khan's plan is civil unrest in Pakistan, if he does not get the election commissioner of his choice, the army chief of his choice, the chief justice of his choice and the caretaker prime minister of his choice, he will neither accept the election nor the constitution of Pakistan. Because Imran Khan and his fans think that no one has the right to rule in Pakistan except Imran Khan.

The writer tweets @ZameerAMalik

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