Editor’s Note: The author, Ayesha Villalobos is a Filipina who has never visited Pakistan but holds a very deep love for the people and the state of Pakistan. Her knowledge and love for Pakistan is so immense that no words can suffice that. To honour her, the title has been named after her. For her love and dedication to pakistan, she deserves a standing ovation from every Pakistani around the world.
(This Flag of the Crescent and Star
Leads the way to progress and perfection
Interpreter of our past, glory of our present
Inspiration of our future
Symbol of Almighty’s protection)
By Ayesha Villalobos
Amidst the conflict and amity, existed significant moments, that distinctly transformed events into a defining moment in the history of nation building.
As Pakistan celebrates 7 decades ago, the passing of Lahore resolution (1940), today history once again takes center stage,the events that inspired the Partition in 1947.not since 1940’s have we witnessed such proliferations of writings, speeches and even film productions on the theme of Indo-Pak, conflict and formation of a nation in the 19th century. Much of it is government sponsored, indicating to the states investments in history as the main factor in galvanisation of nation building. As the legendary speeches of Pakistan’s founding fathers have made obvious the challenges of the present are entangled with history .It also happens that this is a time of serious economic crisis, revolutionary movements that continue to shake the political scene.
Pakistan, the sixth most-populous country with the second-largest Muslim population, a nuclear-armed pivot in global security, and an exemplar of political instability? A country which suffered oversight at the hands of American political science. Despite the incongruity, the complexities and conundrum mentioned above, Pakistan has received alienation from scholars of democratization, and undeniably of political science more broadly. According to Stephen P. Cohen, “unfortunately the United States has only a few true Pakistan experts and knows remarkably little about the country. Much of what has been written is palpably wrong, or at best superficial.” Proof of these, Political science journals from the academe and scholars rarely mentioned Pakistan, APSR, AJPS, IO, IS, ISQ, JOP, Comparative Politics, World Politics). Pakistan appeared 10 times in the title of an article (and only three times since 1990). France and Japan appeared 90 times, Brazil 39, India 44, Germany 113, and China 106. Interestingly, Indonesia appeared only 11 times, and Turkey only 14. Obviously, numbers increase when we include regional journals like Asian Survey, but the point is that Pakistan, and several major peers, attract remarkably little theoretical-comparative attention. Decades of slow economic growth, politically associated business elites, prominent party members, prevails as the custodian of a rotten imperialistic structure that deprives Pakistanis of their riches and dignity. Pro- US Government-oriented policies have come to exploit the country’s economic development, dilution of Islamic identity, notwithstanding a number of reform opportunities to advance Pakistan’s miserable economic performance; these reforms merely camouflaged the country’s pre-existing state-manipulated and severely-bureaucratized public sector.
The U.S intervention in state affairs exacerbated both the strength and limitation of governance. It has tried to set a greater focus on “politicking”, street power, ethnic mobilization, and pitched insurgencies that have transpired because of partition’s legacies of population displacement, fake boundaries, US war on terror (?) and extreme party/government institutions’ failing.
However these submissions for power have prompted surge of repercussion and therefore either military intervention or popular movement will launch government removal. Due to this peculiar intersection of machinery, neither democracy nor authoritarianism take strong foothold, nor Pakistan lingers to be “stuck between democracy and military autocracy.” However, this account evidently underplays things like the effect of class organization and the pact with the US in shaping the country’s political path – these have indubitably been important both as remedy and a curse. Pakistan has become A State and Nation on the Brink. The hpw persistent dynamics of a structural circumstances, each cycle of regime illusionary transformation, domestic violence, and rampant beaurcracy has aggravated the overall situation, creating waste by products of militancy, institutional putrefaction, and economic uncertainty to the point that Pakistan’s territorial integrity, is now endangered.
The army had to entrenched itself into political and economic life, because political parties remain high profiled and corrupt, blowback from too clever- by-half proxy wars in Afghanistan and conflict in Kashmir have shattered the state’s monopoly on violence, and the peace process with India has brought forth slim growth. The forces of social division so vital to mobilization waves driving regime changes have now completely overwhelmed the state’s institutional defences. Several militant groups are no longer in the army and its intelligence services’ manipulation, Karachi is driven by violent ethnic tensions, Lahore, Islamabad, and Rawalpindi have been targeted by massive bombings, Quetta and Peshawar are encircled by mountains in revolt, and the current Gillani-Zardari political privilege shows no sign of stabilizing in any direction in the near future. Rambo style, street justice abetted the current chaotic scenario of Zardari regime. Given the wave of revolutionary movements in the Middle East, It’s inevitable that PML (N) takes to the streets again, in alliance with traditional partners the MQM or the Jamaat; all bets will be off about the endurance of this stint of civilian rule in Pakistan.
Presently there is minute reason to expect a significant shift in this pattern of internal security
breakdown and political dysfunction. As Afghanistan continues its downward trajectory, and Indo-Pak conflict over Kashmir still in flames and Kashmiris hope for self determination remains hazy, Pakistan will occupy an increasingly central role in world politics. The ever corrupt governance an internal barrier towards progress has repeatedly been revealed as deceptive, and democracy provides no silver bullet in the weak-party/weak institutions/ social-divisions/in the context of Pakistani politics. It’s clear that decentralization has been a pressing need for decades, but it may now be too late to transfer power to and bolster administrative capacity in the country without encouraging further militancy and U.S intervention. At least collectively, Pakistan is very far from a failed state, and state collapse is highly unlikely as long as the army remains cohesive and politicians continue to be involved in national politics. Instead, a creeping degradation of the state’s power among the populace and in the border regions will continue against a background of intense feuding between civilian politicians and unresolved tensions between India and Pakistan. Pakistan is poised to take more trips back to the future, the need to have the past revisited as a reminder that they are not protagonists of revenge tragedies, stuck in an endless cycle of retribution for a problem that is never solved, but rather to reconnect the past to draw out legitimacy from social prestige that Pakistan’s founding fathers uses an idea as a weapon in creating an Islamic state. That Pakistan should be recovering from what has been ignored or swept under the rug in past struggle of Islamic identity and to utilise the significance of the past to challenge the present and thus preventing history to succumb to Nietzsche’s words “the harem of a race of eunuchs”They should remember that a century ago, in 1947, the Land of the Pure was created, designed by an ideology of an Islamic statehood, was supported by their forefathers ,men and women, while on this day , Pakistanis will sing ,This Flag of the Crescent and Star ,Leads the way to progress and perfection Interpreter of our past, glory of our present .Inspiration of our future ,Symbol of Almighty’s protection” Time is changing and Pakistan’s Manifest destiny is yet to be achieve , heroes and founding fathers to be emulated , martyrs to be celebrated, as well as villains and evils to be combated.