Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Pakistan: What Does The Common Man Think

The throttling of democracy in Pakistan is a matter of grave concern, and I’m the last person to belittle it, but is it a crisis the media makes it out to be? Is Pakistan really on precipice of an Islamic takeover? I’ve seen the pictures on the Internet and television of thousands of people protesting the declaration of martial law, but most of them appear to be lawyers. Naturally, they would be upset if the judicial system is shuttered, it’s their livelihood after all.

I want to know what the man on the street thinks, the regular guy who is trying to eke out a living—the laborer, street merchants, low-level government employees and other people the media tend to ignore. What do they think of Musharraf and his declaration of martial law? Does it touch their lives in anyway? My guess would be no. For them, the next day will be just like yesterday. What does it matter to them what the government does, after all it’s never been there for them. And why should they care about lawyers and students protesting for democracy, a mere trifle in their world. To the common man, they’re part of the same ineffective and corrupt system.

If you look at it: you have to be a cynic to live and survive in present-day Pakistan.