Real monument of Arshad Sharif – early elections

Imran Khan has proved his popularity and democracy is the rule of the majority. If someone thinks in another way it is what will damage everything in the nation. Elections and early elections are the only way out and for this real role should be played by real people.

The merciless killing of the most prominent and exemplary journalist, Arshad Sharif, in Kenya is the cruellest incident in the history of the Pakistani Press. All circles of Pakistani journalists including foreign free media activists have shown deep grief and distress at his death. His life was threatened by the culprits whose corruptions he had been exposing courageously and continuously. He was not part of any political or ideological group. His party was “Pakistan”. In the profession, he was known as a diligent and brave person. His targets were corruption and mafias working against Pakistan’s solidarity by ruining all the legal and ethical norms. He did very hard work regarding this mafias activities and in his TV programs always came up with hard facts and documents. Pakistan army wanted a probe into his killing. PM Shebaz ordered a judicial inquiry into this murder. In the meantime, PMN Vice President Maryam Nawaz tweeted a statement mocking the circumstances. It was condemned by the journalist community and a large number of the members of civil society. The people condemning it called it a shameful, cruel, and ugly tweet in which she showed her mindset. Many furious people labelled it as unfit for a person holding a public office. Maryam retweeted his statement and said that she was undoing the tweet and apologized for the hurt it may have caused to the aggrieved which was never her intention. She said that her tweet was not aimed at mocking someone but at learning lessons from the past. These words of this woman politician can be taken as she is conveying to other journalists also that if they will show the same “corruption exposing” attitude they will meet the same fate. If she doesn’t have this meaning then she needs to issue another tweet showing her sympathies with the grieved family and her broad heart for the criticism, whatever the bitter taste it might have. Imran Khan in his Press Conference in Lahore announced that monuments will be built in Punjab and KPK to commemorate the brave works of Arshad Sharif. It is a great decision that will give real honour to the martyrs of the media field. To the leaders engaged in pen-Jihad fighting against the plunderers of national wealth, corruption, and injustices.

On the other hand, Imran Khan announced the long-awaited date of the long march: Friday, October 28. In his Press Conference, he assured that this will be a completely peaceful long march. It is for allowing the people to decide their rulers. He said that if Federal Government takes some action against this long march out of its fears it will lead to the deterioration of law and order. He said that from his side doors for negotiations are still open.

Overall impression of this Press Conference of Imran Khan was of a cool, patient, self-confident, and determined person. One who has been waiting for some steps ahead and some decision from the other side of the people indulged in some backdoor negotiations. As described by himself we can still hope for some agreement and avoidance of the long march. It is a time to side the sanity and forget about misbehaving with each other and think about the larger interest of the country.  The nation has experienced long marches, agitations, and sit-ups throughout of its history. Final decisions were made in the negotiations not on the roads or by the stiff-necked rulers. We have to go to the elections sooner or later it is people’s right to decide about their rulers and general elections are the only solution to all of our present problems. The regime was changed after purchasing some of the parliamentarians. It was very insulting to the rulers of that time, but from the powerful no one listened to them. Now, if Imran Khan feels it difficult to sit for negotiations with the “usurpers”, there is a reason behind it. Whatever the feelings or emotions of the parties may be, a common citizen of Pakistan finds betterment only in negotiations, and the negotiations will be only about the general elections and its nitty gritty.

There is still some time, influential institutions of Pakistan can show their worth in saving the greater interests of the nation. If the institutions don’t think of it as their responsibility, it is not acceptable for the common Pakistanis. If it goes all wrong people will think about the hidden hands working behind that and if all is set on the right track, the nation will be grateful to these institutions. Imran Khan has proved his popularity and democracy is the rule of the majority. If someone thinks in another way it is what will damage everything in the nation. Elections and early elections are the only way out and for this real role should be played by real people.

With 50 years of teaching experience, Professor Dr. Shafiq Jullandhry, a noted writer and author of award-winning books, is former chairman of Punjab University's Mass Communication Department (now School of Communication Studies); also heads Elaaf Club and Pakistan Media Guild as president. He can be reached at drjullandhry@yahoo.com.

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