In May, national elections were held and people elected a government. In democracies, elections are supposed to have consequences. When a party wins a mandate from the people, they are given the right to enact the policies they believe are in the best interest of the nation. In Pakistan, however, we have a topsy-turvy situation in which an opposition party is dictating policy and, in doing so, undermining the very democracy that so many have sacrificed to obtain.
Former Chief of Army Staff, the most powerful man in the country since long, has been forced to abandon his new retirement home and live under heavy guard due to security threats.
While he was still in service, General Kayani planned to spend his retired life in Islamabad’s Defence Housing Authority (DHA) where he constructed a house with a grey stone finish at a scenic location in Phase 1.
Perched on a corner plot, the house continues to stand apart in the housing colony. Its terraced gardens slope down to the River Soan. The plot in front remains vacant.
However, security experts felt that the house was a security threat because it was impossible to protect the rear end of the house (where the land sloped down to the river).
Although, the house has close circuit television (CCTV) for monitoring the security of the house but this was deemed insufficient.
Much has been said about the sad times our country has fallen on when politicians openly express sympathies with for terrorists and insult our own soldiers and only protest drones even though maximum numbers of Pakistanis are killed by terrorists. But what can we say when the country is so plagued by terrorists that even the ex-Army chief is forced to abandon his own home due to security concerns?
Terms like dignity, self-sufficiency, and ‘ghairat’ are thrown around lightly. Imran Khan has termed foreign aid as a ‘curse‘, and has said that Pakistan can be self sufficient if we will only stop taking aid from foreign countries and organisations like IMF. Simply talking about self sufficiency will not make it happen, though, and there is a crucial ingredient missing from these recipes: education.
According to a new report including data compiled by Asian Human Rights Commission, 7,170 people were killed and 8,746 injured by violence in Pakistan since the last 11 months. The total number of death by violence includes 188 people killed by drones. Despite accounting for less than 3 per cent of all violent deaths in Pakistan, however, drones continue to be the primary issue for protests. Leaving aside academic questions of international law and sovereignty for the purposes of this post, a question that deserve asking is why there is not a more prominent outcry for the 97 per cent who were not killed by drones.