The stream of disturbing images from Islamabad continues. It has left one dumbfounded. But one must never be silent in the face of injustice. Of the many disturbing reports and images that have been floating in, there is probably none more poignantly disturbing than this one from ARY:
Violence, of course, can only beget violence, and one saw this too in the manhandling of the State Minister for Information, Tariq Azeem. Yet more evidence that violence is replacing discourse as the mode of disagreement in Pakistani society.
This is not a question of which side you are on. Ultimately you have to be against violence. We have written about shameful violence and police brutality before – tearing down the shalwar of a young man in a ‘missing persons’ protest and then also against the lawyers during the CJ movement. But this is not just shameful; it is needless. Now there are also reports of muzzling the media; another tactic we have seen before. It demonstrates the government’s slipping grip on power, but it also demonstrates a society that is so torn that every issues – may it be religious, social or political – has to end in violence.
The government, after all, has already gotten the verdict it wanted. At least let the people vent out their anger. There is nothing to be gained from this violence. For a nation that has already lost so much, this is merely also losing whatever little dignity that might have remained. As I have written already in a comment elsewhere, history shall judge the merit of the decision that was given by the Supreme Court on the 28th of September, but the violence of the 29th of September was shameful and needless and will remain (yet another) blot of our national political psyche.