So, the awakening has come. What next and how? To understand what is happening in our state, here is a quick chronicle of events.

Lahore: The historic jalsa of 28th September, 2014. Minar-e-Pakistan is located in the centre of the old city of Lahore, and the surrounding population are middle class, poor victims of the system who never had a voice because they were always exploited by money or fear. Who were the people attending the jalsa? Youth, rehriwalas, day wage laborers, students, and a record appearance of women and families. Rich, poor and middle class all together lighting up their torches, and lighting up our hearts. The crowd was responsive, alert and engaged, because they came of their own free will.

Punjab Medical Association: Dr Salman, joint secretary of the association stood up while Salman Rafiq was addressing to say “Go Nawaz Go,” and was beaten up and strangled by the Gullu Butts of the PMLN.

Alhambra hall: Hamza Shahbaz was booed by the attendees, and forced to leave.

Human rights event: Ahsan Iqbal was greeted by, “Go Nawaz Go” when the event was disturbed by load shedding and he had to leave early.

Karachi: Demonstrations against VIP culture in Pakistan by non political women and men activists.

Karachi: The people of Orangi Town stood up and caught the gang of dacoits who had been active in their locality for many weeks without conclusive action by law enforcement agencies.

Islamabad: Third case by session courts in Islamabad against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on charges of the murder of four youth, and 500 injured by the police and Gullu Butts on order of the government against peaceful demonstrators who were asking for justice.

Election commission of Pakistan: Issued a draft report of elections 2013 on their website pointing out serious flaws including lack of accountability of returning officers to the Election Commission. Instead they were reporting to Chief Justice Iftikhar Choudhry since most were session judges. This report also accepted the printing of ballot papers from private sources, and stated that no account of the unused ballot papers had been submitted. It further accepted, that due to lack of timely information and coordination with the State Bank of Pakistan and the federal bureau of revenue, many allegedly corrupt individuals were not stopped from contesting elections. Typical of Pakistani institutions, devoid of all authority to perform their function in a non partisan manner, this report was submitted nine months ago in December 2013 but was not made public until now. Interestingly, the election commission contradicted itself and duly took the report off air the next day.

In a next step however, now the senior officers of the Election Commission have accepted that Form 14 which is the final report by returning officers, has not been submitted by many constituencies. It was also declared that Nadra can verify magnetic as well as normal ink stamps which is in contradiction to previous statements issued by PMLN ministers and officials.

Another landmark activity was the National Accountability Bureau’s awakening and declaration to open cases against Firdous Awan, Qasim Zia and Azam Hoti. The selection of cases shows they are treading slowly on their newfound independence, as each member is from the main political parties, and whatever plans anyone in Pakistan or abroad are making or have made, the awakening is of the people, by the people and for the people.

So truly it’s a match between the common citizen of Pakistan and everyone in government or elsewhere who have traditionally steered events to an end which suits their interest.

So what will happen next? Three options are being discussed, a national government to bring reforms, army taking over or chaos. Whatever happens, the forces that manoeuvre politics in Pakistan whether internal or external are driven by lobbies with their own views and slant on where Pakistan should go. It is time now that we the people of Pakistan be the real force driving events, whether through public activism or political and other forums. This opportunity will not present itself again in our lifetime. It’s now or never for Pakistan and its people to sit in the driving seat and take the country where we see justice, education, health, equality and progress for the nation. This is our call, and our time.

The writer is a citizen living in Lahore.

zarqataimur@gmail.com