Belated it may be, but the Islamabad High Court’s direction to the local administration to evict protesters from Faizabad Interchange needs to be applauded. Despite the court orders, the stalemate, however, continues by the time this article goes into print.
The sit-in by two religious groups begs some serious questions about our collective failure to control a handful of zealots. It is also a manifestation of the fact that since the ruling elite was not directly affected by road closures, hence the slow government response. The PM has the privilege of using a chopper to avoid the traffic mess. The army chief can also take the aerial route to shuttle between Islamabad and Rawalpindi. But tens of thousands of common citizens do not have the same privilege as they had to endure the excruciating pain of long stretches of traffic jams for almost two weeks. Just imagine had protesters blocked the road leading to the PM office or ministers’ colony or judges’ enclave or generals’ bungalows, would the response from the state machinery have been the same? Certainly not. The crux is that as long as the ruling elite and privileged class is not affected by the chaos, the state apparatus would not move swiftly.