“When I think that Pakistan has come into being, it gives immense satisfaction to my soul; it was a difficult task, I could not have achieved it alone. In doing so, the blessings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) were with me. Now it’s the duty of the people to follow the path of Khulfai Rashideen so that Allah fulfills His promise and accords us the rule on this earth.”M. A. Jinnah, Ziarat, September 1948
By Mansur Sarwar Khan
As against the back drop of Islamic concept of universal state, based on the notion of Ummah; the nation state is the typical and glorified form of state in our times. To think or dream otherwise is counter productive; when faced and challenged by the impending realities on the universal ground.
In today’s world; nations have to assume the form of a nation state; in order to survive, without being eaten up by the other strong, stable and sensible nations. We can only abandon this form of state hood after the rest of the world opts out of it. As of now Muslim nations have to live with this form of state hood; develop a strong economy, culture, institutions and a non exploitative form of economic and political system based on the spirit of Islam ; a system that could stand up and eventually defeat the capitalistic form of western notion of governance. A nation state is defined as a state that represents first and foremost the collective wholeness of the will of its society of people; who have sort of acquired a bit of harmony among themselves and who are willing to share the same fate. Is this true about Pakistan today?
Unfortunately Zia-ul-Haq and his class of leftover political leaders and their dispensations had reduced Pakistani nation to race, culture, religious sects, sectarian fundamentalism and rampant corruption. The total destruction of Pakistani nation was achieved in the 1990’s after which' it’s only jumping from one life saving boat to another; today we are out in the wild, totally exhausted and waiting for Allah or fearing the international vultures to pounce on what flesh is left on our skinny skeleton of statehood. But let’s remember a vulture is a patient bird, it waits for absolute death and Allah almighty appears to be sick and tired of a country and people who learn no lesson from history. Only pay lip service to God and his Prophet and are in denial of themselves and have never ever missed an opportunity to miss any God given or man given opportunity. Think and look at things with your inner eye, we are no where. This reference is supposed to be shared by everyone across the board, but none is prepared to understand the concept of nation state hood.
There is a manufacturing defect in Nawaz and his distorted evil, evil and demagogic PML-N power politics; whereas, there is an instinctual stress and greed in Zaradari’s Party and politics. Both leaders and their parties are rotten to the core. They have failed to define Pakistan; failing its community of people who have been made to live on a lie in the past and who have accumulated many bad memories of Pakistani’s failure in national integration. Pakistanis are fear ridden and apprehensive of living together in harmony. Today’s Pakistani state doesn’t represent the sovereignty of its nation. The provinces lack trust, understanding and a shared vision based on consensual relations both among the people, provinces and between the state and the people. Nawaz and his politics is the chief culprit in the break-up of the trust between provinces and birth of doubts breaking the back bone of the social contract between Punjab and smaller provinces of Pakistan.
Those who believe that the main problem is to ensure the survival of our nation state, now are resorting to methods that were employed in the past and failed. This is because the force that will bind the society together is no longer the religion or the uniformity of people. It’s the economic stability, prosperity a shared future and an excellent existence of justice, transparency and respect for the common man who has been subjected to a perpetual state of misery after the judicial murder of Bhutto. Justice, transparency and respect is an old and established asset of Islamic history and culture; it was in our genes; by denying it to the nation; the rulers have actually denied Islamic faith to the Pakistani society and this is the reason that religion is no more a strong binding force as it was in 1947, 1965 etc.
The financial crisis is an out come of endemic corruption of the ruling elite; which has brought the country and the common man to their knees. Nawaz and his PML-N saw the state not only as a power, but also viewed it as a centre of economic power and took all advantage of his years in power to promote his business empire. He milked every drop of economic cow; his loans, write offs; through strategy of power politics is what drove the country to bankruptcy. The Zardari PPP gave a matching response. They slowly but surely lost the ground on which they kept fighting to no end. They wound up along the bankrupt state. they have come back and are practicing the super corrupt governments driving Punjab and Pakistan to the bankruptcy of collaborationist economy based on their unearned wealth, naked plunder of national resources' even foreign loan, aids, donations are plundered with impunity; which is gradually turning Pakistan into an economic Barren land' with no source or resource of economic wealth. So where are we to go from here?
It is very apparent that Pakistan has to change and the change must be irreversible, a cool headed and logical analyses with a very well thought out program is needed to make sense of the content and direction of this change. Nawaz and Zardari do not fit in this scheme of things, we know this, the country knows it perfectly well; but the beneficiaries of this system are not prepared to acknowledge. As it seems there are two sound bench marks; normalization of relations between people and state; provinces and federation, army and civilian dispensation. This new contract should be based on justice, development, responsibility and ruthless accountability.
A new way for major structural changes:
- Change the state structure and make it common man oriented and not elite oriented; as it stands since the last 64 years.
- The structural transformation of economy associated with increased wealth in state coffers and pockets of common man in the streets.
Jinnah made Pakistan a welfare state; his vision was to establish it on the pattern of Khulfae Rashideen; the establishment TURNED it into a security state where the common man and institutions lost it out big time. Today we are lost in time, struck in the past; gradually drowning in the morass of corruptous marshes of elitist politico-economy. It is likely to predict, what is likely to happen; if this state of affairs continues for some more time, Pakistan and current state of affairs cannot co-exist for long. Pakistan will have, after the New Year to think in serious terms and start creating an atmosphere which pulls it from the brinks of disaster waiting in the wings. Pakistan is becoming poorer by the day. Nawaz/Zardari lack the comprehension of events taking shape, they have failed to implement a comprehensive program to stop the economic hide and seek they started playing in the 1990s. Agriculture is in the wild; industry is in the intensive care unit, small and medium enterprises have withered away; the country is on a life support machine. This is no way to conduct the affairs of a modern day nation state that is an atomic power and aspires to become a civilization at some future time. No government since 1970 has taken any sensible bold steps to strengthen the economy or the foundations of the state structure .Pakistan goes drifting into the black hole; at a pace never seen before. Indus valley has always seen welfare and prosperity; poverty has never really been its fate since times immemorial, but now this geographic area for the first time is on the edge of being poorer than its neighborhood. The fate of Pakistani nation is changing, the rich are stashing wealth aboard and poor are about to enter hell because they have been cheated by their political custodians on permanent and regular basis.
A ruthless accountability putting an end to everything past is the way out. A new education system is required to create a new Pakistani man. A credible elected clean government of Imran is quite new generation of politicians is the dire need of the hour. A justice and development cadre of political players should assume political representation of power based on enterprise management and reinstated with improved political stability and thrive. If the common man is brought into focus; and made a beneficiary of rising economic power; agriculture is put on war footing priority, industry is made capable of production, competition and marketing under free conditions ; we can make a come back. For this reason alone the great transformation implies in the first place; a change in the political leadership of Pakistan, in the dominant economic classes and Bureaucracy of every kind. We have to bring back values of shame, work and morality into our society. Conservative values of economy, simple and inexpensive mode of governance are inevitable if a pull back is planned. Pakistan has a strong political capital which values external and internal security. If done in good faith, it can save and steer Pakistan out of this existential crises, Imran Khan is one such hope who can ignite the transformation.
The writer is a barrister who often writes for Opinion Maker. He is also the member of the Central Executive Committee of Imran Khan's party.