Today is different. As an ordinary Pakistani, for the first time, I feel empowered. But this journey of empowerment took its toll. It saw decades of institutional corruption, white lies, innocent blood spills, political deceit and leadership void. JIT Report is submitted in the apex court. PTI is happy and Government is dejected. However, a big day in the history of Pakistan. Real power of people is taking effect. This marks a paradigm shift in balance of power in this country. It was impossible to imagine such happenings before the turn of the last century. Those who grew up in PTV days would remember one sided ‘hakoomat nama’. Even on a day like this, Prime Minister would have been shown inaugurating a bridge and spitting fire against his rivals. Behind closed doors, government gazetted officers would have been compelled to bow under heinous pressure tactics. So what happened that changed the course of destiny of this country? PTI and her ardent support would love to take credit for it. And there will be some resentment from PTI quarters for ‘taking the zing away’ from their great achievement but a dispassionate analysis may unravel a different perspective.
Firstly, why the entire credit should not go to PTI? Reasons for that are simple but painful. Today, after declaration of JIT Report, during speech at Bani Gala, Imran Khan didn’t remember how many died during pressure build up on Supreme Court to take up the Panama Case. This is how cruel politicians are. It was young Inam Ullah from Swabi who died at Burhan Interchage under 'able' leadership of Pervez Khattak. Why able? Go to Nowshera and ask for 'Mama Gan' and you will get the answer. Unfortunate as it was, Inam Ullah was someone’s son. Had Qasim or Suleman suffered little scratches, it would have been carved on Mr IK’s heart. For IK, Inam Ullah's blood was a step closer to power corridors. That day, IK and few unfit stooges had been seen doing push-ups on stage at Bani Gala for media optics. They waited to cash in on the spill of blood of brave and passionate pakhtoon boy. Unfortunately, PTI is not an ideological political entity. It is a gathering of opportunists headed by a charismatic leader. If we take cricketing charisma out of IK's life, there is nothing to show for except Shaukat Khanum Hospital which too was made possible due to fame and momentum gained from cricket.
In past few years, media has emerged as the strongest source of people power. Power which people of this country always craved for. Every institution failed people of this country. May it be executive, judiciary or legislature and every institution that falls under their jurisdiction failed the people of this country. They all lived and breathed the ‘theorem of necessity’. Although, there were few glimpses of individual brilliance yet our overall progression as nation was withheld by dysfunctional institutions. Today, if six gazetted officers have been able to compile a fair report against the sitting Prime Minister then it can be attributed to media's unrelenting eye where nothing goes unobserved. Today if Supreme Court is coming up to expectations, it is due to transparent media reporting. Today if Maheen Fatima submits her affidavit that she was strong armed by Zafar Hijjazi then it is her confidence that even if she is killed, at least people will know she died in the right cause. It is vibrancy and freedom of media that we see Pharoes like Nawaz Sharif and his off spring moving to and fro the courts. We hope others like them also pay the price of their wrongdoings.
Story of media is not all that simple. Newspapers go way back before partition. In recent past, electronic media overtook print media. Private media channels have become a household item. How electronic media became such a phenomenon? It did not happen out of thin air, to say the least. Whether you like or hate Pervez Musharraf, it was his decision, his alone, to allow media the freedom it enjoys today. Pervez Musharraf’s legitimacy to power was also challenged by media and made his ousting inevitable. Media became his Frankenstein. After which good things continued to happen to politics of Pakistan. It became a compulsion for politicians to adopt cleaner means to politics and money making. Probably, second best thing was closure of Altaf Hussain chapter.
The best of media was yet to come. As long as media houses remained united, media seths made loads of money during first decade of 21st Century. There used to be one ticker on every news channel. There was complete uniformity in outlook. Special thanks to politicians that media houses got polarized. Politicians started distributing ‘lifafas’ among journalists and gave gracious business to media houses in terms of government adverts. Some got enough and others felt left out. Polarization grew among media houses and they started taking sides. Geo News aligned with PML (N). Lately, Dawn News, which used be the most credible newspaper, as media house, chose sides and fell in to the lap of PML (N). ARY and 24 became anti-government.
Pervez Musharraf may have given due freedom to media, but it is not him, not masses, not institutions, not gazetted officers, not Supreme Court, not Imran Khan or his PTI, nor media houses but it is due to the polarization among media houses that broke the shackles of fear and made this historic day happen. Credit also goes to unsung heroes and simpletons like Inam Ullah whose blood paved the way this day.
This is just a perspective. You may disagree, in which case, please do share your rationale.
Only Allah knows the whole Truth.