Guest Post by Amjad Malik
Civilian rulers are in a fix how to restore supremacy of Parliament, promote rule of law and restore free judges as their deviation from consultation has revived the dying regime of General Musharraf who was once declared ‘endangered species’ by Benazir Bhutto but she was turned into ‘Be Nazir’ in a mysterious fashion. Similarly Nawaz Sharif with popularity graph touching high at 86% is the biggest thorn in the throats of old mafia and his life is in such a grave danger as he is antidote of the dictator, the survivor of a clan which carries the torch of Parliamentary Sovereignty thus deserve to be preserved as a national ‘asset’. Without him the country will be left with regional leaders occupying provincial majority under the command of a force which has a history as well as a reputation. In a country where over 55 years of age prime minister material leader representing Federation is by design at threat like Liaqat Ali Khan, Zulfiqar Bhutto, Be Nazir, and now Nawaz Sharif which tells the sad story of the state of affairs on civilian front for student of politics and it once again demands the dire need to preserve the politics of principles, the politics of Jinnah.
Pakistan is not what Quaid envisaged. Debauchery and profligacy has become a symbol of status, most of the elite is either drunk or busy counting ill gotten money and lower middle classes are leading the life below the poverty threshold. Nepotism, bribery and recommendation are the salient features of the current day police run society where might is right works as good as in English imperial rule. National resources are in the hands of a few who play with the destiny of the country. Any new ruler keeps an eye on its gas, coal, and minerals reserves ready to claim a lion’s share. Telling a lie is not at all considered a moral sin where in majority of the household of rich and influential an innocent child tells the caller on the phone, “papa says tell him he is not at home’ and moral bankruptcy has reined in due to dictatorial attitude in a nation of a 160 million people. Thanks to Generals Ayub, Yahya, Zia and Musharaf as the whole nation depicts a picture of their successful rule and they mirror it in their global psychological analysis and mind set. We all are turned into small dictators in our own dens, all because of lack of political system, infrastructure, and basic nurseries where political activity is nourished, groomed and perfected. Individual interest has taken precedence over national interest and we are ready to be divided on the name of cast, area, language, sect and province. Overall nationalism is all time low especially due to death of Akbar Bugti, Be Nazir Bhutto, and war of terror in tribal areas.
Critics argue that we are better off from Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Algeria and so on and one wonders whether these are the comparators one wish to see after attaining the atomic status. Pakistan a wonder land full of natural resources, heritage, and talent where people have a passion to do something great but are confronted with illusions in a leaderless society as the land is being ruined by corrupt elite where middle classes have no direction, no offer for future and the lack of wisdom has brain drain the country and all the top doctors are either settled in the USA or Canada serving their foreign masters. In fact, amongst them are the kids of the elite top brass who are abroad as the country where they are enjoying luxurious positions is unsafe for their kids at home. If there was any chance of them coming back, that is addressed by making Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan an example with an exemplary punishment so that no one dares to even think of national service as a duty, thus status quo remains. I feel due to their success stories in foreign lands, this reserve force of 8 million souls abroad will one day catch an eye of policy making body bodies in order to attempt to save the institutions from further decline.
The country is running on reserve ideas and emphasis is on ‘aid’ not on ‘trade’. Policy making bodies have not encouraged small business operatives to have access to open markets for their business growth including Europe and America. Even Chinese market is not yet open for the Pakistanis at its full scale as it should be. Investors runs when they see bloodshed on the street, suicidal missions and killings on whole sale basis. Our rulers are humiliated on foreign trips when due to lack of wisdom they brieflessly travel with dozens of entourage devoid of specialism and return with threats and a shopping list of what they need from Pakistan, of course with a few million dollars in kitty on each trip for incidental repair work of equipments due to the service they provide. US always played with carrot and a stick with the country since its inception and we are content that we are getting some money out of them. In our tribal areas missile fall like fire works. In fact now our army personnel are slaughtered by fault though it is by default as one man allegedly gave them the tacit understanding to fire at will freely in hot pursuits and they do exactly that without warning or sharing intelligence but no one tells him that he is the cause of the whole mess but who will bell the cat, no one, as Pakistan is for those who dare.
Country’s issue is not whether ISI is under Premier or newly found interior Minister. In fact the main issue is whether we can ever learn to start running under any set of principles, a constitution. As it stands there are two sets of system, one being constitutional the other ultra constitutional. History tells that it remained under the second for over 40 years. Political process has lost its ground in a country where military dictatorship has its foot prints on all institutions, political parties and national mind. Military rulers keep control in their hands and trust deficit is on both sides. Politicians lost opportunity like they did in early days post 18 February 2008 elections. This is a time when Pakistan needs a healing touch as too much negativity, and rigidness have affected the original stance on which the state was built. Lets make it better and make a pledge on the time of its independence celebrations that we will turn it into a Pakistan of Quaid e Azam where rule of law, justice and equality prevails. Responsibility lies on all institutions including politicians as the wiser says that if the wealth is lost nothing is lost, if the health is lost something is lost, but if the character is lost everything is lost. Our national character as a nation is at stake, is there any national leader who can dare at least to make an effort to save it.
Amjad Malik is a Solicitor-Advocate of the Supreme Court (England) and a political analyst based in UK