Violent politics and the future of democracy

Imran Khan’s arrest has sparked a countrywide outrage amongst his supporters, who believe that their leader has been unfairly targeted by the incumbent rulers from the opposing Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). Following Imran Khan’s arrest, the PTI senior leadership took to the tweeter handle with continuous calls to the party’s workers to get to the streets and protest the arrest of their leader. Some called it an attack on the judiciary, others termed it an invasion of democracy, a few linked it to military Bureaucracy and others coined the theory of foreign conspiracy against the nation. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers across the country have taken to the streets to protest against the arrest of PTI Chairman Imran Khan on the premises of the Islamabad High Court.

The protests have been held in major cities such as Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, and Quetta, with thousands of PTI workers taking part. The violent mobs attacked military installations and targeted public and private properties in various cities while multiple deaths and injuries had been reported by the media. The Ministry of Interior imposed Section 144 in major cities and prohibited public gatherings and political activities to maintain the law and order situation in the country. Authorities have warned that legal action will be taken against those who violate Section 144. This includes the use of force if necessary, to disperse protesters who refuse to comply.

After the arrest of the PTI Chief Imran Khan, a deplorable response had been observed from the leaders of both warring groups as the government ministers issued derogatory remarks about the PTI Chief and the party while the PTI senior leadership took to the tweeter handle and made continuous calls to PTI workers come to the street and .protest against the state institutions whom they believe to be the real architect of the arrest of the PTI founder. Resultantly, a large number of PTI supporters come out to the streets, took the law into their hands, blocked roads, damaged private properties, attacked government installations, and particularly targeted LEA personnel in the major cities. Public life came to a halt, businesses were closed and traffic was jammed due to violence and insecurity. The government moved and imposed section 144 to restore citizenry life and maintain law and order while security forces were allowed to use force against those who try to disrupt the routine life of the people. The LEAs have produced Imran Khan in the NAB court and urged for 14-day physical remand of the PTI Chief to conclude their investigation into alleged corruption scandal worth $ 190 million. The court awarded 8 days to the police accomplishes its task. In fact, Both political factions must give a chance to the law to take its course and evaluate the innocence or involvement of popular revolutionary leader who always advocated for the rule of law and transparency in the judicial system.

Realistically, Pakistani politicians had always upheld party politics and never bother to national unity, state interests, and the well-being of the public, thus the inter-party struggle for power badly hurt political and social values and promoted hate, and racism among the party lines across the political spectrum. Currently, hate and hypernationalism have become a real threat to democracy and society in Pakistan. A large faction of our youth had been radicalized due to extreme sentiment of nationalism, which perceives its opponents corrupt and even does not ready to negotiate with the. On national issues that created a real challenge for political forces and democracy in the country.

The state of Pakistan is a country of over 225 million people from multiple ethnic and religious groups with different creeds and clans. All citizens have equal civil, political, and legal rights. No religious or political group has a right to forcefully implement its manifesto and ideology on other fellow citizens of the country but only through political process, dialogue and negotiations. Hopefully, the political leadership of the country will demonstrate wisdom and tact to safely sail through this turmoil otherwise politics and democracy would be the loser.