Unpalatable reality of present conditions | By Tariq Aqil


Unpalatable reality of present conditions

THE present political economic and social conditions in the country are nothing short of shameful disappointing and frightful. The nation is just simply disappointed and dismayed. The economic conditions, price spiral, political shenanigans, and complete u turns by the political elite and the rising trend of terrorism have become so common that the common man is not surprised anymore and these things appear to be common happenings or something fated for us. In this hopeless scenario there appears to be no light at the end of the proverbial tunnel or not even a sliver of hope to cling to and hope for better times. In our past history there had always been some element of hope no matter how dark and dismal the times were. We always had some knight in shining armor in the guise of a political leader like in the tragic aftermath of the 71 war there was Z.A, Bhuttowaiting in the wings to rescue the country and pick up the very small pieces and rebuild Pakistan once again.

If not a politician then we have looked towards the army like in the decade of fifties and the disastrous rule of the political parties General Ayub Khan was seen as the savior. In the aftermath of the 90s rule of PMLN and PPP Gen Musharraf appeared to be the guiding light of the nation. People of Pakistan have also looked up to the superior judiciary to provide a panacea for our problems and it always looked that one or the other will provide the solutions to our problems and this glimmer of hope has kept the country moving forward with hope and determination.

At this moment in time the country is faced with the stark reality that this time we are just hoping against hope and now there is nobody to step in and take control of the disastrous situation. Our political and military leaders appear to have learnt nothing from the past. The tragedy of our past is that our political elite is a victim of collective amnesia and refuse to learn anything from history and of course those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. The country appears to be on a merry go round that keeps spinning round and round after one calamity and another and this round and round repetition is neither merry nor healthy for the nation.

It has taken this country over seventy five years to realize that our ruling classes and the powerful establishment have learnt nothing from their past mistakes and are bent upon repeating their disastrous adventures again and again. Politicians, establishment and the judiciary along with the industrialists and the landed elite have really made a terrible mess of the country and the biggest problem is that the nation has failed to hold them accountable for their wrong doings, corruption, miss governance or incompetence. They can get away with murder and the suffering people are simply helpless to do anything about it. The voters and common people know fully well that all the powers that be in the country are helpless to find the solutions to our problems in fact they are the problem themselves.

One just cannot learn anything from history if we believe in the concocted fictional and official version of history. If one does not believe in critical analysis, research and digging out the truth one does not learn from it but becomes a victim of falsehood and lies and unfortunately that is where the country finds itself today.

The fanatical followers of the cult of the PTI believe blindly that their leader is the promised messiah and only he can cure us of all ills in society. They simply refuse to accept the fact that their leader was the blue eyed boy of the powerful establishment and rode into the corridors of power on the shoulders of the establishment and the religious fanatics in the 2018 elections.

It was only after the ouster of their hero that they woke up to the interference of the army establishment they just believe in the concocted version of history as dictated by their hero and now once again clamor for the new leadership of the army to bring back Imran Khan or be branded as Mir Jaffars or traitors. On the other side the fiercely loyal supporters of PMLN judge Nawaz Sharif after the demise of General Zia. They can only see the motorways and other infrastructure projects launched by the Sharif Brothers. The simply refuse to see how the PMLN jacked up foreign debts, miss managed the national economy and continued to pay homage to the military establishment in order to say in power and even tried to cozy up to the dark and sinister forces of religious extremism to perpetuate their rule.

The army has been the power behind the throne during the past and they have ruled directly and indirectly for most of the times and many today support the rule of the army and see this as golden period which is economically strong and well managed with efficiency and discipline.

They fail to see the role of the army as defined by the constitution, or the debacle of Operation Gibraltar, operation Grand Slam the 65 war, 71 war Kargil or Siachin. “Hope springs eternal in the bosom of man” we can only hope and pray for a miracle.

—The writer is Professor of History, based in Islamabad.

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