Pakistan Day - Strange March 23 Celebrations:
Mahboob A. Khawaja, Ph.D.
Pakistan and its moral, political and intellectual culture is being ruined and destroyed by those rulers who share nothing in-common with the masses. The princely rulers and the ordinary folks live far part in conflicting time zones, unable to find a meeting ground, and people paying for their own pains and anguish under the false pretext of democracy. Obsessed with foreign-thinking and control, morally and intellectually incompetent and money-making Generals support and co-exist with the corrupt and prostitution-run PPP Zardari regime and the bogus assemblies, all demonstrate cruelty and perpetuated indifference and insanity to the interests and priorities of the Muslim people of Pakistan. Come to the present and see the mirror - how Pakistan is being governed by the wrong people, with wrong thinking and doing the wrong things. Its existence and freedom are under fire. The THINKING people of the nation must initiate planned steps and organize revulsionary collective ideas and ideals to deter threats to the national freedom, integrity and future of Pakistan. The priorities must be focused on developing a new system of economic and political governance by disconnecting the interdependence on foreign aid, debts and dictates. The nation has been dehumanized to its critical and painful juncture of very survival. Under the circumstances, what is there to celebrate? The symbolic Pakistan Day celebrations will remain devoid of much needed change and reformation aim of the institutionalized corrupt system of governance. Pakistan is in desperate need of a New Political System befitting to its people and values to ensure a sustainable future.
With continued planned scrutiny, the Western intelligencia framed Pakistan as a “failed state” surviving on foreign loans and unpayable IMF debts of some 65 billions. Most Western politicians view Pakistani rulers as beggars flourishing by trading their national interests. In recent years, the Foreign Policy magazine ran focused coverage on “Pakistan as the most dangerous place on earth.” These vindictive claims were outcome of planned scheme of things to question the integrity of Pakistan as an independent Muslim nation. The embodying scenarios and contentions explain how internal conflicts, denial of services to the common citizens, legitimacy of the government, measures against corruption, poor management of the nation’s resources and affairs are counted as dysfunction factors to assert the conclusion. Conscientious Pakistanis should have taken serious notice of these challenging indicators and how they will affect the governance and futuristic development of a nation; certainly, the military regime of General Musharaf at the time and now the PPP Zardari in power would reject these claims. Undoubtedly, the deprived masses appear tense and uncertain of a promising future. The US policy has articulated the “Islamic terrorism” phenomenon originating from Pakistani soil and has enlarged its scope to make unchallenged drone attacks on the Pakistani civilians in the tribal belts killing almost eight -nine thousands civilians so far. If this would have happened in the US, American president would have launched many retaliatory wars against the intruders. Pakistani politicians are complacent in killing their own masses to maintain the politics of power and foreign influence.
General Musharaf, the then self-styled president was bribed and bought to make common Pakistanis look like as “terrorist” , the image America and Britain wanted to carve out for the Muslim nation. His Masters rewarded him for his prolonged cruelty and treachery to the Nation of Pakistan and lives comfortably in $1.4 million mansion in London under 24 hours British security protection. The Pakistani masses bleeding hearts and neglected talents could only hold demonstrations and strikes against the present Zaradri regime that does not represent the will of the people. If you want to analyze the progress and history under broader perspectives, most pages will go blank for the chapter on Pakistan. Intellectual and moral data ceases to exist because there was no moral or intellectual leadership to generate such vital information. Comparatively, India could gather data and considerable insights to illustrate its own contemporary progress and ancient history-though mostly developed by Muslim rulers and Islamic civilization. What freedom meant to India, is not the same to Pakistan. India enjoyed continued political leadership, whereas, Pakistanis with Jinnah’s death, lost what could have been their ideological foundation and viable political values. Secular India developed parliamentary system of government, short and long range planning models for public institutions, sustainable economic and industrial infrastructures, educational development and strong armed forces. It can celebrate what it has achieved so far. Painful as is to find rational space to have celebration for the Pakistan Day-March 23. After more than six decades of freedom from the British colonial rule, almost 50 years were stolen by the military Generals, who could not think right nor act as Muslim Generals in the interest of the Pakistani nation. The ordinary folks are still looking for recognition of basic human rights, survival needs of foods and shelters, equality, security and justice. There are full time high life privileges for the affluent class but nothing for the ordinary citizens except demonstrations, social and intellectual deprivation and lost sense of identity. How would the nation reconnect itself to the forgotten purpose and meaning of the Lahore Resolution of March 1940 for an independent Pakistan?
The Lahore Resolution (March 23, 1940) of the Muslim League unanimously demanded a separate homeland for the Muslim majority living in the Indian sub-continent, democratic rights, and freedom to establish and practice Islam as a system of life and to be progressive country in a global community of independent nations. None of it reflects from the half leftover Pakistan after India invaded the eastern part in 1970, and carved up Bangladesh, out of what was called East Pakistan. Defeated Generals should have learned a lesson to be shameful and accountable to the nation. Not so, they became the rulers of the militarily weak nation for long time to come. While this historical drama was in progress in concert with the then military dictators and accomplice politicians, the friendly US diplomats were describing Pakistan as “ drowning dog.” They knew well what was happening, not the common Pakistanis. After almost forty years, what has changed, if any? Nothing at all. Few years back, the Washington Post displayed its own freewill journalistic caricature- depicting General Musharaf as “dog” – a friend of America and active collaborator in its “War on Terrorism” – in reality, a new form of crusade against Islam and practicing Muslims across the globe. President Bush and General Musharaf worked hard to convince the humanity that the war on terrorism is real. Muslims opposing the war are called “foreigners”, “terrorists” and “insurgents”, while Americans are described as advisors. Deception is known to be the art of diplomacy and war. Most Western intellectuals with living conscious, would tell forthright,” it is a lie”, and “this war is a fraud.” Not to the Pakistani Generals and Mr. Zardari, it is a means of survival, and a reason to afloat their combined powerhouse. The masses and the national ideology have no role to play in this paradigm. Zardari gang and the Generals appear immune from any accountability. Those daring to challenge the absurdity of the military sponsored governance, often become ‘insurgents’ and undesirable ‘foreigners’ in their own homeland. No wonder, who is truly Pakistani, the colonial based institution of the Generals, the known thugs like Zardari or the freedom loving masses who demanded, strived and created the free homeland?
America and British policy planners are happy, their plans and strategies are effectively in place to break up the integrity of Pakistan. Conflict-making and conflict keeping is the order in Baluchistan and the Northwest Frontier Pakhutoon provinces and the adjacent tribal areas. The foreign strategic planners contend that the Baluchis and Pakhtoons are minorities in Pakistan. India will be keen to see more dismemberment of Pakistan. In recent months, the BBC broadcast several bogus interviews with political activists and so called specialists on Pakistan. These planned efforts are aimed at to fuel the provincial insurgency and conflicts and disintegration of the Muslim nation. American drone attacks and the war in Afghanistan have made things worst for the security of Pakistan. After Ms Bhutto, Sharif, General Musharaf, and now Zaradri is the best hope for futuristic hegemonic rule both of the US and India. Therefore, to appease the friendly nations, the ruling elite must celebrate Pakistan Day to forge relationship with the ideology of Muslim homeland. They are stranger to the essence of the Pakistan Day. To an educated Pakistani, it may be an insult to watch the military parade on Pakistan Day while the nation experiences daily bloodbaths and terrorism. What good the military has done for the common citizens? History tells us, there was no military factor involved, and it was the help of God and will of the people contributing to the emergence of Pakistan Movement and the birth of a free Islamic nation.
What has been destroyed systematically by the stupid Generals and the wicked politicians, cannot be recovered on its own. Educated Pakistanis used to describe the fertile lands of Sind and the Five Rivers-Punjab, “our culture is agriculture.” Not any more, once home grown foods like sugar, wheat and other commodities are now imported from abroad. What went wrong with the fertile lands of Pakistan? The Al-Qura’an (Surah Al-Furqhan), mentions, how the deeds of the people affect the environmental growth and natural productivity of human development. Ignorance to the Divine message and man-made corruption spoils the fertility of land and creative energies of humanity. A fact most often unknown to agricultural scientists. Recently, an American scholar remarked on President Bush led bogus war on Iraq: “we know the enemy, he is in us”, so do most Pakistanis. The military rule has stolen more than forty years of lifetime of the country. The nation’s agriculture lifeline has been endangered by the official neglect and corrupt practices of urbanization. Economy makes no headways under the continued IMF debts of $64 billion dollars, being unable to pay the annual interest without additional borrowing. No national productivity except on bureaucratic papers, political institutions dismantled, only dummy Parliament and the Senate are in session to float the PPP thieves and deceive the masses. To rationalize the irrational, Zardari makes references to the dead Bhuttos. How could dead people be a hope for the future of Pakistan? Would the Pakistani history offer any honorable reference to thugs and criminals?
India and China are the emerging new superpowers, acknowledged and considered by the Western strategic policy interests and economic development agendas. Nobody wants to invest in a society governed by the military dictators and criminals like Zardari, as they have neither relevance nor value in the contemporary global affairs. India with the blessing of the Western powers, have plans for “dissecting” Pakistan, and ‘slicing’ it into half in its preparation of the war games. Ironically, most will agree, this is not the time and age for the secular military Generals to run a culturally sensitive, Islamic value-based nation of Pakistan. Those fellow Pakistanis with living conscience and Thinking Power, must contemplate, how the corrupt politicians and their accomplice military Generals, devoid of reason and intellectual foresights, could possibly help to reform and rebuild the nation? If agreeable, what are the practical solutions and a way out of the accumulated insecurity and instability? Another military coup? Not so. Obviously, that is going to create more problems than resolve any peacefully. With political institutions dismantled by the Generals, the nation does not seem to have the intellectual capacity to come out of the problematic box and see beyond and the above for its sustainable future and protective measures for its integrity. Understandably, when people are governed and victimized by ignorant and insane politicians, they lose sense of rational thinking about the self and the environment and become void of productivity. This appears to be a clear burden on human conscience prevalent throughout the Pakistani culture.
Leaders create leaders. The Generals, Bhuttos, Sharifs and Zardari are not the leaders but bootlickers of the Western Masters and by-products of the neo-colonial military rule. There is nothing to celebrate except a time to see the MIRROR and reflect on our own wrong thinking and incapacitated state of the national affairs, so helpless that instead of being active reformers, most have succumbed to be pacifist spectators. Pakistan needs change but there is no systematic mechanism to foresee or visualize a democratic plan for political change and future-building. Some 30 years earlier, I asked late General Zia ul-Haq, what would our history say, why the succeeding generations of Muslims failed to produce leaders like Salahuddin, Allama Iqbal, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Qutb, Al-Mushraqi, and Mowdoodi? He replied to me without attempting to answer the focal question. Contemporary history finds no respectable place for the oppressive military rulers and wicked politicians in nation building.
Ruined agriculture cannot be restored nor lands ploughed by tanks and guns and criminal leaders. Educated people educate others, and build public institutions, not the army. Traders and private investors run economic markets; nobody invests where military dictators and political thieves control the country. Whether you like it or not, look at today’s Pakistan where the ruling elite and the masses seem to be living in two different time zones, without meeting of minds, necessities for survival and priorities for security. American led war on terrorism is killing Pakistanis and large scale daily civilian blood baths speak their own language of the political cruelty of the so called leaders. Tanks, guns and bullets produce nothing, they destroy all living things. With Zardari, Pakistan is losing its respect and integrity. Shame to their common sense if India will talk on Kashmir. Shame to Pakistani Generals and their level of professional morality and intelligence if they expect politically strong Indian leadership to have a genuine dialogue on the settlement of Kashmir. Pakistan under Zardari is operating from a position of extreme weakness, not of strength to search for a peaceful resolution of Kashmir. There is an overwhelming sense of political insecurity. Will you celebrate the Pakistan’s 72 years of democratic demand for an independent homeland? It will be reasonable and responsible to ask for the legal trial and accountability of General Musharaf, Sharif, Zardari, Malik, Gilani and so many other thugs and indicted criminals in the PPP governance who have stolen the future of the besieged Nation. The educated and visionary Pakistanis particularly those living abroad and non-partisan would need to THINK of a Navigational Change and take initiatives for planed change and reformation of the corrupt political governance. If they hope that Zardari or Sharif or the Generals will change, it is mere a hope without a hope as criminals and insane people never learn nor admit their mistakes and cruelty.
If Allama Iqbal, Chaudry Rehmat Ali, Quaid-e- Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Liaquat Ali were alive today, most likely they would have refused to be identified as people of Pakistan or part of the Pakistani political culture. The major paradoxes of Pakistan’s history illustrate that its time for change, opportunities for development and resources for progress were stolen by its own egomaniac and insane rulers. To undo the darkened past and reshape the present, Pakistan urgently NEEDS educated, visionary and proactive leadership and public institutions to rebuild its essential capacity to safeguard its integrity, survival and future as a Muslim Nation moving forward to pursue change and social and economic development infrastructures for the deprived people. The Generals, Bhuttos, Sharif, and Zardari are part of the problem, not a remedy for the future. The solution must come from the THINKING people of the new generation of educated, honest and proactive Pakistanis to facilitate HOPE and PROMISE for a sustainable future. The essence of time would demand prompt collective thinking and action for change and reformation process of the corrupt political governance, not a space for neutrality, confrontational argument, unthinking and inaction. This should be the agenda and resolve of the Pakistan Day.