By Humayun Gauhar
“Where is Pakistan going?” asked a lady of me in Karachi recently. “When do you think the government is going to change? Who will form the next government?”
“To arrive at honest answers,” I said, “We must first detach ourselves from emotion and ask the most basic of questions and then face the answers bravely, for they are unpleasant but undeniable truths.”
First: “Who is supposed to rule Pakistan?” Answer: “The people are the true rulers of Pakistan, or should be, because they are the vicegerents of God. They are His vicegerents or Khalifa because they are the greatest of His creations, ashraf ul Makhlooqat. He has, therefore, given them free will and devolved on them that quantum of His sovereignty, as they need to run their affairs according to His tenets. It is a conditional and limited devolution, for the moment they lose sight of His tenets they lose His devolved sovereignty. God enjoins us in the Holy Quran that in times of distress, “Hold on to the rope of God and the rope of the People” – hablum min Allah wa hablum min an naas. The ‘rope’ symbolizes Man’s Covenant with God and the people. It is not literally a rope that God is talking about. Rope is just symbolic, akin to an umbilical cord that attaches us to our Creator and humanity. ‘The People’ is not a horde or mob but humanity in all God’s glory, humankind, Mankind – naas.
One of God’s most important tenets is:
Choose your leaders, which implies a democratic choice.
Choose from amongst yourselves, and;
Choose from amongst the best.
We have lost sight of this tenet completely.
We have adopted an electoral system that functions in such a way that it causes people to automatically and unwittingly elect their oppressors as their representatives and leaders. What could be worse than the oppressed choosing their oppressors as their representatives?
Because the choices that people are presented with are largely from amongst the worst they perforce choose from amongst the worst.
‘Worser’, as Alice would say, we have been electing or appointing to public office those who are not solely from amongst us but also those who owe allegiance to another country. “From amongst you” means from the Muslim ummah or nation at a time when there were no states made along modern western lines with demarcated boundaries, citizenship acts, passports and visas. The moment that came into play just over 200 years ago “from amongst you” has to mean citizens of your state and none other. Nationality, citizenship, patriotism and loyalty are not divisible.
Thus we have done the opposite of what God enjoined us to do. We don’t really ‘choose’ our rulers but mostly vote for them like zombies; we don’t always choose from amongst ourselves and we most certainly do not choose from amongst the best, a few exceptions notwithstanding. What chance do such a people have to either be ruled well or to determine their destiny? What chance do such a people have of retaining their God-given sovereignty and not losing it to someone else? So under our present system what difference would a change of government make, however it is done? The people will continue to be poor; the country will remain bankrupt, we will remain dependent while the few that benefit from this corrupt system and the iniquitous status quo that it begets will remain rich and get richer and more powerful. And God’s tenet will continue to be violated wantonly. So, my dear lady, how the government changes, when it changes, what will replace it is of no consequence for things will remain the same or get worse. Frankly my dear, you shouldn’t give a damn. Instead, you should concentrate not on change of government but on change of this man-eating system to one which helps Mankind and in which we can regain our lost sovereignty that the Almighty devolved on us.
Which brings me to the next question, “Who rules Pakistan?” If you answer it honestly you will have a better idea of what is going to happen. Sorry to say, for it is painful, but if you have eyes, ears and a thinking brain, the undeniable truth is obvious: we have lost our sovereignty to America and it is America that rules Pakistan – not the army as you would like to hear nor the ‘elected’ government comprising the parliament-legislature, the executive and the judiciary. These institutions are but instruments of the real ruler, just as our la de da class was an instrument of the British ruler before America. So it is America that will determine when this government goes and what the next one will be. Got it?
The majority of people are simple. A rally here, a demonstrative judge there, a loquacious lawyer elsewhere and a shrill media everywhere and they think that deliverance is finally at hand, the messiah has arrived, not realizing that there is a messiah in each one of us if only we would let him out.
People are simple because they are vulnerable. They don’t know who their friends really are or their enemies. In their simplicity they tend to go for simplistic solutions. That leads them to treating symptoms rather than the malaise. They don’t recognize the malaise because, like the messiah, it also lies within, not without. No wonder well meaning but simple people’s prescriptions are simplistic. Most Pakistanis think that doing away with corruption will sort out everything. Others imagine that if you provide real justice all will be well. Yet others believe that the answer is strict, ongoing accountability. They don’t realize that our deep malaise is a collective colonized mentality that has fostered a constitution that begets an alien, unworkable political system that causes the oppressed to elect their oppressors and protect an anti-people status quo. The kafuffles that your see everywhere – army versus executive, judiciary versus executive, judiciary versus parliament, everyone versus the media – are battles amongst the beneficiaries of the status quo to protect their benefits or increase them. It has nothing to do with the people – poor, oppressed, hungry, illiterate, jobless. They are not even on the radar screen. They only appear as an inconvenient blip during an election in which the battle is between their oppressors – who can fool how many with hollow oratory and false promises into voting for them.
Where is Pakistan going? It is confused, alienated from itself, in search of identity, lost in a maze of alien political and economic constructs. In its confusion it stumbles from crisis to crunch, catastrophe to calamity, predicament to pusillanimity and lurches from ‘saviour’ to ‘saviour’ while remaining in a state of perpetual mental colonization.
We don’t understand that what America means by alliance is actually hegemony. America’s overarching doctrine is to cast the world in the image that works for it. The world must be reconfigured to enhance America’s wealth and hegemony and we must all go along happily, as if great favours are being done to us. If we don’t break free of such a sinful relationship we will never become self-reliant and rediscover our lost sovereignty. America’s god is money; our God is God – or should be.
The lesson: never break a universal principle or tenet of God. Never go against human instinct, which is to be free for man is born free by God’s Will. Don’t side with occupiers and oppressors no matter what the imagined short-term ‘benefits’. Better to suffer temporary harm, for in the end you will come out on top. That is God’s promise.