In recent times, Pakistan has witnessed a disturbing trend where individuals are being targeted and persecuted for expressing their opinions on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Those who evade capture at their own residences are apprehended from the homes of others. They are coerced into deleting their online posts and compelled to seek forgiveness as a desperate measure to safeguard their lives. This alarming pattern exemplifies a specific strain of authoritarian thinking that is gripping the nation.
Over the past 13 months, particularly in the last six days, an entire generation has endured events that have profoundly shaped their perspectives, leaving an indelible mark that cannot be erased by force. It was imperative for every Pakistani citizen to witness a unified front of state institutions in support of democracy, the constitution, and human rights. People needed reassurance that the state exists to serve them, deriving its power from their votes.
Throughout history, major upheavals occur when those in power firmly believe that force is the sole solution to every challenge, and they exert dominance in every sphere. However, it is essential to recognize that the ultimate authority lies with Allah, as repeatedly demonstrated throughout the annals of time. Regrettably, many rulers show scant interest in studying history and social movements, considering themselves the embodiment of history with an eternal hold on the future.
Under the influence of this misguided perspective, they adopt a leadership style akin to a monarchy. True leadership, however, lies in resolving issues through reason, knowledge, and patience. It is not about winning the favor of ruling individuals or transforming their lives momentarily. It transcends superficial displays of power, grandeur, and magnificence. Temporary phenomena fade away, but ideas etched into the collective conscience of nations endure for centuries, unlike social media posts that can be easily deleted.
During the past 13 months, Pakistan has witnessed an exodus of talented individuals, a crippled economy, and an onslaught of unemployment and inflation. Meanwhile, those in power have relentlessly pursued new methods of coercion and oppression. Consequently, women face violence, thousands of innocent people are unlawfully detained, and numerous lives have been lost. These oppressors harbor a deluded hope that they can suppress dissent and erase the collective memory of an entire generation, especially the significant events of the past few days, using brute force.
There is a well-known adage that warns against repeating history’s mistakes due to a failure to learn from it. In Pakistan, a dangerous situation has emerged where an influential faction akin to the Sicilian mafia has established its own army, system, and government. Their sole objective is to stifle any form of differing opinion or dissent, denying individuals the basic right to live. The tragic martyrdom of Arshad Sharif stands as a poignant testament to this reality.
In conclusion, Pakistan is grappling with a disconcerting rise in authoritarianism, which poses a severe threat to freedom of expression and the principles of democracy and human rights. The repercussions extend beyond the socio-political realm, impacting the economy, employment, and the overall well-being of the nation. As the shadow of coercion and oppression looms large, it is crucial to confront these challenges and safeguard the fundamental rights of the people, preserving the essence of a vibrant and inclusive society.
By: Mr. WWK