Try to Save Democracy: For the people, of the people and by the people


Balochistan Protests: Unmasking the Cracks in Pakistan’s Democracy

The phrase “democracy for the people, by the people, and of the people” hangs heavy in the air, its resonance clashing with the stark reality of events in Islamabad. Balochistan, a land etched with resilience and yearning for justice, witnessed the brutal treatment of peaceful protesters on their journey of hope.

This editorial seeks to delve into the fractured mirror of democracy in Pakistan, reflecting the anguish of a marginalized community and questioning the very mechanisms meant to empower them. The right to protest is not a mere concession; it is the lifeblood of democracy. When the voices of peaceful dissent are silenced, the promise of “of the people” crumbles.

The actions of the caretaker government, instead of embodying neutrality, became an embodiment of a power deaf to the cries of its own people. This betrayal is not just of the protesters, but of the very ideals on which this nation was built.

To dismiss the suffering of Balochistan as “long-standing issues” is akin to dismissing a bleeding wound as an old scar. Yes, the injustices may have roots in decades past, but that does not diminish the immediate pain, the raw trauma etched on the faces of those who faced brutality; saying “we are here to hand over power” feels more like an abdication of responsibility than a solution.

The caretaker government, entrusted with upholding democracy, should have been a bridge, not a barrier.

The question then becomes, how can a true parliament emerge from a process plagued by apathy and alienation? When participation is replaced by protest, when trust is replaced by fear, how can the democratic ideals be truly realized?

The call to boycott the elections is a desperate cry, a rejection of a system that has consistently failed to deliver. It is a stark reminder that democracy, without engagement, without accountability, becomes a hollow shell.

The solution lies not in cosmetic gestures like unveiling logos or cutting Christmas cakes. It lies in genuine engagement, in acknowledging the pain of the marginalized, in taking concrete steps towards addressing the systemic issues that fuel discontent.

Balochistan needs more than fleeting appearances and tokenistic gestures; it needs justice, it needs transparency, it needs a voice at the table that is not drowned out by the whispers of powerful forces.

This is not just about Balochistan; it is about the soul of Pakistan. A democracy that cannot provide a space for peaceful dissent, that cannot offer hope to its people, is a democracy teetering on the edge of failure.

The true test of its strength lies not in suppressing dissent, but in addressing the root causes, in ensuring that the ideals of “for the people, by the people, and of the people” are not just empty words on a page, but a lived reality for every citizen.

The Baloch Unity March might have been met with brutality, but the spirit of its participants remains untamed. Their voices, though silenced for now, echo in the canyons of conscience, urging us to question, challenge, and strive for a more just and equitable society. To ignore their cries is to turn our backs on the very essence of democracy, on the promise of a nation where every voice matters, where every wound deserves healing, and where the pursuit of justice knows no borders.

Let us hope that the broken mirror of democracy can be mended, reflecting not the cracks of division, but the strength of unity, the power of empathy, and the unwavering light of hope for a better tomorrow. Only then can the words “democracy for the people, by the people, and of the people” truly resonate with the soul of Pakistan.

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