An inquisitive fellow at work came to me this Monday morning inquiring about Imran Khan and his march against the drone attacks. He had followed the story on the mornings New York Times edition. Who was this man? How successful was the march? And why didn’t the Pakistani ruling government take a stand against the drones?
These were few of the many questions he had for me. Lunch brought in a full debate with a few other work friends joining in over the use and abuse of drones and if their use was an act against human rights or not. After the debate I realized that Khan had achieved a whole lot from the march, not because I was able to convince my fellows about the civilian deaths caused by the drones but because I live in Covington, Georgia, A relatively small populated town in the suburbs of Atlanta, where the people don’t even know who the prime minister of United kingdom is let alone an ex-cricketer turned politician like Imran Khan. Khan had put the drone strikes and their improper use agenda in the limelight.
A march into one of the world’s most troubled area was not only a small step for Imran Khan towards his political dreams but a giant leap for Pakistan as a nation. Waziristan has been the step son of the family that the rest of the siblings hate. No one invites it over for any occasion and everybody loves to blame for any of its own misfortune. We have ignored Waziristan for too long and like any troubled teenager it has rebelled causing harm to the rest of the family.
Khan’s historic march towards the troubled land was halted before it even reached its destination, the people escorting the caravan were very different from Khan’s earlier popular events across the major cities in the country and no earth shattering rebellion followed, yet it still delivered what it yearned out for. The agenda has taken limelight across all major worldly news publications; the question has risen again and could be very important leading towards the US Presidential elections. One of the most established news agencies in the world is running an opinion poll regarding the eligibility of the drone strikes and various international service organizations have stepped up to bring an end to this game of death being played in Waziristan. Code Pink , A US based service organization along with a few volunteers accompanied Imran Khan on this historic journey. They apologized to the innocent people affected by the actions of the drone strikes and called for a change.
These actions for once showed a different west to the people of that region, A west that was open for change, A west that understood their ideas and beliefs, A west that was run on liberty and a just system, a more human west. It has been eight years since the people of Waziristan have been targeted due to these drone strikes and many would agree that it has caused more damages than results. It is about time that somebody was brave enough to raise their voice, brave enough to challenge the system , brave enough to accept the people as their own and brave enough to walk into foreign territory and walk out as a local. Thank you Imran Khan for doing all this and more.