While coming to the office on Saturday, I found the one-way of Canal Road at Shahjamal/FC College bridge barricaded. I knew the reason: the house of Chaudhry Parvez Elahi was under siege.
As a mass communication student and now a journalist-cum-publisher, I have been taking an interest in the political situation of Pakistan for several years. I find myself deeply troubled by recent events. It is a well-known fact that politics in our country can often be tumultuous and unpredictable, but what has been happening in the past few weeks is beyond the pale. Well, people may have different views, and that is not a strange phenomenon.
First, we had the news that the house of Imran Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and former prime minister, had been vandalized by the caretaker government. This was a shocking development and one that was roundly condemned by people from all walks of life. Regardless of one’s political affiliations, there can be no excuse for such a brazen act of vandalism.
But unfortunately, the situation only seems to be getting worse. Just two days ago, we learned that the house of Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, the former chief minister of Punjab, had also been vandalized by the caretaker government. Once again, this is an utterly unacceptable development that must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
What is particularly concerning about both of these incidents is the fact that the police breached the privacy and sanctity of these homes and arrested women illegally. This is a clear violation of the law and a gross abuse of power. As journalists, we have to speak out against such injustices and ensure that those responsible are held accountable.
It is also important to recognize that these incidents are not isolated events. Neither have they taken place for the first time in Pakistan. Every government brings such episodes, which pain the people. They are part of a broader trend in which the government of the day treats the opposition with disrespect and ignores the rule of law. This is a dangerous path to go down, and it is one that we cannot afford to continue.
As a journalist, I believe that it is incumbent upon us to hold those in power accountable for their actions. We must demand that the government treat the opposition with respect and follow the rule of law. This is not only important for the health of our democracy but also for the safety and security of all citizens.
It is also worth noting that these recent incidents must serve as a wake-up call for Imran Khan himself. During his regime, he demolished the houses of his opponents and jailed them. Does he deserve any sympathy now, when he has committed such action when he was in power? Those in power think that they will remain in power forever. This is a disturbing pattern of behaviour that cannot be allowed to continue. Regardless of one’s political affiliations, we must demand that all leaders in our country uphold the values of democracy and respect the rights of their opponents.
I urge all of my fellow journalists and citizens to speak out against these recent incidents. We must demand that the government of the day treat the opposition with respect and follow the rule of law. We must also hold our leaders accountable for their actions and demand that they uphold the values of democracy, human rights, and justice for all. Only by doing so can we build a better Pakistan for ourselves and future generations.