Why don’t they eat cake?
This is the state of our economy for the down trodden. There must be so many of such unemployed wage earners. The visible state of the poor of the country . I thought of the power elite.of the country, the waderas, the ministers, the prime minister and president luxuries houses, getting monthly salaries in a million or two or more, living in the luxury of the Mughals – and from the taxes from the poor skeletons of wage earners , the clerks, te typists and the like.
And I thought of the dignity of this unemployed man- the strikingly rich making trips to the donor countries , to beg- representative of this unemployed driver, left with half eaten ‘basi roti’ and of the honest Dr Hafiz Shaikh with th heart of a patriotic Pakistani , given the mission impossible of a Finance Minister of Pakistan to manage econoy with tied hands- cannot tax the waderas and filthy rich Wadera Politicans- leaders – cannot reduce the allelay tallalay of the Power Elite- and if he utters where the problem lies, who are the impediments in raising taxes, he is branded for contempt of holy sanctum Many have said things about the Supreme Court – that is all right but nothing should be said about sanctum of sanctorum. Said Marie Antoinette “If they do not have bread, why they do not eat the cake”.
Coming to another topic, Mr Javaid Hashmi has made a number of colourful statements. I am not referring to his remorse over having joined the erastwhile dictator but to two others. One was that to understand the present PPP leadership- he excludes except PM Leghari who is from his own town, he would have to do a Ph D in Political Science. It so happens that I did my Ph D in political science from Ottawa Catholic University in 1955. This is just to say that I am not a fake doctor . Could I help him on what is the present political milieu only and not how to understand any particular leader, which is not my concern. I can only say where have we reached under the loudly & repeatedly proclaimed “democratic Pakistan”. If these principles had been practiced in Europe there would have been no two World Wars in Europe, Quid-e-Azam would have accepted compromises with Congress etc. I translated Machiavelli’s “The Prince” into Urdu , published by National Book Foundation in 1993. (Now out of print, but available in National Library). The principle “Every thing is possible in politics” or “There is no last word in politics” are the heart of Machiavellian thinking. The background of this politics was the Era of Renaissance or Rebirth of Europe which lasted according to Wil Durant lasted from 1304 to 1576 AD . Its sum and substance can be stated thus. Renaissance was like a revolution which destroyed the old values. It was a revolt against all old religious, moral , and social standards. Moral values were considered obsolete, impractical irrelevant and replaced by selfishness, personal aggrandizement, use of any means to achieve these goals. Real thing was personal success, whatever means it was achieved, violate each and evry moral code , to achieve wealth, fame, honours, high ranks. The objectives of life were to gain power, success and wealth by any means.
It will be seen the prevalent and social objectives of the higher echelons of Pakistan in politics are the same as of the Renaissance of Europe. In this System , Secularism becomes the appropriate guide This probably is the prevalent set of values for majority of politicians The prevalent corruption hording of wealth, easy virtue principles, principles like wax of our political parties for gaining power for the sake of power are very much the same that the Europe of Renaissance had.
Mr Javaid Hashmis has also suggested 16 new provinces in Pakistan and according to latest news in the press reduced this figure to 11 provinces. He has not named who they are. This means roughly every former “Commissioner’s Division” would form a “province”. Saraiki is one of them, Hazara is another and what?
The meaning of creation of more provinces is that very important political leader wants to be a Governor or Chief Minister of his domain. And lesser political big wigs would have ministerial appointment. It is not the interest of consolidation of Federation but personal whim of the locally important politician which this suggestion is intended to serve.
First creation of such small provinces will weaken Federation rather than strengthen it As a former Ambassador to Yugoslavia posted in Belgrade right after Tito’s death, and watched the process of disintegration of Yugoslavia I feel we should be careful about too much devolution as it leads to disintegration as it happened in Tito’s Yugoslavia. Our politicians are careless about the larger picture of devolution just as in previous regimes they were careless about over centralization.
Secondly, has any body worked out how much more (unnecessary) expenditure will implementation of this proposal would entail. May be one hundred billion rupees ovr new posts, creation of new secretariats, cars, running expenses of huge government etc. Where from this much money will come? Is it a prescription for more dependence on alms called aid.
Let it be emphasized : one should be very careful in destroying the time tasted order . If a system has stayed for long time one should be very careful in destroying it. The demand for creation of more provinces occurred when NWFP was named Pakhtun Khawa and Gilgit Baltistan followed suit. These provinces were given ethnic names. They opened up Pandora’s box. If we start creating 11 or 16 provinces , how can this not lead to the demand of division of Sindh.
Coming to important development on Foreign Affairs, one is tempted to ask the question : Is colonialism or imperialism in the genes of white races? Look at US gong berserk on Libya- drone attacks and stoking fire there by encouraging the rebels by all kinds of aid and high level visits. This is shameful. NATO’s shedding blood of Libyans is equally shameful. I repeat is imperialism – and war on Muslims- in the genes of white races?
No article these days can omit to join in paying tribute to the late Moin Akhter the great artist. We too join among the mourners. Moin Akhter was an institution himself and it is doubtful if any one would fill the vacuum created by his death.