Gen Mirza Aslam Beg
Friday, September 05, 2014 – Our fledging democracy has been able to ward off the threat posed to national security, by consolidating the political will of Parliament, now in session. Writing about the threat I had said a week earlier, that “Politics will find a way out of this impasse, and will uphold the quintessential values of the democratic order.” Parliament has asserted itself; the judiciary has risen to the occasion, to establish the rule of law; the armed forces having realized the threat to their integrity and are ready to act, as Parliament decides. All the political parties, including the opposition have demanded that hard decisions must be taken to clear the mess around Parliament. Parliament has demonstrated such unity of thought and action, never seen before, which indeed is Triumph of Democracy over the undemocratic forces.
It is for the first time that “a popular political party”, has joined hands with a maverick clergy and both are tormenting the nation with such behavior, so repugnant to our national sensibilities. Imran Khan has charge-sheeted the judiciary without producing any proof, and has blamed it as being partial and biased. He is pinning hope on the assumption that the Umpire – would intervene to dismiss the government, hold elections and hand over the power to him. Unfortunately for him, it was not to be. The ‘Umpire’ promising regime change, but did not act, and cheated both, Imran and Qadri, and has brought disrepute to our national institutions. May be there was the need for such jingoism, as entertainment for the oppressed Pakistani nation, same as WW wrestling provides, where you find male chauvinism at its best. Thanks Imran and Qadri.
But “the real threat” to national security is the hidden agenda. Therefore there is a need to discern the threat in its true perspective. A prominent political analyst writes: “Five years back ,the Americans and the Canadians decided to unite the two schools of Islamic thought under Tahirul Qadri’s leadership, as a counter to the emerging Deobandi and Salafi alliance in Afghanistan and Pakistan prior to the draw-down from Afghanistan. Qadri was picked up for this job and sent on promotional tour of Europe, Denmark and Iran, where he recruited many activists to his cause. The book Kwarji Threat was published and circulated in thousands. (Kwarjis were the one, who fought against Caliph Hazarat Ali (KW), in the battle of Nehrwan). Armed with this support Qadri visited Pakistan, where the foreign intelligence and the NGOs helped him develop his contacts into our media, security establishments, institutions and the politicians. Thus the maverick Minhajul Quranclergy, was launched in 2013, to sabotage the coming general elections but failed. He returned to Pakistan this year, further bolstered by his Masters’ support and the support of the newly recruited Pakistani activists, to dislodge the elected government.”
No wonder, Qadri and Imran consistently called for the Umpire to give the final decision but the Umpire was not in Pakistani but far away, who chose to turn a deaf ear to their calls, because they dare not challenge the “National Political Will” which has asserted itself. Another conspiracy, aiming at our socio-political values, was highlighted by me in my recent article titled: “Our Long March Politics”: “I have the feeling that there is a hidden politico-ideological agenda of the movement. What happened in Algeria and Egypt in the recent past, to replace political Islam with Secular Islam may well be the objective of the movement in Pakistan. To recall, Qadris last visit to Pakistan in 2013 was aimed at forestalling the elections, which Nawaz Sharif was sure to win, but withdrew after negotiations with the PPP government.” And that is the double jeopardy, behind the hidden agenda.
There are always two sides of a picture – the good and the bad. We have seen the bad side of the picture during the last few months and there is the good side that must be discerned to fortify democracy, because these are the weaknesses and the hard realities, this movement has highlighted, demanding immediate corrective measures (a) The electoral system is defectiveand needs to be corrected on priority. (b) Holding early elections to establish the credibility of the system is necessary. (c) The present “dynastic plutocracy” must be replaced by liberal democracy, representing the middle and lower middle classes, in particular. (d) A pool of experts must be created to advice the government on all matters of national life. (e) “There is no real threat to Pakistan, but definitely there is the need to change our attitude” (Senator Haasil Bizenjo).
These are the defining moments, which have taken a positive turn, as Parliament asserts itself to correct the course of democracy.
—The writer is a former COAS, Pakistan.