I don’t think there’s anyone left who hasn’t seen this video of former Senator and Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, Asif Zardari’s trusted right-hand-man, and another Member of the National Assembly (MNA), Dr Ramesh Vankvani were booted off PIA flight PK370 for holding up 220+ passengers for nearly two and a half hours while they arrived late for the flight. But if you haven’t seen it, here it is:
When a few people decide they won’t accept VIP culture, this is the result. I never thought I would see something like this happen in Pakistan in my lifetime.
Senators Shahi Syed and Farogh Naseem were also on the plane and waited with everyone else. Here is an eyewitness account that someone I know (a friend of a friend) posted on Facebook. I have blanked out their identity as I don’t have permission from them to share their post.
I have waited in airplanes, on the streets of Karachi, in queues numerous times for these VIPs without objecting, without raising my voice. Shame on me and credit to the people on this flight who decided that a former minister and a sitting member of parliament did not deserve to travel with them.
No doubt some will condemn what they did as vigilantism and anarchy. No doubt some will say when people take things into their own hands, chaos ensues and systems & institutions are de-legitimised. But I am choosing not to listen to the apologists today. I am choosing to celebrate this a step towards change in Pakistan.
Could this be the catalyst? The one thing that will propel us forward as a nation? I doubt it as people will see it as a small victory and the so-called VIPs will keep their heads down for a while. But it is certainly a spark. The fire is lit. It is small and feeble, but it is burning…