More Things Change, More Remain the Same
By Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD
Contemporary affairs represent Pakistani nation as divided people, leaderless who have been exploited by the neo-colonial feudal lords causing catastrophic consequences without accountability and engaged in looting the people of their socio-economic, moral and political consciousness for a sustainable future. The nation was incapacitated to THINK with REASON for its future. Elections 2013 facilitated no substantial change in the status-quo of foreign dictated governance except surprisingly people finding Nawaz Sharif as a replacement to Asif Ali Zardari, the previous thug and indicted criminal led regime of the few of which Mr. Sharif was an integral part. This means, the nation will pay with pains, tormenting worries and insane rages of the few egomaniac and perverted rulers who could not THINK right nor lead the nation – the political gangsters and the laughing stalk of the wounded nation and perpetrators of violence and the typical “Right Men” syndrome in its most naked form. Sahrif twice terminated PM on corruption charges and accused by General Musaharf to replace and kill him, could have addressed the issues if he wanted to make a fresh and responsible start in politics. Beginning with “Pakistan: Enigma of Change” in late 90’s, this author has envisaged planned change to make a new beginning only if there were educated and intelligent leaders from the new generation to initiate change and reformation (“islaha”) of the systematic institutionalized corruption prevalent in all aspects of human affairs. Change cannot and will not come out of the nowhere except through men of new ideas, new visionary leadership of integrity and public movement for change. For almost two decades, Pakistan’s capacity for change has been badly fractured and its moral, intellectual and political consciousness and values derailed and undermined by the few. There are three major contending forces escalating conflicts to degenerate the future and cripple the freedom and integrity of Pakistan:
(1) the Generals, who have ruled the country for almost four decades and are not willing to relinquish their own strategic- political powerhouse, militarization of the nation;
(2) Feudal landlords transformed politicians, the systematic by-products of the military Generals are the selected few families – Bhutoos- Zardaris, Sharifs and Chaudris of Gujarat acting as accomplice to support the military-based indoctrination as and when required for all seasons;
(3) People, the besieged masses of Pakistan – the net participatory victims and reactionaries to all of the tragedies for over fifty years.
None of the first two entities were factors in the thinking hub of the Pakistan movement for freedom – a separate homeland for the Muslims of the Indian sub-continent and the politically-intellectually enriched people’s democratic movement for the creation for an independent Pakistan. For several decades, the military coups and interventions have degenerated the moral, intellectual and positive Thinking of the society and run the risk of continued decadence and corruption in all major endeavors of national affairs. Pakistan and its people are the victim of this prolonged, cruel and unending tragedy. It clarifies that the Generals and their accomplice so called feudal politicians versus the common masses live in different worlds of perceptions and realities – more in conflicting time zones, not being able to see the prevalent realties of the national affairs to come to understand its essence and urgency for change and reformation. The global community sees them with mistrust and discord, not viable entities of the international system. The irrational system of governance propelled by the few does not offer any rational context to political change and reformation unless there is another bloody outburst challenging the insanity with more vigorous form of tragic insanity. Nobody THINKS of Pakistan, its national interests or the interests of the people- the logical legitimacy factor to the embodiment of Islamic Pakistan. More than forty years of time and opportunities have been stolen from the precious lifeline of the nation of Muslim Pakistan; yet, nobody was ever charged with crime nor punished for their treachery and monstrous actions against the freedom and integrity of Pakistan. East Pakistan now Bangladesh, was lost and surrendered to India because of the plan by the then military-political rulers of the nation in 1971. ZA Bhutto- General Yahaya Khan were the chief conspirators to dismember Pakistan. The traitors were rewarded not punished by the nation.
Leaders create leaders but there were none since the military took over the reigns time and again, stupid and unthinking people will come to occupy the highest offices, negating the very essence of Islamic principles and moral values of the society. Pakistan embodies multiple self-inflicted tragedies unknown in modern history. Power politics in Pakistan has become an outcome of institutionalized corruption, conspiracies, killings, and treachery to the national interests. The Generals, Politicians and Assemblies are all the outcome of this flourishing business industry. Since its freedom, the power was transferred only once peacefully by the British colonial authority on August 14, 1947; otherwise, there is no evidence of peaceful transfer of power to any legitimate leader-party in Pakistan. All the time, there were backdoor conspiracies, killings and trades-in between the few families and the Generals. What happened to East Pakistan, a similar situation is evolving in Baluchistan and Karachi, and all the major actors appear to be same as were at the time in 1971. The first two contending forces are acting on behalf of the foreign masters to further disintegrate Pakistan, and they are well paid and escorted by the ruthless forces of foreign intervention and spying networks. Even if Pakistan is further ruptured, their dividends-pensions and salaries are guaranteed by the Foreign Master. General Pervez Musaharaf currently under arrest and investigation is the role-model of being a subservient to the interests of the foreign Master. Who would know better to calculate the benefits than the former dictator General Musharaf and his immediate colleagues?
Those so called politicians who grab power via backdoor conspiracies and political horse-trading never think of relinquishing their hold on the masses. The rulers are the absolute power in Pakistan. There is no democracy, no political accountability and there is no political system based on any known legitimacy. The Pakistani rulers have acquired indifference to the public interest and insanity and they are victim of their own obsession. Pakistan needs a new political system of governance to be articulated by the new educated and proactive visionary generation of the people. Sahrif and the Generals belong to the dead past, and cannot be a hope for the future. Pakistanis breathe different air in a vicious encirclement of subjugation with a terrible sense of helplessness lacking political imagination and new ideas for the future making. The present rulers deserve a powerful lightning jolt or perhaps to face firing squad because the rational legal accountability process would not do justice to their perpetuated crimes against the nation. One cannot ignore the facts that some vital segments of the Pakistani nation must have been complacent in these schemes of things institutionalizing corruption and cruel politics. Could the Generals, Bhuttos, Sahrifs and Zardari have stolen time and resources on their own without the large participation of bribed people from within the society? Could we call the nation as a “zalam and muzloom quom” for our discussion purposes? Dr Qadeer Khan had rightly asked the question: Do Pakistanis have any Gharait (honor”). Coinciding this concern, one British journalist of the Guardian asked the same “do Pakistanis have any sense of honor?” Who would respond this imperative curiosity?
America is a big game player in Pakistan and its security apparatus. The aid gimmick has kept Pakistan interdependent on the policy making of the US administration and a nation being viewed more liability than an asset to the American geo-political interests in that region. The US leaders allege Pakistani rulers (civilians and military) as “double dealers” paid, bribed but act contrary to the American dictates. The imagery that floats across the globe that Pakistani Generals and politicians are in the paid US basket and survive on its active support to rule Pakistan. The beggar nation that continues to be living at the mercy of the so called US aid money and foods, often defined as conspiracy to fighting proxy wars in Afghanistan and elsewhere. All that can go wrong have gone wrong with the system of Pakistani governance. Every one selling others, every one making cash dollars by trading-in the interests of the Muslim nation. It is business “as usual” and nobody seems to raise any eyebrows anymore in a culture of nuisance, filthy corruption, and non-Islamic governance claiming to be Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Nobody knows where Islam exists or is operative across Pakistan.
In its May 18, 2007, the New York Times published front page article that “Pakistani Generals are paid to do the job.” That was General Musharaf and comrades, exposing the insanity of the “war on terrorism” that Pakistan embraced and the Generals made millions. The terms of reference clearly shows that the US intelligence network and the political leadership have full control over all the major affairs of governance in Pakistan. Zardari and the Pakistani Generals are the stooges of the US managed political chessboard. Do these cruel monsters have a future? Bruce Riedel, One of Obama’s advisors on Pakistan and the War on Terrorism (“Battle for the Soul of Pakistan” 1/4/2013, Brookings Institute and Centre for Middle East Policy) calls it “2013 could be a transformative year for the country, indeed it will be the battle for the soul of Pakistan.” He explains: “One measure of Pakistan’s instability is that the country now has between 300 and 500 private security firms, employing 3,00,000 armed guards, most run by ex-generals.” What makes the ex-Generals to create a culture of fear and insecurity? Is it the ex-Generals or the bogus War on Terror they have perpetuated? Is it that they draw their after service gratuities from such crime-riddled adventures? He adds that
“So, it is no wonder that the generals prefer to have the civilians responsible for managing the unmanageable, while they guard their prerogatives and decide national security issues. As important as the coming elections will be, the far more important issue is who will be the next Chief of Army Staff.”
The US administration dictates Pakistani governance of the few. Sahrif is the workable alternative and another “Our Man in Islamabad” replacing Zardari. No matter how suspicious and paranoid the Generals and their by-products- Zardaris and Sharifs appear to be, they are people without rational thinking and freedom of thoughts for the good of Pakistan. Their aims and ambitions are focused on power grabbing, not rebuilding of the much destroyed socio-economic and political infrastructures. Even after recent elections, the nation is divided along many ethnic and political demarcated lines drawn by the few man-made lords. There is no leader or party to envisage unity of the nation and be able to harmonize all the contending forces for the good of the people. Karachi is hallmark of MQM gangsterism in collaboration with the PPP. The daily killing of the innocent is called Karachite politics. Nobody thinks of stopping the bloodshed and bringing the perpetrators to legal justice. Dr Arif Alvi, the new NA elected member of the PTI from Karachi elaborates “How the MQM Works in Karachi”. (The Daily Times, Pakistan, 5/21/2013). Facts are on the wall if there are any Pakistani politicians to safeguard the future of the nation. Prior to the elections, hopes were centered on the Jamait-e-Islami and the PTI- led by Imran Khan – the two political parties of REASON and moral integrity to bring change to a corrupt system of political governance. The outcomes signal a vicious and degenerating political future for the nation. Sahrif and his collaborators have not been raised or educated with moral and intellectual leadership to lead the nation. In all probabilities, these new rulers to be have nothing new and positive for the future of Pakistan. The solution must come out of the NEW THINKING and NEW VISIONS of the young people and new generation of Pakistani scholars and intellectuals who are able to THINK independently and out of the box curtailment. This approach deserves an inward EYE on the objectivity and purpose of political change and reformation of the neo-colonial dominated governance, an eye not merely to change the political faces but to be FOCUSED on the PURPOSE and clarity of political change institutionalized developments holding Zardari and General Musharaf accountable for their crimes and treason to the nation, and rebuilding new political institutions with an instinctive recognition, gradually transforming the obsolete governance and rebuilding unto new and responsible system of political governance. Surely, history will judge the Pakistani rulers by their actions, not by their claims. The HOPE for change and reshaping ANEW Pakistan rests with the new ideas and optimism of the new, educated and intelligent young generation of Pakistanis. All segments of educated, informed and conscientious Pakistanis have genuine interests and priority to rebuild a strong foundation for the unity of the nation and this aim of unity rests with Islam as a powerful and unifying force of change and sustainable development for the future of Pakistan.