Marvi Memon Self-respect, pride, self-esteem, self-worth, respectability of our people is the aim of our political struggle. This has been badly affected in our history by those who have looted. The biggest impediment to the awakening of our people is the lack of understanding of what has been stolen from them. What is obvious to them is that their natural resources have been stolen from them. For an average poor Pakistani, his water, his electricity, his gas, his roads, his schools, his healthcare centres, his food and his security has been stolen from him. At times, even this realisation is distant. It seems that the poor man of Pakistan doesnt understand that all these basic facilities are his or her right. The poor man or woman does not, perhaps, associate with the fact that a human being has some fundamental rights. Interestingly, the same 'human has obligations that have been drilled into him: To stand at jalsas and clap for these looters, and then to go to the polling stations like cattle and vote for the same looters. I keep repeating myself ad nauseum in the villages that there is no obligation towards a looter who has not given you your rights. And the basic rights are so basic that it makes my head dizzy thinking about the value of a human here and elsewhere. The value of a human is what our political struggle will return back to our poor Pakistani. The day this value is understood, half the battle would have been won. My dearest Pakistani, who lives in the distant villages and cities, you all have rights and obligations. Your right is to be treated like a human being and your obligation is to respect huqooq-ul-ibad, respect the law of the land and vote in those who do the same from amongst you. Your self-dignity is being negatively impacted when you are denied your basic civic amenities. When you are held at gunpoint and asked to give away your phone or cash. When you are kidnapped for material wealth. When you are raped. When you are not given jobs, despite being on merit. But much more than that, when your vote is bought. When you are taken like cattle to the polling stations to vote for a candidate who has not given you your self-respect. Politicians like to remind you of your self-respect and dignity when they make mistakes, while the dignity of your country is put at stake. They confuse that with your personal self-respect. And they make you rally for it. There is nothing wrong in protesting for the sake of your country, if those leading the protest have not stolen your own self-dignity or that of your country. But there is something drastically wrong if you are willing to rally with those who have stolen your dignity. The question is: When do other countries attack your dignity or your countrys sovereignty? The answer: When your leaders have made your self-respect and dignity worth cattle fodder. That is the harsh reality. When they have sold you and your countrymen alike. Only and only then can another country try and interfere. When your looter leaders leave the door wide open is when they enter; in fact, when they are invited to enter. So, perhaps, the nations focus needs to be on the root cause. How about a rally against those in power who are responsible for the izzat-e-nafs, waqar, and self-respect of our common Pakistanis being down and under? How about a rally on behalf of all those men and women who have no access to toilets and have to make do with the fields? What is the difference between them and animals? Where is the humanity? How about a rally for all those Pakistanis who drink water from the same stream as their cattle? Where is their humanity? Clearly, if Pakistanis were to accept the principle that those who have stolen their personal humanity and dignity are responsible for stealing that of the countrys and these very looters need to be blocked out of the power corridors, perhaps, dignity would return. In this case, the governments basic objective would be good governance, which would ensure that its citizens would have basic civic amenities that would then lead it to having respect among the comity of nations. It is all consequential. The best way to make each Pakistani understand how far we have sunk in this well of lack of dignity is if we are all connected. A Keti Bunder villagers loss of dignity is as dear as that of a villager from Amanghar. And that each of these villagers are connected to each other. For that, it is high time that a Congress of Pakistanis got together from each district. These brave men and women would be able to share stories of their issues and their stolen dignity with each other as one nation. To-date no such mechanism even exists within the political parties. They dont have men and women representatives from each district in their parties who can come together regularly under one roof to share their problems and find solutions. How can they? Their issues are a result of their looter leaders in any case. The awareness of how closely related their issues are will definitely be the fuel required to start the revolution. This is the Pakistaniyat we need to create. We all need to sit together to understand the quantum of the loss of dignity and educate each other about our rights. It seems obvious, but even then there is no alarm. We know we have no dignity left at personal or country levels, yet we are still voting for the same thieves who are responsible for its loss. The new political movement would cater for a regular dialogue on such issues amongst those in each district most aware of the loss of their dignity. Such men and women who feel they are most well versed with the issues of their districts and want to be part of such a larger community, need to write to me immediately. Please send me your name, address, phone number, CNIC and examples of the loss of dignity of your area at marvi.nmemon@gmail.com. We must start this journey with those Pakistanis who can feel the pain of the loss of dignity. The writer is a former Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan.