“Democracy is the most perverted form of government.” Plato
“The king should be a philosopher and not a tradesman.” Plato
“In democracy people are counted and not weighed.” Dr Iqbal
By Barrister Mansoor Sarwar Khan
Democracy can be faulty yet indispensable; indispensable yea! But not the type being practiced by Zardari Nawaz Duo; now or in the 1990s. This form of democracy is the wild type of crouptous state structure being run by a collaborationist combine of mafia and trade union of sorts. Faulty is one thing but rotten to the core; run by dirty, dangerous and untrustworthy demagogues born from the wombs of dictatorships time after time is yet another.
Nawaz failed to treasure its social empowerment, he fell short in valuing its power shift and its epochal change in lives of people and their living standard. What a shame, this blue eyed boy of the Zia establishment failed to link it with equality and liberty of economic well being of people. He is a decadent obstructionist and an autocrat who build his career on failings of democracy in his own favor of personal absolutist rule and a huge fiefdom of Business Empire.
Glance at our democratic travails; don’t these bear the same trajectory. Civilian governments were effortlessly dismissed not only because of Bonapartism; but because inter alia PPP and PML-N failed to pass the economic and social benefits of our national sources and resources to the common people of Pakistan .TODAY, 46% of population lives on or below the poverty line.
Twice land reforms were introduced but none gave the economic independence to the masses or the tillers. Both Ayub Khan and Bhutto made a ceiling of the max holding but the influentials transferred the lands on some dummy names but the holdings remained intact. By virtue of these land reforms has the Bhutto family lost any of its holdings but for some symbolic? The land reforms that were introduced by Hazrat Omar (RA), the second Caliph of Islam were the most just and effective method. He passed a law that any land that has not been cultivated for three years will be taken over and given to the landless people for cultivation. Also he barred the lands being contracted out for cultivation as that constituted Riba. One either had to directly cultivate the land or get it cultivated through paid labour but no leasing out as a contract. Besides this, there were no maximum or minimum holding levels set. This system ensured the smooth distribution of available resources.
The economic trickle-down effect or concept is a pipe dream in Pakistan; where two rival elite groups are fighting all the time to acquire the right to rule the have-nots.
Nawaz and his trading community are reluctant to pay taxes and get the economy documented; they only practice plunder and stash wealth in foreign lands to be invested there. These money launderers and Zardari dacoits have assassinated the national economy in cold blooded murder.
Pakistan lost it out in the 1990s when under the nose of permanent ruling establishment of Pakistan, Nawaz patronized an unwritten anti people coalition between sectarianism autocratic oligarchic forces to take a strong shape. These structural changes in political dynamic changed the nature and role OF the ruling elite of Pakistan; giving birth to the nasty monster called mullah-military machinations. These anti-people changes to the nature and role of state through post haste constitutional amendments, economic plunder, political engineering and strategic changes under Nawaz pushed Pakistan into an unending misery of sorts. Musharraf brought Pakistan into a full scale slavery of America; where we are trapped today.
Wikileaks are only a bench mark on who is who. If one was to get into the details on what has been revealed and try to evaluate deeply one would have a feeling Pakistan has been in very bad hands. The leaders who lead us today are abhorable, their attitude beatitude and platitude detestable, their patriotism skeptical, their politics and policies are suicidal for the country and those leaders are a slur on the face of our society. This is not Pakistan and what its ultimate sovereigns; the people, are all about. PAKISTAN was created as all things to all people; a country created for the common good of common man.
I believe firmly than ever before, that the people of Pakistan have a right to be governed by clean, simple visionary statesman of character and integrity .what we have in the corridors of power; doesn’t resonate to the ground requirements of a collapsing nation state. Even the high priests of the khaki house holds have begun to acknowledge the effects of their bad choices in the past.
After having spent decades in direct power and decades; as back door shot callers; these deciders in chief, are trying to find ways to rectify bad choices and bad times; which are a consequence of their innocence or ignorance, in the bygone times. A million dollar question is, why they devote so much time, money, effort to raise matrix leaders, when dynamic choices for credible leadership have been around for a long time. What then is the real issue in Pakistan’s failure in national integration. The nation state seems to be collapsing; its on again off again on a life support machine.
Nothing seems to be working. Every one appears to be singing from a different page. Is it the culture of intolerance, fundamentalism, political garbage in power, lack of morals, ethics or the forces of obstructionism that have beset the nation state. Are the above causes or effects that beset the national integration. Nothing appears to be in control, we are slowly but surely collapsing, yes! Collapsing. what then is the cause of our unending miseries? Yes! my word is; It’s the rising scale of poverty. The truth is that Pakistan is a dependent economy; hence international shylocks ate taking away a much larger pound of flesh,. Corruption eaten, fundamentalized with dangerously divided society, Pakistan stands on the cross roads. Plundered by its corrupt leadership, challenged by forces that sponsor obstructionism and bigotry, A collapsing economy surrounded by American and Hindutva vultures; Pakistan is being pushed to unsustainable instability, chaos and poverty. There has never been a greater threat to Pakistan’s integrity and solidarity; sovereignty comes much, much later. This should be known as a real existential threat, a one that threatens our nation hood. As PML-N and PPP fail marvelously, wallowing in heaps of corruption the country continues to slide down to undignified living.
8000 people in the extreme poverty zone perish everyday; trends indicate it could be 20,000 a day in next 3 years time. The poor are dying in village hospitals that lack drugs. In remote villages, in far off country side that lacks safe drinking water. These deaths are nameless, without media comment, no political leadership has ever appreciated the real circumstances of our country. All parts of the world are joining an age of unprecedented prosperity building on global science, technology and markets; but Pakistan is caught in a downward spiral of improvishment, hunger, instability and pessimism. All this time of duress and suffering in a badly divided country. where do we start to end this suffering of teaming millions, trapped by extreme poverty and forge a common bond of existence as a healthy futuristic society. How do we unlock the economic possibilities for our children and grand children in the next 25 years to catch up for the lost 63 years. The odds are long because leadership is corrupt to the core, hence democracy is bound to be fragile in an improvished country where doors of income are gradually being shut on a regular basis and the country is slowly being converted into a death chamber.
Pakistan has already been labeled as a basket case by international donors, the way forward is to start by dumping the tried and tested political leadership. Ruthless accountability should take a front seat followed by documentation of economy and introduction of laws that filthy rich with business empire abroad and non tax paying super rich be disqualified from holding public office. The rise and fall of all civilizations is based on episodes of hunger and extreme rise of poverty has sent societies crashing in to the dust bag of history. Social, political religious, institutional, wealth distribution and geographical factors must be renegotiated by all political forces of the country; making Pakistan relatively free and politically stable to give way to a thought out revolutionary economic transformation in the motherland. Economic development is not a zero sum game in which the winning of some is inevitably mirrored by the losses of others. This game is one that every one can win.
The writer is the Member Central Executive Committee, Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI).