Survival with dignity

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Dr Muhammad Khan

THE realist school of International Relations follows a concept of Three S; state, survival and self-help. Indeed, state is the basic need for a community to be called as nation and it is primary unit of international system. Having a state by itself is an honour for a nation or community. However, after having a state, it becomes mandatory for a nation to ensure its survival in an anarchic international system, where large and powerful states tend to undermine the smaller and weaker states. In order to survive the state, the nation as a whole has to go for self-help thus, completing the whole concept of Three S system. Indeed, in this highly globalized and inter-dependent world, a nation or a community has to be absolutely clear that, in case of aggression, no country other than itself will protect it. This necessitates preservation of territorial integrity, sovereignty of state and integrity by itself, rather others coming for its help.
In the era of globalization where survival is highly challenging and competitive, a Chinese Professor Jin Canrong deliberates, “The most important thing for any country is to modernize itself and hence command its own destiny”. He indeed outlined three major milestones (stages) in the history and contemporary rise of China. These milestones include; survival, development and dignity. Establishment of modern Communist China in 1949, after defeating nationalist forces under the leadership of Mao Zedong was a great event in the Asian history. In the era of cold war, survival of modern China was highly challenging, which Mao and his team ensured with a lot of dedication and hard work without compromising on national interests and sovereignty of state. International forces and neighbours like India tested Chinese survival through two aggressions; the 1962 Sino-Indian War and 1969-Sino-Soviet Border Conflict. The Chinese leadership remained unwavering during these national challenges. This compelled US to have a friendship with China. Pakistan played a key role in bringing together the Communist China and the Capitalist America.
As a result of this collaboration, China paved the grounds for its economic development, the next stage, Chinese leadership considered for the consolidation of its survival. The era of Deng Xiaoping totally focused on the economic development of People’s Republic of China. The economic development brought China to a level where at one time in the beginning of 21st century, its GDP remained in double digits for years. Today, Chinese economy is world top economy, second to US only. This brought China to third stage; attaining dignity among the international community as a top economy. Life Time President, Xi Jinping is considered to earn for China this global dignity through soft power, a globally acceptable norm. “Xi Jinping era is seeking dignity by shaping a major power strategy with Chinese characteristics and embracing a new identity from a regional power to a world power.” The current stage, China attained at the global level is outcome of its good governance, foresighted, dedicated, selfless and honest leadership with a clearly defined national destination.
Despite challenges to its survival, in its initial history, Pakistan remained under top few developing countries, attained high degree of economic development, national dignity, global respect and good governance. Unfortunately, this process did not last long and gradually, the nation witnessed a relegation and degradation in all aspects, despite being a nuclear power and strategically located. Doubtlessly, there are regional and international conspiracies working against this nuclear power, but, the element of good governance, dedicated and honest leadership and a clear national destination is not insight in today’s Pakistan. Today, though survival of the state is being ensured by its professionally sound and highly competitive armed forces, there is no national agenda for development and dignity with the political forces of Pakistan. In last ten years of political governments, there has been hardly any occasion, where issues of national interests, long-term economic development and national dignity discussed or formulated in Parliament of Pakistan. Only seesaws among the political parties were observed within and outside Parliament. Leaving aside the real national issues, the national political leadership remained busy in accusations and counter accusations against each other and national institutions.
Despite massive unjustified perks and privileges to parliamentarians and their families, corruption has been rampant all over the country. Once asked for accountability, they unanimously accused the National Accountability Bureau. It is worth mentioning that, before completing its term, the last parliament (Federal Government) enhanced perks and privileges of sitting and former parliamentarians and their spouses by amending the two general laws through the Finance Act 2018. At a time once the nation is heading for general election-2018, it is extremely essential for the masses to vote for those, having clear leadership qualities to lead the nation towards its real destination, as set forth by father of nation, Quaid-i-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Let’s have a dedicated, honest and farsighted leadership through this election, which believes in rule of law, sets merit system, promote national interests and patriotism through good governance, ensure quality and uniform education for all, well-being of people through socio-economic development and promote positive image of Pakistan at international level, indeed, survival with dignity and honour.
— The writer, Professor of Politics and International Relations, is based in Islamabad.

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