Protests, Agitation, Long Marches, the Rules of Business
My One Penny
By Maj Gen Nusrat Naeem (retd.)
– While we have embraced this Western form of democracy we have not evolved enough to digest it.
– In every sensible democracy obligations are a two way traffic, in Pakistan it is a one way traffic.
– Of many disciplines most serious is law and order and maintenance of peace/tranquillity/protection of lives and livelihood.
– State has to put its head down to ensure that rowdiism in society is addressed by all possible means.
– Common argument is ‘lack of or poor education system and backwardness’. For govts presentation of excuses is not acceptable and should not be accepted.
– Legislation of rules of business and implementation is the only answer.
– Latest and past practices of many protests in country specially that of TLY are glaring examples of inability, inaction and unwillingness to do anything concrete to institute discipline.
– In many a cases govts have displayed their helplessness in face of protests resulting in loot, arson, plunder and loss of govt/private properties with no scope of recovery/compensation.
– Only reprieve that came about was as a result of agreements with protesters and that also at inferior terms.
– Empty threats of stern action by the govts embolden unruly crowds and their sponsors. At the same time blackouts in media are imposed with good and bad results, not realising that social media than plays havoc in the system and minds of nation. Social media being free for all also is effectively used by hostile agencies to add further fuel to fire.
– In latest TLY case every dangerous activity manifested itself.
– Most important question is that as to why and how Khadim Hussain Rizvi and his coterie have become such untackable monsters, they have come out as symbol of shame to our glorious religion.
– While our courts and judiciary are also not such saints so as to be above criticism but affairs of state can not be run without them.
– Critical question is that should the govt allow such protests and demonstration against court decision(s)? If yes than god save the king.
– In recent case there is a failure at multiple tiers of Gov and Int Agencies. What amazes everyone is that:
* Why was such reaction from religious zealots not forecasted?
* Why was assembly of these people allowed?
* Why did the administration not block the buildup, supply of administration and instruments of violence to them?
– Why did the Administration not identify miscreants and the ring leaders and why were they not picked up (social media is replete with material which came in handy)?
* Why was social not blocked which served to fuel trouble?
* Seditious statements were broadcast and circulated with no fear of action, to top it still no plan exists to tackle this. Surprisingly these statements also put Army and Int Agencies on the back foot.
– It can be conveniently argued that hindsight makes a great genius but in this case its gross failure of Govt to protect the masses.
– Only blessing in disguise is that masses stand alienated from such rascals who use religion to fan unrest and mayhem.
– HAVING SAID ALL ABOVE WHAT SHOULD BE DONE FOR FUTURE DISPENSATION OF PEACE AND MAINTENANCE OF LAW AND ORDER
– First and foremost taking law in own hands must be prevented through iron hand and regardless of consequences those responsible must be booked and expeditiously tried and punished.
– We now know pattern of protests and agitation, it must be made clear that protests/agitation cannot be anything but peaceful.
– Places and routes be designated for purpose and permission be granted, it can not be free for all.
– No instruments of violence and speeches of violence be permitted.
– Media and social media coverage should have rules and these have to be implemented. Social media must also be blocked in case of violation of rules.
– Organisers of protests must submit in writing purpose and duration.
– Organisers should responsible to pay for damages caused by their assembly and protests.
– Courts be mandated to try cases lodged by govt through speedy trial courts and decisions given within one month.
– Rioting, arson and looting be crimes resulting in capital punishments.
– Govt should make a committee to form rules and present them in National Assembly within 15 days.
WHILE WE HAVE OUR SENTIMENTS AND SENSITIVITIES IN MATTERS OF NATIONAL AND RELIGIOUS IMPORTANCE BUT FOREMOST IS PEACE AND TRANQUILLITY WHICH BY NO MEANS CAN MADE HOSTAGE TO DISSENTING VOICES AND AT THE SAME TIME WE CAN NOT CONDONE WEAK/POOR RESPONSE FROM GOVT TO TACKLE DIFFICULT SITUATIONS THAT TOO ARISING OUT OF FEAR OF RIOTERS.