On 16th March, 2012, a dozen rickshaw drivers climbed up a high-voltage tower in Lahore, threading to commit suicide, as a protest against the corruption of the traffic police. The protesters stayed up on the tower for 6 hours, exhausting themselves without food or water, and risking their lives. It makes us wonder where we stand as a Muslims today, and it makes us question the very laws that govern the very socio-eco-political fabric of our society.

In the days of the Caliphate of the 2nd Caliph, Umar Bin Al Khatab R.A., the Governors (Wali's) had their doors burnt down, if found close by the Caliph. That was done in order for the masses to reach out to them easily. The Governors, in an Islamic Caliphate act as subjects to the population, whereas in democracy, we find things are turned upside down. But perhaps, this protest by Rickshaw drivers against the atrocities of the system governing them was not the first of it's kind. We have seen previously entire families getting themselves crushed on railway tracks right in the centre of Lahore. We've all seen men burning themselves in front of the Governor House right at the core of one of our largest city.

If these examples don't suffice, we've also seen how the system protects the rights of foreign killers like Raymond Davis, and fails to protect the rights of women like Aafia Siddiqui, and other innocent women including those buried alive in Balochistan. All victims had one thing in common - every atrocity, every injustice committed by the state, or those having the authority to implement, had the protection of the system i.e. democracy or dictatorship.

If the ruling tyrants of the Muslim World need to realise anything, it is that poverty, economic disparity, and assault on the dignity of common fellow will not be tolerated any more by the masses. Bin Ghazi, the man who triggered the Tunisian revolution, faced no different suffocation at the hands of the state machinery than what the common folk in Pakistan are facing today. He was stripped off his job due to unemployment caused by inflation, then when he tried to do a decent earning by selling things on a roadside. His selling-cart was taken away by the police authorities, and when he protested, he was slapped and beaten brutally by the tunisian security forces.

Seeing no light at the end of the tunnel, he set himself ablaze in the middle of the crowd. What followed after that is but evident. The oppressive regime, and oppressive rulers were thrown away in the dustbin of history.

We as Muslims of Pakistan still have 'some' time to think. We're not occupied by oppressive regimes as the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir and other countries are. But we do have oppressive regimes ruling over us in disguise of democracy. We need to realise that the system of democracy, be it termed 'Islamic' or 'secular' is based on the western thought construct of separation of state and religion, and has no harmony with the principles of Islam. The only way forward is to implement Islam in it's entirety, as it is ought to be implemented via Caliphate. What could be better than the Order of the Divine?

ADEEL NAEEM NAQI,

Lahore, March 17.