Zartaj Gul – a face of a middle class in revolt in Pakistan

Zartaj Gul – a 28 year old woman, a novice in politics, ran for a National Assembly seat in a region of Pakistan dominated by family politics, she did not win, but came third… a remarkable achievement for a first time run. Essentially, in many areas of Pakistan, political seats, so-call parlimentary representation, are considered family heirlooms. This may have been all fine and well – when the middle class was under the domination and patronage of the elites. This has significantly changed over the past few years (for a variety of reason) – many have found their voice and hopes and aspiration in Imran Khan. I’ll be writing more on this change – but I would like to suggest that Pakistan’s population probably breaks down something like this: 2-3% top super top elite – both rural and urban/industrial elites -i.e. top of the pyramid, maybe about 25-30% (maybe less – but not more) middle class – the rest, likely around 70%, are working/peasant class.

The movement that Imran Khan is leading is primarily composed of 25-30% of the country, but I wold also suggest that this class is complex – although middle-class, they are not all that far from the working class of the country – culturally or even economically – more on this in another post…

Lahore – Ao Na Mere Khawab Dekho (Come now … look at my dream)

A movement has been going on in Pakistan for the past 45 days or so… this is the latest massive rally against how Pakistan has been made into a family business, specifically targeting the current Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The movement is led by Imran Khan, who has an 18 year long political involvement history in the country, and before that was the captain of Pakistan’s cricket team. While there are many valid questions about this movement, something that is undeniable is how the Azadi Thereek (or Freedom Movement) has captured the imagination of a significant sector of the middle and lower middle class of the country. More in the next few days… as I re-start this blog. The rally below took place earlier today (Sunday, 9/27/2014 in the city of Lahore, estimates suggest that nearly 4-500,000 people attended. A massive rally by any accounts.