Opposition leader Imran Khan has threatened to shut Pakistan down town by town, and he began with Faisalabad. Here’s what Pakistanis have to say about it:

“So, I am a fan of Imran Khan and I live in Faisalabad, and I was planning to join the protest, but it looks like no one in the party thought about how I will get to the venue if they close down all the roads in the city. Disappointed.” –Lateef Lighter (college student and PTI follower)

“Wait, so if they actually succeed in their heinous plan to shut down all the markets and bring traffic, trade and industry to a standstill, will we finally get uninterrupted power and gas at home? Awesome!” –Shabnam Sharaarty (housewife and dry cleaner)

“Well I don’t know how to shut down Pakistan but I can teach you how to properly shut down windows. Well first you click on the Start button. I know it is ironic that when you want to stop using your computer, you have to click on the Start button. Democracy in Pakistan is like the Windows operating system. Someone makes the foreign policy, defence policy and the economic policy in the background, and asks the government to click Okay to continue. It slows down after a while and then it needs a boot.” –Kernel Kashi (computer engineer and blogger)

“In most cases you don’t really have to shut down Pakistan. There is a power outage every other hour and it gets shut down anyway. Then when you turn it back on, there is a message saying ‘Pakistan was not shut down properly the last time.” –Raju Robot (mobile phone repairman and part-time mobile phone thief)

“This is extremely unfair. Imran Khan’s concerns may be genuine but his timing is not right. Just when the petroleum prices were reduced considerably first time in my life, they have blocked all the roads and shut down the city. If people won’t drive their cars and use as much fuel as possible, how will we save money?” –Pappu Puncturewala (car mechanic and part-time Tahirul Qadri protester)

“This is not how we behave in a democracy. If Imran Khan wants to bring the country to a standstill, he should do it in the proper way. He should wait for the next elections and restrengthen his party in the meanwhile. Then he should win the elections and form a government. Then he should bring the country to a standstill. That is how we behave in a democracy.” –Professor Peeno (magician and English teacher)

“We are hundreds of years behind the west. In the US, republicans can easily shut down the government from within the Congress by creating a funding gap. We should develop such a mechanism in Pakistan as well.” –Zaibun Nisa (QingQi driver)

“It was so much fun on Monday. One of our fellow protesters died in Faisalabad, so we all went out and danced on the roads. Politics is the performance art of possibility.” –Nadir Namurad (businessman, former leftist, and general secretary of All Pakistan Labor Union)

“I do not approve of how the government handled this. The government has no right to resort to violence. Only the opposition has the right to resort to violence.” –Dilawar Dabang (crime reporter and part time bank teaboy)

“If you want to shut down a business venture, such as a trade name or a partnership, you are required by law to submit a notification that indicates that your business has ended and the trade name is no longer in use. You may require to sign a Declaration of Ceasing to Carry on Business Under a Trade Name, or a Declaration of Dissolution of Partnership. In case of a partnership, a signature by either partner is sufficient. Advice is also available at our office on a case by case basis. Bring a copy of this newspaper for a special discount.” –Barrister Marhoom (lawyer and part-time documentary maker)

“If they wanted to shut down a city and stop people from going to work, then I think they should have started with Lahore. That would have been way easier, because nobody in this city wants to go to work anyway.” –Charlie Chokas (unemployed)

The author has a degree in Poetics of Prophetic Discourse and works as a Senior Paradigm Officer. He can be contacted at harris@nyu.edu. Follow him on Twitter