Peaceful protests are the hallmark of every bustling democracy. Pakistan which portrays itself as a democratic country, is just for the sake of it, with the military the real power centre. In yet another incident which proves that Pakistan doesn’t care about its citizens, the Imran Khan government last week launched tear gas shells on its own population who were protesting for a hike in salary, so as to verify the usability of the shells.
In yet another low for the Imran Khan government, Pakistan fired 1000 tear gas shells at its protesting employees just to ‘test it’. In fact, the country’s Interior Minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed even attempted to justify the shelling with some insensitive remarks.
Asked upon why did the government decide to shell its own citizens, Ahmed stated that is, “necessary to test the tear gas as it had been unused for a long time”.
He made this remarks while addressing a ceremony in Rawalpindi. He also stated that Islamabad Police only “fired a little tear gas”, as the canisters were unused since long and it was important to test them.
The protesters, under the umbrella of All Government Employees Grand Alliance, were demanding a hike in salaries in light of the rapidly rising inflation in the country and hence, the public servants had announced a sit-in at Pakistan Secretariat. The protests appeared to have reached its climax after a government committee agreed to increase the basic pay of federal government employees from grades 1 to 19 by 25%.
Such is the derangedness of Ahmed that he claimed that the “real problem” was not the tear gas shelling, however it was the pay raise which would “amounts to billions of rupees in this time of inflation [and is a burden on the] treasury”.
The Imran Khan government which is already under increasing pressure from a united opposition which is baying for Khan’s blood came under heavy fire from the opposition camp.
PML-N leader Mohammad Zubair, said, “In any other country, a statement like this would mean the immediate firing of the minister and an apology from the government.”
Granted Pakistan has been reduced to a parody state especially under the tenure of Imran Khan, but even in the most wildest of one’s dream, would have one thought that Pakistan would have stooped so low that they start shelling its own citizens. Imran Khan will go down as one of the most incompetent leaders ever to have ever lead a country.