It is indeed amazing site to see two different streams flowing together in Pakistan’s capital city for the last eleven days. Tehreek-i-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tahreek are two different ideologies that have led their different demands in their distinct ways for the last Eleven days. This seems to be a change in the political history of Pakistan as two different streams have shown acceptance and tolerance for each other despite differences of opinion and ideologies. It is also worth mentioning that despite mounting tensions with the government no case of violence has been reported till now. It is a positive change of peaceful protest culture in Pakistani politics.
It is indeed the beauty of democracy though fragile in Pakistan due to multiple factors that the people of the country have started participating in the democratic system with their effective voice. PAT & PTI should be appreciated for their role in raising awareness against the wrongdoings of the political elite. Their one goal seems to be common that is voice and accountability. Both parties have re-engaged the society at a larger level. PAT & PTI have brought in people from all strata of the society. PTI may be appreciated for bringing the elite into the sit-ins. One can barely see the participation of gentry specially youth (male and female) who have never been to such public meetings/gathering where the problems of the common people are not only discussed but can also be felt under the scorching heat where no air conditioning is available. It might not be an important factor for many that how the elite’s participation would affect the marches or such political movements but we could see a change drifting its way though. Imran Khan has been phenomenally successful in mobilizing the upper class of the country for the problems of common people. An unaware person will never understand the problems of a common people till he or she experiences what the poor go through every single day. So moderately speaking IK has been fortunate to let the elite experience woes of a common Pakistanis by taking them out of their comfortable life for some time. It is a positive development in a country like Pakistan where the elite has been indifferent to the needs of the people. Elite’s participation in IK protests may be labelled by few as cosmetic and mere pump and show but believer’s in a dream view it as a drop of new change.
Both parties have been labelled with multiple objection like making the capital city hostage for the last so many causing great economic, social and political loss to the country. These claims are some how true. Due to these sit-ins country has suffered innumerable economic losses. There are cautious estimates of Rs 150b per day loss to economy due to PTI, PAT sit-ins. The twin cities (Rawalpindi-Islamabad) have been paralyzed due to the political turmoil in an adverse manner. People are facing great problems in commuting across the two cities due to blockades by placing going for jobs, schools and all other businesses have become very difficult and challenging. Prices of the basic commodities have risen up as supply and demand balance has been disturbed due to closure of all entry points into the twin cities. The twin cities especially Islamabad seems to be a container walled city.
From a closer look at the two political parties their sit-in style is different and distinct from different aspects. As said earlier the former one is more liberal in its out look with introduction of songs, dances and effective use of social media as new sources of communication in Pakistani Political later one is a religious party with a different style of religiously motivated speeches and Qawali(Sufi devotional music popular in South Asia)and Dhamal(Sufi trance dance) to charge its workers.
There is also visible difference in the discipline and organisation of the both workers seem to be more organised as compared to PTI. As they remain at the place of sit-in most of the time with performing multiple duties for their co-workers. It has also been observed that the strength in the PTI sit-in’s usually get improved during the evenings just like a sudden surge and the it recedes during the day time. Government has bitterly criticised the sit-ins through media calling them intruders in the smooth functioning of democratic system. There protesters have been accused of misbehaiviour with are around forty thousand policemen on duty for the sit-ins called from Punjab police, AJK Police and GB are all other law enforcement agencies who are busy monitoring the police behavior is really appreciative towards the protesters. The marchers are showing their respect for the police. PTI’s women workers showered rose petals on policemen on duty when they entered the red zone. It was an amazing site to see the police for public service in Islamabad for the first time in political marches where there were greater chances of conflict due to the escalating tensions between the government and the protesting political parties.
There was no Women participation in both parties is significant and encouraging. PAT & PTI has given visible participation to women in their political can witness women at large in both sit-ins along with their would not be wrong to say that both parties have involved the larger portion of population that has been ignored and discriminated in Pakistani politics since independence. It is an important and welcoming move by the both political parties. Women have always played a significant role in the progress and development of active participation in politics will help in resolving many problems of the country. Everything has a price. For attaining something greater every nation has to pay some price. It is high time for Pakistan that through these political transformations we should learn some new good lessons of peace and hope.