The days of the gods on earth are over
By Mansoor A. Malik
The largest Muslim country of the world at that time, Pakistan, was created democratically by the votes of the Muslim Majority Areas of India and was to be the citadel of justice and social equality in the entire Muslim World. Its founding leader, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was not a tin pot soldier but a leader of great stature who stood for truth and rights in India for more than forty years before laying the ground work for Pakistan. The irony of history brought Pakistan towards the destructive embrace of its half educated, ambitious men be in uniform or otherwise that had the audacity to remove all the founding principles of this country within a decade of its existence. This coterie of self styled new rulers of Pakistan were led by General Ayub Khan, who was not satisfied with his General’s rank and promoted himself overnight to become Field Marshal after conquering his own country.
While Ayub Khan was being pumped by American Air in his body so as to look like a giant amongst his contemporary dwarfs, another elected politician, Dr. Mussadaq Hussain, in the neighboring country, Iran, was being roughed up by American paid wrestlers on Tehran’s high street to bring in on the Peacock Throne their favorite Shah of Iran, who had earlier fled the country to save himself from the wrath of his own people. For the next many scores of years the people of Pakistan and Iran had to sacrifice their lives and properties to finally get rid of these self styled leaders who captured power on the American Bandwagon. This American policy of selecting and sustaining their hand picked leaders in the Muslim World which has lasted more than fifty years has now turned on its head after the recent Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings.
The founding politicians of Pakistan and the duly elected Iranian leaders of the 1950s’ could have set a precedent for the democratization of the Muslim World leading to its socio-economic and political stability. The vagaries of the powerful nations led to the exploitation and control of the Natural Resources of the Weak Muslim countries through strong arm tactics applied by their self appointed leaders. For how long could the enslaved peoples of the Muslim World be subjugated by their Military/Civilian Dictators? The people of Tunisia and Egypt have spoken the way the people of Pakistan spoke towards the end of the 1960s’ when they ousted Ayub Khan through a massive peoples uprising and through the Iranian Revolution in the late 1970s’ by sending the Shah of Iran packing to Egypt.
This case study of Pakistan and Iran is most pertinent in its historical perspective to draw lessons for the opening of the Muslim World to a political process, Human Dignity and Moral Value System based on its intrinsic culture, civilization and Islamic moorings. Ayub Khan was replaced by another military dictator General Yahya Khan who within two years of his regime presided over the Break Up of the largest Muslim Country into the left over Pakistan in its western wing and Bangladesh in its eastern wing. The shock waves of this break up travelled far and wide and it took a long time to barely recover from its horrific impact. The Iranian Revolution brought in new and in-experienced leadership to the fore and is still continuing to experiment with the moderates and the conservatives who have come to power in their turns respectively.
After Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Indonesia, all in the Non-Arab World, the most important country of the Muslim World is Egypt. It has its special status in the Arab World and enjoys the leadership role in the Arab League. The present fissures in Egypt would cause a Tsunami in the Arab World and no country in its midst would be able to continue with their status quo any longer. The position of Egypt in the Arab World is synonymous to Turkey in the Muslim World at present. Turkey has had its share of Military/Civilian Dictators for the good part of the 20th century and has painstakingly achieved political stability at the advent of the 21st century. This was finally achieved through a referendum of the Turkish people by which the constitution was amended to finally show the door to the men in uniform. Egypt has the third largest standing army of the Muslim World after Pakistan and Turkey and the largest army in the Arab world.
Hosni Mubarak, the Air Force General who was the Vice President of Egypt when Anwar Sadaat, the President, was assassinated thirty years ago, was thrusted with the leadership role. He failed to name his Vice President throughout these years and established a one-man rule and used strong arm tactics to neutralize his political rivals. His downfall became imminent when he started grooming his son, like Ayub Khan, to take over the reigns of the government after him as if the country was their fiefdom. The Internet Savvy young Egyptian people of the 21st century could not digest it anymore and have spoken out in loud and clear terms for Social Justice, Equal Opportunity and Freedom.
Mubarak’s ouster is now written on the wall but what is to come after him is still a jigsaw puzzle. The initial instability has to be addressed very quickly in order to draw in the democratic process suitable to the gene of its own people. Outside leadership ala Iraq and Pakistan (Shaukat Aziz & the Bankers Group) has to be avoided at all cost and indigenous leaders have to emerge for long term political stability in a very volatile region. Turkey could play its historical role to keep the international power brokers out and let the thousand Egyptian springs spurt out in the Sinai Desert to make it politically fertile.
The role of Ayub Khans’ and Shah of Irans’ of the Muslim World in the 21st century is over and the people from Tunisia, Egypt and beyond have spoken out loud and clear. The international power brokers may not like to take a back seat and would be harping for a vantage positioning of their own agents of power to influence the future shape of things to come. The past experiences of Western Stooges in countries like Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia and most of all in Turkey which is well documented can be of great help to the emerging indigenous leaders likely to be thrown up in all the mass movements taking place in the Muslim World. Three cheers to the peoples of the Muslim World who have finally taken the path towards achieving their fundamental rights and let the pharos and shahs of the past lie buried peacefully under mounds of sand and stone in places unknown.
Mansoor Malik, is Member Board of Advisors, Opinion Maker. In brief, he has been Director General with over
33 year of experience in planning, establishing and managing national level, strategic, high-tech organizations. Director General, Marketing & Industrial Relations Organization (MIRO). Commandant, College of Aeronautical Engineering, Risalpur. Senior Engineering Manager, PAF Project where he was responsible for the smooth induction of F-16 Aircraft Weapons System in the PAF and making them fully operational.His experience is very versatile in different fields of technology and education. He is consultant to number of organizations and the Universities of Pakistan.