Understanding Pakistan Project Team November 4th, 2007
By: Athar Osama
Pakistanis are joining hands to protest the recent actions of the Military Regime. They’re defying section 144 in Pakistan and holding protests in front of Pakistani Embassies around the world. This is all very necessary, but is also perhaps inadequate. Not only are our numbers inadequate but what we’re trying to do now is perhaps too little, too late.
What are we–the educated Pakistanis–to do? How are we to bring other Pakistanis along? Where are all the Pakistanis, in whose name we are demanding the restoration of democracy? These are questions that confuse us all and beg a thoughtful consideration. For example:
- What is the real cause of this emergency - Judicial activism or religious extremism?
- How should Pakistanis abroad react? Should we call attention of our host governments towards situation in Pakistan? Should we force them to take sides even at a detriment to Pakistan, as a whole?
- What can we do, other than protesting, in the short, medium, and long-run to promote democracy and constitutional rule in Pakistan?
- Can majority of the Pakistanis shed aside their differences and agree on a single point agenda for their country?
- How do we engage with the political leadership of our country? How do we, using the principles of Understanding Pakistan Project or others, engage with other Pakistanis?
A journey of thousand years begins with the first step and we must start taking our first steps now.
I believe that we need to go farther than we’ve ever gone before. The present crisis demands this. If we don’t act today, we may not get an opportunity to act for a decade.
I’ve often said that the parha-likha professionals of Pakistan–all of us–would have to throw away our complacency and get into the political field.
Understanding Pakistan Project is proposing a series of informal coffee meetings/chats to discuss the situation and strategize. This could, if the group agrees, launch one or more Understanding Pakistan Activism Committees that would attempt to take on the challenging of doing something — rather than merely reflecting.
The inaugural meeting is being held at a Convenient Starbucks in Central London on the coming Saturday (To be Announced to those who RSVP). Similar Meetings are planned in KHI, LHR, ISB in a couple of weeks (again RSVP here).
Please visit the event website on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=7161796721) and RSVP if you’re interested in attending or holding a similar event in your own locality. Please also consider passing on this information to others around you.
Come join us, hear and be heard, and join hands with others to begin the necessary process of grass roots political reform in Pakistan.
If there ever was time for action, it is now and here.