Is Pakistan Ripe for a Revolution like OWS?
Occupy Wall Street is a different type of movement created in revolt against the capitalist economy which has spawned an enormous economic recession. Although it does not have a direct relation to the country, it seems as if Pakistan’s soil is also ready for a revolution like OWS.
Like the US, Pakistan’s economy is also in the hands of a few who also control the policies of government. The government seems to be democratic but its decisions are actualyy taken without consulting the people of Pakistan. In recent times, despite its awareness of widespread anti-US sentiment among the general population, the government has embarked on projects and shaped its “war on terror” policy and other foreign policies in favour of the US, causing a huge loss of $67 billion dollars to the economy of Pakistan. Another damaging policy has been taking on huge loans from the World Bank which have increased inflation and joblessness. These policies have caused immense unrest among the people. Currently Pakistan is in a state of chaos.
Against this backdrop, national political parties have now started to organize demonstrations in various cities in protest against the current government’s failure to address the major problems the country is facing. This revolt is not akin to the OWS agenda of revolution. OWS rose in protest against the capitalist economic system – the state being capitalist – and in a quest for democracy. On the other hand, while Pakistan’s current government allegedly thrives on the democratic school of thought, it is actually capitalist as power lies in the hands of the chosen few.
However, movements like OWS and the Arab Spring have pushed the people of Pakistan into the next phase of national evolution in which the public and youth in particular are being mobilized to raise their voices against all the issues affecting them. Just as any nation passes through different phases of evolution, Pakistan has also entered into the next phase of evolution under the influence of the OWS movement. It has launched the idea of the “fight for freedom” from the tyranny of the chosen few – feudalists, industrialists, mill owners, bureaucrats, and politicians. The sad fact, however, is that an overwhelming majority of the elite also forms part of the so-called democratic political system whereas representation of “commoners” is the smallest part of the parliamentary make-up. This is why the problems of the majority don’t get addressed in politically important decision-making.
This emerging movement will be likely to have positive effects on the future of Pakistan as it will lead to unification of the people against the oppressive regimes and a change of ideas and attitude toward the status quo. A fresh school of thought will emerge that will envision and carve out a new and proper method of dealing with the pressing problems of the country. It can be predicted that this emerging movement will have across the board positive effects for the people of Pakistan. It will also help encourage merit-driven policies and the democratic selection of political candidates instead of the prevalent interest-driven mode of selection and policy-making. This will bring financial, economic and political stability to the people of Pakistan. Such movements are revolutionary and bloody in nature like the French Revolution (1789–1799) or the Chinese Revolution (1927–1949) but their outcome gives stable, developed economies and brings general welfare to the people. Keeping the history of revolutions in mind, it can be safely stated that the movement emerging in Pakistan may not be bloody but if it takes the form of revolution it is sure to bring economic stability and welfare to the people in the long run. The same can be hoped for the Occupy Wall Street movement.