By Ayaz Amir
Wordsworth would be a bit of an exaggeration: “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive”…. But short of that, it’s an exciting time to be a Pakistani. Six months ago this seemed a dead country, beyond hope or redemption, the Sharifs in power, with little to offer beyond bizarre schemes of Margalla Hill tunnels and fast trains to Murree and Muzaffarabad. The opposition too seemed dead and politics looked no better than a doormat.
This was six months ago. It’s all so different now, the country shaken out of its somnolence and rocking to a new beat, rallies drawing record crowds and the Sharifs looking more dazed and clueless than ever, confined to their palaces and haunted by that cry which has caught on so much, “Go Nawaz Go”.
The important thing, however, is that something is happening in Pakistan. Things are not dead; the water is not stagnant. Old skin is being shed, a new light, even if flickering, can be espied on the mountains…this in a country where nothing good was ever expected to happen.
All this has happened without the least bit of violence or mayhem. For the most part, except for the stampede in the Multan stadium, the rallies and marches have been disciplined and orderly affairs, great enthusiasm on display but no disorder. The number of women attending these rallies has been amazing…young and old, housewives and school and college girls and no badtameezi, none whatsoever. If for nothing else, the rallies would be worth it for this reason alone, the way they have drawn women into the political arena and pulled the middle classes from their drawing rooms.