Harish Jharia

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25 December 2011

Terrorism and Instability: The artistic and poetic people of Pakistan deserve a better peaceful and democratic life

- Harish Jharia

Sometimes it hurts somewhere inside that the land of Iqbal, Faiz, Noorjehan, Mehdi Hasan and Ghulam Ali who spread the philosophy of love compassion and brotherhood in the Indian subcontinent, has been dominated by terror, instability and stagnation. In spite of being a foreigner, I feel great concern for the innocent beautiful people of my neighboring country Pakistan, who have to live under threats of terrorists’ attacks and even face frequent changes in the governance between military rules and short-lived democratic governments at the national level. 

    Indo-Pak Singer Noorjehaa

The life of the common Pakistani people may easily be imagined if the plights of many national leaders and military rulers are considered, who resorted to go in exiles in foreign countries for securing their lives.  Getting political asylum and going in exile in a foreign country is somehow possible for the elite powerful people and the global corporate business chiefs. The common people like Shopkeepers, Clarks, Doctors, Engineers, rickshaw pullers, artisans and laborers etc will have to stay back in their country and face the ever changing political, social and civic conditions in their country. 

               Asif Ali Zardari

Some American experts have predicted that Pakistani President Zardari might go in exile in the ongoing conflict between the civilian government and the powerful Army. They also say that if this happens it would only be a follow-up of the time-tested Pakistani tradition of dignitaries seeking political asylums in some friendly countries. Nevertheless, in most of the cases, the friendly countries voluntarily come forward, on their own with bouquets and formal invitations on behalf of their national governments. 

            Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto would have been the first dignitary to go on exile when in 1978 he was declared guilty by a Pakistani court. It was reported that Libyan ruler Gaddafi sent an offer of political asylum for Bhutto. However, the Libyan proposal was turned down by the then head of the Pakistan government, Gen Zia-ul-Haq and Bhutto had to undergo the punishment awarded by the court.  

Bhutto’s sons kept rushing between Pakistan and some western countries and were finally assassinated. Shahnawaz Bhutto was found dead in a hotel in Nice, France in 1985 and Murtaza Bhutto died in a police encounter in Karachi when his elder sister Benazir Bhutto was the Prime Minister of Pakistan. 

               Benazir Bhutto

Before becoming the Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto went into exile, in 1984, after 4 year house arrest / imprisonment. Benazir went into exile again in 1999 when Gen Parvez Musharraf took over the reigns as the new Army ruler. She continued in exile until 2007 when she came back to Pakistan for contesting the general election again and was eventually killed in an election campaign rally. 

                 Nawaz Sharif

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif went on 10 year exile under the rule of Gen Parvez Musharraf. Eventually, Musharraf who himself banished two Pakistani Prime Ministers had to set-off on an indefinite exile to a western country. 

       Gen Parvez Musharraf

These have been the stories of forced exiles of Pakistani ruling dignitaries when their lives were under threats. Then, what might be the ongoing stories of the common people in Pakistan… the lives of whom are hardly safe as that of those dignitaries? 

Note: Bases on a press report by Shobhan Saxena in Times of India Dated: 25 December 2011.

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