|2006: Female cadets at the Quaid's tomb|
Emancipation was the new goal. This may be concluded from the fact that according to the generally accepted views, conventional democracy (i.e. Western democracy) pre-requires a high literacy rate, which did not exist in Pakistan at that time (nor does it now). If so, then the masses had less reason to care for such democracy and more to care for the other, indigenous, variety that had already been idealized by them: it had been taught to them by the most influential teachers, preachers, poets and artists for more than a thousand years. It was the spiritual democracy, envisioned by the more genuine schools of Sufism in the past, and more recently turned into a political idea by the likes of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Shah Waliullah, Waris Shah, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, Ali Brothers and Allama Iqbal. (For a detailed outline of this development, see the previous articles by the present writer published in this newspaper).
In the absence of a well-stated ideal, the only ideal to be pursued was to learn from experience. This was also important because the emancipation that we were trying to achieve was unprecedented. It was a long-cherished goal that had never become a reality for our society during the long centuries of tyrants and despots. Therefore, the best way forward was to learn from experience.
The benchmark came in 2006, when judicial activism of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Chaudhry, prevailed upon the combined whim of a native military ruler and the sole super power on earth, and made them answerable in a court of law for “the missing persons”, most of whom were not only insignificant citizens, but also disfavored citizens.