A week ago, a group of persons were giving out handbills inviting Pakistanis and other South Asian nationals to join a demonstration against the imposition of state of emergency in Pakistan. The demonstration was scheduled November 9 at the Consulate in Hong Kong.
One of the passersby said in refusing to accept the handbills: “I’m not a Pakistani”, suggesting he need not to join the demonstration. However, he was telling it to an American whose colleague was a Filipino present there.
On the third occasion the demonstration was held at the Consulate on November 15, the crowd however reduced its number compared to those who joined to the second one–which was bigger than the first one.
But one thing was clear, only handful of Pakistani and South Asians joined. Expectedly largely none of those invited by handbills came for second occasion. One reason, however, perhaps it’s difficult for them to come on weekdays. And none of those informed for the third occasion came also.
Nevertheless, it’s not only common to Pakistanis, but also for other nationals whose concerned individuals usually hold protest actions at their respective Consulates and Embassies on issues concerning back home. It concludes that even those persons directly affected by issues which is the subject of protest, they shows little sign of support.
Of course, picketing is not the only way of expressing one’s support. However, when its already second or third time, yet none of those concerned nationals came, or the demonstrators number either have not increased or reduced, perhaps there’s something wrong with that.
For me, whether you’re a Pakistani or not it doesn’t matter. What concerns me and condemnable are the actions by the Pakistani government against its own people, and the civilian institutions. This regime suspended the country’s Constitution, put justices of Supreme Court and district courts under house arrest, rounded up lawyers and restricted the media, and so on and so forth.
The regime has virtually abducted its own legal professional, and detained their own institution of justice on pretext of protecting the failing country. It’s impossible to obtained legal remedies there. Anyhow, foreign government and foreigners had to deal with this regime–for one reason: they have the justices, lawyers and others with them.
This situation isn’t solely at all concerns the Pakistanis, but for all of us and those who desire to live a just and humane society. What disheartens me is how cold the Pakistanis and South Asians in Hong Kong on this. I maybe wrong, but if they either won’t speak or shows disinterest, who else would?
This is not a question of nationality or race, but of how we respond to the suffering of human beings, and of how human beings should have been treated. Justices, lawyers, human rights activists, political activists, and others, are the same regardless of where they are and their nationality.
We shouldn’t be constrained to our own only.