The Jasmin Revolution of Tunisia has raised the world’s hopes for the Arab world - it’s raised mine for Pakistan. There are so many similarites between the two countries it’s hard to know where to start listing them - endemic corruption from top to bottom, a lack of opportunities for young people, a ruling family that’s treated the state buget like its own piggy bank, greedy relatives and friends of the rulers who’ve occupied every major job in the country and proceeded to use it as a tool for looting….
But there are differences - Tunisia has in recent years, been fostering an educated class - Pakistan has all but shoved its educated system down the toilet. Tunisia has been expanding its middle class, fostering gender equality and dealing with the outside world, whereas Pakistan has been stifling and threatening its moderate middle class, and moving towards Islamic fundamentalism in recent years.
But watching the extraordinary photos of the Tunisian street in revolt, my heart lifted at the possibility of such a sight on the streets of Karachi or Islamabad. Isn’t it time for Pakistanis to re-claim their country, currently being held hostage by the fundamentalists, and by the politicians who foolishly harness their preached poison for short term gains? Isn’t it time to get rid of the Mr 10 per cents and the handful of feudal families who have pillaged and looted for years? Isn’t it time for the moderates, the young, the sane majority to come out en masse and say “Enough is Enough”?