SPEAKING FREELY Pakistan: How to reset political darkness
By Mahboob A Khawaja
Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say. Please click hereif you are interested in contributing.
Emerging naive religious activism, daily sectarian bloodbaths and curfews depict lawlessness, degeneration and an underdeveloped sense of national unity and purpose in a Pakistani nation that faces a crisis of identity.
Political monsters called leaders follow a foreign-propelled agenda as pawns on a geopolitical chessboard and a future of chaos and more deaths. Pakistanis need not look far to search for more
enemies, however; they need to see the mirror, the enemies are within, not elsewhere.
When people live in darkness for too long, they lose sense of rational thought and direction. All and everything is fighting for survival of the fittest. No wonder why educated and intellectually informed and conscientious Pakistanis find no place to stand on their own in the political culture to reclaim lost human dignity and self-respect as members of a valued nation.
The law of nature points out if you are respected within your family, you will be seen with dignity outside too. Are there any intelligent people left in the body of the nation to sort out what went wrong and why and how to change it to something normal and politically workable?
The Pakistani nation was born out of crises and in the dismantling of the country in 1971 is no stranger to crisis generated from within. Those who envisioned the evolution of a new Muslim nation out of British colonial India, surely had political imagination - how to progressively fulfill the promise of a new beginning of nationhood.
But those who followed the pioneering leaders of the new Pakistan chose a path of intrigue-run politics that has ensured a few families gained hegemonic control of the entrenched political powerhouse.
These few dreamed of ever-lasting political discourse and glory as kings and queens of a neo-colonial Pakistan, and also served as a discrete portal for political criminal gangs to undermine the much-acclaimed freedom of the Muslim nation. Their planned darkness viewed the people - the citizens of Pakistan - as immature, and common folks acted like innocent children supporting the neo-colonial class's domination, leading to collapsed integrity of Pakistan.
For over six decades, the world has gone through superb changes and adaptability but Pakistan and its people continue to be on a road of moral and intellectual darkness, with no immediate end insight. It happened as the naive rulers wanted to keep the masses in a state of ignorance.
Suspicious and paranoid as they might appear to be, Pakistani people still have no idea where they are and what direction are they heading. In conventional wisdom, all strategic planners emphasize that we must know where we are in order to go somewhere or to move in a right direction.
The ruling political elite is well protected, fattish and flourishing in highly advanced culture of peace and tranquility, good weekends, no curfews, unencumbered by high-rising costs of wheat flour, honey, eggs and butter and assured of freedom of movement.
Who does not want to live in Islamabad or in a new emerging colony of senior executives and top officials daily occupied in dance and drinking of all and everything conveniently imported from the West? They see the agitating and shouting people as a serious challenge to their enshrined happiness and high standards of living. The egomaniacal elite enjoy the sensation of power as if there is nothing wrong when all is on fire.
How should the global community view the emerging Pakistani political democracy of the few and its conspiracies of power and corruption? The bogus war on terror has harvested so many new political agents out of the nowhere-labels of parties. The few generals who want to try former president General Pervez Musharraf alone for treason would be unfair and ridiculous.
What happened to the Islamic foundation and values of Pakistan? Were the Bhuttos, Zardari, Sharif and the generals not equally responsible for the moral and political demise of the nation? History shall judge them by their actions, not by claims. They were all naive, opportunistic and clearly the worst enemies of Pakistani people. It is just that complacent groups avoid seeing the history as is.
Learning from history is tough to many egoistic politicians. Every new political ruler attempts to paint a new picture of purity and righteousness even as Pakistanis know well that all politics is corrupt and filthy. None seem to know and understand the meaning and spirit of democracy, but all claim to be its leading lights. Leaders manage the crisis when the facts of life warrant change and adaptability to the future. Often crisis unites people of reason, but not in the context of Pakistani politics.
Notwithstanding the requisites of reason and honesty, many Pakistani politicians are paid cash by the Master and are collaborating with the US-led warmongering against many Muslim nations. Time will tell how some of these so-called political traders and traitors called leaders deserve the wrath of God for supporting the bogus "War on Terror".
There are no public institutions to guide a navigational change and no leaders to lead the besieged nation from political chaos and mismanagement except individuals performing in the theater of the absurd.
One wonders why the earth never felt any weight of the contemporary Pakistani politicians. In a recent article, Andrew Gavin Marshall (Imperial Eye on Pakistan - Pakistan in Pieces, Part 1, Global Research: May 30, 2011) attempted to point out how US policy is shifting to see Pakistan go down in few years.
America has, in recent years, altered its strategy in Pakistan in the direction of destabilization. In short, Pakistan is an American target. The reason: Pakistan's growing military and strategic ties to China, America's primary global strategic rival. In the ‘Great Game' for global hegemony, any country that impedes America's world primacy - even one as historically significant to America as Pakistan - may be sacrificed upon the altar of war. ... Pakistan will very likely continue to be destabilized and ultimately collapse. What is not mentioned in these assessments, however, is the role of the military and intelligence communities in making this a reality; a veritable self-fulfilling prophecy.
In view of the unstoppable cycle of political killings and daily bloodbaths across Pakistani towns and poor neighborhoods, it is evident that Pakistani rulers and the masses live and breathe in conflicting time zones and are unable to see the rationality of people-oriented Islamic governance and the inevitability of surrender to foreign forces.
The question is how to decode treachery, greed, incompetence and dead conscience to tell the world the real story of the Pakistani growing democracy managed by dead Bhuttos, a few generals and now left-over Sharif administration.
The embittered and treacherous politics of the few, lacking moral and intellectual leadership and legitimacy, gives people a terrible sense of helplessness with frightening consequences of their past complacency and yet-to-come complete breakdown of all that is precious and valuable to a common Pakistani.
More and more, Pakistan is a nation depleted of moral and spiritual power of unity, and it finds itself strangled by inner-generated conflicts that are the products of a dark mindset and perverted priorities.
How to change the worst into the best?
In a knowledge-driven 21st-century and given the abundant resources of Pakistani's educated classes enriched with forward-looking zeal, lot of ills can be diagnosed and workable solutions found only if people with proactive thinking and dedicated energies are engaged to pursue vital national priorities.
Critical issues demand urgent care and cure, not the national curse of those who claim to be political linchpins. Many divides exist between what is said officially by the crime-riddled administration of the few and what the thinking masses experience in their daily despairs, including street bloodbaths and foreign drone attacks. Nothing moves in any rational direction to make their survival come true - a gruesome portrayal of so-called democracy at work. The tragedy is that rather than finding solutions, political activists continue to blame others.
The truth is that enemies are within and engaged with a lot money and weapons poured in to the country continue bloody sectarian massacres, encouraging more death and the destruction of freedom, commerce and all that could be imagined as relevant and important for survival. For sure, if Allama Iqbal, Mohammad Ali Jinnah-Qauid E- Azam and Liaqaut Ali Khan were alive, they would have disowned this disdained prevalent Pakistani culture of hatred, fear and vindictiveness.
After more than half of a century of continuous failure and disintegrated political culture, the Pakistani nation must realize the political triviality and viciousness contributed by the Bhuttos, Zardari, Sharif and Musharraf and opt out of the terrible sense of helplessness. Foreigners will not come to help Pakistan in crises but try to capitalize to crush its will and spirit to survive. Andrew Gavin Marshall says that in December of 2000, the CIA released a report on global trends to the year 2015, which stated that by then:
The war in Afghanistan is inherently related to the situation in Pakistan ... Pakistan will be more fractious, isolated, and dependent on international financial assistance.
Further, it was predicted, Pakistan
[W]ill not recover easily from decades of political and economic mismanagement, divisive politics, lawlessness, corruption and ethnic friction. Nascent democratic reforms will produce little change in the face of opposition from an entrenched political elite and radical Islamic parties.
The Pakistani nation must see the mirror - look at itself straight, candidly and with fullest sense of responsibility: who they were, where they are and where they are heading to - or the Nation stands no chance for the recourse or coming out of the deadly political stunts of the few, time killing legal battles and the historical graveyards. If the nation was not complacent in all of these sadistic misfortunes, the Generals, Bhuttos, Zardaris and Sharifs would have never had opportunities to molestation of the moral, intellectual and spiritual culture and values of Islamic Pakistan.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has proven to be indifferent to the corrupt political culture of which he is an integral part. If he had self-respect and consciousness of his own strength and weaknesses, he would not hold the office of prime minister. There is nothing common between the two entities.
The general elections in May brought no positive outlook at the working of the national assembly to foster any change. Insane sectarianism rages and cruelty of violence is robbing the life and commerce of the nation. Pakistan desperately needs morally and intellectually enriched people of new generation with passion and commitment to change and reformation, social harmony and new ideas, creative foresight and moral strength to prepare the nation for a new beginning and workable solutions away from the corrupt political and military absolute authoritarianism.
Pakistan needs a navigational change out of the sadistic political culture but there is no political system to facilitate durable political change on its own in a peaceful manner. Another military coup will not solve any problems but create more.
Optimism for change and reshaping Pakistan rests with the new educated and intelligent young generation of Pakistanis. All segments of educated, informed and conscientious Pakistanis have genuine interests and should feel priority to rebuild a strong foundation for nation unity. The strength of unity rests with Islam as a powerful force for change and sustainable development.
Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say.Please click hereif you are interested in contributing. Articles submitted for this section allow our readers to express their opinions and do not necessarily meet the same editorial standards of Asia Times Online's regular contributors.
Dr Mahboob A Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking, Lambert Publishing Germany, May 2012.