A Dark Day


Lotas replaced Kalashnikovs and the so-called political elite of the country stepped to take the seat of curled-moustached villians. Just add in a dancing damsel-in-distress and the torturous fighting sequence (ripped out of a B-grade film script) could have been dreadfully completed. The majestic Punjab Assembly is no stranger to political altercations that have often gotten deadly dirty but what transpired during a crucial session on Saturday was nothing short of a national tragedy. To see the representatives elected to the echelons of power on the mandate to resolve the woes of the common masses tarnish theirs as well as the state’s reputation is a horrendous sight from all angles. That the former ruling party does not believe in holding any punches when it comes to the blatant disregard of the constitution and its norms has long been understood.
From closing doors of the same august venue to tightening barbed wires to deploying security forces, every trick has already been exhausted to enthuse life in the (deadbeat) narrative of denial. In an ideal world, no party, however popular, holds the sway to trump the constitution. All brokering dies down when the numbers speak up and they could not shout any louder.
But, not in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The same day, newly-minted Chief Minister Hamza Sharif raised a clarion call to celebrate his “win for democracy,” he was forced to acknowledge how the “constitution and law” had been made a joke for the “third time.” Unbearably tragic and tragically ironic!
To strike at the underbelly, the last three-and-a-half years have groomed an entire brigade into believing in their superiority above anything and everything: may it be order, democracy or the entire state, From now onwards, the mantra has been forcibly reduced to their way or the highway. The transfer of power may have ended but the storm rages on. An ordinary man is not concerned with whether he is living in old or Naya Pakistan. However, a fast-cascading series of violence in Waziristan and the usual noise about prices of essential goods burning holes in his pocket should be a cause for great concern.