Summer of Discontent
The people do not want a democratic dispensation that does not cater to their everyday needs.
Hardly anybody could imagine even in his wildest dreams that a government which came to power with a thumping majority will be fighting a battle for its survival only after 15 months of taking charge. The Pakistan Tehreeke-Insaaf’s ‘Azadi March’ and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s ‘Inqalab March’ on Islamabad did just that and created quite a stir in the corridors of power. The dice was rolled and political lines were drawn between the proponents of the status quo and those challenging it.
The plot thickened with each passing moment. However, one thing was very much clear: the marches and sit-ins unleashed an ‘irreversible process’ of political turmoil and political instability in the shortrun, while a big change in the political culture and the rules of the game was expected in the long run due to the activism and political mobilization of the middle and lower middle class masses. What triggered the political turmoil? Although the immediate causes were the killing of fourteen PAT workers by the police in Lahore – home of the chief minister of Punjab and the prime minister – combined with the unresponsiveness of the government and state institutions to the allegations of rigging in the last elections, reasons for