Moeed Pirzada |
Multiple Dimensions of PTI & PAT Political Movement:- There are several aspects – some good some bad – of what’s happening in Pakistan at the moment in the form of protest marches, dharnas and rallies etc and we will continue to debate them for months to come. One interesting aspect is the political empowerment of Pakistani women; never since the Pakistan Movement in 1940’s more women have been on road with slogans. And this is not only with PTI which has often been described as Urban or middle class or mummy/daddy. This was equally true for PAT. Our offices in Aabpara became the venue for PAT dharna; and day after day we could hundreds of women – young and old – with their husbands, fathers and brothers participating in sit ins. And in a ultra-conservative country where women feel insecure outside the fore walls of home we saw hundreds of them openly sleeping on streets and sidewalks with men standing guard with sticks. Amazing discipline!
Read more: Time line of violence in Islamabad…!
Also throughout the last two weeks of this mass mobilization we have seen a relation of respect between men and women. True! there have been few instances of hooting (though in PTI gatherings and not PAT) but overall in a country brutalized by the sad stories of women being raped or assaulted we have seen a remarkable mutual respect and discipline allowing women to actively participate in political expression.
One interesting aspect is the political empowerment of Pakistani women; never since the Pakistan Movement in 1940’s more women have been on road with slogans. And this is not only with PTI which has often been described as Urban or middle class or mummy/daddy. This was equally true for PAT.
This time period has also seen unprecedented increase in young Pakistani women watching current affairs and political programs and commenting on politics in social media. This is not restricted to these two parties, but lot more women belonging to PMLN and other parties have actively participated in political debates – a political change created by one party then infects others, earlier PTI’s social media offensive had forced PMLN and other parties to organized them on Social Media where they now often outnumber the PTI attack teams or at least give them tough time. It reminds me of the way Margaret Thatcher’s “home & share owning society” changed the British politics for ever leading to the emergence of New Labor. Similarly this current movement in Pakistan has now heralded the entry of Pakistani women into politics in a big way. It will affect the character of all parties. Watch the next few month and years!
Let there be a great applause for this historic moment!
Moeed Pirzada is prominent TV Anchor & commentator; he studied international relations at Columbia Univ, New York and law at London School of Economics. Twitter: MoeedNj. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy. This piece was first published in Moeed Pirzada’s official page. It has been reproduced with permission.