December 31, 2009 Leave a comment
Only fools are glad when governments change. No, this isn’t my personal sentiment I’m expressing. It’s an old Romanian maxim that really-truly implies that it’s solely not the change of government that matters, but the change of system.
Since the time Iskander Mirza, the first president of Pakistan, imposed the Martial Law and appointed General Ayub Khan a Martial Law administrator, the history of Pakistan has always been at declasse. That was the first time army ever intervened in the politics of Pakistan. Things went by and Ayub Khan abdicated the serving General Yahya Khan. Those were the days when the commencement of ‘establishment’ started to happen. This is the same establishment we talk a lot about in regards with the mainstream politics of Pakistan. Since then, establishment — the army, intelligence and to some extent foreign powers — kept on deciding the fate of Pakistan. The influence of establishment in the politics of Pakistan grew more and more and year after year. And to date there have been 4 Martial Laws in Pakistan, to be precise the figure is 5. Besides, not to forget the role of our intelligence agencies — the imperative and decisive part of establishment — in the political culture of Pakistan.
There are quite a number of reasons and irrational motives why establishment has kept on interfering in the politics of Pakistan for last 5 decades. I had a debate with a friend on it few days back about it and we compared the similar situation in a view of fact that why there has been no martial law in India ever since independence or why establishment isn’t so predominant the way it’s in Pakistan. She gave the strong points and I agreed to that. Adapted to the words of her: Their (Indian) leadership and bureaucracy has always been hellishly strong; they never had impotent leaders like we had and still have. None of the leader and bureaucrat in India ever paved a way for martial law because they, from the beginning, stood strong ahead of the establishment i.e. army and intelligence and the opportunist political parties.
And what we always had for last 5 decades was Ayub Khan, the lodestar. We could have reset our political position and could have made strong the political institutions and ourselves, the awaam, by not endorsing the acts and moves of establishment after the first martial law which was also the first ever interference of army in politics and which was the beginning of the formation of establishment. Now today, establishment has become too strong, and interference in politics of Pakistan has become a requirements for survival of establishment itself that it’d take a long time to revert the things.
This is a fact that in Pakistan, it’s not the premier or president supervising the country nor their parliament is set upped to handle all democratic decisions; God-knows-what democracy we talk about in the contemporary world. If anything, it’s the establishment that decides the future of Pakistan in a major manner. Toppling the governments or using and abetting the political parties for their cause is something not very new coming from establishment. Of late, some top leadership of PML-N has been found covertly meeting with the top brass servicemen in GHQ. This all happened at a time while everyone knows president Zardari isn’t kindly-disposed when it comes to the establishment. Reasons are many to make president Zardari believe why establishment isn’t congenial with him while simultaneously the same establishment seems to be benignant with premier Gilani.
While all this is happening and establishment again is standing under the klieg light, we all must also understand the fact that removing Zardari wouldn’t be a settlement to start with a new era of peace and prosperity as removing Musharraf wasn’t a logical solution neither it gave a reasonable outcome since Zardari is also guided by the examples of Musharraf — nothing has changed so far; and because we know that the next-best in line (most certainly Nawaz Sharif) is another fallen angel as Zardari and Musharraf are. So why so much fuss about Zardari?
I feel like reiterating the Romanian maxim again: Only fools are glad when governments change. Eventually, it should be understood by everyone after the careful examination of this problem that we need to leash the establishment from ever intervening in the political culture of Pakistan. For that, I can only say all the ethnic, regional and national political parties of Pakistan shouldn’t fall prey to the uncalled for interference of establishment in politics. Let these institutions not to impede in the politics of Pakistan because, forsooth, they’re not meant for it. Turmoil only lasts as long as the status quo is unchanged. So we ought to find a way to make sure the status quo changes in our favor — in awaam’s favor, so that we really become the ones deciding the future of Pakistan, not the establishment nor the dictators.