A Straight “No” To Army’s Intervention In Politics

Often I contemplate why we, as civilians, assume that we cannot govern the country? Haven’t we — the “bloody civilians” as the army thinks — recognized our worth in all these 63 years of Independence?

A few days back during a debate with a friend he said to me:

“Civilians like you are worth nothing in the political system of this country”

Now I don’t understand one thing: why underestimating yourself as a civilian? Will we always remain “bloody civilians” in the eyes of uniformed ones?

Army is an institution, not a contractual leadership icon. It is we, the civilians, who are going to make any difference. If not, we will always keep on hanging between the 10 years military rule and couple of years civilian rule — the epitome of Pakistan’s political history. And If the things will keep going on in such a way, we will yet remain confused forever which ideology to follow — military or civilian. Army “may” change things to good for a short period of time, but it won’t and it can’t change things the way we need it for a long-term progression.

PS: I, in any case, am not endorsing the “democracy”. I don’t believe in this “ism” or that “ism”, and which is a different debate. I only intend to say that the “bloody civilians” are worthy of ruling too. Besides, the army’s influence in the politics of Pakistan should be subdued.

The Godfather Of Democracy & Justice

Detainee Abuse

Detainee Abuse

In any country, the lion’s share of independency is always withheld by the respective government even though the country is said to be a modern democratic country. When we witness such an unjust specially on the name of ‘greatest national interest’, it means we’re deprived of our rights. This time it’s not directly the Pakistan or Pakistanis deprived of their rights. On this opportunity related to the Justice Department of US, the de facto greatest national interest is about the detainee abuse that the photos of detainee abuse wouldn’t be released in as much as, and as said by President Barack Obama, it could whip up anti-American sentiment overseas and endanger US troops abroad, mostly in Afghanistan and Iraq. It should be noted that absolute majority of the detainees are foreigners and not the US citizens.

In a wake of organized demands by American Civil Liberties Union from the US Justice Department, the Federal Law has recently been modified in the mid of November 2009 on the name of greatest national interest. The new Federal Law, as stated by the High Court of US, says that the detainee abuse pictures would be withheld by the US Government.

The country that is said to have been a high-mettled supporter of democracy and justice and thus preaching the rest of the world to promote democracy and justice has itself been convoluted in the breaching of its own set of rules and collection of laws. This is what we call an apex hypocrisy that is blotted out on the name of de facto greatest national interest.

As the President Barack Obama said that the pictures of detainee abuse would give a rise to anti-American sentiment overseas, I ask: even withholding the pics, does the government of US could help itself subduing the voice of all those who raise their voice against the atrocities of US for a de jure reason? From another point of view, a host of Pakistanis — supporter of enlightened modernization — presume that having anti-American views makes one a Jamat-e-Islami activist, a fundamentalist or an extremist. But the Ghairat Brigade of Pakistan, sometimes or rather often snub the fact that 52% of Americans, contemporarily, want all their troops back home — the troops fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Ghairat Brigade of Pakistan wouldn’t call American Civil Liberties Union as extremist, fundamentalist or Jamat-e-Islami propagandist. But endorsing the cause of American Civil Liberties Union i.e. raising voice against the atrocities of American Government would make a Pakistani one of these three: Jamat-e-Islami activist, a fundamentalist or an extremist. This is how we’re — the Illah MashaAllah Ghairat Brigade of Pakistan.

So far, the American Civil Liberties Union has said that it’ll continue fighting for the photos’ release. I’m supporting the cause of ACLU and raising the voice against the heinous crimes the Government of America commits. You may call me a Jamat-e-Islami propagandist, a fundamentalist or an extremist. I really don’t care.

Political Systems and their Needs

Democracy, Dictatorship, Communism, Socialism, Monarchy, Anarchy etc. — all are names of different Political and Economic systems. All can be good and at the same time all can not be good. These all can be acceptable without any variance by the people of that particular state IF they feel their country is in progression with a good law and order and economy etc. within that particular system. So be it Democracy or Dictatorship – unless people are getting attention of government in a good way – they’ll stay as happy. Partially, it also happened in Musharraf’s era too. Initial years of Musharraf was better than the last few years. Absolute majority of people accepted his Martial Law in 1999. People were happy under his tyranny – and they were anticipating for a good future of Pakistan – albeit Musharraf was a dictator. But when the same Musharraf started showing his wispy colors – the same people started opposing him. And then we witnessed a strength of Musharraf who once was accepted warmly by nation en masse – was getting scorned by the same people. Why? Because he started committing serious blunders in his last few years of tyranny, and he kept on doing mistakes rather than rectifying himself. It all wasn’t acceptable.

In short, there’s nothing like “A good dictatorship” or “A poor democracy” or vice versa. What all citizens want is a good system – a good law and order – a good sovereignty of country where government is liable to protect the rights of its citizens.

For instance, Cuba’s ex-president Fidel Castro ruled over Cuba for nearly half century. He came in to power after the Cuban revolution that brought down one American Dictator. Although Castro was a ‘dictator’ too, but he brought revolution and Cubans were happy with him. Hu Jintao, who’s General Secretary of China’s communist party and head of world’s largest army — he’s also a dictator. Chinese are very much okay under his tyranny. China is prospering.

In another instance, Sweden is one of those countries which enjoys a good democracy within the country. Swedish people are happy under a democracy. As long as the “System” of governance is okay and people are getting their due rights and getting justice — people don’t tend to think much about change. Same goes with the Fiedel’s Castro’s governance where he – a dictator – ruled for five decades and Cubans were happy, but they (Cubans) weren’t happy under an American dictator.

In another instance, Hugo Chavez promoted Direct Democracy in Venezuela. People enjoy this direct democracy since their country is stable under this democracy. They don’t want dictatorship.

So that, it’s all about manners of governance than democracy/dictatorship/monarchy etc. itself.

It’s all about Pakistan’s Politics

My beautiful country, Pakistan. I always thought it to be more beautiful than ever, but it always became more worst than ever. I always wanted to see peace, it struck down at war internally; I wanted to see economic growth, instead I saw recession; I wanted to see character education, instead I saw immorality; I wanted to see political stability, the instability exacerbated to more; I wanted to see reduction in poverty level in all these years, but nothing.

The political situation in Pakistan is directly proportional to all the issues concerning Pakistan, may it be pertinent to economic, security, law and order, education, poverty, religion, social, and technological issues.

Pakistan political cartoon on awaam and leader
Each day I hear declarations coming from our political leaders repeating one thing over again, but sagaciously, and simultaneously deviously in different ways. Are we primitive enough not to conceive what our political leaders are up to – or may be we’re so much used to of being a part of this famous pac-man game in which pac-man nourishes itself by eating pac-dots. Pac-man is often stonewalled by ghosts in his mission. We can equate pac-man with Pakistan’s political leaders and those ghosts who stonewall pac-man can be equated with the amiable paragons of Pakistan. If you see from the eyes of pac-man – you’ll find ghosts as ghost; from an opposite view, it’ll be contrary. Pac-dots can be equated with the people of Pakistan — Pakistanis.

I often think, why we keep betting on the same betted horse who gives nothing but bringing dishonor again and again to the country. Every time we bet on the betted horse, we demonstrate ourselves as a matchless nation – a nation that makes itself fall behind by duping itself.

One of the salient feature of Pakistanis is they’re excellent in complying contrary to one of the famous phrase — “Two wrongs do not constitute a right.” Pakistanis always endeavor to find all necessary and possible means that could pave a way to satisfy their egos.

For instance, if I argue with any Musharraf’s supporter about missing person or Bajaur air-strike resulted in the loss of 100’s of innocents – most probably I’ll receive a reply that missing people is just a myth and Bajaur air-strike is nothing – a lot much worst is done by current government — yet again a contrariety to the phrase delineated above. Possibly, I’ll get some response that it was in the larger interest of country. Oh well, when a Pakistani is out of arguments and is not willing to accept the fundamental truth behind the argument, he/she always comes up with this statement. This phrase has grown over too much now. It’s not our fault that we can’t be flexible enough to accept right as right and wrong as wrong, it’s but miraculous that we can’t understand.

In another example, if I ask any MQM supporter what is your main reason of supporting MQM, give me just one supporting point? I, most probably will get this reply that MQM has done a lot for Karachi. That’s what I call Lakeer key Faqeer — the protagonist keeps the beaten path. If I ask a second question that goes like: what’s your stance about MQM carrying arms? And I know I’ll hear back that other political parties do also keep arms so as MQM — once again demonstrating contrary to the phrase “Two wrongs do not make a right.” Hence, these explanations are vernacular amongst Pakistanis.

In another example, if I ask any PML(N) supporter about his stance on killing of so many people of Karachi – call themselves Muhajirs. I certainly will get a reply that MQMers are terrorists and funded by India so they deserve it. That’s another top-drawer nonsensical reply I’ll get. So here we’re merely obsessed politically, forgetting the brutal killing of 100’s of innocents died in the past due to political grievances. In an opposite way, if I ask from MQM why they don’t like PML(N), I’ll get another vernacular response that Nawaz Sharif is a killer of so many Muhajirs and a corrupt person. But how come Altaf Hussain is a saint – this question will tickle my mind obviously. I won’t ask this question as I know it’d be futile to debate with the obsessed protagonists. But yeah, I sure would expose the hypocrisy while asking a crisscross question that why MQM is in alliance with PPP who’s also said to be the killers of so many Urdu speaking Muhajirs – claimed by MQM. To blot out the hypocrisy of MQM, I’ll get a reply that BB is dead so we’re now having anew relation with PPP, and particularly Zardari. Or may be I’ll get a reply which is often reiterated by our politicians as well that goes like: “Qoum key wasee tar mafad mein”– translated as: “In the larger interest of country.” Our (Pakistani) mind-set works this way, whether to admit or not.

While I see the whole political structure of Pakistan, I find that our political system isn’t steadfast. Our leaders say something and does the other thing. For instance, everyone political party talks about internal peace in the nation, yet all of them are arms-laden — not even following Pakistan Arms Ordinance of 1965. It doesn’t yet make a wee bit of sense that peace is actually possible when civilians — mostly uneducated — are arms-laden.

In another instance, we see MQM always talking a lot in against of feudal, but the same MQM demonstrated as a hands-on political party electing Zardari in the presidential elections. Oh, I forget to add it’s in the larger interest of nation.

Nawaz Sharif is a twice elected Prime Minister of Pakistan. In his both the term, we’ve witnessed an hostile opposition against the political parties who didn’t support him. Nawaz Sharif’s role in Kargil war is also controversial. The number of corruption charges against Nawaz Sharif is also well-known to many. Therefore, I believe he’s not a competent person to hold the office of Prime Minister, not even a member of Parliament.

Pakistan political cartoon on awaam and leader.
Pakistan’s politics isn’t the politics of principle. Political leaders are merely running after the power, and we as a nation keep on trusting them. We always trust them that’s why we elect them over again and they again show their competency and excellency of looting the nation. What these leaders have given to us? Seriously, if we see our nation today, we’ll see a division of borders and thoughts amongst Pakistanis. The seeds of racism and hatred is sowed by our political leaders in Past and the current political leaders have watered the seeds of it – helping the plant of hatred, racism and division of thoughts to grow more. MQM majorly represents Urdu Speaking call themselves Muhajirs, PML(N) majorly represents Punjab province, ANP majorly represents NWFP province. MQM doesn’t like PML(N) and vice versa so automatically it creates a good enough hatred and sometimes racism amongst two provinces Sindh and Punjab. ANP doesn’t like MQM, although keeps on trying to patch up unlike PML(N). But while the political rivalry amongst MQM and ANP takes place which we often witness – then we see a good enough hatred from both sides – and often it leads to racism and discrimination within the nation. And moreover, the rate of education in our country paves a way for our political leaders to make use of uneducated people, utilizing the same ethnic, racial, and linguistic card. Is this all good what we see today? We’ve to understand this fact that these political leaders have given us nothing, instead created a fraction amongst.

Understanding Pakistan’s politics is very easy. Just don’t be self-centred about one’s city or locality; think from larger perspective — from an eye of P-a-k-i-s-t-a-n-i. Also don’t need to act contrary to the famous phrase delineated above as well “Two wrongs do not make a right”. Call wrong as wrong, and accept right as right. If you’re being given with the option to select a lesser evil from the lot of evils, reject all; Evil is always an evil — lesser or higher evil are merely the attributes of evilness. And last, but certainly not the least, use your own mind to discern the things – not the same mind that political leaders use.