SPEAKING FREELY Darkness envelops Pakistan
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.
Contemporary Pakistani is divided. Its leaderless population is being exploited by neo-colonial feudal lords looting the people of their socio-economic, moral and political values.
This year's elections didn't change a status-quo symbolized by foreign-dictated governance. Nawaz Sharif is the replacement to
Asif Ali Zardari, but Sharif was an integral part of Zardari's regime.
The nation will pay with torment and suffer the insane rages of egomaniac rulers - the political gangsters that show the "right man" syndrome in its most naked form.
In my book Pakistan: Enigma of Change, in the late 1990s, I envisaged a new beginning led by educated and intelligent leaders from a new generation. Change can only come through men of new ideas, a new visionary leadership of integrity and a public movement for change.
For almost two decades, Pakistan's capacity for change has been badly fractured as its moral, intellectual and political consciousness were derailed and undermined by the few.
For several decades, military coups and interventions have eroded the moral and intellectual thread of society. Pakistan and its people are the victim of this prolonged, cruel and unending tragedy.
The generals and their accomplices, the so-called feudal politicians live in different worlds - not able to see the urgency for change.
The global community views them with mistrust and discord, not viable entities of the international system. The irrational system of governance propelled by the few does not offer any rational context to political change and reformation unless there is another bloody outburst challenging the insanity with more vigorous form of tragic insanity.
Nobody thinks of Pakistan, its national interests or the interests of the people. More than 40 years have been stolen from the precious lifeline of the nation of Muslim Pakistan; yet, nobody was ever charged with a crime nor punished for their treachery and monstrous actions against the freedom and integrity of the country.
East Pakistan now Bangladesh, was lost and surrendered to India because of the plan by the then military-political rulers of the nation in 1971. But since the military took over the reins, unthinking people will come to occupy the highest offices.
Power politics in Pakistan have become an outcome of institutionalized corruption, conspiracies, killings, and treachery to the national interests. The generals, politicians and assemblies are all the outcome of this flourishing industry.
After East Pakistan, a similar situation is evolving in Balochistan and Karachi, and all the major actors appear to be same as were at the time in 1971. The first two contending forces are acting on behalf of the foreign masters to further disintegrate Pakistan, and they are well paid and escorted by the ruthless forces of foreign intervention and spying networks.
Even if Pakistan is further ruptured, their dividends-pensions and salaries are guaranteed by the Foreign Master. General Pervez Musharraf currently under arrest and investigation is the role-model of being a subservient to the interests of the foreign Master. Who would know better to calculate the benefits than the former dictator General Musharaf and his immediate colleagues?
Those so called politicians who grab power via backdoor conspiracies and political horse-trading never think of relinquishing their hold on the masses. The rulers are the absolute power in Pakistan. There is no democracy, no political accountability and there is no political system based on any known legitimacy.
The Pakistani rulers have acquired indifference to the public interest and insanity and they are victim of their own obsession. Sharif and the Generals belong to the dead past, and cannot be a hope for the future.
One cannot ignore the fact that some vital segments of the Pakistani nation must have been complacent in institutionalizing corruption and cruel politics. Could the generals, Bhutto, Sharifs and Zardari have stolen time and resources on their own without the large participation of bribed people from within the society?
Dr Qadeer Khan had rightly asked the question: Do Pakistanis have any Gharait (honor").
America is a big player in Pakistan and its security apparatus. The aid gimmick has kept Pakistan interdependent on the policy making of the US administration and a nation being viewed more liability than an asset to the American geo-political interests in that region. The US leaders allege Pakistani rulers (civilians and military) are bribed yet act contrary to the American dictates.
The beggar nation that continues to be living at the mercy of the so called US aid money and foods, often defined as conspiracy to fighting proxy wars in Afghanistan and elsewhere. All that can go wrong have gone wrong with the system of Pakistani governance.
The US intelligence network and the political leadership have full control over all the major affairs of governance in Pakistan. Zardari and the Pakistani Generals are the stooges of the US managed political chessboard. Do these cruel monsters have a future?
Bruce Riedel, One of Obama's advisers on Pakistan and the War on Terrorism said, "2013 could be a transformative year for the country, indeed it will be the battle for the soul of Pakistan."
In a recent Brookings Institute report, "Battle for the Soul of Pakistan", Riedel explained: "One measure of Pakistan's instability is that the country now has between 300 and 500 private security firms, employing 3,00,000 armed guards, most run by ex-generals." What makes the ex-generals want to create a culture of fear and insecurity? Is it that they draw their after-service gratuities from such crime-riddled adventures?
"So, it is no wonder that the generals prefer to have the civilians responsible for managing the unmanageable, while they guard their prerogatives and decide national security issues. As important as the coming elections will be, the far more important issue is who will be the next Chief of Army Staff."
The US administration dictates Pakistani governance of the few. Sharif is the workable alternative and another "Our Man in Islamabad" replacing Zardari. No matter how suspicious and paranoid the generals and their by-products- Zardaris and Sharifs appear to be, they are people without rational thinking and freedom of thoughts for the good of Pakistan.
Their aims and ambitions are focused on power grabbing, not rebuilding of the much destroyed socio-economic and political infrastructures. Even after recent elections, the nation is divided along many ethnic and political demarcated lines drawn by a few lords.
There is no leader or party to envisage unity of the nation and be able to harmonize all the contending forces for the good of the people. Karachi is hallmark of Muttehada Quami Movement (MQM) gangsterism in collaboration with the Pakistan People's Party, ousted from power in the May 11 election. The daily killing of the innocent is called Karachite politics.
Nobody thinks of stopping the bloodshed and bringing the perpetrators to legal justice.
Prior to the elections, hopes were centered on the Jamait-e-Islami and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf - led by Imran Khan - the two political parties of reason and moral integrity to bring change to a corrupt system of political governance.
The outcomes signal a vicious and degenerating political future for the nation. Sharif and his collaborators have not been raised or educated with the moral and intellectual leadership needed to lead the nation. In all probability, these new rulers to be have nothing new and positive for the future of Pakistan.
The hope for change and shaping a new Pakistan rests with the new ideas and optimism of the new, educated and intelligent young generation of Pakistanis. Only they have a genuine interest in rebuild a strong foundation for the unity of the nation with Islam as a powerful and unifying force of change.
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 the latest: Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking. Lambert Publishing Germany, May 2012.