In the present time of a National crisis, a strange issue has arose to haunt the IDPs of Swat and other areas affected by the ongoing military operation against the militants. The brotherly governments of the provinces of Punjab and Sindh have banned the entry of IDPs into their respective territories amidst fears of social unrest and related security woes. Punjab government alternatively is assisting the displaced only by providing medical and food supplies to the camps at places including Mardan and has been verbally barring IDPs from their province.
Sindh government, on the other hand, has sternly taken action by stranding thousands of men, women and children from Swat at Sindh-Punjab border, Kashmore. The decision has been taken by the PPP government in Sindh and is supported by its ally, the MQM. The main argument given is the fear of the Taliban disguised as IDPs entering into Karachi and other parts of the province; eventually creating a situation there.
There are parties who are in favor of this decision and do not want terror-struck people from the Northern parts of the country to de-stabilize their social fabric. And then there are others who feel such discriminatory behavior towards the victims is not appropriate and that all Pakistanis should be free to move to any part of the country.
The question is; will it be possible for our national government to adequately manage, feed, and treat more than 2 million people at make-shift camps with conditions no worthy of human occupation? And for how long will it be able to keep these millions away from desperately joining the ranks of forces against the government and the state of Pakistan, especially when they are even being shunned by everyone including other provincial governments??
The political ‘kabaddi’ currently going on is not even surprising to most of us as it is just part of Pakistan’s cyclic history. While some optimists did think that things will be different this time and two largest democratic forces in Pakistan will finally pursue conciliatory power-sharing government for betterment of everyone; there still were people, a vast majority, that could foresee this honeymoon, sooner than later, coming to an unhappy end.
Situation in Pakistan is not in any case ready for another upheavel like this. Punjab was so far the only stable government regardless of its unfavorable attitude towards the centre. Disqualification of Sharif brothers from holding any public office for the thrid time can be justified as the honorable court’s verdict but imposition of Governor’s Rule and locking up of the Punjab Provincial Assembly building is surely a matter of grave objection.
However, for a common man, nothing has changed except for long traffic jams due to protests, purposeless damage to public infrastructre for which he had paid from his own pocket and city life coming to an uncertain but grinding halt.
The only bugging question is, regardless of who was right or who is wrong, can we really afford this crisis at this time? Can we bear watching ambulances stuck for hours due to almost daily road block by protesters at the Mall, and for how long? Will restoration of one man ensure speedy justice for a poor peasant? And, finally, do we even deserve democracy or are we just not ready or prepared for it yet?