Pakistan shows mix reaction toward Imran Khan’s call for Civil Disobedience

A supporter of Pakistan's cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan makes victory sign prior to march toward parliament in Islamabad, Pakistan, Tuesday.

A supporter of Pakistan’s cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan makes victory sign prior to march toward parliament in Islamabad, Pakistan, Tuesday.

A smooth transition of government took place through electoral process last year when Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) handed over the government to Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) that won by majority.

Soon after the votes were counted, many parties accused the winning party of rigging with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) at the forefront.

From parliamentary boycotts to media war, PTI asked government at every platform to create a transparent electoral process and recount the votes — a request that was never completely fulfilled.

Imran Khan, leader of PTI and internationally acclaimed philanthropist, called for an Azadi March (Independence March) on August 14 which coincided with

Pakistan’s Independence Day in Islamabad, Pakistan, to protest against the government and its false doing involving corruption, nepotism, rigging, and unemployment among others.

Khan along with other ministers and a large number of PTI supporters have been staging a sit-in in Islamabad for over five days now.

Alongside PTI’s Independence March, another group led by a religious scholar, Tahir ul Qadri, also called for an Inqilab March.

They, too, have been protesting against Nawaz Sharif’s government for five days.

Both parites demand the resignation of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

After the deadline, Khan has called for civil disobedience, asking people not to pay taxes to the corrupt government. The call of civil disobedience has created a wave of disturbance in the government lobby and many statements have been issued against it.

Loyal followers of Khan and the nation in general have shown mixed reaction on the call for civil disobedience.

A staunch follower of Khan said: “I think Imran khan should go home and think what he is doing. His party have a representative in the parliament and they should have made the difference in a democratic way, not by spreading anarchy.”

“Khan has lost his grace in the protest. He makes personal remarks and accusations. A leader should not talk in this way,” said another Pakistani national.

Syed Mateen said: “No offence but he’s being a real jerk now. He’s going against law to get power which I think is not the right thing for Pakistan at this point. Everyone wants to become the PM but that doesn’t mean they should do these sorts of stupid acts.”

Aysha Khan, an expat residing abroad, said: “Sadly, majority of us even don’t understand the term ‘Civil Disobedience,’ and we have started opposing it.”

She added: “This is how media brain washes the average mind set of people. Civil disobedience is basically a Western concept which unfortunately our nation doesn’t know. It is a tactic to pressurize government and alarm the international media and institutes as that they start refraining taxes.”

Rabia Babar, a supporter of PTI, said that the call for civil disobedience from PTI is the right way to go. “Enough is enough. PML-N hijacked the electoral process and committed massive rigging. Khan has been screaming for 14 months, went to tribunals, Supreme Court, parliament but no justice. This is Pakistan and to be more precise this is Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan. You don’t get justice here.”

The Azadi March has divided Pakistanis who are confused whether to support him or not.

“I have been part of judicial restoration movement and gave my vote to PTI, neither of which I regret, but I don’t believe in this march nor do I support sit-ins in the capital,” said Safdar.

On the other hand, many passionate people keep flying to Islamabad to join Khan in the protest. “I will not let my leader down and I will join him in the capital,” Khujjar said.

“It is disappointing to see people falling back from Imran Khan,” Fahim Marwat said, adding, “Our nation cannot recognize the true leader who could have lived a luxurious life, but is struggling for his people, for the next generation.”

“While people all around the world are hoping for a revolutionary like Imran Khan, Pakistanis are making fun of him. We truly don’t deserve such a person,” said Ahmed Rasheed.


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