Egypt has lesson for Pakistan
The last Moghul Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar’s couplet that “do gaz zameen bhi na mili kue yaar mein” (I could not find even burial place in my own country) is a grim reminder for all those involved in self-aggrandisement. The late Shah of Iran, proclaiming himself to be the “King of the Kings” and a descendant of Cyrus, and ouster from Tunis of President Zainel Abedin, and finding shelter in Saudi Arabia are glaring examples In modern history. Ayub, Bhutto, Marcos, none could protect themselves from the massive out-pour on streets of a people, considering themselves to be victims of persistent repression and sheer neglect. Saddam Hussein of Iraq too was a despot, but the invasion of his country on the false pretext of possessing dangerous weapons for germ warfare, was an unpardonable act on the part of the then US President George W Bush, whose father, like him too, was a war monger and devastated a Holy land of Karbala and Najaf Sharif for no rhyme or reason. Hitler too enjoyed a massive confidence of his people, but the person called “Fuhrer” by his people, died in mysterious circumstances after plunging Germany in a totally unnecessary, unwarranted invasion of Europe, and losing the second world war. Leaders caring for their people, attending to their needs and taking steps for their welfare, became immortals. Their names are en-shrined in the golden pages of history, and will remain so for ever.
The purpose of this admittedly rather long referral to history is to focus a dispassionate attention to the rapidly deteriorating conditions in our own Pakistan, founded as a blessed country but going down as a wretched State. While misgovernance and corruption has peaked to unprecedented levels, economic mismanagement has made life miserable for the people. Suicides and selling of children for poverty reasons have yet to shake the conscience of those in authority. Far more disappointing is the bitter truth that although the team of three or more people which the Prime Minister had formed to salvage the country from the pit’s edge, have irrefutably nice reputation, but lacks team work. The State Bank Governor, Shahid Kardar, and the Finance Minister Hafeez Sheikh, or his economic advisors, have no coordination, each forming their own little islands of independence or moving in dithering, different directions. Absence of cohesiveness has been missing. Pity, but the Premier Gilani must take matters in his own hands, otherwise the situation will sink in abyss from where recovery will be well nigh impossible. The UNICEF has released an alarming report that children in interior of Sindh have been living a life worse than that prevailing in the African States of Chad and Niger. The government response to such a shocking report from specialised UN agency is still being awaited. Such apathy from State administrators, have turned people indifferent to the sorry state of affairs now, which is worse for the country’s future.
A situation like this is fraught with all kinds of eventualities. The army has remained apolitical. General Kayani does not wish to interfere with the civilian domain. But if the people come on the streets, then who is going to save the government. Obviously reliance will have to be placed on the military firepower. But should the military, in modern times, when there is worldwide surge for human rights and democratic values, behave like it did in the 50s, the 60s, or the 90s, or should it stand by the people and win nation-wide admiration. That’s what Altaf Hussain has been trying to ex-plain to the people. His national solidarity rally of January 30 was a humble but good beginning to unite people of all shades, languages, culture and, traditions. It was aimed at wiping out the divisive tendencies, striking at the roots of the nation’s unity and galvanise people into a nation. The rally was a tremendous success and a bold initiative to change the mindset of the people that their salvation lay in united and strong Pakistan. Leaders are supposed to lead and not be led, which has been the practice in Pakistan so far. The rally drew unparalleled crowd, overflowing the vast the Jinnah Park into areas and winding streets for miles together. The response of the people to listen to Altaf, was a welcome development, and should lead to something positive in future. His was not just a speech. It was indirect indictment of the government, now in power. Altaf looked disenchanted with the administration. email—email@example.com