NOTES FROM A SOCIAL SCIENTIST
By Dr. Haider Mehdi
“Nothing in this world happens by chance.”
-Paulo Coelho, Veronika Decides to Die
The word “anatomy” is used here to mean a structure and a framework for a political management process and a political organization that can turn around an impoverished and externally dependent nation into an independent and self-reliant country. It is not a simple task that can be accomplished by slogans and rhetoric alone; it is akin to moving mountains to new sights and diverting oceans to fresh inventive directions. National self-reliance politics requires political-economic management capabilities, organizational capacities, a superlative visionary imagination, virtuous selfless dedication, ethical and moral prudence and, above all, a messianic yearning, a passion and a devotion to the welfare of people and adoration for the nation.
In the process of nation building “nothing in this world happens by chance.” It is the ultimate truth that we must comprehend as a nation: Pakistan stands on the verge of an absolute collapse at the onset of 2012.
The dispiriting realities of Zardari-Gilani democratic Pakistan sends chills up the spine and every citizen of this country is asking the same questions: Whatever happened to our democratic aspirations? Why have our dreams of a prosperous welfare state been shattered? Will the year 2012 emancipate the nation from the yoke of an oligarchic political structure put in place in the name of democratic dispensation? Will the people of this country be liberated in the current year from their deprivations, sky-rocketing price hikes, poverty, hunger, disease and marginalization of the majority of its people to the brink of an absolute human disaster? Will the essentials of a daily minimum existence be made available to the people of Pakistan? Will we have gas to prepare meals? Will electricity be restored to run factories and to turn on household lights to live like human beings? Will we have drinking water? Will we have petrol to run our cars and scooters to drive our children to school? Will our trains continue to run? Will the planes of our national carrier fly anymore? Will our culture, heritage and national institutions survive? Or will the financial crunch and financial mismanagement coupled with massive deprivations and increasing poverty cause nationwide mental health and anxiety disorders, depression, suicides and will unprecedented violence in society turn us into psychopaths?
Will we survive as a nation? Will we be able to transform our political-economic structure in the year 2012?
The mere change of faces at the helm of national affairs will not provide a permanent solution to Pakistan’s ever-expanding problematics. For decades, we have been a dependent nation on external sources, loans, aid packages and foreign political-economic patronage. Our national survival strategy in 2012 requires that Pakistan break away from its past political-economic model of “dependency” and usher itself into a bold and fresh era of “self-reliance.” Without disposing of the political structure of the “status-quo” and embracing a strategic political-economic management model entirely engineered on a “self-reliance” basis, the future of this country’s masses remain bleak and without hope for a national reconstruction and political renaissance.
The unfortunate fact of the matter is that both major political parties in the country, the PPP and the PML-N and their respective leaderships are politically, philosophically, ideologically, and strategically incapable of taking on the challenge of national reconstruction on the basis of a “self-reliance” developmental model. This is because of the leaders’ inherent mindset flaws and conceptualization errors in the notion of political power. Leadership, both in PPP and PML-N, is essentially “Right Wing”, ideologically stuck to a pro-Western style capitalist economic model, permanently aligned to external patronage, particularly of the US and Western Europe, and both have time and again compromised national interests for their personal political and commercial interests (We do not need to go into the historical details of this matter because it is common public knowledge.). Consequently, both PPP and PML-N and their leaderships have become irrelevant and out of date with the existing needs and political realities of the country: the “self-reliance” developmental model and its strategic management capability and skills are beyond the intellectual-political capacity of those political actors.
The “Self-Reliance” Political-Economic Developmental (SRPED) model is an entirely different ballgame than ever espoused or practiced in the power corridors of Pakistan. The SRPED model is a process of strategic management of “integration”: it is to “prioritize” national issues and then to set “objectives” in terms of these “priorities” – followed by integrating alternate policy options to maximize the output of national decision-making – always keeping in focus the larger interests of the common citizen, the masses. For example, if Pakistan is aligned to the US and conducts itself as an agent to serve American interests (as it has historically done in anti-communist pacts, war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and now the so-called war on terrorism) as well as being dependent on foreign financial assistance, then external intervention in its domestic affairs is bound to be massive and consistently under mounting pressures. Similarly, foreign investments largely impact negatively on domestic policy-making, undermining indigenous investments, causing the lack of development in industrial, technological, educational and scientific sectors, and so on and so forth.
The most important priority issue of 2012 in Pakistan is to offer relief to the Pakistani masses: poverty is rampant; hunger and daily deprivations are common; law and order is absent; violence has become a way of life; governance is virtually non-existent; the incumbent government in Islamabad is in conflict with all national institutions; the economy has collapsed; unemployment has reached staggering levels; foreign intervention in domestic affairs in unparalleled and our culture, faith and religion is under constant assaults from outside forces, as well as from certain quarters from within, and so on and so forth.
Unless the year 2012 becomes a year of change, a year of transformation of our ailing polity by a dynamic “Third Force” committed to a national “Self-Reliance” doctrine, the prospects of a viable Pakistan continue to diminish.
Indeed, the greatest calamity that surfaced in Pakistan at the end of the 20th century was the emergence of a disingenuous and autocratic military dictatorship eventually replaced by a political leadership of vested interests which has continued to present times under the pretext of democracy with the explicit patronage of the US and its Western allies. And yet, this deceptive and sad development was not accidental, but was the result of the acute political-military arrogance of a super-power and its allies conveniently in cahoots with the political mafia in Pakistan.
Unfortunately, the Pakistani masses have been at the receiving end of this horrible calamity!
Of course, “nothing in this world happens by chance!”