Friday, June 13, 2008

Pakistan's Long March: In the Footsteps of Ghandi

For the past several years, Western media has focused on the seemingly endless violent protests that have plagued Pakistan. Since the declaration of Emergency by President Musharraf late last year, this blog has occasionally covered what appears to be growing sentiment in Pakistan's for change coming from the citizenry itself. This week, a "Long March"--modelled after Ghandi's long marches across India--has gathered thousands in a route from Karachi, the business capital, to Islamabad, the seat of government.

The long march was organized by the Lawyer's Movement to restore the pre-Emergency judiciary. Along with political parties and other members of civil society the participants aren't going by foot, they are driving!
Several bloggers have set up a website with pictures and continuing reports from the march. If you have ever questioned whether citizens of other countries really want "government by the people," please take a look at their long march blog.
So far things have been going swimmingly with the participants, and the police, who in the past have often beaten and rounded up the citizenry, seem to have taken a page from their Western counterparts and have been pretty peaceful themselves. Some of the police have even shown their approval of the march, which appears to have tens of thousands of participants.
The marchers are very excited about the success of the march, the involvement of women, and the thousands of well wishers who have greeted them along the route. I thought you would enjoy this hopeful news from a part of the world where we have seen so much trouble.


Post a Comment

<< Home