CJ Resotred

Time to sleep now.

Never would I have thought that this Long March would succeed. Not ever. It’s brilliant. Like a lot of people, I’m not totally trusting of this restoration plan, because it does not immediately go into effect. But as it stands now, it’s brilliant.

Gillani came on TV at 5:45 am to say that PPP is keeping its promises, as it always intended. Whatever. It doesn’t matter, the lies, right now. I’m just completely thrilled. Let’s hope it sticks.

It’s not fashionable in lefty circles (where I seem to belong) to have an attachment to national flags or anthems. And to be honest, I don’t usually.

But as the national anthem played before the Prime Minister’s speech, I followed along with the words, which I haven’t heard in a long time. And I got snagged at these:

مرکزِ یقین شاد باد

Markaz-e-yaqeen shaad baad

May the centre of your faith stay alive.

Three days ago I sat with my mom and Sarah and pontificated at length about the pointlessness of this long march and the way in which the lawyer’s movement has been reduced to merely symbolic actions. I am happily eating my words.

The centre of my belief is strong again. Things happen. Someone asked me on chat if I thought it was the Americans who caused this or Kayani, the Chief of Army Staff. And I expressed a shrug but the truth is, no power broker would have cared people hadn’t, for the past 4 days, been on this long march, facing riot police, braving tear gas and coming out in droves. If the final nail in the coffin of Zardari’s current bout of authoritarianism was a phone call from somebody powerful, that’s okay. They only stated the obvious – that your’e screwed if you stick with this plan.

And so it goes. It has been said again and again over the past two years that the Chief is no saint. But that statement, bandied about as if it should mean something, is based on the notion that the symbol of the movement should be above reproach. We should be able to, in time, call them Hazrat Chief Justice. Well, it’s okay. We don’t have to like the guy much. At some point, for reasons that were part personal gain and part opportunity to finally act in favour of the nation, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry exercised his powers as an independent arm of the triumverate democractic system. Masses of people supported him. That’s the reality. He’s no saint. But by God he’ll be independent. And that’s a step in the right direction.

16 March 2009 is a good day. Let the core of your belief that things can change have its day.

Stumble it!


#1 Pakistan and Complex Conflicts | brianfrank.ca on 03.16.09 at 12:43 am

[…] their ideals — as long as there is at least something and someone to get behind. I found these blogged remarks via the #LongMarch thread on a few of hours ago: Well, it’s okay. We don’t have to like the […]

#2 Shehzad on 03.16.09 at 12:45 am


i think your sense of pessimism about the restoration is well founded. We will see what actually happens. How people are co-opted.

#3 Shirin on 03.16.09 at 2:23 am


I can imagine the immediate euphoria….relate to it even…and even agree with most of what you write…and also I am reminded of what Azar Nafisi in her latest memoirs mentions: similar feelings in the last days of the Shah….histroy, unfortunately, proved them worng…and that makes me think and happy as I am… I wonder at how amazing is it that sometimes we neglect to attach to ‘identity/ies’ much importance, consciously. Who I am, who I want to be has to be defined as it defines my collective alliances.

In Pakistan, a strange hotchpotch of ideologies have come together to raise a, seemingly, ‘collective’ voice. We have the lawyers, the civil society (including human rights activists like Asma Jahnagir) in the same chanting crowds on the street as the Jamaat e Islami (whose pre 1947 stance was United India and which provided the ideological legitimacy read obstinate Islamization to the martial law regime of General Zia ul Haq) , the incubated politicians of PML-N and ofcourse the confused cricketer turned politician and ultimately the administration itself as it was clear that the law enforcing agencis had decided they would give free passage despite the road blockages and riot police. When the histroy books are written, I wonder to whom would this victory, be attributed to? Us, the people are so diverse…our ideologies conflicting, our voices a cacophony, our messages mumbled, our meanings??? our identities???? …is it really a win for the liberals? Was it really a nation coming together as one then? I could see far too many Jamaat e Islami flags than I would care to in any street rally in my country…and in true fascist fastidiousness theirs was the most organized procession as they came out to join the rest…and in true street politics suaveness theirs was the most expert retaliation to the police and the barricades…. how many of us actually supported this as a harbinger of an Islamic revolution? Are we making way for liberal democracy or religious/ideological despotism? Where are the taalibans? What are they thinking? Laughing at us celebrating while they are biding their time till they strike big to control thought with guns? I want to celebrate, wholeheartedly, yet I am unable to…I am happy this is solved, I am happier still that people came out…th bigger problem for me remain religious fanatics turned suicide bombers and being bestowed control of parts of my country and for me the questions looms large how would the contradictions within those who came out be reconciled? who will gain from this, who will claim victory?

#4 Shirin on 03.16.09 at 2:25 am

and oh…symbolically…time to slep now is not the best way to start this pice…time to do more actually hehe…but thanks for continuing to think and stir us into thinking and thanks for writing and sharing…

#5 sadiaali on 02.20.12 at 4:26 am

me think k Allah he en logon ko hidayat de warna logon k kehne se mushkil h i.nd me think k youngster he Pakistan ka look developing investment sub change kar skty hen or koi nhe. :)

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