Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. A must watch video.
The important thing in dealing with the Pakistani leadership (military or civil) is not to believe everything we hear. The only certain thing, the one thing we can depend on, is that every leader who poses as the man or woman who will lead us to a better life is practicing the ancient art of fooling the public. There is nothing new, it all started when the first tribal con-man learned that if he stood up and pounded his chest like a strong gorilla the people around the campfire would allow him to be their chief and give him all the food and women he wanted.
Over the past sixty years we have witnessed these con-men in uniforms, in religious turbans, in Mao caps and some even ‘directly landed’ in to office of ‘Caretaker Prime Minister’ ,from United States. The fact that we have been conned in past does not qualify us to be treated as fools, as most of the times we were subjected to conning on gun point or in more decent words through ‘martial laws’. For too long we have allowed our leadership to be elected as we possessed little or no choice and these ‘rulers’ have rode roughshod over us. But an average Pakistani has no illusions about the probity of their leaders or institutions.
To begin with, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, while listening to his rhetoric of ‘changing the system, and ‘democracy is the best revenge’; one gets in to a disillusion that we have got a great reformer of the modern times. He made public statements and signed written agreements to restore the independent judiciary which he never meant. At the same time he has been playing all sorts of tricks from a ‘constitutional package’ to notorious ‘Nike formulae’ to undermine an independent judiciary and rule of law. He is successful in dividing the lawyer’s community through ‘political bribes’, and demolishing the last institution in country, which has survived dictators.
The slogan of ‘roti, kapra aur makan’ which he claims to be manifesto of his election has transformed in to long queue’s outside flour shops and baton charge on poor and hungry by police. While FATA is gone under complete control of militants and USA is bombing our women and children he is telling us that government will protect every inch of our land. While we need to find trading partners to overcome rising trade deficit, he is working on Karzai formulae of ‘Friends of Pakistan’ to find new donors. Despite his frequent statements of ‘supremacy of parliament’, we are witnessing his unelected cronies in control of government machinery.
Prime Minister Mr. Yousaf Raza Gillani is a classic example of a submissive and opportunist feudal, who are always willing to go to any length in order to please a local police officer. While having a mandate of 160 million people, a fourth powerful military behind his back and being a head of a nuclear state, he not only expressed his notorious ‘two wishes’ of respecting sovereignty and strengthening democracy before George W Bush but is proud that his wishes were granted. One wonders, this is attitude of a beggar turned ‘peer’ or a statesman and a political leader.
We elected him to be head of state to represent a nation of 160 million and negotiate for our honor and dignity but unfortunately he is unable to rise from the mind set of a ‘coward’ feudal lord, who is always dependent on local ‘SHO’ for his authority over poor and helpless peasants. Every second statement so far made by him is that ‘sovereignty will be protected at all costs’ but at the same time he tells us that ‘we can not wage war against USA’, which is attacking inside our borders. This phenomenon of slavery has always been a ‘doctrine’ to rule the people through external blessing with exception of Z .A. Bhutto.
If that was not enough, the Chief of our armed forces, General Ishfaq Pervez Kiani, is emerging as ‘Salah u Din Ayubi’ of modern times to further undermine already weak leadership. The gentleman was a deputy of former dictator, an active member of the team which broke deals with politicians and head of ISI while our men and women were being handed over to Americans. There have been countless American attacks inside our borders since he became ‘Chief of Army Staff’, but not even once, a protest was lodged. After every such attack a spokesman of ISPR would term it as action of Pakistan army against insurgents. While his former boss Pervez Musharraff always justified American actions inside our borders.
However since the elected government took power, he has recognized that he is the ‘savoir’ of the nation by directing armed forces to ‘open fire’ on US invaders. Although he got a wide publicity in media and applause from general public, his ‘orders’ have yet to be transformed in to action. Immediately after his so called orders to ‘open fire’, US drones killed 12 innocent women and children and there are violations of our air space on daily basis. The nation is still waiting when ‘Salah u Din Ayubi’ will come in to action and save the people who are literally eating grass to feed our armed forces.
Thanks to Musharraff’s dictatorship; the situation in FATA is getting out of control, judiciary has become subservient to executive and people are too frustrated to get justice even if it comes from Taliban. Our army has become a business corporation. The ‘soldiers’ who were busy running business, construction companies, transport chains, banks and finance companies for decades are supposed to fight militants and taking heavy losses. Economic conditions are worsening and stock markets are nosing down. United States is pushing us in to a state of civil war by attacking innocent tribals in name of fighting Taliban and our army is busy running a mock war to get hold of more foreign funds.
These problems are enough blight the future of the country. We have to fight terrorism and instill good governance, we have to protect the rights of the people, and we have to ensure that our resources and our land are protected from violence and extremism. But unfortunately our military and political leadership is busy in rhetoric, and forwarding personal agendas on cost of national interests. In my view, our country is not just at crucial crossroads, it is more precarious than that.
For the first time in the nation’s history, a real opportunity for change and betterment presents itself. If missed, no one knows how long more it will take for another opportunity to come. And while waiting for the next bus, situations will no doubt worsen, and more human sufferings will take place. Our nation is also for giving a chance to our leadership, not because we are fools but in a hope that present flawed system will transform in to better governance. Democracy is truly a great tool for weeding out the weak and incompetent so that each new leader, be it a person or party, will learn something from the last.
One who does not learn from history is doomed to repeat it; our leaders need to open their eyes, ears and heart to the people. I believe that ruling elite can control a vocal few, but it is the silent majority that is to be feared most. The political tsunami we witnessed last February is a good lesson to learn from. I feel strongly to rally our support behind present leadership with a hope that they will realize the challenges and act in national interests rather then fooling us with their rhetoric. At the same time we have to make our leaders realize that we are being fooled at will, and expecting a change in their ways of governance. Let’s pray that sane minds and wisdom will prevail in these times of uncertainty.