While flipping channels, I noticed the difference between the coverage on Pakistani channels and BBC and CNN. The local channels are reporting about the 40th anniversary of Libya’s so-called revolution. And of course, BBC and CNN were reporting about the elections in different parts of the world.
I couldn’t help, but notice that Pakistan’s channels are glorifying Libya’s undemocratic, uncivilized and out of touch government that denies its people the right to vote, the right to chose or elect their government, the right to assemble and voice their opposition to any or all government policies. In addition, Pakistani channels are also presenting Libya’s ruler, who has been in power for 40 years, as a heroic figure.
This made me sick.
BBC and CNN are independent entities, but because they are based in democratic societies, therefore, they have not presented Libya as a heavenly country celebrating 40 years of authoritarian one man rule. By the way, after Qaddafi, his son is all set to take over, thus making Libya a family enterprise, just like Egypt, Jordan, Syria Saudi Arabia, and so on.
Now, here is what bothers me. The current government in Islamabad prides itself on being a democratic government. Prime Minister Gillani and President Zardari remind us day and night that they fought for democracy, human rights, women’s right, justice, etc, but they also celebrate a dictator’s undemocratic rein of terror. Wow.
Prime Minister Gillani has gone one step further and he is in Libya as a guest of the Libyan government to ‘officially participate in celebrations’ and to represent Pakistan. Represent Pakistan? But why, why would democratic forces align themselves with dictators? Why would people, who went to jail for democracy, sit and listen to a dictator being praised as a super human being?
It is not just sad, for me, it is pathetic.
If you read the list of who is who in Libya for these celebrations, you won’t find anyone from America, England, France, Germany, Italy, or any other democratic society praising a dictator. Then, why can’t we, a democratic country align ourselves with other democracies?
For me, and for a vast majority of this world, a dictator is a murderer, a fascist human being who is not worth listening or talking to. Anyone who violates basic laws of humanity, like Libya’s current ruler has done for 4 decades; he must be tried and punished for his crimes, not praised.
I have great respect for President Zardari and Prime Minister Gillani for being democratic warriors. And this is precisely why I think they should have stayed away from Libya. Staying away from these celebrations would have made every peace loving, progressive and common sense Pakistani proud of Pakistan’s stand. Instead, our government has embarrassed us by warmly embracing a dictator.