Egyptian mass movement inspires Pakistan 'change agents' to get back into action

Lahore, Feb 10(ANI): Inspired by the recent mass movements in Egypt, Sudan and Tunisia, Pakistan's change agents and social activists have begun reactivating and strengthening their networking in various parts of the country.

Although these social groups already existed in the country plagued with bad governance, high inflation rate, economic and energy crisis, corruption, injustice and non-existence of a true opposition party, the mass movements in some Islamic countries have sensitised them to organize and further their agendas.

Many groups are working quietly in this regard, keeping themselves at a distance from the media. In the first phase, they are focusing mainly on brainstorming to set out short-term and long-term targets, and appropriate action plans and strategies to implement these targets practically.

In the second phase, they have planned to get support of the media, after doing some homework and preparing the ground for an awareness campaign and movements for change, the Daily Times quoted sources, who are part of these campaigns, as saying.

According to the report, there are at least three schools of thought working for change in Pakistan- the first wants to bring the change through an alteration in the voting behaviour of the people, the second through a mass movement and the third through political reforms.

An organisation- Centre for Change- is working in Karachi, and its chief executive Farasat Ali is in constant touch with the intellectual change activists of Lahore and other cities.enowned economist and writer Mehmood Mirza is another intellectual change activist, who is currently working on evolving a theoretical framework for any near future mass movement for change in Pakistan, and is also engaged in meetings with various likeminded people.

Mirza said that the need for change was very much in existence in Pakistan, but the question was about the scope of change.

"It (change) should be only political or focused on a justice-based economy to bring about economic restructuring to serve the deprived classes and improve their living standards," he opined.

Mirza pointed out that the mass uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia were to bring about political changes by trying to throw out the one-man rule in each of the two nations.

He said the problems in Pakistan were economic- including poverty, dearness, and taxation- but ruled out the chances of any mass movement due to high inflation rate and dearness. Instead, Mirza said, the so-called Reformed General Sales Tax and other tax reforms could be a basis for a mass movement in near future because the traders and industrialists were well organized.

Secondly, an anti-American mass movement might be triggered in the country, he added. (ANI)

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