As a new day dawns in Islamabad, peaceful protestors of the 10-point revolutionary agenda of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) continue controlling the capital of Pakistan in Islamabad, with the continued unyielding vision to oust the illegitimate government. It has been over a month and the protestors show no sign of fatigue or deterrence in achieving their aims.
At the commencement of today’s keynote address, patron-in-chief of the PAT congratulated Imran Khan, leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) on an extremely successful protest. Dr Qadri further stated that the previous few weeks were recording a new chapter in history, and also that the coming generations will celebrate the sacrifices rendered by the revolutionaries of Pakistan.
In elucidating further, Dr Qadri informed the masses of the global significance of 21st September stating that annually International Peace Day is commemorated across the globe. Dr Qadri stated that such days are important days of inculcating nationalist fervour and sentiments into the country whilst simultaneously celebrating peace-making initiatives as well as developing them further. However Pakistan had seen a major deviation from this annual norm. Ironically, whilst the revolutionaries protesting for democracy have embodied utmost peace, discipline and steadfastness, the police had arrested cooks responsible for the nutrition management at the revolutionary sit-ins. Dr Qadri expressed his grief at this occurrence stating that the government was inviting its own downfall by utilising such unjust, despotic and undemocratic ways.
Speaking about the absence democracy in Pakistan, Dr Qadri highlighted the democratic heritage of progressive democracies across the globe. Dr Qadri gave the example of President Richard Milhous Nixon who was forced to resign after the Watergate Scandal in 1972. In stating this example, Dr Qadri espoused the Watergate Scandal had profound consequences in the United States politics and also set a new precedent. Whilst addressing the national media as well as the participants of the revolutionary sit-in, Dr Qadri stated that the consequential resignation of President Nixon was the essence of real democracy which sadly, does not exist in Pakistani politics. Dr Qadri also stated that a systematic democracy and effective governance comprise of the rule of law, the protection of human rights, free and fair elections, independent media as well as accountability of the political leadership in the country.
Furthermore, the globally renowned constitutional expert also delved into the current situation of Pakistan and exposed the corruption of the Sharif family. In doing so, Dr Qadri unveiled that in the previous tenure, Chief Minister of Punjab, Shehbaz Sharif controlled 18 ministries in the government and currently, he continues to enjoy the unconstitutional power conferred unto him and controls 10 ministries. Dr Qadri expounded that nepotism has destroyed the political fabric of the country as Pakistan has transmuted the customary concept of nepotism into a popular and business in politics. It goes without saying that nepotism, favouritism, and cronyism are deeply embedded in Pakistani politics.
Also, Dr Qadri cited that the United Nations Food and Agriculture Report and revealed Pakistan was the 8th leading country in agricultural production and export however this had deteriorated over the years due to bad governance and corrupt practices of the incumbent ruling elite. Furthermore, Dr Qadri highlighted the failures of Pakistan’s rulers in providing basic services to the masses such as flood control and a coherent infrastructure which has been woefully non-existent.
In drawing parallels between Pakistan and its neighbouring country India, Dr Qadri stated that after 65 years, India continues to excel Pakistan in many fields. Due to effective governance, India has reached new heights and remains unrivalled when it comes to the state’s accomplishments in political, educational, economic and communication development fronts during this era. In giving an example, Dr Qadri informed the masses that in order to tackle the growing energy crisis, India has been willing to formulate and implement effective strategies such as the formation of a Ministry of New and Renewable Energy focusing on solar energy, integrated rural energy programme, geo -thermal energy as well as national biomass cook store programmes.
Dr Qadri also delved into the Human Development Report which states that Pakistan remains stagnant in the field of human development as aspects such as bad governance, corruption, nepotism and politicization of state institutes have significantly impeded progress. In an alarming revelation, Dr Qadri disclosed that rates of natural death have plummeted over the years and Pakistan remains an anomaly in this area, as approximately 20 000 people die on an annual basis. Neighbouring countries such as Iran, Afghanistan and Nigeria have seen considerable improvement due to an increase in sanitation and effective medical facilities whereas the position of Pakistan continues to spiral downhill.
Concluding his keynote address, the PAT chief stated Pakistan is drifting toward moral anarchy and lawlessness. The inability of the ruling elite to effectively govern exposes the sheer incompetence of political elite. Amidst widespread nepotism, the ordinary citizens face a thoroughly dishonest system where laws are subverted even by the guardians of law. Dr Qadri stated that the current system was the single most glaring cause of Pakistan’s spiralling downfall and it was the work of the 180 million people to reject the corrupt, despotic and exploitative system in its absolute.
Staying strong willed and confident as ever Dr Qadri stated that the rulers grasp on this nation is now limited to days and weeks now. It was now the responsibility of the masses to continue raising their voices against the ineptitude, woeful governance and disparity of the so called elected elite in society. In re-affirming his stance, Dr Qadri once again remarked that for Pakistan to prosper, these leaders must be dethroned and stringent accountability placed on their heads otherwise Pakistan will flounder in to further darkness and depression. It is now the choice of the people to wake up and stand up for their rights and break free from the invisible shackles which have imprisoned the poor and destitute for the past 67 years.
(Hundreds and thousands of participants from revolutionary sit-ins attentively listen to the keynote address of Chief of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), Dr Tahir ul Qadri)