Redefining politics…Arab Spring: lessons for Pakistan
Written by: Aamir Latif.. Sheikh Rashid Ghannouchi, the head of the ruling Al Nahda Party of Tunisia, hopes that the non-Arab countries can benefit from the experiences of Islamic movements with respect to the ouster of secular dictatorial regimes.
“Change in the Arab world is a message of peace for the entire humanity. The Muslim nations are writing a new history through their peaceful struggle, and sacrifices”, Sheikh Ghannouchi remarked while delivering a lecture on Arab Spring: Lessons for Pakistan organized by Center for Discussions and Solutions (CDS) on Wednesday, February 15, 2012.
The CDS has recently been set up by Qazi Hussein Ahmed, a former chief of Jammat-e-Islami (JI), one of the largest Islamic parties of Pakistan, with an aim to promote discussions and deliberations on different issues confronting the Muslim world.
The forum, headed by Qazi Hussein Ahmed, who relinquished his responsibilities as JI chief last year after serving for 23 years, comprises intellectuals, retired army-men, bureaucrats, senior journalists, and other experts belonging to different walks of life.
Long lasting change
A large number of politicians, journalists, former generals, and bureaucrats turned up to hear from Sheikh Ghannouchi, whose Al Nahda Party is considered one of the architects of the ongoing Arab Spring.
“The best part of these changes in the Arab world is that the people of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen have defeated their fear. They have portrayed the true picture of Islam through their relentless and peaceful struggle”, Sheikh Ghannouchi maintained referring to the ouster of military dictators in respective countries after massive protests against them.
He thinks that the people of respective countries and other Arab states have identified themselves after a long time.
“We had been ruled by corrupt and cruel military dictators for years and years who had made life miserable for us by all means. But the revolutionary (Islamic) movements did not give up. They continued their mission despite all the atrocities and violence against them”, he said.
Sheikh Ghannouchi believes that the recent changes in the world Arab would be long lasting.
“This change is not the result of any coincidence or a sudden development. Behind that (change), is the sacrifices of hundreds of thousands of people, who sacrificed their lives, careers, and precious years of their lives in jails for this day”, he added.
“The successes of Islamic movements in various Arab countries by the grace of Allah have fizzled out the false propaganda against us. The people of these countries have reposed their confidence in Islamic movements in free and fair elections, which show that they find us fully capable of handling issues like economy, politics, and international relations”.
Therefore, Sheikh Ghannouchi observed, the change would not merely turn out to be long lasting, but would provide guidance to the Islamic movements striving for change in other Muslim countries.
Non-violence is key
Sheikh Ghannouchi thinks that the recent changes in the Arab world have liberated various countries from the clutches of corrupt, and incapable military dictators who acted as representatives of colonial powers.
This change will have far-reaching effects on international politics, especially with respect to the disputed and subjugated Muslim areas, he maintained.
“These liberated countries (where Islamic movements have won) would work for the Muslims of subjugated areas”.
Particularly talking about Palestine and Indian-administered Kashmir, Sheikh Ghannouchi said that resolutions of these two issues would be the priority of these liberated countries.
He said that the countries where Islamic movements have managed to form their governments would play a role to revive the true role of the OIC and the Arab League.
Setting guidelines for Islamic movements in South Asia, especially in Pakistan, Sheikh Ghannouchi insisted that trust in Allah, patience, trust in non-violence, and a strong commitment are essential ingredients for success here and in the hereafter.
“Always remember, there is no substitute to peaceful struggle. Counter-violence yields no results. In fact, it turns out to be disastrous (for the struggle)”, he said.
Recalling the atrocities committed by military dictators against workers and supporters of Islamic movements, especially in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, and Libya, the Sheikh said that the exemplary patience and non-violence on the part of Islamic movements made these successes possible.
Back to Library