Anti-government protests in Islamabad are set to reach a climax today as Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri who is leading tens of thousands of peaceful protesters in a staged sit-in in Islamabad makes preparations to lead a public parliament at 5pm PST in the federal capital. Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri who enjoys a populist support base among the country’s educated lower middle class is a fierce critic of the ruling government. Dr Qadri has criticised the soaring corruption of the PML-N government and its incapability to provide the public with basic essential services such as education, healthcare and justice as well as the government’s complete failure to tackle the increasing problem of extremism and terrorism.
Having arrived in the federal capital on 15th August, Dr provided the government with his charter of demands comprising a comprehensive democratic reforms agenda which includes socio-economic and judicial reforms which Dr Qadri wishes to implement through the setup of a national unity government. Dr Qadri’s reforms programme popularly referred to as the ‘10 point agenda’ has successfully tapped into the growing dissent across the country and provided average Pakistanis with a ray of hope for a better future. Over the course of the past few days Dr Qadri proclaimed numerous times that his democratic struggle will help strengthen Pakistan’s ailing democracy by in part de-politicising institutions thus ending the political grip of corrupt politicians over state infrastructure. During his numerous public addresses Dr Qadri also criticised the government’s suppressive actions to prevent registration of an FIR (irrespective of a court order to do so) against the Prime Minister and Chief Minister of Punjab, for the model town massacre where police shot 14 people dead and injured circa 100 by opening fire at peaceful protestors. After decades of struggle against successive oppressive regimes military or civilian, the tide of political change is now firmly heading towards the establishment of a prosperous and stronger democracy through the efforts of pro change forces in Pakistan. The nation has been gripped by the protest movement with people glued to television sets across the country. As the clock draws closer to 5pm the country awaits to see if this time there will be a real change for the deprived masses.
Via Khadijah Atkinson (@khadijahzahid)