Sahar Zareen Khan
DESPITE many shortcomings, Pakistan is self sufficient in the field of political parties. There are more than 200 registered and unregistered political parties working in this country. Majority of these parties is such that their entire membership is not sufficient even to fill a motor car. It is an established fact that no political party can claim of having an ideological foundation. But in this bizarre panoramic situation due to COVID-19, an old political party has been revived in Pakistan. Yes you heard it right. The very old Pakistan Muslim League (Khan Qayyum group) has been revived on June 27 this year. No doubt it was a bold and rather strange step. The prominent Supreme Court lawyer, Muhammad Ameer Muazzam, has been chosen as its Central President who is famous for his pro-Pakistan politics. When he was asked for the reasons to revive an old party instead of establishing a fresh one, his reasoning was very interesting. According to him the history of Pakistani politics is a chequered one. Islamic Ideology, necessity and its westernised elite turned this country into a battlefield for different political forces. The province of NWFP (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) had a peculiar significance since the creation of this country. It was the only province where referendum was held to decide whether its inhabitants would join India or Pakistan. One person who came as saviour for Muslim League was Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan who played a pivotal role in defeating the dissenting voices. He was nominated as the first Chief Minister of NWFP by the none other than Quaid-i-Azam himself.
The first challenge which Khan Qayyum had to face was that of pro-Pashtunistan elements. He went to the extent of using extreme measures to counter his opponents. The incident at Babara is not something which our historians cherish much. The use of brute state force resulted in many casualties. But Ameer Muazzam strongly supports this action. He says in order to safeguard the very fabric of our society it was an essential action. To him the legacy of Khan Qayyum is the selfless service of fellow citizens, pro-masses policies and tiresome hard work for the people of its county. Although Khan Qayyum died decades ago yet his ideals are still relevant to our society. In order to meet the challenges of the modern day Pakistan, we revived this party. The main goal of our party coexistence, progress and development. We will counter all the anti-Pakistan forces that are trying their best to destabilise our country. By implementing the principles of policy as enshrined in our Constitution we will promote a democratic culture based upon rule of law and inclusive of all segments of society. In a nutshell we will emerge as a constitutionalist party.
In the creation of Pakistan apart from Muslims, the other communities such as Christians and Hindus played a significant role. Our party will strive hard to grant them their due share in policy-making process with dignity and honour. With constitutional safeguards we will liberate Pakistani economy. By providing equal opportunities through constitutional mechanism we will create an environment of fair competition for all the business and economic practices and monetary systems. In order to ensure interfaith harmony and religious coexistence, a new law of maintenance of religious order shall be introduced. This will ensure due rights of all religious minorities and will ensure protection against sectarian violence. In the international politics we will pursue a policy of peaceful coexistence. In the context of India whenever it will compromise its secular constitution by surrendering to extremist elements, we will exert our influence through all means of inter-state diplomacy to ensure the due protection of its minorities. This party will pay special attention to the youth. They will be imparted with skill based and specialised education.
Instead of universities producing thousands of degree holders every year who always waste their time in searching government jobs, we will link the universities and academia to the business and corporate sector so that proper research can be carried out and such workforce is developed which has both national and international demand. Our party has a great focus on climate change and water conservation. There is a global perception that next world war might be fought for control over water reservoirs. Instead of cosmetic projects like billion tree tsunami, our party will introduce these topics at the primary level of education so that our coming generations have the idea of this phenomenon. We will opt for constitutional amendments to incorporate these concepts. The judicial system of Pakistan shall be moulded in such a manner to envisage the use of modern day technology in order to eradicate corruption, malpractices and unnecessary delays in dispensing justice. The rule of law, true accountability and transparency shall be ensured while holding any public office. Instead of going for hundreds of indirect taxes over the masses, our party will introduce simplified taxation system for the “Haves” and the “Haves Not” We will rely more on domestic earnings instead of foreign loans. Special measures shall be taken to ensure women participation in all walks of life. By ensuring participation of all under privileged communities we can achieve the dream of “All inclusive Pakistan”. By adopting such systems, Pakistan can flourish both as a society and a state. The agenda of Pakistan Muslim League (Qayyum) seems promising but only time will tell whether they can steer through the power corridors in the presence of mafias and cartels creating hurdles for their vested interests.
—The Author is a social media activist, writing about human rights, Gender and other social issues.
Sahar Zareen Khan