It appears as if every political leader of Pakistan is certain that the Pakistani masses (all 180 million of them) support him/her. Some of them even dare anyone to challenge this certainty, although in not in so many words. It’s as if the number of heads at their rallies revealed the strength behind them – instant referendums several times over. However, if any of them really thinks so (and there are likely to be some), that individual needs to beam back to mother earth.
Despite his recent political rise, even cricket legend Imran Khan cannot claim to have universal support, to say nothing of the rest of the leaders. But people were surprised, and impressed, by the large turnout at the rallies held in Karachi by the JUI and Sunni Tehreek, even if the majority of the bearded participants were from the thousands of seminaries around the country. And to give them credit, their rallies, like Imran Khan’s, were quite organised with their volunteers working alongside the authorities. Controlling such a large number of people is no mean task and had only been achieved in the past by the MQM.
However, managing a rally is one thing, managing a whole country quite another. If a leader comes into power thinking that the party he/she represents has the complete support of everyone in the country, that’s where things go wrong. Such politicians are bound to consider that any and every step they take, regardless of its consequences, is backed by “the people of Pakistan.” The present regime is a fine example of this. Its leaders dismiss the discomfort and frustration of the ordinary people, and disregard demonstrations and street riots in various places in the country as something which is an essential part of Pakistani politics.
That is the basic problem that ails Pakistani politics… Our leaders (self-proclaimed most of the time) don’t see beyond the issues that are important only to them. They are misguided (if any misguiding was needed, that is) by the scores of sycophants surrounding them. This leads them to see, or at least present, themselves as saviours of the nation – a nation which is in a mess not because of their own actions but, as they keep reminding us, the “misdeeds” of the preceding government.
Sometimes it appears they seriously believe that they can do no wrong. How so? Because if what they were doing was wrong, “the people of Pakistan would not support us.” In any case, they do have “the people’s mandate.” Hmm, interesting…does that mean that our leaders don’t see the massive increase in agitation in the country at various levels. Do they seriously believe that a nation being crushed by all kinds of hardships that affects their daily life is anything but happy?
While speeding in luxurious vehicles on roads cleared of the rabble called Pakistanis, how can they see rioters on the streets of the country. Even if they did see them, they would probably mistake them for revellers cheering them on. If such is their attitude, they are endangering their existence in politics more than they realise. It only takes a small incident to direct an angry crowd towards its “leaders,” and then no barricades or security personnel will be enough to protect them.
So it would be wise on their part to get rid of sycophants and find out what the people actually feel about them. And maybe, once faced with reality, they will at least try to improve their image, if not the situation in the country. If they manage to achieve that, maybe then they can claim that the 180 million Pakistanis support them.