Wednesday, July 16, 2008
A Layman's vision on Pakistan
A LAYMAN'S VISION ON PAKISTANAuthorMAJOR(R)KHALID NASR
In a democratic society, political parties are expected to play a significant role in articulating citizen's aspirations, but unfortunately, our political leaders have no personal vision or agenda to improve the condition of a common man and to face the challenges in the geo-political environment. An individual’s death takes place when his soul leaves his body; which is unavoidable whereas; a nation dies when there is a leadership crises and no effective leader is on board to take over. The history of Pakistan is full of incidents when our political leadership invited army to intervene in state affairs. Starting from Ghulam Mohammad to Musharraf, the opposition and common men of Pakistan always welcomed take over by the army. There is a general misconception in an Army general's mind that the civilian leadership is corrupt and incompetent. To some extent this conception is right also. We can take examples of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. Now the people of Pakistan want a change towards a civilian led democracy. Pakistan has seen enough traumas in her life and needs a respite. Our Sohni Dharti is too precious to be left to opportunists and carpet braggers. Election campaign has already begun; however, the main crisis a common man faces is a regime that is not delivering what the people want: they want rule of law and improvement in the life of a common man, while preserving the citizens’ basic human rights. The country is chock full of political parties but not a single one of them has the vision and strategy to change the miserable condition of a common man, and to handle the issues that Pakistan is confronting. A deal between Musharraf and Benazir Bhutto runs afoul of the two basic fault lines that will determine the future of democracy in Pakistan. These require a balance between the: Civil -Military relations in governance of the country; and The moderate------- extremist division in the society. The next two to three months are very crucial for redesigning Pakistan’s foreign policy. Pakistan will have to take a firm stand regarding her relations with U.S.A. After the so called restoration of democracy in Pakistan, things would not be all that easy for Gen.Musharraf. As a civilian president, Gen.Musharraf will be having more power and public trust in certain areas; but would also be facing some pressures regarding the foreign policy issues. The relations with USA, China and Iran will take a positive turn from Pakistan’s perspective. US interference in Pakistan's internal affairs and the violation of international boundary laws on our Western border would be strictly dealt with. Let us hope that in the coming scenario the "Troika” comprising, the President , the Prime Minister and the Army Chief will work under mutual trust, respect and coordination to bring Pakistan out of its current crises and be able to face the global challenges. PAKISTAN HAD BEEN MANIPULATED BY THE OPPORTUNISTS & CARPET BRAGGERS.REPEATED TAKE OVERS BY ARMY WAS BASICALLY DUE TO FAULT-LINE IN MIND-SET OF OUR POLITICIANS. THEY HAD ALWAYS BEEN DEPENDENT ON ARMY FOR THE SOLUTION OF THEIR PROBLEMS. CONSIDERING THE POLITICAL HISTORY OF BHARAT ( I WOULD PREFER TO USE THE WORLD BHARAT RATHER THAN INDIA FOR OBVIOUS REASONS), WE FIND NOT A SINGLE OCCASION WHEN THE POLITICIANS LOOKED UPON THEIR ARMY FOR THE SOLUTION OF THEIR POLITICAL ISSUES. I PERSONALLY FEEL THE NEED OF A PARADIGM SHIFT IN THE MIND- SET OF OUR POLITICIANS. THEY SHOULD BE MORE FLEXIBLE IN THEIR THINKING,THEY SHOULD ALLOW MORE SPACE TO THEIR OPPONENTS .In fact the nature of this political malady is twofold in as much as Muslim Leadership (except for the Quaid) were not prepared for Independence; and quaid didn't make any bones out of this when he admitted' I find nothing but counterfeit coins when I search my right & left pockets'. He further went on to say,'I and my typewriter made Pakistan'. On the other hand, Mr Abdul Aziz Malwada warned in his letter addressed to the Quaid,'Muslims are backward financially, intellectually, economically, and socio-politically, whereas Indian National Congress has taken them to the position where they are standing with their back to the wall after LUCKNOW PACT. Under the circumstances, Muslims would be left with no other option, but to ask for a separate homeland. For running its day-to-day affairs, they would be finding themselves helpless in the absence of political institutions, but for Army wherein they are present in size able number. Hence the affairs of this country per force would be run by Army. It is also a fact, that Muslims were represented by Army Officers in the Boundary Commission & Muslim troops were awaited badly to save Muslims from the massacre in East Punjab etc. Whereas Quaid was given the lease of life just for one year (due to being in advanced stage of Tuberculosis)after partition, the political leadership was found wanting in intellectual acumen & moral fibre.Consequently the high-handedness of Ghulam Muhammad as Governor-General and the notorious Tamiz-ud-din case by Justice Munir laying down the law of necessity; which ultimately was to result in secession of East Pakistan. General Muhammad Ayub Khan (assuming the title of Field Marshal against internationally accepted standards for this rank)indulged in all kinds of irregularities including the ones for which Captain (Retired)Gauhar Ayub was well-known in the context of his connections with GANDHARA INDUSTRIES and his firing on Karachi mob,and the High-handedness shown against Miss Fatima Jinnah (sister of the Father of Nation)were by no means a credit to the country. Miss Jinnah's death in mysterious circumstances was also not a very happy reflection to the country. Thus started a trail of unfortunate events with Military Rule coupled with political incompetence of the Leadership, which was never allowed to grow. History is full of the names of Military Leaders like Ayub Khan,Zia-ul-Haq, and Yahya Khan who was held finally responsible along with Z. A. Bhutto (starting the legacy of the so called Martial Law Administrators) who was hanged by General Zia-ul-Haq for the murder of late Mr Qasuri. Hence Pakistan became a political arena for adventurers both from the Civil and the Army. Society being the same, both sides excelled each other in political adventurism & gravest possible irregularities at the cost of national interests. Ourproblems have been many fold, first we never took our ideology as the guidance source. Ideolgoy was flouted and made a political slogan toderive political mileage out of it. What we never understood is the difference between rule of law and rule of justice. Islam has always emphasised on establishing justice and not law. Man made laws are as corrupt as man himself hence the rule of law would take us no where. NRO is the latest example of a corrupt law but justice would never tolerate it. Henceforth, the legal fraternity and the civil society or the silent majority should demand establishment of Justice and not Law. If we don't do that, we shall keep witnessing one corrupt leader after the other with many waiting in the wings.