Political violence concerns expats in UAE

ABU DHABI – Members of the Pakistani community in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have expressed their concern that the political protests led by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) in Islamabad have turned violent.

Over the last few days, demonstrations against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took an ominous turn when police attacked the protesters. In UAE, Pakistanis say that they have been closely watching all developments back home. Dr Salman Hameed, a medical practitioner based in Dubai, believed the protests could enact real change in Pakistan.

“The so-called democratic leaders have crossed all boundaries of injustice. For the first time in the history of Pakistan, people have taken to the streets for their rights. I feel it's about time that the status quo changed,” he said. Dr Hameed, who is originally from Karachi, said that now politicians in Pakistan understood the anger of the population.

“We need true leaders in Pakistan with vision, like those in the UAE, and not pseudo leaders who only come to power for the sole intention of looting the country in the name of democracy.” Financial expert Mian Munir said that the present political situation in Pakistan was shameful.

“The opposition wants transparency in the election process, which the present government is reluctant to provide. Justice has been denied. “The government must set some example to make us proud and earn respect for the nation,” he said. Pakistani businessman Tauseef H Farooqi believed military intervention was a possibility.

“The government of Pakistan has turned a political issue into a human catastrophe due to its intransigent behaviour and it has aggravated it by using brutal force to kill innocent Pakistanis,” he said. “My feeling is that the government has turned a simple political issue into something so big that only the army can now stop things from getting out of hand.”

Management professional Naimatullah Jafri blamed the archaic electoral system in Pakistan for the present crisis. “Complete overhaul is required to ensure that no one can tamper with the system. The current government must resign and a caretaker government should be formed to overhaul the electoral process and then go for new elections,” he said.

Banker Ziaullah K in Dubai says that the situation in Islamabad is painful to watch. Faizan Mirza – another banker – was concerned about the security of his family and friends back home. “We cannot do much from here. But we can at least support the cause and raise our voices against the injustice which is happening right now,” he said.

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