The American political establishment considers global politics as a marketplace and will pay any price to acquire what they wish – that is their political modus operandi!  I will bet top dollar that Imran Kahn is not for sale and neither is the PTI!!

By Dr. Haider Mehdi

“Just a few years ago, a powerful ideology – the belief in free and unfettered markets – brought the world to the brink of ruin.  Even in its heyday…American-style de-regulated capitalism brought greater material well-being only to the very richest in the richest countries.”

                        Joseph. E. Stiglitz, Columbia University Professor, Nobel Laureate in Economics

A nation’s foreign policy has an intrinsic link to its domestic agenda, and this is true most specifically for a superpower, which has a manifest ideological approach to global affairs and a distinct political culture and socio-economic values that it wishes to promote worldwide.  So in actual practice, a superpower’s foreign policy becomes an instrument of its domestic objectives.  It is in this context that we can understand and conceptually comprehend the global political behavior of Western nations, presently led by the monolithic and dogmatic neo-con America, vis-à-vis their conduct towards the Third World.  The simple truth is that wars, global and regional conflicts,  dysfunctional economies, propped-up dictatorial regimes, civil-military dictators in the Third World, and overall dependence on Western patronage have tremendously contributed to what Professor Stiglitz has stated: “American-style de-regulated capitalism brought greater material well-being only to the very richest in the richest countries.”  The most vital point is that the US and Western political-economic establishments wish to keep these prevailing dismal and catastrophic global conditions unchanged.  They desire that the global-political-economic model of stalemate and status quo continue permanently – making the very richest in the richest countries richer and theses nations unprecedentedly powerful. 

Pakistan and its traditional ruling political-military elite has been so intimately involved with the West, most specifically with US-centric foreign policy, that for the last 60 years successive political regimes have practically and unabatedly practiced exactly what they were told to practice, did what they were told to do, and molded this nation to a script written and prepared in Washington D.C., London and some other European capitals.  Consequently, true to Professor Siglitz’s economic model, Pakistan has become a nation where a selective class of political-economic elite have become richer and tremendously powerful while the masses, the common citizens , have been dealt injustice, de-humanization, deprivations, unprecedented poverty and state-inflicted violence.  The political saga of this national catastrophe is so dreadful that there are no comparables anywhere.  Consider, for instance, the incumbent PPP regime and the major opposition parties in the present so-called democratic set-up are still latching onto the American –Western bandwagon of Islamist bogey and war on terrorism as Pakistan’s own war.  This political trend is without merit and is simply to please their patronizing masters in Washington D.C., London, Paris, and elsewhere – s o as to go on begging dollar aid and thereby maintaining the political-economic status quo indefinitely.  

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But this cannot carry on: Pakistan’s decades-old political structure and American-centric foreign policy stalemate has now become an existentialist threat to the nation.  We can no longer continue to blindly thread the ideological, economic and political discourse that has been planned for us in Washington D.C. , London and elsewhere.  If sustained, this will be a disastrous course – political suicide culminating in national disintegration. 

Pakistan needs to espouse a revolution of the masses as in other countries (Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and elsewhere) where people are seeking change, freedom, and social-economic justice. We need to completely disengage our nation from the politics of status quo and embark on a struggle for political renaissance, transformation of our political culture, self-reliance and independence, equality of nations in a global system, economic social justice domestically, and an end to state violence, poverty and deprivations that have been inflicted on common citizens ad infinitum.  We need to create a brave new world of our own, on our own, pushed forward by imaginative and visionary political-economic management, dynamic progressive self-reliant and self-sustained planning, and in constructing a culture of tolerance, mutual all-inclusive conflict-resolution structures at all levels of society with peoples’ socio-political engagement.  This is a tall order in nation-building, which is practically outside the domain  of ideological capitalism and the US-West’s promoted politics of status quo (at times termed political stability) – aimed at maintaining the traditional political class in power to do the West’s bidding at indigenous people’s expense. 

The vital questions are: Who will lead us to such a cherished dream of a political renaissance and people’s revolution?  How will we get there?

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Let us for deliberative purposes, consider some options: Can Zardari-Gilani PPP regime transform itself into a revolutionary nationalist political movement and deliver Pakistan out of its 6-decade bondage with the US-West’s ideological capitalism and foreign policy global agenda?  Can the PPP top leadership disengage itself from US political patronage?  Can the PPP disown America-Nato’s war on terrorism? I’m afraid not. The problem is that hen’s lay eggs only – they do not spit out pearls.  Wheelers and dealers can make modest adjustments in their stated  interests, but they can never turn into saints or political revolutionaries.  The PPP leadership not only lacks the political vision required for such a dynamic national enterprise, it is so absolutely inadequate in its management and competency level even to imagine, let alone undertake, such a massive and impelling initiative.  PPP’s 3-year political performance (as well as past record) prove that “in talon meh tel nahin” (you cannot hope or expect them to have this kind of capability). 

Can the PML(N), the second largest party in the country,  salvage Pakistan’s present predicaments?  I think not.  In the first place, PML(N) and its top leadership is a right-wing, pro-capitalism, pro-US, pro-status quo political organization.  Its political manifesto and strategic approach to national management affairs is a half-mix of so-called pragmatism and vested interests wrapped in a half-baked loaf, neither fully cooked nor eatable.  Its leadership’s confusion and perplexity is bewildering.  Mian Nawaz Sharif’s perspective on saving the present political system fearing democracy might derail is contrary to parliamentary democratic norms. And yet, the PML(N) chief insists on the validity of his point of view.  A people’s revolution aimed at altering the status quo in the country is beyond the possibilities of the PML(N) leadership’ s political capabilities and ideological premises.

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Can Jamaat-e-Islami, the most organized political party in Pakistan, resolve the country’s ever-multiplying problems? Unfortunately, Jamaat-e-Islami’s leadership is neither charismatic nor dynamic.  It’s a highly ideologically indoctrinated political organization and the Pakistani voters have never in the past, nor are likely in the future, entrust it with national leadership. 

Can MQM, a truly people’s grass-root political outfit, rescue Pakistan?  Not a chance. MQM still has a long way to go to attain national stature, and its leader’s modus operandi (rightly or wrongly) has always been a question mark in the public’s perception.

Is Imran Khan and his Tehreek-e-Insaaf, the most potent political force presently, a CIA-implant in Pakistan?  Rationally speaking, that does not seem to be the case: the CIA wants the war on terror to continue – PTI does not want Pakistan to own this war and calls for its halt immediately.  US-Nato wants to impose a military solution in northern Pakistan and Afghanistan – PTI wants a political resolution of the conflict and a settlement with the Taliban by dialogue, compromise and political means.  US-Nato and their allies wish to continue the Islamist bogey indefinitely – Imran Khan’s party opposes this ideological pretext as bogus and without merit.  The CIA wants the drone attacks to continue – PTI wants an immediate end to drone attacks against Pakistani citizens and Imran Khan considers such attacks as violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.  And so on and so forth. 

The American political establishment considers global politics as a marketplace and will pay any price to acquire what they wish – that is their political modus operandi!  I will bet top dollar that Imran Kahn is not for sale and neither is the PTI!!

And that is what Pakistan needs now:  Personal integrity, leadership credibility, honesty, ethical and principled national politics and a qualitative change in its decades-old alliances, the US and Western powers – in which Pakistan’s sovereignty is upheld and the nation’s dignity is restored!!

That is how people’s revolutions are made!!!!

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s national political manifesto is one of change, freedom and social justice!!

Decide for yourself.  What do you deserve?