Current political scenario
Conditions in the country are so alarming as they have never been in Pakistan’s history. What is a pity is that the achiements of the circles who are in power and are not tired of claiming to have been elected “democratically” are zero. They consider running the government by making alliances with the “leaders” and there are ever ready touts to join in making power combinations and groupings which keeps them floating. There are two types of politicians in the power circles, So in the country there are two types of leadership, the minority which believes in principles and the majority, or the alliance of the power seeking leaders , who are unabashedly for staying in power by one stratagem or the other. To them it is not serving the people but to remain in power which is the real purpose of getting power to rule. The very principle they mouth is so devoid of morality or of serving the people that it is denial of political morality , and is out and out Machiavellian-ism – that is “every thing is possible in politics- which is the belief of the ladies of easy virtue. It is surprising that it has been adopted by the leaders of an Islamic country. Al-Ghazzali wrote in his book “Nasihat ul Mulk” –written for the Seljuk King of the time- Al hukumo amanah “ or “rule is a trust” . His opposite was Machiavelli who was for the practice of any thing goes” . It would seem to be a contradiction for an Islamic state to practice Machiavelli, granted that every body comes to power for some personal glorification and ambitions but it is supposed to be the driving force not the sole purpose.
One cannot clam to be democratic and be so openly for personal glorification. Pity is that the rulers make tall claims that their party is democratic and live on the tall propagandist claims that they have done such and such thing for the public good for the first time in Pakistan’s history, and have done such a thing for the welfare of the people of such and such place which was never done before in Pakistan, If one believe in what they claim it would seem that they are Adam and Eve of every thing good that happened to Pakistan. They have bestowed every scheme of people’s welfare to Pakistan and all those who came to rule Pakistan were zero, or to say that over sixty years which elapsed before their rule were the period in which Pakistanis were waiting for them the messiah of Pakistan’s deliverance or they introduced democracy to Pakistan.
One can say that every regime that came had its good and bad, but to say that Pakistan was in dark ages before the induction of their party or rule is too much to swallow. Ths to much exaggeration. Exaggeration is its own contradiction. The predecessors too had done some good some bad. This is the law of nature. Painting all the previous history as a dark page is unacceptable, and makes one forget what caused ups and downs in Pakistan’s history. They have some pet theories like asserting that past over three decades of military rule caused all the ills in Pakistan otherwise the “politicians “ would have given the country a solid base for democracy. This propagandistic claim creating a self swerving political demonology and mythology. According to this mythology every political social ill took place because of those long military rules. This plea is created to claim that the politicians inherited all the ills born out of the military rule. Otherwise they had the magic wand to make Pakistan a land of great promise.
What is the reality which has been presented in this awful manner? There were four military interventions in last 60plus years , Ayub, Yahya, Zia, Musharruf. Among these four, the clear case of a Coup d’etat was that of Musharruf .What were the conditions when Ayub was as he claimed forced him to intervene cannot be dismissed What is controversial is that Ayub handed over power to Yahya and not to the East Pakistani Speaker who was to succeed under the Constitution . There is some truth in this claim but it is beyond this article to go into this matter. Yahya did hold fair elections but in West Pakistan there was a powerful group which opposed that Mujib should not be given power, for whatever reasons- Zia has become controversial only because of the hanging of ZAB a tragic national event not acceptable even today but to look at his regime he pursued ZAB’s idea of making Pakistan a nuclear power against heavy odds- it in incorrect that “jihad” in Afghanistan was his project. The Afghans resistance against Soviet Union was named Jihad by Americans and the West themselvesWhether the military intervention was incorrect or not is one thing and we need not enter into this debate here However, it would be an exaggeration to claim that Ayub’s rule was a dark period of Pakistan history or was totally ant-democracy, and that Pakistan’s economic conditions and international standing was as low as it is in “democratic” rule of present day.
Just compare what were the prices of things of daily use and of food etc in the days of the military rules of Ayub in particular; and of some others. What were the law and order situation in the country? I recall one day some Foreign Office ladies going on a shopping trip of Landi kotal and Bara alone with the driver. I reminded them that that they could be kidnapped there. They said no longer. Now ladies go there for shopping unaccompanied with males. The returned in the evening with shopping. Now Army is engaged their fighting the armed gangs, or Talebans. What was the prestige and standing of Pakistan in international community. Was Pakistan not the leader of the Muslim world, a voice in Asia and Africa and the Third World . What is its standing now? Of course it was so in the days of ZAB too ?. What was the performance of the Government departments and the level of efficiency of functionaries, absence of corruption except in some low ranks in police, custom and income tax ? What was the pride in the people in their own country, keeping 1965 Inda-Pak War. Or were we saying in those days as we say these days that if Pakstan is to survive it should do this and that . Would in those days any one say “ if Pakistan is to survive..”
Or was the international press in the days of a military dictator, Ayub’s days, not calling Pakistan as a model for economic development for the Developing World? This was said in the English language press, French language press, Arabic press of the most prestigious dailies and journals, Economist. Time Magazine, Asahi Shimbun etc Have they described the miracle and dynamism of economic development of Pakistan of the Ayub Era or not.? What was the parity in market price of the Rupee and dollar? Beginning from Rs 5 to a dollar to maximum in early days of Zia to Rs 9 to a dollar? Those who have seen those days of Pakistan recall what was the level of patriotism and pride in Pakistan. Wher this all disappeared.? In early days we took loans as an individual takes loans from a bank on a project and later people went for aid for budget support or for politicians lavish expanses. Anyway what is the position now. National pride is a matter of old story, True that the country is in a state of despondency, but if someone says that a Revolution will take placelike French Revolution which was caused by the extreme contrast in the riches of the Nobles ( equal to our multi-billionaire politicians of today) ad poor common men or a Khomeini like Revolution which was caused by Shah’s policies of country’s subservience to US and westernization of Iranian upper society, or like in China and Russia which was caused by the utter poverty of the masses, then it is a pipe dream. In the areas in which Pakistan was created the peasant, hari, mazarey, stands with folded handed before the Waders. Howsoever he is kicked by the wadera he stands before his master with folded hand. No revolution can come here
What is the remedy? There is only one which is that the alternative power in the country discharge its responsibility in the manner General Aslam Beg had proposed to put the country on the right track but without taking over itself. Either it should have elections held without bungling or side with those institutions like the Supreme Court who want to put the country on the straight road and want to cleanse this dirty system of corruption and malpractices Perhaps it would be correct to say that Corruption is acceptable as a normal part of life, so is bungling in Government decisions The limit of tolerance of the common men in Pakistan is unlimited. They do not look at malpractices in the Government with disfavor.
The proof of it is that in every where in elections the corrupt and money maker politicians have received massive votes , as in Azad Kashmir.Only a small minority of the country is against corruption and money making by illegal means. Common men consider it as normal practice. Adherents of principled politics received poor votes and did miserably. Patta baz won. These days the administrative machinery is file making and file pushing body not problem solving body. Administration has lost its élan vital and is just a body without soul. Politics is another name in our country for patta bazi. So the role of the alternative power and the Judiciary is vital in the situation.