First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

The dust has settled, coffins have been placed in their graves, screams of the nears and dears of the departed souls would naturally fade away amid the buzz of talk shows and gibberish of hyperventilating media. Tell me who gives a slightest damn to the twelve people shot dead on one fine morning for apparently doing nothing? Tell me how many serious attempts have you witnessed in media to deliberate upon this unwarranted incident or how many words spoken to balm the bruised hearts of the victims? The only thing you would find is the Gullu butt and his macho mustache in social media as if he has done something to be extremely proud of. So inured are we as a nation to make heroes that history would find it difficult to differentiate between the people who brought laurels to this country and those who painted a bleak picture of ours. Those daring historiographers will end up dizzying the simple things. See nobody talks about who was responsible and who should be accountable for a tragedy that took away the lives of a dozen people for simply nothing. Mark my words, it will settle just like the great tragedies that have been cast aside in the past. What happened to Justice Munir Report? Stashed in the dustbins, and what became of the Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report? Tore away by the generals probably, what happened to the Asghar Khan Case, nobody knows. Who killed Benazir Bhutto? No one would ever know. What was this Memogate Scandal? Wait a minute — what Memogate? The list goes on.

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to the apparent wind.”

And that megalomaniac Chief of Pakistan’s biggest province utters those ludicrous words that you would only laugh at the stupidity: “I will resign if found guilty by the commission” as if he is guilty of nothing. Or the commission has the balls to declare him guilty or if it does, he will really resign! Ah. How relevant are those Orwellian words uttered to explain dystopias like ours. “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to the apparent wind.”

We have painstakingly endured the shackles of censorship applied sometimes by dictators and sometimes by civil governments to perpetuate their regimes. We called for the freedom of thought and expression and came out on the roads to protest in the face of repression, we drove the generals out, we protested to reinstate a judiciary which was then a hope to the common masses of this country. We parlayed for freedom of media to extricate this country from everything that has been haunting it from its inception. We struggled to liberate judiciary from the heavy handedness of generals and politicians. Alas — everything seems to betray us now. We as a nation are using this freedom to absolve ourselves from any sort of ethics and responsibility as if everything is fair under the banner of “freedom of expression”. We did not know that freedom has an irony associated with it. Under the pretext of freedom the judiciary of our times surpassed all notions of constitutionalism, and the media of our times is not lagging behind either.

Systems do not prevail for too long in the face of growing tensions among the pillars of the state and the society, and that is the dilemma we are facing right now.

Sure the system must continue, but the state of affairs in the country needs to be changed. Systems do not prevail for too long in the face of growing tensions among the pillars of the state and the society, and that is the dilemma we are facing right now. Everyone and everything in this country seems to be against each other. You will see the civilians and military in the same parade, but you will never find them on the same page. There is a perpetuated discord between media and the military stalwarts. The political parties are at loggerheads with each other. Rallying and mobilizing the people has always been used to sabotage governments and derail the system. Playing foul for the power has been the hallmark of our politics and no wonder, in the course of six decades, we have been on the wrong side of history.

Gullu Butt is just another criminal, but let’s not forget that he became a scapegoat while protecting the high-ups responsible for the incident. There are disguised Gullu Butts, sitting at the helm of affairs and now it is the time to expose them and save the fate of this country. Those who made and protected Gullu Butt are no less criminals and they must be held accountable for their deeds.

Zagum Abbas

Zagum Abbas

Zagum is the member of Laaltain’s editorial board and a student of Politics in Government College University Lahore.


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