AAP & Not PTI:The power of democracy!

Ahmer Muzammil

I am not fascinated or infatuated with India, like some of our Indian readers and mostly for the wrong reasons I might add. I do however acknowledge that it is the land of my forefathers and at a macro level, I am impressed with their dedication to and insistence on democracy. I am under no illusion that indian society is without ills or that democracy has solved all of their issues But compared to Pakistan, they look like rock stars.

Compared to Pakistan however, young men and women -some who were wronged and mostly those who are uneducated, impressionable and indoctrinated – aren’t blowing themselves up in cinemas, bazars and places of worship, killing their fellow innocent citizens in cold blood, and to me that alone is a winner every day of the week, twice on Sundays.

What has transpired in shape of AAP in India is a beautiful thing in my estimation. Yesterday I read a news story in dawn, it spelled out the 20 AAP candidates for high profile contests. They have pitted credible, educated and clean men and women against the stalwarts of indian politics. Most of these individuals who would run against Modi, Rahul and kalmadi are probably running in elections for the first time and if the recent elections in Delhi can be borrowed as a reference, it will be one hell of a contest. Whether they win or lose (and I hope they win), AAP has shaken the conscience of the entire political landscape in India. Everyone including intellectuals, journalist and politicos initially brushed AAP aside as an outlier, however this is a force to be reckoned with, no ifs or buts about it anymore.

Many in Pakistan wrongly equate the effectiveness of AAP and PTI. As far as populous is concerned, the need for a fresh start maybe an identical need both in Pakistan and India. However, where PTI fails is that Imran has surrounded himself with usual suspects. Even as a cynic, I can hope for a deviation from status quo from Arvind Kerjiwal because he nominates fresh faces with no baggage whatsoever. You cannot expect Ayla Malik and Shah Mehmood Qureshi to bring about land-reform revolution. Jehnagir Tareen and Saif Ullah Niazi are not going work towards bridging the gap between rich and poor.

Imran’ sincerity (and a truckload of naïveté) notwithstanding, the leadership of PTI is the direct beneficiary of status quo and they can very well highjack the cause, but they have no stake whatsoever to bring about a meaningful change in Pakistan.

I am labeled as MQM apologists by friends, family and foes and to be quite honest, fair enough. I am a fan of their energy and clarity on issues but I also acknowledge that they probably have resorted to non-kosher means on occasions to remain relevant. But I don’t blame them in a disproportionate manner because I know that in order to get even the due share in the reality called Karachi, you have to have a certain nuisance value. And this mindset is the direct reason of armed establishments’ prominence in corridors of power.

I have written this in the past and Its worth mentioning again, but when you have no other validity as a rule other than the fact that you command the most armed men in the country, then the trickle down message to the masses is that if you want prominence and relevance, you must grow muscle.

I am convinced that Pakistan will get out of this rut once we our democracy matures and that will happen with time and continuity. This is not an argument in favor current political lot in pakistan, I am not a complete buffoon I swear, but rather an argument in support of the process. But in the meantime as a democrat, you can’t help but smile when you see political elite in India at the mercy of bhokay nangay voters. Pay back is a female of canine specie!

Long Live democracy!

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