E Mullah الیکٹرونک مُلا: Pakistan's Old and New political conscience .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Pakistan's Old and New political conscience

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Students in elite schools and Lawyers are becoming Pakistan's new political conscience. History is repeating itself. Ayub went down after a massive student movement outbroke in Rawalpindi and swept his rule. Mr. Zulifqar Ali Bhutto (a.ka. Z. A. Bhutto and Jeeya Bhutto) managed to capitalise on this movement. The movement started by students of Rawalpindi Polytechnic Institute, located on a major national highway (Peshawar Road), is still remembered in books and stories from our elders. Everyone was so shocked, army and politicians alike, that college remained closed for long time and later it was handed over to army so that the future movements are nipped in the bid. Now, it has become Army Engineering College and I believe upgraded to a University controlled by the Pakistan army.

Recently, the lawyers have stood up against the assault on judiciary by the long boots. I witnessed the movement six months ago during my one year stay in Pakistan.

At the same time another movement was started by the students and professors of "The Lahore University of Management Sciences" (LUMS), especially in the law school. The creation of a law school at one of Pakistan's elite schools has brought a new feather in their cap--movement against the dictators tyrannical rule. They were holding protests when the General sacked Pakistan's top judge few months ago. As I write, they are back in this business again as Musharraf has imposed emergency in the name of so called fight against extremism. The professors in the law school are hired from top American Universities and a few foresee themselves as new Harvard or MIT gang (remember the student movement against Vietnam war in US) to start a student oriented socio-political movement against Pakistan's rotten politico-military culture. A well renowned and highly respected professor Dr. Ali Cheema (LUMS), critic of generals so called devolution has already been arrested on the first day of protests (I got this info from my family inPakistan). As I am writing this post, I expect more from LUMS students and Professors who wore black ribbons everyday, while top judge Justice Iftekhar Chaudhry was removed from his post earlier by the brass head and his yes man Shaukat Aziz. Read below a statment from a LUMS professor Rasul Bukhsh Rais ---what it means by the lawyer movement:

Lawyers: Pakistan political conscience - Yahoo! News: "They feel if Musharraf has his own way and is able to restructure the system according to his whims, that is the end of Pakistan as a progressive and moderate country and the state will never be able to rehabilitate itself,' said Rais, a professor at the Lahore University of Management Sciences."

Next few days will show us-- what LUMS and Lawyer's movement have for us in store.

As the US and most of Western countries have put all their eggs in General's basket (only the Dutch have pulled the plug on aid to Pakistan), I should pay some respect to the General as well.
Our General Musharraf is a brave man and is among a breed of few who dug their own grave. I believe he is writing an obituary of his political career.

In Iqbal Haider's words "He is drowning, and he is trying to take Pakistan with him." Iqbal Haider is the Secretary General of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. That's a nice one, I really like that. Listening to Iqbal Haider on other occassions was really informative and fun. Read more here Musharraf's War on Moderates

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