Jun 212008

Alizeh Haider

If there is one thing that threatens to weaken the lawyers’ movement is the gullibility of its supporters. It is sad to see a non-issue like the dharna being fussed over so mindlessly.

One must remember that the decision not to stage a dharna was taken collectively by the leaders of the lawyers’ movement and was not a unilateral decision of any one individual. Aitzaz Ahsan makes a compelling case for the decision against the and it should be respected and accepted in toto, without any ifs and buts and without any question marks. We must not stray from our conviction that these honourable men know what they are doing and whatever they decide will be for the betterment of our cause, even if at times we may fail to see so. That is what being a true supporter means — placing your faith and utmost trust in your leaders.

Musharraf’s dictatorial rule may have marked yet another dark chapter of military rule in Pakistan’s history, but something good has come out of it. Instead of suffocating the people and making them recoil into submission, Musharraf’s oppression has resuscitated back to life the seemingly dead collective conscience of our society. The most crucial ingredient required at such times is a competent leadership which can tap into this storm of emotions and turn it into positive energy. Only a sagacious and astute leadership can channelise this volatile energy to conquer the daunting and monumental aspirations of the nation.

Unquestionably, the lawyers’ movement could not have asked for better leadership. It is because of the unrelenting commitment and unquestionable sincerity of these fiercely dedicated men that Pakistan is making history in the tradition of civil and judicial rights. If we are convinced of their commitment to this cause, and if we believe that through their sacrifices and struggles, these men have proved themselves worthy of being our leaders, then we are not justified in doubting them and questioning them over matters of logistics and strategy.

Aitzaz Ahsan very rightly points out that as a leader he has to lead from the front instead of being led by emotions. He and his colleagues bear great responsibility to lead this movement intelligently – and as yet, they seem to be doing a fine job.

In these testing times, it would do the nation good to stand united behind their leaders. The significance of the lawyers’ movement transcends the issue of the restoration of judges. No doubt, it symbolizes a historical awakening of the people of this country. What we are striving for is a revolutionary change in Pakistan’s politics — but we must remember that revolutions are not triumphed in a day. The long march, by any optimistic aspiration, was not expected to be the grand finale of the lawyers’ movement after which someone was meant to walk up to the lawyers shake their hands and declare the judges reinstated. No, the long march was but the first battle cry; the first full show of strength; the launching pad of a long and arduous struggle that lies ahead.

But when the leaders of this magnificent movement are showing no signs of relenting, then why this despondency? After the remarkable success of the long march on several counts, should not our morale be sky high? Why is it being made to sound like the was the highlight of the long march and without it, the march lost a lot of its thunder? The leaders of the movement made the timely decision to end the march when it was at its most majestic zenith — and that’s the way history will remember it. Say if the lawyers had decided to declare a , there would have been two possible outcomes: a) either it would have ended in a clash between the protestors and the authorities, b) the march would have ended with a whimper as the number of protesters would gradually start to wane. The would have added absolutely no value to the success of the movement; in fact, it would have detracted from the magnificence of the march which is now etched in history.

‘Hnuz dilli door ast’….. we have a long way to go my friends… the struggle has just begun. Beware of those who claim to be friends of your cause and yet sow seeds of doubt and discontent in your hearts. Beware of those who are exploiting your emotions against you.

The writer is a barrister and human rights activist currently based in the UAE. Email:


Source: The News, 21/6/2008

 Posted by at 12:27 pm

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