Need of “Orange Activism” in Northern Areas (by Ghulam Amin Baig)

While Pakistan says Farewell to 2007, the question asked by sensible quarters is ‘Is the Silent majority waking up?

The year 2007 created a spark of hope in the form of a vibrant civil society peacefully demonstrating in order to uphold rule of law and to protect the democratic values and rights of the citizens; while at the same time the year also saw forces of darkness, dogmatism and dictatorship cementing the ‘feudal-military-mullah’ nexus, well protected and fostered by the global bastions of capitalist imperialism, and systematically and brutally destroying all fabrics of civility and the institutions of the state, one by one, spreading hatred and terrorism through their cronies and assassinating the hopes and aspirations of the people.

The nexus and their cronies have demonstrated their ability to even silence people larger than life like Gulgee to create sense of insecurity and hopelessness and brutally murdered the dreams of millions by assassinating BB. The battle continues, and has entered 2008. Lets regroup, raise the torch and sustain the spark for hope by supporting the non-violent and peaceful movement of the civil society; lawyers, judges, journalists, labour unions, business associations, student unions, NGOs, rights groups, artists and environmentalists for rule of law, peaceful transition to democracy and a pluralistic society.

There is no other way getting out of this doldrum and to defeat power hungry dictators who are bent to destroy the nation and the very fabrics of a pluralistic society. Violence and violent expressions are no answer to our ills. Dialogue, non-violent struggle and peaceful methods of social and political mobilization will get us there. The youth in Northern Areas and in Hunza-Nagar have the potential to espouse peaceful, green, pro-poor, ‘orange activism’ and become role model for others.

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  1. I just wanted to comment on the phrase “a vibrant civil society peacefully demonstrating”. Rest of the written piece is inspiring.

    I don’t know whether we can call the “march towards democracy” peaceful. Becuase it is on record that the black coats burnt government vehicles, thrashed policemen, thrashed and publicly humiliated lawyers who were on opposite side of the fence and, above all these, used vulgar language for families of the people in power and their supporters. Can we expect upholding of the ‘fabrics of civility’ from such a bunch of mindless rioters? I was, personally, dishearted to see the conduct of these lawyers during demonstrations. It seemed as if it was a game between the legal fraternity and the military rulers, being played on the open field of “public interest”.

    I still can remember the result of Justice Iftikhar’s insistance that he will march all the way to Mazar-e-Quaid and not sit in the helicopter that was offered by the government of Sindh. We all know what happened on that day. 45 people lost their lives in the streets of Karachi within 4-5 hours. Can we absolve the lawyers of the mess that they triggered?

    The role of these “civil society”, except for some, organizations is highly dubious, . Their activism is confined to the hard disks of their computers, to the bounderies of their office walls and to the meetings they attend so regularly, for the T & D allownces, just like members of the parliament.

    Can wishful pragmatism lead us forward?

  2. Can you, please, kindly elaborate the tenets of this “orange revolution”. Are you refering to the Ukranian Orange Revolution?


  3. Noor Muhammad,
    On one hand you demand the things like rights ,democracy ,freedom for the people and on the other civilised morality and politeness enough to respect the manupulators and looters.
    How come? Look ”we are living in the world not in the space”(Musharraf,2001) and if you go against agaist the people with iron hand who loot khasoot the public rights and want shabkhoon on the very rights and oppurtunities of poors then people rise and in confrontation with these very iron hand,they give blood.And “when bleeds it leads”they say.
    The human being has been always two ways on the crossroads of Times in the history Compromise or Conflict.When you compromise you are well ,sound but it pushes you slowly to the level lowest wholistically where people are called the lower class ,the awam,the aam aadmi,dihadi wala,faqa kash,safaid posh middle class but without food and my dear the assissination of self respect when these lower classes go to beg in the streets and write applications to the looters for help.And die every day a new death .
    While when you struggle,and who are exploited to say no to the looters and demand change,then definetly there is trouble but an eternal life for the lowers who can live a human life not that of a mean life which is far worse than a monkey or a street dog which always begs and kills its self every day.
    Orange or Blue,Red or Green” it needs blood to get rights”
    (Z.A Bhutto,74)
    Tariq Mateen

  4. Mr.Chaudery “It is a very Mehenga Soda”
    People like you throw the oil on the burning and escape.Be realistic.What Bhutto said or what you said ,Do you know what cossts that,even Human lives,Nothing is valuable than human life ,speaking collectively.Please speak in your senses ,The emotional leaders like you have sank nations.


  5. Should i agree that Justice Iftikhar was responsible for the death of 45 people in streets of Karachi. It is like to justify the views of President Musharraf that “Benazir was responsible for her death as she exposed herself to danger”. Or she is responsible for the deaths of all people and destructions of properties occured after her assasinations.

    Wih exceptions most of the time the protests from CSOs remains peaceful but use of force against peaceful people can results violance. Is it justifiable for institutions to reamain silent against widespread injustices and violances of human rights and institutions. This is waht the “Feudal-Mullah and Millitary” nexus wants. That is why violances are taking place through hidden hands.

    Every institution needs time to grow and mature. However like other institutions, CSOs have also not given the chance to get maturity through a evolutionary process.

  6. Very ideal perspectives have been shared by the gentlemen over the structure of our political system, its mechanism and need to foster democracy through engaging civil society. Definitely, no body would have thought of civil society’s role, generally in politics and particularly in democracy, in the last 60 years where 32 years were without democracy.

    Nobody can deny the significance of democracy, strengthening of the state institutions and its linkage with the development of a country. However, in my view, lack of political awareness due to illiteracy, nonexistence of civil society’s role (mentioned by Mr. Amin Beg), and non participation of society’s educated segment in the political process, whether in the leadership or in voting (as mentioned by Mr. Ejaz and Zulfi) is the prime reason for this dismal state.

    As everybody will agree that we are not a civilized society at all, even if, our Education Minister convinces the world on literacy ratio of Pakistan over 90%. I agree with Noor to some extend that whatever happened after Mr. Justice or on May 12 was a bit dubious role on the part of a segment of our civil society due to political affiliations of some elements and vested interest groups, but, I can’t understand, how fair is the political affiliation of lawyers and students bodies with the political parties?

    Apart from the rest of the country, I am hopeful and confident that the educated youth and their supervisors would confer the essence of democracy, development, pluralism, institutional strengthening, and civil society to the society.

    All the best for the Northern Areas.

  7. Does the civil society in Pakistan have a voice? I am seeing everybody doing their duty but of no avail, on the other hand are those who my friend Amin Beg has rightly called “feudal-military-mullah nexus” and their partners being every brand of criminals who have been destroying the fabrics of our civil society on every passing day. It is in their prime interest that democratic practices and thoughts are non existent in this country.

    For example what a military dictator (General Zia ul Haq) did to a democratically elected prime minister of Pakistan (Z.A. Bhutto) when he was implicated in a fabricated murder trial, he was deposed, trialled, disgraced and finally executed when he was on a hunger strike for more then a week and no one noticed that great man’s hunger strike and was executed by the dictator using the military (who are supposed to safe-guard the interests of the people being public servants)

    I am afraid no body is going to notice what the columnists, cartoonists, human-right activists, lawyers, and any one who is trying to wake-up the members of the civil society to take their due rights will succeed because of only one reason and that is we are divided against the oppressors who are united against the civil society.

    God, help us all.


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