Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Long Drive, Short March

The supposedly historic Long March, that has the entire media in a tizzy, seems to be more of a Leisurely Drive as the lawyers pack air conditioned coaches and make whistle stops on their way to Islamabad. My guess is they won’t be allowed into Islamabad and will meekly make their way back. It’ll just be a pleasant field trip for everyone involved.

But the media has to make it seem the lawyers have really achieved something by riding around the country. With our media, hyperbole is the norm. You are either the most evil being to ever walk the earth or heroic supermen who will save this unworthy nation. Until today I had no idea how taxing a bus journey could be:

Emotions ran high, but after a journey of over 14 hours in hot and dusty conditions, everyone was understandably tired…Speeches, including one from the fiery Kurd, were planned, but subsequently dropped keeping in mind the fatigue of the journeyers. After all, this journey, despite the passage of one day, was still in its early stages. Multan, Lahore, and finally Islamabad still remained.

But really, the lawyers are not all that different from every other Pakistani. For one they damn well won’t do any work until they’ve been properly fed.

The dedication to and belief in the cause was apparent. Things remained sluggish before breakfast, which, like the previous night’s dinner, was provided by the gracious hosts, the Sukkur Bar Association.

Who can really blame them for being so tired, however. As Shireen Mazari, plumbing the feverish depths of her over-excitable imagination, points out, the brave lawyers have to also contend with terrorists out to disrupt their movement:

The third question relates to the actual location of the blast – given that it hit out at poor Pakistanis at large rather than any Dane, and this is what must have been anticipated given the place of occurrence. So was the intent really to hit at the Danes or to create a security situation that could be exploited in terms of undermining the Long March on security grounds?

Then again, their fatigue may be explained by their lack of numbers. When there are so few of you around, you have to scream and jump more to make yourself heard. Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, who it should be stressed is not trying in any way to denigrate their heroic efforts, manages to dismiss the relevance of thousands of people in one statement.

The number of people attending the lawyers’ long march will be very small, but no compromise will be made on their security, Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer said on Tuesday. Talking to Business Plus, Taseer said more people came to his open courts than would attend the march. However, he said the government would make appropriate arrangements for their security irrespective of their number.


SAWJ said...

So true!

Pakistani said...

i think this long march will be last step of lawyers, coz lawyers are also getting fedup of it.. but i pray from allah that allah may succeed them and we Public also support them. we all pakistanis should participate in long march.