Many saw it as a turning moment for Pakistan, which definitely is not a new thing for the 200 million plus of the country, but Tahir-ul-Qadri’s long march was something that forced people to think that everything was just about on the brink of collapse.
Unlike the Occupy Wall Street protests in the United States and other Occupy movements around the world, the latest long march in Pakistan did not see a single baton charge or tear gas firing and amazingly, a crowd well over a hundred thousand strong, was allowed to exercise their fundamental rights up to the maximum.
President Asif Ali Zardari was in a tight spot. Many criticized him for not being able to stop it, even though the same would have gone against him even if he would have. He stood strong throughout the five days it lasted and did not make a single statement against it, but downplayed any such planning by government officials to run TUQ and his marchers out of the Pakistani capital.
The Supreme Commander of Pakistan showed that being a Head of State is not only about working for the masses, but knowing how they will react to certain situations. He dealt with numerous reports, which later turned out to be fake, about him flying off to Dubai in self exile or that he may be taken over by his own Army, but to the demise of some, none of that happened.
Some even went to the extent of blaming President Zardari by saying that he was the one to plant TUQ in the first place, another mind boggling conspiracy that will remain as such.
With the dust settling after five days and participants of the ‘million man’ march reaching the point of no return with no success in sight, the President sent his delegation of seasoned politicians with an offer that TUQ just could not refuse. We all know that TUQ’s demands were unjust and irrational seeing how general elections are right around the corner, but it was still a hectic situation as men, women and children had been brought out to suffer in the cold with none of them knowing what it was that they were protesting for.
Wisdom is what not many politicians of today possess, but it is something that brightly shines from President Zardari. These five years of government may have faced a number of tests, hurdles and speed bumps, but that is all part of democracy flourishing and Pakistan close to seeing the first smooth transition of power. We may lack in many fields as compared to many countries, but we have proven to be stronger and steadfast in other ways unimaginable for most.
The elections are something the people are now actually looking forward to for the first time in years as the awareness of power through the vote has spread through every household, ultimately setting Pakistan’s ship sailing in the right direction, while many of the passengers may not realize it just yet. President Zardari will always be remembered for handling every situation in a just and political manner, making him one of the few to actually have done any good for this nation.