The tumultuous events of May 9th, following the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, have given us all reason to pause and reflect. The spontaneous eruption of anger, culminating in attacks on Army installations, is not just an indictment of the precarious state of our social fabric, but also a reminder of our shared responsibility to uphold peace, civility, and respect for law and order.
In a democratic society, protest and dissent are not only acceptable but essential for its vibrant functioning. However, when these expressions of discontent escalate into violent acts, they undermine the very essence of democratic ideals. The attacks on Army installations were, without a doubt, highly condemnable. They not only threatened the security and stability of our nation but also belittled the sacrifices made by our brave soldiers who tirelessly serve to protect us.
Such episodes bring to the fore an intriguing aspect of human behaviour—how ‘normal’ individuals act when they find themselves amidst a mob. Mob psychology often sees individuals losing their personal identity and moral judgment, swept up in the collective emotion of the crowd. On that day, many such individuals, who under normal circumstances uphold the principles of peace and respect for institutions, found themselves carried away by the wave of collective anger and aggression.
However, it is precisely in these trying times that we must remember the power of individual choice and personal responsibility. Being part of a mob does not absolve one of personal accountability, and each one of us, as responsible citizens, should resist the urge to be swept away by the tide of collective rage.
In the face of such adversity, our Army, the backbone of our nation, has an even greater role to play. While the attacks were undoubtedly a grave provocation, it is essential that the Army rises above the incident, embodying the resilience and forbearance of a mother. A mother does not hold a grudge against her children when they err; instead, she guides them toward the right path with patience and love. Similarly, our Army should guide the nation in these turbulent times, acting as a beacon of strength, discipline, and unity.
As we move forward, let us remember that our strength as a nation lies not in the expression of unbridled anger but in our collective capacity for understanding, forgiveness, and unity. Let us not let the actions of a mob define us, but rather our response to it. Let us rise above the mob mentality, embody the principles of peace and respect for our institutions, and work together towards a stronger, more united nation.