Today is May 12.
Today marks the first anniversary of the carnage in Karachi.
Today is the day when the resolution on the restoration of the Supreme Court judges was to be presented in Parliament.
Ominously, even eerily, today also marks the 15th death anniversary of the Pakistan’s pre-eminent poet of political protest, Habib Jalib.
May 12 will forever be a date in infamy because of what happened on this date a year ago. A year ago today, I was in Pakistan. Karachi was burning and I wrote: “The city is at war. Morchas everywhere. Clashes, violence, firing, deaths... Khuda khair karey.” What were your thoughts then? What are your thoughts on it now?
Distasteful as it may seem, let me repeat just some of the pictures that were on our front page a year ago. I do so to remind myself, and you, of exactly what it was that we must never, ever, let happen again.
Just as we were doing a year ago, we are again wondering about the fate of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry today. But also at stake today are the democratic gains that have been made between last year and now. Gains that have given hope to so many of us. Gains that must not be lost. But, nor should we lose the struggle for judicial independence.
If newspaper headlines are to be believed then the PPP-PML coalition is also disintegrating and possibly on the verge of breakup (in our Poll, our readers seem to think not just yet).
I hope all of this is being overblown, but a look at the front page of The News suggests that the nation is in despair as the PPP-PML talks falter, that there is renewed pressure on the media including a Supreme Court notice, and the US deal-makers are again having secret meetings to “manage” Pakistan.
I am not a superstitious person. But all of the above gives me the shudder. Khuda khair karey.