Established as a sovereign state meant to defend the rights of a Muslim minority in the Indian Subcontinent, and to provide a setting for the experimental implementation of Sharia’ Law in a modern state of the rapidly changing world, Pakistan came into being on the 14th of August, 1947. Its constitution, agreed upon in 1965 after several amendments to the initial draft, was a document that ensured social justice, financial equilibrium, freedom of speech and faith, the equal rights of men, women and children and the availability of all necessities of life.
All Pakistani’s, equal in rights, are entitled to vote. They are entitled to form governments, and break them if they falter in their duties as keepers of justice. They have the right to live, to live in peace, to prosper and claim opportunities, to defend their property and stand up to injustice. They have the right to free speech and expression, to the pursuit of happiness, to follow their individual Gods in the open and to the natural resources in the lands they have inhabited.
The Government, in power due to popular mandate, must ensure a fair society where all men have equal footing, where wrong-doing doesn’t go unpunished, where wealth is shared, where thieves and liars are brought to justice, where the common people are defended, where culture and heritage is preserved, where the ancestors are respected and where Islam is the law of the people.
The people are allowed to protest the failures of Governments, to ask questions and demand answers, to know the culprits and to discipline them in accordance with their deeds, to topple over governments if they are insistent on non-compliance, to use force, if necessary, and flood the streets, and to defend their freedoms when in jeopardy.
Though the constitution favors people in their freedoms and offers the solutions to all expected problems, it is, eventually, but just a piece of paper. It lacks the arms to grab collars, it is deficient of a voice that creates noise, it is in need of feet in order to come out on the roads, and it lacks a sense of judgement to realize the crimes and mis-steps of an offender. It is just a piece of paper. It doesn’t empower people unless they will it strongly and try to claim the immense authority being offered. It is, in the end, dependent on people to put it to good use. Left to it’s own tools, left forgotten in a corner, this piece of paper only accumulates dust.
A few people, their souls engulfed by greed and self-serving, understand this well. They know that masses ignorant and unbeknownst of their rights can be manipulated, can be led astray, can be deprived and can be silenced. They have used this knowledge extensively, to amplify their own benefits, to enrich their own lives, to attain more wealth and power than they deserve. They have misused the trust of the unquestioning common man, his fears and insecurities, against him.
They have pushed Pakistan into a state of bankruptcy, of chaos, of hopelessness and of disorder. They have destabilized the engines that run the state, the systems that are fundamental for an ideal life, the morals that are vital for an upright society. They have assassinated political rivals, initiated wars to feed their deep pockets, suppressed revolutions, made secrets pacts against the interest of the state. The are venomous snakes, but capable shape-shifters, deceptive in all their ways. They have allied with the enemies.
They have led us to the brink of an economic collapse, to the Cold War as disposable proxies, to be the puppets of an imperialistic and sadistic Superpower. They have hiked prices and lowered pays, debased the rupee and accepted huge loans that cannot be repaid. They have allowed drones to rain bombs on innocent civilians. They have carried out military operations on their own people, turned their own people against the state, created a rebellion by their own hands, on orders from Washington, in exchange for suitcase filled with bundles of dollars, in the name of War-on-Terror. They have stuffed their Swiss accounts with immeasurable wealth and bought malls and hotels in Dubai and London. They have gained judicial immunity by passing phony laws. They have banned independent news dispensing outlets, created an information embargo.
They have tried all that is in their power. But this time around, the tide against them is stronger than ever before. A revolution has surfaced and it is led by an honorable man. The nation is witnessing the unfolding of a strange scenario, the beginning of change, the return of hope, the ultimate challenge to the ruling elite. The date has been set, the preparations have been made. The Government is nervous, sweat trickling down it’s forehead. It can not deny the fear that has overtaken it’s senses. The common man has had enough. Finally, he’s had enough. He’s tired and unwilling to bear any further. A confrontation was always inevitable, now it is only days away.
This 14th of August, when the nation celebrates yet another independence day and misses the irony of it, millions of people will pour out on the roads. They will journey from their villages, towns, cities, on foot, buses, cars and motorcycles and reach the capital. They will demand answers. They will ask for compensations. And they will implement the constitution once again. They will take back the power.
I want to be a part of this revolution, I want to be able to tell my children someday that I was a part of the assembly that fought to preserve their rights, that I upheld my promise to Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, that I was a good son to my motherland.
I am officially signing this manifesto for change as proof that I didn’t sit idly by. That I tried. If you want to be a part of it, walk to the capital among millions of people, sign this document in the comments below, or go to twitter and Facebook and use the hashtag ‘#AzadiMarch’ when conveying your thoughts regarding the situation.